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March 2015
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Odds and Ends

bullet image Marijuana Arrests in Colorado After the Passage of Amendment 64

The report finds that since 2010, marijuana possession charges are down by more than 90%, marijuana cultivation charges are down by 96%, and marijuana distribution charges are down by 99%. The number of marijuana possession charges in Colorado courts has decreased by more than 25,000 since 2010 – from 30,428 in 2010 to just 1,922 in 2014.


bullet image (Via press release on Tuesday): Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK) Submit Companion Bill to CARERS Act to Allow States to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Today a comprehensive bipartisan medical marijuana legalization bill was introduced to the House of Representatives. The bill serves as a companion to the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which would allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies without fear of federal prosecution. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) originally introduced the CARERS Act to the Senate earlier this month. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) co-sponsored the bill most recently. Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Don Young (R-AK) introduced today’s companion bill, which marks yet another significant leap of progress in bipartisan support for compassionate medical marijuana legislation.

“Police have as much business telling patients whether they should use medical marijuana as they do performing eye surgery – and with a similar rate of success,” said Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a criminal justice group opposed to the drug war. “When you treat a health problem like a matter for law enforcement, you only endanger the patient, who has no assurance of the quality or purity of what he’s consuming and must enter the illegal market to obtain it, and undermine respect for and effectiveness of law enforcement in our society.”

The CARERS Act would foremost allow states to decide their own regulatory policies. It would also reschedule marijuana from the federal scheduling category I to II, which unlike Schedule I, recognizes medical efficacy and allows more extensive research for drugs within that schedule, though it is still very restrictive. If passed, the bill would also permit interstate commerce of CBD (cannabidiol) products. CBD is a non-psychoactive seizure suppressant found in marijuana that has shown to be effective in reducing the severity and intensity of seizures, particularly in pediatric epileptic patients.


bullet image College Republicans in Madison fuzzy on the notion of “freedom.” Point counterpoint: Drug testing public assistance applicants promotes freedom, workforce

The United States is founded on freedom, where everyone has an opportunity. It is a place where success and happiness are attainable through one’s own will. Seizing opportunity and gaining success is the rewarding principle of the American dream.

Gov. Scott Walker and the state legislature hope to preserve this principle through their proposal of drug testing public assistance applicants. Drug testing public assistance applicants not only helps ensure that the unemployed are eligible for employment, but also promotes constructive behavior that is desirable in the workforce.


bullet image New Mexico legislature passes sweeping bill to rein in forfeiture abuses

The bill would basically require a criminal conviction before police can take property associated with a crime.

Just goes to show how Kafka-esque this world has gotten where we get excited over one state bravely moving toward what logically should be a common-sense baseline.


bullet image Marijuana Edibles Blamed For Keystone Death

Bizarrely, this article has idiots on twitter (Christine Tatum) demanding:

@DanRiffle, @tomangell, change the “No one dies from pot” message NOW. @learnaboutsam http://t.co/KnhPGVDdsE

If you read the article, it’s like someone deciding to go ice fishing after reading the “thin ice” signs, and making a hole with dynamite, blowing himself up in the process, and blaming the death on the lake.

I would classify this death as a Darwin award. But, “died from pot”? No.

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30 comments to Odds and Ends

  • Chris

    He apparently never even read the “thin ice” sign and ignored the basics of consuming edible cannabis and had access to a gun, and shot himself. There were people with him aware of his state. What else can be said but that it was their own fault, not the drug?

  • Will

    Contained within the article, “Marijuana Edibles Blamed For Keystone Death”;

    ‘Summit County Coroner Regan Wood says the preliminary cause of death is a self-inflicted gunshot wound. As for the impact of the marijuana edibles, she said, “That’s what we’ve heard consistently.”’

    So maybe the article title should have been;

    “Self-inflicted Gunshot Wound Blamed For Keystone Death”.

    Perhaps?

    I have never understood why people “go all in” when taking a form of a substance they are clearly not familiar with. Did this young man not read or hear about Maureen Dowd’s experience? I know, he probably saw himself as young and indestructible. Until he wasn’t.

  • Why did they leave him alone if he was borderline psychotic? “Sorry you’re seeing little green men, babbling to yourself and drooling. See you next week. Love ya!”

    • Will

      More and more we see examples like this. Apparently it’s emotionally convenient to look away from the person who made the mistake, look away from friends who really should have monitored their friend when he was obviously distressed. So just blame an inanimate substance that has no ‘voice’ in the matter, no matter how displaced the blame might be.

