Tag Archives | Marijuana Legalization

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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Tomorrow’s NFL Championship: The Marijuana Bowl

weed bowlWith their respective teams going head to head, is this year’s Super Bowl the closest thing to a national holiday commemorating the pioneering legalization of weed in Colorado and Washington? Refinery 29 notes:

The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks will face off in Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2. The most offbeat narrative to emerge so far is the strange coincidence that the home states of both teams, Washington and Colorado, are the only ones with legalized recreational marijuana in the country. Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the Marijuana Bowl. Or the Pot Bowl. Or the Weed Bowl.

The NFL forbids its players to use the drug, even for medical reasons. Marijuana advocacy groups point out that the drug can be helpful to players suffering from serious injuries, especially concussions. Others have pointed out that the NFL’s many tie-ins with the alcohol industry comes off as hypocritical.

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Colorado’s Two Dozen Marijuana Shops Made Over $1 Million On The First Day Of Legalization

marijuana shop

Breaking: Coloradans have legal weed, soon to be very rich. Colorado’s 9NEWS reports:

Long lines and blustery winter weather greeted Colorado marijuana shoppers testing the nation’s first legal recreational pot shops Wednesday. Pot shop owners across Colorado believe they collectively made more than $1 million statewide.

The world was watching as Colorado unveiled the modern world’s first fully legal marijuana industry – no doctor’s note required (as in 18 states and Washington, D.C.) and no unregulated production of the drug (as in the Netherlands). Uruguay has fully legalized pot but hasn’t yet set up its system.

Colorado had 24 shops open Wednesday, most of them in Denver, and aside from long lines and sporadic reports of shoppers cited for smoking pot in public, there were few problems.

Marijuana skeptics, of course, watched in alarm. They warned that the celebratory vibe in Colorado masked dangerous consequences.

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Rasta Zombie: Director Mitch Williamsmith On Legalization and the Undead

Rasta ZombieFull disclosure: I’m not a fan of zombies.  My favorite zombie film is still Night of the Living Dead and I only made it through about twenty minutes of the first episode of The Walking Dead before getting bored and switching to some cartoons.

I really didn’t think there was too much ground left to cover for stories about the undead.  We’ve seen proverbs of survival, criticism of consumer culture, and allegorical tales of human beings facing the personification of the primal lizard brain.

But zombies versus pot?  Scary.

Writer and director Mitch Williamsmith, along with producer Shaun Kennedy and cinematographer Brian Kennedy, are working on their new film, Rasta Zombie, which will combine marijuana activism, zombie apocalypse, and every conspiracy theory you’ve ever heard.

But how can a zombie film successfully tackle a theme like marijuana legalization?  I cornered Williamsmith and demanded answers.

ISLA: Tell me about your plans for the film.Read the rest

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For First Time, Majority Of Americans Favor Marijuana Legalization

marijuana

Gallup on new poll results revealing a dangerous drop in the number of squares:

For marijuana advocates, the last 12 months have been a period of unprecedented success as Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana. And now for the first time, a clear majority of Americans (58%) say the drug should be legalized. This is in sharp contrast to the time Gallup first asked the question in 1969, when only 12% favored legalization.

Success at the ballot box in the past year in Colorado and Washington may have increased Americans’ tolerance for marijuana legalization. Support for legalization has jumped 10 percentage points since last November and the legal momentum shows no sign of abating.

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Obama Says That Legalizing Marijuana Is Not A Possibility

legalizing marijuana

If only he would accept a phone call and advice from his old buddies in the Choom Gang. Talk Radio News Service reports:

In a speech in Mexico City on Friday, President Obama shut the door on any possibility that he’ll support efforts in his second term to legalize marijuana. “I honestly do not believe that legalizing drugs is the answer,” the president told a large gathering of young Mexicans at the city’s Anthropology Museum.

Polls show that more and more Americans favor ending the federal ban on pot. A handful of states have lifted restrictions on the drug in recent years.

The president likely felt it necessary to touch on drugs in his speech since marijuana is a chief import from Mexico to the United States. It is also largely to blame for the rising swell of cartel violence in Mexico over the years. Obama said that his administration must figure out a way to reduce demand for drugs.

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The National Disgrace Of Marijuana Possession Arrests

marijuana arrestsThe New Inquiry, sociologist Harry Levine explains the terrible mechanics propelling apartheid-style law enforcement in America:

Police arrest mostly young and low-income men for marijuana possession, disproportionately blacks and Latinos. In the last 15 years, police and sheriff ’s departments in every major U.S. city and county have made over 10 million of these possession arrests. Most people arrested were not smoking. They were carrying tiny amounts.

Police make so many because they are relatively safe and easy arrests. All police have arrest quotas and often they can earn overtime pay by making a marijuana arrest toward the end of a shift. The arrests show productivity. Making many low-level arrests of all kinds is very good for training rookie police who gain experience doing many stops and searches of teenagers.

There is also a push nationally, to states, counties, and city police departments, to get as many new people as possible into the criminal databases.

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New York Republican Who Voted Against Medical Marijuana Busted For Pot

The Wall Street Journal reports a pretty good example of political hypocrisy, with lawmaker Steve Katz, fresh off of helping defeat the legalization of medical marijuana in New York state for people who desperately need it:

A Putnam County assemblyman received a ticket for marijuana possession Thursday after he was stopped for speeding on the New York State Thruway.

Assemblyman Steve Katz, a 59-year-old Republican who voted no last year on a bill to legalize medical marijuana, had been traveling 80 mph on I-87 through Coeymans, N.Y., where the speed limit is 65 mph, state police said. During the speeding stop, police said a trooper noted the odor of marijuana and found Mr. Katz in possession of a small bag.

State police released Mr. Katz with a ticket and ordered him to appear in court on March 28. He didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

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UN: Colorado, Washington Pot Legalization Must Stop

Colorado and Washington – which voted to legalize marijuana in November – haven’t started (legal) sales of the drug yet and already the measures appear on precarious ground. There have been ambiguous signals from the Obama administration as to a future federal response and a public letter signed by former DEA chiefs demands the new state laws be quashed. Now, the United Nations is piling on.

The International Narcotics Control Board, a UN body charged with implementation of international drug treaties, has issued a demand to the U.S. government to “ensure full compliance with the international drug control treaties on its entire territory,” the Seattle Times reports.  Specifically, drug liberalization laws in Washington and Colorado violate international drug agreements, the board contends. Attorney-General Eric Holder says he is continuing to review the Washington and Colorado laws as he works to formulate a response.

In an unrelated editorial, Daniel Wolfe of the Open Society Foundations, has compiled a list of “the 5 Ways the UN’s Drug Watchdog Fails on Health and Human Rights,” which was published yesterday at The Huffington Post.… Read the rest

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