tagged w/ Legalization of Marijuana
(Reuters) - Washington state made history on Thursday as the first in the nation to legalize marijuana possession for adult recreational use, an occasion celebrated by dozens of users near Seattle's famed Space Needle tower amid blaring reggae music and a haze of pot smoke.
The public gathering defied a key provision of the state's landmark marijuana law, which forbids users from lighting up outside the privacy of their homes. And it underscored mixed messages that law enforcement officials have conveyed about the new statute.
Hours earlier, Seattle's city attorney issued a stern warning that pot puffing in public would not be tolerated and that violators faced citations carrying $100 fines.
But the local prosecutor's admonition was contradicted by the Seattle Police Department's own instructions to its officers to limit their enforcement actions to warnings, at least for the time being.
Passed by voters last month as a ballot measure called Initiative 502, the new marijuana law removes criminal sanctions for anyone 21 or older possessing 1 ounce (28.5 grams) or less of pot for personal recreational use.
It also legalizes possession of up to 16 ounces (0.45 kg) of solid cannabis-infused goods - like brownies or cookies - and up to 72 ounces (2.4 kg) of weed in liquid form.
However, driving under the influence of cannabis, or imbibing in public places, where the consumption of alcohol already is banned, remains illegal.
"If you're smoking in plain public view, you're subject to a ticket," Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said at a news conference Wednesday. "Initiative 502 uses the alcohol model. If drinking in public is disallowed, so is smoking marijuana in public."
The new law ultimately will permit cannabis to be legally sold and taxed at state-licensed stores in a system to be modeled after those in many states for alcohol sales. The state Liquor Control Board, along with agriculture and public health officials, have until December 1, 2013, to set up such a system.
But for now, it remains a crime to sell, cultivate or even share one's own stash, even though the law allows individuals to purchase a limited amount for personal possession.
'VICTORY FOR HEMP'
Little if any of the law's fine points seemed to matter to the mellow and largely middle-aged gathering of about 100 people near the foot of the Space Needle as the statute took effect at midnight.
Low-key cries of "Yeah!" and "Smoke some weed" and "Anybody got a bong?" rose after a Portland, Oregon, radio personality, "Radical" Russ Belville, finished a 10-second countdown on a bullhorn.
(read the rest at link)(Reuters) - Washington state made history on Thursday as the first in the nation to... more
A B.C. Supreme Court judge has struck down a section of Canada's medical marijuana laws that said licensed users cannot possess pot cookies or marijuana body creams.
Justice Robert Johnston ruled the federal medical marijuana access regulation that allows permitted users to only possess dried marijuana is unconstitutional on Friday in Victoria.
The court challenge stems from the case of Owen Smith, who was charged with trafficking for baking pot cookies and producing topical cannabis creams for a medical marijuana club in Victoria in 2009.
Health Canada allows people suffering from debilitating illnesses to have access to marijuana for medical purposes. They can get the marijuana through Health Canada or they can get permission to grow it themselves.
But Smith's lawyer Kirk Tousaw successfully argued there is a contradiction in the law, which allows the designated users to smoke marijuana but prohibits them from turning it into any other product.
However, Justice Johnston also ruled even though Smith's constitutional rights were breached by the regulation, he will still have to stand trial for trafficking because he may have been producing the products for people who weren't permitted users.
One small step for human-kind.A B.C. Supreme Court judge has struck down a section of Canada's medical... more
1 year ago
In a new initiative, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has made some important new, gamechanging recommendations in its Drug Policy Report on how to bring more effective control over the illicit drug trade. Could this really be the end of the War on Drugs? Will we really stop sending people to prison for drugs? Will we really legalize marijuana and relax the laws on other drugs?
Check out the whole article, The End of a 40 Year Old Drug War Conspiracy is finally in Sight, on Conspiracy Watch, at http://www.conspiracywatch.net/2011/06/end-of-40-year-old-drug-war-conspiracy.htmlIn a new initiative, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has made some important new,... more
Research on mice suggests pot can foil immune response.
So much for legalization proponents who argue that marijuana is relatively harmless: New research suggests the drug actually increases your chances of getting cancer and other diseases. THC, the chemical that causes a marijuana high, also fuels production of cells that weaken the immune system, experiments on mice show. It is thought to increase vulnerability to pneumonia, bacterial infections, and tumors in the breast, bladder, lung, and elsewhere, the Daily Mail reports.
THC triggered the production of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), immune cells that act as a brake to ensure the immune system doesn’t get out of control while battling disease. The “massive” number of MDSCs produced, however, appear to make it easier for tumors to grow or diseases to set in. On a positive note, the research suggests that marijuana could be useful in treating disorders where the immune system does need to be repressed.
http://www.newser.com/story/106166/marijuana-linked-to-cancer-disease.htmlResearch on mice suggests pot can foil immune response.
So much for legalization... more
LEAP is made up of current and former members of the law enforcement and criminal justice communities who are speaking out about the failures of our existing drug policies.
These "Keepers of the Peace and Law and Order" really know what they are talking about and have actual hands-on experience with the results of the “war on drugs”.LEAP is made up of current and former members of the law enforcement and criminal... more
Former surgeon general calls for marijuana legalization
By the CNN Wire Staff
Ex-surgeon general: Legalize marijuana
* Joycelyn Elders tells CNN resources can be better spent
* She says the drug's illegality is criminalizing young people
* "It's not a toxic substance," she says
* California's Proposition 19 would legalize marijuana use in the state
(CNN) -- Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders told CNN Sunday she supports legalizing marijuana.
The trend-setting state of California is voting next month on a ballot initiative to legalize pot, also known as Proposition 19. The measure would legalize recreational use in the state, though federal officials have said they would continue to enforce drug laws in California if the initiative is approved.
"What I think is horrible about all of this, is that we criminalize young people. And we use so many of our excellent resources ... for things that aren't really causing any problems," said Elders. "It's not a toxic substance."
Supporters of California's Prop. 19 say it would raise revenue and cut the cost of enforcement, while opponents point to drug's harmful side-effects.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a letter, obtained by CNN Friday, that federal agents would continue to enforce federal marijuana laws and warned Prop. 19, if passed, would be a major stumbling block to federal partnerships between state and local authorities around drug enforcement.
His letter was a response to an August letter from several former directors of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration urging the White House to block Prop. 19 if it's approved next month.
Elders stressed the drug is not physically addictive and pointed to the damaging impact of alcohol, which is legal.
"We have the highest number of people in the world being criminalized, many for non-violent crimes related to marijuana," said Elders. "We can use our resources so much better."Former surgeon general calls for marijuana legalization
By the CNN Wire Staff... more