Council Calls on State To Rethink Policies on MJ 
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Council Calls on State To Rethink Policies on MJ 
Posted by CN Staff on May 08, 2012 at 08:51:52 PT
By The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Charlottesville, Va. -- The Charlottesville City Council says it's time for the state to rethink its policies on marijuana possession.The council adopted a resolution Monday night calling on the state to revisit sentencing guidelines for simple marijuana possession. It also proposes eliminating rules that suppose intent to distribute marijuana without evidence and asks the General Assembly and the governor to "give due consideration" to bills that would decriminalize, legalize or regulate marijuana like alcohol.
"I think it's perfectly legitimate for us to say as an elected body that there are other priorities and that we're going the wrong direction when it comes to the war on drugs," said Councilor Dave Norris.Councilor Dede Smith acknowledged the council doesn't have the power to change drug laws, but said the resolution "does send the message actually in support of those who can," according to The Daily Progress: Mayor Sayendra Huja and Councilor Kathy Galvin opposed the resolution.Huja said it would detract from community health, safety and the welfare of citizens. Galvin argued the council shouldn't use its "bully pulpit" to send mixed messages to children.City officials said marijuana possession already is a low priority, with police statistics showing only 113 charges for marijuana possession were issued in 2011. That's about 2 percent of the more than 5,000 charges in the city last year and is typical of the number of such charges over the past five years.Officials said a "great majority" of those possession charges occurred when police found marijuana while making an arrest on another charge. Police department records do not indicate whether the possession was a primary or secondary charge."They're not huge numbers," Police Chief Timothy J. Longo said at the meeting.Galvin says the council shouldn't use its "bully pulpit" to send mixed messages to children.Longo and City Manager Maurice Jones sent a memo to councilors arguing that it was not necessary to pass the resolution, because police already focus on higher priority crimes."Statistically, I don't think we have an argument here that it's taxing the resources of law enforcement," Longo said.Under Virginia law, possession of marijuana is classified as a misdemeanor carrying punishment of up to 30 days in jail and fines of up to $500. Subsequent convictions carry a jail sentence of up to a year and fines of up to $2,500.The idea for the resolution was brought to the council by Jordan McNeish, a 23-year-old activist formerly involved with the Occupy Charlottesville movement who has since founded a local chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. McNeish has openly acknowledged that he has had past legal trouble involving marijuana possession.While several members of the public spoke in favor of the resolution, others described their struggles with addiction and urged its defeat."Charlottesville will become the city of potheads," said city resident Melanie Roberts.Former tea party leader Carole Thorpe warned the council against politicizing the police department."Whether the majority political orientation of our governing party is Democrat or Republican ... I see a great danger in that body using the police department in any manner to promote its political agenda or fight the other side," Thorpe said.Local attorney Jeff Fogel rejected that argument, saying city voters elect those who represent their views. He also called the war on drugs a "colossal failure" that leads to violence.Despite the resolution's passage, councilors stressed that marijuana remains illegal in the city.Newshawk: GreenmedSource: Associated Press (Wire)Published: May 8, 2012Copyright: 2012 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by greenmed on May 14, 2012 at 08:45:24 PT
Lawmakers doubtful . . .
"Lawmakers doubtful on Charlottesville marijuana resolution"
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Comment #3 posted by disvet13 on May 13, 2012 at 09:03:15 PT:
what he said
you nailed it Oleg...there is an element that has invaded our government, 100 years ago, and the business model of the rich stealing all they can by monopoly has brought the nation to slavery. 
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Comment #2 posted by greenmed on May 09, 2012 at 09:14:22 PT
what's next for Virginia?
"Drug-law reformer Lennice Werth reacts to Charlottesville marijuana vote"By Richard SincereCharlottesville Libertarian ExaminerMonday night’s resolution on marijuana decriminalization by the Charlottesville City Council was “a huge victory for the newly formed Jefferson Area NORML,” said Lennice Werth of the statewide organization, Virginians Against Drug Violence. “It’s a very powerful entry for them into the public policy scene,” she continued. “They’re coming in strong.”The newest chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws coalesced around a request that the Charlottesville City Council pass a resolution asking that local police make a low priority of enforcement of laws that prohibit possession of marijuana.Werth was present at the City Council meeting at which proponents and opponents of the resolution, which eventually became a call for the General Assembly to revisit marijuana laws and decriminalize pot possession, offered their public comments. City Council members voted 3-2 to send that recommendation to Richmond for action in the next session of the General Assembly.Werth spoke by telephone with the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner the day after the vote.(snipped)
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Comment #1 posted by Oleg the Tumor on May 08, 2012 at 10:45:41 PT:
 It's time for the state to rethink its policies…
There are far too many people coming to the same conclusion. Chance does not explain it.The only logical conclusion that a rational person can come to is that there is a major disconnect between the people of Main Street USA and the proponents of the original law against cannabis in the first place. There was no rampant problem with society that required an act of Congress as a response – that is, unless you were pursuing the brand-new "man-made fiber" industry, as DuPont was. 
In that case, yes, you have a big problem, called "the Hemp Industry", which since the time of the founding fathers has been supplying many useful products to Americans (the word "Sativa", means "useful").Seeking complete control of key raw materials, from beginning through to the end user, was standard operating procedure for your average 19th-century robber baron. 
It gave him bragging rights over other would-be monopolists who depended upon the weather to produce crops for their raw materials (an iffy proposition at best, with drought, pests, and disease making their unwanted contributions at regular intervals)while out of petroleum, the number of products seemed limitless.
Thus it is as it has always been, with man seeking to dominate nature, rejecting natural materials for "superior" man-made ones, regardless of the long-term cost to the Earth or its inhabitants."Let them have jail," as Marie Antoinette Rockefeller DuPont might have said.But the marijuana issue was never about anyone's health–why else would it have started out as a tax?It started out as a tax because DuPont needed more time to develop Nylon into an economically manufacturable product.Destroying the hemp industry was all about "price points" and the "economy of scale" regarding man-made materials.So in 1937, the decision was made to brand something that had been so useful for so long as "evil".Small wonder that now so many people are calling for Justice!RESTORE THE HEMP INDUSTRY BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE! 
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