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RainDog

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 27,371

Journal Archives

Washington Post Poll: Is There a War on Religion?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-user-polls/post/is-there-a-war-on-religion-in-america/2012/02/15/gIQAKBEwFR_blog.html

Wayne State Law School Marijuana Policy Symposium





&

Did Congress legalize cannabis in the U.S?

http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2012/02/congress_oks_medical_marijuana_everywhere_with_dc.php

That would be a great way to find a "face-saving" -sort of - strategy out of this current mess. Anyone here have a take on this claim?

If one prominent attorney is right about the legal ramifications of the District of Columbia's marijuana law -- specifically, that it was approved by the U.S. Congress -- then it could be a game-changer nationwide.

D.C.'s medical marijuana law was the first time that the United States Congress had ever given its explicit assent to any state or local law that permits the medicinal use of marijuana -- and, according to a California attorney who specializes in health care compliance, that is enormously significant under the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

​In 2009, noting that it was "allowing" the voters of Washington, D.C., to vote on and implement that city's Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment law, Congress approved medicinal cannabis in the federal District of Columbia, over which it has all governmental power.


That moment is discussed here: http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2009/12/congress_ends_ban_on_medical_marijuana_in_dc.php

"States with medical marijuana programs should now be free from federal interference since Congress has allowed local control," attorney Matthew Pappas at Pappas Law Group, based in Long Beach, California, told Toke of the Town Monday afternoon. "Congress being the legislative branch of the federal sovereign and the only body that can change these laws has now done so by recognizing the voting rights of Washington, D.C., citizens."


via wiki- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Protection_Clause

Equal Protection Clause

The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." The Equal Protection Clause can be seen as an attempt to secure the promise of the United States' professed commitment to the proposition that "all men are created equal" by empowering the judiciary to enforce that principle against the states. The Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause applies only to state governments, but the requirement of equal protection has been read to apply to the federal government as a component of Fifth Amendment due process.

More concretely, the Equal Protection Clause, along with the rest of the Fourteenth Amendment, marked a great shift in American constitutionalism. Before the enactment of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Bill of Rights protected individual rights only from invasion by the federal government. After the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted, the Constitution also protected rights from abridgment by state leaders and governments, even including some rights that arguably were not protected from abridgment by the federal government. In the wake of the Fourteenth Amendment, the states could not, among other things, deprive people of the equal protection of the laws.

Ex-cop at CPAC: Cops Say Legalize. Ask Me Why

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/02/10/ex-cop-marijuana-policy-creates-too-many-crime-victims/

In the midst of the students and conservative stalwarts in business attire at CPAC, Howard Wooldridge stands out like a sore thumb — but not because of his cowboy hat and big belt buckle. It’s his T-shirt, which loudly proclaims “COPS SAY LEGALIZE POT ASK ME WHY.” And people do, one and two at a time, in the convention hall and the hotel lobby at the Marriott Wardman Park, and he’s always happy to oblige (even when in the middle of an interview).

“In short,” he says to one student, “the cops can either arrest Willy, or the pedophile who’s stalking your 14-year-old sister.” A self-identified conservative libertarian, Wooldridge hones his pitch from there, talking about devolving marijuana policy to the states or the budget cuts that have caused layoffs in police departments or the relative dangers of alcohol by comparison or even marijuana’s medicinal properties. But, even though he says only a “slight majority” of attendees at CPAC agree with him on legalization — “it was more like 70-30 when Ron Paul was big here” — he says “you gotta go where people disagree.”

Wooldridge, a former Lansing, Michigan police officer who helped found Citizens Opposing Prohibition after stints at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and NORML, didn’t start off his law enforcement career opposed to marijuana prohibition — but it only took about three months for him to get there. “It took the first three months because I saw quickly that alcohol-related was generated by the use of alcohol,” including drunk driving, bar fights and domestic violence. “The marijuana represented a violation of law, but not a public safety problem.”

...Wooldridge noted that it isn’t only crime victims who get ripped off: taxpayers do, too. “We made about $13 billion chasing the green plant,” he said, referring the federal funds distributed to law enforcement to help with drug interdiction. “Police departments are losing officers all the time” because of budget cuts, and forfeiture laws create “a perverse incentive to go after the marijuana dealer” as well.


I wonder how he's being received there.

The state of marijuana reform, state by state

http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2012/feb/09/marijuana_law_reform_statehouse

State legislatures have convened or are convening all around the country, and once again this year, marijuana decriminalization or legalization are hot topics at the statehouse. Legalization bills are pending in three states (as well as on the ballot as initiatives in Washington and almost certainly Colorado), decriminalization bills are alive in nine states, and bills that would improve existing decriminalization laws have been filed in two states.

And this is still early in the legislative season. Bills can still be introduced in many states, and bills that have already been introduced can advance or be killed. By around the beginning of May, a clearer picture should emerge, but 2012 is already looking to be even more active than last year when it comes to decriminalization and legalization bills.

"We're seeing more bills introduced, and they're having stronger and more sponsors," said Karen O'Keefe, state policy director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "We're also seeing more and more public support for decriminalization and legalization. We're approaching critical mass as more and more people see marijuana prohibition as a failed public policy, and in legislatures because of fiscal constraints and changing public sentiment."

