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February 2011
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Open Thread

What’s going on in your corner of the drug policy reform world?

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20 comments to Open Thread

  • Matthew Meyer

    Lotsa cannabis stuff in Northern California. Near Redding, the city of Anderson has been developing onerous, and probably illegal, regulation of medical cannabis cultivation.

    http://www.redding.com/news/2011/jan/04/council-proposes-tightening-pot-rules/

    http://www.redding.com/news/2011/jan/03/anderson-council-to-consider-tough-marijuana/

    Some of the more burdensome proposals include that:

    “The proposed ordinance would prohibit cultivation of medical marijuana inside any building used as a residence and prohibit any outdoor gardens within city limits.

    The law would allow medical marijuana to be grown inside a 50-square-foot outbuilding that meets city, state and federal building codes, but only by a qualified patient who occupies the main residence on the same property as the outbuilding intended for cultivation.

    The outbuilding would have to be located in the rear yard with at least a 10-foot setback from the sides and rear property lines and from any other building on the parcel.

    All electrical and plumbing connections to the outbuilding would have to meet city codes and follow the city’s permit process. Lighting inside the outbuilding could not exceed 1,200 watts and the structure would have to be ventilated with odor control filters.

    Building permits for accessory buildings would only be issued to the property owner, so renters would have to get written permission from the property owner before obtaining permits.

    A copy of the medical-marijuana patient’s current and valid state-issued ID card would have to be available upon request of any code enforcement officer or police officer.

    Any medical marijuana grown in the outbuilding could be used only by the qualified patient and could not be transferred, given or sold to another person, including a medical-marijuana dispensary.”

    So, no outdoor, no indoor, and thousands of dollars in permits, supplies, and labor to make a 50 square foot greenhouse to grow in. Once you’ve grown the herb, you cannot transfer it to anyone else.

    How many violations of Prop 215 is that?

  • denmark

    Sensible Washington is gearing up and sounding better every day. Some of you might like to read the “new” medical cannabis bill from Senator Jeane Kohl-Welles dispensary bill, Senate Bill 5073, concerns medical marijuana ONLY.

    The link will take you to a pdf. Many strike-throughs over the original writing. Haven’t had time to read the entire thing.
    http://bit.ly/g4Hkj2

  • Common Science

    On November 29, under Pete’s: ‘Marijuana war travesties’ I wrote about Canada losing it’s reputation as a tolerant nation under our honourable bulldozer, Stephan Harper. George Bush clones aside, solution seekers still reside here:

    “The war on drugs came to Canada, and it picked on a bunch of desperately ill addicts.  Some war.  Boldly, B.C.’s highest court, and before that a trial judge, have let Ottawa know that any war on drugs fought in this country should not endanger the right of addicts to get life-saving health care.  “
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/courageous-court-obtuse-government/article1433602/

    “Toronto has become the first city in the world – and the first government in North America – to formally endorse a declaration that advocates harm reduction over the war on drugs…

    One of the [Vienna ]Declaration’s authors, Evan Wood, University of British Columbia professor and founder of the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, said he’s please Toronto endorsed it “spontaneously” without having to be lobbied. “
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/toronto-formally-endorses-harm-reduction-on-drug-use/article1686999/

    Ammotivational Syndrome notwithstanding, a leader in the making:
    “Graduating with a Master of Arts in Studies in Policy and Practice—an interdisciplinary graduate program in the Faculty of Human and Social Development aimed at those involved in social activism, human services and community work—has provided an opportunity to “deepen the theoretical underpinnings that form the base of progressive reform efforts, particularly in the area of drug policy,” says [Philippe] Lucas.”
    http://ring.uvic.ca/10jun/lucas.html

    “Vancouver Island University criminology instructor John Anderson, a former correctional officer, has agreed to be the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition spokesman for Nanaimo.”
    http://www2.canada.com/nanaimodailynews/news/story.html?id=1019419a-b5ad-4f71-8bd5-27211e1e84f3

    The record suggests current federal government policy will not succeed in achieving any reduction of use, crime or harm.  Canada, consequently, should resurrect the legislation to decriminalize marijuana and embark on a broader national discussion about policy on harder drugs, and the need for harm reduction in Canada. 
    http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v10/n703/a02.html

  • I’m going to a town hall discussion in DC this Thursday about DC’s medical marijuana program. Back in the UK, a rubbish drugs ‘advisor’ has been sacked just three weeks into his appointment. It was not because he had ridiculously ill-informed views on drugs (which he did), but because he had ridiculously ill-informed views on homosexuality. Anyway, he’s gone, which is good. One small step in the right direction is always cause for cheer.

