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“Good People Don’t Smoke Marijuana” — Clueless Senator Just Vilified 50% of All Americans
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As cannabis legalization sweeps the nation, a small group of U.S. senators held a desperate anti-pot circus show this week where they showcased the absurdity of cannabis prohibition. The hearing was dubbed “Is the Department of Justice Adequately Protecting the Public From the Impact of State Recreational Marijuana Legalization?” Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein, the two oldest members of the Senate, hosted the event and invited other prohibition crusaders such as Nebraska attorney general Doug Peterson, who attempted to sue Colorado for being a drug cartel. Sen. Jeff Sessions also attended and provided perhaps the most laughable statement of the hearing when he said, “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” I can’t tell you how concerning it is for me, emotionally and personally, to see the possibility that we will reverse the progress that we’ve made…. It was the prevention movement that really was so positive, and it led to this decline. The creating of knowledge that this drug is dangerous, it cannot be played with, it is not funny, it’s not something to laugh about, and trying to send that message with clarity, that good people don’t smoke marijuana. It’s hard to know where to begin with this asinine statement. Firstly, Sessions insulted about half of the American population who use cannabis. Pot has never seemed to stifle success, but surely the righteous Senator would not dare insult his fellow statesmen who have used the plant recreationally. All those people treating their health ailments with cannabis, whether smoked or its extracts eaten, can’t be doing any good in healing themselves. Medical science should not be promoting such bad behavior! On a more serious note, as we discover the miraculous functions of the endocannabinoid system, we are finding ways to harness that system through the application of cannabis compounds to both heal and prevent disease. The National Cancer Institute has recognized that cannabis kills cancer. The American Epilepsy Society has deemed cannabis the most promising treatment for seizures. We have reported on numerous studies and instances of the incredible potential of cannabis in treating epileptic seizures. Many veterans of war are finding the only thing that can treat the post-traumatic stress disorder is cannabis, with some able to give up harmful prescription drugs. But these aren’t “good people” to Sen. Sessions, even if they are avoiding mental breakdowns by using the plant. Indeed, all cannabis use can be considered therapeutic. Conditions that are treated with dangerous pharmaceutical drugs—marketed by a lucrative partnership between government and Big Pharma—can instead be alleviated with a plant that anyone can grow. With all that we now know about cannabis, it is truly a mystery as to how anyone—especially one of a hundred Senators who profess to lead our nation in progress—can cling to the fallacies of 20th-century prohibition. Sen. Grassley set th [...]
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Hawaii considering decriminalizing all recreational drugs for personal use
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It's a bold move, the likes of which hasn't been seen in recent United States history: The state of Hawaii is on the cusp of decriminalizing ALL recreational drugs. If the resolution passes, Hawaii would become the first state to investigate alternative solutions for treating drug addiction other than just locking people up. Instead of imprisoning drug users, Hawaii would look at the situation from a different angle. Drug users caught in a vicious cycle will be able to get professional help instead of fearing long-term imprisonment. Families, friends and support groups will be more empowered and able to create an environment of accountability that breaks the addiction and resets the priorities of drug users. Hawaii lawmakers admit that incarceration isn't working: "Despite a longstanding policy that enforces illicit drug prohibition and imposes some of the world's harshest penalties for drug possession and sales, illicit drug use in the United States has been increasing," states the resolution. With drug use rising in the U.S., and with incarceration rates continuing to climb, the root of the problem isn't really being dealt with. Criminalizing drug use has perpetuated hard drug abuse while creating heightened fear and violence where it is unnecessary. A shift in how we approach drug addiction For so long, all drugs have been treated in the same way, as something for law enforcement to use as evidence against people to lock them up. This doesn't solve addictions or help people strive to have better priorities. There's now growing support for looking at each substance for what it is, and how best to approach the problem on an individual basis. Instead of locking people up for possessing the cannabis plant, for example, resources could be better used helping people who are dependent on methamphetamine. Distinctions have to be made, and better approaches have to be used, other than violence and control. That's why Hawaii is looking to set up a commission to study the benefits of drug decriminalization. If the measure passes both chambers of the legislature, the state's Legislative Reference Bureau would be activated to, "conduct a study on the feasibility and advisability of decriminalizing the illegal possession of drugs for personal use in Hawaii," so that such conduct, "would constitute an administrative or civil violation rather than a criminal [...]
