It's Time To Ease Law on Marijuana
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It's Time To Ease Law on Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on June 08, 2011 at 15:20:17 PT
By Jim Miron
Source: Connecticut Post
Hartford --  On June 4, the Connecticut State Senate passed, by a 19-18 vote, a bill decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The bill was then approved in the Connecticut House of Representatives and will be sent to the governor for signature. Gov. Dannel Malloy is in support of the bill.According to a Harvard economist, Connecticut spends more than $130 million every year in enforcing marijuana prohibition laws. This is real money that can be better spent in Connecticut.
Before I go any further, let me define decriminalization versus regulation or legalization: Decriminalization is not regulation or legalization.Basically, decriminalization means that possession of a small quantity of marijuana would not be a crime punishable by incarceration. A person found in possession of the amount in question would be issued an infraction -- similar to a traffic ticket. Subsequent offenses would yield increased fines.Regulation or legalization would be similar to the way we regulate, say, alcohol, with strict controls on who can produce, distribute and sell. Of course, taxing regulated marijuana enterprises would create new, and significant, revenue streams to the state.It is important to understand that while many arguments can be made to support regulating marijuana, the current bill is not regulation. It is about decriminalization.Now, why would anyone advocate for decriminalizing marijuana use when drug use and, more importantly, abuse, including abuse of legal prescription drugs, is a serious problem in our society?No one can argue that the effect on individuals, families, the workplace, judicial and penal systems, and taxes is causing a strain on society that is arguably one of the most serious concerns facing our state and our nation.Indeed, we need an honest public conversation about our national "war on drugs." We need to recognize its failures and we need to change course from the path we are on.Marijuana, while a part of the overall conversation regarding drugs, merits separate treatment. In fact, 13 states, including our neighbors in Massachusetts and New York, have recognized this and decriminalized marijuana. As a side note, 16 states and the District of Columbia permit marijuana for medical use.Recent statistics provided by the federal government state that almost 100 million Americans admit to having smoked marijuana. Of these, 20 million America ns smoked marijuana during the past year -- and these are the people that admitted using marijuana. We must face the reality that a large percentage of hard-working, tax-paying Americans are marijuana users. Connecticut ought to recognize this reality and decriminalize and, ultimately, regulate marijuana use.The parallels of marijuana prohibition and alcohol prohibition are pretty clear. Alcohol prohibition was a huge failure that gave rise to organized crime in this country. Simply put, marijuana prohibition is not working.Study after study demonstrates that, generally speaking, marijuana is safe and there is no credible evidence to suggest the use of marijuana leads to using other drugs (the so-called "gateway" argument). In a society that regulates alcohol and prescription drugs, the prohibition on marijuana is illogical.Worse yet, our current policy of prohibition encourages a disrespect of the law. In a country where more than 100 million people admit to using marijuana, we know that there are many more who do not admit to using it and, in many cases, they are all willfully violating the law. Recent statistics show that more than 800,000 Americans were arrested on marijuana charges last year (almost 10,000 in Connecticut). More than 5 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana offenses in the past decade. Almost 90 percent of these arrests were for simple possession, not trafficking or sale (in Connecticut more than 75 percent were for possession of less than a half-ounce). A recent Quinnipiac University poll shows that Connecticut voters support decriminalizing marijuana by a 65-32 margin.These same people also favor legalizing medical marijuana for those with doctors' recommendations -- another idea supported by Governor Malloy -- by a whopping margin of 79-17.Importantly, both proposals have majority support across political parties and among all age groups.The time has come for Connecticut to join the other states in decriminalizing marijuana.The House has passed this decriminalization legislation, and the governor should sign it to be enacted into law.Jim Miron, a lawyer, is the former mayor of Stratford.Source: Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, CT)Author: Jim MironPublished: June 8, 2011Copyright: 2011 MediaNews Group, IncContact: edit ctpost.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #10 posted by runruff on June 13, 2011 at 05:48:21 PT
This planet needs hemp!
To those of us who are clear enough. Those who are unencumbered by personal ambitions or greed. We can see what the various polluting industries are doing to our planet. How they fight with dirty politics and unconstitutional laws to maintain this prohibition on hemp.At the bottom line it will always read; Hemp production=our demise-to the now established mega-corps. These mega-corps and the existing global and National power base will diminish and fade in our lifetime. It will begin with the full and open production of hemp products, cultivation and marketing.The so called WoD is just a distraction away from what they really fear. 1937 really said it all!
