Search Results: chronicle/ (44)

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Patients Against I-502

The Unraveling of Dominic Holden
By Lee Rosenberg
The New Approach Washington campaign turned in its signatures this week for Initiative 502. This initiative would legalize personal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and regulate the distribution and sale of the drug to anyone over 21 [in Washington state]. It also introduces a per se DUI limit for “active” THC – in layman’s terms, the amount of “unprocessed” THC in your body.
Over at Slog, Dominic Holden continues to lash out at the folks in the medical marijuana community who oppose it – primarily due to the DUI provisions. I’ve been trying to stay out of this fight for my own sanity, but Holden’s anger is so misdirected (and misinformed), I have to speak up.

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StoptheDrugWar.org

​Nine members of Congress have taken their concerns about the federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries directly to President Obama.

In a bipartisan letter signed by nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the lawmakers criticized what they called the “unconscionable federal effort targeting dispensaries,” reports Jason Hoppin of the San Jose Mercury News. They also called for the federal reclassification of marijuana from its current Schedule I status as a drug with, supposedly, no legitimate medical uses and a high potential for abuse and addiction.
“It is critically important for patients to have safe access to this treatment that continues to be recommended by doctors,” said Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) “California voters decided to adopt clear regulations to allow patients to do just that. It is unfortunate that the federal government has decided to target these legal vendors instead of focusing limited resources on those who sell illicit drugs.”

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Injustice In Seattle
White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske is lying his ass off.

​The Obama Administration has officially “responded” to the “We The People” online petitions regarding marijuana legalization. Well, kind of — if you’re willing to dignify a bureaucrat mouthing the same old meaningless platitudes by calling that a “response.”

Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske chose to respond to eight petitions regarding cannabis law reform with one blanket response. Speaking of which, ol’ Gil tried to put a wet blanket on the grass-fire that is the legalization movement, but it turns out all he could do is blow smoke.
Conventional wisdom dictates that when you have to make a press release, but really want it to get as little media attention as possible, you release it late on a Friday — which is exactly what the White House has done with this one. That way, all the top-line reporters have gone home or are bar-hopping by the time the release hits, and it has Saturday and Sunday to blow over before the week’s regular news cycle resumes Monday morning.
Kerlikowske, required by law as director of the ONDCP to oppose marijuana legalization, is either completely unaware that history has passed him by, or is pointedly ignoring the obvious. His refusal to even meaningfully engage with drug policy reform advocates shows that worse than being useless, he is an intentional obstruction — a willing part of the problem.

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WTXL

​A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked Florida’s new law requiring welfare applicants to pass a drug test before receiving benefits. U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven said it may violate the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

Judge Scriven ruled in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of a 35-year-old Navy veteran and single father of a four-year-old who sought welfare benefits while finishing his college education, but refused to take the drug test, reports the Associated Press.
According to the judge, there is a “substantial likelihood” that plaintiff Luis W. Lebron will succeed in his challenge to the law based on the Fourth Amendment, which is supposed to protect Americans from being unfairly searched.

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Photo: Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman: “We are, of course, supportive of legitimate medical marijuana here.”
By Jack Rikess

Toke of the Town

Northern California Correspondent

The Coming of the New Prophet
Rikess: Last time we spoke in August of last year… (See Toke of the Town’s 2010 interview with Sheriff Allman here.)
Sheriff: Seems like yesterday…
Rikess: (laughs) I know and still…you don’t write and you don’t call…
Sheriff: (laughs) Okay…
Rikess: So last time I was here, you said something that was incredibly right on. You said that there was going to be very little difference between George Bush’s administration and Obama’s, when it came to medical marijuana. You said that someone big in the attorney general’s office sat in the chair I’m sitting in and said, and I’m paraphrasing, “He guaranteed me that it was going to be the same under Obama as it was with George Bush. In the end, Eric Holder will handle medical marijuana the same way [the]George Bush [Administration] did.” 
Sheriff: It wasn’t Eric Holder. It was a U.S. attorney. The chronological order was, the U.S. attorney came up here and said, (this is definitely under George W.), saying, “ummm, the U.S. government will not get involved with any marijuana cultivation, distribution, what-ever-you-want-to-call-it, that falls within the boundaries of California’s medical marijuana.” 
Okay, thank you very much. And, you know, he took his dog and pony show and went somewhere else. 
Then the presidential election happened, okay. Then in the primary or maybe it was before the general election, Obama just mentioned something about medical marijuana. 

