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Tag Archives: Constitution

January and February: The Year began with the Cops Killing a Mother and Dog Police are using these paramilitary raids more than 100 times a day, often on simple possession of non-violent people; dogs are ruthlessly killed because of the war on this plant.

(note that the only marijuana found in this family home had to be scraped from a pipe, and the father was charged with child endangerment…What about the cops shooting weapons in a child’s room, and what about the permanent emotional scars to this child from these cops!)

…and then there was this next story that  led to a lot of accusations from drug policy reformers that police shoot way too many innocent people in overly-aggressive drug raids. You may recall that this case in which the officer claimed that he opened fire on Tarika because he was startled by gunshots downstairs. Those shots were fired by his own fellow officers as they killed the family’s dogs. Tarika Wilson literally lost her life because a cop was freaked out by gunfire from another cop. Oh, and her baby daughter also got shot.

but February also had more SCIENCE coming out to support the anti-cancer properties that new findings are revealing…

February 2010: Medical marijuana news. Cannabidiol stops the spread of breast cancer

February also brought another major study that shows the medical uses for cannabis. This study lasted ten years and costs 9 million dollars. http://blog.mpp.org/medical-marijuana/more-proof-that-marijuana-is-medicine/02172010/The studies, funded by CMCR under the mandate of a 1999 legislative action, found that marijuana is particularly helpful in relieving pain associated with nerve damage and in treating the muscle spasticity from multiple sclerosis.

March found the ever fearful DEA sensing that cannabis is about to be used religiously arrested a minister in Hawaii, Roger Christie, who is becoming well known for using spiritual sacrament  with his congregation. (note of interest Roger is still awaiting bail 9 months later)…here Roger gives instruction on how to make Holy Anointing Oil .

Speaking of the ridiculous Drug War Prisoners, other notable new prisoners for 2010 include…

Eddie Lepp

Marc Emery

John Wilson

Charles Lynch

April 2010: Federal Judge Suggests U.S. Change Anti-Marijuana Law

In sentencing a California pot shop owner to a year behind bars on federal charges of cultivating and selling marijuana, a U.S. district court judge based in Los Angeles suggested that the federal government change marijuana’s outlaw status.

Judge George H. Wu was very sympathetic to the plight of 47-year-old Charles Lynch, who was convicted in 2008 after federal authorities moved against his Morro Bay dispensary despite his bending over backwards to abide by California’s medical marijuana law. “Individuals such as Lynch are caught in the middle of the shifting positions of governmental authorities” vis-a-vis pot, the judge wrote.

Lynch was also caught in between presidential administrations: After Barack Obama took office he ordered the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to stand down on enforcing federal drug laws in states where medical marijuana is legal.

Wu wrote that (PDF) “ … much of the problems [in the Lynch case] could be ameliorated…by the reclassification of marijuana from Schedule I,” which is the government’s highest, outlaw-drug category.

Also In April… The Hemperer,  Jack Herer passed on. Jack was considered the father of the modern Hemp movement, and he was a writer and researcher who wrote The Emperor Wears No Clothes.  He was an activist for the wonders of Hemp plant until the last moments of his life, collapsing on stage having just given a Pro Hemp speech at the Seattle Hemp Fest.  Jack will be missed by the many of us who admired him, RIP.

and another milestone… April 2010: 5 Years After: Portugal’s Drug Decrim

May brought a 30 year scientific finding about Cannabis… May 2010: Study Finds No Cancer-Marijuana Connection

June: Study of Cannabis being medically helpful for babies!  Cannabis Reduces Infant Mortality

but the Prohibition War goes on… June 2010: A Record 85 killed yesterday

July 2010: The Veterans Administration will formally allow vets to use medical marijuana if they live in the (now 15 States and the District Of Columbia) that allow it.