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Hawaii May Become First State In US To Decriminalize All Drugs
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Submitted by Claire Bernish via TheAntiMedia.org, Following Portugal’s model, Hawai`i could become the first state in the U.S. to decriminalize all drugs — including cocaine and even heroin. “[D]espite a longstanding policy that enforces illicit drug prohibition and imposes some of the world’s harshest penalties for drug possession and sales, illicit drug use in the United States has been increasing,” states a resolution that passed, amended by the Hawai`i House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Now that it’s been approved, the study’s findings will be due later this year, “no later than 20 days prior” to the convening of the legislature’s 2017 session. According to testimony from the Legislative Reference Bureau Acting Director, Charlotte A. Carter-Yamauchi, the study will reference Portugal’s successful decriminalization with the caveat of recognizing Hawai`i’s obligation to follow federal law. But the state recognizes the numerous failures and pitfalls of the national war on drugs and its policies, beginning with passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. “Addicts are still considered to be violating the law by possessing drugs and have no legal way of obtaining them. The war on drugs most problematic effects are in its pursuit of dealers and traffickers. This is what has made the business lucrative and violent, caused addicts to steal to obtain drug money, and burdened the tax payers [sic] and criminal justice system,” Libertarian Party of Hawai`i Chair, Tracy Ryan, submitted in support of the study, with the recommendation to examine pre-1914 U.S. drug policy. Among others offering testimony, the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai`i issued a statement in “strong support” of studying the issue, as well as a recommendation the LRB carry out a “twin study” on “the effects of legalization of marijuana for adult use.” Noting the Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene in a dispute between Colorado, Nebraska, and Oklahoma — stemming from Colorado’s cannabis legalization — the Forum claimed it would be an “opportune time” to conduct the parallel study. Policymakers in Hawai`i decided to turn to Portugal’s across-the-board decriminalization, which became law on July 1, 2001, for consideration, after the CATO Institute issued a report touting the policy’s success. Cited in testimony by Kat Brady, Coordinator of Community Alliance on Prisons, the report’s conclusion stated: “None of the fears promulgated by opponents of Portuguese decriminalization has come to fruition, whereas many of the benefits predicted by drug policymakers from instituting a decriminalization regime have been realized. While drug addiction, usage, and associated pathologies continue to skyrocket in many EU states, those problems — in virtually every relevant category — have been either contained or measurably improved within Portugal since 2001 […] “By freeing its citizens from the fear of prosecution and imprisonment f [...]
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A record-high percentage of Americans — 61 percent — say they support marijuana legalization
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A new survey released today by the the Associated Press and the University of Chicago finds that a record-high percentage of Americans -- 61 percent -- say they support marijuana legalization. The survey uses the same question wording ("Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?") on marijuana as previous Gallup surveys, which had shown a previous high of 58 percent support for legalization last October. However, the AP asked a follow-up question that found a considerable amount of nuance in Americans' support marijuana legalization. Twenty-four percent of legalization supporters said marijuana should be made available "only with a medical prescription." Another 43 percent said there should be "restrictions on purchase amounts." And one-third of legalization supporters said there should be "no restrictions" on purchase amounts. "This is yet another demonstration of just how ready Americans are for the end of marijuana prohibition," said Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority, a marijuana reform group. "The growing level of support for legalization that we see in poll after poll is exactly why we're now in a situation -- for the first time in history -- where every major presidential candidate in both parties has pledged to let states set their own marijuana laws without federal interference." Marijuana legalization is particularly popular among Democrats (70 percent support) and independents (65 percent). Nearly half (47 percent) of Republican voters support legalization as well. There is a considerable age gap on the question. Eighty-two percent of 18-to-29 year olds support legalization, compared to only 44 percent of those aged 60+. The survey comes at a potential tipping point for drug reform. Next month, the United Nations will hold a special session in New York to re-evaluate the state of international drug laws. Many researchers and public health experts have been encouraging the UN to take a less-punitive approach to drug policy. Yesterday, a group of medical and public health experts urged governments to decriminalize all drug use and experiment with regulated drug markets in some cases. Here in the U.S. it's likely that voters in a number of states, including California, Nevada, Arizona and Massachusetts, will consider whether to legalize recreational marijuana at the ballot box this fall. And Vermont's legislature may opt to legalize marijuana before then. And just last [...]
