Decriminalize Pot
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Decriminalize Pot
Posted by CN Staff on February 09, 2010 at 14:20:35 PT
Source: Providence Journal
Providence, R.I. --  Marijuana is not a particularly healthy thing to put into the body, and some research suggests it’s especially bad for the developing neurology of teens. But is arresting and jailing people for possessing small amounts of it the answer? That’s a fair question. In our opinion, the answer is no.It’s time to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of pot in Rhode Island. Education is a more humane way than incarceration and a criminal record to help people and maintain order.
One thing seems clear: Our current approach has been an expensive flop.As retired detective Jack Cole told a state Senate panel last week: “For 40 years, with a budget of over a trillion dollars, the United States has fought the war on drugs with ever harsher policies. We have made more than 39 million arrests for nonviolent drug offenses. Nearly half of those arrests were for marijuana violations.”What do we have to show for it? “Today, drugs are cheaper, more potent, and far easier for our children to access than they were in the 1970s,” Mr. Cole said.The pursuit of nonviolent marijuana users puts enormous strain on the justice system, feeds corruption and wastes taxpayer dollars that could be used more effectively elsewhere. With the average cost of incarcerating someone at the Adult Correctional Institutions running to $44,000 a year, it makes sense to use those expensive slots for violent offenders and others whose crimes seriously threaten society, rather than peaceful smalltime pot smokers. (Dealers are another thing, of course.)In a free society, it seems unreasonably harsh to make possession of a small amount of marijuana a serious crime meriting jail time and a record that could harm someone’s lifelong job prospects. Some would argue that alcohol is a more dangerous and destructive drug, harming society far more profoundly. (Prohibition of that was tried, and failed dismally.)A bill before the General Assembly would make possession of less than an ounce of marijuana — enough for about 20 cigarettes — a civil offense, subject to a $150 fine. That is certainly more reasonable than the current criminal penalty of up to one year in jail and a $500 fine.This reform would free up tax dollars — and, far more important, free our law-enforcement officials to focus on far more destructive offenses. Source: Providence Journal, The (RI)Published: Tuesday, February 9, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Providence Journal CompanyContact: letters projo.comWebsite: URL: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #13 posted by Storm Crow on February 11, 2010 at 10:37:52 PT
Hey Ekim
I thought they said it made you lazy and apathetic! That's what they say in DARE class, anyway. Odd how it can make you crazy and murderous, while you're being lazy and apathetic! Picture it- there you are, stoned on the "Killer weed from hell", trying to decide whether to kill the next cop you see, or kill the bag of Cheetos while watching "Days of our Lives" reruns! And to top it off, your sex life is shot! You'll become sterile, of course, and all the girls will turn into lesbians! (Tell that to all those hippie babies! lol)Ah, our wonderful government- Cannabis Misinformation Central! 
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Comment #12 posted by ekim on February 10, 2010 at 11:35:49 PT
NPR will be talking about youth and pot
last week the show had on Cheech and Chong speaking about Judges 
one wonders when the Prosecuting Attorneywill have to prove what the Gov't has said about Cannabis use.namely the use of Cannabis will make the person become violent and insane.
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Comment #11 posted by Had Enough on February 10, 2010 at 10:58:06 PT
To me a judge is supposed to be fair, and not partial...But these days...judges are just figureheads...equivalent to a pawn in the kings court...serving his king...although... there are exceptions...but very few...and far in between...Mandatory sentences over a plant??? When the government mandates how a judge will rule...what is the use of even having a judge??? It’s just smoke and mirrors...a proceedure...My experiences with ‘The Judge’ have shown me a very unjust system and egotistical money gathering minds, which bring the real meaning of ‘the mind can be a terrible thing’ to reality...Whenever a person goes in front of a judge without a lawyer/ hired gun...why is it that the judge is not pleased???On another note...check out the Supreme Court rulings of late...***A judge, or arbiter of justice, is a lead who presides over a court of law, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is like an umpire in a game and conducts the trial impartially and in an open court. The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the parties of the case, assesses the credibility of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law and his or her own personal judgement. In some jurisdictions, the judge's powers may be shared with a jury, although this practice is starting to be phased out in some regions. In Inquisitorial systems of criminal investigation, the judge is an 'examining magistrate', but may not be the trial judge.
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Comment #10 posted by runruff on February 10, 2010 at 09:47:19 PT
Joe Citizen
You speak of fairness. Apparently you have not been through the "system"? I have!It is like being dragged through a knothole backwards. Some judges are OK, you say. Charm and likability do not character make! I think we have argued the Nuremberg defence to death. Ultimately we take responsibility for our own actions. If someone wants to sit in judgement of his fellow citizens with the power to pass "just" sentences,that would be one thing but then it is his or her choice to allow to be used for the purpose of dispencing fast food justice rather than to do something more in line with their heart. If a judge is not on the bench so he can see to it that justice is equally despenced acording to the law and the constitution, then what is he there for?If I didn't mind killing cows, I might work in a slaughterhouse and I could say, it is only my job, but since I cannot take a life I would not work in a slaughterhouse. 
