Reform Marijuana Law
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Reform Marijuana Law
Posted by CN Staff on March 25, 2013 at 18:49:33 PT
By Susan Goering
Source: Baltimore Sun 
Maryland -- Last Monday, the United States celebrated the 50th anniversary of the seminal Supreme Court case of Gideon v. Wainwright. The next day saw the Maryland Senate vote to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. There is a synchronicity here. The failure of one public policy poses a problem, the other a brilliant solution — if the Maryland House of Delegates will but take up the mantle of common sensibility and fiscal restraint.For decades, Maryland's heavy penalization of marijuana possession has cost the state millions of dollars in incarceration and court costs and contributed to excessive public defender caseloads without improving public safety or meaningfully reducing drug use.
The public policy behind Gideon is the constitutional guarantee that everyone charged with a crime, no matter how poor, must have a lawyer. But Gideon's legacy — if not its aspirational principle — deserves a cold, hard stare. Amid all the celebratory chatter last week, some commentators justifiably pointed out that the right to competent counsel had become only a paper right.Why has the constitutional right to counsel become ever more difficult to stay faithful to? Mainly because the "War on Drugs," first announced by President Richard Nixon in 1971, has overwhelmed our system with a tsunami of drug prosecutions, many of them low-level possession cases. The surge of criminal cases on court dockets — and the inability to adequately pay for them, including the costs of competent public defenders — quickly overtook Gideon's aspiration for effective assistance of counsel. State public defenders nationwide have been forced for decades to work under caseloads that are untenable.In short, the excessive criminalization of drug use, which an increasing number of public policymakers and scholars agree should be treated as a public health problem, has come at a huge cost.Last week, the Maryland Senate took an important step that would reduce the enormous financial and human toll that the war on drugs exacts on our criminal justice system and the people of Maryland. It voted to approve Senate Bill 297, which would make the use or possession of a small amount of marijuana a civil offense, punishable by a fine not exceeding $100. This would remove small-time marijuana possession from the criminal justice system, saving Maryland an enormous sum of money in police costs, court costs, prosecution costs and defense costs. In 2010, for example, there were 23,663 arrests for marijuana possession in the state — arrests that clogged the system, increased defender caseloads and consumed valuable taxpayer dollars that could have been better spent.Maryland has one of the highest rates of arrests for marijuana possession in the country. In 2010, Maryland had the seventh-highest number of arrests for marijuana offenses among all states. Marijuana offenses constituted 50 percent of all drug arrests, and marijuana possession accounted for 90 percent of total marijuana arrests.The Senate's vote was akin to picking the proverbial low-hanging fruit. It is clear that deep and extensive reforms will still be needed. For example, since 1971, the number of human beings incarcerated in lockdown institutions in Maryland has ballooned from 4,950 to 22,500. Shockingly, 45 percent of current inmates are there for nonviolent offenses. Decriminalization of small-time marijuana possession alone will not solve that problem. Yet, the Senate vote is a great step in the right direction that will help stem the flood of low-level cases crushing the public defender system, burdening our budget and destroying lives in the process.This week, as the Senate bill passes to the Maryland House, all eyes will be on the delegates. It is time for Maryland to stop wasting our limited resources on arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating Marylanders for possession of small amounts of marijuana — all at super-sized costs to the taxpayer and other more fruitful public safety and social programs — and start to restore the promise of Gideon by freeing up overburdened public defenders so they can do their jobs properly.Susan Goering is executive director of the ACLU of Maryland. Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)Author: Susan Goering Published: March 25, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Baltimore SunContact: letters baltsun.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on March 27, 2013 at 21:58:29 PT
OT: GMO Rider Overrides Judicial Oversight
The Latest on the GMO Rider.
March 26, 2013. 
Where do we go from here?
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Comment #12 posted by Garry Minor on March 27, 2013 at 08:31:44 PT:
HempWorld #6 --- When?
When will the MSM print the Truth?
That's a trillion dollar question! As you already know!
