Tag Archives | Legalization

Could the UK Also be About to Decriminalise Cannabis?

Curious synchronistic rumblings from the British press seem to suggest a change in the UK’s laws on recreational drugs might be in the offing, after the US cannabis lobby’s recent successes. The bad news first, it won’t be until at least 2015 and the current official stance on the matter, reported by The Daily Mail, is predictably inane:

Last night, a government spokesperson said: ‘Drugs are illegal because they are harmful – they destroy lives and blight communities.

‘Our current laws draw on the best available evidence[1] and as such we have no intention of downgrading or declassifying cannabis.

‘A Royal Commission on drugs is simply not necessary. Our cross-government approach is working.

‘Drug usage is at its lowest level since records began and people going into treatment today are far more likely to free themselves from dependency than ever before.

‘We will respond to the report more fully in due course.’

Full story in The Daily Mail

However the above is taken from an article with the heading: “Treat addicts, don’t lock them up: MPs pave way to legalise drugs as they admit prison sentences are failing to deter offenders“.… Read the rest

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More Than Half the US Supports Legalisation of Cannabis

Picture: NARA (PD)

“Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda, observing as far as my red eyes can see toking on a big fat f–king bong! Yeah, that’s right you f–kers in the future, suck it up. I smoked weed like a motherf–ker! Go Google it!”

- Thomas Jefferson[1]

The legalisation of cannabis meme seems to be reaching its tipping point. The Volokh Conspiracy reports:

A recent poll conducted by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling indicates that 58% of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. This is consistent with other recent survey data showing that public opinion is moving in a pro-legalization direction. In 2011, a Gallup poll showed 50% support for legalization for the first time. As with other recent surveys, the PPP polls finds that support for legalization is highest among younger people. But this is a generational effect in which each generation is more supportive of legalization than the one that came before, rather than a cohort effect in which the young are pro-legalization, but quickly turn against it once they get older.

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How Pot Became Legal in Colorado and Washington

Picture: "Lots of Marijuana" Cannabis Training University (CC)

Looks like the “counterculture” shoe is on the other foot. Pot is going mainstream. Here’s how it happened:

Via Christian Science Monitor:

In the late-1980s heyday of the anti-drug “Just Say No” campaign, a man calling himself “Jerry” appeared on a Seattle talk radio show to criticize U.S. marijuana laws.

An esteemed businessman, he hid his identity because he didn’t want to offend customers who — like so many in those days — viewed marijuana as a villain in the ever-raging “war on drugs.”

Now, a quarter century later, “Jerry” is one of the main forces behind Washington state’s successful initiative to legalize pot for adults over 21. And he no longer fears putting his name to the cause: He’s Rick Steves, the travel guru known for his popular guidebooks.

“It’s amazing where we’ve come,” says Steves of the legalization measures Washington and Colorado voters approved last month.

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Why Cannabis Doesn’t Make Most People Psychotic

Picture: Psychonaught (PD)

If you sit toking on carrot sized joints all day every day it’s almost inevitable you will encounter problems when trying to live a productive life. However, it’s an often noted fact that plenty of people live that lifestyle and do not go round the proverbial bend. For years this has confused people when, on the other hand, there are some who clearly lose the plot after getting into the habitual ‘wake and bake’ mentality.

Lies and disinformation are a fact of life when it comes to illegal recreational substances. However, this story from Live Science, has a certain ring of truth about it:

People who smoke pot may be at increased risk for psychosis if they have a certain genetic marker, a new study finds.

The results show people with this genetic marker who use cannabis are twice as likely to experience psychosis compared with those who use the drug but do not have the genetic marker.

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Jimmy Carter promised to end prohibition in the 1970’s, will Obama be forced to deliver now that Washington State and Colorado have legalized?

via chycho

Below you will find a brief summary of where we stand regarding America’s War on Drugs:

  1. The Carter and Reagan Years

  2. Some Astonishing Statistics

  3. Obama and the Hypocrisy

  4. Washington and Colorado Legalize

  5. Our Present Predicament

  6. How to End Prohibition

I. The Carter and Reagan Years

In 1973 Oregon became the first state to modify its law and decriminalize marijuana use, which meant possession became a civil offense punishable by a fine. A key reason for this legislative change was pressure exerted by the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML), a private citizens group founded in 1971 that believed drug laws were unfair to recreational users. The American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Bar Association (ABA) also supported marijuana law reform – the AMA came out in favor of dropping penalties for possession of insignificant amounts of marijuana in 1972, while the ABA recommended decriminalization in 1973.”

