All Eyes on Denver’s Marijuana Laws

All Eyes on Denver’s Marijuana Laws
Posted by CN Staff on November 03, 2005 at 07:42:33 PT
Source: Minnesota Daily
Denver -- On Tuesday voters in Denver approved the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana for its residents who are older than 21. The new measure follows a medical marijuana law in the state and takes a step beyond laws in other cities that make enforcing such possession the lowest law-enforcement priority. Proponents of legalizing marijuana for recreational use claim the drug is safer than alcohol, and even go so far as to say it will decrease alcohol-related car accidents and crime such as domestic abuse and street violence because adults have a choice as to which drug to use.
In terms of health, marijuana is less addictive and has different effects on a user’s mental state than alcohol does. But long-term health effects do exist, and as with alcohol, users react to the drug in different ways. Now a major city has decided that possessing the drug in small amounts is legal under its ordinances, the country should keep a close eye on the effects it has on Denver’s social scene and alcohol-related incidents. Nationally, lawmakers should use Denver as a gauge to determine the effects of legal marijuana. Social scientists and law enforcers should start now gathering statistics and doing studies to gather some hard evidence as to whether legalizing marijuana correlates with the reduced crime rates and less-congested legal systems proponents so often cite. Essentially, Denver’s new law protects possessors from prosecution only by Denver authorities. State and federal laws still apply, which means possessors could still be charged under those jurisdictions. But state and federal authorities around Denver should take this opportunity to let the city’s law stand and see what happens. Denver citizens have voted to make themselves an example and, as a result, opened themselves to scrutiny and criticism. But they should be grateful for that. If the new law works as well as citizens seem to think it will, and truly prevents more problems than it causes, more cities will legalize the drug and eventually, state and federal laws might be revised as well. Note: Lawmakers should use Denver as a gauge to determine marijuana’s effects. Source: Minnesota Daily (MN Edu)Published: November 3, 2005Copyright: 2005 Minnesota DailyContact: letters mndaily.comWebsite: http://www.mndaily.comRelated Articles & Web Site:Safer Choice Hopes for Marijuana Debate Voters, Issue was Freedom of Choice Issue Gives New Meaning To Mile High City
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Comment #2 posted by runderwo on November 03, 2005 at 17:03:28 PT
"But long-term health effects do exist,"Lip service to the "other side". Please cite a single permanent harm that arises from the use of marijuana, or stop including these "informative" little blurbs in supposedly objective news articles please!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 03, 2005 at 10:13:52 PT
ONDCP Goes 'Above the Influence' 
November 03, 2005 By Wendy Melillo  
WASHINGTON -- The first of six spots from IPG's Foote Cone & Belding for the White House's anti-drug media campaign, which breaks this week, is designed to help teenagers resist negative pressure, administration officials said.Called "Awakenings," the 30-second spot opens on the face of a teenager as the voiceover says, "There comes a time when you realize you're not a kid anymore. Suddenly you have to make decisions everyday . . . This is a time when you define yourself or let others define you." The spot introduces the tagline, "Above the influence." 
This effort marks a change in approach for the teen portion of the anti-drug campaign from "My anti-drug," a tagline introduced by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, which previously held the account. One of FCB's first tasks after winning the account from Ogilvy was to focus on developing a new message for teens. The "Above the influence" campaign is the result of that work [Adweek, Sept. 19].The 2005 media budget for the campaign is $120 million, with $25 million being spent on the latest six spots."We had an opportunity to make the whole concept of "anti-drug" more aspirational and to figure out a way of taking the notion of drug use and putting it in the context of something teens could find motivating," said Kim Corrigan, FCB's evp and worldwide account director. "This brand platform will stick with [teens] . . . because it is the kind of message that is more readily internalized when they are confronted with the choice of to smoke pot or not. It is more peer to peer and it feels more authentic."Steve Schiller, FCB's svp of account planning, said the message was a "cool" one for teens. "It is an accepted fact that people start drugs because someone turns them on to it," Schiller said. "The world of influence can be the external pressure that brings you down or the internal pressure of wanting to be liked. This is all a response to influence."Five more spots will follow in the coming weeks featuring images of external pressure, such as somebody putting a beer bottle in a teenager's hand, or internal pressures like wanting to look like someone in a magazine.Even though the campaign is aimed at decreasing marijuana use, the message works for other drugs and even alcohol, said Tom Riley, a representative of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. "The campaign is intended to steer teens away from bad decisions," Riley said. "And if teens also read into this that it is an anti-alcohol message, that doesn't hurt the anti-drug message." The first spot will air on shows such as UPN's Everybody Hates Chris, Fox's Malcolm in the Middle, the WB's Charmed and ABC Family's Grounded for Life.Copyright: 2005 VNU eMedia Inc.
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