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The link, below, has a letter option you can use to contact your representative to indicate support for HR 6134.
A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers has reintroduced legislation that aims to protect state-authorized medical marijuana patients and their providers from federal prosecution.
...Seventeen states -- Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington -- have enacted laws protecting medical marijuana patients and their providers from state prosecution. Yet in all of these states, patients and providers still face the risk of federal sanction -- even if their activities are fully compliant with state law.
Passage of the Truth in Trials Act would codify legal protections for defendants caught between state and federal laws, ensuring that they can cite state law as a legal defense in federal trials.
HR 6134 is now before the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Posted by RainDog | Thu Jul 19, 2012, 11:05 PM (1 replies)
The U.S. has more people in prison for nonviolent crime (generally drug related) than any other nation in the world. You can help change this appalling statistic with your vote.
The following world political and business leaders (including Jimmy Carter), medical and law enforcement professionals as well as humanitarians have endorsed legal marijuana via an end to the drug war.
Studies here and in The Netherlands found no link to teen drug abuse and legal or decriminalized regulated marijuana
A working paper published Monday (PDF) claims that, despite the insistence of numerous U.S. officials, legalizing medical marijuana had no distinguishable effect on teen drug abuse rates in the surrounding communities.
Drawing upon data from 13 states from 1993 – 2009, professors from Montana State University, the University of Oregon and the University of Colorado Denver found that medical marijuana actually had a negative impact on the consumption of cocaine, the use of which declined 1.9 percent in areas that had legalized medical marijuana. It had no statistically significant impact on teen marijuana use.
Cost Savings (for the drug war, in general): $41.3 billion per year in government expenditure on enforcement of prohibition. Of these savings, $25.7 billion would accrue to state and local governments, while $15.6 billion would accrue to the federal government.
Joe Klein, via Time Magazine, had this to say (also in the link, above): The U.S. is, by far, the most "criminal" country in the world, with 5% of the world's population and 25% of its prisoners. We spend $68 billion per year on corrections, and one-third of those being corrected are serving time for nonviolent drug crimes. We spend about $150 billion on policing and courts, and 47.5% of all drug arrests are marijuana-related. That is an awful lot of money, most of it nonfederal, that could be spent on better schools or infrastructure — or simply returned to the public.
A 2011 Senate subcommittee report found that the drug war has failed - unless you're a private military contractor.
The McCaskill report indicates that U.S. taxpayers have shelled out over $3 billion for work and equipment related to the drug war in Latin America from 2005-2009, and most of that money went to private contractors.
McCaskill launched the inquiry after looking into counternarcotics efforts underway in Afghanistan. However, neither the Department of Defense nor the State Dept. were able to provide adequate documentation on their contracts and in many cases could not even identify firms that were given millions in tax dollars.
Five major defense contractors received the bulk of drug war contract spending: Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, DynCorp, ARINC and ITT. Out of all the firms, DynCorp benefitted most, winning $1.1 billion.
Prof. and lawyer Arnold Trebach, on the DEA rescheduling hearings of 1988 with Judge Francis Young, noted marijuana is the most extensively analyzed psychotropic substance in the history of mankind - and that DEA committee recommended removing marijuana from the "illegal" schedule I designation.
Nixon's self-selected head of an investigative committee recommended complete decriminalization more than 30 years ago - and yet no federal level official, to this day, will take the advice of those who have studied this issue more than anyone else in this nation.
From the final comments:
The Commission feels that the criminalization of possession of marihuana for personal is socially self-defeating as a means of achieving this objective. We have attempted to balance individual freedom on one hand and the obligation of the state to consider the wider social good on the other. We believe our recommended scheme will permit society to exercise its control and influence in ways most useful and efficient, meanwhile reserving to the individual American his sense of privacy, his sense of individuality, and, within the context of ail interacting and interdependent society, his options to select his own life style, values, goals and opportunities.
The Commission sincerely hopes that the tone of cautious restraint sounded in this Report will be perpetuated in the debate which will follow it. For those who feel we have not proceeded far enough, we are reminded of Thomas Jefferson's advice to George Washington that "Delay is preferable to error." For those who argue we have gone too far, we note Roscoe Pound's statement, "The law must be stable, but it must not stand still."
