Congress to Hold Hearing on Country's Clashing Marijuana Laws
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., announced Monday he will address the blurred lines between federal and state marijuana laws in an upcoming hearing.
The hearing, which is scheduled for Sept. 10, comes as 20 states allow marijuana for medical purposes and Colorado and Washington voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana in 2012.
The state laws are in direct conflict with the federal Controlled Substance Act, which classifies Marijuana as Schedule 1 drug — a dangerous and illegal substance.
Since states began legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes, federal authorities have been torn as to whether or not to go after businesses that are legal in a state's eyes, but illegal in the view of the federal government.
"It is important, especially at a time of budget constraints, to determine whether it is the best use of federal resources to prosecute the personal or medicinal use of marijuana in states that have made such consumption legal," Leahy said in a released statement. "I believe that these state laws should be respected. At a minimum, there should be guidance about enforcement from the federal government."
Leahy has long been concerned that the federal government has been too aggressive in its prosecution of marijuana dispensaries that are under their state's laws, legal. Since Colorado and Washington legalized recreational use of the drug, he has continued to ask the administration to clarify its approach to enforcement.
Federal agencies from the Department of Justice to the IRS have gone after medical and recreational marijuana businesses. In California, for example, medical marijuana businesses have been barred from deducting standard operating expenditures from their taxes. And in Montana, a federal crackdown on dispensaries, spooked state lawmakers so much that they voted to overturn the law. Ultimately, however, Montana Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer vetoed the repeal.
Read more: http://www.usnews.com
The Drug War Threatens Every Americans Rights
In the wee hours of February 11, 2010, police in Columbia, Missouri broke down the door to Jonathan Whitworth’s home searching for substantial quantities of marijuana. When the police forced their way into the home, Whitworth’s dogs, a pit bull and a corgi, began to bark at the intruders. The SWAT team took this as a sign of aggression and fatally shot the pit bull. The corgi was also shot, likely hit by a ricocheting bullet.
After searching the residence, police found a grinder, pipe, and small amount of cannabis. For the possession of a few grams of plant matter, the police had kicked in Whitworth’s door, killed his dog, and traumatized his entire family. The police even had the gall to arrest Whitworth for child endangerment, because of the presence of his seven-year-old son. In reality, the SWAT teams’ reckless discharge of their weapons posed a far greater threat to everyone in the home than a few pinches of pot.
Whitworth’s case is not an isolated incident. For instance, in November 2006, Atlanta police, acting on manufactured evidence of drug dealing, shot and killed Kathryn Johnston, a 92-year-old woman. When police began to break down her door, Johnston apparently (and understandably) believed they were criminals and fired a pistol once in self-defense. The officers responded to this single shot with a hail of 39 bullets. As their mistake dawned upon them, the cops cuffed Johnston, planted drugs in her home, and let her bleed to death on the floor.
The “war on drugs” is not a metaphor. Since Richard Nixon declared drugs public enemy number one in 1971, all levels of government in America have collaborated to militarize law enforcement, slowly turning local police, whose job is to serve and protect the public, into warriors engaged in counter-insurgency tactics in our own neighborhoods.
And what do we have to show for forty years of waging war against our fellow Americans? Drugs are more available, cheaper, and more potent today than they were in 1971; the illicit drug trade dominates strategically important nations, such as Afghanistan and Mexico; and, according to a Rasmussen poll released last week, 82 percent of Americans say we are losing the war on drugs. Even by the low standards of a government program, the war on drugs is an abysmal failure – and an expensive failure at that.
Governments in the United States have spent more than $1 trillion on fighting the drug war. That’s roughly $10,000 for every family of three. A great deal of that money pays to lock up drug offenders. Since 1970, the United States’ incarceration rate has increased fivefold and is now the highest rate in the world. The incarceration rate in Russia – a country that Americans have traditionally and justifiably associated with tyranny and our nearest competitor on this measure – is almost a quarter lower than ours. The land of the free has turned into the world’s most prolific warden.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Marijuana Investment Scams Growing Like Weeds?
Wall Street’s industry-funded watchdog, FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) warns against investment scams growing like weeds targeted for investors attempting to tap the growing marijuana industry in the US.
If you talk to anyone in the growing and selling medical marijuana, you will hear a lot of talk about risks, and security systems are expensive. It’s difficult to find a bank or insurance, but laws changed at the whim of regulators and legislators. And, because it still remains illegal, federal agents could shut down the operation and put the owners to jail.
Seattle-based Privateer Holdings is the first company to invest openly and raise $7 million from investors in the medical marijuana industry. Nearly 20 states have legalized the use of recreational marijuana for medical use. FINRA said, scammers are misleading investors by boosting thinly traded stocks and sell it to executives with criminal records.
