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Marijuana

US AZ: Column: Smashing The Stigma

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:00
Tucson Weekly, 13 Nov 2014 - At Cathy's Compassion Center, a cancer survivor helps others with their struggle For medical marijuana dispensary owner Cathy Mead, opening up Cathy's Compassion Center in December 2012 wasn't just a business decision.
Categories: Marijuana

US NM: Column: Pot Can Be Legal, But It's Still Not Cool

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:00
Albuquerque Journal, 13 Nov 2014 - Legalization Is Not About What State Condones but Rather What's Allowed This past week, D.C. advanced America's 21st-century war on its 20th-century war on drugs. Now that marijuana is somewhat legal, the city's African-American residents are less likely to be disproportionately arrested for a victimless crime.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Legalized It

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:00
North Coast Journal, 13 Nov 2014 - Head north from Humboldt County and, after about two hours, you're now pretty much able to spark up all the way to the North Pole. Voters chose on Nov. 4 to legalize marijuana in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, joining Colorado and Washington in the inevitable swing toward decriminalization.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: How Are Pot Tax Revenues Being Used?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:00
Westword, 13 Nov 2014 - Dear Stoner: How are recreational marijuana tax revenues being distributed within the state? Is this information made available to the public? I think if people see that the tax revenues are being used to help schools, fix the terrible roads and help the homeless, opinions may be changed. Money Bags of Weed
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US CA: Column: Narco Culture Faces A Tired Society

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 08:00
Los Angeles Times, 13 Nov 2014 - Will outrage over Mexico's missing students extend to the drug trade's portrayal in music and art? Call it the Mexican Spring. Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Mexico City in recent days to demand answers from the government about the disappearance of 43 student-activists in the southern city of Iguala.
Categories: Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 23:03

It's been a quiet week on the medical marijuana front, perhaps a post-election lull. But there is news from California, Colorado, and Rhode Island. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]California

On Tuesday, activists complained that California veterans were being denied pain medications over their medical marijuana use. California NORML reported that it is being contacted by veterans who are being told by their VA doctors that they must choose between their prescription pain medications and medical marijuana. The group reports "a spate of complaints" from Long Beach and Loma Linda after scheduling changes for some prescription drugs recently took effect. Those changes entail stricter reporting requirements for doctors, and that, among other factors, seems to have spurred the tightening up. Click on the title link for more details and a plan for action from Canorml and Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access.

Colorado

On Tuesday, Colorado reported another $30 million month in medical marijuana sales. September sales were at $31.6 million, down slightly from August's $33.4 million. The all-time high was in February, when medical marijuana sales totaled $36 million. Recreational sales are also running about $30 million a month.

Rhode Island

On Wednesday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit over medical marijuana employment discrimination. The ACLU of Rhode Island has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a URI graduate student who was denied summer employment this year at a fabrics company because of her status as a registered medical marijuana user. The suit is on behalf of Christine Callaghan, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design who is studying textiles and working towards a masters' degree in that field at URI. She has participated in the medical marijuana program for almost two years to deal with frequent, debilitating migraine headaches. She lost a pain internship offer with Darlington Fabrics after disclosing her medical condition and medical marijuana patient status. The lawsuit argues that failure to hire because of a potential employee's patient status is discriminatory under the state's Civil Rights Act.

[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: AR Marijuana Init, Nadelmann TED Talk, Colombia MedMJ, Dutch Grower Crackdown, More (11/12/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 20:56

An Arkansas legalization initiative moves forward, Massachusetts' new GOP governor-elect will oppose legalization, Ethan Nadelmann gives a sizzling TED Talk, Colombia moves toward approving medical marijuana, the Dutch move resolutely backward, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Arkansas Attorney General Approves Legalization Initiative. A marijuana and hemp legalization constitutional amendment initiative sponsored by Arkansas CALM (Citizens' Alliance for the Legalization of Marijuana) has won ballot title approval by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. The Secretary of State's office must still approve the Arkansas Hemp & Marijuana Amendment's petition wording instructions. The amendment would legalize the cultivation, production, distribution, sale, purchase, possession and use of the cannabis plant, prohibiting sale to anyone under the age of 21. It would let people to grow up to 36 plants.