We have carefully analyzed the interrelationship between marihuana the drug, marihuana use as a behavior, and marihuana as a social problem. Recognizing the extensive degree of misinformation about marihuana as a drug, we have tried to demythologize it. Viewing the use of marihuana in its wider social context, we have tried to desymbolize it.
Considering the range of social concerns in contemporary America, marihuana does not, in our considered judgment, rank very high. We would deemphasize marihuana as a problem. The existing social and legal policy is out of proportion to the individual and social harm engendered by the use of the drug. To replace it, we have attempted to design a suitable social policy, which we believe is fair, cautious and attuned to the social realities of our time.
This recommendation, of course, was ignored. It is up to the American people to bring our national laws into the realm of reality by creating change at the state level. Special interests (i.e. military contractors, federal bureaucracies) are what keeps marijuana illegal.
Posted by RainDog | Sun Jul 15, 2012, 10:17 PM (1 replies)
At the beginning of the 21st Century, America seems poised to make a serious change in our State and National policies surrounding the use and distribution marijuana. For the first time, a majority of the American public supports not just the decriminalization of marijuana or the medical use of marijuana, but full legalization, including new regulations to allow state governments to tax marijuana sales.
Yet, like in many other areas of the law, the federal government remains behind the times in matching the changes state governments have implemented. So far, seven states have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, and sixteen more, as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized
marijuana for medicinal purposes.Some of these laws have been crafted and passed by state legislatures, but most have been enacted through popular referenda.Popular referenda are allowed in 23 states and currently appear to provide the most successful method of achieving marijuana reform at the state level.
...The CSA is the principal legal means by which the federal government continues to enforce prohibition, but it does not explain why the federal government has the power to wage the war on drugs. It should be remembered that prior to the 1930‟s, the federal government required a Constitutional Amendment to implement a national prohibition of an intoxicating product. At the core of the federal government‟s current power in this sphere lie the legal doctrines of preemption and federal supremacy. To determine why the federal government has the right to interfere with any state‟s administration of its own medical marijuana laws and to prohibit marijuana at the national level, we must look to three specific provisions of the Constitution: the Commerce Clause, the Supremacy Clause, and the Necessary and Proper Clause.
These three clauses, when interpreted together, have provided the federal government with the power to implement many of the most important pieces of federal legislation since the end of the 1930‟s, such as the “New Deal” under President Roosevelt, as well as early progressive laws such as the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.As far as marijuana reform is concerned, however, this expansive federal power has provided the federal government a justification, and the power, to enforce national prohibition...
Posted by RainDog | Sun Jul 15, 2012, 01:17 PM (2 replies)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reiterated her support for medical marijuana on Wednesday and indicated Democrats might be interested in taking changes to federal law after the election.
“I’ve been very clear on the subject of medical marijuana over time, in committee and on the floor as leader,” Pelosi said told Raw Story at a round table of bloggers.
“I think that it would be really important to do that,” Pelosi said. “It would be hard for anyone to agree with the fact that someone who has HIV/AIDS or has cancer and they find relief from pain in medicinal marijuana that should be something that should be a priority to raid on the part of the Justice Department. Going along with that, we need to address some of the penalties for any non-violent crime that are out there.”
...Her fellow congressmen from California, Rep. Sam Farr (D), said to Raw Story, “Medical marijuana is one of those issues where if you get enough states, where when you get enough, then you get it. California had already started that process because of cost concerns. That didn’t cause any scandals or upheavals.”
I think the issue has already hit the tipping point with 16 states and D.C. - and because of the decades long support for legalization of mmj in the U.S.
Posted by RainDog | Wed Jul 11, 2012, 04:16 PM (16 replies)
I doubt any book means more to a single professional sect than Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 means to American political journalists. It’s been read and reread by practically every living reporter in this country, and just as you’re likely to find a dog-eared paperback copy of Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop somewhere in every foreign correspondent’s backpack, you can still spot the familiar red (it was red back then) cover of Fear and Loathing ’72 poking out of the duffel bags of the reporters sent to follow the likes of Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Barack Obama on the journalistic Siberia known as the Campaign Trail.
