tagged w/ free the weed
In 1973, Oregon rode the hippie wave to became the first state in the country to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Within five years, eight other states had followed, but momentum soon lagged, and then reversed in the Reagan era.
Lately, however, it’s beginning to feel like the ’70s again, with numerous polls showing a majority of Americans in favor of legalizing marijuana and the recent referenda in Colorado and Washington to do just that.
Earl Blumenauer voted on that first decriminalization bill 40 years ago in Oregon — as a “child legislator,” he jokes — and now that he’s in Congress representing the state, he thinks we’re approaching a moment where things are about to speed up very quickly for drug policy reform advocates.
“It’s just come to a head,” he told Salon Thursday afternoon. “This is largely going to be resolved in the next five years.”
Blumenauer, along with Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis, introduced legislation this week to make the federal government treat cannabis like alcohol and let states decide whether to keep it illegal. And they think they have a real chance of getting somewhere this time.
http://www.salon.com/2013/02/08/why_congress_might_legalize_marijuana_this_time/In 1973, Oregon rode the hippie wave to became the first state in the country to... more
Check it out
Some fascinating marijuana facts:
There is no medical evidence that shows high-potency marijuana is more harmful than low-potency marijuana. Marijuana is literally one of the least toxic substances known. High-potency marijuana is actually preferable because less is of it consumed to obtain the desired effect; thereby reducing the amount of smoke that enters the lungs and lowering the risk of any respiratory health hazards. Claiming that high-potency marijuana is more harmful than low-potency marijuana is like claiming wine is more harmful than beer.
There chance of contracting cancer from smoking marijuana is minuscule. Tobacco smokers typically smoke 20+ cigarettes every day for decades, but virtually nobody smokes marijuana in the quantity and frequency required to cause cancer. A 1997 UCLA study concluded that even prolonged and heavy marijuana smoking causes no serious lung damage. Cancer risks from common foods (meat, salt, dairy products) far exceed any cancer risk posed by smoking marijuana. Respiratory health hazards and cancer risks can be totally eliminated by ingesting marijuana in baked foods.
Coffee contains 1,500 chemicals. Rat poison contains only 30 chemicals. Many vegetables contain cancer-causing chemicals. There is no correlation between the number of chemicals a substance contains and its toxicity. Prohibitionists often cite this misleading statistic to make marijuana appear dangerous.
The U.S. government’s own statistics show that over 75 percent of all Americans who use marijuana never use harder drugs. The gateway-drug theory is derived by using blatantly-flawed logic. Using such blatantly-flawed logic, alcohol should be considered the gateway drug because most cocaine and heroin addicts began their drug use with beer or wine–not marijuana.
Marijuana is not physically addicting. Medical studies rank marijuana as less habit forming than caffeine. The legal drugs of tobacco (nicotine) and alcohol can be as addicting as heroin or cocaine, but marijuana is one of the least habit forming substances known.
A 1996 U.S. government study claims that heavy marijuana use may impair learning ability. The key words are heavy use and may. This claim is based on studying people who use marijuana daily–a sample that represents less than 1 percent of all marijuana users. This study concluded: 1) Learning impairments cited were subtle, minimal, and may be temporary. In other words, there is little evidence that such learning impairments even exist. 2) Long-term memory was not affected by heavy marijuana use. 3) Casual marijuana users showed no signs of impaired learning. 4) Heavy alcohol use was cited as being more detrimental to the thought and learning process than heavy marijuana use.
The U.S. government reports that marijuana-related emergency room episodes are increasing. The government counts an emergency room admission as a marijuana-related episode if the word marijuana appears anywhere in the medical record. If a patient tests positive for marijuana because he/she used marijuana several days before the incident occurred, if a drunk driver admits he/she also smoked some marijuana, or if anyone involved in the incident merely possessed marijuana, the government counts the emergency room admission as a “marijuana-related episode.” Less than 0.2% of all emergency room admissions are “marijuana related.” This so-called marijuana-causes-emergencies statistic was carefully crafted by the government to make marijuana appear dangerous.
The arguments about legalizing medical marijuana rage on and, with such strength of feeling on both sides of the argument, it can be difficult to get a clear perspective. We believe that the only way to see the wood for the trees, or the weed for the smoke, is to be objective.
There is overwhelming evidence that cannabis relieves various medical conditions; unpleasant symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, pain and spasm, as well as the side effects of some prescription medicines. It is fact: marijuana is less toxic to the system than many pharmaceuticals.