  • Bailey

    Washington State not only has new medical legislation coming, but a new cannabis legalization bill in the state house and senate. (HB 1550/SB 5598) Generally, when legalization (or medical) reform comes up in a state gov’t, its limited to support in one house. Too often this is listed as an excuse to ignore it.

    Representative: “It’s a worthy issue, but it’s only in the state Senate. If there’s not a House bill it doesn’t go anywhere. So why would I spend time supporting it?”

    However with versions in both chambers this has perhaps the best chance of any such bill in the nation to actually progress to the governor’s desk.

    The bill’s first committee hearing is in the House tomorrow (Feb 8, O’Brien Bldg, Hearing Rm A, 10am) Please Washingtonians come voice your support!

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=1550&year=2011

    • I testified in support of HB 1550 yesterday, my first time doing so for anything. I believe my testimony was well received. I even gave the committee a copy of “Marijuana is Safer” and asked them to at least read the intro, written by Norm Stamper.

  • vicky vampire

    http://www.lassennews.com/home/2-lassencountynewsheadline/6434-supes-ban-pot-dispensaries-cultivation-in-county
    Yeah I’m from Northern Calif, area originally.
    I see town like Susanville,Portola and probably plenty more small towns all seem to be against Medical Marijuana dispensaries. These counties are somewhat poor they could use the money but instead are worrying about crime, other communities in small areas of Colorado have installed Cameras and others safety equipment in their Med-Pot Dispensaries.

    Also just read over at Normal Blog that Montana might repeal Medical Marjuana Law Now you are smarter than I PETE how would that work,all the current card holders would they be granfathered in.? It would be horrendous injustice to arrest them for using after law repealed, they have there name on file.. More INSANITY on Drug War Front.

  • DdC

    Anti-Stigma Week Aimed At Drug Users
    CN BC: Victoria News 04 Feb 2011

    Drugs are part of our community and all kinds of people, including nice people, are users.

    AIDS Vancouver Island is touting the message during Greater Victoria Anti-Stigma Week, which runs until Feb. 14. The slogan “Nice people take drugs” is borrowed from a U.K. anti-stigma campaign.

    A 2009 survey by Health Canada found about half of B.C. residents had used illegal drugs in their lifetime.

    Films, discussions and meetings mark the week. For a list of events, go to harmreductionvictoria.ca

    The idea behind anti-stigma week is to stop the marginalization of drug users, AVI said.

    Oh my, what a concept… treating people decent.

    How Psychological Vampirism Can Totally Harsh Your Mellow
    US CA: Edu: Column: McCarty, Kevin W. Daily Nexus 07 Feb 2011
    There are many people in our society who clothe themselves in righteousness as they condemn the smoking of marijuana as immoral behavior. Yet by relentlessly abstaining from such mild psychological relaxants, these people often unconsciously become addicted to the favorable actions of other people. They refuse to make themselves happy, so in turn they must draw all good-feeling from others around them. This is psychological vampirism: When you cannot be happy unless others fulfill your expectations of them. Introducing the medical herb cannabis to a psychological vampire is often something like poison garlic laced with kryptonite.

    Quick! Bar the door Katy,
    Someone’s trying to sneak some sense into the equation…

    Marijuana-Themed Hoagie Shop Is Blazing
    US CA: Edu: Devito, Amy The Daily Aztec 07 Feb 2011

    Obama Finally Confronting Problem of Drug Prohibition
    US NH: Edu: Column: Murray, Nick The New Hampshire 04 Feb 2011

    Well, “confronting” may be a little over stepping it…
    He just said no. A ConPromise that it’s better than he he he.

  • Tim

    A couple of legal developments in Canada:

    A medical marijuana production law challenge wrapped up, and a religious defence just failed.

    Finally, my good friend Puffy, a new activist with a fashion bent, writes in her blog about her recent trip to Ottawa to meet some medical marijuana people.

