cannabisnews.com: Changes Sought In Marijuana Laws










††Changes Sought In Marijuana Laws

Posted by CN Staff on February 10, 2008 at 06:27:02 PT
By Taryn Plumb, Globe Correspondent†
Source: Boston Globe†

Massachusetts -- It's not an easy question to answer. Although Georgetown lawyer Steven Epstein is an emphatic and public supporter of legalizing marijuana, he gets a little evasive when asked about his own recreational use of the drug."I have used marijuana in the past," he said. "And I have liked it."
A boisterous man with a pile of wild brown curls, the 51-year-old Epstein noted that, if he answered any other way, he'd be declaring himself a criminal."It doesn't seem logical to me," he said. Possessing marijuana "should be a matter of choice."It may very well be - at least in Massachusetts - if three initiatives backed by local reform groups make it onto this year's ballot.Now being mulled by the Legislature, two of the measures propose that marijuana in amounts of less than an ounce be decriminalized, so that people found in possession face just a civil fine. The third recommends that the drug be allowed for medical use.Members of the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy and the Georgetown-based Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition - the latter of which Epstein and roughly 200 other members are actively involved in - collected 80,372 signatures in 350 of the state's 351 cities and towns to get the questions on the ballot. At least 66,593 were required for the initiatives to be considered.Once certified by the secretary of state, the measures were passed on to the Legislature, which has until May 6 to act on them.If lawmakers reject the initiatives or fail to act, the groups will try to gather another 20,000 signatures by June 18 to get the initiatives on the November ballot. Opponents can petition the Supreme Judicial Court to disqualify the questions.If the questions make it onto the ballot, they would require approval from a majority of voters and, if passed, would go into effect on Dec. 4, 30 days after the election.Epstein and other proponents are confident the questions will become law. They say legalization is long overdue. Nonbinding questions dealing with decriminalization and medical marijuana have appeared on the ballot more than a dozen times in various districts since 2000, and House and Senate bills dealing with those same topics have cropped up at least three times since 2005."I shouldn't be considered a criminal to have my choice," said 44-year-old Bill Bohns of Salem, a member of MassCann who admitted to smoking regularly since 1989, the year he says he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. "As long as I'm not harming others, I should be able to do it."Many who take the other side of the argument, however, say legalizing the drug could foster a dangerous, chaotic environment.Although marijuana might seem harmless, it can impair users' coordination, balance, and sense of time and distance, thus creating a "direct link" between use and car crashes, according to the Essex district attorney's office.Workplace safety could also be compromised: The rate of industrial accidents among marijuana users is more than 50 percent higher than among nonusers, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse."If you see an increase in marijuana use, you're going to see an increase in incidents, particularly accidents," said Everett Police Chief Steven Mazzie.But cannabis proponents say its use doesn't rise with decriminalization; they point to studies published in the British Journal of Psychiatry and by the National Academy of Sciences that have found little evidence to support that.In fact, many backers of legalization say the state could save substantial money by decriminalizing. According to a report compiled by Harvard University economics lecturer Jeffrey Miron, doing so would save millions in police and court costs.Over the past few decades, 12 states, including Maine, New York, Ohio, North Carolina, Mississippi, California and Alaska, have opted for decriminalization, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Legislators in New Hampshire and Vermont are also mulling that option.Epstein, who has been behind legalization efforts for 35 years, argues that the drug is already "de facto decriminalized" in the Massachusetts. The attorney, who occasionally represents clients who have been charged with marijuana possession, said most of them end up with minimal fines and short probation sentences."Marijuana arrests [involving] handcuffs and a trip to the station are less frequent," he said.Mazzie confirmed that. Officers in Everett encounter marijuana users and sellers on a regular basis, but they don't always arrest them. Most times, the officers use their discretion, especially when dealing with juveniles and people possessing small amounts.Still, legalization is a different matter, he said, especially because it could set a precedent. "I'd be concerned that it may be a slippery slope," he said, noting that proponents might eventually try to legalize cocaine or heroin.But hold the Cheech and Chong references, Epstein said."I've seen people who were totally, totally blasted out of their minds 24/7 and, for whatever reason, couldn't keep their lives together," he said, noting those people need help. However, he added, "The people I know whose marijuana use is their downfall is nil."He pointed to movies such as "The Big Chill" or "Dazed and Confused," as providing accurate portrayals of typical marijuana use: normal people having a good time.During the Cannabis Reform Coalition's recent board of directors meeting at TGI Fridays in Newton, he motioned around the room to note the varied ages and socioeconomic statuses of attendees.Most of the 17 members were men - some with gray hair, some balding, some aging hippies with ponytails, some younger guys with baseball caps and piercings. Tall flasks of beer lined the table at which they sat; at one point, they raised their drinks in a toast "to liberty, my friend."This is a "war on people's choice of altering their consciousness," said Epstein, a father of three who is as apt to quote John Adams as song lyrics by The Kinks.Still, he insists, his support isn't just so people can legally bend reality. He believes the government could benefit from regulating and taxing the drug - at $3.50 a gram - and allowing scientists to further study hemp as it pertains to bio-fuel and medicine.Bohns says he's a testament to the medicinal benefits of marijuana, saying it helped him "get up and get going" after radiation therapy for his cancer.And since then, smoking marijuana has helped improve his mood. With a smile, he said, "I've been told my outlook on life is right up there."Note: But police warn that marijuana use isn't harmless.Source: Boston Globe (MA)Author:    Taryn Plumb, Globe CorrespondentPublished:  February 10, 2008 Copyright: 2007 Globe Newspaper CompanyContact: letter globe.comWebsite: http://www.boston.com/globe/Related Articles & Web Sites:MassCannhttp://www.masscann.org/Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policyhttp://www.sensiblemarijuanapolicy.org/ Drug Laws Need Revisionhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23663.shtmlMarijuana Could Be Decriminalized in Mass.http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23638.shtml