A fact that informs the opinion of much of the medical establishment is the paucity of good quality research on the use of medical marijuana. Doctors are trained to mistrust anything that hasn’t been fully researched but there is a glaring problem here: the cultivation and possession of marijuana is illegal. Legalize marijuana and the research becomes possible.
Then we come to the specter of addiction. One oft-quoted study (University of Arkansas 2001) found that withdrawal from marijuana in heavy users gave rise to symptoms similar to those of nicotine withdrawal? But how were the participants in that trial taking their cannabis? If, as is the norm, they were smoking it, then the chances are they were smoking it alongside tobacco. Is it any wonder that symptoms were similar to those of nicotine withdrawal?
Users of medical marijuana are rarely heavy users and they can avoid the nicotine syndrome by vaporizing their herb.
Many opponents to legalization of medical marijuana believe that to legalize marijuana will erode the drugs-are-dangerous message that we try to instill in our children, leading to widespread use of not only cannabis but truly dangerous drugs such as heroin. Yet there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary: in states where medical marijuana is legal, the figures for teen use of cannabis have either remained stable or have followed a downward trend.
Then, there are our human rights: why shouldn’t we legalize marijuana, surely we have the right to make choices for and about ourselves unless there is evidence that our preference will cause harm to others. There is no proof of third-party harm being caused by users of marijuana, yet third-party harm is caused by substances such as tobacco and alcohol, both of which are lawful.
Challengers are apt to counter that children are likely to suffer from their parents’ marijuana use. Any suffering caused to a child, whether from excessive drug-use or any other parental activity, comes under the heading of child neglect and, therefore, there is no need for a specific marijuana law to enable prosecution.
And, finally, there is the ‘prohibition doesn’t work’ argument. We know from our own history that prohibition may actually worsen the situation; disallowed activities become exciting, something that is allowed every day loses its thrill. When an activity becomes legal, it becomes regulated – alcohol is a legal drug but it is far more difficult for youngsters to obtain than marijuana, which is readily available to most high school students. Didn’t we learn our lesson with alcohol prohibition, which failed miserably and led to gang culture and black market operations? Legalize marijuana, regulate it and provide good quality, freely available education as to its use.
The knock-on effect of black market activity and the punishment of marijuana users is expense: it costs an immense amount of money to seek out and punish those who break the marijuana law. Legalizing marijuana would not only save thousands of dollars, it would also create another income stream for the government in terms of taxes.
It’s not rocket science, is it?
We’ll leave you with some thoughts from Abraham Lincoln:
“Prohibition…goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”Check it out
Some fascinating marijuana facts:
There is no medical evidence that... more
Marijuana stocks could be absolutely huge in 2013, as efforts to legalize the drug in more states continue. Already, marijuana possession and recreational use has been made legal in two states (Colorado and Washington) since the beginning of November 2012, and numerous senators, organizations and voters in many other states are also strongly in favor of the legalization of marijuana. In this article I'll highlight a few marijuana-related stocks that have already made big moves, and could be set for huge bull runs in future.
http://seekingalpha.com/article/1156521-5-marijuana-stocks-going-crazy-and-this-could-be-just-the-beginning?source=google_newsMarijuana stocks could be absolutely huge in 2013, as efforts to legalize the drug in... more
This month will see a number of patients sentenced, sent to prison despite compliance with state medical marijuana laws
WASHINGTON – January 4 – Fallout from the Obama Administration’s aggressive federal enforcement in medical marijuana states has reached a fever pitch this month with three people being sentenced, two others due to surrender to federal authorities to serve out sentences of up to five years in prison, and one federal trial in Montana currently scheduled for January 14th. Two of the three people being sentenced in the coming month — Montana cultivator Chris Williams and Los Angeles-area dispensary operator Aaron Sandusky — face five and ten years to life, respectively.
“The number of sick patients being locked up by the Obama Administration is unprecedented and deplorable,” said Kris Hermes, spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access, the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy organization. “Aggressive enforcement is an unacceptable means of addressing medical marijuana as a public health issue,” continued Hermes. “The Obama Administration is lying to the American people when it says it’s not targeting individual patients and these cases are clear evidence of that.” Montana patient cultivator Richard Flor died in August while serving out a 5-year prison sentence.
