Congress Gets Its Act Together

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  Congress Gets Its Act Together

Posted by CN Staff on December 17, 2009 at 18:27:19 PT
By Bill Piper and Naomi Long, AlterNet 
Source: AlterNet 

Washington, D.C. finally seems to be getting the message that the war on drugs has failed.Following years of resistance if not outright hostility to reforming our nation's drug laws, Congress has passed two major changes to U.S.drug policy as part of an end-of-year omnibus spending package that President Obama signed into law yesterday.
First, the legislation repeals a decades-old policy that prohibited cities and states from using their share of federal HIV/AIDS prevention money to fund syringe exchange programs, which have been shown to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and other infectious diseases without increasing drug use by allowing intravenous drug users to trade in their used syringes for sterile ones.In addition, the bill overturns a provision that barred the city of Washington, D.C. from implementing a medical marijuana law approved overwhelmingly by District voters back in 1998. The city will now be free to set its own medical marijuana policies.The lifting of the syringe exchange funding ban represents a huge victory for HIV/AIDS prevention and drug policy reform that will protect hundreds of thousands of Americans from contracting life-threatening diseases. Reform advocates are excited that federal money could soon start flowing to syringe exchange programs around the country, and the change in policy would not have been possible without the strong leadership of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Congressman David Obey (D-WI), Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and others who had the courage to stand up for science over drug war hysteria.The move to allow Washington,D.C.voters to determine their own medical marijuana policies represents another watershed, as Congress has made good on President Obama's promise to halt federal government interference in local efforts to provide relief to cancer, HIV/AIDS and other patients who need medical marijuana. Congress should have never stood in the way of implementing the will of the people, and now the capital city is free to join the 13 states that allow the use of medical marijuana by qualified patientsWhile there remains a lot of work to do both in the states and at the federal level to dismantle the drug war, the reforms passed this month by Congress signal a national shift toward more sensible U.S.drug policies. For example, in April, New York State reformed its harsh Rockefeller Drug Laws, eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing for most low-level, nonviolent drug offenses. In November,Maine citizens voted to establish compassion centers to distribute medical marijuana to patients. And the New Jersey legislature this month is expected to pass legislation allowing judges to waive mandatory minimum penalties for certain nonviolent drug law offenses.New Jersey also stands poised to legalize marijuana for medical use. Meanwhile, dozens of states have overhauled their harsh sentencing laws to reduce incarceration and increase the availability of treatment.On the campaign trail, President Obama called for treating drug use as a health issue instead of a criminal justice matter, and it looks like he is beginning to follow through on his pledges. Administration officials have endorsed syringe exchange programs, called for federal sentencing reform and taken steps to reorient U.S.drug policy toward more of a demand-reduction approach. In March, the Justice Department said it would no longer arrest and prosecute individuals who use, grow or distribute marijuana for medical purposes as long as they are following their state's medical marijuana laws, ending a brutal Bush Administration policy.It's too soon to say that America's long national nightmare, "the war on drugs," is really over, but this recent action on Capitol Hill provides unprecedented evidence that Congress is at last coming to its senses when it comes to national drug control policy.Bill Piper is director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. Naomi Long is the D.C. Metro director of the Drug Policy Alliance.Source: AlterNet (US)Author:   Bill Piper and Naomi Long, AlterNetPublished: December 17, 2009Copyright: 2009 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters Website: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #45 posted by FoM on December 19, 2009 at 08:08:29 PT
Had Enough
Merry Christmas and thank you for the song.
Merry Christmas 2009 & Happy New Year
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Comment #44 posted by Had Enough on December 19, 2009 at 07:10:27 PT
Praise the Lord....Send money to my address/1-800 number...***When I hear the preacher man/woman...that is what I hear...Given though...there are a very few, (and I would like to emphasize the word very) who really try to do what they feel right, and have their hearts in the right place...Peace to all of mankind.... the world could use a little of that right now************Now here is a good religious concept...Right Now...
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Comment #43 posted by FoM on December 19, 2009 at 04:58:48 PT
I didn't know karma meant anything about being re-incarnated. I don't believe in that. I mean what a person sows they will reap. If you are kind people will be kind to you. If you are mean people will be mean to you.
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Comment #42 posted by Hope on December 18, 2009 at 22:59:26 PT
But still
