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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 27,034
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The Washington D.C. city council just voted to decriminalize according to MPP.
Posted by RainDog | Tue Mar 4, 2014, 03:13 PM (7 replies)
...and members of the BLO (Barbie Liberation Front!)
Posted by RainDog | Mon Mar 3, 2014, 09:08 PM (3 replies)
The National Black Caucus of State Legs. represents more than 650 legislators from 45 states.
Members of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators recently resolved at their Annual Legislative Conference in favor of decriminalizing marijuana.
“Whereas state and local governments could potentially stand to save billions of dollars that they currently spend regulating marijuana use by decriminalizing the recreational use of marijuana, therefore be it resolved that the National Black Caucus of State Legislators recognizes the decision of the Administration to not challenge the choice made by citizens of these states, and urges the continued respect of state law, and encourages other states to consider decriminalization,” the Caucus resolved.
It added, “ NBCSL supports the states’ authority to make a determination as to what age, at or above 18, qualifies as a “legal adult” who may purchase, possess, or consume marijuana … urges the federal government to reduce the penalties associated with the use and simple possession of marijuana.”
The 2014 resolution is LJE-14-40: Supporting States’ Rights to Decriminalize Marijuana Use.
Posted by RainDog | Sun Mar 2, 2014, 07:58 AM (0 replies)
Their proposal is a lot like CO's.
Alaska voters will decide this summer whether America's Last Frontier will become the third U.S. state to legalize the sale and recreational use of marijuana for adults under a proposal that officially qualified on Wednesday for a statewide ballot.
Alaska Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell formally certified that a petition campaign for the measure had gathered more than 36,000 valid signatures from registered voters, nearly 6,000 more than legally required to qualify.
The marijuana initiative, and a separate measure to raise the state's minimum wage by $2 an hour to $9.75 by January 2016, will be placed on the state's primary election ballot on August 17.
Passage of the marijuana initiative would permit adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana for private personal use and to grow as many as six cannabis plants for their own consumption.
Posted by RainDog | Fri Feb 28, 2014, 06:34 PM (0 replies)
Published on: Thu, Feb 20 2014 by Philip M. Gattone, President & CEO, Epilepsy Foundation, and Warren Lammert, Chair, Epilepsy Foundation Board of Directors, with Commentary from Orrin Devinsky, M.D., Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Director, NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center Member of Epilepsy Foundation National Board of Directors
As parents and as advocates, we feel an urgency to respond and take action on an issue that has been brought to the Epilepsy Foundation from individuals we serve across the country-- the use of marijuana to treat epilepsy. We write this with advice and support from Nathan Fountain, Chairman of our Professional Advisory Board, and with advice and support from a range of other leading epilepsy professionals and board members.
2.3 million Americans live with epilepsy, a neurological condition that includes recurring seizures. More than 1 million of them live with uncontrolled seizures. Some of these people may be helped by surgery or other non-drug treatments, but for many, no answers have been found yet. People with uncontrolled seizures live with the continual risk of serious injuries and loss of life.
The Epilepsy Foundation supports the rights of patients and families living with seizures and epilepsy to access physician directed care, including medical marijuana. Nothing should stand in the way of patients gaining access to potentially life-saving treatment. If a patient and their healthcare professionals feel that the potential benefits of medical marijuana for uncontrolled epilepsy outweigh the risks, then families need to have that legal option now -- not in five years or ten years. For people living with severe uncontrolled epilepsy, time is not on their side. This is a very important, difficult, and personal decision that should be made by a patient and family working with their healthcare team.
The Epilepsy Foundation calls for an end to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) restrictions that limit clinical trials and research into medical marijuana for epilepsy. We applaud recent decisions that have allowed clinical trials of Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, to begin in several states. Certain components of medical marijuana, including CBD, have shown effectiveness in animal studies, and there have been encouraging anecdotal reports from patients. But further research and unbiased clinical trials are needed to establish whether and in what forms medical marijuana is or is not effective and safe. Restrictions on the use of medical marijuana continue to stand in the way of this research.