Five cultivators claiming to be in compliance with Michigan’s medical marijuana law were sentenced in October. Two of the cultivators — Jaycob Montague and Jeremy Duval — are already serving their prison terms of 18 months and 5 years, respectively, and two others — John Marcinkewciz and Shelley Waldron — are scheduled to surrender to federal authorities on January 8th and 10th, respectively. Waldron will be imprisoned for 18 months and Marcinkewciz for 5 years. The fifth cultivator, Jerry Duval (Jeremy’s father), was sentenced to 10 years, but has not yet been given a surrender date.
More than a dozen people were indicted after federal agents conducted raids on state compliant medical marijuana businesses throughout Montana in March 2011. Only one, Chris Williams, went to trial and, like all other medical marijuana defendants who are tried in federal court, was denied a defense and swiftly convicted. While facing more than 80 years of mandatory minimum sentencing, Williams accepted a rare post-conviction plea deal that reduced his charges and possible sentence to 5 years to life in exchange for his promise not to appeal his conviction. Williams, who is scheduled to be sentenced on February 1st, worked at Montana Cannabis with Chris Lindsey, another indicted cultivator. Lindsey, who testified against Williams at his trial, is expected to be sentenced today. Medical marijuana cultivator Jason Washington has one of the last unresolved federal cases in Montana. Washington is currently scheduled to go to trial on January 14th.
Aaron Sandusky operated G3 Holistic in Upland, California when he was federally indicted in June. Though Sandusky was arrested with several others, he was the only one who took his case to trial. In October, Sandusky was denied a defense in federal court and convicted at trial. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 7th to a minimum of 10 years to life.
Far surpassing his predecessor George W. Bush, President Obama has conducted more than 200 SWAT-style raids on state-compliant medical marijuana businesses and has indicted more than 80 people since he took office. “How many medical marijuana patients is President Obama going to imprison before he considers other, more humane options,” said Hermes. “The president must answer for why he’s going against his earlier pledges by spending Justice Department funds in this way, especially at a time of fiscal crisis.”
http://libertycrier.com/government/obama-administration-throwing-medical-marijuana-patients-into-federal-prison-at-unprecedented-rate/?utm_source=The+Liberty+Crier&utm_campaign=46e947108d-The_Liberty_Crier_Daily_News_1_6_2013&utm_medium=emailThis month will see a number of patients sentenced, sent to prison despite compliance... more
Under federal law, Uncle Sam could try to block marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado. But there's another option: President Obama could pull the US out of the marijuana wars.
By Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer / December 8, 2012
With half or more Americans now favoring legalizing marijuana, President Obama has one bold option that few experts are talking about: Raising the white flag and ending the federal war on pot.
To be sure, many legal experts believe the US Department of Justice instead is preparing to block new regulatory schemes passed by voters last month in Washington and Colorado that legalize and regulate the selling, possession, and use of marijuana. One option is to invoke Article 6 of the Constitution, which says federal law is "the supreme law of the land."
But despite the constraints of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act in which Congress cemented its stance that marijuana is highly dangerous and has no legitimate medical use, the Obama administration does have legal authority to relabel marijuana as either a less dangerous drug or, as Washington and Colorado have done, classify it alongside alcohol as a legal drug. Such a move could partially or wholly end federal marijuana oversight.
Story continued at link: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2012/1208/Obama-s-other-option-on-pot-Legalize-it-for-everyoneUnder federal law, Uncle Sam could try to block marijuana legalization in Washington... more
The New Legend Chuck Sloan Says Legalize Marijuana It Will Save The Economy
http://youtu.be/wGDygmlIT7oThe New Legend Chuck Sloan Says Legalize Marijuana It Will Save The Economy... more
Today the federal government has an opportunity to agree to review the scientific evidence related to the use of marijuana as a medicine. A lawsuit brought by Americans for Safe Access and other marijuana reform organizations is challenging the government’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug — one for which there are no acceptable medical uses. One of the individual plaintiffs, Michael Krawitz, is a veteran of the Air Force, and uses medical marijuana to combat pain and PTSD. Krawitz’s claims concerning the medical benefits of marijuana have been echoed by physicians such as Donald Abrams from University of California, San Francisco, and Igor Grant from the University of California, San Diego. Both doctors have conducted research into the medical value of marijuana and have concluded that it does in fact exist.
http://www.theweedblog.com/federal-government-considering-medical-benefits-of-marijuana-again/Today the federal government has an opportunity to agree to review the scientific... more
NEW YORK -- Voters in three states will decide next month whether to legalize the sale and use of marijuana. If a ballot measure in one of those states succeeds, as supporters predict, it may create a rare truce in the war on drugs -- and trigger a showdown with the federal government.
