Reefer Madness
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Reefer Madness
Posted by CN Staff on November 06, 2011 at 18:04:06 PT
By Ethan Nadelmann 
Source: New York Times 
USA -- Marijuana is now legal under state law for medical purposes in 16 states and the District of Columbia, encompassing nearly one-third of the American population. More than 1,000 dispensaries provide medical marijuana; many are well regulated by state and local law and pay substantial taxes. But though more than 70 percent of Americans support legalizing medical marijuana, any use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. 
When he ran for president, Barack Obama defended the medical use of marijuana and said that he would not use Justice Department resources to override state laws on the issue. He appeared to make good on this commitment in October 2009, when the Justice Department directed federal prosecutors not to focus their efforts on “individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” But over the past year, federal authorities appear to have done everything in their power to undermine state and local regulation of medical marijuana and to create uncertainty, fear and confusion among those in the industry. The president needs to reassert himself to ensure that his original policy is implemented. The Treasury Department has forced banks to close accounts of medical marijuana businesses operating legally under state law. The Internal Revenue Service has required dispensary owners to pay punitive taxes required of no other businesses. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recently ruled that state-sanctioned medical marijuana patients can not purchase firearms. United States attorneys have also sent letters to local officials, coinciding with the adoption or implementation of state medical marijuana regulatory legislation, stressing their authority to prosecute all marijuana offenses. Prosecutors have threatened to seize the property of landlords and put them behind bars for renting to marijuana dispensaries. The United States attorney in San Diego, Laura E. Duffy, has promised to start targeting media outlets that run dispensaries’ ads. President Obama has not publicly announced a shift in his views on medical marijuana, but his administration seems to be declaring one by fiat. The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Michele M. Leonhart, a Bush appointee re-nominated by Mr. Obama, has exercised her discretionary authority to retain marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I drug with “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” And the pronouncements on marijuana, medical and otherwise, from Mr. Obama’s top drug policy adviser, R. Gil Kerlikowske, have been indistinguishable from those of Mr. Bush’s. None of this makes any sense in terms of public safety, health or fiscal policy. Apart from its value to patients, medical marijuana plays an increasingly important role in local economies, transforming previously illegal jobs into legal ones and creating many new jobs as well, contributing to local tax bases and stimulating new economic activity. Federal crackdowns will not stop the trade in marijuana; they will only push it back underground and hurt those patients least able to navigate illicit markets. Perhaps not since the civil rights era has law enforcement played such an aggressive role in what is essentially a cultural and political struggle. But this time the federal government is playing the bully, riding roughshod over states’ rights, not to protect vulnerable individuals but to harm them. At the federal level, there have been few voices of protest. Senior Democrats on Capitol Hill shy away from speaking out. Republicans mostly ignore the extent to which anti-marijuana zealotry threatens core conservative values like states rights, property rights and gun ownership. Mr. Obama briefly showed a willingness to challenge the drug-war mind-set that permeates the federal drug-control establishment. He needs to show leadership and intervene now, to encourage and defend responsible state and local regulation of medical marijuana. Ethan Nadelmann is the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Ethan Nadelmann Published: November 6, 2011 Copyright: 2011 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on November 09, 2011 at 12:39:36 PT
Ethan Nadelmann
Have I said that I so love and appreciate Ethan Nadelmann? Lately?Well, I do.I am very thankful for him and his ability to express himself so well. 
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on November 09, 2011 at 12:35:55 PT
I'm very far from being knowledgeable about computers other than I interact with mine as often as I can. Much more than TV. So out of that experience I think sometimes we get stuff downloaded into our computers that we didn't mean to download at all. And some of those things are mal-ware and spyware protection, serious firewalls to add to all one's other serious firewalls, and gizmo detective/repair/doctor stuff... and it needs to be removed to stop those warnings from coming up. What to do? Look around, start with your desktop, you might notice some things you might try disabling and see what happens. I don't go to deleting things... but temporarily disabling something might let you know what might be causing the problem.Maybe.:0)Sounds like a prohibitionist's study on the harms of cannabis.Maybe.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on November 09, 2011 at 12:35:08 PT
I typed in what you did and didn't get any warnings. I use IE8 and Vista.
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Comment #9 posted by Oleg the tumor on November 09, 2011 at 11:47:13 PT:
When I search the web for "Ohio medical marijuana blogs" for example, the first entry has the familiar "triangle with an exclamation point" in red with a warning in red letters proclaiming "Dangerous Downloads".  I have no expertise in computers, but I can hazard a guess as to what is going on. 
Either someone has indeed attached a "dangerous download" to a weblisting, which means that for the warning to appear, somebody else must discover the tampering and post the warning. But why not simply delete the listing if they are in a position to warn about it?The other possibility is a bit more realistic: that whoever posted the notice also posted the warning (without any viral download), perhaps as an opinion that info about MJ is "dangerous", just to screw with our heads.There is no shortage of places to get info, thankfully. I'm just tired of the same old dirty tricks.   
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on November 08, 2011 at 14:36:53 PT
I am an Ohioan. I have lived in this state since 73.
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Comment #7 posted by Oleg the tumor on November 08, 2011 at 13:26:52 PT:
If you saw no notices warning of "DANGEROUS DOWNLOADS", then this is occuring only inside of Ohio. Go Figure. 