I guess the kind of karma I think of when I think of karma and it's energy... for me.. I'm really thinking about it's effecting this life... and I guess that's not really, really what real karma is when you're really practicing real Hinduism.But seeing it as a part of this life... that's kind of how I see it.Yeah... sounds weird. Shouldn't have even tried to explain my feelings about it.:0)I am not one of those Christians that believes everyone is going to hell that is not a Christian."Jesus Christ came in the flesh to save all men, ESPECIALLY those who believe." That's in First Timothy, as I recall.I get into Scripture sometimes. I try to pay attention to what it says. I did notice that it says, "Especially"... not "Exclusively".When Yeshua said, "No man goes to the Father, except through me." I think he was saying... "Don't be afraid of me and what I'm saying. Understand that if you know the Father... you DO know me!"Oops... sorry. There I go again. But I'm not trying to force my beliefs on anyone... just saying what I do believe. As you know, many professed Christians disagree with me about that "Especially" business. But that's ok. That's what it says. If they want to believe differently... that's definitely their business, not mine. I don't want to accuse people. I don't want to be like "The Accuser". I want to comfort people, like The Comforter.
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Comment #41 posted by Hope on December 18, 2009 at 22:39:43 PT
Paint with light
I like the concept of karma, too, except the part about it being the energy that lays the foundation, sort of, for your next existence. I don't have much of a handle on that section of Hinduism. But when I think of karma in general, and that energy's effect my present life, I have my own view, sort of my own concept of karma, not strictly as a part of Hinduism, as to how it, the energy of our actions, effect this life. The only thing I have trouble with, in seeing it as an element of this life, is in knowing that sadly, bad things do happen sometimes to good people and they certainly don't deserve it... and good things happen to bad people, even though seemingly, they just don't deserve it. So karma looks a little weak to me in that respect. But that's my personal karma type concept. As far as karma goes, it's important to me, in that with the very tender conscience that I have, I'm my own karma producing machine so I have to be so careful or it just eats me alive if I'm mean or something. Karma, or something, follows me pretty closely, in that if I'm ugly or hating about something, it seems I can't walk ten feet without tripping over my own feet!So the real belief in karma... the next existence stuff, isn't something I'm all into, for sure. I'm counting on Grace for that. But if Hinduism is precisely right, and we're laying the foundation by the energy of our actions, in this existence, for our next existence... what will prohibitionists be in their next life? 
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Comment #40 posted by Paint with light on December 18, 2009 at 21:54:45 PT
To Exist
I accept everyone's right to their personal interpretation of God, religion, and spirituality.I in no way want to challenge anyone's beliefs.But for me............To understand the significance.......Of being alive.....Even if for a brief moment.....In the vastness of time and space.......Is religion enough for me.To try to do good works for others.....To try and treat people fairly and honestly....To try and leave something of beauty behind.....And mainly.....To try to do no harm.These are all the rules I need.Whether Karma exists or not I like the concept.An all knowing loving God would understand.
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Comment #39 posted by Hope on December 18, 2009 at 20:03:16 PT
D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray
Good for him! Way to go Councilman Gray. Way to get in gear.
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Comment #38 posted by FoM on December 18, 2009 at 14:55:14 PT
Gray Won't Wait To Send MMJ Initiative To Congress
Gray Won't Wait To Send Medical Marijuana Initiative To Congress***December 18, 2009Holy medical pot smoke, Batman. Responding to news that President Barack Obama has signed the District of Columbia appropriations act that was part of that big package Congress passed earlier this month, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray is moving to send the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative, also known as Initiative 59, to Congress for its 30-day review period. And he's going to go ahead and do it in the next few days.URL:
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Comment #37 posted by kaptinemo on December 18, 2009 at 11:45:43 PT:
The zeitgeist is changing, is what
Zeitgeist: the general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual, and/or political climate within a nation or even specific groups, along with the general ambience, morals, and sociocultural direction or mood of an era from Wikipedia's entry on the word.For the longest time, the zeitgeist of America has been dominated by authoritarianism. That authoritarianism has brought us to the present sorry state of affairs in this country. And, finally, people have grown tired of it. The most recent election was a signal of that weariness.It's been mentioned here before that there seems to be a kind of pendulum swing to society, between classic liberalism (denoted by lower-case libertarianism) and authoritarianism. For the past 30 years, the authoritarians seemed to hold back the pendulum string tightly hard up against the authoritarian side of the frame the pendulum must swing