Marijuana Legalization Rally Advocates Freedom

Marijuana Legalization Rally Advocates Freedom
Posted by CN Staff on April 07, 2006 at 08:03:05 PT
By Kim Spencer
Source: Greeley Tribune
Fort Collins, CO -- Marijuana legalization advocates say their fight is about more than smoking pot."All we want is to be equal," said Mason Tvert, campaign director of Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation. "We want to see marijuana starting to be treated like alcohol."
Tvert was one of many pot legalization proponents who attended a rally at the Lory Student Center Theatre at Colorado Sate University Thursday evening. He encouraged students and residents to sign a petition to put the legalization issue on the ballot.Tvert also said marijuana is less harmful than alcohol."It never kills and is never the reason behind abuse," Tvert said. "If adults here would rather use marijuana than alcohol, why on earth would we want to stop them and push them toward drinking?"The proposed statewide initiative would legalize pot use and possession of less than one ounce for adults older than 21. It would allow cities to decide on the punishment for selling, cultivating and driving under the influence of marijuana.Travis Nicks, state chairman of the Libertarian Party of Colorado, said individuals do not know the difference between rights and privilege."You have a right to put anything in your own body," Nicks said. "The government has taken over our own bodies."Along with Tvert, Nicks is asking people to get involved and to spread the word on this issue. The legalizing petition needs 68,000 valid signatures to be considered for the next election. According to Tvert, only about 15,000 signatures have been collected.Nancy York, of the Poudre Valley Green Party, and Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado, also attended the rally to support the petition."We are going to change this thing," York said. "We can't stop at 68,000."CSU student Jonah Ricke, 18, said the rally was about more than one issue."This is an issue of freedom," Ricke said. "This is about the ability of what you want to do."Complete Title: Marijuana Legalization Rally Advocates Personal FreedomSource: Greeley Tribune (CO)Author: Kim SpencerPublished: April 7, 2006Copyright: 2006 Greeley TribuneContact: letters greeleytrib.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Safer Choice Colorado Pushing To Legalize Marijuana Statewide Advocates Push Statewide Legalization 
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on April 08, 2006 at 23:45:15 PT
Comment #4
"Violent crime, fatal traffic crashes and related crime sprees are all associated with marijuana use and [unregulated] sales," said Jason Christensen, who heads the Southeast Narcotics Task Force."related crime sprees"? Related to what? Related to the normal actions of criminals? Black markets created by prohibition. And apparently approved by the US Supreme Court in the first Raich v. Gonzales. "Fatal car crashes" "associated with marijuana use and sales"? use and sales? Of course, selling cannabis in a moving vehicle is a foolish action of desperate criminals? Unregulated market, anyone? SWAT teams and prison slavery? Or is there a better way, regulation?And someone who smoked a joint two weeks ago and got drunk today will test positive for both even though they are logically, medically, scientifically and physically impaired by alcohol only.Giving unofficial government approval to criminals by maintaining an unregulated market leads to "Violent crime" among criminals fighting turf wars. Why not turn distribution over to businessmen who work within government regulations? "Violent crime" by users has been disproven by virtually every serious government-commissioned study, not that ONDCP, NIDA, DEA blather.
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Comment #5 posted by Toker1776 on April 08, 2006 at 14:00:10 PT:
Stop Controlling our substance!! Our rights!!!
It's more than just a fight for freedom of choice, it's also a fight for a right to life issue concerning millions of Americans who have become so imobilized from chronic illnesses and the side effects from the medications that in some, if not most cases, do nothing more than prolong the agony of those who take them. You had better believe that there is a driving force behind all this prohibition mess and that driving force wears the hat of major drug corporations that rake in billions of dollars each year as they peddle their poisons off on us via lobbying Congress and offering huge kick backs to Doctors to shove their crap down our throats. Drug rehab, also a big money maker in the U.S. Got good insurance? count on a 28 day stay at your local human recycling factory. Got Public Aid? We're sorry, "Just Say No!" And than there's all these ads on tv. Partnership for a drug free America, what a load of CRAP! What we need to do is start running our own ads over the air waves and call it Partnership for alternative choice, or something to that nature. They talk about the drug war as if they were referring to some front line in Iraq,but it's not. This has been a one sided war from the begining! if they want to see a real war then let's level the battle field and use their own ammunition against them, i.e. tv./radio ads showing our side of the story and why we're fighting for legalization! Thats only fare, and at least that's still legal for the time being!!!!!
