cannabisnews.com: Pot and Politics





Pot and Politics
Posted by CN Staff on February 08, 2008 at 06:37:43 PT
Editorial
Source: Bennington Banner
Vermont -- It is true, as some have argued, that the need to free up the courts and police time from having to process small marijuana possession cases is not urgent. Therefore, that is no reason to alter the state penalties for possession of small amounts of the drug  or possession of a small number of marijuana plants. However, that doesn't mean there are no good reasons for changing the law, which is now under consideration in the Vermont Legislature.
Currently, possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana or three plants or fewer could bring a fine of up to $500 and/or up to 6 months in prison for a first offense, although referral to a court diversion program is common and jail time rare. The penalty for subsequent offenses is up to 2 years imprisonment and up to a $2,000 fine involving that same amount of marijuana. For possessing higher amounts of the drug, jail time and fines could escalate. Proposed is a civil fine with no prison for possession of up to 4 ounces and an escalating civil fine with possible prison time for possessing more than 4 ounces. A number of officials and advocates spoke in opposition to such a change, saying it would promote greater use of marijuana and make it easier for drug dealers to operate in Vermont. These are arguments that should be considered during this debate. Also worth considering are the dozen states that have lessened penalties for possessing small amounts, including New York, which changed to a citation with no prison time during the late 1970s. This would not, then, be a radically new approach, and it seems likely that the dire consequences some speakers predicted during the recent testimony in Montpelier did not come to pass in New York or in the other states. Lawmakers also might consider that allowing citizens to grow small amounts of marijuana  as they are free to make beer or wine  might reduce the role of large drug-dealing enterprises and gangs. Yet another consideration is fairness. Marijuana, like alcohol, is a non-synthetic drug that has been in use around the world for hundreds if not thousands of years. Millions in this country have used marijuana in recent decades, and the drug does have a substantial track record here. Almost all of the secondary societal problems we deal with today are related to alcohol abuse  assault, domestic violence, rape, murder  while problems stemming from marijuana abuse are more likely personal in nature, those of dependence or addition. Society should not condone the abuse of any drug, but we now allow almost unlimited consumption of a drug closely associated with violence and myriad illnesses while subjecting marijuana users to the threat of jail for mere possession, especially for subsequent offenses and when the amounts are above an arbitrarily set limit. This is patently unfair and based on the flawed argument that marijuana is somehow as dangerous or even more "evil" than alcohol, when the opposite seems to be the case. Vermont should switch to a system of civil fines with no court record for possession of small amounts and allow users to grow a reasonable number of plants. That would not only be a fair but a rational approach. Source: Bennington Banner (VT)Published: February 8, 2008Copyright: 2008 by MediaNews Group, Inc.Contact: news benningtonbanner.comWebsite: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/Related Articles: Bill: No Jail for Minor Pot Offendershttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23665.shtmlSenate Judiciary Committee Passes Pot Billhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23662.shtmlPot Law Reform Gets Day in Senatehttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23649.shtml
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Comment #26 posted by fight_4_freedom on February 08, 2008 at 21:41:05 PT:
Very Interesting RunRuff
I'm listening to "George" right now.I'll listen for you. I definitely like what I hear.
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on February 08, 2008 at 21:15:40 PT
runruff
I'm hearing Tonight's The Night. Cool!
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Comment #24 posted by runruff on February 08, 2008 at 20:44:42 PT:
Live radio!
Talkilma FM it's 8:40 pst I'm Doc Muudock tonight live.
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Comment #23 posted by John Tyler on February 08, 2008 at 19:27:06 PT
Penn and Teller
If you go to the youtube site mentioned in Comment #7 be sure to check out the Penn and Teller videos to the lower right. They are really good and informative too. 
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on February 08, 2008 at 17:30:26 PT
Truth
That's ok. We can mention who we like but promoting anyone would be where it would get touchy. 
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Comment #21 posted by The GCW on February 08, 2008 at 17:21:41 PT
"the drug the drug the drug" 
"the drug the drug the drug" "Vermont should switch to a system of civil fines"-0-Hey guys, how about just stop persecuting what God created and said is good on the 1st page of the Bible and call it good.Oh, and call it a plant too. 
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Comment #20 posted by Truth on February 08, 2008 at 16:53:33 PT
FoM
sorry....innocent mistake
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on February 08, 2008 at 14:56:19 PT
AP: UN Board Says Marijuana Machines IIlegal
February 8, 2008Marijuana vending machines in Los Angeles violate international treaties and should be shut down, the U.N.-affiliated drug control board said Friday."The International Narcotics Control Board is deeply concerned about reports that computerized vending machines to dispense cannabis (marijuana) have been put into operation in Los Angeles," Philip O. Emafo, president of the board, said in a statement.At least three Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries have installed vending machines to distribute the drug to people who carry cards authorizing marijuana use. The drug is said to alleviate chronic pain, loss of appetite and other ailments.Supporters say the machines, which dispense 1/8th or 2/8th of an ounce of marijuana at a time, offers users lower drug prices and increases security.Marijuana use is illegal under U.S. law, which does not recognize the medical marijuana laws in California and 11 other states.Complete Article: http://www.heraldonline.com/wire/world/story/352297.html
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on February 08, 2008 at 10:45:12 PT
fight_4_freedom 
It has been quite an adventure to try to download ATU but I did and now I have to figure out how to get it on to a dvd rw. It will probably take me a few more days to get that one right too.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on February 08, 2008 at 10:42:56 PT
Graehstone
Thank you. That is a movie I would buy if it was available.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on February 08, 2008 at 10:41:50 PT
Linda
Thank you. I will download the program later on and listen to it. I need a little more time these days. 