For First Time, Colorado Monthly Recreational Pot Sales Don't Increase. Recreational marijuana sales totaled $31.6 million in September, down from $34.1 million in August, the first time month-over-month sales have not increased. It's not clear why this is, but some observers point to the time of year -- in between the state's summer tourism high season and its winter tourism high season.

Massachusetts' New Republican Governor Will Oppose Legalization. Incoming Republican Governor-elect Charlie Baker has pledged to "vigorously oppose" marijuana legalization in the Bay State. "I'm going to oppose that and I'm going to oppose that vigorously... with a lot of help from a lot of other people in the addiction community," he said in an interview. Massachusetts has already approved medical marijuana and pot decriminalization through the initiative process, and seven elections worth of successful nonbinding public policy questions suggest that Baker is out of touch with his constituents on the issue.

Michigan Appeals Court to Hear Challenge to Grand Rapids Decriminalization Ordinance. The appeals court will hear arguments Friday from Kent County prosecutor Bill Forsyth challenging the voter-approved 2012 decriminalization ordinance in Grand Rapids. He will argue that voters there cannot trump the state's marijuana law. Forsythe lost in district court, with the judge in the case ruling that the city's ordinance didn't make marijuana legal, but merely adapted a policy about how police should deal with it.

Wichita Decriminalization Initiative Qualifies for April Ballot. The Southcentral Kansas Peace and Justice Center reports that a municipal initiative to make marijuana and pot paraphernalia possession a citable offense with a $50 fine has qualified for the April ballot. An earlier effort was derailed by disallowed signatures, but activists this time concentrated on gathering signatures from people leaving the polls on election day -- and it worked.

Medical Marijuana

ACLU Files Rhode Island Lawsuit Over Medical Marijuana Discrimination. The ACLU of Rhode Island has filed a lawsuit today on behalf of a URI graduate student who was denied summer employment this year at a fabrics company because of her status as a registered medical marijuana user. The suit is on behalf of Christine Callaghan, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design who is studying textiles and working towards a masters' degree in that field at URI. She has participated in the medical marijuana program for almost two years to deal with frequent, debilitating migraine headaches. She lost a paying internship offer with Darlington Fabrics after disclosing her medical condition and medical marijuana patient status. The lawsuit argues that failure to hire because of a potential employee's patient status is discriminatory under the state's Civil Rights Act.

Drug Policy

Ethan Nadelmann TED Talk on Why We Need to End the War on Drugs. Drug Policy Alliance executive director Ethan Nadelmann has given a fiery and visionary TED talk in Rio de Janiero analyzing US drug policy and how society can more effectively and humanely deal with drugs. "The reason some drugs are legal and others are not has nothing to do with science or health or the risk of drugs, and everything to do with who uses, and is perceived to use, certain drugs," he said in the talk. "If the principal smokers of cocaine were affluent older white men and the principal users of Viagra were young black men, using Viagra would land you time behind bars." The speech was made last month, but was just made available today. Click on the TED talk link to hear the whole thing.

International

Colombia Senate Panel Approves Medical Marijuana Bill. The Senate's First Commission Tuesday approved a medical marijuana bill on a 13-2 vote. The bill authored by Sen. Juan Manuel Galan would allow the use of marijuana by people suffering from terminal illness or chronic painful conditions, including cancer and AIDS. It was amended during debate to clarify that marijuana-containing medications could not be imported into the country. The bill has the support of Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria.

Dutch Crack Down on Illegal Marijuana Grows, Suppliers. Anyone involved in the illegal production of marijuana is subject to up to three years in prison under a proposal from Justice Minister Opstelten that has been approved by the Senate. The new measure will go into effect on March 1. Under this new law, not only growers, but also grow shops, landlords, electricians who install illegal grow equipment, financiers, and anyone else involved in the illegal grows can be punished. Where the country's famous cannabis coffee shops are supposed to get their product will now be even more of a mystery.

