Cannabis News Marijuana Policy Project
  Pot Measure Approval Would Lack Fed Support
Posted by CN Staff on October 17, 2006 at 06:55:21 PT
By Alyshia Hamm 
Source: Daily Sentinel 

cannabis Colorado -- In the upcoming November election, citizens of Colorado will have to make decisions on several very important and controversial issues. One of these issues is Amendment 44.

Amendment 44 would make it legal under state law for a person ages 21 and over to carry up to one ounce of marijuana. This legislation would replace the current law that imposes a fine of $100 for anyone possessing up to one ounce of marijuana.

This subject has been a hot topic of debate since the city of Denver legalized up to an ounce of marijuana within the city limits last November.

One major organization that has expressed opposition to Amendment 44 is Guarding Our Children Against Marijuana, also known as GOCAM. This organization is lead by Beverly Kinard, who has a history in politics including working with Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign.

Kinard said she fears the amendment would negatively affect children.

“It has been proven that when we portray marijuana as a dangerous drug, addiction goes down, while when portrayed as a less dangerous drug, addiction goes up,” she said.

Kinard also said she feared for unborn children.

“Moms who smoke marijuana are more likely to have children with behavioral problems and who have an 11 times greater chance of developing leukemia,” she said.

Another organization that is publicly against the amendment is the Drug Enforcement Agency. According its Web site, “Legalization of marijuana, no matter how it begins, will come at the expense of our children and public safety. It will create dependency and treatment issues, and open the door to use of other drugs, impaired health, delinquent behavior, and drugged drivers.”

“This is not the marijuana of the 1970s,” the Web site reads. “Today’s marijuana is far more powerful. Average THC (the intoxicating chemical in marijuana) levels of seized marijuana rose from less than one percent in the mid-1970’s to a national average of over eight percent in 2004.”

While there are many organizations opposed to this issue, there are also several that are in favor of it. One of these is Safe Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation or SAFER. Mason Tvert, a campaign director for SAFER, makes a case for marijuana being ultimately safer than the already-legalized alcohol.

“What we have are two recreational substances,” he said. “The difference is that alcohol is more addictive and more toxic. It is also associated with aggression and violence, which means it is far more likely to lead to the harm of someone other than the user.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 20,000 Americans die annually as the direct result of alcohol consumption. The comparable figure for marijuana is zero,” he said.

To his opponents’ argument, Tvert points out that Amendment 44 has nothing to do with kids.

“If it passes, it will still be illegal for anyone under 21 to possess marijuana, and it will still be a felony to provide a minor with any amount of marijuana,” he said.

The SAFER Web site itself sums up the organization’s beliefs in the statement: “Alcohol use is far more harmful than marijuana use to both the user and to society, and Colorado citizens are fed up with a system that punishes adults for using marijuana while allowing — and often encouraging them — to use alcohol. It is time our government stops driving people to drink and allow them to make the safer choice.”

The ultimate dilemma of this law however, is its direct conflict with federal law. While Colorado governments would be prohibited from punishing the use of limited amounts of marijuana, the federal government could still punish this act.

If this happened, the issue would more than likely fall into a Supreme Court battle, which will either kill the Colorado legislation or overturn federal laws dealing with possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Tvert said what the amendment boils down to is “should the adult possession of up to one ounce of marijuana be legal under state law?”

Voters will answer that question Nov. 7.

Alyshia Hamm is a Fruita Monument High School student writing on election issues for The Daily Sentinel in conjunction with Kids Voting of Mesa County.

Source: Daily Sentinel, The (Grand Junction, CO)
Author: Alyshia Hamm
Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Copyright: 2006 Cox Newspapers, Inc.
Contact: letters@gjds.com
Website: http://www.gjsentinel.com/

Related Articles & Web Site:

Safer Choice
http://www.saferchoice.org/

High Time for Pot Law, Supporters Say
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22286.shtml

Drug Czar Visits Two States To Slam Pot Initiative
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22277.shtml

Hippie-Hating and Baiting
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22244.shtml


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Comment #20 posted by afterburner on October 17, 2006 at 21:06:07 PT
'Pot Measure Approval Would Lack Fed Support'
Well, Duh! Top-down doesn't work, so far. Bottom-up or grass roots works. Denver's law isn't enforced, so we go to the State of Colorado. If Colorado's law isn't enforced, then we go to the United States of America.