Somebody is trying to scare people away. Consider this a "dirty tricks alert". Ohio is considered too important to let fair play work.
At this point, the preliminary petition has been verified, and now all we need are about 385,000 signatures before next July. Wish us luck.  Thank you for your vigilance. 
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on November 07, 2011 at 10:39:27 PT
Mr. Nadelmann
could he finally be realizing the Democrats are not going to help us? Nah, probably not.......cannabis prohibition isn't one branch of the govt. versus another - it's the government vs. the people
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Comment #5 posted by museman on November 07, 2011 at 10:10:44 PT
dongenero - about those cops...
"Then focus law enforcement on crimes with victims. Theft, fraud, violence, global human trafficking, child abuse, to name a few, geez...the list still provides endless job security for LEO. It would just point them at some truly important priorities."Ordinarily I'd say we need to get rid of all of 'em, but you illustrate a good point I feel I must address; The current, established nature and character of 'LEO.' There have been many honorable men who fulfilled a necessary niche in our society, protecting the weaker folk from predators, but that honorability, integrity, and right-motivation, necessary in a 'peace-keeper' organization has been removed from the picture. First by the criteria of the rulers, who needed controls in place to ensure their power. Then, following that premise, systematic destruction of what few and paltry 'rights' the people gained constitutionally over the centuries since the countries founding, with the CSA, NSA, WPA, and finally, for the coup-de-gras of american liberty; the "Patriot Act."The point is that the LEOs aren't trustworthy enough to have any power at this point. They recruit trained killers from the many wars initiated for corporate greed and political control -and they made sure that there was one for every generation (funny that) and without a doubt the 99% of "Law enFORCEment" are thugs, bullies, and worse. There are more criminals in law, than there are on the streets.And the ones who 'profess' that the 'law' (in it's current form) is some kind of 'necessary evil' aren't doing anyone any good, they are only holding on to job security - the political club is totally on the 'enemy' side of the fence (built by destructive mentalities of the ruling classes) and they have gone so far into their fantasy I really don't think they can function in a reality that doesn't give special privilege to ass-kissers.But the cops need to be corralled, disarmed, fired, and retrained as something that doesn't require violence as a main 'job skill.' Then we go back to a citizen police force, so that people who want to keep the peace, can be human in their relations with the general population, instead of the "It's the Law!" cut-and-dried assholeness we've come to enjoy with our current police state.But of course, as long as we are given choices of 'representation' that are picked for us from the long list of wanna-be-in-power's, who are members of the "professional politician" club, then those politicians will continue to represent the interests of the 1%, no matter what words their speech writers give them to attempt to fool the public with.We have a revolution brewing. It would be wonderful if we could achieve some success in bringing common sense and economic balance back into our government and money-powered society without bloodshed and destruction. But as has been demonstrated; the cops have drawn first blood, and they will continue to make people bleed until they are stopped.The common sense solutions that most of us here could probably elaborate on, aren't on the agenda for the powers that be, and most of their bullies in uniform haven't even the capacity to think on it!So, unfortunately, terrible things are likely to happen before the issues of true liberty and justice are dealt with in agreement with the people.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on November 07, 2011 at 09:30:26 PT
comment 1
Fascinating JT. Thanks for posting. I did not know about this.
Individual choice and market demand meets the internet. It's irrepressible. The only real answer is some form of legalization and regulation. It would be safer and ironically, more controlled than total prohibition.Then focus law enforcement on crimes with victims. Theft, fraud, violence, global human trafficking, child abuse, to name a few, geez...the list still provides endless job security for LEO. It would just point them at some truly important priorities.The current system has us making room for non-violent offenders, by putting violent life-long criminals back on the street after armed robberies and 17 of the last 20 years in prison, for them to commit murders, as recently happened in Illinois.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 07, 2011 at 08:29:07 PT
I just did a search for medical marijuana in Ohio and nothing but a couple news articles came up and I looked at them. If they get the large number of signatures needed it could be on the ballot in 2012 I read. 
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Comment #2 posted by Oleg the tumor on November 07, 2011 at 08:22:50 PT:
Here we go again in Ohio!… (Sigh)
Here is a fact in search of an explanation: a web search for information on "medical marijuana in Ohio", or words to that effect, produce some choices that warn of "Dangerous Downloads!"Not sure what this means or even if these warnings are meant to be seen only within the state of Ohio.
Something definitely weird is happening in this state.Many voters here are still turned off from when Al Gore lost. Keep your eyes on Ohio!
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on November 06, 2011 at 20:33:32 PT
kind of OT but not quite
Pardon me if this is old news to you, but I recently read about the web site, Silk Road, in Rolling Stone magazine.  I googled it and it has been written about since June by several sources, such as Wired magazine, The Atlantic Monthly and NPR radio. It is for those who are tech savvy and have a taste for the exotic. It is likened to Amazon .com, but for more special products. It is secure and anonymous. No one knows where it is or who is doing it. The write up about it says that once you are there it is nice. It has shopping the cart feature, reviews, and you pay for your purchases with bitcoins that are also supposedly anonymous also. Your purchase arrives in a few days. The downside is the bitcoin outfit getting subpoenaed and records traced, (The bitcoin market is somewhat unstable too.) the mail coming to you, and or a spoofing site to catch the unwary. The Silk Road site is somewhere on the dark side of the web. One more thing the Silk Road’s secrecy is not so secret anymore.
Be safe.
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