In August Prescription drug deaths were skyrocketing…

http://wvgazette.com/News/TheKillerCure/200608130006

http://www.lightparty.com/Health/HealingRegeneration/html/AccidentalDeathPrescriptio.html

September 2010:  I liked it when this country singer Colt Jackson was came out for weed:

October and November…then came Proposition 19 to Legalize, Tax and Regulate Cannabis in California for adults over 21 years old…

Pot Was Smoked On National TV



Past Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders says to Legalize Marijuana

Retired Judge and many retired police came out in favor (note that the video turns to Prop 19 at about 5:oo)…

Conservatives come out…

Pretty Girls came out for Prop 19 too ( note that some really good info starts coming out at about 3:50 into the video)…

3,500,000 Californians said YES!, making 46% of the vote, this was so much more than in 1969 only 12% said yes to legalizing.

November: Arizona Becomes the 15th Medical Marijuana state…and… Washington DC becomes a Medical marijuana District in the November election!

November 2010: 30 Facts About Arizona’s New Medical Marijuana Law

Also in November The Border Patrol Arrested Willie Nelson keeping us all a little safer…Here is what Snoop Dogg thinks about that…

December 2010: New Mexico Approves Addition Plants For Growers

And to wind up the year Pat Robinson gives decriminalization his blessing…December 2010: Pat Robinson Favors Marijuana decriminalization

It’s been quite a year for the Cannabis and Marijuana Law Reform Movement…wishing us all a great New Year, keep on pressing on…blessings to you.

Ray Pague


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“My attitude is that if it’s an issue of doctors prescribing medical marijuana… I think that should be appropriate because there really is no difference between that and a doctor prescribing morphine or anything else”.…Raiding clinics “would be a waste of federal funds.” – Candidate Barak Obama, March, 2008

scalesU.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has spoken of a new policy concerning medical marijuana several times in recent weeks. On February 25th, Holder announced to a gathering of DEA agents and to the Chief of the DEA, Michele Leonhart, that what President Obama said during the campaign was now “American policy” – the DEA would no longer raid medical marijuana dispensaries, patients, doctors, clinics and states will be allowed to make their own decisions on medical marijuana.  Then on March 22nd Attorney General Holder reaffirmed he would “not use federal resources to prosecute patients or providers who use marijuana and are within state laws.”

caThe Plight of Charles Lynch
The Charles Lynch case is pivotal in that it is the first trial with national attention to be brought before a federal judge since Attorney General Holder announced “a new American policy.”
Charles was a medical marijuana dispensary owner in Morro Bay, California – sanctioned by both state and local governments, but raided by DEA agents in 2007.  In his federal trial, his lawyers were not allowed to say the words: “medical, medical marijuana, patients, doctors, doctors prescriptions, state sanctioned, local sanctioned or even that California is a medical marijuana state”.  Patients were not allowed speak on Charles Lynch’s behalf if they described their diseases using the words “medical marijuana”.

Headline: Aug 6, 2008 – CA: MorroBay Pot Dispensary Owner Found Guilty of Federal Charges

Last week, ABC’s 20/20 presented a special report by John Stossel examining  Charles Lynch’s story, with commentary from Drew Carey and cancer patient Melissa Etheridge. Here is a rebroadcast posted on Charles Lynch’s You Tube channel:John Stossel with guest Charles C. Lynch

Headline: March 24, 2009 – CA: Shift On Marijuana Policy Delays Sentencing – On March 23 Charles Lynch was scheduled be sentenced by Federal Judge George H. Wu, but uncertainty about the “New American Policy” caused Judge Wu to pospostpone sentencing to allow himself time to ask the Justice Department for a written reply about the new policy.

New Sentencing Date: April 30, 2009

Another documentary featuring the Charles Lynch story aired on CNBC March 15th- Marijuana, Inc, with Al Roker.  A 17 year old with bone cancer, approved by his doctor and father to use medical marijuana, tells how he attempted to testify in support of Charles, but was cut off when he used the words “medical marijuana”, with the Judge saying “such evidence is irrelevant under federal law”.Al Roker Marijuana Inc with Charles C. Lynch

You Can Help!

