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Report: At Least 1 in 20 Colorado Arrests Are Marijuana Related

Category: News | Posted on Thu, September, 27th 2012 by THCFinder
In just six weeks, Colorado will vote on Amendment 64, an initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol. A new report commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance outlines how legalization would affect the state’s criminal justice system:
 
A study conducted by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy estimated that police forces in Colorado spend about 4.4 percent of their budgets enforcing marijuana prohibition, that the judicial system spends 7 percent on marijuana cases, and that 2 percent of the corrections budget also is spent on marijuana-related incarcerations. [...]
 
Economist Chris Stiffler, who wrote the CCLP report, told the Colorado Independent that his best estimate is that 5 percent to 6 percent of all arrests in Colorado are marijuana related. All told, the study concludes that legalizing small amounts of marijuana will save Colorado taxpayers $12 million a year in the beginning and up to $40 million a year in later years.
 
Though the taxpayer savings are relatively modest, the human cost of the drug war led the NAACP to endorse Amendment 64. Almost half of all drug arrests in the country are for marijuana possession — more than 500,000 a year. In Colorado, the number is ballparked around 10,000 to 12,000 arrests a year. According to Tom Gorman, who heads a federal program to coordinate regional drug trafficking in the Rocky Mountain, state police do not go out of their way to make marijuana possession arrests. A retired police officer told reporters that it made sense for cops to support legalization:
 
Law enforcement officers know better than anyone that keeping marijuana illegal and unregulated means the gangs and cartels that control the illegal trade win, and the rest of us lose. Our current marijuana laws distract police officers from doing the job we signed up for — protecting the public by stopping and solving serious crimes. They also put us at risk by forcing us to deal with an underground marijuana market made up of gangsters, cartels and other criminals.
 
The state capital, Denver, has already legalized petty possession, though police can still make arrests based on state law. Medical marijuana is also legal in Colorado, and full legalization is favored by 51 percent of likely voters. Governor John Hickenlooper (D), however, has come out staunchly against the amendment.
 
 

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Marijuana as Autism Cure?

Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 26th 2012 by THCFinder
There has been a lot of craziness swirling around the science of child autism, not to mention Jenny McCarthy.
 
If the debunked idea that childhood vaccines can cause the disorder was always far out to you, then read on. Welcome, reasonable person, to the world of real science.
 
UC Irvine endocannabinoid reseacher Daniele Piomelli has come to a novel theory about marijuana and autism, but hear him out:
 
Autism's leading genetic trigger, "fragile X syndrome," represents a situation where "regional synapse communication is severely limited, giving rise to certain cognitive and behavioral problems," states UC Irvine.
 
OK. But get this: " ... Natural marijuana-like chemicals" in your own brain "can help correct behavioral issues related to fragile X syndrome," the school says.
 
Piomelli's research, announced to UC Irvine yesterday, also was published online by the journal Nature Communications.
 
This connection would suggest that medicine derived from weed could be used to reverse the effects of autism.
 
That, however, might be far off. (For one thing, marijuana is still considered by the federal government to be a drug with no legitimate medical use.)
 
Piomelli and his team treated mice that had fragile X syndrome symptoms with marijuana-like compounds and discovered "improvements."
 
The professor:
 
What we hope is to one day increase the ability of people with fragile X syndrome to socialize and engage in normal cognitive functions.
That would be huge not only for sufferers of autism but for the medical marijuana movement.
 

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If you Smoke Weed you might be a SLUT?

Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 25th 2012 by THCFinder

Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro slammed Lady Gaga for ‘glorifying drug use’ but oddly called her a ‘slut’.

Lady Gaga is a “slut.”
 
 
 
So says Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, who might want to consult a dictionary before he slams the Grammy Award-winning singer with that word again.
 
Gaga drew Molinaro’s ire for firing-up joint last week while performing in Amsterdam, where pot is legal.
 
And when Molinaro appeared in Borough Hall to kick off an youth anti-drug program Monday, he let her have it.
 
“There’s Gaga,” Molinaro said, as he stood beside a poster that declared “Stop glorifying drug use in the media” and showed two pictures of the songstress getting high.
 
“Here's this ... this ... I would call her a slut,” he said. “This slut is influencing many, many children.”
 
Then the Conservative Molinaro added sarcastically, “And it's right to do. It's fine, it's part of it.”
 
“My niece has two daughters, 12 and 14. They love this woman,” he said. “Why? Why?"
 
