Brazil: Supreme Court Justice Calls for Legalization of Cannabis and Cocaine
A justice who sits on Brazil’s highest court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal, has called for legalization of cannabis and cocaine to undercut the growing power of narco-gangs behind the wave of violence shaking South America’s largest nation. In comments picked up by Reuters, Justice Roberto Barroso, a Yale-educated jurist and professor of constitutional law, said that 50 years of drug war policies in Brazil have only fueled violence and bloated the country’s prison population and that time has come for an alternative.
“Unlike the United States and Europe where the problem lies in the impact drugs have on consumers, in Brazil, the problem lies in the power drug traffickers have over poor communities,” Barroso told reporters at the modernist high court building in Brasilia on Feb. 10. “I can assure you it is only a matter of time. Either we legalize marijuana now or we do it in the future after we have spent billions and incarcerated thousands.”
A Massachusetts Senator Ignored a Question on Whether Marijuana Could Help Fight the Opioid Epidemic
Iowa State University Loses Appeal in Marijuana T-Shirt Case
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State University has lost an appeal in a federal free speech lawsuit that affirms student rights regardless of political viewpoint.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday that ISU administrators including President Steven Leath violated First Amendment rights of two students who were top officers of the ISU chapter of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws.
The students planned to print T-shirts depicting the school mascot and a marijuana leaf but Leath and others claimed it violated the school’s trademark policy.
President Trump Pledges to Escalate War on Drugs
In a speech to police chiefs and sheriffs at the Washington DC meeting of the Major Cities Chiefs Association this week, Donald Trump dealt a harsh blow to any activists who may have been hoping for a tolerant stance on drugs from the United States’ new president.
As the conservative RedState.com blog happily headlines: “Trump Promises to Ramp Up the War on Drugs.” With an almost touching innocence, it writes: “Citing his border wall as a solution along with confidence [in his Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly], Trump apparently believes he will succeed where everyone else has failed.”
The speech was a mixture of such naïveté about winning a drug-free U.S., alarmingly bellicose bombast and the usual just plain wackiness. The day before, Trump met in the Oval Office with some of the assembled sheriffs, and he cited that meeting in his speech, saying he’s asked them: “What impact do drugs have in terms of a percentage on crime? They said, 75 to 80 percent. That’s pretty sad. We’re going to stop the drugs from pouring in. We’re going to stop those drugs from poisoning our youth, from poisoning our people. We’re going to be ruthless in that fight. We have no choice.”
Colorado Pot Sales Hit $1.3 Billion, Taxes to Pay for ‘Game-Changing’ Program
Colorado is doing something constructive with the millions in marijuana revenue it’s raking in annually.
The Department of Human Services and Governor John Hickenlooper have requested an annual allocation of more than $6 million from the state’s marijuana-tax cash fund for a new program that would offer help to chronic drug users instead of criminalizing and jailing them.
Art Way, senior director for criminal-justice reform and Colorado director with the national Drug Policy Alliance, who worked closely with state agencies in crafting the proposal, believes the impact of this approach is potentially revolutionary for people struggling with addictions to heroin and other heavy narcotics.
In fact, Way believes the project could be a game changer.
Newly Introduced Legislation Would End Federal Marijuana Prohibition
While it remains uncertain whether newly confirmed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to unleash the hounds on the high times currently being enjoyed in legal marijuana states, one federal lawmaker is doing his part to ensure the Trump administration has no control over any jurisdiction that has legalized marijuana in their neck of the woods.
On Tuesday, Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California submitted a piece of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives aimed at preventing the federal government from cracking down on states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use. The bill, which is aptly entitled the “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017,” would provide the cannabis community with immunity from federal prosecution as long as they remain in compliance with state law.
Although the bill (H.R. 975) would not force Congress to end prohibition in a manner that would allow pot to be taxed and regulated nationwide similar to beer, it would amend the Controlled Substances Act in such a way that state legalization could carry on without the threat of federal interference.
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