Categories: Marijuana

US FL: Editorial: Medical Marijuana Debate Is Not Over

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 08:00
The Star-Banner, 12 Nov 2014 - Amendment 2, Florida's -proposed medical -marijuana measure, failed on Election Day because too many voters felt it had too many loopholes. Critics overcame the proposal's widespread, even at times overwhelming, support by honing in on three little words: "or other conditions."
Categories: Marijuana

US MI: Column: PCP, GHB, Ketamine, Slavery, and the Laws That

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 08:00
Metro Times, 12 Nov 2014 - We interviewed Jude Angelini, aka "Rude Jude," for our Face Time column in this issue. One thing that struck us about Angelini was his honesty about drugs. People who use drugs are often not publicly honest about it. They bullshit, they make excuses, they carry shame, or they talk about being "clean" - which insinuates that when they did drugs, they were dirty.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Grown Up High

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 08:00
SF Weekly, 12 Nov 2014 - GROWN UP HIGH Questioning the wisdom of a billionaire is faulty logic in this town, where a successful entrepreneur's word is gold. But though he can start airlines and sell records, and he (or his money) might beat Elon Musk to space, Richard Branson has bad advice on drugs.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: Prominent Local Activist Retires, and Governor

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 08:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 12 Nov 2014 - Good night and good luck Audrey Hatfield began her rise at the beginning of the medical marijuana boom in September 2010. Then as now, Hatfield battled epilepsy and other medical conditions, and found them alleviated by marijuana use. This led her to create Coloradans 4 Cannabis Patient Rights, with the modest ambition of creating a website and updating it a few times a week.
Categories: Marijuana

US AK: Memo: Memo: University of Alaska Unlikely to Allow Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 12 Nov 2014 - FAIRBANKS-Marijuana may be headed toward legalization in Alaska, but don't expect it to be welcome on the state's university campuses. The University of Alaska indicated on Tuesday that it expects to maintain a restrictive policy toward pot, stating in a memo to students and employees that campus regulations and codes of conduct related to marijuana "are not likely to change."
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: No More Portland Pot Cases, Senior Drug Testing Racket, Vets' MedMj Problems, More (11/11/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 21:56

The fallout from last week's legalization votes begins, California veterans are reporting medical marijuana problems with the VA, doctors are billing Medicare for largely needless senior drug testing, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

No More Pot Prosecutions in Portland. That didn't take long. Less than a week after Oregon voters approved the Measure 91 legalization initiative, prosecutors in Multnomah County (Portland) announced Monday that they will dismiss all pending violation-level marijuana possession cases and won't bother to prosecute any future ones. "Because it is clear that a significant majority of voters in Multnomah County support the legalization of marijuana in certain amounts, this office will dismiss the pending charges related to conduct which will otherwise become legal July 1, 2015," said a statement from Multnomah County DA Rode Underhill. "Any remaining charges not impacted by Ballot Measure 91 will be prosecuted." Prosecutors in other Oregon counties are still figuring out how to respond.

Alaska Legislator Getting to Work on Legal Marijuana Draft Regulations. That didn't take long, either. Less than a week after Alaska voters approved the Measure 2 legalization initiative, Rep. Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage) said Monday he plans to file legislation in January that would restrict pot shops within a certain distance of schools and public parks, limit advertising, and bar people with felonies from working in the industry. Lynn said he expects his proposals to attract plenty of discussion among lawmakers.

Opposition Coalition Forms in Vermont. A coalition to oppose marijuana legalization in the Green Mountain State has announced itself. SMART VT calls itself a "grassroots coalition" of "concerned Vermonters" and is now calling on Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) to not take up legalization this legislative session. Too late, though: A public hearing on legalization is set for Wednesday. Click the last link for hearing details.

Medical Marijuana

US Veterans Denied Pain Medications Over Medical Marijuana Use. California NORML is reporting that it is being contacted by veterans who are being told by their VA doctors that they must choose between their prescription pain medications and medical marijuana. The group reports "a spate of complaints" from Long Beach and Loma Linda after scheduling changes for some prescription drugs recently took effect. Those changes entail stricter reporting requirements for doctors, and that, among other factors, seems to have spurred the tightening up. Click on the title link for more details and a plan for action from CANORML and Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. Happy Veterans Day!