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Comment #9 posted by dongenero on June 09, 2011 at 12:08:23 PT
Decrim vs Legal/Regulated - another distinction
Another distinction that to be pointed out is that decriminalization continues to support the black market 100% along with the underlying criminal enterprises and cartels, the same as in prohibition.Legalization and regulation puts cannabis in the legitimate market place and into the light of day, with rules, regulations, taxes, consumer protections and jobs, and likely the allowance to produce one's own product for personal use.That is the big distinction in terms of overall effect for society.
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Comment #8 posted by afterburner on June 09, 2011 at 09:01:52 PT
This is interesting too & easier on ear & eye 
Jimi Hendrix: Are You Experienced?
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on June 09, 2011 at 08:46:32 PT
Paul Pot #3 & Hope #6
Paul Pot #3 Maybe you missed the following article posted right here at cannabisnews: Lawmaker: Delist Medical Pot, Like Wolves
Posted by CN Staff on June 06, 2011 at 20:08:04 PT
By Charles S. Johnson, Gazette State Bureau 
Source: Billings Gazette heads are making better proposals.Hope #6That "not in our lifetime" crap ticks me off too. I have seen the future during the Summer of Legalization 2003, and it was beautiful!Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced - Live 1968.
Hendrix' performance of "Are You Experienced" live at the Memorial Coliseum"Not necessarily stoned but beautiful"
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on June 09, 2011 at 07:59:43 PT
 I'm sure we'll see it in our lifetime.
Thank you for saying that, CaptainAjnag. I've become so irritable about that "Not in our lifetime" crap. It's not said as much as it used to be said... but I despise hearing people say it... like fish or something. "Blug, blug, blug." It irritates me so much to hear people mouth that same old "I can't do a thing and neither can you, ever" mantra. Aaargggh.
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Comment #5 posted by CaptainAjnag on June 09, 2011 at 02:03:13 PT:
Yea I figured they'd just throw it out anyways, so i didn't bother sending it. But im much more optimistic about legalization as well. I'm sure we'll see it in our lifetime.5 years ago    = no hopePresent Day    = small chance5 years from now  = doobies on the front porch :)
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Comment #4 posted by Paint with light on June 08, 2011 at 21:45:10 PT
The MSM will cover this ASAP while the truth remains DOA. like alcohol.
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Comment #3 posted by Paul Pot on June 08, 2011 at 21:24:06 PT:
Why regulate at all?
I don't understand why cannabis has to be regulated at all. It's not dangerous. And you don't have to tax anything except money itself. Just tax the profits a business makes. Don't tax people according to what they sell. And the only reason why alcohol is regulated so heavily is to prevent it being competitive with fossil fuels. Henry Ford intended that his early cars and tractors were to be run on alcohol made by the farmers themselves but prohibition stopped all that, get it. 
Read Jack Herer's 'The Emperor Wears no Clothes'.
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on June 08, 2011 at 18:06:53 PT
sorry captain
They only li$ten to money.
Your letter might be scanned for keywords, then filed in the nearest can.But really nice letter.It's very hard to undo the average idiot's frame of mind, when exposed to very affective propaganda for decades.
Yet there are noticeable cracks, old ideas fade with time and effort.I am much more optomistic than five years ago.
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Comment #1 posted by CaptainAjnag on June 08, 2011 at 16:02:09 PT:
If I Wrote A Letter To The President
It'd go something like this.Dear Mr. President,	After 70 years of prohibition, cannabis is at its all time high. No pun intended. As the reefer madness hysteria fades away, the population of the United States is slowly becoming aware of cannabis' true potential. But what happens when everyone realizes that cannabis isn't the evil weed it was once thought to be? When we the "sheep" figure out that marijuana is actually one of the most effective drugs, capable of battling a whole array of different ailments. Do we lose faith in our leaders after believing 70 years of lies used to fuel a failing drug war? Or should we just carry on and pretend our government doesn't lack proper judgment? We can all agree that this prohibition has done nothing but hurt young Americans and kept the Mexican drug cartel thriving. Cannabis is nothing like the portrayal given to us by the DEA. It grows from the earth and even in its most concentrated form it still canít kill you. Its quite hypocritical to even say cannabis is a Schedule I drug, seeing how 16 states and Washington D.C. currently allow medical marijuana under state law. It seems kind of odd that 16 states would allow MEDICINAL USE of a drug that is said to have no medicinal values. Why can't something be done about this? Outright legalization probably isn't the best way to fix this, yet its quite obvious that we need some sort of solution to this problem. Why? Simply because cannabis is, and always will be, a strong part of our society. 
	We are the young America that voted you into office. We will be the future leaders of this great land. Should we really have to wait until our generation rises up the ranks before we can obtain some sort of change that would better the country as a whole? Youíve been granted a position that holds a tremendous amount of power. I shouldn't be the one to have to remind you to use it wisely.									
								     A concerned American
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