      Many years ago a friend of mine committed suicide after his wife asked for a divorce. Although he was known to be impulsive at times, it was usually in a goofy way and never endangering to himself or anyone else. My friend got the news from his wife early one afternoon and a couple of hours later he retreated to his garage and shot himself in the head. Beforehand, he called no one in his family or any of his friends seeking solace or guidance regarding the news he had just received.

      The reaction to his death was interesting but not unexpected. No one — not even his distraught mother and sister — blamed his death on the request he received from his wife. No one blamed the gun (although none of us knew he kept one hidden in his garage). To a person, all of us who knew him reacted in a similar fashion, “He overreacted to unfortunate news”.

      While it’s easy and possibly reassuring to initially blame outside agents on a person’s suicide, the truth is much closer and clearer than some folks care to admit: Sometimes our friends or loved ones make stupid, irrational decisions that lead to their own demise. Of course the truth hurts, but it cannot, should not, be denied.

  • jean valjean

    Michele Leonhart and her corrupt DEA cronies in hot water:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/26/dea-sex-parties_n_6947132.html

    • kaptinemo

      ROFLMFAO! Crazier and crazier and crazier. The prohibs are self-destructing, as predicted. Any day now I expect a wild, gibberish-spouting, wide-eyed freakout of a prohib at a news conference.

      Mebbe ol’ Terence McKenna was right, and we reached Time Wave Zero in 2012. He said after that it would all be about ‘novelty’.

      Well, at least with DEA he was right; we’ve been treated to a novel new scandal about them every year since 2012. Just google ‘DEA’ ‘Scandals’

      Mebbe some folks in Congress should be invited to do the same, and then ask them if, given the preponderance of negative entries, they want to continue funding this perpetual international embarrassment.

    • jean valjean

      Jason Chaffetz, mormon congressman who threatened dc mayor “we’re not player a game here” over decriminalization has weighed in with the usual cant about finding the bad apples at DEA. Doesn’t that just fill you with confidence?

  • Crut

    OT:
    .
    A Criminal justice reform summit today is bringing many different sides of the table together. My pessimistic side says that nothing will change, but my optimism hopes that something will click with the attendees and we will see something meaningful come out of it.

  • Frank W.

    Did anyone catch “The Daily Show”s takedown of drug war scaremongers last night?

    • Crut

      http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/w9e18q/sugar-high

      First it was stoned rabbits, now the deer. What next?

      • kaptinemo

        (Waving hands frantically in air) Don’t ask, don’t ask!!

        (Lowering hands) C’mon, you know better than that. Don’t give ’em any frakkin’ IDEAS!

        Prohibs are the only lifeform I know that might be able to exist in vacuum because that’s what’s in place of their cortex! The biological equivalents of hotel “Vacancy” light flashing in daytime.

        What else could explain their hilariously lame Billion dollar boondoggle of an ad campaign? Even their contractors knew they were dealing with rubes and stole ’em blind in BS overtime. Google Ogilvy Mather ONDCP for the juicy details.

        They were and remain the original “Mayberry Machiavellis”, before there was even such a term in the lexicon.

        Like a social veriform appendix, prohibition is (and prohibitionists are) something the body politic no longer needs, but was stuck with…until it and they began to make trouble and needed to be removed lest their further actions cause harm or death to that body.

        This appendectomy is long overdue, the body politic is showing symptoms of social peritonitis, a.k.a. fascism (the OK/NE lawsuits are a attempt to subvert the democratic process), and it cannot survive such an infection for much longer without succumbing. Prohibition, like a diseased appendix, must come out soon…or the body dies.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    It shouldn’t be long before the sycophants of prohibition start a project to re-define the meaning of the word “death” because it annoys them so that cannabis hasn’t caused any. Of course cause and effect isn’t something which is well understood among the idiot prohibitionists. I think that its important to keep in mind that the sycophants think that all they need to prove is that there was cannabis somewhere in the general vicinity to prove that the cannabis caused anything bad that happens subsequently.

    Please remember that California dispensaries have been selling medibles for over a decade. Where are all the dead Californians? Show me the corpus delicti!

      • primus

        My friend Mitch the mortician says it is almost all of them. He says they get drunk to work up the courage to do it.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          You know what? I just this moment realized that if the event was proven to have been caused by cannabis then the gun control lobby won’t be able to blame the gun. Two birds with one stone? Nah, just me over-thinking stuff again.

