Chicago may decriminalize small amount of marijuana possession

Category: News | Posted on Wed, June, 27th 2012 by THCFinder
(Reuters) - The Chicago City Council on Wednesday is expected to vote to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, the latest U.S. city to support diminished penalties for the drug's use.
Under the proposal, police officers in the nation's third-largest city would be able to issue a written violation for possession of 15 grams or less rather than make an arrest.
Supporters of the ordinance, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said the measure would help raise revenue for the city, save money and free up police to pursue more serious crimes.
More than a dozen states and several large U.S. cities have already taken similar steps.
Chicago Police Department statistics indicate that last year there were 18,298 arrests for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana, according to a statement from the mayor's office. Each case involves approximately four officers - two arresting and two transporting officers - and places an additional burden on the Cook County court and jail system, the statement said.
The issue of freeing up police officers for more serious crimes is particularly pressing this year in Chicago, which has seen a 37 percent spike in its murder rate.
Fifteen states have reduced the penalty for possession of limited amounts of marijuana, according to Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML, a lobbying group working to legalize the drug.
Other cities with similar policies include Seattle, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, as well as university towns like Champaign, Illinois, and Madison, Wisconsin. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana.
Opponents of decriminalization say it condones drug use and results in a lost opportunity for intervention to stop it. (Reporting By Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Vicki Allen)


A Decision on a Ban on Outdoor Medical Marijuana Ads in Denver, CO Will Have to Wait

Category: News | Posted on Thu, June, 21st 2012 by THCFinder

A ban on outdoor medical marijuana advertising has been an issue in Denver for much of the spring, and now two competing ban proposals will have to come together before a city council vote in August.


Councilmember Debbie Ortega proposed a ban in May similar to one on tobacco ads, It would prevent ads from being 1,000 from schools, etc. But Medical Marijuana Industry Group director Michael Elliot says that sends a message that MMJ is something bad. The MMIG is actually pushing for a full, citywide ban.


"Such advertisements unite opposition to medical marijuana, undermine our support, and are largely responsible for the banning of MMJ businesses in Fort Collins and other jurisdictions," Elliott told Denver Westword. "As a community, we should decide whether these advertisements are doing more harm than good. Perhaps the best approach would be 'out of sight, out of mind.'"


Councilmember Christopher Herndon agrees, and will soon introduce a proposal for a full ban on outdoor ads. "I want to further legitimize the industry," he says. "And to do that, I think it's important for people to understand that this is for medical purposes -- and when you see the signage or the spinners, it gives the impression that it's more than medical."


But Councilman Charlie Brown opposes both bans, saying the only problem seems to be the “sign-twirlers” outside dispensaries, a problem that can be easily fixed.


Councilwoman Ortega will soon meet with Herndon to see if a compromise can be reached. "My hope is that we can sit down and walk through the ordinances and try and get to a place where we agree, or agree to disagree, on what a citywide ordinance would look like before [Herndon's proposal] is scheduled to go to committee on August 1," she said.





19 tons of pot dumped at sea near US-Mexico border

Category: News | Posted on Tue, June, 19th 2012 by THCFinder
SAN DIEGO -- The U.S. Navy says an aircraft carrier group recovered about 19 tons of marijuana dumped from small boats in the Pacific Ocean near California's border with Mexico.
The Navy said Tuesday that two single-engine boats - each about 25 feet long - were spotted about 15 hours apart on Saturday. People aboard the boats began dumping plastic bags, and the boats escaped before authorities arrived.
Lt. Aaron Kakiel says no one was captured. The seizures occurred in international waters about 85 miles off the Mexican coast.
Authorities recovered about eight tons of marijuana from the first boat and 11 tons from the second. The carrier USS Nimitz and cruiser USS Princeton were assisted by the U.S. Coast Guard and Mexican navy.


Will Marijuana Be Obamas October Surprise?

Category: News | Posted on Mon, June, 18th 2012 by THCFinder

Many in the cannabis movement agree that President Obama’s stance on medical marijuana has been inexplicable, especially considering his pronouncements before he arrived at The White House.


Many also wonder what the President hopes to gain by alienating those who voted for him in 2008. Republican votes? Not likely, and Independents favor medical marijuana by huge margins.


There have been some rumblings lately that Obama’s recent “evolution” on the issue of gay marriage may pave the way for a similar “evolution” on medical marijuana, or maybe even recreational marijuana.


When Obama announced support of gay marriage, he also basically said that while he supports it, he’s not going to do anything to make it legal. Would he do the same when it came to marijuana right before the election? How many marijuana users would vote for him then?


Would he get enough votes to put him over the top in states like Colorado? Believing that marijuana users (and young people for that matter) generally have short attention spans, is Obama holding marijuana up his sleeve until just weeks before the election when it will have the most impact?





Cynical questions to be sure, but questions that need to be asked.




Chicagos Mayor Throws His Support Behind Marijuana Decriminalization

Category: News | Posted on Sat, June, 16th 2012 by THCFinder
Chicago Mayor and former Chief of Staff to President Obama – Rahm Emanuel – has announced his
support for a plan in his city that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Under the plan, those caught with 15 grams or less of marijuana could be given a ticket ranging from
$100 to $500, but they would not be arrested. Chicago police arrested over 18,000 people in 2011 alone
for having less than 10 grams of marijuana, and 9 out of every 10 cases ended up being dismissed, an
incredible waste of time and resources.
The mayor decided to make this announcement while in Prague, Czech Republic for his daughter’s Bat
Mitzvah so he wouldn’t have to face any press on the issue. Because there are people like retired police
officer Bruce Talbot who still see downsides to a common sense policy.
“I don’t believe the mayor or the police chief in Chicago finds it acceptable for people to stand on
Michigan Avenue or State Street and smoke pot,” he said. “But it would not be good if this gives the
impression that the government views marijuana as innocuous.”
That’s the thing, isn’t it? Lying to people and telling them that marijuana is dangerous just makes them
think you are lying when you say things like crack and bath salts are dangerous. This constant harping on
what “message” is being put out masks the fact that the only message anyone gets is “the government
lies to you.”
In a press release on the announcement, Mayor Emanuel said the proposal “allows us to observe the
law while reducing the processing time for minor possession of marijuana — ultimately freeing up police
officers for the street.”
But what message does this send to the kids? It says that those in power might have some common
sense left after all.


Illegal Searches and Arrests Common in NYC?

Category: News | Posted on Tue, June, 12th 2012 by THCFinder

Much has been made recently – and for good reason – about the incredible amount of arrests that are made in New York City for simple marijuana possession. Beyond that, the vast majority of the arrests are of minority suspects.


While marijuana possession is only a “violation” in NYC, having marijuana in public view is a misdemeanor. And many cops have resorted to illegal searches to bring marijuana out into public view, where it becomes a crime.


And while politicians are rightly discussing a reduction in the penalty for marijuana possession in public view, should we not also be worried about these illegal searches? The two videos below bring this issue front and center.


Shouldn’t we be bothered by the image of a bunch of cops flooding into a random area and arresting minorities? Isn’t that in fact the height of tyranny, and evidence of how far we have fallen in this country?


Shouldn’t we be sickened that these things are commonplace? And marijuana is the tool by which this “public view” racism is carried out. Once marijuana is legalized, will it solve the problem of illegal searches? Or will another “substance” be substituted and utilized by law enforcement?





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