State-level legalization would climax decades of struggle by reformers to convince voters that marijuana presents less of a threat to public safety than legal drugs, including alcohol. It would also show that pro-pot activists have learned from previous losses, like California's Proposition 19.
"There's no doubt in my mind that at least one of them will pass," said Dan Riffle, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project.
His confidence appears justified. A September poll put support in Washington state at 57 percent. A Colorado poll out Monday from The Denver Post showed 48 percent in favor, versus 43 percent opposed. Support in Oregon was lagging.
Proponents have picked their battles. Legalization is only on the ballot in libertarian-leaning western states. Still-hostile state legislatures have been bypassed with ballot initiatives. And the presidential election will draw marijuana- friendly younger voters to polls.
Public support for marijuana legalization has been on a long-term upward curve, with a majority of Americans saying for the first time last year they favored it.
Translating that sentiment into success at the ballot box, however, has been difficult. Medical marijuana has the public relations advantage of using cancer victims as spokespersons. But legalizing marijuana for all adults has often been defined by opponents, who raised the specter of drug dealers and impaired drivers in California in 2010.
So in Washington state, where legalization is most likely to be approved, reformers carefully crafted the initiative to account for concerns from law enforcement officials. They have also made heavy use of former U.S. Attorney John McKay, who speaks credibly to public safety concerns.
"Essentially it was about building a relationship of trust," said Allison Holcomb, drug policy director for the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, who leads the campaign to pass the legalization ballot measure, known as Initiative 502.
The ACLU carefully poll-tested provisions of the initiative. An intoxication standard for marijuana's intoxicant was created to defuse concerns about users driving under the influence. Instead of leaving regulation up to municipalities, as would have been done under California's failed proposition, a single, statewide standard would be put in place.
The "libertarian wet dream of legal pot with no regulations" does not play well with voters, said Riffle.
Rather, people want safeguards. They also want to see a different kind of green. All three measures emphasize taxing marijuana sales to produce revenue for cash-strapped states. In Washington alone, the state's Office of Financial Management estimated that legalization could bring as much as $2 billion over five years in taxes.
Nothing in the evolution of the pro-pot movement will deter legalization opponents from trying to stop the ballot measures.
In Colorado, support for legalization seems to have dipped since last month. That's not unusual for ballot measures as Election Day approaches. But Laura Chapin, the spokeswoman for No on 64, said it shows her side's arguments are winning.
"I think a lot of that is due to people understanding that amending the Colorado Constitution to fully legalize recreational marijuana and create a marijuana industry in this state brings with it a lot of problems," Chapin said.
Marijuana opponents in Colorado have pointed to the standard issues of health and safety, but Chapin said they have also highlighted the appropriateness of the amendment method. "This is a case where the how matters as much as the why."
Nationally, drug warriors warn of a "constitutional confrontation" if states legalize marijuana sales.
"Federal law, the U.S. Constitution and the Supreme Court decisions say that this cannot be done, because federal law preempts state law," said Peter Bensinger, who headed the Drug Enforcement Administration under Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
The Obama administration has rejected legalization in the past. but this election season, it has been silent on the topic. Pro-pot activists acknowledge that if President Barack Obama -- or Mitt Romney -- wanted to stop the collection of marijuana tax revenue, they likely could.
"There's a whole regulatory structure that this sets up, and if the federal government so chooses they can interfere with that," said Riffle. But he warned that if the feds did so, they would clash with the will of voters in the "laboratories of democracy" -- and against a very popular earmark in the Colorado measure.
"Essentially every action from the federal government there would mean hundreds of millions of dollars that wouldn't go to schools," Riffle said.
Voters, so far, seem unconcerned by the prospect of federal action. Travel author and television personality Rick Steves, a supporter of the Washington measure, said he has received support from across the political spectrum during his barnstorming tour of the state.
Steves pointed to Portugal, where problematic drug use has reportedly dropped by half since drugs were decriminalized in 2001, as an example of the positive change. And no, he added, Washington state will not start to look like another European destination if it legalizes marijuana.