Drug Testing

Pain Docs Getting Rich Doing Useless Drug Tests on Seniors, Taxpayers Pick Up the Tab. In an expensive side-effect of the "war" on pain pill addiction, pain specialists are now ordering costly testing of seniors for recreational drug use, and Medicare is stuck footing the bill. The doctors are also responding to a Medicare crackdown on abusive billing for simple urine drug screens by moving to high-tech testing methods for which billing is not limited. Now, doctors are testing for a number of different drugs -- including illegal ones rarely used by seniors, such as cocaine, ecstasy, and PCP -- and raking in the tax dollars. Medicare spending on drug testing has increased an incredible 1,423% since 2007 to $445 million in 2012. That included $14 million for testing seniors for PCP, for which one lab director with 25 years in the business told The Wall Street Journal she had never seen a positive test result in people over 65. The comprehensive article is worth the read; click on the link to get it.

International

Montreal Gets First Medical Marijuana Clinic. Montreal's first medical marijuana clinic is opening today. Sante Cannabis does not sell medical marijuana, but its doctors and staff guide patients on how to use marijuana, proper strains to use, and determine whether to smoke, vape, or use edibles. The city has had dispensaries or "compassion centers" for years, but Sante Cannabis is the first medical marijuana business to have doctors on staff.

British Lib Dem Leader, Former Colombian President Team Up to Fight for Drug Reform. Liberal Democratic party leader and British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos have agreed to work together to help forge an alliance between European and Latin American countries aiming to reform global drug prohibition. They are taking aim at the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs set for 2016.

Categories: Marijuana

US: Study Looks At Pot Use And Brain Size

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 11 Nov 2014 - Experimental mice have been telling us this for years, but pot-smoking humans didn't want to believe it could happen to them: Compared with a person who never smoked marijuana, someone who uses marijuana regularly has, on average, less gray matter in his or her orbital frontal cortex, a region that is a key node in the brain's reward, motivation, decision-making and addictive-behaviors network.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Suit Could Shine Light On Asset-seizure Practices

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 08:00
Washington Post, 11 Nov 2014 - Drivers Say Troopers in Iowa Violated Their Rights by Taking Cash The two men in the rented red Nissan Altima were poker players traveling through Iowa on their way to Las Vegas. The police were state troopers on the hunt for criminals, contraband and cash.
Categories: Marijuana

US NY: Concerns in Criminal Justice System As City Eases

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 08:00
New York Times, 11 Nov 2014 - Mayor Bill de Blasio, who took office promising to reform the Police Department and repair relations with black and Latino communities, on Monday unveiled his plan to change the way the police enforce the law on marijuana possession. Arrests for low-level marijuana possession have had an especially harsh impact on minority communities, and under the change announced on Monday, people found with small amounts of marijuana will typically be given a ticket and cited for a violation instead of being arrested and charged with a crime.
Categories: Marijuana

US AK: Alaska Lawmaker to Introduce Bill Limiting Legal

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 11 Nov 2014 - ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage state legislator plans to introduce the first bill to restrict legal marijuana sales. Republican Rep. Bob Lynn announced Monday he will introduce the draft legislation when the Legislature begins its next session in January.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Historic UK Drug Debate Looms, NYPD Ending Marijuana Possession Arrests, More (11/10/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 22:52

Look out! Here comes the next wave of marijuana legalization efforts. Also, NYPD will stop its penny-ante pot arrests, Oregon DAs ponder dropping pot charges, the FBI's annual arrest figures are out, the ACLU gets $50 million to fight overincarceration, Britain awaits a historic debate on drug policy, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Nevada 2016 Legalization Initiative Ready to Hand in Signatures. The Nevada Coalition to Regulate Marijuana says it will turn in 170,000 signatures Wednesday for its proposed 2016 initiative to legalize marijuana. It needs 102,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. This is a Marijuana Policy Project effort.

Oregon Prosecutors to Rethink Pending Pot Cases. Although marijuana possession won't be legal in the state until July 2015, prosecutors in some of its most populous counties say they will revisit pending marijuana cases in light of last week's legalization victory at the polls. DAs in Clackamas (Oregon City), Multnomah (Portland), and Washington (Hillsboro) counties all said they are trying to figure out how to proceed.