Safer.

Why was cannabis medicine banned?

ego transcendence or ego destruction, yours to discover.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #19 posted by Max Flowers on October 17, 2006 at 17:39:42 PT
The movie I mentioned in post #14
It's called "America: Freedom To Fascism"

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #18 posted by FoM on October 17, 2006 at 12:50:53 PT
JustGetnBy
Thank you. That's what jumped out at me too. I can understand that some women feel they need to be the mother of other women's children even though I think it's wrong but to push for such sensationalism just is going way to far. If only they would tell of the good reports on marijuana for adults ( Alzheimer's Disease ) and let parents do the parenting of their own children.

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Comment #17 posted by JustGetnBy on October 17, 2006 at 12:36:53 PT
FOM Comment #1
BINGO !!!!!! That phrase jumped out at me like a flash bang in a SWAT Raid. How can any thinking person not question a statement like that.

Excerpt: “Moms who smoke marijuana are more likely to have children with behavioral problems and who have an 11 times greater chance of developing leukemia,” she said.

The only sanity I find today is among the minority and fringe of todays Murika.Y'all are a candle in a dark world....

Peace

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #16 posted by whig on October 17, 2006 at 12:16:15 PT
Your FDA Commissioner
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aD.04W7W3tyE

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Comment #15 posted by whig on October 17, 2006 at 10:55:41 PT
Max Flowers
Wesley Snipes is huge. He is high profile. He is black. He is standing up to the man. Wesley Snipes cannot be called anything but an honorable American.

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Comment #14 posted by Max Flowers on October 17, 2006 at 10:34:02 PT
Wesley Snipes indicted for tax fraud
This is a headline in the news today. This should be very, very interesting. He's using the "861 argument," which the feds LIE and characterize as a legal stance that is "frivolous" and "rejected by the courts," but if one takes the time to actually read the USC and IRS regulations (as Snipes must have, or at least was convinced of by his tax people), one finds that in reality, there is actually no law that defines specific liability for domestic tax on domestic income (money made here and not in foreign countries) for Americans. And unless we have all woken up in North Korea or Saudi Arabia, the rule of law in this country is still supposed to be about specifics. In other words, a law is not supposed to have any force or binding power if it is vague or unclear or does not specify beyond all doubt who it applies to.

The 861 argument exposes the fact that the IRS uses fear and confusion to fraudulently enforce USC regulations against the wrong targets where income tax liability is concerned (check it out for yourself, read http://www.etherzone.com/2003/shie100903.shtml and http://www.givemeliberty.org/ ).

I say it will be interesting because heretofore, the only people who have challenged the criminal IRS and US on this have been un-famous people, including former IRS special agent Joe Banister (who was recently acquitted on a case related to this issue). But now, we have a high-profile movie star involved, which presents a whole different ball game. Maybe now, the issue will get nationwide coverage and get people talking about it on a scale not seen yet, which is what needs to happen.

If Snipes' attorneys are ballsy, and indeed if Snipes himself stays ballsy, there will be a high-profile federal trial in which all the IRS' dirty laundry will come out on this issue---namely, the fact that the 861 argument is totally sound legal reasoning and uses the IRS/feds' own laws against them. Far from being frivolous, the 861 argument actually demonstrates that the IRS has been committing a gargantuan fraud against the people of the USA for decades. It's just that they---just like the criminals they are---deny the truths stated whenever anyone uses the 861 defense, and tries (usually succeeding) to convict them, with the help of corrupt judges and prosecutors as well as just totally ignorant ones.

This is the first time that I know of that someone has faced this situation with the kind of lawyer money and high profile that it will take to expose the issue properly. I was encouraged recently (for about a day or two) by a documentary movie that came out that exposes the massive IRS fraud, but then it seemed to go nowhere. I can't recall its name. Some of you may recall it; an announcement of it was posted on this site and a little bit of discussion took place.