Posted by RainDog | Mon Feb 24, 2014, 02:32 PM (1 replies)
Kleiman, the author of the article further down this page, was an advisor for Washington State's marijuana laws and is a professor of Public Policy at UCLA.
Mark Kleiman continues to insist that I am “talking through hat” on the subject of rescheduling marijuana, but the reason he gives for saying so has changed. At first he claimed I had exaggerated the impact of rescheduling, which was weird, since the post he was criticizing said nothing about the impact of rescheduling, focusing instead on the question of whether the Obama administration has the authority to reclassify marijuana without new legislation from Congress. As Kleiman conceded, the answer to that question is yes, although President Obama suggested otherwise in a CNN interview. In any case, Kleiman was clearly wrong to say that the “practical effect” of moving marijuana out of Schedule I would be “identically zero”—or, as he put it on Twitter, that “rescheduling does nothing.” He has since retreated from that position without acknowledging that he has ceded any ground. Now he says rescheduling marijuana would be “mostly pointless” and/or that its effects would be “ mostly symbolic.” These clams are more defensible, although advocates of rescheduling might nevertheless take issue with them (especially the first one).
...Which brings us to the letter that Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and 17 other members of Congress sent the president last week. Blumenauer et al. argue that marijuana does not meet the criteria for Schedule I and urge Obama to “instruct Attorney General Holder to delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way, at the very least eliminating it from Schedule I or II.” Kleiman says these legislators do not understand the law either, but it is not clear why he says that. “It’s not as simple as someone saying, ‘Gee, I’d like to reschedule cannabis this morning,’” Kleiman writes, since the CSA lays out a process to follow, including consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services. That is true, but I do not see where Blumenauer et al. claim otherwise. Although rescheduling would not happen instantly, even beginning the process could help advance the debate about marijuana prohibition by calling attention to the questionable distinctions drawn by our drug laws.
Kleiman emphasizes that the attorney general’s rescheduling power is “not arbitrary.” That’s true in the sense that his power is constrained by the statute in certain ways. For example, the CSA’s reference to treaty obligations seems to preclude removing marijuana from the schedules entirely. But as Alex Kreit notes, the CSA gives the attorney general (and therefore the DEA) a great deal of discretion in interpreting and applying the scheduling criteria, since it leaves key terms such as “potential for abuse” and “accepted medical use” undefined. The DEA has bent over backward to justify keeping marijuana on Schedule I, and nothing in the statute requires it to do that.
The current impasse is because of an entrenched bureaucracy that has views akin to creationists in its denial of reality. To wit:
The DEA says marijuana meets the second criterion—no currently accepted medical use—not because the drug is ineffective at treating symptoms such as nausea, pain, and muscle spasms (in fact, the Obama administration concedes the medical utility of cannabinoids) but because such uses have not gained wide enough acceptance within the medical community. Given the subjectivity of that judgment, it amounts to saying that marijuana has no accepted medical use because the DEA deems medical use of marijuana unaccceptable. The agency likewise does not accept that marijuana can be used safely, although it obviously can, as Obama conceded when he observed that alcohol is more dangerous.
The DEA clearly is bending over backward to keep marijuana on Schedule I, and nothing in the CSA requires it to do that. It could easily apply the CSA's criteria in a way that would make marijuana less restricted, and the decision not to do so is ultimately Obama's. He is the one who appointed the current DEA administrator, a hardline holdover from the Bush administration who is so committed to prohibitionist orthodoxy that she recoils in horror at the thought of a hemp flag flying over the Capitol and could not restrain herself from openly criticizing Obama, notionally her boss, for his scientifically uncontroversial statement about the relative hazards of marijuana and alcohol. He is the one who, despite his avowed commitment to sound science and his own statements to the contrary, allows the DEA to insist marijuana is so dangerous that it must be more tightly restricted than cocaine, morphine, oxycodone, and methamphetamine.