within. Every unConstitutional law they passed, every trespass against civil liberties (such as the DrugWar) was an upraised middle finger at democracy, which they only like when they are able to use it to become politically ascendant, but have never trusted.But the stress of holding that string back has caused this country enormous harm, and it's as if an instinctual, gut-level understanding, beneath thought but no less urgent, has propelled the country back to the other side of that frame. The pendulum has been pried loose from the white-knuckle grip the authoritarians have used to retard that string's natural progress, and the pendulum is swinging free once more. It remains to be seen if that pendulum's travel can be arrested again; there's lots of ignorant foot-soldiers the authoritarians can still press into battle, to vote and act against their own best interests. But it's swinging, and the interest in drug law reform is a perfect example of what happens when the zeitgiest represented by that pendulum is on the move.
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Comment #36 posted by Hope on December 18, 2009 at 11:38:14 PT
I've got to get away from this computer!
I have shopping and chores to do and errands to run.Lots of company is coming soon, some tomorrow, and will be here for the holidays and I won't have as much time to check in here as usual. So I'm clinging and combining that with a bit of dread of the "Public Square"... Walmart and all.It really started yesterday. sometimes C-news and the people here seem like a security blanket and refuge from the storm that's brewing. Breathe deeply. Go forth.Breathe deeply.I can do it.:0)Maybe.
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Comment #35 posted by Hope on December 18, 2009 at 11:30:25 PT
Vincent, Thank you.
I want good... for everyone.I hate the idea of crushing people... even people that I don't like.
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Comment #34 posted by Hope on December 18, 2009 at 11:28:34 PT
"I wonder what it was."
You're so sweet! You believed me!I don't have a clue... except that it was a powerful feeling that we are moving faster than we even know.It was kind of strange... and certainly different.It was just a feeling and feelings don't mean much... but it was nice.
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Comment #33 posted by FoM on December 18, 2009 at 11:17:08 PT
I wonder what it was. I think we have reached the point of no return since Obama became President. That's what we needed. A drug savy President that wrote about his drug use. Inhaled because that was the point he said.
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Comment #32 posted by Vincent on December 18, 2009 at 11:09:48 PT:
Very well said! I like your message about religion. Now, if only our lawmakers would listen to your song. Sigh!
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Comment #31 posted by Hope on December 18, 2009 at 10:48:13 PT
Sometimes I just feel like a nut...
and I had a kind of nutty experience yesterday.I had a powerful feeling that something actually was happening yesterday that moved us towards our goal of freedom and decency at warp speed.I don't know what it was, yet... but I do believe that during those moments, something wonderful happened somewhere yesterday and moved us farther than we know yet.Maybe it was nutty... maybe it wasn't.I think maybe it wasn't.
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Comment #30 posted by kaptinemo on December 18, 2009 at 10:42:45 PT:
Along the lines of vindictive religion
Over a hundred years ago, Mark Twain wrote something about that. It is as true today as it was back then. And remember, he was writing about the Spanish-American War. I haven't bothered to count all the ones we've had since, officially recognized and 'dirty little wars', combined.Mark Twain's The War Prayer: me of prohibs. Their mouths are full of sweet reason; their hands drip with the blood of innocents. Yet they beseech God to anoint their labors. Sick, truly sick...
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on December 18, 2009 at 10:39:22 PT
I believe in what happened when Pharoah wouldn't release the people from bondage. What ever he said came back on him. That's what I mean about Karma.
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Comment #28 posted by Hope on December 18, 2009 at 10:22:26 PT
I'm not so sure I believe in it, that much. 
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on December 18, 2009 at 10:09:25 PT
I believe in karma so I pray accordingly. I hope that makes sense.
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Comment #26 posted by Hope on December 18, 2009 at 10:02:46 PT
I'm praying for Peace and abundant blessings
For all mankind... if He can find such mercies within his will for us. Yes.I am."Showers of blessings. Showers of blessings we need. Mercy drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead."(That's a great song.)
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Comment #25 posted by Hope on December 18, 2009 at 09:56:58 PT
Over the years
I've heard a few preachers and others lead congregations to pray that someone would suffer.... so they would turn to God.I've always thought that was just wrong. It's stupid. It might even be evil. To my knowledge, it's certainly not Biblical... but I've heard it done before and they didn't get my "Amen" for those sorts of prayers, for sure.It's just so disgusting. 
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on December 18, 2009 at 09:45:45 PT
Moose likes Imagine
That's cool.
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on December 18, 2009 at 09:32:31 PT

