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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 27,410
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This issue of whether or not the Drug Enforcement Agency acted inappropriately when it denied a petition to move marijuana from schedule I will go before the U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit. The court has agreed to hear the case brought by Americans for Safe Access against the Drug Enforcement Agency. From ASA:
Late last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit agreed to hear oral arguments in Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration, a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medical value. Ten years after the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC) filed its petition, the courts will finally review the scientific evidence regarding the therapeutic value of marijuana. The D.C. Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on October 16th at 9:30am.
Posted by RainDog | Mon Jul 30, 2012, 07:29 PM (13 replies)
Slavery By Another Name (the 1900s)
This is a long overlooked part of American history. After the assassination of Lincoln, Andrew Johnson's concern was to make sure white solidarity between North and South was reasserted - and Johnson, from Tennessee, cared little to nothing for the circumstances of those who had been held in slavery. Johnson opposed the freaking 14th amendment (states rights and all that.)
Radical Republicans of the Reconstruction Era wanted to thoroughly destroy the power structure that had made up the south before the Civil War. I agree. Ex-confederates should've never been allowed back into the Federal govt. They should've been executed as traitors, as the abolitionists wanted.
The sad irony, of course, is that it took another president by the name of Johnson to pass a civil rights act to undo what racists had undone over nearly a hundred years. He said Democrats had lost the south for a generation with his act. How repulsive that his prediction was correct.
Posted by RainDog | Sun Jul 22, 2012, 04:42 PM (8 replies)
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)
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