"It's very unfortunate that President Obama appears to want to pass the buck to Congress when it comes to marijuana laws," says Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. "If the president truly believes what he says about marijuana, he has a moral imperative to make the law match up with his views and the views of the majority of the American people without delay. He should initiate the long overdue rescheduling of marijuana today."
Yet there is another way rescheduling could be accomplished - by directing the DEA to an interpretation of policy that implements rescheduling of marijuana to, ideally (if it's going to be scheduled at all) to Schedule V, or the least dangerous of substances within the Controlled Substances Act.
Alex Kreit, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego who studies drug policy, notes that the CSA leaves undefined phrases on which scheduling hinges. The DEA therefore "has enjoyed incredibly broad discretion to interpret and define 'potential for abuse' and other scheduling criteria," Kreit writes on the Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform blog. Just as it could adopt a less demanding definition of "accepted medical use," the DEA could take a narrower view of "abuse," which it equates with any nonmedical use. By that standard, marijuana, by far the most popular illegal drug, does indeed have a high potential for abuse. But that judgment seems peculiar if abuse is defined as problematic use, in which case potential for abuse might be measured by the percentage of users who become addicted or suffer serious harm.
In truth, as Lester Grinspoon observes, marijuana does not fit any of the schedules very well. It is not the sort of medicine the FDA is used to approving. But it clearly can be used safely, as Obama conceded when he noted that it is less dangerous than alcohol. Back in 1988, when he urged the DEA to reschedule marijuana, Administrative Law Judge Francis Young called it "one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man." And while marijuana surely can be abused (what can't?), its potential for abuse seems lower than that of many pharmaceuticals, not to mention alcohol and tobacco, which the CSA specifically excludes from its schedules.
In light of these inconsistencies, could the DEA take marijuana off of the CSA's schedules altogether? Probably not. "I think it is very unlikely that the attorney general could remove marijuana from the schedules entirely," Kreit says. Although the CSA gives the attorney general the power to "remove a drug or other substance entirely from the schedules," it also says that "if control is required by United States obligations under international treaties, conventions, or protocols in effect on October 27, 1970, the Attorney General shall issue an order controlling such drug under the schedule he deems most appropriate."
This article notes Republicans are attacking Obama and Holder for "schizophrenic" actions related to marijuana, including Obama's claim that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, and Holder's statement that states can work out their laws without federal interference as long as certain points of the law (export, association with illegal drug organizations, zoning laws, etc. are enforced.)
As a matter of law, Section 873 of the Controlled Substances Act orders the attorney general to "cooperate with local, State, tribal and Federal agencies concerning traffic in controlled substances and in suppressing the abuse of controlled substances." Most states have drug laws that track federal prohibitions. But the voters in Washington state and Colorado chose regulation over prohibition as a means of dealing with cannabis abuse; if the state regulatory systems succeed, there will be less drug abuse than if they fail.
A straightforward reading of the law would therefore seem to require the attorney general to cooperate with those state efforts rather than trying to disrupt them, if in his judgment doing so promotes the purposes of the law in controlling drug trafficking and drug abuse. It is Holder's critics who seem to be selective about which laws they want to pay attention to.
As a matter of fact, federal drug law enforcement is a relatively small part of the national drug enforcement effort; about 80 percent of the 500,000 drug offenders behind bars in the U.S. are in state prisons and local jails. The Drug Enforcement Administration has fewer than 5,000 agents worldwide; Colorado and Washington state between them have more than 22,000 state and local police.
The Justice Department could easily have shut down the licensed growers and sellers in Washington and Colorado, but it would simply not have had the capacity to control strictly illegal production in those states without the help of state and local police. Letting the reasonably regulated Colorado and Washington systems operate while going after participants in California's virtually unregulated "medical marijuana" business creates the right incentives for state officials and industry participants; if you don't want federal attention, keep things under control.
Posted by RainDog | Mon Feb 24, 2014, 12:31 PM (3 replies)
This is a fun read with comments from the writer about the show.