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Comment #15 posted by Graehstone on February 08, 2008 at 10:30:11 PT
Movie info:
"Fleming plans to submit "Smoke Screen" to join the 2008 Los Angeles and Cannes film festivals."
http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080125/LIFESTYLES0102/801250351/1139So it is actually not available yet or still being shot perhaps. I am really excited about this one as it hits very close to home.
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Comment #14 posted by runruff on February 08, 2008 at 10:28:46 PT
FOM - duration of program
Hi FOM,
Mrs. Runruff here, I couldn't remember my password so I'm using Mr.'s. His program is about 30 minutes and the readings I do are less than 10 minutes each.
Love.
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Comment #13 posted by fight_4_freedom on February 08, 2008 at 10:17:14 PT:
FoM
I have no idea. I searched the website and still have found no release date. I did see something about 2006 at the end. I'll have to do some more looking.But it definitely looks good.I still haven't watched waiting to inhale. I'm "waiting to" have some extra cash so I can buy the movie. Some movies I know I'll only watch once so I usually just rent them. But I know I'll watch that a few times.That and Across the Universe are at the top of my list right now.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on February 08, 2008 at 10:14:30 PT
runruff 
Thank you. I want to listen to it with no distractions so I bookmarked it. How long is the program?
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Comment #11 posted by Sam Adams on February 08, 2008 at 10:04:07 PT
Smoke Screen
That is great! I was watching the trailer thinking, wow, I love the mother character, great acting, then it turns out that she is the executive producer of the movie! Cool, I hope they can get this distributed.So few movies about cannabis, even the good ones, feature portrayals of actual cops busted people & people getting beaten in jail. How many stoner movies feature jail or police busting people?  I mean other than Stacy Keach's character.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on February 08, 2008 at 09:51:01 PT
fight_4_freedom 
That looks great! When will we be able to see it?
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on February 08, 2008 at 09:50:50 PT:
Here are the radio archives.
Hi everyone, Here are the radio archives from last Friday night's radio show. My radio name with this show is Dr. Pondwater. The show is an interview by Spaceman of Dr. Pondwater.
Also Mrs. Runruff is reading under the name SriLin. TheLightCircleEzine Check out these readings of channeled messages from members of The Galactic Federation, who are our extended family of extraterrestrial brothers and sisters. These messages put the world's affairs in a brand new light, very interesting to say the least... These messages appeared in The Light Circle Ezine, a daily publication of Lady Isis. We have a collection of the recordings available HERE, & will periodically update what we have with new ones.. If you tune in and listen hope you will enjoy the show.http://www.takilmafm.com/Downloads.phpPray that the sunshine patriots will become soldiers for all seasons in this war on humanity.
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Comment #8 posted by Graehstone on February 08, 2008 at 09:46:32 PT
"Smoke Screen" The Movie
http://www.eldoggo.com/News.htmThis looks like a good one and I can't wait to actually see it.
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Comment #7 posted by fight_4_freedom on February 08, 2008 at 09:29:58 PT:
Interesting Clip I found on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf-Kq3XHq1gIt was just posted yesterday. 
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on February 08, 2008 at 08:33:11 PT
elephant in the room
So interesting to hear all this talk of 1 or 2 plants and politicians who are very FIRM in their position that they don't want to tell anyone to smoke MJ.Where is the discussion of the border guards who are routinely bribed to allow 18-wheelers full of Quebec weed into Vermont?  Cannabis is a HUGE business in Vermont. The discussion of what will we do with John Q. Stoner and his one ounce and whether "we" want to send the right message is nothing more than a subterfuge and distraction from reality's screaming truth: Prohibition is a disaster and tragic joke. 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on February 08, 2008 at 07:31:51 PT
Truth
I don't know if you know that we are not allowed to promote politics or DrugSense could lose it's tax exempt status. Thank you in advance for understanding.
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on February 08, 2008 at 07:23:20 PT
Math-Challenged?
"problems stemming from marijuana abuse are more likely personal in nature, those of dependence or addition." addition?It might be more difficult for a novice cannabist to focus his/her mind on the mundanities of arithmetic.
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Comment #3 posted by Truth on February 08, 2008 at 07:04:14 PT
one small step
for mankindor......One GIANT LEAP?Vote Ron Paul for true freedom.Martha,thank you for all you do, you're an Angel.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 08, 2008 at 07:03:06 PT
Panel Votes To Ease Penalty for Pot Possession
By Terri Hallenbeck, Free Press Staff WriterFriday, February 8, 2008MONTPELIER -- Those who wanted marijuana legalized didn't get their way Thursday. Neither did those who wanted the Senate Judiciary Committee to leave the marijuana possession laws alone. The committee voted 4-1 to tweak the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. No longer would jail time be an option for those caught with an ounce or less. Instead, all such offenders would be eligible for court diversion, a process by which their criminal record could be erased. Complete Article: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080208/NEWS02/802080303/1007/NEWS05
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 08, 2008 at 07:00:43 PT
Cannabis Bills Get Mixed Response
Friday, February 8, 2008BRATTLEBORO -- It was a mixed day for the cannabis plant in Montpelier Thursday. The Vermont House of Representatives came one step closer to passing a bill that would legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp, though the state law would have no practical effect unless a federal ban is repealed. The Senate Judiciary committee, meanwhile, voted 4-1 in favor of a bill that would decrease some penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana -- though the committee sawed most of the teeth off the original, wide-ranging decriminalization bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Jeanette White, D-Windham. Complete Article: http://reformer.com/headlines/ci_8204236
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