Marijuana is safer than alcohol
Category: News | Posted on Fri, October, 25th 2013 by THCFinder
Editor's note: Dan Riffle is a former assistant prosecutor and the director of federal policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, the primary financial backer of the 2012 campaign to regulate marijuana in Colorado.
(CNN) -- Anti-marijuana crusaders like Kevin Sabet, while well-intentioned, are promoting policies that lead to more violence and disease in our society. In his recent CNN.com op-ed, Sabet argues we should keep marijuana illegal. But as long as marijuana remains illegal, profits from sales go to criminals and drug cartels, and adults will continue to be punished for using a substance less harmful than currently legal drugs.
Confused? Let's back up. For more than 80 years, our government has spent tens of billions of taxpayer dollars fighting a war against marijuana. We arrest three-quarters of a million adults every year, 87% for simple possession rather than production or sales of marijuana. Courtrooms turn into assembly lines churning out probationers -- mostly minorities -- with convictions that will make it virtually impossible to find employment.
The result? Marijuana is universally available, used by almost half of Americans at some point in their lives, and we've enriched murderous drug cartels fueling violence in Mexico that has claimed more than 60,000 lives.
Of course, we've been down this road before. During alcohol prohibition in the 1930s, federal agents raided speakeasies and busted barrels of illegally produced and imported booze. Meanwhile, bootleggers made money hand over fist, empowering criminals like Al Capone to turn Chicago into an urban war zone. And much like with marijuana today, even under alcohol prohibition most Americans who wanted a drink had no problem finding one.
Today, marijuana prohibition has proven itself just as disastrous a public policy failure as alcohol prohibition before it. Yet despite all the obvious similarities between the two, there's one key difference: Marijuana is dramatically safer than alcohol.
Read more: http://www.cnn.com
Washington DC Likely To Approve Marijuana Decriminalization
Category: News | Posted on Thu, October, 24th 2013 by THCFinder
The Washington D.C. City Council Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety held a public hearing last night on legislation introduced earlier this year by Councilman Tommy Wells. There is another hearing scheduled for today. Media report after media report has shown overwhelming support for the legislation. According to NBC:
“With the majority of the D.C. Council supporting at least decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana, it seems likely that the District’s marijuana laws will change next year…”
The Simple Possession of Small Quantities of Marijuana Decriminalization Act that was introduced by Councilman Tommy Wells would make possession of up to an ounce by those 18 years of age or older a civil violation, punishable by a $100 fine. Under the current law, possession of any amount of marijuana in D.C. is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a maximum $1,000 fine.
This would be a welcomed change for not only Washington D.C. residents, but also American citizens nationwide. If Washington D.C. changes it’s marijuana laws, it’s another clear sign of changing times and sends a signal to states nationwide that it’s time to reform their marijuana laws as well. I felt the same way when Washington D.C. finally implemented it’s medical marijuana law.
Below is a written testimony that NORML submitted, which was very well written and makes outstanding points. How do readers feel about this? Do you live in the D.C. area? If so, how do you feel about it?
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Google Earth narcs on an Oregonian marijuana grower
Category: News | Posted on Wed, October, 23rd 2013 by THCFinder
An Oregon marijuana grower was outed to police by satellite images of his farm viewable on Google Earth, according to the Grants Pass Daily Courier (via CNET). While the satellite images are usually far from up-to-date, Curtis W. Croft had been at the pot growing game long enough that even the infrequently refreshed Google Earth was able to catch him.
The local police were originally tipped off when Croft was reported to have been bragging about his prodigious ganja crop. Someone in the force then had the insight to check Croft's property on Google Earth; sure enough, they spotted row upon row of crops. "Aerial reconnaissance" confirmed that the Google Earth images were still accurate.
Medical marijuana is legal in the state of Oregon, but Croft did not have permission to be growing the quantity he was.
Google Earth images can be years out of date, so they're far from an ideal research tool for identifying current criminal activity. But this is far from the first time that the service has been used to implicate someone: it was reportedly used to catch a man growing pot in Wisconsin back in 2006.
