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June 2012
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Open Thread

bullet image Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signs marijuana decriminalization bill

Today, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) signed legislation (PDF) into law that will reform how Rhode Island penalizes the simple possession of up to an ounce of marijuana (PDF). Currently, simple possession can be penalized with a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $200-$500 criminal fine. Under the provisions of the new law – which will take effect on April 1, 2013 – most violations of possession of up to an ounce of marijuana will be penalized with a simple civil fine of $150!


bullet image Via Transform Drug Policy — the Danish Parliament yesterday officially passed a law allowing safe injecting rooms.


bullet image The dog ate my homework. In police department full of failures to properly track and store evidence, cop takes marijuana evidence home (!) and then claims the dog ate it.


bullet image African American Church Leaders Endorse Initiative 502 To Legalize, Tax, and Regulate Marijuana for Adults

SEATTLE – Today Rev. Leslie Braxton of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship, Rev. Carl Livingston of Kingdom Christian Center, and Rev. Steve E. Baber of Skyway United Methodist Church announced their endorsement of Initiative 502, which would tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and over, dedicating revenues to healthcare, research and education, and substance abuse prevention. I-502 will appear on the November 6 general election ballot.

“It’s no longer enough to say the War on Drugs has been a failure. We have to recognize that it has done damage, especially to black Americans, and we have to change course,” said Rev.Braxton. “Marijuana law enforcement has become a pretext for pushing people into the criminal justice system where they get branded with criminal records that turn them into second-class citizens facing additional barriers to education and employment.”


bullet image NYPD Police Officer Indicted in Ramarley Graham Killing

A New York City police officer has been indicted on manslaughter charges in the Bronx shooting death of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham. Graham, a young black man, was shot and killed in the bathroom of his own home after a team of NYPD narcotics officers followed him home, broke in, and confronted him. […]

Although the indictment has not been officially unsealed, the New York Times reported that a grand jury has indicted Haste, 30, on charges of first- and second-degree manslaughter. More charges could be pending.

Graham was shot and killed after he and a pair of friends caught the attention of narcotics officers who had staked out a bodega on White Plains Road. They radioed their colleagues and said they believed he had a gun in his waistband as he walked toward his home. Officer Haste dashed to the scene, broke into Graham’s apartment, and shot and killed him in his bathroom.

No weapon was found, but police did say they found marijuana in a plastic baggie in the toilet bowl, suggesting Graham may have been trying to get rid of the evidence to avoid becoming another New York City pot bust statistic.

The shooting has provoked anger in the community and led to numerous calls for justice for Graham and other victims of overzealous policing in the city. It has also focused attention on the aggressive tactics of the NYPD’s Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit, teams of officers who surreptitiously surveil the streets looking for drug deals before bursting in to bust dealers and customers.

[Thanks, Allan]

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9 comments to Open Thread

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    But it’s got some Labrador in it.

    What’s Labrador?

    It’s dog shit.

    What?

    Yeah, my dog ate my stash, man.

    Had it on the table, and the little motherfucker ate it, man.

    Yeah?

    I had to follow him around with a little baggie for three days before I got it back.

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  • Francis

    It used to be that if you were caught with cannabis in Rhode Island by agents of the state, they’d kidnap you AND rob you. Now they’re ONLY allowed to rob you! That’s certainly progress, but we’ve still got a ways to go.

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  • These narcs deserve being forcefed a pack of cigarettes- as the protection of that commodity is what the ‘drug war’ has always been about, and which drug policy ‘reformists’ have been way too kind in overlooking.

    http://freedomofmedicineanddiet.blogspot.com/2012/03/drug-war-cigarette-pharma-criminal.html

    http://freedomofmedicineanddiet.blogspot.com/2012/02/elephant-in-living-room-of-anti-coca.html

    http://freedomofmedicineanddiet.blogspot.com/2011/04/coca-as-tobacco-habit-cure.html

    The upturns in cigarette sales spurts correlated with each of the three major pushing of the ‘drug war’ cir 1906, 1914 and 1937.

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    • claygooding

      While I am sure that tobacco companies were benefited by the prohibition of marijuana,,not that many people smoked it so much as drank it from the local apothecary where a small bottle of it would be split between 3 or four guys on a Saturday night and all would be toasted,,this was passed on to me from a 76 year old man that was at the DC protest against the war in 71>72,,can’t recall and too lazy to look it up,,he was speaking of during alcohol prohibition and it was because so much bad whiskey was being sold that young adults were shifting over to hash oil tinctures sold at every store.

      Hemp was taken off the market by the pulpwood industries biggest owner and ensured the use of pulpwood and the toxic chemicals required to produce paper from it,,with the patents on those chemicals still owned by the same company that owns it today,,Dow Chemical,,between Hearst,also owner of the largest newspaper empire of the day and Harry Anslinger,,marijuana was used as the wagon to pull hemp off the open market and it is still the major reason it is being prohibited today.

      When you add the industries making their income from the war on drugs,,you are fighting a lot more than just the alcohol and tobacco lobbies,,we are fighting some of the largest industries in the world and we will win,,because they may be able to buy the legislators but they can’t buy the people.

      Jack Herer’s Book
      The Emperor Wears No Clothes

      http://www.onlinepot.org/grow/jackherer.htm

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      • Duncan20903

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        Traditionally cannabis has been consumed by using edibles. The use of combustion/inhalation did not gain its ubiquitous status until after prohibition was implemented. There are at least three very good reasons for that.

        1) Until the advent of the vaporizer smoking is the least expensive delivery method.

        2) Edibles aren’t easily differentiated from counterfeit product so you have to trust your black market vendor. Although more prevalent in the retail distribution chain of cannabis “trustworthy” dealers are few and far between.

        3) Most people are clueless when it comes to producing edibles.

        The adoption of smoking by almost all cannabis consumers was yet another unintended consequence of our very favorite failed public policy.

        For a first hand account of how people in the 19th century ingested their cannabis you can read “The Hasheesh Eater”, by Fitz Hugh Ludlow which was first published in 1857. Free on the Internet:
        http://sniggle.net/Hasheesh/index.html

        But you might save a bit of time if you examine the book’s title and notice that it’s “The Hasheesh Eater” and not “The Hasheesh Smoker.”

        Please people, I know that people smoked cannabis previous to the 20th century so posting up an example or two just doesn’t obviate my assertions above. People in the olden days did smoke it, just much less frequently than people do today.

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        • Common Science

          Edibles were prevalent right into the mid 20th century. I remember reading an article from the UN, written in the 1950’s, that stated the majority of cannabis usage to that point in the world, was by the consumption of prepared confections and drinks in the family kitchens of Africa and India.

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        • claygooding

          Another instance of prohibition causing more harm just by being instituted,,driving people to a more dangerous delivery system,,must be some way to use that in a prohibs rant about the dangers of smoking weed.

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        • nick

          I know i sure as hell wouldn’t want to try a dealers cooking no matter what it is. You’ll end up eating a mixture of worthless herbs and a little bit of pot, mixed with week overdue milk.

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