"I don't foresee any Amsterdam kind of mecca here," Steves said. "I just see less people in jail and more social justice."NEW YORK -- Voters in three states will decide next month whether to legalize the sale... more
A pair of scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has found that a compound derived from marijuana could stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer, potentially altering the fatality of the disease forever.
In what seems to be a breakthrough discovery, scientists at San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center have found that a compound derived from marijuana might halt the spread of many kinds of aggressive cancer.
“It took us about 20 years of research to figure this out, but we are very excited,”Pierre Desprez, one of the scientists behind the discovery, told The Huff Post. “We want to get started with trials as soon as possible.”
Desprez, a molecular biologist, spent decades studying ID-1, the gene that causes cancer to spread. At the same time, fellow researcher Sean McAllister was studying the effects of Cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-toxic, non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Finally, the two recearchers collaborated, combining CBD and cells containing high levels of ID-1 in a petri dish.
“What we found was that his Cannabidiol could essentially ‘turn off’ the ID-1,” Desprez told The Huff Post. The cells stopped spreading and returned to normal.
“We likely would not have found this on our own,” he added. “That’s why collaboration is so essential to scientific discovery.”
There have been several similar studies. Cristina Sanchez, a young biologist at Complutense University in Madrid, was studying cell metabolism when she noticed something peculiar. According to The Daily Beast, in 1998, she reported in a European biochemistry journal that THC “induces apoptosis [cell death] in C6 glioma cells,” an aggressive form of brain cancer.
A team of Spanish scientists led by Manuel Guzman conducted the first clinical trial assessing the antitumoral action of THC on human beings. The results were published in 2006 in the British Journal of Pharmacology: THC treatment was associated with significantly reduced tumor cell proliferation in every test subject.
Desprez and McAllister first published a paper about the finding in 2007. Since then, their team has found that CBD works both in the lab and in animals. And now, they’ve found even more good news.
“Cannabidiol offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy,” says McAllister, who is seeking support to conduct clinical trials with the marijuana compound on breast cancer patients.
“We’ve found no toxicity in the animals we’ve tested, and Cannabidiol is already used in humans for a variety of other ailments,” he said. Indeed, the compound is used to relieve anxiety and nausea, and, since it is non-psychoactive, does not cause the “high” associated with THC.
“We used injections in the animal testing and are also testing pills,” Desperez said. “But you could never get enough Cannabidiol for it to be effective just from smoking.”
The team has started synthesizing the compound in the lab instead of using the plant in an effort to make it more potent.
“It’s a common practice,” explained Desprez. “But hopefully it will also keep us clear of any obstacles while seeking approval.”
By Katerina Sazonova | Friday, September 21st, 2012 3:40am EDTA pair of scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has found... more
On May 5 at around 9:30 a.m., several teams of Pima County, Ariz., police officers from at least four different police agencies armed with SWAT gear and an armored personnel carrier raided at least four homes as part of what at the time was described as an investigation into alleged marijuana trafficking. One of those homes belonged to 26-year-old Jose Guerena and his wife, Vanessa Guerena. The couple's 4-year-old son was also in the house at the time. Their 6-year-old son was at school.
As the SWAT team forced its way into his home, Guerena, a former Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, armed himself with his AR-15 rifle and told his wife and son to hide in a closet. As the officers entered, Guerena confronted them from the far end of a long, dark hallway. The police opened fire, releasing more than 70 rounds in about 7 seconds, at least 60 of which struck Guerena. He was pronounced dead a little over an hour later.On May 5 at around 9:30 a.m., several teams of Pima County, Ariz., police officers... more
Oregon voters will have a chance to make marijuana legal. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, also known as Initiative 9, will appear as Measure 80 on the Oregon ballot in November.
The official Twitter feed of the Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division was used to make the announcement late Friday afternoon, tweeting:
Initiative Petition # 9 relating to marijuana has qualified for the Nov. ballot.
If passed, Measure 80 would legalize hemp and regulate marijuana (cannabis) for adult use. The measure would also license cannabis for commercial sale, and allow Oregon farmers to grow hemp for biofuel, food, sustainable fiber and medicine.
