There was a time when the US was a marijuana friendly country but the Roosevelt administration thought it was killing America's youth and future so in 1937 pot was banned. By an ironic twist of fate, five years later the Department of Agriculture encouraged farmers to grow hemp to help the country defeat the nazis. Of course, the mirage didn't last long. Cannabis was banned and rebanned. The US pushed forward the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Drugs and 9 years later President Nixon signed the Controlled Substance Act. War on Drugs was at full throttle. Now, after six months of Colorado's green experiment, money is flowing and crime is decreasing. Please, let me try to predict the future: Ironically, curiosly and logically, the US will be marijuana friendly again and a bunch of countries will follow its path... again.
In the summer of 2007 on the campaign trail Barack Obama took a clear stance on the controversial subject of medical marijuana. “I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It’s not a good use of our resources.” As President in 2009 he took action to follow through on this promise by instructing federal prosecutors to “not focus federal resources in [their] States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” The memo cited the “efficient and rational use” of the U.S. Department of Justice’s “limited investigative and prosecutorial resources,” as a motivating factor in the decision." In the winter of 2012 Rolling Stone magazine takes a look back on this subject and the record is surprising. "With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush's record for medical-marijuana busts. "There's no question that Obama's the worst president on medical marijuana," says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "He's gone from first to worst." [more inside]
New York State Congressman Anthony Weiner (D) did an IAMA (I Am A Democrat Who Fights) Q and A on reddit last week. While he answered many questions, he responded to the top five most popular questions questions in video form. [more inside]
This November, California citizens will decide whether or not to legalize the possession, buying and selling of, and recreational use of marijuana. Early polls concerning proposition 19, also known as the "Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010", reveal a slight majority for legalization, as well as an interesting case of status quo bias. (Previously) [more inside]
A medical marijuana provider in California is mounting a novel defense after his marijuana farm was raided by Federal agents. [more inside]
Thirty-six years after the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse recommended that "simple possession" of pot be decriminalised, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has introduced a bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), to remove federal criminal penalties for possession of up to 100 grams (about three-and-a-half ounces) of marijuana and the not-for-profit transfer of up to one ounce (28.3 grams). Drug reform advocates
lit up hailed the legislation as "an important step toward bringing federal law into line with scientific fact, practical reality and public opinion." Is America, at long last, having a collective moment of sanity?
Robin Prosser was a former concert pianist and systems analyst who suffered from an autoimmune disease similar to lupus for over 20 years. The disease left her in constant pain and made her allergic to most pharmaceutical painkillers. Only medical marijuana brought her relief, but last spring the DEA seized her medicine. Unable to cope with the chronic pain any longer, she committed suicide on October 18th. [Via Andrew Sullivan.]
"If marijuana were a new discovery rather than a well-known substance carrying cultural and political baggage, it would be hailed as a wonder drug."
Marijuana, the wonder drug. A new study in the journal Neurology is being hailed as unassailable proof that marijuana is a valuable medicine. It is a sad commentary on the state of modern medicine that we still need "proof" of something that medicine has known for 5,000 years.
Pot, boobies and panties in the Alabama Govenors Race Loretta Nall is running for govenor of Alabama on the Marijuana Party ticket and also trying to the the nomination from the Libertarian Party. Her cleavage recently became an issue when a columnist for an Alabama newspaper got huffy because his newspaper ran a picture of her showing cleavage. But that's not all. Ms. Nall was also denied permission to see her brother in jail because she wasn't wearing panties. She tells all about it in her blog.
When was the last time your country's minister of Justice expressed his policies in rap form? Here's the Dutch justice minister's Piet Hein Donner's debut on the mic (mp3). [more inside]
The War on Drugs hasn't been working at all well. So let's make it even less sensible: harsher penalties, invasion of privacy, all that jazz. The proposal is surreal, but fits in with the rest of US Drug Policy: rapists aren't denied federal funds for post-secondary schooling, but pot-heads are; you can spend more time in jail for dealing weed than for murder; gonna deal pot, ya might as well deal speed, it's the same jailtime. And now... let's encourage dealers to sell pot with more carcinogenic tars! [link goes to NORML, possibly NSFW, danger: encourages political activism]
Maryland voted to reduce penalities on folks who smoke marijuana for medical purposes. It's passed the house and is on it's way to becoming law!
Can the current prohibition really be blamed on one guy? First he tells Congress that "marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind" and then World War 2 comes and farmers are encouraged to grow it. After the War, he turns around and tells Congress that it could be used by the Russians to make our men lazy and pacifistic. If he had kept his original argument, our men would be insane killers against the Russian army. What would the country be like if there never was a HARRY J. ANSLINGER ?
Drug War Roundup IV. An athlete who refused a drug test was stripped of her awards. She plays bridge. American Indians who honed their skills tracking drug smugglers recently trained Baltic border guards in the hopes of preventing nuclear weapon proliferation. Another chapter was written in the ongoing "is ecstasy all that dangerous?" debate. Salvatore Gravano is on his way back to prison for running an ecstasy ring. Nevada is edging closer to legalizing up to three ounces of marijuana, to the disdain of Bush's Drug Policy director and Nevada's biggest police group. A Canadian right wing party and cops came out against their government's recent pro-legalization report. I see a pattern, but maybe it's just the pudding.
"and i enjoyed it" Finally an honest politician. Is this a new trend in politics?
"Next week, MPP is suing the government in federal court, arguing that it is our constitutional right to run a medical marijuana ballot initiative in the District of Columbia. If our lawsuit is successful, MPP will be permitted to circulate petitions on the streets of D.C. this spring, for the purpose of placing our medical marijuana measure on the November 2002 ballot."