Philadelphia set to decriminalize marijuana possession
Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
The Mayor of Philadelphia has agreed to endorse legislation that decriminalizes the possession and public consumption of marijuana, making it one of the largest American cities to turn back punitive drug laws.
The bill, which Mayor Michael Nutter said he will endorse, was proposed by the city council, and – with the latest amendments – would levy fines of $25 on people caught possessing small amounts of the drug, and $100 for smoking it in public. In neither case would an offender face a criminal charge or arrest.
“This is about how we deal with penalties in that regard. And there will be penalties. There’s a consequence to people violating the law,” Nutter told reporters on Monday. The bill will be voted on next week, then sent to the mayor for his signature.
The bill’s sponsor, City Council member Jim Kenney (d), wanted to take marijuana possession out of the criminal realm and make it a non-civil offense.
“There’s no more handcuffs, no more bookings, no more criminal record. Police will not have to leave their posts and go to the station house to deal with this,” said Kenney to Policy.Mic. Fines can also be waived by agreeing to perform public service.
Kenney pressed for legislative change recognizing that an arrest for marijuana results in a criminal record, which makes getting hired for a job more difficult or impossible. It cuts a person’s chance of receiving college aid and eliminates one’s chance of serving in the military.
Since 2010, the city has fined people $200 for marijuana possession and ordered three hours of drug abuse classes to go along with an arrest record.
Kenney says this plan will keep 4,000 people from being arrested each year, and will save the Philadelphia Police Department about $4 million a year.
Over 55,000 people are arrested in the state every year for drug possession, and while the population is 83 percent white and 12 percent black, drug arrests seem to disproportionally target African Americans – blacks made up 40 percent of all drug arrests and whites over 58 percent in 2011. A study by the American Civil Liberties Union also found blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.
Read more: http://rt.com
Denver To Ban Unlicensed Dab Making
Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 9th 2014 by THCFinder
I have always said that butane hash oil (BHO) making should be left to the pros. There is too much crappy dabs out there right now for one, and it’s a public safety issue for two. I think that people that know what they are doing should be allowed to make BHO at home, but unfortunately, amateurs are ruining that right with every apartment explosion that occurs. Working with a dangerous material like butane is not something that every average Joe should be doing. Only people that can follow strict safety protocols should be allowed to make BHO.
In the City of Denver, a ban is being proposed due to the increasing amount of idiots that are hurting themselves and others with BHO explosions. It’s a sad thing, because most of the best BHO makers in Denver are not a licensed processor. This is going to be a classic case of a handful of idiots ruining everything for everyone else. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
Denver is looking to ban residents from using explosive chemicals to create homemade hash oil, a move that could drive more consumers to dispensaries and recreational cannabis stores.
Mayor Michael Hancock has proposed an addition to city codes that would “prohibit the hazardous solvent-based extraction process by which individuals directly and indirectly involved are subjected to dangerous conditions,” according to a press release issued by his office today.
This should serve as a learning moment for people that don’t live in Denver and make BHO. Leave BHO production to people that know what they are doing. If you are trying to make BHO on the stove in your one bedroom apartment, chances are you are operating in a ticking time bomb. For the sake of your own safety, and the safety of those around you, turn your stove off, dispose of your BHO making ‘equipment’, and head to the store to buy some BHO. The BHO you end up consuming will be better, and everyone will be safer.
Iowa man with terminal cancer to be sentenced Tuesday for growing pot
Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 9th 2014 by THCFinder
An Iowa man convicted of growing marjuana, which he says he used to treat his terminal cancer, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday afternoon.
Benton Mackenzie, 48, who holds an Oregon medical marijuana card, faces up to three years in prison, reports Brian Wellner, a Quad-City Times staff writer who has closely followed Mackenzie's case. Mackenzie's wife and son also face sentencing Tuesday.
Mackenzie's supporters are expected to rally at the Scott County Courthouse before the hearing.
Mackenzie, who lives in a rural community outside of Davenport, traveled with his family to Oregon in July so he could obtain medical marijuana. Oregon allows out-of-state residents to obtain medical marijuana cards.
In June 2013, the local sheriff’s office raided Mackenzie’s grow site at his parents’ home, seizing 71 plants, and arresting Mackenzie, his wife Loretta and their grown son. Benton and Loretta Mackenzie were on probation from a previous marijuana-related conviction when Mackenzie said he decided to grow pot again.
Both were convicted in July of drug felonies stemming from the grow operation.
During his visit, Mackenzie told The Oregonian that he used the plants to make the potent marijuana concentrate, butane hash oil, known as BHO. He said he used the oil, which is made with a flammable solvent that extracts THC and other cannabinoids from marijuana flowers and leaves, as the main treatment for his cancer.
He has refused chemotherapy, which he said has a 50 percent success rate when it comes to angiosarcoma, the cancer he has. He feared the treatment would compromise a heart condition from which he also suffers.
Texas Teen No Longer Facing Life In Prison For Cannabis Brownies
Category: News | Posted on Mon, September, 8th 2014 by THCFinder
Texas has very, very harsh cannabis laws. A case that demonstrates that is the case of Jacob Lavoro, who is 19 years old. Jacob Lavoro was caught with cannabis brownies, and the State of Texas was trying to throw the book at him. Because they were brownies, and had flour, sugar, and other ingredients, the weight of the brownies was being considered the weight of the possession with intent to distribute. That all added up to a first degree felony charge, which carries a prison sentence of up to life in prison.
