cannabisnews.com: Marijuana Laws Need Just Reconsideration





Marijuana Laws Need Just Reconsideration
Posted by CN Staff on April 02, 2008 at 05:36:56 PT
By Mike Murphy
Source: Orion
USA -- "Legalize it." It's been the motto for potheads, Rastafarians and even the most casual marijuana smoker for decades. Finally in 2008, Congressional Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said he plans to propose a bill that would "remove all federal penalties for the personal use [and] possession of small amounts of marijuana," on the March 21 episode of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."
The specifics are vague as to what the heck "small amounts" means but, based on current precedent of state marijuana laws, it probably means less than an ounce of weed. Frank quipped the federal marijuana decriminalization bill should actually be called the "make room for the serious criminals bill." Though medical marijuana is legal in California, there are some stiff penalties for possession without a medical marijuana license. If caught with less than 1 ounce of marijuana it's possible to be charged with a misdemeanor and pay a $100 fine. "Criminals" possessing more than an ounce of weed, could see up to six months in jail and a $500 fine, though most of the time they are allowed to enter treatment programs. The biggest penalties are for those who cultivate marijuana or those who are found guilty of "possession with an intent to sell." If convicted, it's possible to spend up to 20 years in jail depending on the circumstances. According to 2006 FBI statistics, 738,915 Americans were arrested and charged with only marijuana possession. Frank's bill intends to eliminate these types of arrests and potential convictions. The problem is this is not the time to introduce such a bill to Congress. Even if it passes, which it won't, President George W. Bush would likely veto it. Believe it or not, 31 years ago, President Jimmy Carter supported the decimalization of possessing 1 ounce or less of marijuana nationwide, much like Frank's bill proposes to do. I guess at bare minimum, this bill will allow Americans to discuss the marijuana issue that has been hidden from national discussion for many years. Let's hope we can discuss this issue as adults. A lot of stereotypes surround marijuana and its users, and I can already hear the echoes from Capitol Hill as legislators cite obscure individual cases of "crazed criminals" entering into a state of "reefer madness" that lead to criminal activity. It's all a bunch of fear mongering but it usually works against cowardly legislators who are afraid to look at the issue in a mature manner. Marijuana is a drug, and like any other drug, prescription or otherwise, it can be abused. In some people it can lead to weird side effects. Many cancer and AIDS patients find it a better alternative to addictive pain relievers such as Vicodin and OxyContin. Other people use marijuana much like many people recreationally use Budweiser, vodka or tequila to get an enjoyable buzz after a long day. Marijuana use can become habitual, but so can over-the-counter sleep aids. These types of drugs should remain out of the hands of minors much like when we limit consumption of tobacco and alcohol. Studies show smoking pot during adolescence can stunt the growth of the frontal lobe of a developing brain. But once the body stops growing at about age 18, using marijuana should be a choice for adults. It's also important to realize marijuana is already everywhere. It's right here in Chico, probably hidden away in small little Ziplocs in hundreds of dressers and desk drawers throughout town. Sure, we can giggle about all the funny side effects of marijuana such as the munchies, feeling "floaty" and how it makes "Chapelle's Show" seem like modern day Shakespeare, but when it comes to addressing something that has led to significant fines and imprisonment for thousands of Americans, the discussion should be a serious one. Source: Orion, The (California State Chico, CA Edu)Author: Mike MurphyPublished: April 2, 2008Copyright: 2008 The OrionWebsite: http://www.orion-online.net/Contact: opinioneditor orion-online.netRelated Articles:Prosecuting Pot is a Waste of Time and Moneyhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23791.shtmlTime To Legalize Marijuanahttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23778.shtmlFrank Defends Proposal To Decriminalize Marijuanahttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23774.shtml 
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Comment #10 posted by paulpeterson on April 03, 2008 at 10:02:54 PT
DCP-anandamide guides new neurons into place
