Tag Archives | Legalization

No, smoking pot will likely NOT make you psychotic

Brooke Hoyer (CC BY 2.0)

Brooke Hoyer (CC BY 2.0)

Don’t run in fear yet! The marijuana study that was the talk of the town last week appears to be problematic.

Paul Armentano at AlterNet breaks it down:

The mainstream media was abuzz this week promoting an age-old claim: Smoking marijuana makes you crazy.

“Psychosis five times more likely for cannabis users: study,” a wire story from Agence France-Presse declared. The UK Mail on Sunday expressed similar alarm, declaring, “Scientists show cannabis TRIPLES psychosis risk.” Somewhat surprisingly, it was Fox News that took the most reserved approach, announcing “Smoking high-potency marijuana may cause psychiatric disorders.”

So what was the source of this latest round of sensational headlines? Writing in the February 18 edition of the British journal The Lancet Psychiatry, investigators assessed rates of cannabis use in a cohort of South London first-episode psychosis patients versus pot use frequency in a similar group selected from the general population.

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Guns and Pot: Which States Are Friendly to Both?

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via Reason.com [Follow the link to check out the rest of the analysis and a funny “Guns and Dope Party gif”] :

A Reddit user recently posted a graphic called “The Venn Diagram of Cultural Politics,” showing which states allow at least some citizens to use marijuana, which states recognize gay marriages, and which do both. The chart got us wondering: Which places embrace the personal freedoms beloved by the left and the right? Where can you buy both a vibrator and a Big Gulp? Where can a gay couple not just marry but avoid a high sin tax on the cigarettes they smoke after sex? Where can you carry a gun while passing a joint?

The image below tackles that last question. If you include states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes only, there are now 24 states that permit pot. There are 42 states where an adult non-felon’s right to carry a concealed gun is either unrestricted or subject only to permissive “shall issue” laws.

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Here’s what happened at the The Psychedelic Society’s launch

(Evan/Flickr)

(Evan/Flickr)

via The Irish Examiner:

This week saw the launch event of The Psychedelic Society, where respected people in the fields of science, activism, drug law and drug welfare came together, to discuss what they feel needs to change and why.

Their argument is that all drugs, not just psychedelic drugs, should be legal. The current legislation doesn’t allow research into the possible medicinal benefits that they may provide and, they say, needlessly criminalises users – a lot of whom are vulnerable already.

Steve Rolles, a senior policy analyst at drug policy think tank Transform, says: “Everyone agrees that the war on drugs is terrible but unless you can provide a convincing view of the future, the debate kind of stalls a bit.”

The Psychedelic Society and its founder, Stephen Reid (above), got together to stop the debate from stalling and there couldn’t have been anyone better to take part than Professor David Nutt, who led the first study using LSD in 50 years.

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How marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington is making the world a better place

"Marijuana Ambulance" by Hammerin Man via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

“Marijuana Ambulance” by Hammerin Man via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

via Washington Post:

No pressure, Colorado and Washington, but the world is scrutinizing your every move.

That was the take-home message of an event today at the Brookings Institution, discussing the international impact of the move toward marijuana legalization at the state-level in the U.S. Laws passed in Colorado and Washington, with other states presumably to come, create a tension with the U.S. obligations toward three major international treaties governing drug control. Historically the U.S. has been a strong advocate of all three conventions, which “commit the United States to punish and even criminalize activity related to
recreational marijuana,” according to Brookings’ Wells Bennet.

The U.S. response to this tension has thusfar been to call for more “flexibility” in how countries interpret them. This policy was made explicit in recent remarks by Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield, wholast week at the United Nations said that “we have to be tolerant of different countries, in response to their own national circumstances and conditions, exploring and using different national drug control policies.” He went on: “How could I, a representative of the Government of the United States of America, be intolerant of a government that permits any experimentation with legalization of marijuana if two of the 50 states of the United States of America have chosen to walk down that road?”

As far as policy stances go this is an aggressively pragmatic solution. 

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Avoiding Dumb Marijuana Legalization

The Marijuana Debate: do we follow Colorado?

800px-Cannabis_01_bgiu

The debate surrounding the legalization of marijuana in the US has picked up pace due to the recent results of the Colorado Marijuana experiment, in which the substance was legalized in January in order to see what the economic and social impact would be. Crime rates have lowered and the revenue generated from tax and licensing is predicted to reach $100 million within a year. However, is the approach to this legalization all too commercial? If we proceed with legalizing marijuana in the same manner we did with alcohol after prohibition, will it become just another commercial tool for the government to exploit the public?

How would marijuana make the government money?

As with everything, the government is able to tax alcohol and they can increase or decrease this depending on their needs. For example, recent budget cuts have resulted in states, such as Maryland, raising the sale tax rate on alcohol by 3% in order to increase revenue.Read the rest

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The Swedish Model Isn’t the Answer to Legalizing Prostitution

The Swedish Model makes the act of buying, not selling, sex illegal. But what are the implications of such a law?

Street life: three "Jineteras". Havana (La Habana), Cuba. (Photo by Jorge Royan via Wikimedia Commons)

Street life: three “Jineteras”. Havana (La Habana), Cuba. (Photo by Jorge Royan via Wikimedia Commons)

via Time:

Making the purchase of sex a crime strips women of agency and autonomy. It should be decriminalized altogether.

Prostitution is known as the “world’s oldest profession,” and whether it should be criminalized – or not – is one of the oldest debates among social reformers. Today, a growing consensus around the world claims the sex trade perpetuates male violence against women, and so customers should be held as criminals. On the contrary, it’s decriminalizing prostitution that could make women—in and outside the sex industry—safer.

This modern debate has roots in Victorian England, which branded prostitutes as wicked, depraved and a public nuisance. Yet a shift in social thought throughout the era introduced the prostitute as a victim, often lured or forced into sexual slavery by immoral men.

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Cannabis can kill?

Pic: Marijuana Majority (C)

Pic: Marijuana Majority (C)

“In war, truth is the first casualty.”

- Aeschylus

As the world watches America make moves to legalise cannabis, a worrying trend is emerging in the UK where the war on drugs continues. Earlier this year Disinfo brought you the surprising news that the UK Government owned National Health Service had recorded the drug as a cause of death. Now the Daily Mail has published another curious report claiming further fatalities.

The UK’s Daily Mail reports:

It is possible to die as a direct result of smoking cannabis, new research shows.

German scientists have identified two people who died purely as a result of smoking the drug.

It was previously known that using marijuana could be fatal if it was used in conjunction with other drugs – such as by triggering heart conditions or by causing cancer.

[…]

Now, scientists at the University Hospital Düsseldorf in Germany have carried out the first full post mortem examinations on people who have died after using the drug.

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Study Says Suicide Rate Will Fall Significantly In States With Legalized Marijuana

Marijuana jointApparently legalizing weed saves lives, the New Republic reports:

The American Journal of Public Health has just published a study suggesting that states that legalize medical marijuana can expect a reduction in suicide rates.

A team of economists looked at state-by-state statistics on suicide rates over a 17-year period, from 1990 to 2007, comparing data from states that voted to legalize medical marijuana with those that kept it criminalized. According to their calculations, in the three years following legalization, the suicide rate dropped, on average, 10.8 percent among men in their 20s and 9.8 percent for men in their 30s.

“The negative relationship between legalization and suicides is consistent with the hypothesis that marijuana can be used to cope with stressful life events,” wrote the authors.

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