Decades after it was written, in fact, Fear and Loathing ’72 is still considered a kind of bible of political reporting. It’s given birth to a whole generation of clichés and literary memes, with many campaign reporters (including, unfortunately, me) finding themselves consciously or unconsciously making villainous Nixons, or Quislingian Muskies, or Christlike McGoverns out of each new quadrennial batch of presidential pretenders.
Even the process itself has evolved to keep pace with the narrative expectations for the campaign story we all have now because of Hunter and Fear and Loathing. The scenes in this book where Hunter shoots zingers at beered-up McGovern staffers at places like “a party on the roof of the Doral” might have just been stylized asides in the book, but on the real Campaign Trail they’ve become formalized parts of the messaging process, where both reporters and candidates constantly use these Thompsonian backdrops as vehicles to move their respective products.
...Some of this seems trite and clichéd now, but at the time, telling the world about all of these behind-the-scenes rituals was groundbreaking stuff. That this is a great piece of documentary journalism about how American politics works is beyond question—for as long as people are interested in the topic, this will be one of the first places people look to find out what our electoral process looks like and smells like and sounds like, off-camera. Thompson caught countless nuances of that particular race that probably eluded the rest of the established reporters. It shines through in the book that he was not merely interested in the 1972 campaign but obsessed by it, and he followed the minutiae of it with an addict’s tenacity.
from the new introduction to this groundbreaking book...
Posted by RainDog | Sat Jun 30, 2012, 02:11 AM (4 replies)
Leonhart is such a corrupt shit she can't even answer simple questions. what a worthless ass.
Posted by RainDog | Fri Jun 22, 2012, 11:43 AM (2 replies)
Texas: Democratic Party Endorses Marijuana Decriminalization
The Texas Democrats now join the growing list of state political parties throwing their support behind marijuana law reform. Earlier this year, the Colorado Democratic Party added marijuana legalization as a plank to their party’s platform and announced support for their state’s legalization ballot initiative, Amendment 64. 56% of Denver Country Republican Assembly also voted in favor of supporting this initiative. The state democratic party in Washington endorsed their legalization initiative, I-502, in late 2011
Iowa: Democrats Add Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp to Party Platform
At their state convention on June 16th, the Iowa Democrats adopted their 2012 platform. Two of the policies endorsed within were medical cannabis use and the industrial cultivation of hemp. You can view the full 2012 Iowa Democratic Party platform (at the link below)
Also worth noting, on June 2nd, the Washington State Democratic Party built upon their earlier endorsement of their state’s legalization initiative, I-502, by adding support for full marijuana legalization and medical cannabis as planks in their party platform. You can view the 2012 Washington State Democratic Party Platform (via the link below.) Recent data from Public Policy Polling has shown the majority Washington State voters support I-502.
North Carolina: Democratic Party Passes Resolutions in Support of Medical Marijuana and Industrial Hemp
Hot on the heels of the Texas Democratic Party’s endorsement of marijuana decriminalization, the North Carolina Democratic Party endorsed two resolutions in support of marijuana law reform of their own. On Saturday, June 16th, the party held their state convention in Raleigh, NC. During this meeting they passed two reform minded resolutions, one calling for the legalization of medical marijuana and one for the industrial cultivation of hemp. The official text of the resolutions are as follows:
Posted by RainDog | Wed Jun 20, 2012, 11:31 PM (3 replies)
I personally think that the differences of opinion are good, that doesn't mean that a side wins out because more men support women who support fashion, high heels and personal appearance as a source of power.
This statement entirely misses the point - it's not about fashion, high heels and personal appearance as power. Surely you don't think this issue comes down to something so trivial?
The issue, as I mentioned (and never mentioned the above) is about censorship, for the most part. It's also about who gets to define female sexuality and (censorship again) how it is expressed.
A lot of people really do take the issue of censorship seriously as the sort of thing that is not encouraged in and of itself because women's voices and experiences were censored for so long - and also because of the reality of "unintended consequences" of being pro-censorship for one part of speech, thinking that only one part will be impacted by this.
That's rarely the case.