...Getting a marijuana bill through a state legislature is a frustrating, time-consuming process, and there is a chance that none of these bills will pass this year. But there is also a chance some will, and some will pass eventually, if not this year, next year, or the year after.


A state-by-state guide at the link.

A heartfelt thanks post

for the sweet hearts here - and thanks for donating to PP!






Michelle Alexander on the War on Drugs and the Politics Behind It

Israeli researchers say more doctors should recommend marijuana to cancer patients

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israeli-researchers-say-more-doctors-should-recommend-marijuana-to-cancer-patients-1.409918

Most cancer patients currently being treated with medical marijuana are advised of the option only in the advanced stages of the illness, according to researchers.

More than two-thirds of cancer patients who were prescribed medical marijuana to combat pain are reportedly satisfied with the treatment, according to a comprehensive study conducted for the first time in Israel.

The study - conducted recently at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, in conjunction with the Israel Cancer Association - involved 264 cancer patients who were treated with medical marijuana for a full year.

Researchers found that an average of 325 days passed between the time that patients were diagnosed with cancer and the time that they submitted permit requests to grow or possess medical marijuana. About 81 percent of those requests cited pain resulting from the illness. Some 8 percent of patients requested medical marijuana to combat nausea, while another 8 percent complained of weakness.

The study shows that 39 percent of respondents were initially advised of the treatment by friends, other patients or the media, rather than by their doctors. According to the study, "The treatment should be offered to patients by trained medical teams because we are dealing with an effective treatment."


The evidence continues to grow from all around the world that indicates marijuana should be legal and available to people NO MATTER where they live as part of pain treatment.

How much more evidence does the DEA need before it moves to correct its mistaken classification of marijuana as a substance with no medical value? How many more years? It's past time for this agency to stop its war on Americans with medical issues who may benefit from cannabis.

In God We Must: Why won’t the U.S. accept its atheists?

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/ft/2012/02/atheism_in_america_why_won_t_the_u_s_accept_its_atheists_.single.html

....David Silverman, president of American Atheists...: “We challenge the whole concept that you can’t be good without God. We challenge the idea that religion is important in the first place, and that really makes them uncomfortable.”

...Psychotherapist Marlene Winell, who practises in Berkeley, California, specialises in “recovery from harmful religion” and advocates religious trauma syndrome as a psychological diagnosis. “There are so many places in the US that are just saturated with religion. Everything is interwoven – their families, their schools, their business – so that if you were not part of the club, part of the group, you get ostracised and people go through really horrible experiences of not belonging any more.” If that sounds like the experience of leaving a cult, perhaps that’s because, as Winell argues, “in its raw form, fundamentalist Christianity that believes that the Bible is the word of God is basically a giant cult.”

...A now famous University of Minnesota study concluded that Americans ranked atheists lower than Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society”. Nearly 48 per cent said they “would disapprove if my child wanted to marry a member of this group” (many more than the next most unpopular category, Muslims, at 33.5 per cent). No wonder atheist groups talk of modelling their campaigns on the civil rights, gay and women’s liberation movements. It is not that they claim their persecution is on the same level but that they suggest the way forward requires a combination of organising and consciousness-raising. “We want people to realise that some of their best friends are atheists, some of their doctors, and lawyers and fire chiefs and all the rest of them are atheists,” says Dennett.

...There’s another reason why atheists might be better off out than in. Researching his PhD, the sociologist Chris Garneau of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that, although people who self-identify as atheists are more likely to experience stigma than other seculars, such as agnostics and humanists, those who are out are significantly less likely to report psychological distress than those who struggle to keep their dissent silent.

52% of Rhode Island Voters Support Legalizing and Regulating Marijuana Like Alcohol

http://justsaynow.firedoglake.com/2012/02/03/52-of-rhode-island-voters-support-legalizing-and-regulating-marijuana-like-alcohol/

In addition, the poll found an impressive 65 percent of the state would support dropping the penalty for marijuana possession down to just a modest civil fine. That is even a greater level of support than the 62.8 percent yes vote by which voters in Massachusetts, RI’s neighbor to the north, approved ballot initiative Question 2 that decriminalized marijuana possession in 2008. From MPP:

Of those polled, an overwhelming 65% supported decreasing the penalties for simple possession of less than an ounce of marijuana by removing the possibility of jail time and making the offense a civil citation. Such a change received support from across the political spectrum, with 73% of Democrats, 64% of Republicans, and 60% of independents in favor of the measure. Two bills, H 7092 and S 2253, have been introduced in the Rhode Island House and Senate to remove the threat of arrest and jail for personal possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

A majority of Rhode Islanders would like to go beyond the reforms proposed by H 7092 and S 2253. Of those polled, 52% would like to see all penalties for personal possession and use of marijuana removed and marijuana treated in a manner similar to alcohol, where it would be taxed, regulated, and sold in state-licensed stores to adults over the age of 21. This idea also received bipartisan support and was backed by 55% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans. Legislation to establish such a system will likely be introduced in Rhode Island this year.


As a country we are quickly approaching a critical cultural and political tipping point on this issue.
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