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Comment #9 posted by JoeCitizen on February 10, 2010 at 08:27:51 PT
Dealers, Judges
It's my opinion that some dealers are scumbags, and some judges are good people. Your mileage may vary.I first got involved with a cannabis grow almost 18 years ago, because I'd had enough of being ripped-off by scumbag dealers. These were not kind hearted green-thumbed people. They were middlemen, and nothing more than hard-hearted merchants. They weren't about cannabis culture or legalization. They were about ripping me off for outrageous amounts over crap product, because the market said they could.Also, there's something qualitatively different about vending a product that is habit forming to some people, and needed medicinally by others. The call you make to someone who sells cannabis is different than the call you make to a tire vendor.I've never had the following internal dialog over a tire buy:-"Man, I think I'm going to call Tony and see if he has any tires left. -Aw, Don't do it! Those tires he sold you last time were crap and blew out immediately.-Yeah, but I feel really depressed and my stomach is hurting again. I really need to get those tires, and he's the only one around who I know has them.-But you can't really afford the tires that he sells, he charges WAY too much!-Screw it, so I'll be broke. I gotta get those tires."See, that just doesn't happen with tires. Substitute cannabis in, that's pretty much the exact dialog I had with myself.And as for judges, they ARE in fact bound to follow the letter of the law. Especially post-Reagan and the Mandatory Minimum laws, judges have very little leeway in how they sentence.  They can interpret the law to a degree as far as what defense and evidence they allow. But if they try to interpret past what the law actually says, that's called legislating from the bench. It's not only disapproved of, it's highly likely to be overturned by a higher court.Read some stuff by Judge James P. Gray or other judges who are sympathetic to our cause. Some of them are horrified by what the law commands them to do. Some have stepped down over it.Some judges are bad, no question. But it's not fair to tar the whole profession with one brush.
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Comment #8 posted by runruff on February 10, 2010 at 00:52:31 PT
"(Dealers are another thing, of course.)"
When they say "Dealers" do they mean car dealers or tire dealers or dealers in medications?OK, I'm not stupid, they are referring of course to cannabis vendors. People who like to specialize in one product like a hot dog vendor. Cannabis vendors like to specialize in this herb. Calling a cannabis vendor a drug dealer is just some of the hyperbole attached to the War on Drugs. Like I said in order to pervert the law one must pervert the language. Call a plant a drug for instance. Refer to cultivation as manufacturing for instance. Calling cannabis by it's more sinister sounding Mexican nick name is better suited to alarming the public than, oh say, hemp or cannabis!Intelligent people are always the first to be offended by shallow manipulative language. The DoJ is so full of manipulative language, much of what they say has become classic double speak just like George Orwell demonstrated in his novel "1984". He got everything right but the date.It is a classic example of trying too hard! Any substance deserving of of one trillion dollars, thousands of lives lost and families broken, we can expect to see at least some evidence of the destruction and mayhem caused by this "life destroying herb" but there isn't! All is still theory with these brave new warriors of the "Brave New World"! They are still speaking as though they have yet to prove any one of their dastardly theories because they haven't. They will not even try! The DEA will not allow research because the finding will, without a doubt, put them out of work and reveal that the 40 year long disastrous war on the people for profit, was unnecessary. My law counselor said not to try to educate the judge, he don't want to hear it. He pacifically mentioned not to ask the judge if he is practicing medicine from the bench? Apparently he is asked that a lot and does not like it. Judges must enforce the laws the way they are written and don't really want to hear about it! In other words, the truth is banned from the courtroom if it does not serve the judges means. A judge, to me, is a lawyer with a permanent job. 90% of judges are former prosecutors. It was no accident to be set up this way. The courts began to be stacked with prosecutor/judges in earnest with the burgeoning Prison Industrial Complex and it's new marketing concept for an abundance of prisoners to warehouse. Then there is Ann Aiken and her political ilk!