          More to the point, people aren’t blaming drinking alcohol for those deaths.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          Ooops, silly me. Of course the gun control lobby figured out a way to blame the gun. Without it he would have been too cannabis addled to figure out how to do the deed.

          Carry on.

  • NorCalNative

    The CARERS Act and Schedule II status of cannabis.

    This act appears to be a step in the right direction towards sanity, but is it?

    Everyone who has paid the least bit of attention to Schedule I and what it means for cannabis would love to see it go bye-bye. That is, the law is based on DENIAL of the scientific truth of cannabis and its medical efficacy.

    But, if moving cannabis from the idiotic Schedule I status to Schedule II REDUCES access and freedom for current patients HOW IS THAT A GOOD THING?

    I’m a confirmed “whole-plant” cannabis consumer that will NOT attempt to fit into or conform to cannabis under Schedule II control.

    It would appear that Schedule II would work to END whole-plant cannabis and the current freedoms patients have to use and consume it. The ACTUAL argument we need to be having is how to REMOVE cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act completely.

    Schedule II makes sense because it would end the insanity of the Schedule I position and argument. But, if you’re looking to throw BIG PHARMA a GIFT, I can’t think of a better way than nudging cannabis down a notch.

    Basically California residents like myself who have managed to set up a reasonable system of cannabis usage will be expected to give all that up so that a few kids with epilepsy will have access to mostly CBD-only oil.

    A part of me is rooting for the kids and their parents. But if I’m honest my personal issues and concerns have to come first. Schedule II would ruin my day.

    Finally, for those who say: What about the research?

    Good point. PubMed a website run by the National Institutes of Health is filled with GOOD RESEARCH on cannabis and they do a wonderful job of translating all those foreign studies into English. Israel, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Chile, Argentina, Germany, and others are all getting their work and research SHOWN on the U.S. internet at PubMed.

    To claim that ONLY the U.S. is capable of good research in the medical field doesn’t make sense. It would be nice if a change of CSA Schedule allowed for better and improved American research, but it’s hardly anything close to a requirement at this point.

    • claygooding

      Removing it from Schedule 1 will allow science to remove marijuana from the CSA entirely however it does something just as important,,it removes the requirement of government agencies to lie about marijuana or to actively fight reform as it does as Schedule 1 substance.

      As long as it is Schedule 1 the DEA/NIDA could approve harm studies left and right,,22,000 plus since 1974,,perhaps less PSA’s and the Drug Free Orgs,,no more good than they have done on marijuana I don’t see the government keeping them onboard which only leaves the real paid Sam I Am,AKA,the four horseman of the apoplexy.

    • DdC

      Yawn… So Predictable…

      So, in other words, if a pharmaceutical product contains THC extracted from the marijuana plant, that would be a legal commodity. But if you or I possessed THC extracted from the marijuana plant, that would remain an illegal commodity.

      Wait, it gets even more absurd.

      Since the cannabis plant itself will remain illegal under federal law, then from whom precisely could Big Pharma legally obtain their soon-to-be legal THC extracts? There’s only one answer: The federal government’s lone legally licensed marijuana cultivator, The University of Mississippi at Oxford, which already has the licensing agreements with the pharmaceutical industry in hand.

      Trumping all state quasi-law, especially selling it already determined jurisdiction of the Treasury Dept. by Raich v Gonzales. Obama has not changed one spec of the Controlled Substance Act. The Mississippi swag farm said they were authorizing higher potency pot, keeping all research funded by the government, of the government and for the government industries profits. Keep wishing and believing, cross your fingers and toes and hop on one foot. Maybe that will Un-Illegalize it and actually give it back to the people. As it is, Fat Pharma will treat patients with individual and combinations of patented cannabinoids and keep all smoke and vapes heathern devil tools. I’m enjoying it while it lasts but it is not a 10th amendment issue and it is already established law. We have the burden to disprove the lies not that they have to defend them. As long as the DEA can legally be arbitrary and capricious, they can stall it from FDA testing another 40 years. So don’t give up your connections or gardens just yet…

  • QuaxMercy

    NorCal – I’ve been thinking any move out of Sched.1 ends their absolute control over research, which means the end of their say in the matter, as the positive, verifiable research begins to pile up. Even a move to Schedule 2 would allow for a much greater latitude of research areas, leading eventually to de-scheduling entirely. That’s how my speculation runs, anyway…

  • n.t. greene

    So, let me get this straight:

    Consuming a substance that says “drink responsibly” is a-ok, even though it causes deaths by the thousands, but…

    When you have to consume something else responsibly, it’s unacceptable! It has to ve safe no matter the dose!