According to a press release issued on July 13, Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, would regulate cannabis (marijuana) for adults 21 years of age and older, with commercial sales only through state-licensed stores. Ninety percent of tax revenue, estimated at more than $140 million annually, would go to the state’s battered general fund. Seven percent of tax proceeds would go toward funding drug treatment programs, and much of the remaining revenue would be directed toward kickstarting and promoting Oregon’s hemp food, fiber and bio-fuel industries.
http://www.examiner.com/article/marijuana-makes-the-ballot-oregonOregon voters will have a chance to make marijuana legal. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act,... more
Being married to an addictions counselor, I was already aware, but don't take my word for it....I know lots of mj smokers who won't touch booze at all.
From the study...
A study in the August edition of The Journal of School Health finds that the generations old theory of a “gateway drug” effect is in fact accurate, but shifts the blame for escalating substance abuse away from marijuana and onto the most pervasive and socially accepted drug in American life: alcohol.
Using a nationally representative sample from the University of Michigan’s annual Monitoring the Future survey, the study blasts holes in drug war orthodoxy wide enough to drive a truck through, definitively proving that marijuana use is not the primary indicator of whether a person will move on to more dangerous substances.
Full article at linkBeing married to an addictions counselor, I was already aware, but don't take my... more
A state appeals court has affirmed the legality of medical marijuana dispensaries under California law and rejected bans imposed by municipalities.
A three-justice panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled Monday that Los Angeles County’s ban on medical marijuana is “preempted” by state law. The decision reverses a preliminary injunction granted to the county by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ann Jones in May 2011.
“Los Angeles County’s total, per se nuisance ban against medical marijuana dispensaries directly contradicts the Legislature’s intent,” Justice Robert Mallano wrote in the 19-page unanimous decision.
The county sued the Alternative Medicinal Cannabis Collective in March 2011. Principal Deputy County Counsel Sari Steel could not be immediately reached.
“The court of appeal could not have been clearer in expressing that medical marijuana dispensaries are legal under state law, and that municipalities have no right to ban them,” said Joe Elford, chief counsel with Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group. “This landmark decision should have a considerable impact on how the California Supreme Court rules in the various dispensary cases it’s currently reviewing.”
On July 24, the Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to vote on a dispensary ban similar to the one enacted by the county, but just rejected by the court of appeal.
“The [appellate court] decision puts a giant wrench into the plans of City Attorney Trutanich to persuade the City Council to enact a ban,” said Elford.
http://wavenewspapers.com/news/local/article_86b28de4-c579-11e1-8324-001a4bcf6878.htmlA state appeals court has affirmed the legality of medical marijuana dispensaries... more
Colombia's Constitutional Court has approved the government proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cocaine and marijuana for personal use, Colombia media reported Friday.
Anyone caught with less than 22 grams of marijuana or one gram of cocaine for personal use may receive physical or psychological treatment depending on their level of intoxication, but may not be prosecuted or detained, the court ruled.
The Supreme Court paved the way for the legislative change when it ruled in 2011 that strict anti-drug laws introduced by the administration of former government Alvaro Uribe were unconstitutional.
To fill the legislative void created by the court's ruling, the administration of current Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos introduced decriminilization as part of 2011's Citizen Security Law, or law 1453, which sought to address a wide variety of public safety issues ranging from child trafficking to soccer hooligan violence.
Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said the country's law enforcement would continue its fight against drug trafficking, but would not comment more on the ruling.
http://bit.ly/NjlhukColombia's Constitutional Court has approved the government proposal to... more
Nationalisation: Uruguay's solution to its drug problem
Law allowing state to sell cannabis could be adopted across Latin America in defiance of US
Friday, 22 June 2012
Uruguay – in a bid to curb a narcotics-fuelled violent crimewave across the country – has unveiled plans to nationalise its cannabis market and become the first government in the world to sell the soft drug to consumers.
The measure is aimed at both reducing the rising power of drug gangs and the growing number of users of crack and freebase cocaine in what has traditionally been one of Latin America's most peaceful nations.
"We want to fight two different things: one is the consumption of drugs and the other is the trafficking of drugs," said the Defence Minister Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro.
"We believe that the prohibition of certain drugs is creating more problems in society than the drug itself. Homicides have risen as a result of the settling of accounts [between rival drug gangs] and this is a clear symptom of the appearance of certain phenomena that did not exist previously in Uruguay." Under the plans, the government would initially grow cannabis and sell it to registered users. But once the scheme is up and running, it hopes to cash in and allow private companies to take over the production of the drug.
