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FBI: Marijuana Arrests Down, Enforcement Still Wastes Over 457 Million Annually

Category: News | Posted on Tue, November, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
wasting-money-fighting-against-marijuanaNew arrest data has been released by the F.B.I., which shows that marijuana arrests have declined, but an enormous amount of money is still being wasted on enforcing failed policies. Below is a reaction from NORML and StopTheDrugWar.Org:
 
By Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director
 
The FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report was released this morning and provides an updated look at the total number of marijuana arrests law enforcement made across the country in 2013.
 
The good news is that numbers are down slightly from 2012’s arrest figures. In 2012, there were about 749,825 marijuana arrests (compared to 757,969 in 2011).
 
The new report shows a modest decrease in arrests. In 2013, there was a total of 693,481 arrests made for marijuana charges, with the overwhelming majority of these being for simple possession. Law enforcement made about 609,423 arrests for possession alone, a decrease of 48,808 arrests compared to 2012. While we may be seeing slight decreases due to the growing number of states who have begun to reform their marijuana policies, the fact that over 600,000 individuals are still being arrested for a non-violent act shows how much work we have left to do in ending our disastrous prohibition of marijuana.
 
Using the ACLU low-level estimate of cost per arrest ($750), the minimum enforcement cost for the 609,423 individuals put in handcuffs for just marijuana possession in 2013 would be in excess of $457,067,250.
 

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NYPD to stop arresting for low-level marijuana charges, will issue tickets instead

Category: News | Posted on Mon, November, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
nypd-stop-low-level-weed-posessionIt’s high time for a change in how the NYPD deals with pot possession.
 
City cops will stop arresting people on low-level marijuana charges and issue tickets instead, a police source said Monday.
 
The change in policy is expected to be announced by Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton at an afternoon press conference, the source said.
 
There has been a growing pressure on law enforcement to curb arrests for small amounts of marijuana because they are disproportionately made in black and Hispanic communities.
 
According to the Marijuana Arrest Research Project, blacks and Hispanics represented 86% of those arrested for marijuana possession in the city in the first eight months of the year. Studies have shown that whites are equally as likely to use the drug.
 
The reform policy was embraced by Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson during his 2013 campaign for office. He promised to fine those arrested with small amounts of marijuana rather than put them in cuffs and charge them.
 
"Too many young people are being arrested for low-level drug charges that leave a permanent stain on their records for what should be a violation," Thompson had said.
 
The de Blasio administration has been slow to warm up to the policy, but Bratton has spoken recently about handling some minor criminal offenses without making arrests.
 
Bratton has come under criticism in the wake of a Staten Island suspect’s death as cops arrested him for selling untaxed cigarettes. Critics said it showed the flaws in the Broken Windows policy of aggressively targeting low-level crime. Eric Garner died in a police chokehold on July 17 and the city medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.
 
It wasn’t immediately clear exactly how much pot would be considered criminal.
 

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E-Cigarette Firm Eyes Emerging Cannabis Oil Market

Category: News | Posted on Mon, November, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
e-cigarette-company-eyes-cannabis-oil-marketAs more states approve the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, an Oklahoma-based electronic cigarette retailer is looking to build a national franchise.
 
Marijuana is illegal under federal drug laws. But voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., approved ballot measures Tuesday to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, joining Washington state and Colorado. And in more than a dozen other states, medical marijuana is available.
 
The growing availability of legal pot opens the door for Tulsa-based Palm Beach Vapors to market a method for producing a cannabis oil product that can be inhaled through a common e-cigarette, according to CEO and co-founder Chip Paul.
 
"This is a wave that's kind of sweeping the nation," said Paul, whose company is looking to patent the method and has already signed licensing deals in California and Colorado for what it calls the M-System. He said he intends to set up franchise locations in other states.
 
The use of marijuana is currently illegal in Oklahoma, but the market for cannabis products is projected to grow as more states move to legalize it. Advocates plan a big push for legalization initiatives on 2016 ballots in California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada, according to Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.
 
