WH Fails to Explain Why MJ Should Be Illegal Posted by on July 31, 2014 at 18:52:48 PT By Philip M. Boffey Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- No sooner had the Times published its opening editorials advocating legalization of marijuana than the White House fired back with an unconvincing response on its website. It argued that marijuana should remain illegal because of public health problems “associated” (always a slippery word) with increased marijuana use.
Careful readers will immediately see the White House statement for what it is: A pro forma response to a perceived public relations crisis, not a full-fledged review of all the scientific evidence, pro and con. The White House is actually required by law to oppose all efforts to legalize a banned drug. Read More... Republicans Rail Against Legalization of Marijuana Posted by on July 31, 2014 at 15:09:53 PT By Marina Fang Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- Congressional Republicans on Thursday railed against states that have legalized marijuana, citing its connection to auto accidents.
During a hearing entitled "Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Operating While Stoned," Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, said stronger federal regulations on marijuana were needed in light of the wave of states legalizing the drug for medical and recreational uses. Read More... What Science Says About Marijuana Posted by on July 31, 2014 at 04:40:54 PT By Philip M. Boffey Source: New York Times USA -- For Michele Leonhart, the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, there is no difference between the health effects of marijuana and those of any other illegal drug. “All illegal drugs are bad for people,” she told Congress in 2012, refusing to say whether crack, methamphetamines or prescription painkillers are more addictive or physically harmful than marijuana.
Her testimony neatly illustrates the vast gap between antiquated federal law enforcement policies and the clear consensus of science that marijuana is far less harmful to human health than most other banned drugs and is less dangerous than the highly addictive but perfectly legal substances known as alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana cannot lead to a fatal overdose. There is little evidence that it causes cancer. Its addictive properties, while present, are low, and the myth that it leads users to more powerful drugs has long since been disproved. Read More... Federal Gov. Poor Argument for MJ Prohibition Posted by on July 30, 2014 at 14:22:56 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- The New York Times editorial board is making news with a week-long series advocating for the full legalization of marijuana in the United States. In response, the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) published a blog post Monday purporting to lay out the federal government's case against marijuana reform.
That case, as it turns out, it surprisingly weak. It's built on half-truths and radically decontextualized facts, curated from social science research that is otherwise quite solid. I've gone through the ONDCP's arguments, and the research behind them, below. Read More... Marijuana, Parenting and Toking in Public Posted by on July 30, 2014 at 08:12:05 PT By Jonathan Martin Source: Seattle Times Seattle -- When voters ended marijuana prohibition in Washington, we didn’t end the civic duty to not be a public jerk. That message hasn’t gotten through. Nearly every parent I know — myself included — has a story similar to one posted on Facebook by my friend Natalie Singer-Velush.
She took three kids — two 8-year-olds and a 7-year-old — for a quick mid-afternoon trip to Golden Gardens on Sunday. Pails, shovels and ice cream in hand, they set up camp… and were enveloped in a cloud of marijuana smoke from three adults sitting upwind just a few feet away. Read More... Federal MJ Ban Is Rooted in Myth and Xenophobia Posted by on July 30, 2014 at 05:11:21 PT By Brent Staples Source: New York Times USA -- The federal law that makes possession of marijuana a crime has its origins in legislation that was passed in an atmosphere of hysteria during the 1930s and that was firmly rooted in prejudices against Mexican immigrants and African-Americans, who were associated with marijuana use at the time. This racially freighted history lives on in current federal policy, which is so driven by myth and propaganda that is it almost impervious to reason.
The cannabis plant, also known as hemp, was widely grown in the United States for use in fabric during the mid-19th century. The practice of smoking it appeared in Texas border towns around 1900, brought by Mexican immigrants who cultivated cannabis as an intoxicant and for medicinal purposes as they had done at home. Read More... The Required White House Response on Marijuana Posted by on July 29, 2014 at 17:14:42 PT By David Firestone Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- When the White House issued a statement last night saying that marijuana should remain illegal — responding to our pro-legalization editorial series — officials there weren’t just expressing an opinion. They were following the law. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is required by statute to oppose all efforts to legalize any banned drug.
It’s one of the most anti-scientific, know-nothing provisions in any federal law, but it remains an active imposition on every White House. The “drug czar,” as the director of the drug control policy office is informally known, must “take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance” that’s listed on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and has no “approved” medical use. Read More... MMJ Opponents’ Argument at Odds with Research Posted by on July 29, 2014 at 13:41:40 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.
