cannabisnews.com: Enforcement vs. Regulation





Enforcement vs. Regulation
Posted by CN Staff on September 30, 2008 at 12:45:02 PT
By Hannah Guzik, Tidings Correspondent
Source: Ashland Daily Tidings
Oregon -- By the 1930s, using marijuana was illegal in Oregon and it has remained that way  except for medicinal use  ever since. A group of local residents is aiming to reverse history.The Legalize Ashland organization hopes to make adult marijuana use the lowest law enforcement priority and legalize the production of industrial hemp by May 2009.
Eventually the activists want to make legal recreational use of pot, giving it a similar status as alcohol, according to their Web site and MySpace page."It is time for Ashland's laws to reflect the priorities of its citizens. The majority of the citizens of Ashland believe that spending money on the enforcement of misdemeanor possession of marijuana is a waste of budget resources, and that public policy should reflect this," the group's Web site states.Group members did not respond to e-mail messages sent to the address listed on the Web site.The site states that the group held a meeting Sept. 13 at the Ashland Public Library to discuss putting an initiative on the city ballot next year.A handful of cities across the country, including Seattle and Oakland, have passed similar laws.Dan Rubenson, an economics professor at Southern Oregon University, said he would like to see a serious discussion about the implications of legalizing pot."I see us spending huge amounts of money for prosecuting and especially for incarcerating people for what I see as victimless crimes and so, from that perspective, I say, 'Let's talk about this,'" he said.Rubenson, who is not affiliated with Legalize Ashland, endorsed a 2005 economic study urging public officials to engage in an "open and honest debate about marijuana prohibition.""We believe such a debate will favor a regime in which marijuana is legal but taxed and regulated like other goods," the endorsement states.According to the "Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States" study by Jeffery A. Miron, a visiting professor at Harvard University, legalizing marijuana would save approximately $7.7 billion annually in law enforcement fees. Taxing pot, like other goods, would yield about $2.4 billion per year and approximately $6.2 billion annually if marijuana was taxed like alcohol or tobacco, the study states."I tend to look at things in terms of notions of efficiency and also there's a little bit of a Libertarian flavor there. Why should we intervene in people's lives unless there's a significant reason to?" Rubenson said.He said the benefits of legalizing marijuana could outweigh the costs."I think it's something that's worth talking about. I'm not trying to prejudge the outcome of the conversation, but anytime we're spending so much money on something that doesn't seem to be working, it's time to talk about why we need to keep dong that.""When we look at it, there doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence that making marijuana illegal is having a huge effect on keeping people from using it."Rubenson said legalizing marijuana could "put criminals out of business" by eliminating some drug trafficking and regulating distribution.Vicki Brown, division manager for the Jackson County Public Health Department, said she doubts public health officials would support decriminalization of marijuana use."I think it would probably drive down the price, which would mean it would be more accessible and I think anything with widespread acceptance will become more popular. It remaining illegal and there being consequences (for using pot) definitely deters use," she said.Brown said the Public Health Department feels that the costs of using marijuana outweigh any benefits, unless it is being used for medicinal purposes and is recommended by a doctor."From our perspective, we don't view it as harmless. It definitely has health consequences and it affects basic respiratory health if the person's smoking it. It definitely impairs judgment and it's definitely used abusively," she said.Deputy Police Chief Rich Walsh said the Ashland Police Department doesn't focus on enforcing marijuana laws as it is."We don't have the manpower or the personnel to put a huge effort into it. It's not one of our priorities. Most of what we enforce (regarding marijuana) is just kind of because we run into it."It's possible that if using marijuana was decriminalized for adults, illegal use among teens could increase, he added."Generally speaking, I think the more that you see adults doing whatever it is that it may be, (teens) are going to see that and think it's OK. And then they may not have the education to know that it's not OK. The question is, are they educated enough to make a good sound decision?"It's kind of like medical marijuana. You can basically go out and stub your toe and get a medical marijuana card, and say your toe hurts. And that's just not right," Chief Walsh said.Source: Ashland Daily Tidings (OR)Author: Hannah Guzik, Tidings CorrespondentPublished: September 29, 2008Copyright: 2008 Ashland Daily TidingsWebsite: http://www.dailytidings.com/Contact: tidingsopinion dailytidings.comCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml
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Comment #11 posted by Vincent on October 06, 2008 at 10:53:18 PT:
Legalize Ashland
The "Legalize Ashland" proposal is the most sensible one that I've heard of yet. Marijuana must be legalized, it is the least harmful, most benevolent substance known to man.
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Comment #10 posted by Bender on October 01, 2008 at 14:40:38 PT
Alcohol hippocracy
If it is a danger to kids because they will do it too, then how do they justify alcohol, or gambling, or driving for that matter?
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Comment #9 posted by mykeyb420 on October 01, 2008 at 12:22:49 PT
Arnold messup
In addition to NOT giving protection to MMJ patients form unlawful termination from enployment,,Arnold also vetoed a bill that would make Harvey Milk's birthday, ( the openly gay supervisor who was killed with George Moscone, the mayor of San Fran in 1978, by another supervisor Dan White, ) a state holiday. Homophobia is alive and still kicking in California. 