Rhode Island Activists Aim to Legalize It in 2015. Which will be the first Northeastern state to legalize marijuana? Rhode Island activists organized into Regulate Rhode Island want their state to be the one. They are putting together a coalition to try to push a bill to tax and regulate marijuana through the General Assembly next year. The bill died in the legislature this year. This is a Marijuana Policy Project effort.

NYPD to Stop Arrests for Minor Marijuana Offenses. The NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced today that the department will quit arresting people for low-level marijuana possession. NYPD has been arresting tens of thousands of people each year, but in the face of withering criticism, it will now begin issuing tickets instead. But people caught smoking pot in public will continue to face arrest.

Drug Testing

Wisconsin Governor Calls for Drug Testing for Unemployment, Food Stamps. Newly reelected Republican Gov. Scott Walker is calling drug testing of people seeking public benefits, including unemployment insurance. He and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) both say it will be a priority in the coming legislative session. Walker and Vos haven't unveiled an actual proposal, but any bill that calls for mandatory, suspicionless drug testing is certain to face constitutional challenges.

Law Enforcement

Pot Arrests Drop, But Still 1.5 Million Drug Arrests Last Year. More than 1.5 million people were arrested for drug offenses in the US last year, and more than 693,000 of those for marijuana offenses. The figures come from the FBI's 2013 Uniform Crime Report, which was released today. Marijuana arrests have declined from peaks early in this century. In 2008, there were a record 872,000 marijuana arrests, so pot busts have declined by slightly more than 20% since then. But arrests for other drug offenses continue apace, actually increasingly slightly last year. Still, because of the decline in marijuana arrests, the overall number of drug arrests dropped by about 50,000.

Sentencing

ACLU Gets $50 Million to Fight to Reduce Incarceration. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been awarded a $50 million grant from George Soros's Open Society Foundations to mount an eight-year campaign to change criminal justice policies and reduce incarceration in this country. The group says there is an emerging bipartisan consensus to make reforms, although last week's election results may stiffen opposition. The ACLU wants to reduce imprisonment by 50% in the next years.

International

Missing Mexican Students Were Murdered By Drug Gang, Officials Say. Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said last Friday that 43 radical student teachers missing for more than a month in Iguala, Guerrero, had been murdered by a drug gang working with the wife of the mayor of the city. Murillo said the students were killed and their bodies burned, with the remains scattered in a local river. The announcement of the students' fate has not, however, quieted outrage in the country, where corruption and impunity are major issues. Demonstrators torched the wooden front doors of the National Palace in Mexico City Saturday night and were blocking the Acapulco airport Monday, among other actions.

Former Chilean President Calls for Drug Decriminalization. In an interview last Friday, former President Ricardo Lagos said decriminalizing marijuana -- and possibly even cocaine -- possession was the best way to reduce both prohibition-related crime and drug use. Start with marijuana, he said. "After one or two years we will see if we dare to legalize cocaine. It starts with a major prevention campaign and with providing non-prison punishment for those who are incarcerated today, depending on the magnitude of their offenses," Lagos proposed. "The only thing that's clear to me is that there were 10,000 drug arrests per year in Chile in 2002 and 10 years later it's multiplying by eight, reaching 82,000. Chile needs to grow up," he said. Lagos was president of the country from 2000 to 2006.

In Historic Move, British Parliament to Debate Drug Policy. The House of Commons will debate Britain's drug policies for three hours this coming Thursday. It is the first time Parliament has taken up the topic since passage of the Misuse of Drugs Act -- the current law -- four decades ago. The debate comes as Britain's governing coalition has been sundered on the issue, with the junior partner Liberal Democrats coming out loudly for drug decriminalization and the senior partner Conservatives firmly holding the line against any reforms.

Australia's New South Wales Wants Random Drug Testing of Drivers. The New South Wales state government has introduced a bill that would allow police to randomly drug test drivers for the presence of marijuana, amphetamines, and ecstasy. The tests would be done with a saliva swab.

