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Number of posts: 27,070
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Posted by RainDog | Tue May 8, 2012, 08:06 PM (3 replies)
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a landmark decision today in which California state courts found that its medical marijuana law was not preempted by federal law. The state appellate court decision from November 28, 2007, ruled that “it is not the job of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws.”
The case, involving Felix Kha, a medical marijuana patient from Garden Grove, was the result of a wrongful seizure of medical marijuana by local police in June 2005. Medical marijuana advocates hailed today’s decision as a huge victory in clarifying law enforcement’s obligation to uphold state law. Advocates assert that better adherence to state medical marijuana laws by local police will result in fewer needless arrests and seizures. In turn, this will allow for better implementation of medical marijuana laws not only in California, but in all states that have adopted such laws.
“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,” said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the medical marijuana advocacy organization that represented the defendant Felix Kha in a case that the City of Garden Grove appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. “Perhaps, in the future local government will think twice about expending significant time and resources to defy a law that is overwhelmingly supported by the people of our state.”
“The source of local law enforcement’s resistance to upholding state law is an outdated, harmful federal policy with regard to medical marijuana,” said ASA spokesperson Kris Hermes. “This should send a message to the federal government that it’s time to establish a compassionate policy more consistent with the 13 states that have adopted medical marijuana laws.”
Posted by RainDog | Tue May 8, 2012, 08:04 PM (28 replies)
In its official party platform, the Colorado Democratic Party endorses the legalization of marijuana. In March, 56 percent of the Denver County Republican Assembly voted to support legal and regulated pot, a question which will be on the November ballot. And the state's Department of Revenue has announced it is seeking reclassification of marijuana to allow doctors to prescribe it as medical treatment.
Colorado's Dept. of Rev. joins the 42 members of the Washington State legislature who asked the Obama administration to reschedule cannabis in January of this year. With their announcement, they stated:
...it is clear that the long-standing classification of medical use of cannabis in the United States as an illegal Schedule I substance is fundamentally flawed and should be changed," the lawmakers wrote. "The federal government could quickly solve the issue if it were to reclassify cannabis for medical use from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug so that it can be prescribed, which we believe the petition provides substantiated peer-reviewed scientific evidence to support.
"The solution lies ultimately with the federal government," the letter reads. "We urge the DEA to initiate rulemaking proceedings to reclassify medical cannabis as a Schedule II drug so qualifying patients that follow state law may obtain the medication they need through the traditional and safe method of physician prescribing and pharmacy dispensing."
back to the original article link -
"I can see no legitimate basis in this judicial district to focus the resources of the United States government on the medical marijuana dispensaries that are otherwise compliant with Colorado law or local regulation," Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett told Walsh in a recent letter. "The people of Boulder County do not need Washington, D.C., or the federal government dictating how far dispensaries should be from schools, or other fine points of local land use law.”
The push against the Colorado businesses and the patients they serve is just the latest in the Obama administration's bizarre action against a plant that was at one point a cultural flash point, but which now religious leader Pat Robertson says should be legal.
The timing is also curious given the upcoming November election. Colorado's nine electoral college votes are up for grabs, and Obama's path to reelection gets very steep without the state in his corner. The legalization amendment on the ballot in November could drive otherwise complacent voters to the polls, but they may not end up backing Obama. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is not ashamed to tout his support of pot legalization, threatening to syphon protest votes that otherwise would have gone to Obama.
READ THIS ARTICLE. It's full of good information. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/08/medical-marijuana_n_1498694.html
Public Policy Polling indicated Coloradans OVERWHELMINGLY favor legal medical marijuana.
Coloradans are even more strongly in favor of legalizing marijuana, and they overwhelmingly believe it at least should be available for medical purposes. 49% think marijuana use should generally be legal, and 40% illegal. But explicitly for medical use, that rises to a 68-25 spread. Just five years ago, a referendum to legalize simple possession by people over 21 failed by 20 points. On the medical question, Democratic support rises from 64% for general use to 78%; Republicans rise from 30% to 50%, and independents from 54% to 75%.