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Comment #8 posted by museman on October 01, 2008 at 10:15:16 PT
#2-
Thats what happens when you 
'elect' people based on their acting skills, rather than their abilities to represent other people besides the rich, endowed, beautiful, and TV popular.This guy is a Reagan clone. They have been trying to change the constitutional limit that says a foreign born citizen can't be president ever since he was given the red carpet walk-in to the governorship. When he actually got 'elected' my already low esteem of california went below the radar.Anything he does will be straight republican doctrine, and Status Quotation.Terminate the clones.FREE MICHOACAN FOR EVERYONE
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on October 01, 2008 at 09:19:00 PT
CA: Assembly Bill 2279
To the Members of the California State Assembly:I am returning Assembly Bill 2279 without my signature.This bill attempts to shield qualified medical marijuana patients employed in non safety sensitive positions from employment discrimination. However, I am concerned with interference in employment decisions as they relate to marijuana use. Employment protection was not a goal of the initiative as passed by voters in 1996.For these reasons, I am returning this bill without my signature.Sincerely,Arnold Schwarzeneggerhttp://www.gov.ca.gov/pdf/press/AB2279_Leno_Veto_Message.pdf
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on October 01, 2008 at 08:55:57 PT
David on but only a half a hour.
last night on Coast to Coast David Blume spoke to the issue of gas shortage in the southeast.He made strong points about how local ethanol was staying at a fixed price well under 3.00$ a gal 
\
He also gave reasons why it is important for the US to have home made ethanol fuel -- that the money stays in the local area,
more ag land is saved, and more ethanol plants spread across the Nation will help make our fuel industry less affected when imported oil is disrupted, or weather events shut down refinerys.Please see Davids web site on upcomming events and offer to have him speak at a event near you.www.permaculture.com 
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Comment #5 posted by CanadianGanjaman on October 01, 2008 at 07:00:46 PT
Salute the ignorance
"From our perspective, we don't view it as harmless. It definitely has health consequences and it affects basic respiratory health if the person's smoking it. It definitely impairs judgment and it's definitely used abusively," she said.Yeah... uh read this link and see if the consequences... if there are any, are better than the benefits.
EDUCATE YOURSELF
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Comment #4 posted by ekim on September 30, 2008 at 19:28:18 PT
David Blume on Coast to Coast tonight 10pm
Great News:
David Blume will be on Coast to Coast radio with George Noory tonight at 10:00pm PT - to listen online or locate your local affiliate station go to: http://www.coasttocoastam.com/shows/schedule.htmlIn a special one-hour Interview David and George will pull the curtain down and reveal the Southeast Energy Crisis Cover-Up:
http://www.permaculture.com
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Comment #3 posted by observer on September 30, 2008 at 18:12:26 PT
Officials Support More Power, Money for Officials
Vicki Brown, division manager for the Jackson County Public Health Department, said she doubts public health officials would support decriminalization of marijuana use.Are you kidding? The decriminalization of marijuana use would destroy and and render irrelevant huge swaths of government at the local state and federal levels that are dedicated to punishing (jailing) those involved with cannabis. Think of all the Constitution-shredding, rights-trampling police state fun that people roll over and play dead for, all because some "official" decree that the fight against "drugs" calls for it. 
Deliberation, n.:
The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on. -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
No doubt any number of courtesan "officials", "authorities" and "experts" can be trotted out on command to hector us on the evils of marijuana. I wish people would wake up and consider the (vested interest) source, for a change. 
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Comment #2 posted by museman on September 30, 2008 at 14:37:55 PT
there they are again
"Vicki Brown, division manager for the Jackson County Public Health Department, said ....."Those damn "authorities" that almost everyone falls down and calls god.The fact that all of the state agencies that recieve federal funding, are in the same pockets that all that 'money' that existed before last week has gone, just seems to pass people by."Well, if the gubment sez they au-thor-i-ty, then I reckons they iz.""From our perspective, we don't view it as harmless. It definitely has health consequences and it affects basic respiratory health if the person's smoking it. It definitely impairs judgment and it's definitely used abusively," she said.Its definitely being misrepresented, and definitely being lied about, and it definitely scares the crap out of people who only use 3% of their brains. The only "Impaired Judgement" I've ever seen in relation to cannabis sits on a raised platform, wearing a robe in the farce called 'the court.' And that impairment seems to be there on everything not relating to the profit of the elite."Deputy Police Chief Rich Walsh said the Ashland Police Department doesn't focus on enforcing marijuana laws as it is. "We don't have the manpower or the personnel to put a huge effort into it. It's not one of our priorities. Most of what we enforce (regarding marijuana) is just kind of because we run into it."Thats because its the JACKSON COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE THATS DOING IT!FREE CHRONIC FOR EVERYONE
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on September 30, 2008 at 13:00:02 PT
We are back to Police playing doctor ...
"You can basically go out and stub your toe and get a medical marijuana card, and say your toe hurts. And that's just not right," Chief Walsh said."Well, the way I see it, it's not right for you Mr. Police Officer to give out medical advice and medical judgement cause your just a bloody cop! You are only qualified to harrass and arrest people and with the judgement you are displaying here.I cringe when I think of the kind of judgment you must be using in your every day work; policing of us!
On a mission from God!
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