As more states in the US are clearing the way to legalize the use of medical marijuana, the industry could reach up to $9 billion in five years. Marijuana is safe, far less addictive and subject to abuse compare to many drugs used as hypnotics, relaxants, and analgesics, which is one of its greatest advantage. Because of its little effect on major physiological functions, case of lethal overdose was known.
According to The Wall Street Journal Market Watch: The chief legitimate concern is the effect of smoking on the lungs. Cannabis smoke carries more tars and other particulate matter than tobacco smoke. But the amount smoked is much less, especially in medical use, and once marijuana is an openly recognized medicine, solutions may be found such as vaporization, tinctures, extracts and oils. At present, the greatest danger in medical use of marijuana is its illegality, which imposes much anxiety and expense on suffering people, forces them to bargain with illicit drug dealers, and exposes them to the threat of criminal prosecution.
Majority of these marijuana-related companies trades on over-the counter-markets that do not have the reporting requirements and liquidity of Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange.
Read more: http://guardianlv.com
Boulder dispensary names pot strain for CNN's Sanjay Gupta
Move over Willie Nelson, there's a new strain in town.
Boulder's Helping Hands Herbals dispensary, 1021 Pearl St., is now carrying a variety of medical marijuana named for CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
The "Gupta Kush," is a strain of cannabis that Helping Hands named in honor of the renowned neurosurgeon and cable news personality after earlier this month he reversed his long-held beliefs on the subject and publicly supported exploring the medicinal benefits of marijuana.
Gupta wrote an editorial for Time magazine in 2009 about why he would not support medical marijuana research, but after spending the last year working on a documentary on the subject, he changed his mind.
"(Marijuana) doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications," Gupta wrote in an article posted to CNN.com on Aug. 8. "In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works."
"Our take is, 'We told you,'" Helping Hands marketing director Daniel Taras said. "But for the folks that are uninitiated, having someone with (Gupta's) level of his prestige and position coming out and saying 'I support the use of medical marijuana,' really lends a lot of credibility in the mainstream consciousness."
Gupta, whose was previously considered for the post of U.S. surgeon general, joins a select group of celebrities and public figures with cannabis strains named after them, including President Barack Obama and rapper Snoop Dogg.
CNN Trying to Stop Strain of Marijuana Being Named for Dr. Sanjay Gupta
A medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado is being told by CNN that its lighthearted humor in naming a strain of weed after Dr. Sanjay Gupta is no laughing matter.
The cable news giant, owned by Time Warner (TWX), spoke with the Boulder dispensary and asked that they rename the pot in honor of something other than their chief medical
“We may have to change the name,” dispensary owner Jeff Kless told Animal New York. “CNN phoned us and asked us to remove it. I think we’ll leave it alone for the weekend and see what happens.”
CNN has not yet issued a cease and desist letter — which will likely cite copyright infringement.
For the time being, though, the Sanjay Gupta Kush is selling at Helping Hands Herbals Dispensary for $35 for an 1/8 and $12 a gram. In the world of medical marijuana sales, it’s supposedly a deal.
According to the dispensary’s press release, “By naming a cannabis strain after Dr. Gupta, this is our way of tipping our hat and honoring him for taking such a firm, science-based stance on behalf of marijuana as ‘real’ medicine. He is confirming what our patients have been saying for years. Marijuana is hardly folk medicine.”
U.S. Government Funding $1.86 Million Study In Attempt to Link Cannabis To Domestic Violence
The National Institute on Drug Abuse is funding a nearly $2 million study in an attempt to find a link between cannabis consumption, and domestic violence: We have little doubt that it’s going to backfire, and conclude that cannabis reduces violence among partners.
For the study, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is granting the University of Buffalo$1.86 million to conduct 4 years of research; the study will be titled Proximal Effects of Marijuana in Understanding Intimate Partner Violence.
According to a university press release; “[Maria Testa, Ph.D, lead researcher for the study] says that despite the commonly held belief that marijuana suppresses aggression, many studies have found a positive association between marijuana use and intimate-partner violence.”
This statement has no legitimate science to back it up; in fact, a recent study published in the journal Neuropharmacology has found that cannabis reduces aggression (as well as improves social interactions).
All-in-all, this study – at least to us – is an indication of how desperate prohibitionists are becoming, as they attempt to find any negative effect that cannabis might have, in order to use when debating against legalization.
We hate to say it NIDA (actually, that’s a lie, we enjoy saying it), but you’re never going to be able to legitimately use the argument that cannabis causes domestic violence.
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