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
Aurora, Colorado Awards 21 Recreational Marijuana Store Licenses
Category: News | Posted on Thu, September, 4th 2014 by THCFinder
Aurora, Colorado, the third largest city in the state, has recently approved 21 adult-use cannabis store licenses. There were 58 total applicants for 24 licenses. The remaining three licenses will be awarded later this year. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
In all, 13 separate companies were awarded operating permits, with several getting multiple licenses in different wards. The Green Solution, for example, was granted permits to open recreational marijuana stores in four of the city’s six wards.
While Denver and other cities in Colorado started awarding licenses late in 2013 and earlier this year, Aurora took its time to develop local regulations.
The cannabis industry rollout in Colorado has gone remarkably well. Starting a cannabis industry from scratch is a monumental task, but Colorado, aided by a regulated medical marijuana dispensary system already in place, has seen a relatively smooth transition. Jobs have been created,revenue has been generated, violent crime is down, highway fatalities are at near-historic lows and a fewer percentage of teens are reporting using marijuana.
Colorado’s implementation of a taxed and regulated cannabis system is a great example to follow. States can even learn from Colorado and even make improvements. Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. will be voting on cannabis legalization this November, and hopefully all will be joining Colorado and Washington in taking a new approach.
Uncle Sam Spends $715,000 on Marijuana App
Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 3rd 2014 by THCFinder
In an effort to convince the youth of America that continued prohibition is in the interest of public health, the federal government is now paying researchers to develop an app that persuades kids to work out rather than smoke weed.
The National Institutes of Health recently awarded a $715,000 grant to the University of New York at Buffalo to begin working on study cleverly titled “Use of exercise to reduce young adult marijuana use there is an app for that.” The goal of this research is to create a smartphone app that appeals to the teenage wasteland and encourages them to get into physical fitness as an alternative to getting stoned.
Despite marijuana being legal for medicinal and recreational purposes in half the United States, Uncle Sam remains driven to convince the public that weed is turning kids into out-of-control marijuana addicts. “Currently, marijuana (MJ) is the most popular illicit drug, with prevalence studies indicating increasing use among young adults,” according to NIH’s project information. “Even so, there are few effective interventions to help MJ users reduce their intake to avoid negative consequences, including MJ dependence.”
Not surprisingly, federal lab rats have found evidence that suggests marijuana cravings can be hindered with moderate exercise. “Our research also has shown that short (i.e., 10 minute) bouts of moderate or intense exercise reduce craving/urges to use MJ,” writes the NIH. “Exercise interventions have successfully reduced use of licit substances, such as tobacco and alcohol, but have not been adequately tested for MJ use.”
Last year, R. Lorraine Collins, PhD, who has been assigned to lead this waste of tax dollars, said, “This newest NIDA grant to develop the smart phone app has evolved out of our use of cell phones to collect data in real time, as well as our plan to develop an effective intervention that can make a difference in the lives of young people who want to cut down on their marijuana use.”
Ultimately, researchers are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to research and develop a useless smartphone app aimed at curbing marijuana addiction, a disease, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, that only effects nine percent of its users.
Read more: http://www.hightimes.com
Judge Refuses To Jail Cancer Patient For Growing Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 2nd 2014 by THCFinder
Cancer is a very horrible thing. My step father is currently suffering from cancer, and it hurts my heart more than words can express. He beat cancer once four years ago, and I’m confident that he will beat it again. Marijuana has been a very helpful thing for him and his fight. It helps him deal with his ailments and helps him eat, which are both very important things.
A cancer patient in the UK was caught growing marijuana for the second time and faced criminal charges as a result. However, I’m happy to say that the judge has refused to jail the cancer patient. Per Mirror:
A judge today refused to jail a cancer victim who has twice been caught growing cannabis – saying he would ‘not be able to live with himself’ if he locked him up.
Jonathan Yates, 65, whose throat has been badly damaged by radiation treatment for tongue cancer, says cannabis is the only effective pain killer he can find.
