Obama Admits Marijuana Is Less Dangerous Than Alcohol
Category: News | Posted on Mon, January, 20th 2014 by THCFinder
An interview was released by the New Yorker today in which United States President Barack Obama had some interesting things to say. It was a lengthy interview covering many areas of public policy, with a specific Q & A session about marijuana. When asked asked about marijuana, Barack Obama stated the following:
”As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”
There are two ways a marijuana reformer can look at these sentences. One way to look at it is ‘Obama just said that marijuana isn’t more dangerous than alcohol.’ This is a significant statement for the President of the United States to make about marijuana. The other way to look at it is ‘Obama is such a hypocrite. Why the F doesn’t he just legalize it like alcohol then!?’ Both ways to look at Obama’s statements are definitely valid. Obama went on to say:
“Less dangerous, he said, “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer. It’s not something I encourage, and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.” What clearly does trouble him is the radically disproportionate arrests and incarcerations for marijuana among minorities. “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said. “And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.” But, he said, “we should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing.” Accordingly, he said of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington that “it’s important for it to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”"
I agree with Barack Obama that marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington is important for going forward. Everyday that marijuana is grown and sold legally, and tax revenue piles up, is a day that the world gets to see that legalizing marijuana is a great thing. Everyone wins, no one loses, no matter what Kevin Sabet says.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Marijuana Legalization Initiative Filed In Wyoming
Category: News | Posted on Wed, January, 15th 2014 by THCFinder
There are few states in America that need marijuana reform as bad as Wyoming. Simply being under the influence of marijuana is a crime in Wyoming, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine. If you get caught possessing marijuana in Wyoming (under three ounces), you are looking a possible year in jail. Distribution of marijuana (any amount) could result in 10 years in prison and a hefty fine.
I have driven East with marijuana before, and I made sure to avoid Wyoming at all costs due to the enormous penalties that would result if I had been caught there. According to media reports from Wyoming, a marijuana legalization initiative was filed last week by NORML. The initiative is for the 2016 ballot, not the 2014 ballot. According to Wyoming’s News Source Trib:
People with debilitating medical conditions would be allowed to grow 12 pot plants and all Wyomingites over age 21 could have marijuana for recreational use, according to a proposed initiative before the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office.
The 13-page proposed initiative was submitted last week by the Wyoming chapter of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, members of which have been working on the initiative since the fall. Wyoming NORML hopes to have an initiative before voters in the 2016 election, but the group must first clear hurdles with the state.
I absolutely hope that the initiative passes. In other states I always cringe when I see campaigns waiting until 2016, but Wyoming is one of those states that would undeniably benefit from waiting until a presidential year. Other states will legalize by then, and more years will go by without the sky falling which will no doubt help chances in Wyoming.
NFL might legalize medical marijuana for players
Category: News | Posted on Tue, January, 14th 2014 by THCFinder
As more US states move to consider marijuana legalization, the country’s most popular sports league is indicating it may one day allow its players to light up.
Speaking to ESPN, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell suggested the sport’s ban on medical marijuana could be lifted in the future if the practice has already been legalized in a player’s state.
"I don't know what's going to develop as far as the next opportunity for medicine to evolve and to help either deal with pain or help deal with injuries, but we will continue to support the evolution of medicine," he said.
Although multiple teams play in states where medical marijuana is legal – not to mention that Colorado and Washington have legalized the drug outright – use of the substance remains prohibited under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement. The 10-year agreement isn’t set to expire until 2021, leaving no opportunity for players to renegotiate the policy in the short term.
As CBS News noted, Goodell’s words are the first time the NFL has commented on marijuana use since Colorado and Washington passed ballot initiatives legalizing the drug back in 2012.
"The NFL's policy is collectively bargained and will continue to apply in the same manner it has for decades," league spokesman Greg Aiello said at the time. "Marijuana remains prohibited under the NFL substance abuse program."
Still, the collective bargaining agreement’s content is not as black and white as the NFL may believe. According to Pro Football Talk, the CBA only bans the “illegal use” of marijuana, meaning a potential gray area exists concerning situations and states where legal/medical marijuana is permitted.
Complicating the situation is that many NFL players suffer from significant pain borne from concussions and brain trauma, the symptoms of which could be eased by marijuana.
“Medical marijuana is recommended by doctors for headaches, light-sensitivity, sleeplessness and loss of appetite—all of which happen to be symptoms associated with concussions,” the Nation noted on its blog in 2012. “The idea that the league would deny a player their legal pain relief of choice seems barbaric.”
Denver police citing one person per day for public marijuana use
Category: News | Posted on Tue, January, 14th 2014 by THCFinder
Since the start of legal recreational marijuana sales, Denver police have cited about one person per day for public pot smoking, the city's police chief said Monday.