Heaven, hell, hatred, jealousy, theology, religion in general take away from what the message was all about. We are to do good to all people. We can only do that when we empty our minds of man made doctrine in my opinion. Moose was totally still and listening to Imagine. My dog has good taste in music too. LOL!A nice winter song. Prairie Town
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Comment #22 posted by Hope on December 18, 2009 at 09:15:19 PT

if there were no hatred. 
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on December 18, 2009 at 08:58:02 PT

This is a song that reminds me of how true religion should be. And the world will be as one.Imagine - John Lennon
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on December 18, 2009 at 08:21:44 PT

Imagine a religion
where you asked your god to comfort and help others. Not right after he slapped them upside the head... like some sort of demented abuser... but without slapping them at all. Maybe a religion were you prayed more for your god to maybe lift people above the natural tempest of life that is slapping them around enough as it is. Imagine asking this god for peace and health and general good will among humans.Wow. It would be nice if there was some sort of religion or life philosophy like that.Praying "Oh my god! Be mean and cruel and hurt those other people because they deserve it, and if you are mean enough to them... maybe they will turn to you... like I did... and then they can ask you to be cruel and harsh to more people.""Oh lord... help me be sure to kick em when they're down... for their own good and for the good of the witnesses to their destruction and for your glory."Maybe they're right and I'm wrong. Let them pray to their god of hurt and hate. I'm so hoping in the power of the God of Love that I believe in.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on December 18, 2009 at 08:09:49 PT

I don't think Governor Johnson has much of a chance. Bringing up marijuana will help though because it is the issue that really matters to us here on CNews. It will take a major big time mess up on Obama's part to turn the people against him. Even Clinton won a second term. Not to mention George Bush and invading Iraq didn't stop him from a second term which really amazed and depressed me.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on December 18, 2009 at 08:03:43 PT

Religion and spirituality
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a religion about love and loving one another and caring about and really helping each other? I guess that would be "Weak" and "Namby Pamby" and all. Nobody wants to be a part of something like that.Wouldn't it be nice if there was a religion that was about lifting people up and that joy and peace and salvation from trouble and sorrow were part of it? Wouldn't it be nice to have religion that was about ending suffering and bringing light, and peace, and joy and something to wear and eat and and a place to sleep with protection from the elements to those who suffer?A religion were you prayed to your God for good things and mercy on even those fellow humans that mistreated you, someone that you could easily consider your "enemy"? Sigh.Wouldn't it be amazing if there was a religion or philosophy like that?This Christ some of these elite, privileged, and powerful people follow... he taught that we should hope for people to suffer, some more, so they could grow from it... so they'd "Humble" themselves and turn to him? This Jesus Christ they speak of and claim to follow in his "Footsteps", his principle teachings were about hatred, fear, arrogance, accusation, judgment, unforgiveness, and punishment? He was a purveyor of bring them to their knees punishment to be inflicted by some of us on others of us?What was that I heard about how humble he was and how he wouldn't even break a "bruised reed", he was so kind and gentle?And my Bible! My whole Bible is wrong. It's messed up somehow. It simply does not say the things in it that these people that make flourishing public prayers for disaster and sorrow and grief on others must have in theirs. They have some sort of special Bible that says something way different than mine.That "Way" I've heard speak of. It is narrow and straight isn't it? And, obviously, "few there be" that come in through it. I think if you missed the "Love" part... you missed the gate... the door... the "Way".It would be nice if there really was a religion like that and anyone was interested in being part of it.But they're not. You can't be humble and dominating and arrogant at the same time. Gentle people aren't good at controlling "lesser" types with harsh punishment methods. You have to be tough with those lesser types. Those gentle, loving people tend to want to take the punishment of others on themselves rather than inflict it and that can't be right.People that pray for others to suffer do not believe in the power of Love. They "Know not God...for God is Love".Those prayers mentioned in this thread. They make me so sad. Misled people that pray things like that are truly perverting the gospel of love.
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Comment #17 posted by vincent on December 18, 2009 at 07:55:30 PT:

Good morning. I just saw that segment on former Gov. Gary Johnson, who is mulling a run for President in 2012, as a populist. All those "TEA partiers", who call themselves Libertarians, are looking for a populist. Now, with Dick Armey lurking in the shadows, pulling you really think that these people will support Gary Johnson, a "true" Libertarian? HA!TEA Party, huh? They don't even know how to party.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on December 18, 2009 at 06:44:30 PT