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Comment #47 posted by Truth on February 11, 2008 at 04:04:44 PT:
oops
I left out a word... sorry,(drug war)it is a sorry drug war, no?
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Comment #46 posted by Truth on February 10, 2008 at 23:17:20 PT:
back to subject
The drug WILL be ended be President Ron Paul!
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Comment #45 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 18:55:54 PT
fight_4_freedom 
No I was watching Animal Planet! LOL! I got caught up in watching the dogs doing agility competition. Wilco is nominated too. I love the song Either Way. It's the first song on this link.http://wilcoworld.net/records/index.php
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Comment #44 posted by fight_4_freedom on February 10, 2008 at 18:48:02 PT:
Did ya see the beatles song and dance thing?
That was great. 
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Comment #43 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 18:29:55 PT
Dankhank
I'm watching the Grammys. I love music! I just turned it on so I missed some of it. Foo Fighters just played and did a good job. Music can put all things in perspective.
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Comment #42 posted by Dankhank on February 10, 2008 at 16:44:45 PT
what ....
year ya aimin' at, Rev ...?
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Comment #41 posted by RevRayGreen on February 10, 2008 at 16:04:40 PT
might need to get a new
flux-capacitor.
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Comment #40 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 12:04:57 PT

Thanks Again
It is a legal copy that came with my Gateway computer. Maybe it will work then. The most important thing to me is that my Franklin 550 works with Vista more then anything if I need a new computer. My computer has quieted down a lot right now. That is so weird.
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Comment #39 posted by Dankhank on February 10, 2008 at 12:00:14 PT

keycode
is code that came with your copy of WindowsXP.every copy of OS should have the code that allows the software to run and get updates and for xp to validate.microsoft hates that XP can be loaded on many computers as long as you have the keycode.
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Comment #38 posted by mykeyb420 on February 10, 2008 at 11:52:04 PT

code
a key code is a way to cut down on illegal copys of CDs..you need it for installation, activations ,,etc etcOT
check this out about DEA snithches gone badhttp://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080210/ap_on_re_us/drug_informant_investigation;_ylt=AqIMC3Fbc4uq0UbHQyLKKIis0NUE
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Comment #37 posted by mykeyb420 on February 10, 2008 at 11:50:21 PT

code
a key code is a way to cut down on illegal copys of CDs..you deed it for installation, activations ,,etc etcOT
check this out about DEA snithches gone bad
DEA snitches gone bad
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Comment #36 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 11:29:30 PT

Dankhank
What's a key code? 
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Comment #35 posted by Dankhank on February 10, 2008 at 11:25:57 PT

so then ...
if you have enough RAM, lilely 256 for reasonable use ... or more, I would just stick the XP disc in the MEmachine and see what happens. You can tell the software to do a compatibility search/report before installing.need XP Keycode, too ...
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Comment #34 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 11:24:35 PT

Dankhank and All
I asked the question earlier on this thread and it says Vista will work with the Franklin CDU 550 as long as it is the 32 bit version of Vista.http://www.broadbandreports.com/forum/r19334393-franklin-CDU550-connection-help
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Comment #33 posted by Dankhank on February 10, 2008 at 11:21:40 PT

short answer
yes to putting XP over Vista, however, from my perspective I would need a 5inch floppy.I haven't figured how to boot to DOS without the trusty 98SE boot disc, and it's on a floppy.with that small but powerful disc you can Fdisk, Format, and start anew with OS of you choice.I downloaded the boot floppys, six discs, for XP, but they didn't work... and still need floppy.I never tried to put boot floppy on CD and see if it did same as floppy when you boot to CD.Will get back to you on that ...  :-)
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Comment #32 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 11:16:34 PT