Obama is carrying out actions to please the reactionary right wing in this nation, not Democrats and not Independents. He did not tell the truth that his office has the capacity to request the DoJ deal with rescheduling. Instead, he pretended that only Congress can address this issue, when Congress left it to the DEA to schedule substances, not Congress.
Come on, Obama - you're on the wrong side of history and the voters who actually vote for you.
Posted by RainDog | Tue May 8, 2012, 07:24 PM (20 replies)
Total population of the U.S. (July 2011) - 311,591,917
States (and DC) with medical marijuana laws and their population numbers
California - pop. 37,691,912
Connecticut (just passed!) 3,580,709
District of Columbia- pop. 617,996
New Hampshire (pending Senate vote) 1,318,194
New Jersey- pop. 8,821,155
New Mexico 2,082,224
Oregon- pop. 3,871,859
Rhode Island 1,051,302
Washington State- pop. 6,830,038
States with legislation pending to legalize medical marijuana:
State with pending legislation that amends current law but doesn't legalize
States whose medical marijuana bills failed in 2012
(these bills failed, for the most part, because they did not move out of committee and thus died at the end of legislative deadlines)
Posted by RainDog | Sat May 5, 2012, 06:01 PM (0 replies)
Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy: There are no good reasons to legalize marijuana.
You know, honestly, I wonder how this man can say this with a straight face, knowing current drug policy is among the MOST RACIST law in this land. It makes me want to vomit.
Or how he can say this knowing that economists think he's full of shit.
Or how he can say this knowing current laws have killed people who could benefit from marijuana as a secondary medicine for patients taking HIV drugs and undergoing chemotherapy.
Or how he can compare drugs with side effects like DEATH and physiological addiction when marijuana has NO LETHAL DOSE in its natural form and, if it is physically addicting, the consequences of withdrawal are less severe than coffee and last for a couple of days. His analogy is bullshit.
Or how he can say this knowing the history of alcohol prohibition.
Or how he can say this knowing that usage studies indicate legalization reduces use among teenagers.
(and if you want links to all this info, you can find them in the Drug Policy forum)
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via Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/02/drug-czar-there-are-no-good-reasons-to-legalize-marijuana/
Posted by RainDog | Thu May 3, 2012, 05:11 AM (10 replies)
The San Francisco Democratic Party issued a resolution this week calling on President Barack Obama and his administration to end their crackdown on medical marijuana facilities.
The resolution, signed by 21 members of the party’s Central Committee (DCCC), calls on Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag to “cease all Federal actions in San Francisco immediately, respect State and local laws, and stop the closure of City-permitted medical cannabis facilities.”
“The U. S. Attorneys in California are not targeting individuals and organizations that are operating outside of the law, but instead are aggressively persecuting a peaceful and regulated community, wasting Federal resources in using a series of threatening tactics to shut down regulated access to medical cannabis across the state of California,” the resolution says.
(pdf here: http://americansforsafeaccess.org/downloads/DCCC_Resolution.pdf)
“With a highly contentious bid for the White House, Obama should think twice about being out of step with his party and the 80 percent of Americans who support safe and legal access to medical marijuana,” she said.
At least 5 permitted San Francisco dispensaries have been forced to close in the last few months as a result of the Obama administration's heightened attack in California. The operators and landlords of these and several more dispensaries were threatened with federal criminal prosecution and asset forfeiture in an effort to shut down access points for the city's tens of thousands of qualified patients. San Francisco has been especially hard hit since October, when California's four U.S. Attorneys escalated an already vigorous federal campaign against medical marijuana.
Posted by RainDog | Wed May 2, 2012, 03:35 AM (0 replies)
Some people here have argued that the executive branch can do nothing to decriminalize medical marijuana - that this issue is solely dealt with by Congress.