Governor Johnson
Governor Johnson was on the Dillon show on MSNBC a few minutes ago and finally he got it right. He wants marijuana legalized and harm reduction for other drugs. He got tripped up years ago I think he knows better now. Thank you Governor Johnson.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on December 18, 2009 at 06:41:36 PT

I didn't see Rachel last night but religious zealots almost run the Republican Party. I have no use for the RP because to me they violates the Scripture that says render to Caesar etc. We are not to mix the two together. I believe in the separation of church and state or else we are no different then other religious zealots in other belief systems.
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Comment #14 posted by runruff on December 18, 2009 at 06:29:34 PT

true dat!
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Comment #13 posted by BGreen on December 18, 2009 at 06:27:20 PT

Oh, sure
He goes by many names, many of them with the last name of Bush and Cheney.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #12 posted by runruff on December 18, 2009 at 06:23:39 PT

Satan, huh?
Guess I'm not that familiar with the man?
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Comment #11 posted by runruff on December 18, 2009 at 06:21:48 PT

Good morning to you and Mrs. GCW.Thank you for taking the time to explain your views on this.It is never my wish or intent to insult or belittle someone such as yourself my brother.I try to differentiate between what I perceive as spirit and dogma, religion and a true one on one relationship with a spiritual entity. To quote a line from "The Outlaw Josie Whales" don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining, Senator!" Have a great day to you and yours!
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Comment #10 posted by BGreen on December 18, 2009 at 06:12:07 PT

I don't normally correct spelling, but
it's actually Satan, as in satan is that odd color that John Boehner has sprayed all over him. A satan spray tan. Ugh!The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on December 18, 2009 at 05:59:23 PT

OK I completely misspelled.....
...completely!My excuse is, some things are typed pre-coffee!I was early, sheesh!
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Comment #8 posted by The GCW on December 18, 2009 at 05:50:00 PT

As You may know,Satin never had any powers of creation. -Let them believe what they want...Christ God Our Father, The ECOLOGICIAN, indicates He created all the seed bearing plants saying they're all good on literally the very 1st page of the Bible. (That's no accident; But why would anyone believe that?)Let them believe what they want.The spirit of error, failed clergy and the deluding influence leads disobedient Christians. Cannabis prohibition is Biblically known as the "Sin of the Priests"When people go on the TV and pray against cannabis, they are revealing themselves as those who are praying against Our Master, Christ Jesus, who requested that We love one another. Bad JUJU. We should pray too. Pray that they would receive the truth as God wants them to know it and to receive it so clearly that they will be able to help other people know the truth too.The Green Collar Worker
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Comment #7 posted by runruff on December 18, 2009 at 05:02:41 PT

And now, for something compleatly demented! 
USA vs U.S.A.Haven't seen this much interest in urine since buffalo hunters collected urine for a tanning process.I have told you I now call in everyday to check the "colour dejour". Mine is green. When I call I listen for the recorded voice that gives the date and color. When green comes up I must drive 140 miles round trip [70x70].
When I arrive at the halfway house, I check in, I am led into a corridor through three locked steel doors. A men's room has been set up with urine collection paraphernalia. I am instructed to wash my hands for 30 seconds minimum with a disinfect they provide. The officer said the offenders have come up with a substance that they can wear on their hands until they infect the sample with it and will ruin the sample.
Next, I am told to drop my pants and underwear to my ankles and raise my shirt up to my armpits and turn around. Only then does he gives me the bottle and tells me , "half full at least!"
He takes my picture and has me sign to verify that he closed and sealed the bottle in front of me.Then I go out to my car to my lovely, understanding wife who always goes with me if she can, I take her to Hometown Buffet or Tin Tin's Chinese Buffet. We're not big eaters but we love variety. I was tested: Jan. 6, 2009Nov. 16, 2009Nov. 20, 2009Dec. 14, 2009All positive for THC but so far they haven't brought any court action, just threats!
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Comment #6 posted by ezrydn on December 18, 2009 at 04:53:36 PT:

While they've lifted the ban on DCs MMJ program, I wonder how many federal-types will beat feet to get their MMJ patient cards. Any member of Congress or of the Federal Administration, including all the different agencies should be BANNED from partaking in such medical associations. After all, it's THEIR law that holds it ILLEGAL. Congressmen can just die from their sicknesses. We, the People, desire to life. A bill should be introduced blocking all federal employees from using MMJ, if they need it or not. Let them see what it's like!
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Comment #5 posted by runruff on December 18, 2009 at 04:29:06 PT

