Governor Moves To Change Pot Law

  Governor Moves To Change Pot Law

Posted by CN Staff on January 22, 2005 at 14:19:09 PT
By Sean Cockerham, Anchorage Daily News 
Source: Anchorage Daily News  

Juneau -- Gov. Frank Murkowski on Friday asked the Legislature to overrule a court ruling that adult Alaskans have the right to possess marijuana for personal use in their homes. Murkowski introduced a bill that challenges the state court's ruling and that would significantly tighten other state marijuana laws -- making a lot more pot crimes into felonies.
"The Legislature finds that marijuana poses a threat to the public health that justifies prohibiting its use in this state, even by adults in private," the bill declares. Everyone expects the fight to go back to the courts if the Legislature passes the bill. The ruling that made at-home pot possession of up to four ounces legal for personal use was based on the right to privacy in the state constitution.The Legislature cannot change the constitution without a statewide vote. But the governor hopes the bill and hearings over it will show the courts that pot is a lot more powerful than it used to be and that the state has an overriding interest in forbidding it. William Satterberg, the Fairbanks lawyer who argued the case that toppled the state prohibition on at-home pot, said he doesn't think the courts will backtrack."Unconstitutional still remains unconstitutional no matter what the Legislature thinks," Satterberg said.The Alaska Supreme Court in September let stand a lower court ruling last year that adult Alaskans have the right to possess up to four ounces of marijuana in their homes for personal use. The lower court based its opinion on a 1975 decision, known as Ravin v. State, which declared the strong right to privacy from government interference that is guaranteed under the Alaska Constitution outweighed any social harm that might be caused by the small at-home use of marijuana by adults. Snipped:Complete Article: ShortpierSource: Anchorage Daily News (AK)Author: Sean Cockerham, Anchorage Daily NewsPublished: January 22, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Anchorage Daily News Contact: letters Website: Related Articles:DA Asks Judge To Look at Issue of Possession Police Told to Keep Probing Pot Use Ruling Puts Police on Hold

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Comment #21 posted by kaptinemo on January 24, 2005 at 08:22:22 PT:
Hubris. Sheer hubris.
Arrogance in public office is only too common. In this case, it's the arrogance of those in power who believe that they will never be unseated.I began noticing right after the 2000 elections that much of the legislation being proposed tended to take a VERY long view; i.e. they would be implemented after several years. Well into a possible second term for Bush the Lesser.The normal supposition that the present gaggle of pols would be cycled through and new ones appear WHO MIGHT DECIDE TO TAKE APART THE PROPOSED LAWS after their predecessors have vacated the positions *didn't seem to be a concern*. In other words, legislation was being proposed that would not be operational until Bush's 2nd term; this presumes a normally odd assumption that there was no *doubt* that there would be a second term. This in turn presumes that the Republicans, despite the usual ebb-and-flow of political power, would be assured of a majority in all legislative endeavors. Needless to say, such an assumption warrants investigation. It presupposes something that cannot always be guaranteed: victory at the ballot box.A victory of dubious origin, given the ongoing voting machine controversy.Mr. Murkowski is only doing what he believes he can get away with, despite the aformentioned vote machine problem; he and his ilk are of the opinion that they can do what they want. Like I said, arrogance.
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Comment #20 posted by fearfull on January 24, 2005 at 06:23:52 PT
Sounds to me like this is one Govenor who just dosen't want to be reelected.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on January 23, 2005 at 22:25:33 PT
I hope the storm is passing for you now and that you weathered it ok. We didn't get more snow but it is currently - 6 degrees. Stay warm and safe.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on January 23, 2005 at 21:31:59 PT
I wanted to comment on the animals during the tsunami. I believe animals do have a sensitivity to things we don't. One day I had a student out on a cross country ride and we were talking and just walking along and in a flash the horses bolted so fast that we both went in different directions and we had to get off the horses to settle them down. We didn't know why and then we saw a Buck. It was the breeding season for deer and the horses sensed his aggression. Another time we were out riding and turned around and a deer was following us very closely but it didn't upset the horses at all. The horses knew the difference between those two experiences and reacted accordingly. Birds will tell you when a storm is over and sometimes when a storm is coming. I have no doubt it's true.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on January 23, 2005 at 08:35:12 PT