Possession of small amounts and consumption of marijuana is currently not illegal in Uruguay but growing and selling it is. The new bill would seek to put the drug dealers out of business by making it easier, safer and possibly cheaper for users to buy marijuana from official dispensaries.
President José Mujica, a former leftwing guerrilla, has now sent a bill to the Uruguayan congress which is widely expected to approve it. The legislation is part of a larger packet of measures to tackle law and order issues.
Last night, even opposition lawmakers were tweeting in qualified support. One, Luis Lacalle Pau, of the centre-right National Party, wrote: "I don't believe it would be a good thing to continue associating marijuana with money." The measure represents a rejection of the "stepping stone" argument that cannabis is a gateway drug to more damaging substances. Mr Fernández Huidobro highlighted the government's expectation that it would actually result in a fall in the use of harder drugs.
It also marks the latest chapter in the region's gathering rebellion against Washington's "war on drugs", launched in the 1970s by President Nixon. Many Latin Americans resent being blamed for producing coca – cocaine's key raw ingredient – when impoverished peasant farmers are largely responding to demand from the US and Europe.
The costs of prohibition to the region have been huge, with Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala in particular, seeing tens of thousands die as the drug cartels confront law enforcement and battle each other for control of the main cocaine corridor from the Andes into the US market.
"An erroneous decision by Nixon has been what has caused all these disasters, declaring a war that has been won by the narco-traffickers," Mr Fernández Huidobro told the Montevideo newspaper El País.
In the last 12 months, the Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, has called for "market" alternatives to prohibition to be considered while Colombia's President, Juan Manuel Santos, has said he would welcome an international debate about legalisation.
Worryingly for Washington, both presidents come from the right of the political spectrum and have been staunch supporters of the war on drugs.
Uruguay is thought to have around 150,000 regular consumers of cannabis, roughly 5 per cent of the population, representing an annual market worth around £50m.Nationalisation: Uruguay's solution to its drug problem
Law allowing state to... more
Last night I was talking with a guy I’ve known for over 10 years. He’s only 4 years older than I am and has been fighting cancer for about 5 years nowLast night I was talking with a guy I’ve known for over 10 years. He’s... more
As political causes go, legalizing pot isn't as glitzy as re-electing Barack Obama. Sarah Jessica Parker and George Clooney are not on marijuana's A-list.
But with marijuana initiatives on state ballots in Colorado and Washington in 2012, after Prop. 19's failure in California in 2010, pot enjoys the financial backing of a small cadre of semi-famous people. Here they are:
Peter Lewis, chairman, Progressive Insurance. Lewis' company carries a small hint of lefty flavor, from its name to its casual corporate dress code, and Lewis himself is marijuana's biggest financial backer. After supporting California's Prop. 19 legalization campaign in 2010, Lewis has given far more than any other individual donor to the campaigns in Colorado and Washington - $875,650 and $650,000 respectively.
David Bronner, CEO, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. Those earthy-looking hemp soaps, sold at Whole Foods, could be more profitable if the company didn't have to import its hemp from Canada, and David Bronner, son of the original Dr. Bronner, is an avid hemp activist, most recently getting arrested outside the White House after firefighters had to cut him out of a metal cage in which he locked himself in protest. Bronner has pledged $50,000 to the Colorado legalization campaign, according to an official, although his donation hasn't yet been made official.
Rick Steves, author and TV host, Rick Steves' Europe. He might be the best known American expert on European travel, with dozens of books on travel destinations and a travel series on public television. He also wants pot to be legal. While Steves himself hasn't contributed to either legalization initiative in 2012, the committee to promote Washington's ballot initiative has reported taking in $150,000 from his company, Rick Steves' Europe, since last year.
George Zimmer, founder and CEO, Men's Wearhouse. You're gonna like the way your state looks with legalized marijuana: George Zimmer guarantees it. The Men's Wearhouse CEO has not donated to either of this year's state campaigns, but he backed Prop. 19 in California in 2010 to the tune of $50,000, and he's known as a major supporter of pot legalizationhttp://news.yahoo.com/meet-marijuanas-semi-famous-superdonors-100051897--abc-news-polit... more
I just seen a link on FB where Snoop Dogg posted a picture of Ron Paul so is he endorsing him idk you be the judge check the link Below RON PAUL 2012!!!!! FREEDOM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuKyN9oqTwcI just seen a link on FB where Snoop Dogg posted a picture of Ron Paul so is he... more