Congress ends federal ban on medical marijuana

weed

The federal spending measure passed this weekend, and one of the provisions in it "effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy," reports the LA Times. The provision forbids federal drug agents from raiding retail operations.

I asked Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, if this was as big of a deal as it seems to be. He said, “It’s an historic vote in the annals of marijuana law reform. The disconnect between Congress and the vast majority of Americans regarding federal interference with state medical marijuana laws at last is over.”

Image: Shutterstock

Weed prohibitionists caught telling lies

Carrying on the sleazy tradition of professional liar Harry J. Anslinger (first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department's Federal Bureau of Narcotics), weed prohibitionists are stretching the truth and outright fibbing in a desperate attempt to reverse the nationwide trend towards legalization.

Read the rest

Ethan Nadelmann on Democracy Now : Pot Decriminalization Advances in the U.S

Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance speaks with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now about the growing movement for drug decriminalization that is moving ahead in the United States.

On Monday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said he would sign a bill that would make Philadelphia the largest city in the country to decriminalize marijuana possession. Just two weeks ago, the City Council in Santa Fe voted to decriminalize marijuana. Earlier this year, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray signed a bill to decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana in the U.S. capital.

Ballot initiatives on legalization of marijuana will go before voters in Oregon, Florida and Alaska in November. This comes two years after voter initiatives in Colorado and Washington state legalized recreational marijuana.

The full segment which also includes the Global Commission and its release of their new report "Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Polices the Work" can be seen here.

Medical marijuana linked to reduction in drug overdose rates

Science News: "Death rates from overdoses on prescription painkillers or heroin and other illicit drugs appear to be an average of 24.8 percent lower in states with medical marijuana laws than in states without the laws."

Because American Spectator editor likes scotch, weed must remain illegal

Bob Tyrrell, founder and editor-in-chief of The American Spectator (the stupid person's idea of a smart magazine) enjoys scotch, which is sufficient reason to lock up everyone who doesn't share his taste in recreational drugs.

Both drinking and pot smoking are "coping mechanisms," he concedes, but alcohol is clearly more "civilized" because people can enjoy the taste, drink while reading or conversing, and imbibe without getting "blitzed." All this is either impossible or quite rare among cannabis consumers, Tyrrell asserts with the confidence of someone who has no idea what he's talking about.

Jacob Sullum: Because Bob Tyrrell Prefers Scotch, Marijuana Should Be Banned

Buttle/Tuttle mixup: Cops tell innocent woman she is dead, then throw her in jail

mcneal

Shannon Renee McNeal (right), a 42-year-old woman, has filed a lawsuit against St Louis police and court personnel after they falsely arrested her on felony drug possession charges that were meant for Shannon Raquel McNeal (left), who was 13 years younger. The booking officer at the jail acknowledged that Shannon Renee McNeal's fingerprints didn't match the wanted woman's (who, incidentally, had been dead for three months before the warrant was approved) but jailed her anyway, using the "not my problem" excuse.

A county clerk also allegedly confirmed the officer’s mistake, but Shannon Renee McNeal was still transferred to the city’s department of corrections and assigned a caseworker. After the caseworker also confirmed she was not the suspect, McNeal was allegedly told to retain her own attorney -- which she could not afford -- or notify prosecutors herself.

The suit states that McNeal was kept in jail for two days despite the multiple confirmations of her innocence, during which time she was sprayed with pesticides that burned her stomach and back, before being released on the orders of Circuit Judge Thomas Frawley.

McNeal was fired from her job from the mistake and has to pay to get her named expunged from public databases that falsely claim she has a criminal record.

Insane case of mistaken identity: Woman arrested, told she’s actually dead, jailed anyway

Florida anti-pot leader: weed is a date rape drug and will make you gay and vulnerable to AIDS

A vast majority of Floridians, including Republicans, are in favor of medical marijuana. That means Florida's Amendment 2 ballot initiative, which legalizes medical marijuana, is likely to pass in November.

This is alarming to the neo-Anslinger crowd, which has formed an anti-marijuana group called Drug Free Florida, with the single goal of defeating the amendment. It's headed up by 73-year-old Carlton E Turner, who served as Ronald Reagan's drug czar and coined the slogan "Just Say No." Turner was an instrumental figure in the escalation of the War on Drugs, which sent millions of non-violent people to prison around the world, provided funding for terrorist groups, created widespread government corruption, incubated ruthless drug cartels, and led to the establishment of violent militarized police.