“Ten other states followed Oregon in decriminalizing marijuana and it appeared the nation was well on its way toward a federal policy of less stringent marijuana regulation.

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Banks Forcing Legal Pot Growers to Run Cash-Only Businesses

Picture: Joshua Sandoval (CC)

Even if you’re legally selling marijuana according to the laws of your state, the drug’s federal status may keep banks from doing business with you. Seems like the feds are shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to the potential of marijuana as a taxable revenue, but what else is new?

Via NPR:

Voters in Washington and Colorado just approved measures legalizing marijuana for recreational use. But businesses that want to sell marijuana in those states will face a problem: No bank wants to do business with them.

I called several banks in Washington. I called a local credit union, a tiny bank in the San Juan islands. Everybody said basically the same thing. Even if selling marijuana is legal under state law, it’s still illegal under federal law. And banks and credit unions worry that this could get them in trouble.

So people who want to go into the marijuana business — who want to legally grow, distribute, sell marijuana in the state — are going to have to operate, basically, like drug dealers.

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Washington State and Colorado Join the Fray: Cannabis Legalized

via chycho

The big news from last night is not that the lesser of two evils won the US presidential elections, but that “Washington and Colorado voters legalized recreational use of marijuana.”

“’It’s very monumental,’ said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a Washington-based group that advocates legalization. ‘No state has ever done this. Technically, marijuana isn’t even legal in Amsterdam.’”

Under the measures, “personal possession of up to an ounce (28.5 grams) of marijuana would be legal for anyone at least 21 years of age. They also will permit cannabis to be legally sold and taxed at state-licensed stores in a system modeled after a regime many states have in place for alcohol sales.”

In addition, the cultivation of up to six plants for personal use will be legal in Colorado while still remaining illegal in Washington State.… Read the rest

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Drugs are bad mkay?

“In war, truth is the first casualty” – Aeschylus

Picture: DEA (PD)

An interesting piece from the Reuters news agency:

(Reuters) – The presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala all called for a vigorous global debate of anti-narcotics laws at the United Nations on Wednesday, raising new questions about the wisdom of the four-decade-old, U.S.-led “war on drugs.”

Although none of the leaders explicitly called for narcotics to be legalized, they suggested at the U.N. General Assembly that they would welcome wholesale changes to policies that have shown scant evidence of limiting drug flows while contributing to massive violence throughout Latin America.

“It is our duty to determine – on an objective scientific basis – if we are doing the best we can or if there are better options to combat this scourge,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said.

[My emphasis]

The article in full is here.

Meanwhile UK national broadcaster Channel 4 is this week presenting two live shows about Ecstacy, with the help of volunteers who are sampling the drug and reporting their (on the whole positive) experiences.… Read the rest

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Victory for Speech: Facebook To Allow Marijuana Reform Ads

Flicker: mardi_grass_2010 (CC)

Both the EFF and the ACLU are celebrating a digital victory, after the “politically-neutral” Facebook reversed its rejection of ads by advocacy groups working on marijuana policy reform.

via EFF:

The ads in question showed marijuana leaves, sometimes with photos of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and urged viewers to join campaigns to make marijuana reform an election issue. Several versions of similar Facebook ads were submitted by Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Just Say Now, but both groups were initially rejected. After EFF and the ACLU of Northern California reached out to Facebook about the issue, Facebook did the right thing and restored the ads.

Facebook has publicly established guidelines that state that a Facebook advertisement “may not promote tobacco or tobacco-related products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, tobacco pipes, hookahs, hookah lounges, rolling papers, vaporized tobacco delivery devices and electronic cigarettes.” But the language from the banned ads said simply things like: “Registered to vote?

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