The sad thing is that because of this censorship, 1600 supposedly precious American citizens suffer and die each and every day of cancer alone, costing our society billions, and, our wonderful government has known of a cure since at least 1974! ....... Little children are dying!Heck, we blew up half the Middle East for a couple days of what our own government kills through its own negligence!I've sent this material, and, much more to my local and state news outlets, politicians, lawyers, doctors, churches, almost every newspaper in Indiana, college or university staff directories and many more. Thousands of people since 2006!
Haven't seen it on the news yet! 
Ignorance is the mother of all evil!Pot Shrinks Tumors; Government Knew in '74"Unfortunately, the world bumps along between such moments of hope and long periods of intellectual castration."Here is the 1974 Virginia study regarding the ability of cannabis to destroy tumors! is the 2000 study by Guzman, twenty six years later, over ten years ago, that proves the same. 
How many have suffered and died? How much has it cost our system?án_m031000.pdf And; 
Cannabis destroys cancer cells... reveals research at Barts and The London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry;
Here, we review recent work that raises interest in the development and exploration of potent, nontoxic, and nonhabit forming cannabinoids for cancer therapy. are so many more! Check out Granny Storm Crows list!Cancer isn't the only disease the media isn't telling us everything about!Dr. Andrew Weil: Cannabis Rx: Cutting Through the Misinformation (Even colicky babies were treated with cannabis medicines)'s; "Our results indicate that cannabinoid receptors are important in the pathology of AD and that cannabinoids succeed in preventing the neurodegenerative process occurring in the disease." Brain Injury;
What if it were your child?;  "Everything points towards these compounds having been evolved by the plants as antimicrobial defenses that specifically target bacterial cells," says Gibbons. "But the actual mechanism by which they kill the bugs is still a mystery."; "Therefore, in addition to symptom management, cannabis may also slow the neurodegenerative processes that ultimately lead to chronic disability in multiple sclerosis and probably other diseases."; "Thus, cannabinoids appear to be the only illicit drug whose capacity to produce increased hippocampal newborn neurons is positively correlated with its anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects."; (outstanding) quote: “It was like a wave of calmness just swept over him and he changed from being a monster into a loveable, little boy."; New research proves cannabinoids suppress the virus!,313-hiv-alternative-complementary-therapy-hiv-alternative-complementary-therapy/3530-cannabinoids-may-inhibit-cd4-cell-infection-by-cxcr4-tropic-hivRetinal function; "A team led by scientists from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has demonstrated the prevalence of cannabinoid receptors in the retina, indicating an important role for cannabinoids—a family of compounds which includes the psychoactive components of marijuana and hashish—in retinal function and perhaps vision in general." Seed Nutrition;
 "Seeds of the plant cannabis sativa, hemp seed, contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life. No other single plant source has the essential amino acids in such an easily digestible form, nor has the essential fatty acids in as perfect a ratio to meet human nutritional needs."'s just a drop of the medicinal!
When you add up the ecological, economic, and, Spiritual benefits this Plant can provide, ..... I come up with the Mystical Tree of Life!Thrita, the First Healer/Priest of Haoma(Cannabis);'s more to cannabis prohibition than meets the eye!
It's almost like some crazy curse!
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Comment #11 posted by afterburner on March 27, 2013 at 07:19:37 PT
Prohibitionist List
The Fix / By Kevin Gray. 
Follow the Money: How Former Anti-Drug Officials Ridiculously Still Say Pot Is Dangerous in Order to Make a Lot of Cash.
Former DEA agents and cops are lobbying for tougher drug laws that make them rich. comments on ... 
Follow the Money: How Former Anti-Drug Officials Ridiculously Still Say Pot Is Dangerous in Order to Make a Lot of Cash discussion following first comment "There are 13 groups that don't want to legalize marijuana" list.
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on March 27, 2013 at 06:03:46 PT
Need mo money but there wont be any.
Colorado recreational marijuana regulations need money, officials say're gonna need mo money than they got.
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Comment #9 posted by HempWorld on March 26, 2013 at 19:25:53 PT
Dr. Donald Tashkin
His most important comments are starting in minute 45 of the video with closing credits, please check it out.
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Comment #8 posted by HempWorld on March 26, 2013 at 18:46:14 PT
Here is another link:
Another Link!