Friends, we implore you to call the U.S. Attorney Generals office at 202-353-1555 (comment line) 202-514-2001 (office line) and leave a request that  Attorney General Holder encourage Judge Wu to allow all evidence concerning medical marijuana and all character witnesses to speak unrestricted in his courtroom in the Charles Lynch case.  We believe that this is a pivitol case for the “New American Policy”.

Support Charles Lynch at:   www.FriendsOfCCL.com

“Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record.”
– Francis L. Young, DEA’s own Administrative Law Judge, 1988

scalesLast night, Feb 25, 2009, in an auspicious moment twenty-five minutes into a press conference mainly about the Mexico drug wars crisis, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was asked:

Reporter: “Shortly after the inauguration there were raids on California medical marijuana dispensaries…do you expect these to continue?”, noting that the President had promised to end the raids in the campaign.

A.G.Holder: “No…What the President said during the campaign…is consistent with what we will be doing here in law enforcement.  He was my boss in the campaign….He is my boss now.  What he said in the campaign is now American policy.”

nmlThe first to break this story was “Radical Russ”, producer of the National Organization for the  Reform of Marijuana Law’s Daily Audio Stash. Here is his post that includes an audio excerpt of the press conference. http://stash.norml.org/attorney-general-eric-holder-ending-medical-marijuana-raids-now-american-policy/

US Attorney General Eric Holder: Ending Medical Marijuana Raids now US Policy

A previous Cannabis TV post examines the campaign statements that President Barak Obama made about not using federal resources for law enforcement actions against medical marijuana patients and dispensaries in states that have legalized medical Cannabis.

Hopefully, this will also end other tactics that the DEA and federal government have employed to harass and intimidate business owners and landlords that lease to medical marijuana dispensaries and producers (see Previous post: Medical Marijuana – California, 2008 – Summer of Discontent Timeline).

I will be following this developing story and will update this post when video becomes available. Meanwhile, bask in the New Federalism of President Barack Obama – a Taoist President just when we needed one!

hdt“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
-Henry David Thoreau

cannabisDuring the most urgent transfer of power ever to occur in America, President-Elect Barack Obama’s transition team is hearing from countless constituencies for change. The internet was important to his election and Obama’s team’s website – Change.Gov – provided a forum for questions important to the people. Our silent majority is speaking up!  The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is keeping track of a question important to medical Cannabis patients and civil libertarians alike. Paul Armentano provides the details in NORML’s  Blog

nmlPresident-Elect Obama, The People Have Spoken; Will You “Answer” Their Question? – After receiving nearly 100,000 total votes on more than 10,000 public policy issues, the most widely voted on question for Obama is:

Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion-dollar industry right here in the U.S.?

Polls have consistently shown public support for reform of Cannabis laws and empty promises have been made – During his campaign, George Bush said he would leave medical marijuana issues to the states. Barack Obama seems to understand the issue, but recently hedged his position on marijuana law reform. This You Tube video quotes Obama’s views on marijuana law reform and challenges him to bring about real change: Will Obama Keep His Words?

ssdpStudents for Sensible Drug Policy, with chapters in colleges across America, has an Online Petetion on Facebook , with a message to Barack Obama – requesting that his administration and the next “Drug Czar” treat drug abuse as a health issue rather than a criminal issue and will move away from a “War on Drugs” paradigm.  Here is a relevant news article: VA: Edu: Column: Students’ Concerns For Drug Policy

NORML has called on the entire You Tube video community to help send a  message to the new administration – a video contest with $10,000 in prizes!NORML – Pro-Cannabis Law Reform Ad Contest

Headline: Dec 9, 2008CA: Column: Obama Sends Mixed Messages On Marijuana– This article examines the medical marijuana issue, the history of the pot prohibition,. “harm-reduction” policies in Europe and speculates on Barack Obama’s choice for “Drug Czar“.

ohCoincidentally, recent research at Ohio State University has shown again that Cannabinoids and marijuana may slow or prevent Alzheimer’s associated plaque buildup in aging brains, by neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory actions. Here’s a news story and a video that links science and politics:

Headline: Nov 20, 2008 – Puff-A-Day Of Pot May Keep Old Memory Functioning – The Society for Neuroscience hears a researcher explain his study of rats, Cannabinoids and memory.