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Graphic: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol


The effort to legalize marijuana in Colorado in 2012 is kicking into high gear. A former cop and a former judge will be among those collecting signatures in Denver on Wednesday.

Police officers, judges and other criminal justice professionals who once enforced Colorado’s marijuana prohibition laws are now helping to get an initiative to legalize and regulate cannabis onto the state’s 2012 ballot.
This Wednesday a former Denver cop and a former Lafayette judge will participate in a signature-gathering drive to support the new initiative by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

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Graphic: Ed Rosenthal
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government arrested 58,000 Canadians for marijuana possession last year.

​Canada’s crime rate has dropped to its lowest level in almost four decades, according to Statistics Canada, but marijuana-related arrests are dramatically increasing.

Stats Canada shows that 58,000 Canadians were arrested for cannabis possession in 2010, a number that is 14 percent higher than the year before, reports Renee Bernard at News 1130.
Pot smokers are being unfairly targeted by the Harper government, according to Jacob Hunter with the Beyond Prohibition Foundation.

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Photo: Drug War Chronicle
Overcrowding at Mule Creek State Prison, Ione, California

Advocates Urge Ending Prison As A Response To Drug Use

The United States Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the unconstitutional conditions of California’s prisons were caused primarily by overcrowding, and ordered California to reduce its prison population from more than 200 percent of design capacity to 137.5 percent of capacity within two years.

“The U.S. Supreme Court was right to uphold the order to reduce California’s prison population,” said Theshia Naidoo, staff attorney for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Tough-on-crime policies have crowded prisons so severely with people convicted of nonviolent offenses, including drug possession, that they are not only unsafe and overly costly, but also a net negative for public safety.”

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Photo: StoptheDrugWar.org

By Michael Bachara

Lifelong activist Ben Masel died on Saturday after a battle with lung cancer. As the hemp and cannabis community and many others mourn this great loss, we must also remember what Masel spent most of his life fighting for, and continue on the path he helped to blaze.
Over the course of his life, Masel traveled countless miles and spent innumerable hours voicing his ideas and fighting for the rights of his fellows. Even in the face of opposition, he continued to speak out in favor of hemp and cannabis legalization, freedom of speech and the ability of people who take a stand to make a difference.
Masel’s lifelong passion, the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival in Madison, Wisconsin, began as a marijuana smoke-in in 1971. The Harvest Festival, now marking its 41st year, has a long history of promoting cannabis/hemp legalization and free speech while providing an annual celebration for like-minded people.

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Photo: Sharon Letts
Dr. Mollie Fry, pictured above, is about to begin a five-year federal prison term for medical marijuana. So is her husband, attorney Dale Schafer.

​By Jack Rikess

Toke of the Town

Northern California Correspondent

It’s a glaring misuse of our legal system against Dr. Marion “Mollie” Fry and her husband, civil attorney Dale Schafer. After more than half a decade of litigation and three years of appeals, the couple have been given until May 2 to turn themselves in to authorities to serve five years in a federal prison.
It started when the police raided their Sacramento home in 2001, finding 34 plants. Well below the 90-plant limit established by the local city ordinance for cardholders such as themselves, the couple thought they were on safe legal ground.
Dr. Fry, having gone through a radical mastectomy, decided to grow her own cannabis to offset the many complications she was experiencing from chemotherapy. Schafer suffers from hemophilia and a wrenched back, and is under constant care. He has also chosen to treat himself with medical marijuana.