Although he was caught cultivating the drug in 2011 he went on growing it in his home in Brockworth, Gloucester, and was arrested again in April.
I wish every judge was like the one in this story. No one should ever have to go to jail for marijuana, especially someone who is growing it to help treat their cancer. My heart goes out to Mr. Yates. I hope that he is able to beat his cancer, and can continue to find pain relief in the marijuana plant.
Legalized Pot May Lead to Fewer Drug Overdoses
Category: News | Posted on Mon, September, 1st 2014 by THCFinder
Medical Marijuana may lead to fewer drug overdoses, according to a recent study.
Researchers found that after states that have legalized medical marijuana deaths associated with the use of opiate drugs decreased dramatically. They argue that states that have decriminalized medical marijuana saw nearly a 25 percent decline in overdose deaths from opiates and similar painkillers between 1999 and 2010, News-press.com reported.
Investigators believe people suffering from chronic pains tend to rely on medical marijuana when they have that option, which reduces the risk of addiction and overdose that accompanies use of prescription pain medication.
"We think that people with chronic pain may be choosing to treat their pain with marijuana rather than with prescription painkillers, in states where this is legal," Dr. Marcus Bachhuber, lead author of the study and a researcher with the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, told HealthDay.
For the study, researchers collected and analyzed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine the narcotic medication overdose death rate for each state between 1999 and 2010, and then took into account whether and when each state had passed a medical marijuana law.
According to the CDC, overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have skyrocketed over the past two decades, increasing 118 percent between 1999 and 2011.
Although overdose deaths have risen in all states, researchers found that the annual average number of deaths caused by painkillers is nearly 25 percent less in states with medical marijuana laws.
"In absolute terms, states with a medical marijuana law had about 1,700 fewer opioid painkiller overdose deaths in 2010 than would be expected based on trends before the laws were passed," Bachhuber said.
Researchers said further investigation is required to determine how medical cannabis laws may interact with policies aimed at preventing opioid analgesic overdose.
No-pot city takes aim at Washington marijuana law
Category: News | Posted on Fri, August, 29th 2014 by THCFinder
FIFE, Wash. (AP) — To Tedd Wetherbee, the vacant storefront seems a suitable spot for selling pot. It's in a strip mall across from BJ's Bingo parlor, in a long commercial stretch occupied by fast-food joints, dry cleaners and massage parlors.
But like dozens of other cities in Washington, the small Tacoma suburb of Fife doesn't want Wetherbee — or anyone else — opening marijuana businesses, even if state law allows it. The arguments officials are making in a lawsuit over the dispute threaten to derail Washington's big experiment in legal, taxed cannabis less than two months after sales began.
A Pierce County judge on Friday is scheduled to hear arguments on two key issues at the core of Wetherbee's legal challenge to the ban. The first is whether Washington's voter-approved marijuana measure, Initiative 502, leaves room for cities to ban licensed pot growers, processors or sellers. If the answer is no, Fife wants the judge to address a second question: Should Washington's entire legal marijuana scheme be thrown out as incompatible with the federal prohibition on pot?
"It's challenging the state's ability to create a legal and controlled market," said Alison Holcomb, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington lawyer who drafted the law. "They're saying, 'We'll just take the entire regulatory system down.' "
Washington's experiment is built around the notion that it can bring pot out of the black market and into a regulated system that better protects public health and safety than prohibition ever did. In reality, there won't be legal marijuana businesses in much of the state: 28 cities and two counties have banned them, and scores more have issued long-running moratoriums preventing them from opening while officials review zoning and other issues.
In Fife, a community of 5 square miles and fewer than 10,000 people, the planning commission spent months working on a plan that would have allowed state-licensed marijuana businesses in the commercial zone where Wetherbee wants to open his shop. But the City Council this summer amended it to ban the businesses.
Read more: http://www.businessweek.com/
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