“Cannabinoid-Deficient people tend to accumulate in government” , says Dr. Robert Melamede, PhD, Professor of Biology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. His “Forward-Looking People” and “Backward-Looking People” theory credits Cannabis and Cannabinoids with actually stimulating creative thinking . I visited him in his office in 2006:Politicians & Cannabinoids – FLP/BLP Theory, Dr.Bob Melamede

george“ Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.”

– President George Washington, 1794

 

caIn the spirit of the Lao Tzu and the I Ching, the Supreme Court of the United States has accomplished much by doing nothing. The court let stand lower court rulings on a case appealed by the City of Garden Grove in Orange County, California, whose police force felt that returning medical marijuana (Cannabis) to a patient would put them in conflict with federal law. 

supctsHeadline: Dec 2, 2008 – Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Case on Seized Marijuana – The appeal supported by numerous law enforcement organizations and District Attorneys, yet opposed by California’s Attorney General Jerry Brown finally makes it to the U.S. Supreme Court, with the interesting lower court ruling stance that the medical marijuana patient enjoyed a “federally protected property right” to his medicine.

The Reefer Report: Medical Marijuana News for December 3, 2008

Headline: Dec 2, 2008 – Oakland Group Hails Supreme Court Action In Medical Pot“It’s now settled that state law enforcement officers cannot arrest medical marijuana patients or seize their medicine simply because they prefer the contrary federal law.” amsaac– Joseph Elford, chief lawyer for Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana patient advocacy organization that has been involved in this case for three years. ASA is providing PDFs of the legal decisions:

Supreme Court Order Denying Review http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Kha_USSC.pdf
 Decision by the California Fourth Appellate District Court http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/GardenGroveDecision.pdf

Chapter 19, from Lao Tzu & the Tao Te Ching
oldboyGet rid of “holiness” and abandon “wisdom” and the people will benefit a hundredfold.
Get rid of “altruism” and abandon “Justice” and the people will return to filial piety and compassion.
Get rid of cleverness and abandon profit, and thieves and gangsters will not exist.
See the origin and keep the non-differentiated state.
Lessen selfishness and decrease desire. –
translated by
Charles Muller

Headline: Dec 02, 2008 – City Must Relinquish Seized Medical Pot – This article from San Francisco notes that a similar case from San Diego County may also be heading to the Supreme Court. This case involves the county’s refusal to comply with the issuance of state medical marijuana patient ID cards. 

Back to southern California for this You Tube video from the office of a lawyer specializing in medical marijuana cases further explains the ramifications of the now closed case:US Supreme Court: Pro Medical Pot Ruling Stands

brandiThe makers of our constitution recognized the significance of man’s spiritual nature, of his intellect . . . They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by most civilized men. – Justice Louis Brandeis

            On Saturday, May 3rd, I traveled to the Capitol grounds of my home state of North Carolina (a “Decrim“, but “No Medical Necessity Defense” state, for those versed in the inequitable hodgepodge of laws regarding Cannabis across the country) to attend our annual Raleigh Marijuana Rally & Music Festival, hosted by the North Carolina Cannabis Association. It was a beautiful day, a pleasant, yet energized gathering of many ages, races and hair styles – all declaring their support for the Cannabis Hemp plant, advocating for change in the laws and enjoying the music and culture associated with this versatile gift from Nature. In Colonial times, North Carolina was famous for the quality of its’ hemp,  so it seems appropriate that we celebrated among statues of our forebearers. Global Marijuana Freedom March 2008 – Raleigh, NC, USA

Under the watchful Assyrian gaze of Hammurabi’s statue high atop the Law & Justice building across the street ( Undoubtedly a Hashish user like his fellows, Hammurabi was responsible for the first written laws – set down on clay tablets. Cannabis Hemp was not prohibited by the Code of Hammurabi.), the different speakers at the rally brought out several important issues that the prohibition of Cannabis has complicated – access to herbal medicine; environmental benefits of hemp; and the enjoyment of personal freedoms guaranteed under the U. S. and NC Constitutions.

