No Right to Medical Marijuana, Says Montana Supreme Court
Former Oregon Corrections Counselor on Voting Yes on Measure 80
Shelley Fox-Loken used to be a corrections counselor in Oregon and is now a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (http://leap.cc), an organization that advocates for an end to prohibition and is made up of former and current law enforcement officials.
She recently wrote an op-ed piece for OregonLive.com in which she spells out the reasons for voting for Measure 80, a measure to legalize and regulate marijuana in the state.
“I went into criminal justice because I wanted to serve the public,” she writes. “As a corrections official, I thought that by working with inmates I'd be able to help them reintegrate into society, making their lives better and our community safer. I quickly became disillusioned with that noble idea, however, as I saw that rehabilitation, once the overarching goal of the penal system, was increasingly impeded as Oregon's prisons were overrun with people whose only crimes were drug-related.
“Prison used to be reserved for those who committed what we think of when we hear the word ‘crime’ -- murderers, rapists, thieves. But increasingly during the past 40 years, drug users and low-level dealers who've committed no offense other than succumbing to the medical problem of substance abuse have been joining those ranks. In order to prosecute those committing these consensual crimes, we're using resources -- police time, court time, jail beds -- that could be better spent going after those whose victims are all too real.
“Measure 80, the initiative on Oregon's ballot this November that would regulate marijuana like alcohol, doesn't solve that problem entirely, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.
“Not only would regulating marijuana free up law enforcement resources to go after the real criminals in society, it would increase public safety in other ways. Right now, the marijuana trade is largely controlled by large and dangerous international drug cartels drawn to the industry because of the huge profits available. Many of these cartels are in Mexico -- which by some estimates has lost 60,000 people to drug war-related violence since 2006 -- although the U.S. Justice Department reports that Mexican cartels are now operating in more than 1,000 U.S. cities.”
Time will tell what happens in Oregon, but one thing is for sure: legalization gains momentum every day.
Marijuana is less deadly than PEN CAPS
Medical Marijuana Businesswomen to Call on President Obama to Halt MMJ Crackdown
On Thursday, September 13th, the National Cannabis Industry Association, in conjunction with the Women's CannaBusiness Network will hold a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. At the event, female business leaders from the medical cannabis industry will call on President Obama to stop enforcement actions against medical cannabis providers while the administration reviews its policies to determine whether they are in the public interest. The women will explain the hardships caused by the federal government's ongoing crackdown on legitimate medical cannabis businesses.
"In the last year alone, the Department of Justice has taken action against hundreds of medical cannabis providers, including a large percentage who were acting in full compliance with state and local laws," said NCIA executive director, Aaron Smith. "It is painfully obvious that the Department of Justice is not following the administration's stated policy of respecting state medical marijuana laws."
In what is by some measures the worst economic recovery in U.S. history, those who run businesses can’t see the logic in the federal medical marijuana crackdown and its resulting economic effects.
The group will also release a report entitled, "The Colorado Cannabis Industry: A Tale of Ten Cities," which details the sales and tax revenues generated by medical marijuana centers in ten Colorado cities. These ten cities alone, generated close to $10 million in state and local sales taxes in 2011. Representatives from businesses that produced this revenue, but are now suffering due to the Obama administration actions, will speak.
Who: Female business owners and medical cannabis industry employees
Where: National Press Club (in the Fourth Estate Room), 529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC
When: Thursday, September 13 at 9:30 a.m.
All government efforts at this point should be directed toward fostering job growth, not finding reasons to shut down businesses.
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