Pray to suffer!
A famous preacher paid a visit to congress yesterday. He and a group of zealots in congress prayed together that Obama will fail.
Something like, and I paraphrase, Please god, let Obama fail!He also prayed that an herb, fully seeded, created by his god, a plant for gods sake, will remain illegal. He prayed for the continued pain and suffering of the millions that otherwise receive benefits from it's use and they all confirmed with an, "Amen!" Seventh Day Adventist believe that the cannabis plant was created by Satin to be used as a tool by him to corrupt "god's people". Faux Christians believe this tripe.
SDAs will not eat hempseed because of this successfully embedded lie. SDAs are very strict with their diet and hempseed is the most nutritious food on earth. The body is a temple and all that dogma! It really is a temple but I'm not in the mood to agree with them on anything this morning!So, we have this brain clot in congress still praying to suffer!
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Comment #4 posted by Vincent on December 17, 2009 at 22:18:38 PT:

The War on Drugs
Good evening all. I like this article, and it does make me hopeful. Contrast that to what I just witnessed on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC. One segment featured footage of some kind of "Prayer" meeting with members of Congress. Some extremist preacher, I don't remember his name, asking God to act against the President on healthcare and other issues.All the usual suspects were there: Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, etc. They were praying for God to punish California,because of the "sexual deviancy", Hollywood values and...I was hoping he wasn't going to say this, but out it came..."stop funding Medical Marijuana". And all the others sayimg Amen at the same time, like machines.I hope to God that this article is the future, not that horrible scenario that I described. 
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on December 17, 2009 at 20:43:17 PT

Good insight 
CN ON: Appeals Court Raps Judge for Marijuana 'Diatribe'Ontario Court of Appeal thrashes sentencing judge for saying harsh penalties for marijuana have little effect on its use and production The Ontario Court of Appeal thrashed a sentencing judge today for saying that sending people to jail in hopes of deterring marijuana offences is a form of insanity. The appeal court said that Ontario Court Judge J. Elliott Allen has no right to misuse his judicial position to issue the sort of political "diatribe" that has no place in a courtroom. "Judges are entitled to hold personal and political opinions as much as anyone else," the Court said. "But they are not free to permit those views to colour or frame their trial and sentencing decisions. They are bound to apply the law as it stands. "Personal diatribes of the nature engaged in by the sentencing judge here are unhelpful, however, and demonstrate to us a lack of objectivity that undermines the deference generally afforded to judges." Judge Allen expressed his views on Oct. 14, 2008, while sentencing Zeyu Song to a conditional sentence for producing 1,400 marijuana plants at a large-scale grow operation near Brampton, Ont. Judge Elliott spoke at length about the fallacy of believing that harsh penalties for marijuana have any effect on its use and production. "Nobody has been deterred," he said. "People have been going to jail for drug offences for - for a couple of generations now and the drug - the drug plague is worse than it ever was ... If something doesn't work, do I try doing it again and again to see if it does work? Isn't that the definition of insanity?" The judge noted that in the United States a huge number of people are serving life prison terms for growing or trafficking in modest amounts of marijuana, yet the drug is still easy to obtain. "I am given to understand the chances of a Dutch teenager smoking marijuana are substantially lower than they are of an American teenager smoking marijuana - and the Dutch teenager can walk down to the corner and get it at a coffee shop," Judge Allen added. Cont. Wed, 16 Dec 2009
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)

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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on December 17, 2009 at 20:23:24 PT

US CO: Dex doesn't know cannabis 
US CO: Dex doesn't know cannabis Webpage: 17 Dec 2009Source: Boulder Weekly (CO)
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on December 17, 2009 at 18:31:20 PT

Washington Rethinking The War on Drugs
Thursday, December 17, 2009 
Washington, D.C. -- As the war on drugs moves closer to home and a new administration presents new ideas, policymakers in Washington are taking notice of 30 years' worth of ineffectual drug policy and beginning to think about different ways of addressing the northward flow of narcotics.The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill recently that would create an independent commission to re-evaluate and make recommendations on domestic and international drug policies. This is being seen as an acknowledgement that current strategies meant to control illicit drugs are not working - and have not worked for a while.URL:
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