The same issues that face us in North Carolina are experienced in cities around the world, as fellow compatriots join the Global Marijuana March, still coordinated by long time activist Dana Beal and Cures-Not-Wars in New York. In a show that aired just before the marches, Dana discusses Cannabis politics in Europe and America; problems with the United Nations Drug Policies and the admission by the U.N. Drug Czar that prohibition does have unintended consequences; harm reduction; reform of the Rockefeller-era drug laws; medical marijuana science and more.Dana Beal on the Marijuana March in New York City

Dana calls on the United Nations to Change Drug War to Drug Peace.” On Saturday, marchers around the world shared the same visions of hope and unity. Here are a few of the marches, beginning with New YorkMarijuana March May 3 2008 NYC UN Tompkins Square Pot Pt.2/7

In Canada, emotions are running high as the new “Conservative” (sic) government is preparing to throw Marc Emory to the DEA/White House wolves to serve time in a U. S. prison for an activity that was legal in Canada. You can help Marc out of this travesty of justice by visiting www.NoExtradition.net. Marc appeared at the Toronto Marijuana March Saturday and cheerfully exhorted everyone to talk to everyone about marijuana and to “Get ’em High!”Marc Emery, Prince of Pot, May 3, 2008 – 1

In Marc’s home town of “Vansterdam” (Vancouver, British Columbia), the people will soon be even more up in arms, as the Canadian federal government is planning to end the licencing of medical marijuana “grows” by individuals, after it works out problems with it’s own program to supply medical grade Cannabis to Canadian patients. Pot-TV, founded by Marc Emory (along with Cannabis Culture magazine) posted this coverage of the Vancouver march.Global Marijuana March Vancouver BC 2008

When in Rome, Italy, do what these people did! Here’s a highly creative video that lets us experience the excitement of this march:Street Parade Roma 2008

Oslo, Norway The Global Cannabis March in Oslo garnered two nights of news coverage and looks like a good time was had by all. Could someone tell me the current status of Cannabis laws in Scandanavia?MarihuanaMarsjen i Oslo 2008

Back in the U. S., several hundred marchers took to the streets of Seattle, Washington– one of the legal medical marijuana states. Certainly on everyone’s mind was the recent death of Tim Garon (See Post Below), who was denied a liver transplant due to his legal prescription for medical Cannabis.Seattle Marijuana March 2008

All over America, everyone is seeking support for legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives:

H.R. 5842 – “The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act“, which would allow possession of 100 grams and money-free transfer of one ounce.

H.R. 5843 – “Act to Remove Federal Penalties for the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults“, which would end DEA “raids” on buyer’s cooperatives and patients in states that have legalized Cannabis for medicine.

In Denver, where citizens have voted to legalize small amounts of Cannabis, medical marijuana patients and other supporters of the herb gathered on the Capitol steps – temporarily.Marijuana Patients Kicked off Capital Steps! Marijuana March

In Philadelphia, the “City of Brotherly Love” and the home of the Liberty Bell, the enthusiastic marchers invoked freedoms cherished by the framers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.PhillyNORML GCM 2008

Headline: May 6, 2008 – US: Reports Find Racial Gap in Drug Arrests This news story verifies what the young African-American man at our North Carolina rally was saying – that, because of his color, he would be more likely to be arrested and jailed than others as we left our festive event. The arbitrary nature of marijuana laws and their enforcement is one good reason to end our modern prohibition of a God-given plant.

Rights come from GOD not the state. You have rights antecedent to any earthly governments, rights that can not be repealed or restrained by human laws – Rights derived from the great
legislator, God.
– John Adams

 

*** Update: April 18.2008 – Rep. Barney Frank has introduced this billH.R. 5843 -“Act to Remove Federal Penalties for Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults“. Please tell your representative to support this legislation! ***

Headline: March 21.2008 – Rep. Frank to File Bill to Legalize Marijuanacaptl.jpgWhen the U.S. House of Representatives reconvenes shortly, Rep. Barney Frank (D) MA, has stated that he will introduce legislation to legalize small amounts of marijuana (Cannabis) on the federal level. Making the announcement on “Real Time”, hosted by Bill Maher (Friday night on HBO), Rep. Frank said that locking people up for smoking marijuana is “pretty silly.”