Chief Robert White told members of a City Council committee that officers issued nine citations for public marijuana consumption between Jan. 1 and Saturday. White said there have also been seven burglaries of marijuana businesses in that time, but only one of those occurred at a recreational marijuana store. The burglary numbers, White said, are in line with what the city has previously seen in the medical marijuana industry.
"Looking at the number of burglaries that we have in general and the number of burglaries we have of dispensaries, that number is probably relatively consistent," White said.
The enforcement numbers are part of what Denver's new marijuana czar said Monday was a fairly problem-free start to the nation's first legal sales of marijuana from stores that can sell to anyone over 21 for any purpose. Ashley Kilroy, the executive director of marijuana policy for the city, said good communication between city leaders, police and store owners ensured that big crowds at the stores have not led to mass chaos.
"We were very lucky that everything went so smoothly," she said.
Read more: http://www.denverpost.com
Sentenced To Life In Prison For Selling Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Mon, January, 13th 2014 by THCFinder
Even as pot shops rake in millions in Colorado, and the possibility grows of the drug becoming legal in as many as a dozen other states, a handful of Americans are serving life sentences for selling marijuana.
At least 25 people have been condemned to live out their days behind bars because they were involved in the marijuana trade, according to The Human Solution, a pot advocacy group. Some played relatively small roles in larger distribution rings and got life sentences in part because they refused to plead guilty and testify against associates. Others held positions of power in major trafficking organizations.
James Romans, a divorced 42-year-old father of three from Indiana, says he belongs in the former category. But last year, a federal judge ruled differently, sentencing him to life based on evidence suggesting that he helped run a multimillion dollar operation.
Whatever his role, the case raises questions about the fairness of punishing marijuana offenders with the criminal justice system’s harshest penalty short of death.
“It doesn’t seem to me in this day and age, when states are debating whether marijuana should be legal, that people who traffic in it should be spending their lives behind bars,” said David Zlotnick, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and an expert on drug sentencing laws at Roger Williams University School of Law in Rhode Island. “If we’re not sure whether this drug should even be an illegal narcotic, why are we sending people to jail for life for it?”
As Romans tells his story, he was working low-wage construction jobs in suburban Indianapolis in 2004, struggling to support his kids and “dibbling and dabbling” in pot dealing, when one of his childhood friends offered him a chance to join a big-time marijuana ring. Romans claims he worked as a middleman, relaying money from about 15 lower-level dealers to the friend, Eric Pieper, whom Romans now says was the boss.
“I knew there could always be consequences,” Romans said on the phone Tuesday night from McCreary federal prison in Kentucky. Still, he never imagined his role would lead to anything “major,” he said.
And it didn’t -- not at first. After police arrested him in a sting in 2010, a state court found him guilty of dealing 27 pounds of pot and ordered him to participate in a “work release” program in prison. During his year in the program, Romans was allowed to leave the prison each day to drive a delivery truck for a retail company that sold fur coats.
But with his release date only two weeks away, federal agents picked him up and flew him to a jail in Sherman, Texas, where he waited for a new trial to begin. Investigators said they had uncovered evidence that showed he had been dealing pot not by the pound, but by the ton. The feds had opened a new case, arguing he'd been a major player in a trafficking organization responsible for transporting more than 10,000 kilos of marijuana into the U.S. from Mexico
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.coml
Group Wants To Make Marijuana Legal In Texas
Category: News | Posted on Mon, January, 13th 2014 by THCFinder
The Weed Blog gets a lot of readers from Texas, and many of them contact me asking when I think marijuana will be legal in Texas. I always have to give them the bad news that since Texas does not have an initiative process, it’s going to be harder to end marijuana prohibition in Texas than it is in many other states. Unlike Colorado and Washington, which legalized marijuana via the voter initiative process, the only option for Texas is to legalize via the legislature.
But before people get too sad about the prospects of legalization in Texas, realize that there are some very hardworking people on the ground trying to lobby for change. A new NORML chapter has started in El Paso, Texas, and it sounds like there was a good turnout for the first meeting. US Congressman Beto O’Rourke and state Senator José Rodriguez spoke at the event, which had roughly 150 people in attendance.
Possession of any amount of marijuana in Texas is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. Of course, if you get busted for marijuana, you also lose your driving privilege for awhile and if you are a college student, you can kiss your financial aid goodbye. Getting busted in Texas for marijuana is no joke. It’s clearly time for reform.
There are no less than 13 NORML chapters in Texas now, and I’d like to see them get as much support as possible. Trying to convince politicians to vote for marijuana reform in Texas will be no easy task. I tip my hat to the new chapter in El Paso, as well as every other NORML chapter that is fighting for reform in Texas. If you live in Texas, consider joining one of these chapters so that you can get active and fight for what’s right!
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