But opponents still have one trick up their sleeves, and it's proven to be a powerful and effective one: the notion that relaxed regulations on marijuana will lead to a rise in marijuana use among children and teens. Florida voters, for instance, will decide whether to legalize medical marijuana this November. Organizations opposing the measure have built their campaigns around fears about underage use. Read More... Why NYT's Call For MJ Legalization Is a Huge Deal Posted by on July 29, 2014 at 13:14:46 PT By Tony Newman Source: AlterNet USA -- The New York Times editorial board made history Sunday, as the first major national paper to call for an end to marijuana prohibition. And how they did it is half the story -- with rare flash and panache, as well as the intellectual and moral substance to back it up.
The Times' editorial has the feel of legendary CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite coming out against the Vietnam War. They dropped a bomb on our country's disastrous war on marijuana with unprecedented force. Read More... The Injustice of Marijuana Arrests Posted by on July 28, 2014 at 14:43:41 PT By Jesse Wegman Source: New York Times USA -- America’s four-decade war on drugs is responsible for many casualties, but the criminalization of marijuana has been perhaps the most destructive part of that war. The toll can be measured in dollars — billions of which are thrown away each year in the aggressive enforcement of pointless laws. It can be measured in years — whether wasted behind bars or stolen from a child who grows up fatherless. And it can be measured in lives — those damaged if not destroyed by the shockingly harsh consequences that can follow even the most minor offenses. Read More... Florida Voters Back MMJ 9 to 1, Poll Finds Posted by on July 28, 2014 at 06:49:49 PT By Niraj Chokshi Source: Washington Post Florida -- If the latest poll is right, it’s a safe bet that Florida will legalize medical marijuana this November.
A new Quinnipiac University poll finds that 88 percent of voters support the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes, while 10 percent do not. Those attitudes were unchanged from May, but support was six percentage points up from November. The lowest level of support was among senior citizens, who still back the measure roughly 6 to 1. The youngest segment of voters backed it 19 to 1. Read More... NYT Calls for Ending U.S. Ban on Marijuana Posted by on July 27, 2014 at 15:30:30 PT By Matt Pearce & Maria L. La Ganga Source: Los Angeles Times USA -- The editorial board of the New York Times has issued a dramatic call for the federal government to repeal its ban on marijuana, saying officials should leave the question of legalization up to state governments.
"It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol," said the opinion published on the cover of the paper's Sunday Review section. "The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana." Read More... The Public Lightens Up About Weed Posted by on July 27, 2014 at 08:22:38 PT By Juliet Lapidos Source: New York Times USA -- When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992, he admitted that he had “experimented with marijuana,” but said he “didn’t like it,” “didn’t inhale it” and “never tried it again.” Whatever the accuracy of that statement, he was accused of pandering to the marijuana-wary voting public.
Flash forward to the early stages of the 2008 presidential campaign. At an event in Iowa, then-candidate Barack Obama disclosed that he had not only smoked marijuana as a young man, but inhaled it, too. “That was the point,” he said. The public responded with a shrug. Read More... NYT Editorial Board Calls For Legalization Of MJ Posted by on July 27, 2014 at 06:55:39 PT By Andrew Hart Source: Huffington Post USA -- The most authoritative paper in the United States has put its weight behind the federal legalization of marijuana, a momentous endorsement in the prolonged fight to end to the criminalization of marijuana that has been in place since 1937.
Debuting what is to be a six-part series, The New York Times editorial board called for an end to the "prohibition" of marijuana, saying the current ban "[inflicts] great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol." The interactive series is to run from July 26 to August 5, beginning with Saturday's editorial, "High Time: An Editorial Series on Marijuana Legalization." An accompanying blog post by editor Andrew Rosenthal stated the decision to back legalizing marijuana was "long in the making," and "as more and more states liberalized their marijuana laws in open defiance of the federal ban, it became clear to us that there had to be a national approach to the issue." Read More... Let States Decide on Marijuana Posted by on July 27, 2014 at 06:44:07 PT By David Firestone Source: New York Times USA -- In 1970, at the height of his white-hot war on crime, President Richard Nixon demanded that Congress pass the Controlled Substances Act to crack down on drug abuse. During the debate, Senator Thomas Dodd of Connecticut held up a package wrapped in light-green paper that he said contained $3,000 worth of marijuana. This substance, he said, caused such “dreadful hallucinations” in an Army sergeant in Vietnam that he called down a mortar strike on his own troops. A few minutes later, the Senate unanimously passed the bill. Read More... Repeal Prohibition, Again Posted by on July 27, 2014 at 05:16:49 PT By The NYT Editorial Board Source: New York Times USA -- It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.
