Posts Tagged ‘MARIJUANA’

Judge Rules Medical Marijuana Not An Agricultural Crop

Former Judge Took $1 Million In Bribes From Builder Of Private, For-Profit Juvenile Detention Centers

Should anyone really be surprised when a private, for-profit correctional system results in abuses like this?
A long-serving judge in Pennsylvania has been ordered to spend 28 years in prison for his role in a bribery scandal that resulted in thousands of juvenile convictions — many of them for marijuana — being overturned by the state supreme court.
Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr., 61, was sentenced on Thursday for taking $1 million in bribes from the builder of two juvenile detention centers in a case that became known as “kids for cash,” reports the Associated Press.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned about 4,000 convictions issued by Judge Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008, ruling that he violated the rights of the juveniles, including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea.

Ciaverella’s trial earlier this year ended in a conviction on racketeering charges. His lawyers had asked for a “reasonable” sentence in court papers, claiming he had already been punished enough.
“The media attention to this matter has exceeded coverage given to many and almost all capital murders, and despite protestation, he will forever be unjustly branded as the ‘kids for cash’ judge,’ ” they whined.
Federal prosecutors said Ciavarella and another judge, Michael Conahan, took more than $2 million in bribes from the builder of the Pennsylvania Child Care and Western Pennsylvania Child Care detention centers and extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the facilities’ co-owner.
“Ciaverella was known for his harsh and autocratic courtroom demeanor,” AP writes, but I can translate that a little more clearly for you. The man was a god-damned douche bag.
The judge filled the beds of private, for-profit correctional centers with children as young as 10, many of them first-time offenders convicted of petty theft, marijuana possession and other crimes.
The asshole judge remained defiant even after his arrest, insisting the payments were legal and denying he incarcerated children for money.
The jury returned a mixed verdict last February, convicting him on 12 counts, including racketeering and conspiracy, and acquitting him on 27 others, including extortion. The guilty verdicts resulted from a payment of $997,600 from the builder of the detention centers on Judge Ciavarella.
And now we have 4,000 youths scarred for life by this son of a bitch. You can never undo what getting sent away to places like this does to kids.
Former Judge Conahan pleaded guilty last year and is still awaiting sentencing.

Who Is Your Marijuana Hero?

drug warHeroes come in all shapes and sizes, from a soldier that would jump on a grenade to that person that lets you in while changing lanes. My heroes as of late are the drug war heroes. Making every smoker a criminal from occasional to daily, the war on drug has created a different type of soldier – from grower to end user, anyone can go to jail.

The war on drugs has created a violent and life threatening environment for normal people who just want to smoke (like having a cocktail after work) and be left alone. They smoke to ease pain and to gain appetites, to feel stabilized and overall okay with the world, there’s no mystery behind this. I’m not the only one that is pissed off that weed is still an issue in our American way. People in very important positions carry on life day to day, all while partaking in the weed and yet here we are.

I ‘m nobody, just a dude that talks a lot of shit by pointing fingers at our current and past political system by stating how insane it is that anybody’s life is altered by weed. There’s been a consistent hypocrisy in my America, before the War on drugs it was “get them damn hippies” but with a War we can “get ‘em all”, I just wonder why a bunch of farmers and stoners are the target for somebody’s animosity. One can get by in life by shutting the fuck up, by not stirring the pot, by not having an opinion but I think that’s more of an insult to ourselves and our children.

Cop With WeedIn Southern California I was caught with weed 3 times (less than an ounce is a misdemeanor, a.k.a just a ticket in other states it’s a felony a.k.a jail time). Two times I was cited and the third he let me go. When I was younger on the East Coast I would smoke in downtown Atlantic City, off the bus in the land of crack heads, cops had bigger things to worry about then. These days I’m less bold and casual with my smoking simply because I have more to lose now but if one of those things in the past took a worse turn I don’t know where I would be now.

These days I have more respect for a grower than a politician – farmer vs. lawyer. These days I’m more fearful around cops and my pot – smoking harmlessly vs. going to jail and being a waste of mine and other tax payers’ money.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes; mine are the soldiers and victims of today’s ignorant drug war. Mine are normal people put into extra-ordinary positions. When I heard Rob Cantrell’s joke about smoking with a world renowned violinist and getting busted in a back alley than serving 3 days in jail, I thought it was just a joke – not a personal reality, than there is the story of Jaime Rutowski.

Jaime Rutowski recently won a lawsuit against the city of New York. She was detained against her will where she nearly died. She suffers from diabetes and as her levels rose the police did nothing for her ‘till she got to a near death situation.

The politicians live in the land of double-talk which is clearly seen here in a video (start at 1:30 but the whole thing is badass) with Congressman Charles B Rangel saying he can’t think of a single person being arrested in New York, are you fucking kidding me! I never thought there would be a time when I recognize Tennesse as more progressive thinking than New York.

Or what about the heros serving time for something I smoke in a day like Patricia Spottedcrow. A 10yr sentence for less than a quarter ounce! Somebody needs to remind the judicial system and all those against it, it’s a plant not a meth lab. Do we endanger our children with tomato plants or worse yet, jalapeno plants?

 

Lately, I agree with the mad hat tea partiers but I’m afraid some don’t know what they’re mad or even scared about. Half the shit I hear them scream and yell about doesn’t affect a guy like me, making under 40 thousand, living paycheck to paycheck ,inclined to drink and smoke excessively, after I’ve worked my ass for 8 or plus hours off that day.