Read more: http://arstechnica.com
Missouri Man Serving Life In Prison Without Parole For Marijuana Convictions
When I met Jeff Mizanskey’s son at a Show-Me Cannabis Regulation statewide meeting in 2012, I already knew about countless nightmares peaceful citizens had suffered because of cannabis prohibition, but I could hardly believe there was someone in Missouri serving life without parole for a cannabis-only offense. After meeting Jeff in the Jefferson City maximum security prison and reviewing his legal records, I know this is a nightmare he will die in prison with if we on the outside do not help. Jeff’s family and I shared his hopes that the proposed initiative petition provision to release all cannabis-only offenders from prison, probation, and parole would awaken Jeff and others from the nightmare of cannabis prohibition and we continue to hope future proposals will include this provision.
In 1993, a vehicle was stopped for a traffic violation and 84 pounds of cannabis was found. The transporters agreed to assist police in arresting the intended recipient. An audiovisual recording police made with hidden equipment shows the transporters and the police were surprised that Jeff drove the intended recipient to the motel for the meeting. Jeff and the intended recipient were arrested as they left the motel room. Seven pounds of cannabis was found under the intended recipient’s jacket. Only three grams of cannabis was found in Jeff’s pocket, but he was prosecuted for aiding the intended recipient in possessing cannabis with intent to distribute. The transporters were never charged. The intended recipient pleaded guilty and received a ten year sentence. Jeff contested his charges and, after a jury convicted him, a judge sentenced him to life. (It is not clear from the record whether the now-deceased judge intended to deny the possibility of parole, but, based on the Court Clerk’s entries on the judgment form, Jeff is being held without parole).
Jeff was sentenced under Missouri law as a prior and persistent drug offender because he had three prior cannabis-only felony convictions. In 1984, Jeff sold one ounce to an informant, who obtained a search warrant for Jeff’s house where over 35 grams was found the next day. In 1991, Jeff pleaded guilty to possessing over 35 grams. He was arrested in December of 1993 for his current charges and has been incarcerated ever since. Jeff has no other criminal record. There was no violence, guns, juveniles or other aggravating factors involved in any of his convictions. Jeff has been an ideal inmate who has maintained good behavior and prison jobs during his incarceration. Jeff has has made numerous unsuccessful attempts to get relief from the Missouri Court of Appeals and Federal Courts during the past 20 years of his incarceration.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Abandoned Chocolate Factory to Start Selling Marijuana
This former Hershey factory in Ottawa is on track to be repurposed into a weed manufacturing plant. It's like right out of a fairy tale! Smiths Falls Mayor Dennis Staples couldn't be more pleased, and Canadian stoners everywhere are rejoicing at the prospect of a hydroponic hub, where weed flows like wine.
When the Hershey factory came to Smiths Falls in June of 1963, it brought jobs, tourists, and money to the town. When they shut down the factory, considered "the Willy Wonka Wonderland of Eastern Ontario," the jobs, the tourists and the money left. Now the smell of melted chocolate is being replaced by primo weed and Smiths Falls has a new opportunity for growth.
Ottawa-based medical marijuana company, Tweed Inc. has set its sights on the 470,000 sq. ft. abandoned chocolate factory in Smiths Falls, Ottawa. Location scouting has been difficult because landlords are particularly snooty when it comes to renting out space for "sanctioned drug production." This means jobs, revenue and buzz for the town. For Mayor Staples this is personal and he couldn't be more pleased. His brother lost his battle with colon cancer and medical marijuana "made his last days on this Earth much more bearable."
In June, the Canadian Department of Health said that people were no longer permitted to grow medicinal marijuana in their homes. Instead, they're allowing companies to manufacture and supply the drug. The chairman of a drug panel for Canada's Association of Chiefs of Police, Mark Mander remarked that this licensing was a "tightening up versus loosening up" of drug laws in that it distinguishes "the legitimate from the illicit use."
Over 30,000 Canadians have medical marijuana licenses, and Health Canada estimates that sales of the medicinal weed could reach $1.25 billion by 2024.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
Uruguay Will Sell Legal Marijuana For $1 Per Gram, Official Says
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay -- MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Uruguay's drug czar says the country plans to sell legal marijuana for $1 per gram, though he's given higher figures in the past.
A law already passed in the lower house of Congress and expected to pass in the Senate later this year would make Uruguay the first country in the world to license and enforce rules for the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adult consumers.
The El Pais newspaper reported Sunday that drug chief Julio Calzada says marijuana sales should start in the second half of 2014 at a price of $1.
He says the idea isn't to make money, but to wrench the market away from illegal dealers. Calzada said in August that the price would be around $2.5 per gram.
Sales are for locals only.
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