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Homeless Defender of Constitutional Rights Unable to pay $100 Marijuana charge dies in jail
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Homeless “Defender Of Constitutional Rights” Unable To Pay $100 Marijuana Charge, Dies In Jail homeless-man-cant-pay-bail-dies-in-jailBy Matt Agorist Last week, police, in their efforts to keep the world safe from a dangerous plant, arrested Jeffrey Pendleton for possessing a small amount of cannabis. He was then locked in a cage last Wednesday after a Nashua District Court judge had set his bail at $100 cash. Unable to pay his extortion fee for possessing a plant that is legal in some form in 23 states, Pendleton, 26, was found dead in his cell five days later at 2:45 on Sunday. “There appeared no indication that Mr. Pendleton was in any form of distress,” said Superintendent David Dionne. The Manchester police are now investigating his death. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday. However, the results have yet to be released publicly, leaving some questioning the circumstances of his untimely death — especially considering his outstanding history of activism against police abuse of the homeless. Pendleton is no stranger to police in the area as he had won settlements for civil rights violations from both the Hudson and Nashua police departments last year. Pendleton won a settlement of $7,640 from Hudson after he was unlawfully arrested for standing on public property holding a sign that read, “Homeless and Struggling.” After that debacle, Nashua paid Pendleton $10,315 after he spent 33 days in jail for walking in a park adjacent to the Nashua library after police forbade him to do so. His death comes exactly one year to the date after Nashua signed the papers agreeing to settle the claims and avoid a suit. “We will deeply miss Jeff,” said Gilles Bissonnette, legal director of the ACLU of New Hampshire who represented Pendleton in his two cases. “He knew there were people like him out there having similar interactions with law enforcement,” Bissonnette said. “He wanted change, whether if for a black person or simply a poor person out of work.” In a statement on Monday, the ACLU referred to Pendleton as a “defender of constitutional rights.” According to the Union Leader, Pendleton was discovered inside his cell during a head count that takes place during change of shift. Jail officials are reviewing video and speaking to inmates to piece together a timeline of Pendleton’s last hours. He said the door to his jail cell was closed when he was discovered. This tragic case highlights the immoral nature of the state’s war on drugs. Pendleton had harmed no one, yet he was kidnapped, locked in a cage, and subsequently died without freedom because agents of the state, whose job it is to enforce unjust laws, put him there. Meanwhile, actual crimes continue to go unpursued, uninvestigated, and unsolved — after all, arresting poor people for a plant is far easier and profitable. Matt Agorist [...]
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Legalizing Weed Has Done What 1 Trillion Dollars And A 40 Year War Couldn’t
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Submitted by Nick Bernabe via TheAntiMedia.org, The Mexican drug cartels are finally meeting their match as a wave of cannabis legalization efforts drastically reshapes the drug trafficking landscape in the United States. It turns out that as states legalize cannabis use and cultivation, the volume of weed brought across the border by Mexican drug cartels dramatically decreases — and is putting a dent in their cash flow. A newly-released statistical report from the U.S. Border Patrol shows a sharp drop-off in cannabis captured at the border between the United States and Mexico. The reduction in weed trafficking coincides with dozens of states embracing cannabis use for both medical and recreational purposes. In fact, as the Washington Post reports, cannabis confiscations at the southern border have stumbled to the lowest point in over a decade — to only 1.5 million pounds. That’s down from a peak of four million pounds in 2009. Speaking to Anti-Media, Amir Zendehnam, host of the popular cannabis show, “In the Clear with Amir” on Z420.tv, told us what he thinks of these new statistics: “The economics of the cannabis industry show us that with healthy competition in the market, prices drop, quality rises, violence diminishes, and peaceful transactions increase. As constant new research emerges detailing the plant’s benefits, the negative stigma of using cannabis, both medicinally and recreationally, is diminishing, raising the demand for high quality product. “Colorado, for example, is experiencing an economic boom that has never been seen in the state. The biggest issue in Colorado today is what to do with the huge amounts of revenue and economic success the state is gaining as a result of legalization. The Colorado model has proven that legalization reduces crime rates, cuts prices, pushes unfavorable competition out of the market, provides cleaner products with heightened transparency, and increases the standard of living for society as a whole. “The only people hurt by continued societal acceptance and legalization of cannabis are the cartels and their friends, who have flourished for decades as a result of drug prohibition. “As legalization spreads across the U.S. and the rest of the world like wildfire, I predict the industry will soon become one of the most dominant and beneficial industries humanity has ever seen.” And the new competition from legal states has taken a big bite out of the entire illicit Mexican marijuana food chain. “Two or three years ago, a kilogram [2.2 pounds] of marijuana was worth $60 to $90,” a cannabis farmer in Mexico said in an interview with NPR. “But now they’re paying us $30 to $40 a kilo. It’s a big difference. If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they’ll run us into the ground.” Consumers are also starting to [...]
