Marijuana Legalization is The Only Option 
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Marijuana Legalization is The Only Option 
Posted by CN Staff on October 30, 2014 at 13:53:06 PT
By Daniel Takash 
Source: Baltimore Sun
Maryland -- Earlier this month, marijuana was partially decriminalized in Maryland, making possession under 10 grams (about a third of an ounce) subject to a citation, a fine and no jail time..Despite some problems with the language of the law, taking jail time off the table and ensuring no criminal records for owners of small quantities of marijuana are positive first steps in changing the state's drug policy. That said, the Maryland legislature has been far too timid in its approach and should instead adopt a Colorado-like model for legalization.
It is tempting to take a wait-and-see approach to most policies, especially when venturing into untested waters. In the case of marijuana, however, there are two major problems with this logic.First, Colorado already presents an example of successful marijuana legalization. Crime is down, state marijuana tax revenues are up to $8 million a month as of July, and it has become harder for minors to get marijuana because pot shops are more likely to card than drug dealers.Unfounded concerns of overdoses are also being allayed through low dose alternatives offered by vendors. It is certainly true that Maryland is different from Colorado, but legalization opponents need to show why these differences will produce radically different outcomes for legalization.Opponents of legalization may cite tired statistics about the risk of dependency for marijuana, particularly among those who start smoking while young, but these harms are not unique to pot. These same potentials for dependency exist for alcohol, yet nobody is calling for a return to prohibition, despite estimates claiming more than 300,000 Marylanders struggle with alcohol dependency.With marijuana legalization, however, there is the potential to reduce the stigma associated with drug addiction so affected individuals can get the help they need. Recent findings by Johns Hopkins University show that people are more likely to oppose treatment associated with drug addiction due to the negative image associated with drug use. No matter your opinion on whether drug use is a moral failing, the fact that it still carries the stigma of a criminal penalty only leads to reduced opportunities for people to get the help they need.Second, there is a sense of urgency associated with marijuana legalization. Even if there were compelling arguments for why marijuana is on balance bad for society, drug warriors have had a dismal record of actually eliminating the problem. Simply put, we need to embrace the reality that marijuana is here to stay.The urgency comes from the fact that while marijuana is a given, the problems associated with marijuana prohibition are not. In the state of Maryland alone, the ACLU reported that over 23,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in 2010. These are people who have had their lives ruined through the stigma of a criminal record and, for many, time lost in prison. Those convicted of marijuana-related crimes are going to have tremendous difficulties finding employment, ultimately making them less productive than they would be as marijuana users.There should especially be a sense of urgency among fiscal conservatives. In 2010, Maryland spent $100 million on marijuana enforcement alone. Given recent revenue shortfalls in the state budget, the government needs to make tough choices on what programs to fund. The savings from marijuana decriminalization would help free up money that could be spent on dealing with far more dangerous drug problems and the crime associated with them.The Maryland General Assembly, through the reform passed last April, has implicitly stated that the harms of marijuana laws outweigh the benefits in the cases they have decriminalized. This is certainly true, but Maryland will only be able to unlock all of the benefits outlined above if the state embraces a bolder legalization agenda.Daniel Takash is a Young Voices Advocate, providing media analysis on drug, budget and regulatory policies. He is studying Applied Mathematics and Statistics at Johns Hopkins University. Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)Author: Daniel Takash Published: October 27, 2014Copyright: 2014 The Baltimore SunContact: letters baltsun.comWebsite:   -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on November 02, 2014 at 20:03:33 PT
Vote and get rid of the filthy blood suckers.
BIG PROHIBITION has harmed America long enough.Prohibitionists are like vampires. (and I'm not talking Halloween vampires)Voters in Oregon, Alaska, Florida and DC have a chance to stop vampires from harming citizens in their neighborhoods. DON'T PASS UP THAT GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY!Vote and get rid of the filthy blood suckers.Get Yo butt up an vote.
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Comment #5 posted by John Tyler on November 02, 2014 at 17:31:03 PT
one with the comos also
We are all one with the cosmos always. We are all connected to everything else. Some of us get to realize this and some do not. The Beatles said, “I am you, and you are me, and we are all together”, and “If you look outside yourself you may find peace of mind waiting there”. This makes very little sense unless your consciousness has been expanded, then it is perfectly clear. 
I have talked to people who have been meditating for years and have no idea of where it’s at. I asked them if they experienced the cosmos, sadly they had not. I did not have the heart to tell them they were doing it all wrong then. I did meet some monks on a religion class field trip to a monastery one time and they said that they had experience a “peace that surpassed understanding”. (That is the Christian term for merging with the cosmos.) So, it is possible, but it is way easier to pick a nice day and consume a few shrooms and have a wonderful spiritual experience. A good spiritual experience stays with you. There is really nothing quite like it. It gives you the real understanding of peace and love.Namaste
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Comment #4 posted by Canis420 on October 31, 2014 at 13:01:28 PT:
Schedule I Hearing concludes
Now we wait...It seemed to go well and there are some snippets in this article. I wish I could see a video of the hearing.
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on October 31, 2014 at 10:49:34 PT:
The glass ceiling broken; the "L" word spoken
There it is. Outright. Not half-arsed decrim; LEGALIZATION. From a major news outlet in a State with one of the highest numbers of Federal civil servants engaged in the DrugWar. All because of a few people, some of them still here, that got the ball rolling last decade by teaching the LameStream Media how to say 'prohibition'. This is the inevitable outcome of that effort.And, do you notice something else? Notice the respectful tone the media is taking with this? No more dim-witted chuckling about 'potheads', huh? It's finally sunk in that the media outlets need the very people they've been scorning for years to survive, now that the ones the media outlets tailored their content for is dying off.Now, it's the prohibs turn to face a cold wind, and it's picking up speed. A hurricane of reform is approaching, and because of their past predations, and all the millions of lives they've destroyed in their mad quest for the impossible, there's no high ground for the prohibs to run to. The children they were always screaming they wanted to save from drugs have grown up and are pulling voting levers for re-legalized cannabis. With demands for (re)legalization coming from major news outlets, it's all over but the shouting.That doesn't mean we can kick back and relax; the rabid dog of prohibition still loose in the neighborhood. No one is safe until the mangy, foaming, crazy-eyed thing is put down once and for all.
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on October 31, 2014 at 08:11:30 PT
I 've eaten enough shrooms to get Woodstock high
You didn't think I was born this smart ,did you?I not only saw the cosmos, I became the cosmos!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 30, 2014 at 19:39:06 PT
The Hippies Were Right All Along
Psychedelic Mushrooms Enable a Hyperconnected BrainURL:
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