Dankhank
Windows XP. The card does work with XP. That is preferred by Alltel.
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Comment #31 posted by Dankhank on February 10, 2008 at 11:14:32 PT

alltel
as a recent customer your software for the aircard should be supported by XP.Alltel may only provide software tailored to whatever OS you have.What OS is on the machine you put alltel on?
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 11:11:34 PT

Thanks Again Everyone
I have a Windows XP disc that came with this computer. If I must buy a Vista computer can I put XP on it too by using the disc? 
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Comment #29 posted by BGreen on February 10, 2008 at 11:07:44 PT

OK, its's not the same
They were introduced around the same time, but ME was the "home edition" and 2000 was the "pro" edition.ME is based on DOS and 2000 was based on NT, so I don't know if your card will work.Sorry for the confusion.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #28 posted by runruff on February 10, 2008 at 11:07:18 PT:

O.T.
Uncle Sam said, "during WWI I crawled." "During WWII I walked.""WWIII, Iran!" 
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Comment #27 posted by Dankhank on February 10, 2008 at 11:05:50 PT

really ...?
I think ME is massaged 2000, not the same. I have a 2000 disc, never had an ME disc.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Mefound this after I thought about ME
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Comment #26 posted by Dankhank on February 10, 2008 at 11:03:00 PT

ME...
never had the "privilege" of using ME. If you have an XP disc from another machine you should upgrade it.
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Comment #25 posted by BGreen on February 10, 2008 at 11:01:14 PT

2000 is ME
ME stands for Millennium Edition i.e. 2000.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 10:55:42 PT

Dankhank
It does work with XP but my backup computer is ME and the aircard says it will work with Windows 2000 but I don't know if mine which says ME and Windows 2000 are the same thing.
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 10:52:31 PT

fight_4_freedom 
Glad you liked it. When Hillary gets ramped up she is hard to listen to. Kinda makes my ears hurt. LOL!
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Comment #22 posted by fight_4_freedom on February 10, 2008 at 10:38:09 PT:

LOL FoM
That last comment cracked me right up. lol
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Comment #21 posted by Dankhank on February 10, 2008 at 10:37:04 PT

alltel
you recently got the alltell, so I'm sure it will work with xp.
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 10:09:55 PT

One More Comment
Hillary is talking on CNN and her voice sounds like my computer. LOL!
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 09:56:00 PT

Technical
Again I thank all of you. I am not smart with computer things though. I think the aircard works with Windows 2000 so I might have a way to use it but maybe not. I don't know if Alltel tech support works on the weekends if I crash and I must activate the card with them if I have to install it on my older computer I think.
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Comment #18 posted by John Tyler on February 10, 2008 at 09:52:43 PT

my PC
My noisy PC is an old Emachine running Win 98SE. 
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Comment #17 posted by John Tyler on February 10, 2008 at 09:49:17 PT

PCs
XP pro is tried and true. We use it on our PCs at work. It works well on a Gig of RAM. I have Vista Home Edition on a new laptop I got in the fall. Vista likes 2 GB of RAM, has a glitzy desktop and icons, and has trouble with some software. You will find them when they donít run correctly. Their file management utility is not to my liking either. So if it is an important computer stay with XP. Dell will still let you order new machines with XP. I have a noisy CPU fan motor even as I type this. It is a bad bearing on the motor shaft. Every so often I have to put a drop of oil on the motor shaft and it is good for a year or so. If the noise is from the fan motor in the power supply, it will eventually fail and the power supply will over heat and it will fail and you will need a new power supply. If it is a bad HD make a Ghost image of it pronto and use that to restore your new HD you will have to get. 

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Comment #16 posted by Dankhank on February 10, 2008 at 09:47:45 PT

vista Home Premium
been using for about a year with this emach. W3605 as aforementioned. Of course, my 05 is "Vista ready" though that's debatable on many levels.no kidding re: RAM ... need min 2G, though will work with 1G.In mine, I can't get "Network diagnostic services to run."So I learned to live without it ... it's OK ... :-)had a prob with sound chip, too, but got a different driver and it's doing pretty good.I still use P3s, Duron 733-933MHz, with 300+ RAM and they all like XPpro. One with 500M RAM really hums ...luck with your endeavors ...
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 09:44:35 PT

Another Note
The noise is back and very loud so I probably will be off line for a number of days it seems. It sounds like a loud screeching noise. I will be back though.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 09:34:16 PT