"Cohle describes the possibility of other dimensions existing, and he says that’s what eternity is," Pizzolatto continued. "He says that if somehow you existed outside of time, you’d be able to see the whole of our dimension as one superstructure with matter superimposed at every position it had ever occupied. He says that the nature of the universe is your consciousness, and it just keeps cycling along the same point in that superstructure: when you die, you’re reborn into yourself again, and you just keep living the same life over and over. He also explains that from a higher mathematical vantage point, our dimension would seem less dimensional. It would look flattened, almost."
Pizzolatto took a bite of his branzino. "Now, think about all the things Cohle is talking about," he said as he finished chewing. "Is he a man railing against an uncaring god? Or is he a character in a TV show railing against his audience? Aren't we the creatures of that higher dimension? The creatures who can see the totality of his world? After all, we get to see all eight episodes of his life. On a flat screen. And we can watch him live that same life over and over again, the exact same way."
The thought was dizzying. Sure, True Detective is a page-turning crime yarn. But at least according to its creator, it's also a meta-page-turning crime yarn—a story about storytelling. Pizzolatto had transformed m-theory into a metaphor for television—and television, perhaps, into a metaphor for existence itself.
Underneath it all—the spooky imagery and quantum physics—that's the simple but serious claim Pizzolatto seems to be making: that everything is a story. "This doesn’t work if it’s not a tale well told," he explained near the end of our interview. "But if you want to keep going, that’s, like, the fourth layer of understanding. You don’t have to. Nobody needs to think about that. But I’m not just using the genre while saying “Haha, we’re better than genre.” Not at all. I love the genre. But a genre doesn’t ever have to be limited by what’s been done before."
Posted by RainDog | Mon Feb 17, 2014, 08:25 PM (0 replies)
The Farm Bill included a provision for state-controlled hemp production for 10 states.
This link is a GREAT read about the way politics and patronage and power impact the legislative decisions of this nation.
Apropos to nothing...Kentucky got a big damn project financed (the Olmsted Dam) as part of the deal brokered by Republicans when they were threatening to shut down the govt. - and when their partial shut down took $24 billion out of the U.S. economy, and reduced projected fourth-quarter GDP growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent.
McConnell is facing a challenge from both the Democrats and the teabaggers.
When President Obama signed the Farm Bill in Michigan on Friday afternoon, the "McConnell Hemp Provision" became the first Congressional action to roll back the prohibition on marijuana since World War II. That's right. Mitch McConnell might have accidentally taken the first step toward ending the Drug War.
How did Sen. McConnell become eponymous with language that permits pilot plots of the plant that until 2:45 eastern time on Friday were considered by the federal government to be indistinguishable from marijuana, a drug that remains classified by the Obama administration as Schedule I? It has left more than a few people scratching their heads.
The vacuum of democratic leadership on this issue (with the exception of Yarmuth) is what led to the opening that allowed McConnell to seize upon a popular issue that democrats had not claimed as their own. But the question remains for a national audience trying to make sense of Kentucky politics from the outside: If hemp is so popular, why are Kentucky democrats so afraid of it?
Hemp's original sin was to be born to a parent of the wrong party because James Comer, Kentucky's agricultural commissioner, is a republican. Last year, Comer shepherded a hemp bill through the Kentucky legislature by overcoming every obstacle thrown at him by the speaker of the general assembly, the governor, and the attorney general -- all democrats.
The McConnell Hemp Provision added to the existing bill included hemp growing for James Comer's Kentucky (and the other ten states) agricultural depts.
The magazine contacted the DEA to find out if farmers are going to be allowed to sell hemp they grow. The DEA referred the magazine to the DOJ.
Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, so, as far as growing it, or selling it, it's not going to be useful as an intoxicant. HOWEVER, it has been included in the drug schedule since it was created by Nixon in order to avoid any legal cannabis plant, no matter the use.
So, does Congress or the AG's office have to deschedule hemp in order to allow the law to be implemented?
Posted by RainDog | Thu Feb 13, 2014, 10:16 PM (2 replies)