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.


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.



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 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.


Police Kill Marine During Marijuana Raid; No Pot Found

Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 5th 2012 by THCFinder

In this video, KopBuster and former narcotics officer Barry Cooper details how police use SWAT tactics and overreach their bounds when raiding homes.


Police have a tremendous power and drug laws open up too many opportunities for them to use it.


Police officers are human and they make mistakes, but when you are packing the kind of firepower that a SWAT team does, a “mistake” quickly becomes a slaughter.


Marijuana laws in particular lead to many of the events shown in the video below. A good man murdered, a family grieving and wondering why. Forever scarred because a plant is illegal and police have tremendous power to enforce its prohibition.



This story is a few months old, even though the video is very new. Even so, stories like this need to be shared everywhere. More people need to know that the drug war isn’t just a failure, it is an active evil in our society that does great damage to individuals and families.


Police shouldn’t be at war with the public, they should be protecting us. Law Enforcement loses the respect of the public through their attempted enforcement of prohibition. Without the public’s respect, there is no trust.



Marijuana Use and IQ

Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 4th 2012 by THCFinder

Heavy marijuana use is associated with cognitive decline in about 5% of teens, according to a new study, which suggests that the heaviest users could lose 8 IQ points. In the report, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, research conducted in New Zealand showed that teens who started smoking marijuana before age 18 and were diagnosed as being addicted to cannabis by age 38 experienced an IQ drop in early adulthood. But users who began smoking after age 18 - even if they used heavily— did not show a significant decline.


A couple things can be taken from this study, including heavy adult marijuana users showing no decline in IQ. And let’s assume for a moment that this study is right, and those under 18 shouldn’t use marijuana. If true, this is one of the biggest reasons to legalize marijuana for adults.


What is easier for kids to get, alcohol sold at a store or marijuana sold out of some shady dude’s basement? The answer is obvious. The more regulation placed around a product, the less able kids are to get it. Leaving marijuana in the black market makes it more accessible to those under 18, because drug dealers don’t check I.D.


You can’t be fighting for kids to stay off marijuana and approve of keeping it illegal; they are two different lines of logic.



L.A. Confidential: City Funds Go Up In Smoke

Category: News | Posted on Mon, September, 3rd 2012 by THCFinder
The Los Angeles City Council's decision to ignore the fact that the majority of their constituents support the use of medical marijuana, and its availability through legitimately run medical marijuana dispensaries, is already costing the financially depleted city thousands of dollars.
The City Council's financial throwaway has already begun to take effect, even before their ban has shut down any dispensaries.
The Council's anti-patient political move irrefutably demonstrates gross fiscal negligence, and a vast waste of money and resources on their part.
While the City Council's members are happy to shut off the millions of dollars in tax revenues that have been coming into the city's financially strapped coffers from medical marijuana dispensaries, there are other fiscal ramifications, directly emanating from their senseless decision.
Spearheaded by Councilman Jose Huizar, their September 6 ban is nothing less than yet another financial drain on a depressed economy in a city that in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported with 10.2% unemployment. With California's 10.8% jobless rate, only two states have a higher unemployment rate than CA.
The City Council is hoping to increase the number of Los Angeles residents that are on unemployment by the thousands, as a direct result of shutting down these establishments.
Ironically, the city's tab will also increase, due to the exponential cost of the City Council enlisting the LAPD's involvement in helping to force medical patients to purchase their meds from gang members.
When the Los Angeles City Council voted for a ban on medical marijuana collectives and dispensaries on June 24, they certainly knew there would be a major legal battle ensuing immediately. They were keenly aware of the pricy legal expenses that the City of Los Angeles and its taxpayers would be paying as a result of their witless decision to coerce medical patients into buying marijuana from shady drug dealers on the streets, instead of purchasing them from reputable dispensaries.
While waging their war against medical patients, the City Council has also been conscious of the obvious fact that their ill conceived decision to ban medical marijuana dispensaries will end up in a referendum on the ballot.
In response to the City Council's ban, approximately 50 thousand signatures were turned in by advocates. The petition drive opposing the City Council's decision only lasted nine days. It was started on August 11.
Of the 50 thousand signatures generated, only 27,480 of the signatures need to be valid. Kimberly Briggs, who serves as the media specialist for the Los Angeles City Clerk's office, told The 420 Times that the L.A. City Council's ban on dispensaries will be suspended once the petitions are submitted to the City Clerk's office.
As a result of this, "The ban will not be enforced," she emphasized. It will disempower the September 6 ban.



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