Women long participated in condemning other women for behaving outside the sexual norm of marriage and family. Were this women "feminist" for telling women they could not express their sexuality outside of a patriarchal institution? Such censorship served those women who were aligned with patriarchal institutions - not the general liberation of consciousness of females.
James Joyce's Ulysses contained one of the most "radical" feminine voices in literature of its time (the 1920s.) Molly Bloom was the creation of a male writer - but he "knew" Molly as a human. - Molly Bloom was a woman who spoke openly about sex in a positive way - she had lovers other than her husband - she was sometimes crude - and she was not a villain - this was a rare sort of female character. She was not punished for her sexuality. She empowered women - even though the character was written by a man (based upon his wife.)
The book's publication in the U.S. was a first amendment case. Ulysses is considered by many to be the greatest work of modern literature - yet it could not be published in the U.S. for nearly a decade because it included a masturbation subplot, and Molly's soliloquy (which is, also, considered a great affirmation of life and womanhood.) It also contained criticisms of Catholicism - but the issue that led to its banning was obscenity.
Although the anti-porn issue is too often framed in opposition to "sex positive" (another term coined by a feminist) - the "sex positive" term also encompasses another line of thought. I don't know if you've ever read Shulamith Firestone, but her cultural critique of society came to the conclusion that women's biological existence - their capacity to get pregnant and the resultant child rearing - was the "problem" and the "solution" was to relegate these functions to the lab and the state.
Many women rejected this as a rejection of women - rather than the structures of society - why should women have to give up their biological processes in order to overcome bias in society?
Patriarchy is a cultural invention, not a biological one, according to most people - and, just as with racism, many people may share a cultural paradigm because institutions have created it - but that doesn't mean it is impossible to overcome this ideology. We see this in fits and starts - forward movement and backlash - and we see that racism, sexism and homophobia often come wrapped up in the same patriarchal worldview - which is, fwiw, generally religious in its origin.
Religion, too, is cultural - it's not necessary to believe in one sort of concept of god - but monotheisms, for instance, are powerful around the world - yet even they can be altered to involve more inclusiveness and acceptance of science and a quiet admittance (among some) that their beliefs are wholly grounded in sexism. But some people - some women, do reject religion because so much of it is cultural backwash anti-feminism disguised as god - that doesn't mean they think it's good to censor religion - but does mean they think it's good to fight against those religions that consistently work to oppress women - which is every single monotheism.
So, who gets to decide who is feminist? If you are married and have children - can you be a feminist? Most people think this is possible - yet study after study shows that marriage causes females and males to resort of traditional gender roles more than any other factor. This relationship, rather than porn, is FAR, FAR more likely to be the cause of female economic inequality.
Linda Hirschman argues, in Get To Work, that upper and middle class women who have the option to stay home with their children hurt themselves and feminism to take this privilege. Is the problem that someone stays at home, or that child rearing is not acknowledged as a job - or that work itself is structured to favor traditional male gender roles as "provider" at the expense of male parental involvement and female participation in the workforce within a field for which she has been trained?
Hirschman is pragmatic - she says that individuals cannot alter the economic environment that is, itself, patriarchal - but individuals can make choices that, collectively, demand change or, at the least, do not economically hurt the women who make them. But that still leaves out poor women. Interestingly, longitudinal studies do indicate that lower-class marriages are more egalitarian - even if the rhetoric isn't there to support this view - because economics force men and women to share workloads. So, is money itself, or the pursuit of it, patriarchal in nature - is success and power, as a women, a means of sustaining the system that oppresses women? Or do women have to work individually and collectively - is power something that has to be acknowledged - and power differentials something that women who have it have to acknowledge and collectively work to share power with those with less in order to alter the system from within? If we acknowledge how change happens - it happens when power is shared - across gender or race or orientation - and those within those groups add their voices to shaping institutions, it seems to me. But that still leaves hard questions.
