News

Recent reform news

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“If Obama were committed to drug reform – or simply to states’ rights – he could immediately end DEA raids on those who grow and sell pot according to state law, and immediately order the Justice Department to make enforcement of federal marijuana laws the lowest priority of U.S. attorneys in states that choose to tax and regulate pot. He could also champion a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Diana DeGette, a Democrat from Colorado, that would give state marijuana regulation precedence over federal law – an approach that even anti-marijuana hard-liners have endorsed. As George W. Bush’s former U.S. attorney for Colorado wrote in a post-election op-ed in the Denver Post: “Letting states ‘opt out’ of the Controlled Substances Act’s prohibition against marijuana ought to be seriously considered.”

“Former President Bill Clinton says his administration twisted arms and spent money to interdict the illegal flow of drugs from Colombia to the United States, but acknowledged that the anti-drug strategy “hasn’t worked.”

Clinton and former President Jimmy Carter appear in a new documentary, “Breaking the Taboo, ” in interviews done before Washington and Colorado voted to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.  Breaking the Taboo narrator, actor Morgan Freeman, reports that “the U.S. spent hundreds of billions funding military operations”  in Colombia over the years.”

“Marijuana users who don’t want to smoke in their homes can head to Frankie’s.

The owner of Frankie’s Sports Bar and Grill in Olympia is letting customers smoke pot on the second floor of his business.

Frank Schnarrs thinks it will help bring new revenue to his business.”

“In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, those surveyed say by almost 2-1, 63%-34%, that the federal government shouldn’t take steps to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that legalize pot.”

“Midnight marked the end of Washington’s decades-long prohibition on marijuana possession, prompting celebratory tokes at the Space Needle early Thursday morning and Seattle police to issue a droll statement that officers will look the other way.

Voters approved marijuana decriminalization through Initiative 502 by a 12-point margin on Nov. 6. But, despite the efforts of the serious-minded supporters who crafted the law, what happens next remains something of a mystery.”

“The tumor was remarkably reduced after eight months of treatment. Dr. Courtney pointed out that the success of the cannabis approach means that “this child, because of that, is not going to have the long-term side effects that would come from a very high dose of chemotherapy or radiation… currently the child’s being called a miracle baby, and I would have to agree that this is the perfect response that we should be insisting is frontline therapy for all children before they launch off on all medications that have horrific long term side effects.”

“Lobbyists and pot proponents are jumping onto what may be pot’s zeitgest moment, with bills to legalize marijuana already introduced in Maine and Rhode Island, discussion of possible bills in states including Massachusetts and Vermont, and talk of ballot initiatives in California and Oregon during the next major elections.”

“A majority of people in the United States and Canada believe cannabis should be readily available for those who want to use it, a new two-country Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of representative national samples, a majority of Canadians (57%) and Americans (54%) support the legalization of marijuana.”

“Between 2010 and 2011, California experienced a drastic 20 percent decrease in juvenile crime [including a 26% decrease in youth homicides]–bringing the underage crime rate to the lowest level since the state started keeping records in 1954.

According to a recently released study, much of that improvement can be credited to the decriminalization of marijuana.”

“A week after voters in Washington State and Colorado approved Election Day ballot measures legalizing recreational marijuana, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire got on a plane to D.C. A Democrat, Gregoire wanted to know if the new law would put her state at odds with President Obama, whose administration has raided hundreds of marijuana dispensaries in California, where medical pot has been legal under state law since 1996.

Gregoire met with U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who oversees enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act, the 42-year-old federal law that designates cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, the same category as heroin and LSD. If her state’s liquor control board began issuing permits to aspiring pot entrepreneurs, Gregoire wanted to know, would federal agents soon head her way? Cole didn’t have the answers she wanted. “They are ‘looking at the issue.’ That was about the only reaction we got,” says Gregoire’s spokesman, Cory Curtis.”

“Chris Williams is sitting in a private federal prison on the Montana prairie these days awaiting sentencing. If the federal government has its way, he won’t be a free man again for three-quarters of a century, an effective life sentence for a middle-aged man like Williams.

So, what did he do that merits such a harsh sentence? Did he murder someone? Did he rape, pillage, and plunder? No. He grew medical marijuana. And, as is not uncommon in Montana, he had guns around as he did so. Standing on firm conviction, he steadfastly refused repeated plea bargain offers from federal prosecutors, which could have seen him serving “only” 10 years or so.”

“After spending 40-plus years trying to enforce marijuana laws, Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell said Tuesday he’d like to see weed legalized.

Asked about the drug during a committee meeting, Whitesell told the State Budget Committee he thinks weed should be taxed and regulated”

“A bipartisan group of legislators from around the country led by Rep. Diana DeGette  (D-Colorado) on Tuesday introduced a bill in Congress that would clarify that Colorado and Washington may fully implement the new marijuana laws approved by voters on November 6.

The bill, known as the “Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act,” would add a provision to the federal Controlled Substances Act expressly stating that state marijuana laws shall not be preempted by federal law.

Other sponsors of the legislation include Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), Rep. Steven Cohen (D-TN), and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ).”

“Mykayla first started to feel sick in May, when she developed a rash, cough and night sweats. By mid-July, doctors found a mass in her chest and diagnosed her with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia a few days later. The family relocated from Pendleton, Ore. to Portland to be near Randall Children’s Hospital for treatment, which included chemotherapy.

At first, Mykayla wasn’t responding well to her treatment, and doctors said she might need a bone marrow transplant. Then she started taking the cannabis oil pills. her mother said. By early August, Mykayla was in remission and the transplant was no longer necessary.”

“A public university located in one of California’s prime pot-growing regions has formed an academic institute devoted to marijuana. The Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research at Humboldt State University plans to sponsor scholarly lectures and coordinate research among 11 faculty members from fields such as economics, geography, politics, psychology and sociology.”

“The most-read news release in Seattle police history includes advice about getting high at a magic show and what could happen if a police dog smells the ounce of “Super Skunk” stashed in the trunk.”