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Comment #7 posted by HempWorld on March 26, 2013 at 18:44:24 PT
Here is the link:
(I screwed up, sorry)
Listen to Dr. Donald Tashkin!
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Comment #6 posted by HempWorld on March 26, 2013 at 18:38:55 PT
Cannabis Cures Cancer!
This is true, watch the link I posted earlier and listen to what Dr. Donald Tashkin says about his (most extensive to date) research.He says: "Marijuana users (also heavy ones) have a lower incidence of cancer than non-(marijuana or other)-smokers"This is why cannabis/marijuana is prohibited in the 1st place! When is this message going to be known to the masses of the US/world? Or is it ever?That is the question.
Dr. Donald Tashkin Listen to What He Says!
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Comment #5 posted by disvet13 on March 26, 2013 at 15:06:09 PT:
it shall be called EAJA
you must have forgotten about EAJA (equal access to justice act). it was a moment in history when cancer was injected into the bloodstream of america. Newt gincrich called it re-inventing government. every lawyer was put on the taxpayer funded payroll. whether social security, workers comp, veterans benefits, the public defenders, aclu, you name it, its now taxpayer funded. depending on which state means how much the lawyer makes per hour. in west virginia, in 2002 they made 131.00, in washington dc it was 150.00. plus if you have any backpay, they still get the percentage. why do you think it takes years to get veterans benefits, social security, or workers comp. they keep reinventing it, its their job, and no matter how much it costs they are willing to present a bill to you the taxpayer. it's re-invented government, for the lawyers.
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Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on March 26, 2013 at 13:20:43 PT
Hey All, This Is A Great Video, Check It Out!
How Cannabis Works!
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Comment #3 posted by museman on March 26, 2013 at 12:20:01 PT
public defenders?
There is some major matrix assumption here.The notion that the PDs are 'overwhelmed' by the sheer number of cannabis cases so that 'justice' cannot be adequately met because of the MONEY is totally slanted.Anyone here ever have to deal with a "Public Defender?"I know a few have. I have several times, and not all having to do with me. They are all the same. They belong to the 'lawyers club' which includes politicians, judges, and their various 'citizen' support groups (government employees).They are only one step removed from their enforcer dogs the cops, and not deserving of any credibility whatsoever.And what is this whiny crap about the "enormous sum of money in police costs, court costs, prosecution costs and defense costs" ?Don't they get funding from the fed and the state? Don't they get wages for their time? I think so. So all this crap about funding is a flat lie.They are like perverted salesmen who get commission on the number of people they frack with.As the legislators scramble to get their fingers in the cannabis pie, I hope there is someone there to tell them to go to hell, and not a bunch of roll-overs who think that law can solve these issues. Yes it is one hell of a catch22, I agree, but that doesn't mean I -for one- will give them any credibility as they pretend that their 'laws' are sacrosanct, and any travesties and destruction's that resulted in the implementation and enforcement of said 'laws' are somehow to be forgiven and forgotten while the same damn people who have been shoving it down our throats for as long as some of us can remember, get to suck up even more of our lives, time and resources, while pretending to be the 'good guys.'If they throw love over for any reason at all...they are damned and I vote for justice.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on March 26, 2013 at 11:09:25 PT
A mass epiphany of the collective minds.
With the paradigm shift in full swing and "The Lie" is being exposed to the masses via the internet and an inexhaustible army of bloggers and activist, no one is buying their boogeyman stories any longer. We have come now to a few hold outs, radicals who cling to old wives tales and superstitions to guide their beliefs and policies. I try to keep my eye on the prize, hemp. Like the wars they have claimed to have fought over righteousness and justice and "American Way" wars are always fought with rewards in mind. In the war on hemp, the pretense was or is to save us from our own dump selves by outlawing a weed we do not have the ability to control but will inevitably control us. The high. The war on hemp is to save us from "the high". A reason, as we now know is, hemp has never been a threat to our well being but relegalization is a threat to the well being of those who profit from this prohibition..
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on March 26, 2013 at 09:00:14 PT
A small win is a loss for prohibitionists.
The article is a step in the right direction if only a baby step. Chalk it up as another win for cannabis.Though they should strive to !save the whole wasted dollar! rather than a portion of one penny.
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