    I haven’t heard anyone go after big alcohol after someone drinks a bottle of vodka and crashes their car.

    • Randy

      Prohibitionists are indeed an intellectually dishonest bunch of people.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Oh now that one is a whopper Randy. We really, really need to keep our talking points somewhere in the realm of being possible and everyone knows that prohibitionists haven’t got an intellect to be dishonest with.

        I’ll let you off with a warning this time because I sense that you were genuinely trying to belittle and denigrate those people. Just be aware that they really are different than us so no more anthropomorphizing the prohibitionists and it’ll be all cool and groovy.

      • DdC

        Prohibitionists follow established laws, bad laws, laws based on lies but laws none the less. Injecting reality only drives them back into the bunkers. Holding their ears murmuring la la la la la la la to avoid accidentally being educated. The human weakness has been removed. The fear of Anslinger was future liberals being too weak to uphold prohibition. So the catch 22’s, stalling, lies and intimidation serve that purpose. Unless Obama removes it from the crooked system, then it is part of the crooked system along with the same hoops to jump through. Nothing prevents private research as it is except they must use Mississippi pot and any results no matter how favorable. Are not HHS sponsored and will never see the FDA for final approval. It’s a product called prohibition they have sold for over a Trillion dollars since Nixon. Kept Trillions in competition from the fossil fools, cotton pesticides, synthetic frankenfud crap. It’s getting the trains to the station on time. Human suffering is collateral damage the same as sitting in a cage for relieving PTSD from getting busted for relieving symptoms of cancer. Schedule#2 is a triplicate and drug stores do not sell whole plant. Until Sativex passes FDA only synthetic cannabinoids are available or will be available. There is no logic to look for. No amount of whining will stop someone from getting a paycheck to uphold the laws when it feeds their families. Americans voted the fascist in and will go down with them. The G-20 Neocons have no use for Constitutions and they were voted in by both parties voters. Actually it is looking more like western culture is too stupid for Ganja. Same as a fool and his money will soon be separated.

  • TED is at it again. Having censored the consciousness-exploring works of Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake, now they claim that “Boca Raton isn’t ready to talk about cannabis.”
    This despite a mmmj bill winning well over 50% of the vote in Florida.
    Spread the link and the info. TED is not an open forum of ideas. It is TERD.

    http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/ZapolinM1.php

  • claygooding

    Sometimes families in their grief will grab anything that takes away any guilt or shame they may feel because of what part they played in the young person’s life and death,,whether it is something they did or didn’t do when they should have.

    My sympathy goes out for their loss and I never argue or debate with this type of grief,,time is the only healer.

    I do debate with the Linda’s and the Kevins that attempt to use his death as proof of harm from marijuana.

  • n.t. greene

    “For philistinism thinks it is in control of possibility, it thinks that when it has decoyed this prodigious elasticity into the field of probability or into the madhouse it holds it a prisoner; it carries possibility around like a prisoner in the cage of the probable, shows it off..”

    -Kierkegaard

  • strayan

    Hi, my name is Kaleb. I just want to stop by to bust the myth that soda is safe.

    Summary: Soda pop vending machine tipping continues to be a dangerous behavior that can result in lethal or crippling injuries. This study analyzes 64 cases of injuries secondary to crushing by a soda machine. All were male victims except one. The average age was 19.8 years with a range of 5-39 years. Thirteen victims sustained multiple trauma. Fifteen victims were killed. Increased public awareness coupled with support by the government and private industry has contributed to a sharp reduction in incidence of accidents and improved public safety. http://journals.lww.com/jorthotrauma/abstract/1992/06000/soda_pop_vending_machine_injuries__an_update.9.aspx

    I’m posting this whilst trapped underneath a cannabis vending machine. HELP!!!!!

  • A Conversation with President Obama and The Wire Creator David Simon https://youtu.be/xWY79JCfhjw

  • Servetus

    Detroit, Michigan officials can’t seem to do anything about one of their police officers, William “Robocop” Melendez, even though in a video he appears to be planting crack cocaine on Floyd Dent after beating him up, and in the past has had multiple jury awards totaling more than a million dollars paid to plaintiffs against him. Mr. Dent has been an employee of Ford Motor Co. for 37 years, and has no criminal record. One can easily imagine Detroit becoming the next Ferguson with sparks like these. Apparently no one in Detroit’s municipal government cares.