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  NYC Rally Urging Marijuana Legalization Draws 200
Posted by CN Staff on May 04, 2003 at 17:09:44 PT
By Karen Mahabir, Staff Writer 
Source: Bergen Record  

cannabis New York - Seven years ago, Pedro Pietri was diagnosed with glaucoma. He began using prescription medicine, but it gave him headaches and actually made his eyes hurt more. So he tried something else: marijuana.

"It really helps," said the New York poet as he pulled off his dark shades. "It relieves the tension, the tension in my nerves."

Hoisting a large, bright-green marijuana leaf made of cardboard, Pietri joined more than 200 other activists in New York on Saturday for the Global March for Cannabis Liberation, an event that coincided with about 225 similar demonstrations worldwide.

Spirits remained high Saturday as the group strolled down Broadway to City Hall. Shoppers who stopped to watch seemed mostly amused. Many took pictures or filmed the demonstration and others cheered them on.

"They have a right to think differently," said Peter Rybchuk of North Arlington, as he sipped coffee and watched. "Marijuana is legal in many countries. It's interesting to see these people."

Police said that as of Saturday evening one person was arrested for smoking marijuana at the New York demonstration, organized by Cures Not Wars. Last year, 148 were arrested on a variety of charges.

Though the issue of decriminalizing marijuana is gaining momentum in the United States - voters in eight states and the legislature in a ninth have passed medical marijuana laws - New Jersey continues to take a tough stance on the drug. Possession is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000 in the Garden State. Penalties are greater for possession of more than 50 grams.

Legalization advocates argue marijuana can be used to make products such as textiles and paints, and can be used medicinally. They also believe that enforcement punishes productive members of society and wastes government resources.

"A lot of money goes into the war on drugs that could otherwise be put into drug treatment facilities or educational programs," said Randall Parker, a member of Rutgers University Marijuana Supporters and rally participant.

But opponents cite the problems associated with alcohol and tobacco use and say it would be a mistake to legalize another drug.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, marijuana is addictive and has short- and long-term consequences that include memory loss, anxiety, and loss of motor skills. It also contains most of the harmful substances found in tobacco, the DEA says.

"It's a drug. Why do we want to legalize additional drugs?" asked Mike Mordaga, chief of detectives for the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office in a phone interview, citing the problems associated with alcohol consumption. "We do have people in the United States that are law-abiding and are deterred by the fact that it is illegal."

Also, some police say the marijuana trade leads to violence. Last month, suspected marijuana dealer Omar Marti gunned down Fair Lawn Police Officer Mary Ann Collura. He was eventually killed by police in Florida.

Reports show that in 2001, the most recent year for which data are available, police in New Jersey made 22,449 arrests for marijuana, the vast majority of which were for possession.

"A lot of times the arrest can lead you to the bigger fish," said Teaneck Detective John Faggello in a telephone interview.

But some say arresting recreational users makes no more sense than the prohibition against alcohol in the last century.

And critics of enforcement say the criminal penalties can do more damage than the drug.

"A lot of cases are for a small amount of marijuana. ... And sometimes it can cost [those arrested] their job," said Nathan Kittner, a Hackensack defense attorney. "I recently had a case of someone caught with a small amount of marijuana who had a federal college loan, a student loan, and that was in jeopardy."

On Saturday, many demonstrators waved signs reading "Medical Marijuana Saves Lives" and "Stop the Drug War" and encouraged onlookers to join the movement as they carried their message to the steps of City Hall.

Others taking part Saturday said they believe marijuana use is a basic human right.

"It's my body. I pay my taxes," said a father from Manhattan who declined to give his name but said he attends PTA meetings and has a full-time job as an electrician. "I'm a regular family man. I'm not a criminal."

Complete Title: N.Y.C. Rally Urging Marijuana Legalization Draws 200

Source: Bergen Record (NJ)
Author: Karen Mahabir, Staff Writer
Published: Sunday, May 4, 2003
Copyright: 2003 Bergen Record Corp.
Website: http://www.bergen.com/
Contact: letterstotheeditor@northjersey.com

Cures Not Wars
http://www.cures-not-wars.org/

Million Marijuana March
http://www.millionmarijuanamarch.com

Million Marijuana March News 2003
http://freedomtoexhale.com/million.htm

CannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives
http://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml


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Comment #5 posted by Jose Melendez on July 16, 2003 at 05:59:29 PT
roget
According to the D.E.A., medical marijuana is simultaneously a "hoax" and "available" as an analog based on one of the active ingredients, tetrahydocannabinol.

Doctors here in FL limit prescriptions of that oral medication to AIDS, cancer patients, etc. This despite Marinol's class 3 scheduling, same as Tylenol3.

You can find illicit sources on the streets of New York readily, for between $20 and $65 per gram. Weed is apparently also available in prisons and jails across the country.

Prohibition IS crime.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #4 posted by afterburner on July 15, 2003 at 23:57:44 PT:

Med-Pot & Smoke-out Tour & Funny Honeymooners
The Pot TV News for July 15th, 2003 With Dana Larsen http://www.pot-tv.net/archive/shows/pottvshowse-2064.html Pot TV News with Pot-TV http://www.pot-tv.net/ram/pottvshowse2064.ram Running Time: 13 min Date Entered: 15 Jul 2003 Viewer Rating: 6.66 (2 votes) Number of Views: 141 Dana discusses the latest Medical Marijuana Stories From Both Sides of the Border.

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The Summer of Legalization Smoke-Out Tour: Dauphin, Manitoba http://www.pot-tv.net/archive/shows/pottvshowse-2065.html Miscellaneous with Pot-TV http://www.pot-tv.net/ram/pottvshowse2065.ram Running Time: 29 min Date Entered: 15 Jul 2003 Viewer Rating: 0.00 (1 vote) Number of Views: 73 Due to Marc's 24 hr stay in the Winnipeg Remand Center, Marc was unable to make the Dauphin, Manitoba stop-over on his Cross-Country Smoke-Out Tour. John Woods of Sweet Hemptations shows us that he's got what it takes by leading the enthusiastic Dauphin crowd in the face of 40 Manitoba Cops!

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Newshawks: Johny Depp On Kids and Pot, Canadian Med-Pot Plan & Pot Comedy http://www.pot-tv.net/archive/shows/pottvshowse-2066.html Newshawks with Pot-TV http://www.pot-tv.net/ram/pottvshowse2066.ram Running Time: 12 min Date Entered: 15 Jul 2003 Viewer Rating: 0.00 (0 votes) Number of Views: 59 Johny Depp gives his take on kids and Pot, Lawyers, Doctors and Politicians talk about Canada's new med-pot distribution program and Pot Comedy

********************

Ed and Ralph find a pound of pot, but when Trixie and Alice get ahold of it, watch out! LOL

ego destruction, fear is the lock, leads to ego transcendence, and laughter the key to your heart, and I love you all.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by FoM on July 15, 2003 at 21:45:19 PT
roget
I wanted to say that I am sorry that you have HIV. I wish the laws were different. California is the most tolerant state for medicinal cannabis. I really don't know how New York is but I wish you the best.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 15, 2003 at 16:04:19 PT
roget
I'm sorry but I don't know of the organization you mentioned. Since Cannabis is illegal we just keep working towards changing the laws.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #1 posted by roget on July 15, 2003 at 14:36:49 PT:

medical marijuana
I have HIV, and cannot contact Cannabis Care of NY. Are they still around? If not, where can I find medical marijuana in manhattan???

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