In 1986, when Turner was a big swinging dick in Washington, he stated in a Newsweek magazine article that he had visited drug treatment centers and learned that 40% of the patients had engaged in homosexual activity, concluding that their homosexuality “seems to be something that follows along from their marijuana use ... my concern is, how is the biological system affected by heavy marijuana use? The public needs to be thinking about how drugs alter people’s lifestyles.”

Drug Free Florida is Turner's last chance to inflict large-scale massive pain and suffering.

Aiding Turner is gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson who, thanks to the millions of people who've blown their paychecks at his casinos, is one of the richest men in the world. Adelson contributed $2.5 million to the organization.

With that much ill-gotten gain in its coffers, Drug Free Florida has apparently decided to drop the anti-drug crusading mission and become a comedy website instead. Take a look at their latest parody ad: pot cookies are a date rape drug.

If Adelson kicks in a few more million, Drug Free Florida could give Funny or Die some real competition!

This May Be The Worst Anti-Marijuana Ad of All Time

WATCH: rise of the super drug tunnels: California's losing fight against smugglers

Joe Garcia is a deputy special agent with the Department of Homeland Security and head of the San Diego Tunnel Task Force. His task force has found over 200 tunnels under the California-Mexico border since 1990. But every time they close a tunnel, smugglers build a new, better tunnel. "You can't fight markets," says David Shirk, associate professor of international relations and director of the Justice in Mexico project at the University of San Diego.

Rise of the Super Drug Tunnels: California's Losing Fight Against Smugglers

One cop in Seattle issues 80% of city's marijuana tickets

An internal investigation revealed that the officer "flipped a coin when contemplating which subject to cite," and that he called Washington's legal marijuana law "silly."

Read the rest

DEA agents ignored handcuffed man for 5 days: no water, no food

Drug Enforcement Administration employees saw and heard a handcuffed college student locked in a cell without food or water for five days, but did nothing about it because "they assumed someone else was responsible."

Read the rest

Medical marijuana patient busted in Washington DC

Ed Forchion, aka "The New Jersey Weedman" and his friend Daniel Price, who both have medical marijuana licenses, attempted to go to Washington D.C. where Forchion would be speaking at an event. While going through a security checkpoint, Price was detained for bringing his medical marijuana onto federal property where it is illegal to possess. Forchion gave us this statement afterwards:

"This is a example of The irrational war on drugs at its finest - here on the lawn of our capital citizens arrested and persecuted for a plant! This is the reason we now lead the world in the imprisoned we are not the bastion of a Freedom we once were - Return freedom to America / End the drug war."

The police banned him from the event but they let him go!

Medical marijuana patient fights for his right to light up in a casino

Twenty-three-year-old Daniel Price wants to use his prescribed medicine in an Atlantic City casino. He takes medical marijuana to treat seizures and irritable bowel disease. The casino wont let him, and he has hired a lawyer to press the issue.

Northfield-based attorney Michelle Douglass is now representing Price in what she says could be a ground-breaking legal battle clarifying whether patients like Price must be accommodated by private businesses. “Our position is ... that they are required to provide people with disabilities an accommodation,” Douglass said. “It is legal. He is legally permitted to use medical marijuana.”

(Image: Laurie Avocado)

DEA deputy director: "Every single parent" opposes pot legalization



Well over half of Americans want pot to be legalized, and a panicky Drug Enforcement Administration is ramping up its lies and surliness. Here's a testy exchange between DEA deputy administrator Thomas M. Harrigan and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) on marijuana legalization.

...Harrigan said that "every single parent out there" opposed marijuana legalization.

"Your statement that all parents are against this is ludicrous," said Cohen. "What do you think, that people who are in favor of decriminalization or changing policy don't procreate?"

DEA Official: 'Every Single Parent' Opposes Marijuana Legalization

D.C. decriminalizes marijuana possession - $25 fine for up to 1 ounce

"Moments ago, the Washington, D.C. City Council voted to decriminalize marijuana possession! The bill, which goes into effect this summer, replaces criminal penalties of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine with a civil penalty (similar to a parking ticket) of $25 for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. It also decriminalizes marijuana paraphernalia. This means that, outside of Washington and Colorado, marijuana penalties are now less punitive in our nation’s capital than anywhere else in the country!" - Dan Riffle, Director of Federal Policies for the Marijuana Policy Project

Crack pipe vending machines

Very nice graphic design on this pyrex crack pipe vending machine! It's a project from the Portland Hotel Society, which also runs workshops to teach alcoholics how to make beer and wine. The idea behind both projects is harm reduction — clean pipes prevent the spreading of disease, and alcohol less harmful to drink than rubbing alcohol, hair spray, or hand sanitizer gel.