I have begged to differ in the past - and explained how the process of decriminalization by the executive branch could work here:
How the DEA, the Attn General or Congress Could Reschedule Cannabis
Attn Gen. Holder reiterated this truth at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Attorney General Eric Holder was a guest of The Huffington Post at the correspondents’ dinner. Before it began, a HuffPost reporter noted to Holder that Obama’s reference to “congressional law” was misleading because the executive branch could simply remove marijuana from its “schedule one” designation, thereby recognizing its medical use.
In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Obama provided a factually wrong answer that radically distorted the nature of federal law in an attempt to deflect criticism for the federal crackdown on medical marijuana. Obama claimed he “can’t nullify Congressional law” when it comes to medical marijuana, even though the Controlled Substance Act actually gives the Executive branch the authority to “reschedule” (reclassify) marijuana without Congressional action. By simply moving marijuana to a lower schedule the Obama administration could make medical marijuana legal under federal law. Obama would not need to nullify this Congressional law, because Congress already gave him the authority to change marijuana’s legal status.
So, just to be clear - Obama chose to do the wrong thing in regard to medical marijuana. Admitting this does not mean I'm not going to vote for him - but it's important to recognize that Obama is playing politics with people with life-threatening illnesses because some Republicans would attack him for doing the right thing, and doing the right thing would upset some powerful people within bureaucracies like the DEA, within the pharmaceutical industry, and within the prison industry.
I'm sorry that Obama chose to do the wrong thing on this issue. He's not the first, of course. Clinton was on the wrong side of history on this issue too. Throughout history many otherwise laudable politicians have been on the wrong side of various issues.
But let it be clearly understood: Obama is on the wrong side of this issue based upon the scientific and medical research and based upon the will of the American people. The only reason for someone to side against science and the wishes of the majority of the American people is special interests.
Eight in 10 Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical use.
16 States have passed medical marijuana laws. 16 more states have medical marijuana laws pending.
It's not good to be the last man standing on the wrong side of an issue, as someone recently noted in relation to other social issues.
Posted by RainDog | Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:29 PM (49 replies)
An unarmed black teenager was shot to death in Florida recently. You probably read about it or caught the controversy on the tube. A lot of people are saying that the kid deserved it, that he attacked the fellow with the gun, that he was a thug, that he’d been suspended from school, that he wasn’t so innocent as people think. Others are saying the gunman is racist, that he’s a self-appointed vigilante, that he had no business trailing the kid, that he’s kind of a nutcase.
If we can manufacture a good guy, we can exalt him. If we can manufacture a bad guy, we can degrade him. If we can’t decide, we can argue and call each other names. But more than anything complicated, the dialectic is always about deciding who is the bigger asshole, in this case, dead kid or his shooter.
Folks slathering that silly shit on the cake weren’t there when the show was struggling to survive, and now, four years later, they’re busy hacking the thing into pop-culture nuggets — which would be cool if anywhere in there an actual idea got discussed or argued or considered. That’s my view anyway, and I let fly.
This ever-expanding drug war and what it’s doing to our society? Boring. The declining American commitment to public education and equality of opportunity? Why talk about that when we can measure Namond against Dookie in the West Baltimore bracket? The notion that an America that uses quarterly profits as its only metric is no longer a utilitarian experiment, that free market capitalism, disconnected from a social compact, has made our country coarse and unjust? Jesus, man, you’re sucking the air out of the room.
Posted by RainDog | Wed Apr 25, 2012, 07:53 PM (2 replies)
the deal is not yet done, however.
Today, the Republican-dominated New Hampshire House passed legislation that would make New Hampshire the 17th medical marijuana state.
The vote was a crushing 236-96, which is a veto-proof majority. And we actually needed to get a veto-proof majority, because Gov. John Lynch (D) has promised to veto our bill, just as he did in 2009.
A few weeks ago, the state Senate voted 13-11 to pass our bill, so MPP’s New Hampshire team is working furiously to get up to 16 votes in the Senate, which would be a veto-proof majority in that chamber.
Seems more and more people in the U.S. are moving toward the end of prohibition.
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Posted by RainDog | Wed Apr 25, 2012, 06:42 PM (16 replies)
Posted by RainDog | Fri Apr 20, 2012, 02:13 AM (0 replies)