Marijuana's march toward mainstream confounds feds
Category: News | Posted on Sat, June, 29th 2013 by THCFinder
WASHINGTON—It took 50 years for American attitudes about marijuana to zigzag from the paranoia of "Reefer Madness" to the excesses of Woodstock back to the hard line of "Just Say No."
The next 25 years took the nation from Bill Clinton, who famously "didn't inhale," to Barack Obama, who most emphatically did.
Now, in just a few short years, public opinion has moved so dramatically toward general acceptance that even those who champion legalization are surprised at how quickly attitudes are changing and states are moving to approve the drug—for medical use and just for fun.
It is a moment in America that is rife with contradictions:
—People are looking more kindly on marijuana even as science reveals more about the drug's potential dangers, particularly for young people.
—States are giving the green light to the drug in direct defiance of a federal prohibition on its use.
—Exploration of the potential medical benefit is limited by high federal hurdles to research.
Washington policymakers seem reluctant to deal with any of it.
Richard Bonnie, a University of Virginia law professor who worked for a national commission that recommended decriminalizing marijuana in 1972, sees the public taking a big leap from prohibition to a more laissez-faire approach without full deliberation.
"It's a remarkable story historically," he says. "But as a matter of public policy, it's a little worrisome."
Read more: http://www.mercurynews.com
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Vermont Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect Monday
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Sat, June, 29th 2013 by THCFinder
Vermont will become the 17th state to decriminalize marijuana at 12:01 am EDT July 1
MONTPELIER, VT – Vermonters will possessing small amounts of marijuana will no longer be subject to arrest starting Monday, when a bill adopted this year to remove criminal penalties for marijuana possession will go into effect. Vermont will become the 17th state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
House Bill 200, sponsored by Rep. Christopher Pearson (P-Burlington) with a tripartisan group of 38 cosponsors, passed the House in April before sailing though the Senate less than a month later. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed the bill into law in early June.
It ends criminal penalties for the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana or five grams of hashish and replaces them with fines of $200 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense, and $500 for subsequent offenses.
Possession of more than an ounce remains a criminal offense, as does cultivation of any number of plants.
“This is a much-needed step forward toward a more sensible marijuana policy,” said Matt Simon, legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, which lobbied in support of the legislation. “Nobody should be subjected to life-altering criminal penalties simply for possessing a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol.”
The bill had the support of Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell and Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn, who both testified in favor of the bill in April.
Read more: http://www.thedailychronic.net/
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