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South Carolina Bill to Legalize Marijuana Faces Uphill Battle
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By Brandon Turbeville In a sign that the tide is beginning to turn in terms of public opinion of marijuana, there is now a new push to legalize medical marijuana in South Carolina. Never known for its reasonable drug laws even the Palmetto state is being forced to admit that not only does marijuana not cause ax-murders and terrorism, but that it has a substantial amount of benefits. The bill, H4037, is being examined this congressional session and will focus specifically on THC. There are three state representatives sponsoring the legislation: Peter McCoy, John King and Jenny Horne. There are some medical uses for marijuana that would be beneficial not only for kids with epilepsy, but for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, fibromyalgia, terminal cancer,” said [...]
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Federal Court strikes down ban on medical marijuana patients growing own pot
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Ban on medical marijuana patients growing own pot struck down by Federal Court A Federal Court judge has struck down federal regulations restricting the rights of medical marijuana patients to grow their own cannabis and given the Liberal government six months to come up with new rules. Judge Michael Phelan ruled Wednesday in Vancouver that the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations were an infringement on charter rights and declared they have no force and effect. But the judge also suspended his declaration for six months to give the federal government time to come up with new rules. Read the full decision (PDF) The judge was careful to point out that the ruling does not change other laws that make it illegal for Canadians to use marijuana recreationally. The judge also ordered that an earlier injunction remains in effect, allowing thousands of Canadians with prior authorization to use medical marijuana to continue to grow it at home. 'Some fell through the cracks' Lawyer John Conroy, who co-represented the plaintiffs in the case, noted the ruling did not automatically include all medical marijuana users. He said the ruling applied only to about 28,000 Canadians who had the proper licences in place at the time of the injunction. And he noted there remain thousands of other medical users not covered by the original injunction, who will still have to wait six months to legally grow their own medical marijuana themselves. "We will be heading back to court to fine-tune that injunction," said Conroy on Wednesday afternoon in Vancouver. In addition, many people who had to change the address of their production site no longer have valid licences registered with Health Canada, and that issue needs to be addressed, he said. He also cautioned users who have possession licences to make sure they are updated. "Hopefully within six months we'll have a reasonably regulated system in place that solves the problems for everyone," he said. Conroy noted that if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wanted to move quickly on the issue, cabinet could simply issue an order-in-council that would remove marijuana from Schedule 2 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. "The next fight is making sure the dispensaries are legal," he said. 'It was a complete victory' Lawyer Kirk Tousaw, the co-counsel for Neil Allard, who launched the court challenge, was clearly pleased with the decision. "Basically we won, and it was a complete victory," said Tousaw, shortly after reading the decision. "[The Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations] were declared to be unconstitutional and violate the charter rights of medical cannabis patients." Medical Marijuana A Federal Court threw out a ban Wednesday on medical marijuana users growing their [...]