Paul was one of the organizers of an Oklahoma initiative petition calling for the legalization of medical marijuana, an effort that ended in August when volunteers failed to gather the needed signatures of more than 155,000 registered voters. The failed petition sought voter approval of classifying marijuana as an herbal drug that would be regulated by the Oklahoma Department of Health. Doctors would have been authorized to prescribe it for a variety of medical conditions.
 
Cannabis has a history of medicinal use to treat pain or alleviate symptoms such as nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients and people with AIDS. Paul plans to launch another petition drive in August 2015.
 
But Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, says the agency is concerned about the inhalation of cannabis oils via e-cigarettes.
 
E-cigarettes work by heating liquid nicotine into an inhalable mist; cannabis oils and waxes work much the same. Palm Beach Vapors does not buy, sell or ship marijuana but licenses the preparation method and additive that produces a vegetable glycerin base in which cannabis oils remain evenly distributed, which is key to labeling concentrations, similar to the nicotine measurements in e-cigarettes, Paul said.
 
The company has applied for a patent, and expects the M-System to account for 30-40 percent of its annual revenue by 2018, provided the country continues its march toward wider legalization, Paul said.
 
Marijuana is still illegal in Indiana, but Nate Renschler, who has a Palm Beach Vapors franchise in Newburgh, Indiana, said that sentiment could change when state officials realize the tax benefits of legalization.
 

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New Mexico Governor Candidate Vows To Protect Medical Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Thu, October, 30th 2014 by THCFinder
new-mexico-gov-says-he-will-protect-medical-marijuanaGary King is running for Governor of New Mexico. Below is a press release he unveiled involving his views on medical marijuana:
 
Statement: A Vote for Gary King is a vote to protect medical cannabis patients.
 
Caring for our own is a strong New Mexican value and a fundamental King family value. When people are in pain we should do everything we can to lessen their suffering. As your Governor I will use my power to protect and improve the Department of Health’s medical cannabis program and improve patient access to this medicine for all New Mexicans who need it by asking my Secretary of Health to make it a priority in his or her department.
 
All around the state people come up and tell me what being able to legally access marijuana means to them. I can see the truth in their eyes as they speak to me. During this campaign, patients and their loved ones have given me a deeper understanding of how absolutely critical the medical cannabis program is for thousands of our sickest and most vulnerable patients and their families. Whether a veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange and is undergoing chemotherapy, a terminally ill cancer patient or a victim of violence suffering post-traumatic stress who hasn’t slept in 36 hours and cannot rest, I am committed to ensuring that all patients who need medical cannabis have safe and affordable access to their medicine.
 
Medical marijuana, a history of compassion in New Mexico…
 
I am proud that the New Mexico Legislature passed the Lynn Pierson Therapeutic Cannabis Act passed in 1978 and the Lynn Pierson and Erin Armstrong Compassionate Use Act in 2007. This compassionate response to the desperate needs of patients suffering from cancer, glaucoma and other debilitating diseases paved the way for hundreds of New Mexicans to find relief for their symptoms in a regulated system. Brave New Mexico women advocated for the passage of these laws, which not only provided relief for hundreds of New Mexicans, they also paved the way for 19 other states to enact similar legislation. As Governor I pledge to protect these laws and honor the legacy of the women who stood up for themselves, their families and other New Mexicans in need.
 
Medical marijuana and overdose death prevention…
 
Overdose death rates are at epidemic proportions across the nation and in our state. Medical marijuana is a safe and non-toxic alternative to opiate pain killers. Many people say that medical marijuana helps them abstain from self-medicating with alcohol or using more harmful
substances like narcotics to control their pain.
 
As New Mexico’s Governor I will reinvigorate our harm reduction efforts and will support Department of Health efforts to educate licensed health care providers in New Mexico about how medical marijuana can be an overdose prevention tool and about certifying patients through the New Mexico Department of Health.
 