I hope this is the one that breaks the whole thing wide open. I wish instead of Wesley Snipes though, it were someone even bigger (whoever that might be).

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #13 posted by whig on October 17, 2006 at 10:32:34 PT
Sam Adams
Well said.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #12 posted by whig on October 17, 2006 at 10:29:55 PT
Hope
Do you not intend to use cannabis while the government says it is illegal in Texas, the US, the UN, or until when?

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #11 posted by whig on October 17, 2006 at 10:25:45 PT
Paul Armentano
Thank you. I just googled, but of course you have better access to this information.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #10 posted by whig on October 17, 2006 at 10:22:59 PT
I call B.S.
Maternal marijuana use not associated with childhood leukemia, study says.:

http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6822

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by global_warming on October 17, 2006 at 09:31:43 PT
Remember
A YES Vote means that resposible adults can possess 1 ounce of cannabis without breaking the Colorado laws.

A NO Vote means that the good people of Colorado will continue to shell out tax dollars to support police officers, detectives, prosecutors, judges and prison guards, in their efforts to put into prisons people who are caught with a marijuana cigarette, whose only crime was having some marijuana instead of beer, wine or some other alcoholic container.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on October 17, 2006 at 09:05:55 PT
One more note
Do most people respond to this headline? i.e., are most people alarmed that "federal support" is not there?

I must live in a parallel universe or something. The same federal government that used armed men to prevent the Red Cross and private citizens from entering New Orleans with food and water while people were dying? The same feds that spent $500 billion to attack Iraq, instead of re-building our nation's transportation infrastructure?

The same feds that pass laws against sex offenders, while actually being molesters themselves? The same feds that attack gay marriage, while divorcing their wives in the hospital with cancer?

I would think federal support would be a death knell for any policy initiative.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on October 17, 2006 at 08:59:28 PT
Children and character
“It has been proven that when we portray marijuana as a dangerous drug, addiction goes down, while when portrayed as a less dangerous drug, addiction goes up,” she said

Which is worse - LYING to hurt other people, or smoking cannabis?

I'd rather be friends with someone who has a heroin needle in their arm than a conniving liar any day.

I guess this newpaper's editors don't feel that way.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #6 posted by Hope on October 17, 2006 at 08:42:06 PT
"Portray" and "Addiction"
"Portray" and "Addiction" are WEASEL WORDS in this article.

“It has been proven that when we portray marijuana as a dangerous drug, addiction goes down, while when portrayed as a less dangerous drug, addiction goes up,” she said.

Tomatoes were "portrayed" as poison for many years.

Even government "science" has shown that there is no actual "addiction" to cannabis.

You might like it a lot and be unhappy or reluctant to stop using it...but that's not the same as a physical addiction. Scientifically...it's less addictive than caffiene.

I know that's true. I've gotten the headaches that come with giving up caffiene...I never got anything physically uncomfortable as a direct response to giving up cannabis...ever. And I've "given it up" several times over my long life for one reason or another, for years and years at a time, including for this effort at speaking out for reform of the unjust laws concerning cannabis and it's users.

Prohibitionists won't hesitate to lie and weasel to further their agenda.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by freewillks on October 17, 2006 at 08:22:53 PT
Kinard so full of bush**
myth: “Moms who smoke marijuana are more likely to have children with behavioral problems and who have an 11 times greater chance of developing leukemia,” she said.

fact: The New Drug Study Group in London discovered that ?9-THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, works to kill leukemia cells by affecting the gene, MKP3.

Source: http://www.affymetrix.com/community/wayahead/thc_leukemia.affx

Where in the ___ does this women get her info? Debunked: It is now often claimed that marijuana use during pregnancy causes childhood leukemia. The basis for this claim is one study, in which . 5% of the mothers of leukemic children admitted to using marijuana prior to or during pregnancy. A "control group" of mothers with normal children was then created and questioned by telephone about previous drug use. Their reported .5 % marijuana use-rate was used to calculate a 10-fold greater risk of leukemia for children born to marijuana users. 46 Given national surveys showing marijuana prevalence rates of at least 10%, these "control group" mothers almost certainly under-reported their drug use to strangers on the telephone.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by FoM on October 17, 2006 at 08:08:15 PT
Paul
Thank you.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #3 posted by paul armentano on October 17, 2006 at 08:00:35 PT
FOM: Maternal drug use and risk of childhood AML
Kinard is referring to a 1989 published study that found an increased association in childhood AML following prenatal exposure to cannabis. A larger, 2006 study failed to confirm this association, and actually reported an inverse association between prenatal exposure and AML. See: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6891#childhood.