  • Pete – you must have heard about Hillary’s Mex-ellent Adventure by now…but I also had a thought this morning…it’s all here:

    http://www.r8ny.com/blog/vincent_nunes/the_octopus_revealed.html

    She has single-handedly kicked out the legs to the “War On Drugs”.

  • DdC

    Gary Johnson Writes To DOJ to Help Marc Emery
    The Jodie Emery Show: Former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson has agreed to write to the Department of Justice on Marc’s behalf!

    Bookworm Pot Prince Bugging His U.S. Jailers
    A prison term in Georgia hasn’t stopped ex-Londoner Marc Emery being Marc Emery.

    Teen’s Medical Marijuana Fight Escalates
    As School Says He Cannot Come Back to Class After Going Home for Medicine, Father Appeals to Legislators for Help

  • DdC

    No Religious Right to Smoke Marijuana, Judge Rules
    Church of the Universe: Canada’s laws against smoking marijuana don’t violate the country’s constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion, a judge ruled Monday.

    The Crown argued that the men’s sale of marijuana and the beliefs underlying it lack the essential characteristics of a religion.

    Ancient Temple Hashish Incense! Did Jesus Inhale?

    OK this is Canada, but still, they claim a “constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion”. So it seems they fall under the same guidelines as Judge Jack Weinstein laid out in New York in 1977. “Neither the trappings of robes, nor temples of stone, nor a fixed liturgy, nor an extensive literature or history is required to meet the test of beliefs cognizable under the Constitution as religious. So far as the law is concerned, one person’s religious beliefs held for one day are presumptively entitled to the same protection as the beliefs of millions which have been shared for thousands of years.”

    First Amendment: Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly; right to petition

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  • Stupid is as stupid does

    By the time they get done , you’ll be luck to grow one plant in a shoe box, fire department on hands , team of lawyers, proffesors to define each word of the odinaces and thousands of dollars.

    Guess its back to stealth grows… Loose lips sink ships ,illegal grows.

  • Stupid is as stupid does

    Everyone should be able to grow at the very least 2 plants a year. That would be enough for yourself and a bit to share with others.

    The cartels would loose their profit…no you say?
    What would happen to GM or Toyota if we could all easily make our own cars? ….Playstation if we made our own video games?….Supermarkets if we all grew our own food? …Yes, and cartels if we grew our own cannabis.

  • Duncan20903

    Well I sure like that lady legislator in the Washington on the left coast, Mary Lou Dickerson. Be still my beaten heart.

    “Why shouldn’t Washington reap the benefits of legalization,” asked Dickerson, who estimated the state could collect $400 million per biennium from taxes and sales. She likened home-grown marijuana to home-brewing of beer and wine making.
    .
    .
    Washington could pass the law and fight the federal government all the way to the Supreme Court, Dickerson countered. “Some state has to take the lead. Because we take the lead, we will reap the benefit.”
    If the federal government fights the state over legalization, Goodman added, “the people will rise up and say ‘This doesn’t make sense.’”

    I’m going to send her flowers for Valentines Day! Where have you been all of my life sweet lady?

    Then in the legislative co-sponsor category for mensch of the year:

    “We grew up with cannabis. We have to grow up about it,” said Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, a co-sponsor.

    http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/spincontrol/2011/feb/08/wa-lege-day-29-there-200m-year-legalized-pot/

  • DdC

    Blowing Smoke: Oakland’s Massive Pot Farms
    by Ed Rosenthal – Tuesday, February 8 2011

    You may remember last summer, July 2010, when the city I live in, Oakland, CA, decided to license four major pot farms.

    While the original plan was shut down in December due to conflict with federal law, there is a great debate going on here in Oakland regarding future cultivation models. Supposedly, progressive council people would like to put in a model that ultimately would restrict small cultivators in favor of large grows.

    This is a political assault on the marijuana community by a small group of what people might call “greedy capitalist pigs” led by Jeff Wilcox, a developer known for his politically savvy projects who has no relationship with the marijuana community and whose main relationship seems to be with dead presidents.

    Surprisingly, Dale Gieringer, president of California NORML, has taken a very conciliatory stance towards this legislation and these big developers rather than the general marijuana communtiy, consisting of consumers and small growers.