Fortunately, that charge was dropped, but unfortunately, another charge was applied. Per Raw Story:
The district attorney in Williamson County decided not to pursue the first-degree felony case, and a grand jury indicted Lavoro last week on a second-degree felony charge for possession of THC and a state felony charge for possession of marijuana.
“We figured that would be a simpler, more straight-forward case,” said District Attorney Mark Brunner. “We wouldn’t get lost in the weeds of arguing about the adulterants and dilutants, even though the law allows us to make that argument.”
The new charge still brings an overly harsh prison sentence if convicted. A second degree felony charge could result in up to 20 years in prison. 20 years is obviously better than life, however, it’s still a huge injustice, and a tremendous waste of tax payer dollars and corrections resources if it happens. A prison bed should be reserved for a person that is a danger to society, not for someone that makes cannabis brownies.
Italy To Release 10,000 Marijuana Inmates
Category: News | Posted on Fri, September, 5th 2014 by THCFinder
No one should ever have to be arrested and jailed because of marijuana. Prison beds should be reserved for those members of society that are such a threat to others that they need to be locked up so that they can’t re-offend. This obviously would include rapists, murderers, child molesters, etc. To throw marijuana consumers, sellers, and growers into the prison population with violent criminals is a huge was of resources and a huge injustice. Italy is taking a step in the right direction by releasing roughly ten thousand inmates from prison. Per The Weedist:
Italy is poised to release about ten thousand inmates due to a shift in sentencing laws that eases punishment for cannabis use, growth and possession. The change comes as a result of the striking down of a law that previously tripled cannabis related sentences.
The estimate is that about 40% of Italian inmates were convicted of drug related crimes. In reality, this “new” law is not new at all. The Italian judicial system is rather reverting back to the previous law (prior to the ludicrous mandatory tripling of sentence law). After this takes effect, hard drugs like cocaine and heroin will result in much longer sentences than cannabis infractions. For some it means they would be released on time served, for others it’s a reduction in sentencing from 6-20 years down to 2-6 years.
This is a great move by Italy, but it doesn’t go far enough. People in Italy, and around the world, need to keep pressure on for reform until every marijuana inmate is released from jail, and legalization is achieved worldwide. Still, this is a great step in the right direction, and I hope that more countries move in this direction, including the United States. Jeff Mizanskey is currently serving a life sentence in a Missouri prison for marijuana only offenses.
Life sentence for buying marijuana?
Category: News | Posted on Thu, September, 4th 2014 by THCFinder
(CNN) — Clearly something is broken when a Missouri man named Jeff Mizanskey can be sentenced to die in prison for purchasing seven pounds of marijuana. With two nonviolent marijuana convictions already on his record, Jeff received life without parole under Missouri’s three strikes law.
The punishment of growing old and dying behind bars for offenses like Mizanskey’s is extreme, tragic, and inhumane. This should outrage us, but it should not surprise us.
This country has spent 40 years relentlessly ratcheting up the number of people going to prison and dramatically expanding the time we hold them there. We’ve spent decades criminalizing people with drug dependency, passing extreme sentencing laws, and waging a war on drugs that has not diminished drug use. Small wonder, then, that even less serious crimes like Mizanskey’s marijuana purchase result in costly and cruel sentences.
And Mizanskey is hardly the only one.
Just as he fell into the abyss of our nation’s failed drug policies and excessive sentencing laws, millions more have sat in jails and prisons, often for years, even decades on end, for low-level drug and property offenses.
While many of the lawmakers who passed harsh sentencing laws thought they were doing the right thing, the results are now in: This approach has devastated families and communities, generated high recidivism rates, drained state budgets from more productive investments, and has reinforced generations of poverty and disadvantage that disproportionately fall on communities of color.
There were ways to hold Mizanskey and others like him accountable for their actions short of sentencing them to die in prison.
We can and must do better.
It’s time for states to end the costly criminalization of marijuana and recalibrate sentencing laws so that the punishment actually fits the crime as opposed to a politician’s reelection agenda. Public attitudes toward marijuana are rapidly evolving, and a Gallup poll last year found for the first time that a majority of Americans now favor legalization as a better course than criminalization.
Unfortunately, laws and police practices that enforce them are out of step with public opinion. Nationally, nearly half of all drug arrests are for marijuana offenses. At least one person is arrested for marijuana possession every hour in Mizanskey’s home state of Missouri, which also wasted nearly $50 million on marijuana enforcement in 2010. Although black people and white people use marijuana at about the same rate, a black person in Missouri was 2.6 times more likely to be arrested for having marijuana than a white person.
The solution is clear. Instead of taxpayers spending millions of dollars on this unnecessary enforcement and keeping folks like Mizanskey in prison for the rest of their lives, states could follow Colorado and Washington by taxing and regulating marijuana and investing saved enforcement dollars in education, substance abuse treatment, and prevention and other health care.
Read more: http://q13fox.com
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