Thanks Everyone
I like XP and know that getting my aircard to work with Vista isn't as easy as XP. I did a system restore and it seems a little less noisy but my computer is at least 4 and a half years old and has worked very hard so I can't complain.
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Comment #13 posted by John Tyler on February 10, 2008 at 09:31:26 PT

lame arguments
Notice how the prohibitionistsí arguments are shifting? All of the old arguments have been disproven, so now they are making up new even more lame excuses. ďSome people might drive or come to work stonedĒ. I would dare say that more people are driving and coming to work drunk that anything else. I work in a typical office and for the most part everyone puts in a good days work. The stoners donít come to work stoned, and the drinkers donít come to work drunk. Their have been one or two alcoholics over the years but they were pitied more that anything. So get real. I believe people will use cannabis responsibly and there will not be a problem with it. 
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Comment #12 posted by RevRayGreen on February 10, 2008 at 09:23:13 PT

My WV Home Premium crashed
installed XP since my factory installed Vista didn't come with a disc :( The sound drivers wouldn't open so installed a plug'n'play sound card.
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Comment #11 posted by Dankhank on February 10, 2008 at 09:15:18 PT

vista
first thing about Vista is the need for 2G RAM, as native and installed processes from installed software eat RAM.I'm still using the same printers, router ... but I agree it may be a ME kinda thing.I like XPpro, too, and agree that it's like 98SE was ... a useful OS for many platforms ... got enough RAM, XP will run.I have an Intel processor in my emachine,(W3605) you may find one, too.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 09:15:06 PT

Had Enough
Thank you. I am sending information to my yahoo accounts that I can afford to lose. 
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Comment #9 posted by Had Enough on February 10, 2008 at 09:04:56 PT

Noise
Fan motor or drive(s) is the only thing that would do that.Maybe the fan on the video card? Iíve had to replace them before, in fact the one on the backup machine is noisy when it first starts. I put my finger on the blade and the noise goes away for a while.Vista: If you are thinking about a new machine, you might want to see if you can get XP Pro instead of Vista. I donít know much about Vista, except all the horror stories I read and hear about it. Most businesses are opting to stay with XP Pro instead of upgrading, mostly due to the cost of new hardware that you have to upgrade along with it. I think XP will be around longer than most expect. Kinda like Windows 98 SE.Iím thinkin Vista is an upgrade from XP Pro on the same order that Windows ME was to 98SE.Maybe someone like Charmed Quark, or museman might know more about it.Good luck!!!http://www.pchell.com/index.shtmlnoise inside computerhttp://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=how+to+noise+inside+computer

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Comment #8 posted by afterburner on February 10, 2008 at 09:00:36 PT

More Dangerous than an Unregulated Black Market? 
"Many who take the other side of the argument, however, say legalizing the drug could foster a dangerous, chaotic environment."With Prohibition:Supply in the hands of criminal gangs who deal in other criminal activities: guns, hard drugs, slavery?No quality control?"Note: But police warn that marijuana use isn't harmless."Vested interest in maintaining the gravy train?
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 08:47:18 PT

Sam
Thank you. I will do that today if I can figure out how. I don't want to lose passwords but most of them I have stored in one of my yahoo accounts. When we take pictures I put them on a cd because once you lose pictures they are gone forever. I might get an e-machine but they use an AMD processor and I like the color on a Pentium unless the AMD has gotten better from years ago.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 08:42:53 PT

Had Enough
It really is making a lot of noise. I hope your problem gets fixed too. I wonder if I should do a system restore? For me to go inside the computer it isn't something I can do. 
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on February 10, 2008 at 08:41:19 PT

Computer
I'd advise copying or backing up anything you need from the computer now! The hard drive on my laptop made clunking noises for a while before it died & took all my data with it. Good luck!

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Comment #4 posted by Had Enough on February 10, 2008 at 08:38:35 PT

Boats
We are in the same boat kinda. Having trouble with my backup computer. Canít get it to boot. I think itís the keyboard controller on the motherboard. Tried a different keyboard got into CMOS it worked again until I restarted it, or tried to. Spent Friday night, yesterday, and an hour this morning on it. Iíll try again later. At least itís the backup system though, but I still need it.Good luck FoM. Just take it easy on the machine, you might get some more time out of it.

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Comment #3 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 07:01:51 PT

Thanks BGreen
If Stick was going to be around I would do it right away but he has to take off for Chicago soon. Hopefully it will last a few more days. I have an older computer that might work if this one goes down as long as my aircard works with that one. I'll go to the Alltel Forum and make sure it will work if I have to get Vista.
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Comment #2 posted by BGreen on February 10, 2008 at 06:48:12 PT

FoM
Unplug your computer and take the cover off of your CPU (the big box.) Vacuum out everything that shouldn't be in there. Make sure the power supply is clear of all dust and debris. The power supply is a small metal box at the top rear of your CPU.Good luck!The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 10, 2008 at 06:30:29 PT

Just a Note
I wanted to mention if I am not around to post articles for a few days it would be because my computer decided to quit. It is making strange noises and if it crashes I didn't want anyone to be concerned if I got behind on articles. 
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