Medical marijuana and pharmaceutical drugs…
 
Pharmaceutical drugs are helpful for many people, but not for everyone. For many people medical marijuana simply works better than pharmacy pills do to take away their pain, symptoms of post-traumatic stress, etcetera without giving them debilitating side effects, like suicidal ideation, that they have when they take pharmaceutical drugs.
 

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Wild Growing Pot Plant Gets Axed

Category: News | Posted on Thu, October, 30th 2014 by THCFinder
wild-cannabis-plantsCannabis is a weed. By definition, weeds are plants that are considered undesirable, unattractive, or troublesome, especially one that grows where it is not wanted. Weeds spread fast or take the place of desired plants. They grow naturally and without human interaction. A few examples are dandelions, crabgrass, and vines (which can kill plants and even trees with their brutal grip). The name “weed” appropriately fits cannabis, as the cannabis plant can grow where ever, when ever. It grows quickly and without help from humans. But even when growing in the wild, on it’s own, cannabis isn’t safe from human tyranny.
 
 
In Britain, a two-foot-tall cannabis plant was found growing at the mouth of the River Doon, Ayr. A horseback rider came across the plant one day and couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Since the summer, the plant has been growing and thriving due to the nutrition from seaweed and weeks of dry heat. Police said that they haven’t ever seen anything like this, which kind of shows how in the dark the authorities are of the fact that this plant is what it is; a WEED.
 
 
The horseback rider took a photo of the plant and showed it to everyone she knew. All of the people she showed it to knew what it was immediately. The single pot plant stood alone on the beach, leading people to believe that it was dropped there possibly by a bird that had either gotten one of the seeds in it’s food or the lucky bird had recently visited a cannabis farm. Unfortunately for the not-so-little trooper, the location of it’s grow was given to the police so that the plant could be destroyed. 
 
 
There was recently another incident in which an older woman asked a BBC radio show to help her identify a strange plant that she found growing in her garden. What was the plant? A five foot tall marijuana plant that had taken root in her backyard. Patricia Hewitson was informed of the type of plant on air, with her only response being a shocked, “Oh dear.”
 
 
Hewitson, 65, was confused as to why the plant was giving off such a pungent odor and even put a photo on Facebook, asking her friends what the mystery plant was. No one knew and the plant was eventually named by the radio show as being a marijuana plant. 

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Mom Jailed For Giving Son Cannabis Oil

Category: News | Posted on Tue, October, 28th 2014 by THCFinder
mom-jailed-for-giving-son-cannabisWhen a doctor suggests something to a parent with a sick child, the parent is probably going to take the doctors advice. As did Angela Brown of Madison, Minnesota, when she ran out of options for her son Trey Brown (age 15), who had been struck in the head by a line drive while playing baseball. The doctor that Brown was seeing suggested that the family turn to cannabis oil as a last resort, as Trey had started to harm himself and began to think about committing suicide. The Brown family took the doctor’s advice and the oil seemed to give the teen a break from the terrible effects of the accident.
 
 
“Trey would describe it as reducing the pressure in his head. He didn’t have the pressure anymore and his muscles would calm down,” Angela said. “Everything was great until I opened my mouth to the wrong person and I got turned in. And family services questioned my son at school, the cops came to my workplace.”
 
 
After examining the family and their situation, the county family services dropped the case against Brown but the Lac Qui Parle County attorney was gunning for criminal charges against the mother who was just trying to help her suffering son. Angela now faces two gross misdemeanors which includes child endangerment. Hard to believe since all she was trying to do was make her son’s life easier after experiencing the blow to the head that really effected the way that he was living.
 
 
Angela Brown has gained a great deal of support from the social media crowd. People have been urging the prosecutors to drop the case in forums as well as long petitions for the concerned mother. “He is worth every bit of struggle and any bit of time we have to spend in a courtroom,” David Brown, Trey’s father, told reporters in August when the charges were filed. 

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