As Barney Frank is a ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, he knows full well the priorities faced by legislators regarding law and order. Here is a video post from Friday night’s “Real Time“, with Bill Maher and Barney’s bombshell:Rep. Barney Frank – Make Room For The Serious Criminals Bill

Barney Frank has realized for years that most politicians are way behind the American people on the marijuana issue, even ignoring the results of free and open elections in states that have legalized Cannabis for medical purposes.

nml.gifIn this video from a National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws conference in Washington, DC, 2001, Barney Frank questions the logic of “conservatives”, normally respectful of a state’s right to autonomy on the health and welfare of its’ citizens, in defying the will of the people and the Constitution.Rep. Barney Frank (MA): Marijuana, Politics & State’s Rights

Headline: March 23, 2008 – Rep. Frank Defends Proposal to Decriminalize Marijuana – Yesterday in the Boston Herald, Barney Frank  expressed concern about the federal raids on medical marijuana clubs in California, saying “I don’t think smoking marijuana should be a federal case”. Also, he insists that “the federal government shouldn’t have a law on the books that is rarely enforced and which doesn’t make sense to large portions of the public”.

*** Please Educate your Representatives in Congress, especially the House of Representatives, on the tragedy, enormous cost and ineffectiveness of the prohibtion of Cannabis. Tell your friends to tell their friends…to support Rep. Frank’s legislation. Call your elected officials on this – it’s your duty as a citizen.***

Cultural leaders like comedian and social critic Bill Maher, who take a stand on problems that the public seems unable to fix, are providing a service by sharing their stage with political leaders brave enough to challenge taboos. With a personal stake in the issue  (his friend Todd McCormick was in prison for researching medical marijuana production for a book project with Peter McWilliams), Bill Maher (then still hosting “Politically Incorrect”) spoke to a highly receptive NORML convention in San Francisco in 2002 on the tragic comedy of America’s war on marijuana.Bill Maher on Marijuana Legalization, NORML 2002

The inequities in our drug laws and the hypocritical politicians that dream them up have frustrated Americans for decades, especially as we export our convoluted, Neo-Puritan ideas out to the rest of the world – even alienating our neighbors in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. Reforming our drug laws would go far in reforming our image in the eyes of the world and politicians in the eyes of Americans.

jeff2.jpg“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”
-Thomas Jefferson

***Update*** – Nov 5, 2008 – Massachusetts is now the 13th state to decriminalize Cannabis (marijuana) and Michigan is the 13th state to legalize Cannabis as medicine! Read more on a post from NORML.

Headline: March 18.2008 MA: Lawmakers Consider Marijuana Legalization (Actually, the headline should read “Decriminalization” – more on the difference later)

maflag.gifMembers of the Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary are considering change in their state’s law on Cannabis possession, constitutionally bound to address an initiative brought by the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy(CSMP). The legislature has until May 6 to pass the initiative and send it to the governor, draft its own version to place on the ballot, or take no action and allow CSMP to continue the initiative process.

The initiative, House bill No.  4468, is titled “An Act Establishing a Sensible Marijuana Policy for the Commonwealth.”

csmp.jpg“By creating a civil penalty system for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, the initiative will greatly reduce the human and financial costs of current laws.  Massachusetts’ taxpayers spend $29.5 million a year just to arrest and book these offenders.  Even more costly is the creation of a criminal record for the approximately 7,500 offenders arrested every year”, stated Whitney A.  Taylor, campaign manager for CSMP

Predictably, the wailing and gnashing of teeth has begun, as seen in this video of a MA state representative regurgitating the “gateway drug” myth and even suggesting that alcohol could be prohibited again. This video provided by The Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition (MASS CANN):MA State Rep- Martin “Mental Institution” Walsh on Decrim