For People in The Boston Area
Pictures of Martha's Vineyard!'re So Vain:
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on January 23, 2005 at 08:29:09 PT

They are beautiful pictures. Thanks!Sam I'm watching the weather and you are really getting hit hard. Stay safe and warm. You live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country that I have ever seen. I love northern liberals.
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Comment #15 posted by goneposthole on January 23, 2005 at 07:48:32 PT

weather related
It is 25 degrees Fahrenheit in Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory right now! Better weather than Massachussetts.Something you might like to see some day. It is well worth your time to visit the Yukon. Outstanding scenery.Also, they don't get bent out of shape about cannabis up there.Some pictures:
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on January 23, 2005 at 07:09:04 PT

I hope you are prepared and have all the supplies you need. Stay warm and safe.
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Comment #13 posted by Sam Adams on January 23, 2005 at 05:35:36 PT

Well, I got up this AM and there was a 4 foot drift blocking the door!  Winds are howling, it's 9 degrees, and I'd guess about 15-18 inches are on the ground, still snowing heavily. Eastern Mass. So far the electricity is on. I think it's very light snow, so hopefully trees won't be knocked down.I see some fools out there trying to drive around...I won't be trying that until at least tomorrow.  The snow on the sidewalk in front my house looks to be knee to hip high.
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Comment #12 posted by The GCW on January 23, 2005 at 05:05:06 PT

My vine, is not for governors to prohibit.
Urantia –paper 97; page 1067, Micah denounced "the rulers who judge for reward and the priests who teach for hire and the prophets who divine for money." He taught of a day of freedom from superstition and priestcraft, saying: "But every man shall sit under his own vine, and no one shall make him afraid, for all people will live, each one according to his understanding of God." 
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on January 22, 2005 at 21:41:09 PT

Hey BGreen
It's almost a 3 dog night! It was 70 here last week. The weather is crazy these days. The east coast is really getting hit hard. We were in Philadelphia during the storm in 96 and they're saying it is much like that storm was. It was horrible. Stay warm and safe.
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Comment #10 posted by BGreen on January 22, 2005 at 21:31:29 PT

No Snow, Just Cold
We've had a pretty mild winter so far. It's 14 degrees right now, but they say our highs are going to be around 50 starting Monday.My wife is comfy in our heated waterbed and I've got the kerosene heater burning.Stay safe, Sam Adams!Glad everything's OK, FoM.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on January 22, 2005 at 20:57:11 PT

That does sound bad. How much snow do you have so far? Do you have back up heat if the power goes out? We heat with wood. Traveling anywhere is out of the question. Stay safe.
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Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on January 22, 2005 at 20:48:57 PT

blizzard is raging outside my house right now - totally out of control. Trees are bending over & making creaking noises like they're going to break.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on January 22, 2005 at 20:25:13 PT

The news is slow so we are staying warm and watching tv. We have maybe 6 inches of snow and the temperature is dropping ( 10 now ) but we are fine. Thanks for asking. Did you get snow too?
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Comment #6 posted by BGreen on January 22, 2005 at 20:16:02 PT

FoM, Are You Buried Under Snow?.
I hope you came through the storm OK. I haven't heard from you for a few hours.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on January 22, 2005 at 18:10:00 PT

that justifies prohibiting ------ what a tombstone
  the gov. will have his name written in history. 
not many in public office have a chance to change history. add that to the fact of leading his offspring down the path of failure for the people that they are suppose to be helping. like the ol song === get um up against the wall ==
 peak oil is coming yet you sleep and do nothing. how much is the true cost of oil. what do we spend on military/. and the renewable people are told that they can not compete ---------- what's the true cost-------------
what could the 200 billion we have spent in the last two years have bought US when we are told that 5 billion is being spent on funding Hydrogen cars --------what could be done with say 100 billion --------------waiting --waiting--waiting--and the other 100 billion going into other renewable.tear down the wall.
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Comment #4 posted by global_warming on January 22, 2005 at 16:56:15 PT