The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana. Read More... Florida: Five Things To Know About Amendment 2 Posted by CN Staff on July 26, 2014 at 05:49:24 PT By Stephen Nohlgren, Times Staff Writer Source: Tampa Bay Times 1) Nobody will be buying or selling legal medical pot in Florida until late 2015 or early 2016
Amendment 2 gives the Florida Department of Health until early July to establish regulations to make the system work. The department then has until early October to license the first Medical Treatment Centers. Until then, no one can start growing, much less selling. The first harvest might not come in until late 2015 or beyond. Regulations may forbid Treatment Centers from importing pot from other states or countries for resale. And even if Florida does allow that, postal regulations. airline rules and state laws probably would make importation impractical. Imagine a truck full of pot driving from Colorado to Florida. If it gets stopped in Arkansas, authorities will not care that the pot is legal in both Colorado and Florida. Buyers probably will have to await the first harvest. Read More... Medical Marijuana Rules for Doctors Raise Concerns Posted by on July 26, 2014 at 05:05:52 PT By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun Source: Baltimore Sun Maryland -- Proposed rules for Maryland's nascent medical marijuana system are drawing objections from a leading advocate, who says the regulations could discourage doctors from participating.
Del. Dan K. Morhaim, one of the chief sponsors of the legislation, criticized the draft regulations for requiring training and continued education in the medical use of marijuana for physicians who want to help their patients access the drug. Read More... A Toast? How About a Toke? Posted by on July 25, 2014 at 18:23:36 PT By Lois Smith Brady Source: New York Times Colorado -- Earlier this month, when Ellen Epstein arrived at the Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colo., for the wedding of her friends Lauren Meisels and Bradley Melshenker, she, like the other guests, found a gift bag waiting for her in her hotel room. But rather than a guide to activities in the area or a jar of locally made honey, the canvas bag contained a rolled joint, a lighter and lip balm infused with mango butter and cannabis, along with this note: “We wanted to show you some of the things we love the best.” Read More... R. Paul Proposes Measure To Shield State MMJ Laws Posted by on July 24, 2014 at 14:04:54 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday filed an amendment in the Senate that would protect states that implement medical marijuana laws, as well as patients and physicians in those states, from federal prosecution.
Paul's Amendment 3630, filed Thursday morning to Sen. John Walsh's (D-Mont.) jobs bill being heard on the Senate floor, allows states to "enact and implement laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical use" without fear of federal prosecution. There are 33 states that have enacted laws protecting some form medical marijuana. Read More... 9-Year-Old Girl's Death Shines Light On Debate Posted by on July 24, 2014 at 04:54:35 PT By Cathy Schwartz Source: Huffington Post New York -- Drug reform advocates across New York state are demanding emergency access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients after a 9-year-old girl who suffered from debilitating seizures died last week due to complications with her disorder.
Anna Conte, the child whose family has been at the center of New York's medical marijuana debate for months, had a rare condition called Dravet Syndrome that caused her to experience as many as hundreds of crippling seizures every day. Children with similar conditions have successfully treated their symptoms with cannabis in states that have legalized the drug for medicinal use. Read More... Oregon Marijuana Legalization Measure Makes Ballot Posted by on July 23, 2014 at 13:19:06 PT By Maya Srikrishnan Source: Los Angeles Times Oregonians will be able to vote in November on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The initiative submitted by the marijuana reform group New Approach Oregon received at least 88,500 valid signatures to qualify for placement on the ballot, election workers announced Wednesday.
“Treating marijuana use as a crime has failed,” Peter Zuckerman, spokesman for New Approach Oregon, told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday. “We can’t afford to wait -- more lives are being ruined, more money is being blown into the black market and police are more distracted from issues like violent crime. Oregonians are open to a new approach to marijuana and we are going to fight for every vote.” Read More... Oregon Will Vote On Legalizing Marijuana In 2014 Posted by on July 23, 2014 at 04:50:49 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Oregon -- This November, Oregon voters will get to decide whether they want to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana. "Initiative Petition 53 has qualified for the November ballot," Tony Green, communications director for Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, confirmed to The Huffington Post Tuesday.