I don't have the cite for studies, but I understand that the natural "endocannabinoid" anandamide guides new brain cells into place, and USE OF MARIJUANA by adolescents interferes with the critical anandamide "balance", which causes a loss of growth in the prefrontal cortex, the so-called "executive control" center.This is also pivotal in fetal development, ie: expecting mothers should abstain for the same reasons.However, from my own theoretical analysis, it would appear that TRANS FATTY ACIDS, (TFA's) that block absorption, conversion & utilization of EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids), like Omega 3, 6 & 9, by "steeling" delta 5 & 6 desaturase, which blocks PRODUCTION OF ENDOCANNABINOIDS, is probably more pernicious than use of marijuana EVEN IN THESE SUSCEPTIBLE PATIENT GROUPS.Who knows? It may just develop that the ONLY RISK of using MARIJUANA FOR ADOLESCENTS AND UNBORN CHILDREN, might be when the eater 1) EATS JUNK FOOD (ie: anything with TFA in it) 2) AND/OR also BLOWS THEIR OMEGA 3/OMEGA 6 BALANCE, which then 3) causes marijuana ingestion to become so critical of a link here.On the other hand, when a person is prone to great anxiety, from PTSD, and then blows the dietary issues, MAYBE IT IS SAFER IN THE LONG RUN TO BLOW SOME WEED, to keep from having the strong anxiety disorder DO WORSE DAMAGE TO THE BALANCING ACT, EH?Just some theories, and ideas that are pregnant with purpose, that's all, and thanks for listening, eh?PAUL PETERSON, advocate, behind enemy lines in NORTHWEST, IOWA, with a federal lawsuit for $30 million dollars accepted by a federal judge against the "STORM LAKE 6", a bunch of Keystone Cops that have committed a myriad of crimes and conspiracies, and culpable under 42 USC 1983 (violation of civil rights under color of state law, etc.).
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on April 02, 2008 at 21:48:01 PT
DCP
That is odd. I didn't notice that. 
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Comment #8 posted by DCP on April 02, 2008 at 21:11:34 PT
REALLY??
"Studies show smoking pot during adolescence can stunt the growth of the frontal lobe of a developing brain."  This is a new one.  Does anyone know of a reference?
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on April 02, 2008 at 11:52:46 PT
Thanks, FoM...
It seems they should have said "warehousing physical evidence" instead of "warehousing that recording equipment". It still looks odd to me... but I see what you mean. 
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Comment #6 posted by Donald B Parsons on April 02, 2008 at 11:41:18 PT:
DO NOT MOVE TO FLORIDA
Rep. Barney Frank's legislation will be dubbed Make room for serious criminals.
The amount he is talking about is 100 grams ( 3 ounces or so).
If this doesn't pass like others have said at least maybe a real Frank discussion will come from it.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 02, 2008 at 11:30:58 PT
Hope
That means they can dispose of what they find.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on April 02, 2008 at 11:29:16 PT
What?
"It would also allow police to use video equipment and take pictures to be used in prosecuting cases without forcing law-enforcement agencies from warehousing that recording equipment, eliminating an expense."Does anyone know what that means?
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on April 02, 2008 at 11:17:52 PT
An ill wind...
"It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good"."A bill that would make it easier to prosecute marijuana grow houses breezed through the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning."That "Breezed" business really brings to mind that famous "Ill wind".
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 02, 2008 at 10:50:55 PT
News Article From The Palm Beach Post
Tougher Laws on Marijuana Grow Houses Passes Florida House***Wednesday, April 02, 2008TALLAHASSEE  A bill that would make it easier to prosecute marijuana grow houses breezed through the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning.The bill, HB 173, would mean that any structure found with 25 marijuana plants would be enough to prove that it's a grow house. That would be down from the current threshold of 300 plants.It would also allow police to use video equipment and take pictures to be used in prosecuting cases without forcing law-enforcement agencies from warehousing that recording equipment, eliminating an expense.The bill, sponsored by Rep. Nick Thompson, R-Ft. Myers, now moves on to a final vote. A comparable bill, SB 390, is being considered in the Senate.Copyright 2008 The Palm Beach Posthttp://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/content/state/epaper/2008/04/02/040208growhouse.html
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on April 02, 2008 at 08:35:01 PT
see Jack on video tv
at 4:20 in other news more and more interest in cellulose ethanol
www.miagbiz.org
http://www.jackherer.com
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