Search Results: op-ed (38)

The Seattle Times

Washington’s I-502 ‘Legalization’: Don’t Fall For This Narrow Proposal

By Douglas Hiatt
Sensible Washington
Washington voters are being told a big lie. New Approach Washington, the campaign behind Initiative 502, is advertising that it will “legalize” marijuana. It would not.
It creates a very narrow exception that defines the possession of one ounce by adults over 21, and the state’s rules for production, as “not a violation” of the law.

Gore Vidal, pictured here in about 1970, died on July 31, 2012 at the age of 86. He was famous for his biting political critiques and acerbic take on American society.

Author, playwright and activist Gore Vidal’s death on Tuesday brought a worldwide expression of gratitude for a life well lived; millions are remembering the liberal author’s contributions to culture and politics.

What’s not as well known is that, decades ago, Vidal took a brave stand in favor of marijuana legalization, as pointed out on the Huffington Post by Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Asian American Bar Association
Federal judge Donna Ryu ordered a defendant to stop taking the legal prescription drug Marinol because it causes the court a problem on drug tests

A medical cannabis activist has been ordered by a judge to find another legal drug than Marinol to treat his chronic back pain.

Jose Gutierrez’s doctor, Frank Lucido, testified at a pretrial detention hearing that he had prescribed Marinol because it is the best legal drug for his condition, but the federal magistrate Donna Ryu objected that it caused her a “problem” because drug tests cannot differentiate it from marijuana, which is illegal under federal law.
In fact, there does exist a test that can discriminate between Marinol and marijuana, according to Dale Gieringer of California NORML, but it is not available through the particular laboratory that has been hired by U.S. Pretrial Services.
“The bottom line is that a US court is asking a defendant who has not yet faced trial to give up legal cannabinoids in favor of addictive opiates because of the inadequacies of its own laws and drug detection technology,” Gieringer said.
Gutuierrez faces felony charges for “assaulting a federal officer” stemming from a scuffle in which he was beaten to the ground by federal agents during the Oaksterdam University raid in April. The offense carried a prison sentence of up to five years.
Surprise, surprise! More gutless non-leadership from the Party of No

Senate Republicans and Conservative Party Break With Top Law Enforcement Officials to Kill Legislation Clarifying Marijuana Possession Laws; Measure Supported by Cuomo, Bloomberg, NYPD Commissioner, District Attorneys Throughout State
Over 50,000 Needless Arrests Cost Taxpayers $75 million a Year, Undermine Ability of Youth to Gain Employment; Majority Leader Skelos and Conservative Party Leader Mike Long Apparently Believe Wasteful, Unlawful, Racially Biased Arrests is “Right Message” for “Youngsters”
Operations Order by Commissioner Kelly Has Proven To Be Ineffective; Advocates, Community Groups and Elected Officials Vow to Continue Fight for Legislation That Ensures Equity, Fairness and Fiscal Responsibility
Monday night, lawmakers in Albany failed to reach agreement on legislation to reduce the staggering number of unlawful, biased arrests for marijuana possession in New York.
The proposal, unveiled by Governor Andrew Cuomo two weeks ago and introduced in the Assembly by Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries, was widely seen as a responsible measure to address the inconsistency and unfairness in the marijuana possession laws in New York. Yet Senate Republicans refused to take up the matter, appearing shaken, intimidated and frightened by threats from Conservative Party Leader Mike Long, who declared he would pull the Conservative Party line from anyone who supported the measure.
The Senate – in what can only be called a stunning failure of leadership – then refused to take up the legislation, undermining reform. Because of inaction in the Senate, tens of thousands of people, predominately young men of color, will continue to be needlessly funneled through the criminal justice system at an expense of tens of millions of dollars to state taxpayers and untold damage to the relationships between law enforcement and communities in New York.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

LEAP Is Hiring
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is seeking a talented and motivated individual to work in its media relations department on a part-time basis. LEAP is a nonprofit organization representing police officers, judges, prosecutors and other criminal justice professionals who want to legalize and regulate marijuana and other drugs after witnessing the failure of the “War On Drugs” up close.
The assistant media relations director will report to and work alongside LEAP’s full-time media relations director in efforts to inject the voices of pro-legalization law enforcers into high-profile news coverage of the rapidly advancing public debate about failed drug policies.
Specifically, duties will include but are not limited to:
• Writing op-eds and letters-to-the-editor.
• Drafting, editing and distributing press releases.
• Making follow-up pitch calls to reporters and producers.

Joe Mabel
The medical marijuana industry in Washington state does not oppose legalization in the wholesale manner in which Dominic Holden, above, claims they do; they merely object to many of I-502’s provisions

By Philip Dawdy
Special to Toke of the Town
The road to cannabis legalization is certainly proving to be an odd one in Washington State, filled with so many ironies that I’ve lost count. Here comes another set of ironies.
On April 13th, the New York Times published an op-ed by Dominic Holden, “news” editor of The Stranger. Its contents prompted me to send the following letter to the editor, which the paper decided wasn’t important enough to share with its readers. In my opinion, Holden has been writing about I-502 in a way that is both deceptive and journalistically unprofessional.
Here’s what I sent the Times:
In journalism school, I was taught that journalists should strive to avoid conflicts of interest and should always reveal them in instances where they cannot be avoided. Interesting then that in his “Smokeless in Seattle” opinion piece on April 13 in which he lambasted the medical marijuana industry for opposing a legalization initiative in Washington State, Dominic Holden did not inform readers that he used to be an employee of the ACLU of Washington.

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.

Riverfront Times
Willson Nixon, 21, son of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, got busted for pot early Saturday morning.

​​The son of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was issued a citation for possession of marijuana early on Saturday.

Police officers claimed Willson Nixon, 21, tried to hide the weed after they were sent to a loud party at Brookside Apartments in Columbia, Missouri. Upon entering the complex, police claimed they detected an “overwhelming smell of marijuana in the hallway.” They also found multiple apartments with open doors.
“This is a private matter that will be handled through the municipal process,” the governor said, reports Mark Slavit at KCRG. “My son is a fine young man, and we will be working through this issue as a family.”
What would be even cooler, Governor, is if you “worked through this issue” as a STATE, and got Missouri’s nonsensical pot laws off the books.
“We’ve been getting calls about loud parties at this complex every weekend,” claimed Jill Wieneke, spokeswoman for the Columbia Police Department.

Graphic: Drug Policy Alliance

​The first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition is coming on Thursday, June 23. Historic, bipartisan legislation which would end the United States’ war on marijuana — and allow states to legalize, tax regulate and control cannabis commerce without federal interference — will be introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).

Co-sponsors of the bill include Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)

The legislation would limit the federal government’s role in marijuana enforcement to cross-border or interstate smuggling, allowing people to legally grow, use or sell marijuana in states where it is legal.

Photo: Jimmy Carter Library & Museum
Former President Jimmy Carter: “Maybe the increased tax burden on wealthy citizens necessary to pay for the war on drugs will help bring about a reform of America’s drug policies”

​In a new op-ed published in The New York Times to coincide with Friday’s 40th anniversary of President Nixon declaring “War On Drugs,” former President Jimmy Carter supports recent recommendations for countries around the world to try “models of legal regulation of drugs … that are designed to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens.”

In the New York Times op-ed, President Carter called the recommendations of the Global Commission on Drug Policy “courageous and profoundly important.”