The petition was submitted by New Approach Oregon, a Portland-based marijuana policy reform group, earlier this month. More than 87,000 signatures have been verified by Brown's office. Read More... Colorado Voters Are Cool With Members Only Clubs Posted by on July 22, 2014 at 09:54:57 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Colorado -- When it comes to marijuana use, Colorado voters want it legal but they want it kept private. In a Quinnipiac poll released Monday, state voters strongly support cannabis use in members-only clubs, but are against consumption in traditional bars, clubs and entertainment venues.
Members-only style clubs specifically created for smoking marijuana are supported by 66 percent of state voters surveyed on the issue, but 65 percent are against use in traditional bars where alcohol is served. Additionally, 63 percent are against marijuana use at entertainment venues where admission is charged for entry. Read More... High Taxes May Slow Marijuana Revenue Posted by CN Staff on July 21, 2014 at 19:50:59 PT By Robin Respaut Source: Reuters Washington State -- High state and local taxes and a paucity of storefront licenses mean revenue from legalized marijuana sales in Washington state could be minimal this year, according to Moody's Investor Service.
Stores opened this month in Washington, where the second state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana forecast it will collect $51.2 million in revenues during the upcoming 2015-17 biennial budget. But Moody's said on Monday that marketplace competition and supply challenges could mean lower than anticipated sales. Read More... Hospital Sales of MMJ Fraught with Questions Posted by on July 21, 2014 at 04:45:50 PT By Becky Schlikerman Source: Chicago Sun-Times Chicago -- A dangerous neighborhood. The threat of arrest, or worse. An unreliable product, sold by criminals. For seriously ill patients who rely on medical marijuana to ease their pain, paying for their treatment can be a “risky operation,” according to multiple sclerosis patient Julie Falco.
But if officials at Swedish Covenant Hospital get their way, medical marijuana users like Falco could one day purchase their cannabis at a hospital dispensary — just like a patient buying a dosed antibiotic or a powerful pain reliever at the hospital’s pharmacy. Read More... Backers of MMJ in Florida Seek To Assuage Concerns Posted by CN Staff on July 19, 2014 at 18:04:52 PT By Barbara Liston Source: Reuters Orlando, Fla. -- Backers of a ballot initiative that would legalize wider use of medical marijuana in Florida are working to assuage some voters’ concerns before the November election about how the drug would be regulated.
A newly formed group called Florida For Care is planning to draft proposed rules for how medical marijuana will be managed if voters approve a constitutional amendment making it legal in the state. Read More... Legal Marijuana Feeds Entrepreneurs’ Dreams Posted by on July 19, 2014 at 06:12:43 PT By Jack Healy and Kirk Johnson Source: New York Times Denver -- Like the glint of gold or rumors of oil in ages past, the advent of legal, recreational marijuana is beginning to reshape economies in Colorado and Washington State.
Marijuana is beckoning thousands of entrepreneurs and workers, investors and hucksters from across the country, each looking to cash in on a rapidly changing industry that offers hefty portions of both promise and peril. Read More... Washington State Says Marijuana Brownies OK Posted by CN Staff on July 19, 2014 at 04:43:07 PT By Victoria Cavaliere Source: Reuters Seattle -- Marijuana stores in Washington state can sell marijuana in cookies, brownies and other approved baked goods but cannot put the drug in candies, lollipops or food items that might appeal to children, according to newly released rules.
Washington became the second U.S. state to allow recreational sales of marijuana to adults on July 8 when its first retail stores opened under a heavily regulated and taxed system approved by voters in 2012. Read More... Marijuana Was Supposed To Cause More Crime Posted by on July 18, 2014 at 13:22:58 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Colorado -- When Colorado legalized weed more than a year ago, opponents of the move warned that crime would rise. But half a year after the first sales of recreational marijuana began, the state's biggest city has yet to see an increase in criminal activity.
During the first six months of 2014, violent crime in the city and county of Denver was down 3 percent from the same period in 2013, according to the most recent available data. Three of the four main categories of violent crime that are tracked in the data -- homicide, sexual assault and robbery -- are all down from the same six-month stretch last year. Aggravated assault, the fourth category, is up 2.2 percent. Read More...
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