Molinaro also laid into other entertainers and athletes, but the Staten Island Advance reported that he didn’t slam anybody else by name.
 
“So, we have a job to do also with these actresses, actors, ballplayers,” he told the audience. “They use drugs as if it's nothing. We shouldn't praise them. We shouldn't honor them.”
 
Then, apparently referring to Gaga again, Molinaro added, “We should hit the sponsors that she has ... where her millions of dollars come.”
 
“To me, she's not an actress, she's a slut ... in the pure meaning of the word."
 
Actually, Gaga is a pop star, not an actress. And that’s not the meaning of the word slut.
 
According to The New Oxford American Dictionary, a slut is defined as “a slovenly or promiscuous woman.”
 
The dictionary defines someone who smokes marijuana regularly as a pothead.
 
Asked if Molinaro knows the difference, spokeswoman Patricia Wilkes answered, “Yes, I believe he does.”
 
 

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Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske Ignores Marijuana Evidence

Category: News | Posted on Mon, September, 24th 2012 by THCFinder
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a press conference this morning, representatives from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the release of the latest results of the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
 
As is their custom, the federal officials used the event — and the survey itself — as an opportunity to decry the use of marijuana in the United States and focused on perceived risk as a driving factor for increased use.
 
Marijuana use has slightly increased in the past year, while alcohol use has declined.
 
“Once again, the federal government is trying to blame attempts to reform our marijuana laws for increases in use, completely ignoring the facts that arresting people for marijuana is obviously not stopping anyone from using it and that education, not arrest, is responsible for decreases in alcohol use over the past year,” said Morgan Fox, communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project. “If we treat marijuana as a public health issue and stop wasting resources arresting adults for using something that is demonstrably safer than alcohol, we might be able to see the same effects. It is unfortunate that the Obama administration and ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske adamantly refuse to consider rational policy alternatives that don’t involve criminal penalties.”
 
“If we are realistic as a society about the risks of marijuana use compared to other drugs, and about the effectiveness of education and treatment instead of arrest and incarceration, we can do a much better job at decreasing abuse and addiction,“ Fox continued. “Mr. Kerlikowske has consistently stated that we cannot arrest our way out of this problem, so why do we keep trying?”
 
Other than marijuana, past month drug use has declined nearly across the board, suggesting possible correlations that could include substitution of marijuana for alcohol and harder drugs. Allowing adults to legally use and obtain marijuana in a controlled, taxed, and well-regulated system could be a useful tool in decreasing the health and social costs of using more dangerous drugs.
 

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MA Drug Lab Shut Down Amid Accusations of Mishandling Samples

Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 19th 2012 by THCFinder

A Massachusetts laboratory has been closed amid allegations that tens of thousands of drug samples were mishandled. The Massachusetts governor released figures showing the manager conducted an "unusually high volume" of testing between 2004 and 2011, and now thousands of criminal convictions and pending cases remain in the balance.

 

Who knows how many other states have this same problem. The drug war has given too much power to too many people, one of the reasons it continues and one of the reasons it must be stopped. A lab technician shouldn’t be able to decide who goes to jail for a non-violent offense (or any offense, for that matter).

 

Obviously oversight is a key, but that misses the bigger picture. The war on drugs is handing a tremendous amount of power to individuals who abuse that power and were never ready to assume it in the first place.

 

Besides, the less labs have to focus on non-violent drug offenders, the more they can focus on important results, and the more efficient the oversight will be. Yet another way an end to the drug war will help society and even help the government that props it up.

 


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Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Opponents Tripped Up By Spoof Site

Category: News | Posted on Fri, September, 14th 2012 by THCFinder
Opponents of a Massachusetts ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana in the state suffered an embarrassing stumble this week after learning that the web address they gave the secretary of state actually links to a satirical site mocking popular arguments against pot.
 
State election officials mailed that web address to millions of Bay State voters earlier this month in guides explaining this year's ballot.
 
"Medical marijuana is the gateway drug to Twinkie addiction," the home page of votenoonquestion3.org declares in bold text. A number of sarcastically titled articles are linked below, including "FACT: No Marijuana Smoker Has EVER Been Successful," which features a photo montage of a number of famous Americans who have used marijuana, including President Barack Obama.
 
The coalition against the ballot initiative, Question 3, made itself vulnerable to the prank by submitting a domain name to the Secretary of State's office that it hadn't actually registered.
 

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