Categories: Marijuana

Marijuana Arrests Drop, But Still 1.5 Million Drug Arrests Last Year [FEATURE]

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 21:24

More than 1.5 million people were arrested for drug offenses in the US last year, and more than 693,000 of those for marijuana offenses. The figures come from the FBI's 2013 Uniform Crime Report, which was released today.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]That's about one pot bust and slightly more than one other drug arrest every minute, 365 days a year. The vast majority of them are for simple possession. Over 87% of all marijuana arrests and 82% of all drug arrests were for possession only.

Marijuana arrests have declined from peaks early in this century. In 2008, there were a record 872,000 marijuana arrests, so pot busts have declined by slightly more than 20% since then. But arrests for other drug offenses continue apace, actually increasingly slightly last year. Still, because of the decline in marijuana arrests, the overall number of drug arrests dropped by about 50,000.

In 2008, marijuana arrests accounted for a majority (52%) of all drug arrests. Now, it is down to 40.6%.

Some of the decline in marijuana arrests can be attributed to the passage of decriminalization and legalization laws, particularly in the West, where pot arrests accounted for only 18% of all drug arrests. California decriminalized pot possession in 2011, and Colorado and Washington legalized it in the 2012 elections.

[image:2 align:right caption:true]In other parts of the country, marijuana arrests continued to roll along, even in the Northeast, where they accounted for 46% of all drug arrests. In the South, the figure was 49.8%, and in the Midwest, pot accounted for 51.7% of all drug arrests.

When it comes to race, blacks continue to be disproportionately represented among drug arrestees. African-Americans accounted for 30.7% of all drug arrests, but they only make up about 13% of the population. That means blacks are being arrested for drugs at 2 ½ times the rate their percentage of the population would predict.

Drug arrests were the single largest category of arrests made in the US and accounted for about 13% of all arrests. The 1.5 million drug arrests well exceeded second place larceny-theft (1.232 million) and third place driving under the influence (1.167 million). More than three times as many people were arrested for drug offenses than for all violent crimes combined (480,000).

The continued law enforcement emphasis on drug enforcement drew criticism from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

[image:3 align:left caption:true]"Police made more drug arrests than for any other single category of crime. Meanwhile, only 64% of murders and 48% of violent crimes generally are being solved," said LEAP executive director Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), citing the FBI statistics. "We clearly have our priorities in the wrong place."

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), fresh from last week's successful "marijuana midterms," pronounced itself pleased with the decline in pot busts, but called for them to end, not just diminish.

"We're pleased to see the drop, but arresting even one adult for using a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol is inexcusable," said MPP communications director Mason Tvert. "Every year we see millions of violent crimes attributed to alcohol, and the evidence is clear that marijuana is not a significant contributing factor in such incidents. Yet our laws continue to steer adults toward drinking by threatening to punish them if they make the safer choice. These arrest numbers demonstrate that the threat is very real," he noted.

Tvert also echoed LEAP in criticizing law enforcement priorities.

"Law enforcement officials should be spending their time and resources addressing serious crimes, not arresting and prosecuting adults for using marijuana," he said. "Every year, these statistics show hundreds of thousands of marijuana-related arrests are taking place and countless violent crimes are going unsolved. We have to wonder how many of those crimes could be solved -- or prevented -- if police weren't wasting their time enforcing failed marijuana prohibition laws."

The laws must change, he said.

"A majority of Americans think marijuana should be legal for adults and treated similarly to alcohol. Voters in four states and the District of Columbia have now passed laws that reflect that, and we expect several more will do over the next few years. It's time for our laws to catch up with public opinion."

Categories: Marijuana

US VT: State To Hold Hearing On Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 08:00
Boston Globe, 10 Nov 2014 - A public hearing is planned this week on the possible legalization of marijuana in Vermont. The Wednesday hearing will be held statewide via Vermont Interactive Television. Earlier this year the Legislature ordered the administration to study marijuana legalization. A report is due in January. The state contracted with the RAND Corporation to examine issues that include production, distribution, and possession of marijuana. The hearing will be held by Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding and Beau Kilmer, the codirector of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. Spaulding and Kilmer will make brief presentations, after which the session will be devoted to questions and comments from people attending the meeting. - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
Categories: Marijuana
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