United States House Passes "No Welfare For Weed" Bill
Category: News | Posted on Thu, September, 18th 2014 by THCFinder
Apparently the United States House of Representatives thinks there is an epidemic of people using welfare money to buy recreational marijuana. I personally haven’t heard of anyone doing it in Washington and Colorado. Welfare money is always a hot-button issue in Washington D.C. and throughout America. Late yesterday the House of Representatives passed a bill that would make it harder for people to use welfare money to buy marijuana. Per ABC News:
The House passed a bill Tuesday that could make it a little harder for people to use government welfare payments to buy marijuana in states where the drug is legal.
Supporters call it the “no welfare for weed” bill.
The bill would prevent people from using government-issued welfare debit cards to make purchases at stores that sell marijuana. It would also prohibit people from using the cards to withdraw cash from ATMs in those stores.
A 2012 federal law already prevents people from using welfare debit cards at liquor stores, casinos and strip clubs.
The bill is limited in that it only prevents someone from withdrawing money or making a direct purchase at a marijuana store. To get around the law, all someone has to do is withdraw money from an ATM that is not located at a marijuana store. I have a much more solid way to ensure people aren’t using welfare money to buy recreational marijuana – legalize marijuana cultivation for all Americans. If people could grow a few marijuana plants themselves, the need to buy marijuana at stores (with welfare money or otherwise) would be reduced dramatically. But I don’t think Congress will go for that. This bill targets marijuana consumers and those on welfare, two areas of American society that politicians love to go after. I don’t see them giving up on that anytime soon.
Teen Marijuana Use Continues To Decrease As Marijuana Reform Increases
Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 17th 2014 by THCFinder
‘What about the children?’ That’s a slogan that Kevin Sabet should wear on a T-shirt every time he travels to speak against marijuana reform for political purposes. Marijuana opponents like Kevin Sabet try very, very hard to make it sound like once marijuana is legalized and regulated, an epidemic of teens using marijuana will immediately follow. While Kevin Sabet can try to make that claim, math and logic don’t support it. Per the Washington Post:
Opponents of legalization often argue that it leads to a declining perception of risks associated with marijuana use among teens, which in turn leads to increased rates of adolescent use. But while the latest NSDUH data shows a continued drop in perceived risk of marijuana use among adolescents, overall teen use rates have actually trended slightly downward.
Moreover, teens are also more likely to say that marijuana is difficult to obtain today than they were ten years ago. Taken together, these numbers suggest that evolving public attitudes toward marijuana use haven’t made adolescents more likely to use the drug, nor have they made it easier to obtain.
These findings come from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual, nationally-representative survey of roughly 70,000 Americans aged 12 and older. Because of its large sample size the survey is considered an authoritative account of the nature and scope of drug, alcohol and tobacco use in the United States.
You may notice that those excerpts came from the Washington Post, the same Washington Post that earlier this week made the following claim in an anti-marijuana editorial urging readers to vote no on marijuana legalization in Washington D.C.:
It’s not been a year since Colorado became the first state to allow recreational marijuana use and, as the Smart Approaches to Marijuana has catalogued, there have been negative consequences, including increased instances of impaired driving and increased use by youth.
Fortunately for logic and reasoning, but unfortunate for the editorial staff at the Washington Post, teen use has not increased in America since two states legalized marijuana, and specifically, teen use has not increased in Colorado after legalization, which by the way was in 2012, not less than a year ago as the Washington Post stated in the second article I reference. Legalization and regulation makes it harder for teens to get their hands on marijuana, just as legalization and regulation makes it harder for teens to get their hands on tobacco and alcohol. Opponents can try to refute those facts as much as they would like, but when challenged with math and logic, marijuana opponents look quite stupid in doing so.
Girl Suspended From High School For Writing About Marijuana In Journal
Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 16th 2014 by THCFinder
As a former law student at a private university, and public policy major/legal studies minor as an undergrad, I studied constitutional law quite a bit. I took numerous courses that dealt with freedom of speech and search and seizures. Constitutional law always fascinated me because it’s an area of law that affects every American citizen’s lives at one point or another. To know constitutional law and how it has evolved over the years is to know the story of America as one of my professors always said.
Constitutional law and marijuana reform are very much connected. A case that highlights that connection is the case of Krystal Grayhorse, a high school student in the Dallas County School District who was suspended for over half a year because she wrote about marijuana in a private journal. She wasn’t caught possessing marijuana. She didn’t fail a drug test. She didn’t write about marijuana as part of a high school assignment. She talked about marijuana in a private journal that she mistakenly left at school one day. When school officials got a hold of the journal and read the entry about marijuana, they decided that was enough to suspend Ms. Grayhorse for over half a school year, jeopardizing her graduation requirements, which will no doubt impact her life for years to come. Below are comments made by the student’s father, per Springfield News Leader:
Grayhorse said the notebook passages, which he was told about but never saw for himself, were cause for concern, but the punishment — not being allowed to return to school for seven months — was too drastic. He said the journal was confiscated by the school and has not been returned.
“She had no cannabis on her person,” he said. “She gave it to no one.”
He said the discipline paperwork sent home from the school stated his daughter was suspended for “possession of a controlled substance,” which perplexes him. He said she was not tested for drugs.
“Her ‘possession’ constitutes writing something?” he asked. “That is the alleged possession?”
It’s truly sad that a school district is willing to potentially ruin a student’s life because they hate marijuana so much. Yes, there is a heightened level of scrutiny for students compared to adult citizens. But students don’t leave their civil rights at the school house door. These were not comments made in a public forum. These were comments made in a journal where there was clearly a high expectation of privacy, and even if not, the journal entry didn’t involve actual possession of marijuana, nor did the student fail a drug test. The student wasn’t even asked to take a drug test. The school simply saw the word ‘marijuana,’ freaked out, and instantly went on a mission to prosecute this girl the fullest extent. Shame on the school district. I hope the father sues and the school district has to pay out the nose.
