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ocnorml.org

Toke of the Town realizes that many of you are going to get blotto on New Year’s Eve, and there’s no denying that’s the traditional thing to do.
But as Mason Tvert has told us, marijuana is safer. So if you want to have the best time possible this December 31 as you bring in a fresh 2010, maybe you should have a pot party instead of a beer bash.
At the very least, if you must get drunk, smoke pot while doing so. Scientific studies show that marijuana helps protect your brain cells from the damaging effects of bingeing on alcohol.
Towards the goal of reducing the incidence of nasty hangovers, projectile puking, and waking up in bed with people you don’t know, and in the interest of promoting parties that are safer and more fun, here are 10 songs you don’t want to miss when compiling a playlist to bring in the new year in high style.

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Graphic: thefreshscent.com

​Proposed regulations for the operation of compassion centers to dispense medical marijuana have been issued by Rhode Island health regulators, but it could still be up to a year before the first center opens, reports Mike Stanton of The Providence Journal.

“What’s a reasonable timeline? You could be talking about up to a year, or maybe it will take less time,” said Health Department spokesman Robert Vanderslice.

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Photo: Samsul Said, The Malay Mail
Shahrul Izani is escorted out of the courtroom by police this morning, on his way to Death Row

​A 25-year-old man wept openly in Malaysian High Court court this morning when the judge sentenced him to death for marijuana.

Shahrul Izani Suparman was convicted of possessing 622 grams of cannabis with intent to deliver, reports Azreen Hani of The Malay Mail. Shahrul was 19 years old when he was arrested on Sept. 25, 2003.
According to police, Shahrul tried to get away from them on foot when he was ordered to stop while riding his motorcycle in Klang, Malaysia. Authorities said Shahrul had made a U-turn, and was riding without his lights on.
The marijuana, packed in two separate newspaper wrappings, was found in the motorcycle’s basket. Shahrul was charged under Malaysia’s Dangerous Drugs Act of 1952, which upon conviction carries a death sentence by hanging.

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www.freeclassicimages.com

​There are 166 million marijuana users in the world, representing 3.9 percent of Earth’s population between 15 and 64, according to a new study.

The herb is “most used among young people in rich countries,” led by the United States, Australia and New Zealand, followed by Europe, according to the paper, published in medical journal The Lancet on Friday, canada.com reports.
The study’s authors grudgingly admit that marijuana’s impact “is probably modest” compared with the burden from legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco. After all, these are scientists, and they do have to acknowledge those troublesome data.
But the scientists fall all over themselves rushing to warn that “cannabis has a long list of suspected adverse health effects,” dutifully toeing the line that “marijuana is dangerous,” while lacking any convincing evidence to prove that claim.

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Photo: AFP

​Five Chinese men have been sentenced to death in northern Vietnam for trafficking hashish.

The men were accused of trafficking almost eight tons of hash destined for Canada, according to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
The hashish came from Pakistan and was about to be shipped to North America through the Vietnamese port of Mong Cai, VNA said.
The Chinese men, ranging in age from 42 to 57, were arrested in May 2008. They were also charged with smuggling almost $180,000 in cash.
Vietnam became known for its high-quality cannabis during its 10-year war with the United States, but the communist government in power since the war ended in 1975 has some of the toughest drug trafficking laws in the world.


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KING5
“Anti-drug advocate”/obnoxiously smug yuppie Steve Danishek spouts ignorance and intolerance on cue for reporter Eric Schudiske

​For the past nine years on Christmas Day, 5th Avenue and James Street in Seattle has been at the crossroads of the controversy over marijuana legalization.

As they’ve done every year in the 21st Century, protesters outside King County Jail held a pro-marijuana vigil, maintaining non-violent drug offenders should be home for the holidays, reports Eric Schudiske of King 5 News.
“We just think that otherwise law-abiding Americans should find alternatives to incarceration for marijuana use,” said Vivian McPeak, organizer of the vigil.
McPeak remains optimistic about the prospects for positive change. “We believe very strongly that we’re in the last decade of marijuana criminalization,” he said.

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Photo: www.comptonsunshine.com
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree…

​Sometimes the Grinch wears a badge, man.

Police confiscated around 20 pounds of marijuana from a car this week, some in boxes wrapped as Christmas gifts, according to The Associated Press.
A Highway Patrol spokesman said troopers found the cannabis in a vehicle stopped for speeding on Interstate 44 near Joplin, Missouri.
Two California women in the car unwisely gave troopers permission to search the vehicle.
(Quick tip: Never, ever consent to a search. Make them get a warrant. They won’t “go easier on you” if you give up your rights.)
Both were charged after officers found the 20 pounds of weed, and were actually pretty fortunate to be released on just $1,000 bond Tuesday with only one pot-related count each.

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photobucket.com

​A northern Michigan woman who was in the process of being evicted by Jan. 1 for legally growing and using medical marijuana has been given a holiday reprieve.

Lori Montroy, 49, of Elk Rapids had been told she must be out of her apartment by the end of the year, or face eviction proceedings in Antrim County court.
The Gardner Group, which manages the building, said the process has been suspended and Montroy’s case will be reviewed after Jan. 4, according to the Associated Press.
Montroy has terminal brain cancer of the type that killed U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
Medical marijuana is legal in Michigan, but the Gardner Group says the federal government considers it illegal.

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Photo: www.thenightmareblog.com

​A Colorado newspaper has published an extraordinary, ringing endorsement for the state’s booming marijuana industry.

Wednesday’s edition of the Colorado Springs Gazette contained the editorial “Pot, the nonproblem,” which called medical marijuana “the least-important, most-imitation crisis in years.”
“Colorado voters approved medical marijuana 10 years ago,” the editorial points out. “It’s in the state constitution, which trumps local authority. A constitution restricts the powers of government, and the Colorado constitution specifically prohibits government from impeding  the sale of medical marijuana.”
“That leaves room only for the reasonable time, place and manner restrictions applied to other businesses,” the Gazette editorialized. “It’s really that simple.”

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Graphic: Reality Catcher

​A terminally ill woman in Michigan is being evicted from her apartment for legally using medical marijuana to treat the painful symptoms of her advanced brain cancer.

Lori Montroy, 49, of Elk Rapids, Mich., is facing eviction by the Gardner Group of Michigan, the company that manages her apartment complex.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan is coming to the aid of the woman. The ACLU wrote a letter Tuesday on behalf of Montroy.
“No one deserves to be put out in the cold for legally treating the crippling pain, nausea and weakness caused by brain cancer,” said Dan Korobkin, staff attorney for ACLU of Michigan. “We believe that the landlord’s decision was not motivated by malice but rather a misconception of the law.”
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