Cannabis Smoke & Cancer: Assessing the Risk

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) comprises approximately 16 percent of leukemias diagnosed in individuals younger than 15 years of age. A 1989 study suggested that prenatal exposure to marijuana increased the risk of childhood leukemia. However, a more recent 2006 study – the largest epidemiological study of childhood AML to date in the US – rebuts this premise.

"Overall, no positive associations between parental marijuana use and childhood AML were observed," investigators at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found. They concluded:

"The previously reported positive association between maternal marijuana use before or during pregnancy and childhood AML was not confirmed in this study. Parental marijuana use is unlikely as a strong risk factor for childhood AML."

Investigators also noted evidence of an "inverse association" between cannabis use and a decreased risk of childhood AML, though they suggested that this result was likely due to "recall bias" (e.g., case mothers may have been less likely than control mothers to report having used marijuana before or during pregnancy) rather than any potential protective effects of cannabis. At least one prior large, population-based case-control study also reports an inverse association between marijuana use and a reduced risk of cancer. That study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 1999, reported that lifetime use of cannabis was associated with a reduced risk of adult, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. "Marijuana was the only recreational drug that remained associated with a reduced risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after adjusting for potential cofounding factors, investigators determined. (A second study on marijuana use and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma found no association between cannabis use and onset of the disease.)

A review of the literature reveals two additional case-control studies suggesting an increased risk of certain childhood cancers in offspring of mothers who reported using cannabis. However, neither study was a planned investigation of the potential association between maternal cannabis use and childhood cancers; rather, marijuana use was one of several possible confounding variables measured, making it impossible for investigators to ascribe causation. To date, neither of these findings has been replicated.

(References: Maternal drug use and risk of childhood nonlymphoblastic leukemia among offspring. 1989. Cancer | Parental marijuana use and risk of childhood acute myeloid leukemia: a report from the Children’s Cancer Group. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2006 | Case-Control study of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma among women and heterosexual men in the San Francisco Bay area, California. American Journal of Epidemiology. 1999 | Alcohol, tobacco and recreational drug use and the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. British Journal of Cancer. 1997 | Parents’ use of cocaine and marijuana and increased risk of rhabdomyosarcoma in their children. Cancer Causes and Control.1993 | Gestational and familial risks factors for childhood astrocytoma: results of a case-control study.Cancer Research. 1990)

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #2 posted by paul armentano on October 17, 2006 at 07:55:09 PT
LTE in today's Daily Sentinel
http://www.gjsentinel.com/opin/content/news/opinion/stories/2006/10/17/10_17_06_letters.html

Coloradans should decide whether pot laws are needed

Editor:

The rationale behind The Daily Sentinel’s opposition to Amendment 44 is an example of “pass-the-buck” politics at its worst (“‘No’ on Amendment 44,” Oct.13, 2006).

Editors opine that Colorado voters should oppose Amendment 44 which seeks to amend state law so that adults who possess small amounts of cannabis no longer face a $100 civil fine because “drug legalization needs to be a national issue.”

Maybe so, but the fact remains that of the 700,000 Americans arrested for pot possession in 2005, more than 99 percent of them were busted by state police, not federal law enforcement officers.

Coloradans have the right to decide whether their state tax dollars should continue to fund these types of police activities or whether taxpayers’ dollars would be better spent on other law enforcement priorities.

PAUL ARMENTANO

Senior Policy Analyst

NORML Foundation

Washington, DC

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 17, 2006 at 07:17:35 PT
Just a Comment
Where is this study so we can read it?

Excerpt: “Moms who smoke marijuana are more likely to have children with behavioral problems and who have an 11 times greater chance of developing leukemia,” she said.

[ Post Comment ]


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