Can you be a feminist if you believe in and participate in a monotheistic religion? Most people think this is possible - yet religion, rather than porn, informs childhood perceptions of females as "lesser" or "morally corrupt," far, far more than porn - most children aren't exposed to porn, but exposure to such toxic views of females within religion is inescapable in American culture. Monotheisms, however, murdered the female sacred. Which is more harmful to a culture - a belief in god that excludes women or the existence of porn? I know which one I think has broader cultural influence - and I think it's possible to argue that such religion promotes the pornification of women by teaching children that women are the "weaker sex" and that childbirth involves pain as a punishment. So, where should women's efforts be focused? On porn or on religion?
fwiw - back to Firestone... she and another woman, Ellen Willis, founded a feminist group in the late 1960s. Firestone split and formed New York Radical Feminists. Willis was one of the first, or really, the first women to write rock criticism in major mainstream and underground venues (which was anthologized last year) - she broke that barrier - she also spoke out strongly against the "anti-porn" feminist faction and coined the term "sex-positive feminism" and wrote about this issue. So, in those two women you have a microcosm of the terms "radical feminist, anti-porn feminist and sex-positive feminist." The origin of these terms begins in 1969, among "second wave feminists."
On Our Backs was a lesbian feminist porn magazine founded in the early 1980s in response to the anti-porn movement. I don't think those women were touting the male gaze as a path to power. They WERE saying... we, as lesbians, can define our sexuality, including a "gaze" that looks to one another, not just one way.
To claim that sex positive means high heels is just too reductive.
I'm not here to say this OP is anything other than bullshit. But I am also not going to buy into the view that one version of feminism defines all feminists.
Posted by RainDog | Sun Jun 17, 2012, 01:02 PM (2 replies)
in the late 1980s and early 1990s - and one primary voice was Rebecca Walker, the daughter of Alice Walker. Rebecca's godmother is Gloria Steinem. Rebecca Walker was a contributing editor to Ms Magazine.
Just to say - the mra may have picked up on it, I don't know - but the initial discussions came from feminists, not men. Men did not frame the issue - women did. Men did not object to certain aspects of second wave feminism that are contained within the critiques by third wave feminists - those came from women.
In Rebecca Walker's case - a lot of her thinking about this issue was very personal - but that wasn't always the case with women at the time when some sought to move feminism in other directions. Rebecca Walker does not hate feminists and is not an enabler of those who hate feminists. Neither are others who define themselves as third wave feminists or who agree with their positions on issues. To claim this is the case is simply wrong, a-historical and propaganda.
Third wave feminism does not hold the same view of pornography as second-wave thought - and women who were initially part of second wave feminism are included in this group that does not view all pornography as violence - though some definitely is. One of my professors was a second wave feminist who stridently objected to the MacKinnon/Dworkin led anti-porn feminist movement. She gave public talks about the topic and provided critiques of the anti-porn movement from the position of free speech. At the same time, she didn't want the issue to become something that would pit feminist against feminist - but the objections were there among prominent feminist scholars in the late 1980s and 1990s. The ACLU also spoke against the WAP objectives.
The objections were there in the early 1980s - a famous conference at Barnard excluded the anti-porn group - who, in turn, picketed the conference. So, again, anyone who tries to make a claim about women who do not support the anti-porn movement and claim they are not feminists is ignorant about the history of feminism in many ways.
No doubt right wingers pick up on topics that create discussion and sometimes division - but that does not mean those people framed the issue or began it.
Unless Ms Magazine is really supportive of the MRA and has been super sneaky all this time - but I doubt that.
This sort of reductionism - to pretend women were not the ones defining positions - is sexist itself - and it is factually incorrect.
Posted by RainDog | Sun Jun 17, 2012, 02:51 AM (3 replies)
Yesterday the New York State Assembly approved AB 7347, a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in the state for certified patients with serious illnesses. The bill passed the chamber by a vote of 90-50 and it will now head to the Senate.
Medical marijuana is expected to have a tougher time getting approval in the more conservative New York State Senate which is currently controlled by Republicans. While Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo has so far neither endorsed nor promised to veto the bill, his recent public statements about medical marijuana have been lukewarm at best.
Recent polling does show that the voters of New York overwhelmingly want the Senate to follow the Assembly’s lead on this issue, they want Cuomo to sign a medical marijuana bill if it gets to his desk. 61 percent of New York Voters support legalizing marijuana for medical use, just 33 percent oppose the reform.
Posted by RainDog | Thu Jun 14, 2012, 02:51 PM (0 replies)