Hillary was out to feminize the Fed with a vengeance! She literally had talent scouts out around the country looking for lawyers in lipstick to make into judges. Did she lower her standards to accomplish this? She set her priorities otherwise so what do you think? I sat in Ann's courtroom. I like to think I can admire even my adversary if they are worthy. With Octo-mom Judge, when she came into the chambers, her massive ego just sucked all of the oxygen out of the room. I imagined she was wearing a red thong only under her robe and her carbohydrate induced body had layers of white fleshy rolls overlapping in cascades down her torso. Five kids and no exercise will do that!Brian, my law counselor, and Scott my PO are talking. They are negotiating whether to send me back to prison or not. I don't believe Scott wants to send me back but the DoJ will be paying his retirement, not me, so I know where his loyalty lies. Between my freedom and his retirement there is no contest. He is my benevolent adversary. He is a professional uninvited guest.So in conslusion, we have many "dealers". I have not mentioned that the fed "deals" in a lot of death and misery for profit, so if you are a kettle you might think before you comment on the color of the skillet.
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on February 09, 2010 at 19:03:13 PT
Denver Post OPINION
US CO: Which way on medical pot?
 Webpage: 8 Feb 2010Source: Denver Post (CO)Which way on medical pot?
If state lawmakers favor the caregiver model for marijuana, they should simply do so and drop their licensing board idea.It doesn't take much reading between the lines of the latest medical marijuana legislation to see that its sponsors aren't interested in the dispensary model.So why are they bothering to create a new bureaucracy that would oversee a regulatory system so complex as to be unworkable?The bill sponsored by Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, and Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, succeeds in clarifying legal rights for caregivers who could supply marijuana to a handful of patients. Doing so is appropriate and in keeping with voter intent, as the caregiver model was described in the constitutional amendment passed in 2000, whereas dispensaries were not.Because the amendment states that a caregiver "has significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient who has a debilitating medical condition," we think that if the state wants to significantly change how medical marijuana is to be distributed, the voters ought to do it.Dispensary advocate Brian Vicente is moving to present just such a ballot measure.Meanwhile, the Massey-Romer bill would require that medical marijuana dispensaries be established as non-profits, gain a state license through an overly burdensome process and be subject to numerous restrictions.For example, the state's newly created Medical Marijuana Licensing Board would put applicants for licenses through a subjective approval process so weighted against the would-be merchant that practically any objection from the public could derail the approval.Cont.
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on February 09, 2010 at 17:54:19 PT
free country?
it's simple, as soon as you pay the 150 bucks, you're free! Congratulations!
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Comment #5 posted by EAH on February 09, 2010 at 17:49:54 PT:
getting it?
"In a free society, it seems unreasonably harsh to make possession of a small amount of marijuana a serious crime"If it's a free society, why is it a crime at all? How can they not see that?
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on February 09, 2010 at 16:34:00 PT
Very good report. 
Businesses Should Stay on Marijuana's Good SideBy The Huffington Post - Monday, February 8 2010 Tags: Headline News,business,Starbucks,USA.Can major national companies be successful without the patronage of marijuana consumers and those who support marijuana policy reform?A recent brouhaha between Starbucks Coffee and marijuana legalization advocates raises an important question for the broader business community: Can major national companies be successful absent the patronage of marijuana consumers and others who support marijuana policy reform?Not too long ago, it was absolutely necessary for businesses to maintain an appearance of opposition to marijuana use and legalization. But the times they are a-changin', and it is beginning to seem like many major companies are striving to maintain an appearance of NOT opposing marijuana use and legalization.Late last month, Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) -- the organization I run -- called for a nationwide boycott of Starbucks Coffee after it and other companies appeared on the "sponsor" page of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association (CDIA), a shady group of law enforcement officials lobbying to wipe out the state's voter-approved medical marijuana system and keep marijuana as illegal as possible. With a board of directors composed almost exclusively of narcotics agents, along with a website and merchandise decorated in a skull motif with images of the grim reaper, military helicopters, and the slogan "Death on Drugs," it's safe to say these guys are not so much concerned with public safety as they are with fighting -- and maintaining -- an endless war against marijuana and other drugs. After all, it provides them with job security, and marijuana enforcement is their bread and butter.Cont.
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Comment #3 posted by goneposthole on February 09, 2010 at 16:15:14 PT
Criminal Justice
A cannabis smoker that I know is a criminal justice student to become a police officer."Marijuana will be legal before I graduate from college," he said.It is time to legalize cannabis so the country can get back to work.Ritalin is good for children.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on February 09, 2010 at 15:05:40 PT
Rhode Island
 (Dealers are another thing, of course.)Yes, they should be licensed! I see that the law is identical to the Mass. decrim law except for one thing, $150 fine instead of $100. The politicians couldn't stop themselves from reaching into the ole' cookie jar for another 50 bucks!
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on February 09, 2010 at 14:27:27 PT
Marijuana is not a particularly healthy thing to
put into the body, and some research suggests it’s especially bad for the developing neurology of teens.Not true, and this 'research' I have never seen. Can you quote me a real scientific study? I don't think so.Marijuana is very good to put into your body as it brings it back into balance and it strengthens your neurological system. This is what the real science has been telling us for over 100 years!
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