OT:A Sixth Sense
Maybe we are not the smartest creations to the eyes of God,..
---  -Saved by a sixth sense for the tsunamiWhy did a tsunami that killed more than 150,000 people harm no more than a handful of animals?Over the last few weeks, we have been bombarded with terrible images of chaos, destruction and death. The cost in human lives has been made brutally clear. Yet wildlife officials in Sri Lanka, where more than 30,000 people have been reported dead so far, insist that there have been no recorded animal deaths. Similar reports are appearing from other devastated areas and one cannot help but wonder: where were they all when disaster struck?As anecdotal evidence emerges of unusual animal behaviour prior to the catastrophe, the debate over whether animals can sense impending disaster and flee from it has resurfaced with a vengeance.The roots of this debate stretch back to ancient Greece. In 373BC, historians recorded that animals including rats, snakes and weasels deserted the Greek city of Helice en masse just days before it was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami. Tales of animal behaviour that appears to anticipate disaster have surfaced across the centuries ever since.In spite of this wealth of anecdotal evidence, however, the majority of the scientific community does not recognise a link between animal behaviour and earthquakes. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) says on its website:“Changes in animal behavior cannot be used to predict earthquakes. Even though there have been documented cases of unusual animal behavior prior to earthquakes, a reproducible connection between a specific behaviour and the occurrence of an earthquake has not been made.”In the recent press coverage of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, Andy Michael, a geophysicist at USGS, was quoted as saying: “What we’re faced with is a lot of anecdotes. Animals react to so many things – being hungry, defending their territories, mating, predators – so it’s hard to have a controlled study to get that advanced warning signal.”True, but this did not stop the USGS from attempting an extensive series of these studies in the late 1970s. The trigger for this flurry of activity was what has probably become the most famous example of alleged animal activity prior to an earthquake in modern history.On 4 February 1975, Chinese authorities successfully evacuated Haicheng, a city with one million people, just days before a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck (the Indian Ocean tsunami was caused by an 8.9-magnitude earthquake). They claimed that their decision to evacuate was based in part on observations of animal behaviour.The ensuing excitement at USGS was further boosted in 1977 when researchers found that 50% of local people surveyed after an earthquake in California had noticed unusual behaviour in their pets prior to the event. The impossible suddenly seemed possible.But it was followed by disappointment. The California findings were not deemed to merit further action and it emerged that the Chinese had neglected to mention a rare series of smaller quakes that had occurred in the area before the big one. The USGS ceased all research into a possible link between animal behaviour and earthquakes in 1980.China did not, and nor did Japan. Whether because of their susceptibility to earthquakes or a philosophy that embraces nature, these two countries have continued to research animal behaviour as a possible earthquake prediction tool. They have had false alarms, of course, but they have had successes too.Continued research in the Far East led to the headline-grabbing news in September 2003 that a Japanese medical doctor had conducted a study which demonstrated that erratic behaviour in dogs could be used to forecast earthquakes.The study was contentious – The Guardian was at pains to point out that it was “even being regarded with caution in Japan” – but its reporting here reflects the continued allure of believing that animals have some kind of sixth sense to warn them of impending danger, even in the absence of scientific evidence.The USGS is correct in saying that “a reproducible connection between a specific behaviour and the occurrence of an earthquake has not been made”. However, just because there is no way of explaining something does not mean that something does not exist. The Chinese have taken this view in their construction of a network of experimental stations to collect and analyse animal behaviour observations.Where Western geologists and seismologists have been reluctant to entertain the notion of animal behaviour as a predictive tool, biologists and behaviourists have proposed various theories to explain how animals may sense earthquakes seemingly before they happen.Rather than postulating the existence of a mysterious sixth sense, the majority of these theories draw on animals’ highly evolved existing sensory apparatus to make their case. Remember too that animals respond to each other: the flight of one may trigger an exodus.Earthquakes shake the ground and one of the most obvious ways in which animals could ‘predict’ them is by picking up advance vibrations that are too small for us to feel. Many animals, ranging from rodents to elephants, are known to use shockwaves in communication.Joyce Poole, Director of the Savanna Elephant Vocalization