    Study Tracks Drug-Related Teen Suicides
    US:

    Teenage girls are about three times as likely as boys to attempt suicide for drug-related reasons, according to an analysis of emergency-room visits. A government study also found boys are far more likely to attempt drug-related suicide in the month of December, while the suicide rate for girls stays fairly steady throughout the year.

    The study, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, found an average of 178,423 ER visits a year from 2004 to 2008 for drug-related suicide attempts involving people age 12 or older. The study looked at the percentage and timing of such attempts among adolescents ages 12 to 17, adults ages 18 to 49 and adults age 50 and older. The study also tracked the number of visits each month to see if there was seasonal variation in the data.

    The picture was different for adolescent boys, age 12 to 17. The month of February had the lowest rate of drug-related suicide attempts, or 2.5% of an average year’s total. The high was in December, at 18.9%. For girls, there was little variation month to month.

    Church of the Universe Marijuana law challenge denied U2b

    the government had google earth in 1963…
    The keyhole program of satelites has been around for years and years. It was preceded by the corona series of satelites…the very first to take high res images from space. by most accounts the corona satelite could see up to a 6 foot resolution- basically no worse than we have today…at least commercially, and this was during EISENHOWERS presidency…

  • IL House Medical Cannabis Legislation, HB 30, Committee Hearing Next Week Wed. Feb 16

    http://ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=30&GAID=11&GA=97&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=54410&SessionID=84

    IL Drug Overdose Immunity Legislation, SB 56

    http://ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=56&GAID=11&GA=97&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=54644&SessionID=84

    IL Senate Medical Cannabis Legislation, SB 1548

    http://ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=1548&GAID=11&GA=97&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=57429&SessionID=84

    Feb. 11 Peoria IL Cannabis Campaign Strategies

    http://hemppeace.org/sica

    Report finds Racial Disparities for Drug Crimes in IL are still bad. . . . . . .

    http://www.centerforhealthandjustice.org/DJIS_ExecSumm_FINAL_1222.pdf

  • DdC

    OK here we go. Thank you diesel. Let’s have the wod junkie drug worriers put their money where their mouth’s are. Wanna bet? Whatever NIDA nimrods put out we’ll bet the freakrepubics if it’s real or fiction. Hemp against the drug thug subsidized gossip groups. RxGanja and the hundreds of symptoms and illness it treats. If we can’t get honest debate on TV and Obombo’s kickin back on the issue. At least we can make some easy bucks. Start in bars and coffee shops. Schools, grocery stores have a pool. In reality all things are or ain’t. No “matter” can occupy the same space at the same time ,etc etc. Even if the president and 3 drug czars in harmony says it can. If as I suspect, they punk out, then most will assume they have been lying. So the Chicken littles and chicken hawks are chicken shits afterall. If they are arrogant and idiotic enough then we nail them with the laws of physics and 4000 years of use and history. Cowards and Liars may hoodwink the simple living and religious for a while, even 70 years or 2011, but this Ganjawar is getting to be down right insulting to their inteligence. Sometimes that’s pretty bad since the scarcity of it in some true believers of the way they were taught it is. Truth can set you free but only if it’s not hidden. It’s getting more exposure and that obviously is driving out some demons in some areas. It’s time…

    “The oppressed should rebel, and they will continue to rebel and raise disturbance until their civil rights are fully restored to them and all partial distinctions, exclusions and incapacitations are removed.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, 1776

    Liberal Party Opposes Bill S-10 and Mandatory Minimums for Marijuana
    The Liberal Party of Canada has broken its silence and officially announced its opposition to Bill S-10, the Conservative legislation that includes mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana offences.

    Taking a stand against Bill S-10
    Feb 9 2011
    Hundreds of doctors, researchers, scientists and academics oppose the federal government’s organized crime act also known as Bill S-10. The law includes mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes.

    American Facing Death Penalty in Egypt for Hemp Oil
    A US citizen jailed as a drug trafficker in Egypt in December after importing a shipment of non-drug hemp oil there was freed from jail late last month when mobs of protestors overran prisons across Cairo, but remains in legal limbo.

    Golden Oldie: Ethan Nadelmann Debates John Walters on Crossfire
    Feb 9 2011
    Classic video from the old CNN show “Crossfire” featuring lying Drug Czar John Walters debating a sharp young Ethan Nadelmann. Good find!