Ironically, the only way Cannabis (marijuana) can be considered a “gateway drug” is in the context of its’ prohibition. That is, to obtain marijuana, one must contact a dealer in the “black market” – exposing one to the whole gamut of illegal drugs. If it were legal, no such connection need be made. Indeed, in European countries where Cannabis is legal or decriminalized, its’ use among teenagers is lower than in the U.S. Every American teen knows that it’s easier to buy marijuana than beer.

mag.jpgScientifically, it has been shown that physically addictive drugs like tobacco and alcohol actually wire the brain for addiction, especially in the young, thereby setting the stage for more addictions.  Real world data shows that marijuana users tend to not use hard drugs. Unfortunately, drug testing is driving more and more people to narcotics like methamphetamine, cocaine and alcohol, as these drugs pass out of the system quickly – enabling one to keep ones’ job.

A legimate concern for the citizens of Massachusetts is law and order, as some think that prohibition keeps crime down – contrary to logic and experience. leap.jpgOrganized crime; drive-by shootings; corruption of law enforcement and other government institutions; impure, contaminated products; lack of respect for the law – all these societal horrors were experienced during alcohol prohibition and our “drug war” alike.

 Jack Cole, a former undercover narcotics officer and an original signer of the initiative, is a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and will be testifying at the hearing for MA House bill 4468. Dean Becker of the Drug Truth Network interviewed Jack Cole for this video:Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Interview

 If Massachusetts decriminalizes marijuana, it will join twelve states that have done so since 1973. Amazingly, civilization has endured and life goes on in these states.

Meanwhile, north of the boarder in New Hampshire…

 Headline:March 19.2008 – N.H. House OKs Marijuana Billnhempshire.jpgSparked by a backlash against tragic consequences resulting from the Higher Education Act (HEA), New Hampshire’s House of Representatives has voted to decriminalize possession of up to a quarter-ounce of marijuana (Cannabis). Currently, possession is a criminal misdemeanor that can result in up to a year in county jail and/or fines up to $2,000. If  HB 1623 makes it past the state Senate over the opposition of Governor Lynch, citizens of New Hampshire would  face a $200 fine for a 1/4 ounce or less.

“Our representatives in the House did the right thing for New Hampshire and especially for New Hampshire’s young people”, said Matt Simon of the NH Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy.

The New Hampshire Coalition has been working for three years to change state marijuana laws, but an infamous “drug warrior”- Rep. Mark Souder (R)IN, author of overreaching and unfair provisions in the HEA, is getting some of the credit for drawing attention to inequities needing remedy. The fact that a college student can lose access to student loans for a minor drug violation, while perpetrators of much more serious crimes face no such penalty,  is an inequity in dire need of correction and has been opposed byssdp.gif Students For Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) and many other education advocacy organizations.

 SSDP has a Students for Sensible Drug Policy “Channel” on You Tube that features videos educating the public about the HEA provisions, including this one from the viewpoint of Rep. Mark Souder:Mark Souder expresses his love for NORML and SSDP

The Ridley Report on You Tube has several videos folowing this issue in New Hamphire:NH: State House passes marijuana decrim, but…

It is important to remember that alcohol was decriminalized during all of the prohibition of the 1920’s, so decrim’ is certainly not a satisfactory conclusion to Cannabis law reform.  (Decriminalization means that only dealers and manufacturers of a substance face criminal prosecution, whereas users face “only” fines, somtimes quite substantial.)

Many drug warriors will assert that few people go to jail just for small amounts of pot. Although these arrests/prosecutions are wildly arbitrary throughout America,  there is a “de facto” acceptance of decriminalization, even in non-decrim states.  In fact, the large fines Americans shell out for pot “offences” fill county coffers and long probations ensure warm bodies for the prohibition/industrial complex to consume for years to come. 

The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the Prohibition law. albert.jpgFor nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.
Albert Einstein, My First Impression of the U.S.A., 1921