Project, has worked with African elephants for 25 years and says that research on acoustic and seismic communication indicates that elephants could easily pick up vibrations generated from an earthquake-tsunami. Fellow researcher Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell describes how the soft skin on the undersides of elephant feet is comparable to the taut surface of a drum and is similarly sensitive to the tiniest vibration.But even if they can pick up vibrations that warn them of impending danger, how do they know where to run? A Dutch ethologist, Paul Koene, explains that elephants instinctively head for higher ground when they feel threatened. This fits in well with anecdotes of Sri Lankan elephants breaking loose for the hills just before the tsunami hit.An alternative theory that has gained acceptance in recent years is that animals pick up on magnetic field changes that occur near the epicentre of an earthquake. Many animals are known to use the earth’s magnetic field to navigate, including pigeons and turtles.A third hypothesis postulates that it is changes in electric charges that alert animals to a quake. Certain species of fish are known to be sensitive to variations in electric fields – the electric eel is the most obvious example – and researchers believe they may pick up on the electric charge variations in water that sometimes precede earthquakes.On land, organisms may respond to changes in the polarity and concentration of atmospheric ions, or charged particles. This could allow animals to detect the air-ionising effects of radon gas, which is sometimes released from the ground before an earthquake.A piezoelectric effect has also been invoked: changes in the pressure exerted on crystals like quartz result in electrical charging of the crystals’ surfaces. This is believed to generate enough electrical energy to drive the creation of airborne ions before, during and after an earthquake. Animals may anticipate earthquakes much as they sense oncoming thunderstorms.That organisms should respond to vibrations, magnetism or electrical charges does not exhaust the range of theories that advocates of an earthquake-animal behaviour link have put forward.More controversial hypotheses include the idea that animals react to ultrasound emitted by fracturing rock before an earthquake occurs. This theory has been heavily criticised by geologists who claim that no such sound is emitted.Yet the most contentious argument of all remains the idea that animals do indeed possess a sixth sense, something fundamentally different to the five senses that we currently recognise. Perhaps animals perceive and respond to stimuli that science at present simply cannot measure.Here we enter the realm of biologists like Rupert Sheldrake, who try to explain mysteries such as why dogs sometimes seem to anticipate the arrival of their owner, even in the apparent absence of any physical signals.Critics will be inclined to make short thrift of the sixth sense theory in its most literal form and will point out the lack of scientific evidence to support it. Nevertheless, and here we return to the essence of the problem, critics and advocates alike suffer from the problem of how to conduct controlled experiments to test the earthquake-animal behaviour hypothesis.Everyone agrees that there is an abundance of anecdotes detailing unusual animal behaviour prior to earthquakes and no one denies that amazingly few creatures appear to have died in the wake of the recent tsunami. Yet neither believers nor sceptics can realistically confirm or deny a direct link between animal behaviour and an impending disaster.As scientists, we instinctively question and search for evidence. Perhaps this is a case where we should follow the East in their simple acceptance of a natural phenomenon. This does not mean that we should cease studying how animals may ‘predict’ earthquakes; it means that we should use their abilities, even if we do not understand them, to save human lives where we can.The Anthropological Survey of India’s plan to immediately document the animal-based warning systems that enabled all five aboriginal tribes inhabiting the badly-hit Andaman and Nicobar islands to escape unscathed is a step in the right direction.Sonja van Renssen---------------------------------
Saved by a sixth sense for the tsunami
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Comment #3 posted by siege on January 22, 2005 at 16:11:33 PT

 3 - WRCB Chattanooga
is runing bull s-it on marijuana know.
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Comment #2 posted by Taylor121 on January 22, 2005 at 15:47:06 PT

MPP in Alaska
In Alaska, state legislators will attempt to overturn the September 2004 court decision that made four ounces of marijuana legal in the home. As a counterstrike, we hope to introduce legislation to create a legal, regulated market for marijuana. We will argue that -- because adults already have a constitutional right to possess marijuana at home -- they should be able to obtain it from legal establishments, rather than from illegal drug dealers.

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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 22, 2005 at 14:56:45 PT

Why try to change it after all this time? What is wrong with republicans? 
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