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on April 08, 2006 at 13:04:10 PT
TMCNet: Debunking The Marijuana Myth
April 08, 2006To say marijuana is not dangerous is a myth, according to local narcotics experts."Violent crime, fatal traffic crashes and related crime sprees are all associated with marijuana use and sales," said Jason Christensen, who heads the Southeast Narcotics Task Force.And, he said, today's marijuana is 30 times more potent than what was seen years ago."We grow better corn and vegetables," Christensen said. "And that technology has spilled over to drugs, too."While the meth crisis has dominated headlines, officers are seeing a lot more marijuana also, said Sgt. Dan Pulford, who has headed the Rochester police narcotics division for years."It's a big problem," he said.His concern is that much of that marijuana is ending up in high schools and high school students.Crime rate affectedPulford echoes Christensen's concerns that marijuana is much stronger today.And the kids using it move on to meth, cocaine, Ecstasy and other drugs. And they commit crimes to support their drug habits.The two narcotics experts say that through the years, marijuana has been linked to local burglaries, robberies, assaults, kidnappings and even a homicide.Shelley McBride, supervisor of juvenile corrections in Olmsted County, said that of 253 juveniles on full probation, 110 are known to be pot smokers. And, she said, 55 of the 110 are "extremely dependent" and in need of chemical dependency treatment. Over the bordersThe marijuana being seen locally is coming either from Canada or Mexico.The BC bud coming from Canada is a hydroponic pot that Pulford compares to the corn in Minnesota and Iowa -- hybrid.And there have been significant cases involving people transporting marijuana up from Mexico. Just recently, a Rochester man, Perry Christensen, was sentenced in federal court for being in possession of about 200 pounds of marijuana brought to Rochester from the south."You can make a ton of money" dealing drugs, Pulford said."There are people being paid $5,000 to $7,000 to go mule this stuff. It is nothing to pay $10,000 to bring up weed that will make $200,000 selling," he said.Pulford said someone bringing in 300 pounds of pot might sell it to 10 to 12 people who break it down to smaller bags for sale at $10 to $20 a bag.Pulford said a dealer might buy $900 worth of marijuana, break it down and turn that investment into $3,000 to $4,000.He tells of one Rochester teenager who got 2 pounds of BC bud in Minneapolis to bring to Rochester to sell. He sold one of the pounds but smoked the other."For 45 days, he didn't know who he was. He was high every day. Then he came to us because he was in debt for $8,000 because he smoked the pot instead of selling it and didn't have the money to pay for it," Pulford said. He was 17 at the time."I would say the majority of marijuana coming into Rochester is ending up in our kids. We are a very affluent town. Kids have money," Pulford said.An overlooked problemChristensen agrees that the problem of marijuana is overlooked.Unfortunately, Minnesota drug laws don't adequately punish the marijuana user, trafficker or grower, Pulford and Christensen said.To be charged with a felony first-degree drug offense, a person needs to be convicted of being in possession of 100 kilograms or of selling 50 kilograms of marijuana.But a person could be charged with a first-degree offense for selling 10 grams of cocaine, heroin or meth or of being in possession of 25 grams of those drugs. And a person could be convicted of a first-degree drug offense for making any amount of meth or even for possessing any of the substances used to make meth with the intent of making the drug.Pulford said drug dealers know the laws, too. He said he sees many local people who switch from selling cocaine to pot because they know they won't go to prison if caught.And, he said, high school kids talk about the "power" they get from selling pot."There is a lot of power and prestige when they start dealing. Now they can afford cars and clothes. People come to them for the drug. That empowers the drug dealer," Pulford said. "The kids can see that power; see that dealer as someone of importance. They don't see any negatives coming out of it, and when they come to court, there is no consequence."No judge is going to send you to prison for selling weed. That is what I hear from the dopers."Pulford said he is not saying pot dealers need to go to prison. But he would like to see consequences for the big dealer, the person bringing in 10 pounds of marijuana.At least give them a $30,000 fine, Pulford said.Property forfeituresChristensen said authorities can seek forfeiture of property seized during the execution of criminal search warrants. And, he said, the task force is seizing every asset it can "to hit them where it hurts, in their wallets, their homes and their bank accounts."He said that during a recent drug raid, the task force seized a checking account with more than $40,000 in it from a self-employed handyman.He said the lifestyle of the pot trafficker or grower is a big tip-off.They might be making some money legitimately but not enough to support their lavish lifestyles.He said that in one current case, narcotics agents seized more than $100,000 in assets. That included a 72-inch television screen and 50 pieces of artwork. All were purchased with cash. They also found a stack of receipts the suspect kept."We have a beautiful case against him," Christensen said.Last year in Minnesota, 206 law enforcement agencies reported 4,272 incidents of property being seized subject to forfeiture. Gross sales of forfeited property totaled $3,709.487, according to the state auditor. Drug activity accounted for nearly 75 percent of the forfeiture incidents last year, the auditor said.Under state law, 70 percent of the proceeds from forfeited property goes back to the appropriate law enforcement agency, 20 percent goes to the prosecuting agency and 10 percent to the state Department of Finance.The Southeast Narcotics Task Force had net proceeds of $47,922 from seized property in 2005. Copyright: 2006 Technology Marketing Corp.
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Comment #3 posted by b4daylight on April 07, 2006 at 16:28:15 PT
"It never kills and is never the reason behind abuse," Tvert said. "If adults here would rather use marijuana than alcohol, why on earth would we want to stop them and push them toward drinking?"
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 07, 2006 at 15:17:36 PT
That's good news.
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Comment #1 posted by Toker00 on April 07, 2006 at 14:15:06 PT
Texas Drug Task Forces ride off into the sunset...
Thought this was pretty cool for Texas. guys, but I don't think I'll miss you...Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
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