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8,000 suspected pot cookies found in White Rock, B.C. home
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An armed home invasion in White Rock on Thursday led to the discovery of thousands of cookies believed to be laced with marijuana. Just before noon, RCMP were called to a house near Earl Marriot Secondary School on North Bluff Road after reports two males were trying to break into a home. Police say the intruders fled by foot, forcing the school into a brief lockdown. While officers were at the home, they discovered 8,000 cookies believed to contain marijuana. earl marriot secondary White Rock RCMP Const. Janelle Shoihet said it was a shocking discovery. "I've never seen anything like [...]
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Taking Down the Drug War : A Drug War Resistance Fantasy
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The holidays brought a slight twinkle of hope to the scourge that is America’s 100-year drug war. No, the ex-hippies, now that they’re in charge haven’t reverted back to their peace-loving consciousness-expanding selves. It’s a money issue. The ridiculously named Department of Justice can’t, for the time being, make payments under the “equitable-sharing” asset forfeiture program, due to budget cuts. The war on drugs has turned into policing for profit by giving police the option of prosecuting asset forfeiture cases under federal instead of state law. “Federal forfeiture policies are more permissive than many state policies, allowing police to keep up to 80 percent of assets they seize — even if the people they took from are never charged with a crime,” the Washington Post reported a couple days before Christmas. Of course, law enforcement was not happy with the suspension and fired off a letter to the President and his Attorney General, squealing, “This shortsighted decision by Congress will have a significant and immediate impact on the ability of law enforcement agencies throughout the nation to protect their communities and provide their citizens with the services they expect and deserve.” Protect communities and provide services? That service being the barring of individuals from controlling their own consciousnesses. It isn’t enough that we physically toil an ever greater part of each year for the state, but it demands our minds as well? What if after decades of this persecution someone fought back? That’s the question Vin Suprynowicz explores in his latest novel The Miskatonic Manuscript, the second installment of the book sleuthing adventures of Matthew Hunter and his comely companion, the sharp-shooting and sharp-tongued Chantal Brothers. For those who enjoyed The Testament of James, Miskatonic starts in the same sleepy “Books on Benefit” Providence, Rhode Island bookstore. However, Suprynowicz kicks up the genre from mystery to science fiction leaving the store’s cats, Mr. Cuddles and Tabbyhunter, to mind the store while Chantel and Matthew fight for their lives in another dimension against flesh craving dinosaurs and giant spiders. The author challenges readers to amp their imaginations up to his level: the drug war to dinosaurs and back, with a few naked warrior goddesses thrown in to keep all your senses stimulated. And if that’s not enough, Suprynowicz drops in a Murray Rothbard and Austrian Business Cycle mention. All of this happens between just two covers, one of which, the front, was censored by one puritanical Miskatonic reviewer. In Suprynowicz’s tale, Windsor Annesley, the leader of the Church of Cthulhu, is on trial for how he and his church use mind-enhancing plants and chemicals as sacraments. We’re not talking stale wafers and grape juice. The Cthulhu psychedelic sacraments take their followers places they never imagined and just happen to be classified as narcotics by the nation [...]
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Colorado Celebrates Legalization Anniversary: Massive Drop in Arrests and Millions in Tax Revenue
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Colorado Celebrates Legalization Anniversary: Massive Drop in Arrests and Millions in Tax Revenue More than three years have passed since Colorado residents voted to legalize marijuana, which immediately allowed adults to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana. This past New Year’s Day marked the two year anniversary of adults being able to legally buy marijuana in Colorado. The policy is still in its formative stage, but the first year after marijuana sales started in Colorado went very well and we continue to see the good shape of things to come. The destruction imagined by opponents of legalization in 2012 never came true and is unlikely to materialize. Public safety benchmarks are under scrutiny in a manner never seen under prohibition and there is no real cause for panic in the foreseeable future. In short, the current state of legalization is more reflective of the world imagined by proponents – legalization works! Of course that doesn’t prevent many from making broad assumptions and speculating about dangers associated with legalization. What’s important for the world to know is the policy is growing under the guidance of a family of state regulators, reform advocates, health practitioners and responsible industry affiliates.As we mark the Jan 1st anniversary of marijuana legalization in Colorado, let’s take a look at some unquestionable characteristics this policy is starting to reveal in its first couple of years. 1) Thousands Not Arrested for Marijuana in Colorado This initial and foundational aspect of marijuana legalization is often [...]
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