Legislative Panel Backs Bill To Decriminalize 

Legislative Panel Backs Bill To Decriminalize 
Posted by CN Staff on February 13, 2006 at 16:13:53 PT
By The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Boston -- Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana would no longer be considered a criminal offense under a bill which won the backing of a legislative committee on Monday.The bill, which was approved by the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee on 6-1 vote, would make possession of a small amount of a marijuana a civil offense punishable by a $250 fine.
Possession of that amount of marijuana is now considered a criminal office punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine for the first offense.Sen. Steven Tolman, D-Brighton, co-chairman of the committee, said the goal was to make sure that someone found with a small amount of marijuana doesn't have a criminal record that could make it difficult for them to get into college, obtain student loans and make it harder to find a job.Critics of the bill say it could encourage the use of marijuana by easing some of the social stigma.The committee's approval is just the first step in a long process. The bill must by still approved by the House and Senate and sent to Gov. Mitt Romney's desk. If Romney vetoed the bill, it would need a two-thirds majority in both chambers to override the veto.Several states have already approved similar legislation.Complete Title: Legislative Panel Backs Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana PossessionSource: Associated Press (Wire)Published:  Monday, February 13, 2006Copyright: 2006 The Associated Press CannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #11 posted by Storm Crow on February 14, 2006 at 10:23:25 PT
social stigma?
"Critics of the bill say it could encourage the use of marijuana by easing some of the social stigma." Why is there a social stigma? Could it date back to the Anslinger days when it supposedly would make nonwhites into homicidal, raping, maniacs? Marijuana prohibition laws rode on the back of blatant racism. Those old myths have been disproved time after time. As a society, we have dropped, for the most part, our racist attitudes, isn't it time to drop this old prejudice that has its roots in racism? And WOULD it encourage use? The medical marijuana laws are a definite loosening of the marijuana laws. Yet among teens in states where medical marijuana is allowed, teen use has gone down, if we believe the government reports. When you remove the "Forbidden Fruit" concept from marijuana, what you have left is a very safe medicine that has pleasurable side effects. 
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on February 14, 2006 at 08:44:46 PT
Go, Yanks!
Surely the spirit of our forefathers dwells mightily in such places as Boston. Surely. Let us be free and see what good things we can accomplish. 
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Comment #9 posted by mayan on February 14, 2006 at 04:15:22 PT
Poll: San Diegans support state's medical marijuana law: considers marijuana program: Desert acts to pull license of pot shop:, but interesting...Syria switches to euro amid confrontation with US: Arab Emirates company to oversee six U.S. ports: Says America Run By Criminal Syndicate:
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Comment #8 posted by ekim on February 13, 2006 at 23:01:30 PT
why we fight 
does anyone know when and where this film will be shown.
It was at Sundance and is being released nation has Ikes message 
did anyone see 60 mins a month ago on Canada sand tars.the oil men must have respect for the Cannabis crops as we wean outselvs off with renewables.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on February 13, 2006 at 20:38:06 PT
Thanks Ekim
Here's a trailer of the movie.
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on February 13, 2006 at 20:26:01 PT
New Cannabis Movie Official Public Premiere PUBLIC PREMIERE
February 28, 2006
Ohio State University
Campbell Hall, Room 200
7:30 PM - $5
Q&A with Director afterwards
This screening is presented by the OSU chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and thanks to them for doing it.If you need directions to the building, see here, or send an e-mail to osussdp (remove the underscore before sending).February 28, 2006
Brown University
List Art Center 120
8:00 PM - FreeMARCHMarch 24, 2006
Truman State University
7:30 PM - Free
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Comment #5 posted by siege on February 13, 2006 at 19:32:04 PT
University College Cork
The furore surrounding Trinity College’s research on ecstasy-users defies logic.How can we understand the long-term effects of this synthetic substance if we do not investigate these effects? Surely a study that may yield valuable data on the physiological, neurological and psychological effects of this substance is to be welcomed, not condemned.Debate continues within the scientific community as to the possible harmful effects of cannabis and mushrooms. For instance, the argument that cannabis use can lead to psychosis may have a degree of validity, but this is not a proven fact.What is beyond dispute is that humans have been using these and other drugs ritually and recreationally for thousands of years and the vast majority of recreational drug users do not suffer adverse consequences.Conversely, the prohibition of certain drugs results in a situation whereby supply is in the hands of criminals who will bulk up the substances with all manner of fillers, so greatly increasing the risk to the health of users.I am not so naive as to believe that recreational drug use is a risk-free and harmless activity, yet the matter of personal liberty and freedom over one’s own body must be taken into account.Does the State have the right to tell citizens what they can and cannot put into their own bodies? The patent failure of prohibitionist policies to reduce, let alone eliminate, illicit recreational drug use suggests that State interference in citizens’ personal lifestyles is a fruitless and costly activity.Resources wasted in this moralistic crusade might be better employed in assisting people through educational and public health programmes targeted at reducing the harm associated with drug use.Due to the potentially harmful effects of psychoactive substance (used until death), debate on this matter can be fuelled more by emotive reactions than rational analysis.One would not wish to cause distress to the families and friends of people who have died from drug-related causes, yet the argument that the prohibition of certain drugs might save lives is spurious given the availability of illegal drugs and the near impossibility of cutting off supplies.The issue can also be exploited politically because to be seen as tough on drugs is a potential vote-harvesting strategy. Neither of these reasons, however, forms a valid basis for the formulation of policy in this area.It seems now that the various organs of the State are implementing a ‘mammy knows best’ approach to this area of social policy and, in so doing, are driving drug-related problems further underground, wasting garda time and resources, criminalising drug users, and maintaining an Orwellian interest in the personal habits of citizens.Pat LeahyDepartment of Applied Social StudiesUniversity College Cork.
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Comment #4 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on February 13, 2006 at 18:49:58 PT
Just Say yes To Higher Education
This Bill is the right move for an educated America because everybody knows alot of college students have tried cannabis and will continue to do so. Damning a person of financial aid for just because of their curiosity is unintelligent.
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on February 13, 2006 at 18:22:22 PT
How about a Boston Hemp Party? If the descendants of the American Revolution can't live in freedom then who can? THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Congresss to Hear Pre-9/11 Report: Danger Hearings A Go: Associate Being Deposed Next Week: Roads Lead to Dick Cheney:"Killing One Person Is Murder: Killing Thousands At 9/11 Is Domestic Policy": This Bumper Sticker Slogan On Seattle Resident's Car Has Led To MKULTRA Tactics Used Against Her: the Bad Guys:
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Comment #2 posted by siege on February 13, 2006 at 17:41:14 PT
 Tennessee medical marijuana bills
Help to carry momentum for Tennessee medical marijuana billsTwo medical marijuana bills that failed to move through the Tennessee Legislature last year are still alive, and they need your active support to make progress this year. Last year, both the state House and Senate introduced medical marijuana bills, but seriously ill Tennesseans need you to voice your support to build on this momentum.Please support S.B. 1942 and H.B. 968 by e-mailing your state representative and senator.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 13, 2006 at 16:16:07 PT
Small Steps
These are the small good steps that will help us. As people see that marijuana doesn't cause serious problems more states will follow I believe.
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