Philadelphia Is Decriminalizing Marijuana Possession
Category: News | Posted on Mon, September, 15th 2014 by THCFinder
The City of Brotherly Love is decriminalizing marijuana possession and public consumption, ending a drug policy that has disproportionately targeted African Americans and Latinos in Philadelphia for decades.
After a long summer of negotiations between Mayor Michael Nutter and supporters of Councilman James Kenney's decriminalization bill, the mayor agreed to sign the legalization measure, which will take effect October 20. Support from Philly cops, African American community organizations, and black media outlets helped forge the decriminalization law that passed 13-3 through the city council — a margin that would have overridden a potential mayoral veto.
"We're the largest city in the US that will decriminalize successfully," said Kenney's policy director Chris Goy. "And in doing so, forged our own path against the state." Marijuana possession is still illegal in Pennsylvania, and lawbreakers are remain subject to arrest, fines, and jail time.
A separate medical marijuana bill is still under consideration in the state legislature, and according to a Quinnicpiac University poll conducted in March, 85 percent of Pennsylvania voters support ending the state's ban of medical pot. But, despite overwhelming support among voters, according to VICE News sources in Harrisburg, the state's capital, the bill will likely fail to become law.
Philly's decriminalization bill makes marijuana possession of less than 30 grams equivalent to a $25 jaywalking ticket. Smoking weed in public is a bit more serious: Anyone caught toking will have to fork over $100 or complete nine hours of community service.
Possession of weed previously carried a $200 fine, plus mandatory viewing of a three-hour video on the dangers of drug abuse. The video is widely considered a joke and ineffective, a symptom of the dysfunctional way the city, state, and country deal with the possession of tiny amounts of weed.
Read more: https://news.vice.com
Baltimore Police Publicly Sodomize Man During Drug Search
Category: News | Posted on Fri, September, 12th 2014 by THCFinder
I just read a horrific story out of Baltimore, where a man was cavity searched during a drug search, during which no drugs were found. This is a story that every drug war supporter should be forced to read and explain. This is not the first time someone has been cavity searched during a drug investigation, but it’s the first one I’ve heard of that was done in public for everyone to see. Per The Free Thought Project:
Jermaine Lyons was riding his bike on May 3, 2013 on his way to the park when he was stopped at a store in the 200 block of North Highland Avenue.
According to the lawsuit, police asked Lyons if he had any drugs on him, to which he responded, “no.”
However the police did not believe him. Baltimore Police proceeded to pull down this man’s pants, spread his legs, and conduct a cavity search in the middle of the sidewalk in full view of passersby, according to the lawsuit.
“It’s as simple and outlandish as it appears,” said Isaac Klein, attorney for Lyons. Lyons “was embarrassed and outraged.”
Stories like this break my heart. This man’s life is ruined. Even after he wins his lawsuit, how can he ever shake off the embarrassment and shame of being publicly humiliated like that? If it were me, I know I wouldn’t ever be able to face my peers in my neighborhood after they saw something like that happen to me. I hope Mr. Lyons wins so much money that it sends a message to every crooked member of law enforcement in America that this will not be tolerated. Shame on the Baltimore police officers that did this.
Philadelphia Nears Deal to Ease Marijuana Laws
Category: News | Posted on Fri, September, 12th 2014 by THCFinder
People in Philadelphia caught with small amounts of marijuana or smoking it in public may soon face no more than a written citation and a modest fine as the City Council moved Thursday to decriminalize the drug after a reversal by Mayor Michael A. Nutter.
The mayor, who had scoffed at arguments that black men are unfairly targeted in arrests involving marijuana, announced his support of decriminalization this week. He had declined to sign a bill the Council passed in June, saying it needed more study.
Under the measure, which if approved would be effective Oct. 20, people stopped with less than 30 grams of marijuana, about one ounce, will be fined $25, and those caught using it in public will be fined $100 or be required to perform up to nine hours of community service.
In neither situation will violators be arrested, taken to police stations, fingerprinted or left with a criminal record — all of which stigmatize small-time users, making it harder to find and keep jobs or attend college, advocates of decriminalization say.
Of the more than 4,000 arrests in Philadelphia each year for possessing small amounts of marijuana, 83 percent are of blacks or Latinos, said James F. Kenney, a City Council member who sponsored the decriminalization bill.
“It follows you,” he said. “If you’re young, black and trying to find a job in this economy, it’s very difficult. With a criminal arrest, it’s impossible. On top of that, you’re not eligible for college financial aid and you can’t go into the military.”
Mr. Kenney said nearly three out of four of those arrested have no previous police record. Moreover, he said, possession is already effectively decriminalized for white residents, whom the police rarely target. “There are no arrests at Phish concerts or fraternity parties,” he said.
In August, Mr. Nutter, who is African-American, called that argument “a bogus issue” and an “insult to the community.” He denied that the police discriminate against blacks. Arrest rates on marijuana charges are higher for blacks because, the mayor said, there is more police “engagement” in black communities, where most of the city’s shootings and homicides take place. Blacks, like whites, want safe neighborhoods without “knuckleheads” smoking marijuana on the corner, the mayor said.
On Wednesday, in an appearance with Mr. Kenney, who is white, the mayor said he would support an amended version of the bill that included a separate civil offense for marijuana use in public. In cases of possession or use, police officers will write a notice of violation and confiscate the marijuana.
Read more: http://www.nytimes.com
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