What this thing in life is really about, what we should fight for or be against is the attack on our personal space. It’s the personal space we call our own to do what we want, not harming others. Whether it’s a 1500 square foot house, 10 x 10 closet, or even a mansion in the hills your rights can more than be potentially violated tomorrow, this is not the American way. Imagine your rights taken away for having a six pack in the house, what makes this different than a bong or a pound?

Dana Walker

Take Dana Walker for example. A Washington State badass who has made a stand against the state for the equivalent of smoking a cigarette, even after having already served time in a Federal Prison for the same thing, weed. He stood up to the ass-war mongers and said I refuse to pay anymore debt to society. And why should we be paying debts to society for smoking herb.

Our country is run by fear mongering sycophants that would rather run prison systems and make revenue being a police state instead of taxes and licensing. Coming out against drugs does America one the biggest disservices the people – nobody is being rescued, we’re just handed blinders. Kind, non-threatening, people are arrested and penalized everyday from a joint to truckloads with no disregard.

I personally know of a woman who lives in Colorado and smokes pot to help her get by since she has no spleen. Somehow police got involved in her life and they called social services, now her children are taken away for something less harmful than legal shit. Having your children taken away is like living in your own personal prison, it doesn’t get much lower than that. One example of somebody losing their child’s rights that I can document for the record is that of Nicholas Pouch, proving a bitter ex can ruin your present.

When I read reports of kids dying in jails after being pulled over for an out light on their bicycle, I wonder how the other side sleeps at night. How do you call yourself good when bad shit happens because of your freaked out conservative policies?

Humans, people, Americans and everyone else on this planet have a predisposition to get away (mentally and physically). Whether you’re an American Indian on a spiritual journey eating peyote or a distinguish business man of 1839 self prescribing has always been a way of life. News flash Mr. and Mrs. America: We like to get fucked up.

Whether people want to smoke for recreational or medicinal, it should be up to them. The government recently came out and said marijuana has no medicinal value but this contradicts the fact that there have been 8 federal marijuana patients. More and more people smoke to help ease aches and pains, there’s even research showing it helps with cancer. Personally I lost my father to cancer and if I thought smoking some joints with him would give me another day with him, I would. So I think before the government puts on its blinders they should reclass marijuana and give it a chance.

Most of what I write is idealistic hippie crap but its how I feel. Life isn’t complicated for me, I work, I come home, I work at home, and I enjoy my herb – only one of these can put me in jail. Millions of people agree with me to, so I wonder why we’re still here in this position. Of all the things that could put me jail I would rather have it for something I’ve done or am willing to do, rather than for a joint or even a crop but we all take some chance just for a little piece of mind and its those people who are my marijuana heroes.

Should Marijuana Be Regulated Like Alcohol or Tobacco?

The marijuana legalization debate has gained a whole new momentum ever since the economy took a dip. Cities, counties, and states are cash strapped, and see their budgets dwindled with every revenue report. This has obviously been horrible for the job market, but it has been a big factor in converting citizen’s and politician’s opinions towards marijuana legalization. I remember when it was just consumers and sympathizers that were calling for legalization. Now, even some staunch conservatives are looking into the idea. They don’t consume marijuana at all, but are all about taxing the S out of it. I hope it doesn’t result in marijuana being taxed to death before it gets off the ground, but hopefully we can win that battle after we win legalization.

 

A question that has been popping up on TWB lately is whether or not marijuana should be regulated like the tobacco industry, or the alcohol industry. I just posted an article this week about regulating marijuana like wine, which is a revolutionary idea, but I am still waiting to see how much traction it gets. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea, but I’m just not sure about the logistics of the campaign strategy. More will obviously be known as 2012 approaches. But for the sake of this article, we will look at the alcohol industry, and the tobacco industry.

 

When most people think about marijuana legalization, they picture the regulations being like that of the tobacco industry. After all, you smoke both tobacco and marijuana, right? Just as someone goes to the local corner market to get a pack of cigs, they would be able to get a pack of Camel greens or Marlboro danks. I have long pointed out the difficulties of such a business model. For starters, marijuana is not like the tobacco plant. Tobacco can grow from the Carolinas to the Caribbean and for the most part, the quality will only variate slightly. A tobacco farmer would argue that there is distinct differences, but let’s get serious, it’s not nearly on the same level as marijuana cultivation.

 

Cultivating and selling marijuana on the same scale as tobacco is nearly impossible, unless it was grown entirely indoors by a large company, which is unrealistic. All of the football stadiums in the country couldn’t house the amount of marijuana plants that the market would require if it were legal and sold by a big tobacco company. It would have to be cultivated outside, year round, on a very large scale if it were done by just a handful of large companies. This is also unrealistic. Marijuana can vary from room to room inside of a house, let alone outdoors.

 

Outdoor marijuana plants that grow in the State of Jefferson (Southern Oregon, Northern California) are going to be starkly different than plants that are grown in Pennsylvania. For that matter, even outdoor grow ops in the State of Jefferson are not all created equal. It would be too hard, if not impossible, to market so many kinds of marijuana the same way as cigarettes. Right now you go into a store and there are just a handful of types of cigarettes. There are different brands, but the type of actual cigarette you can buy is fairly limited. Compare that with a dispensary, that has in some cases hundreds of strains. That’s a big reason why corporate America hasn’t harnessed the cannabis market; it’s just too hard to get a consistency that it would take to launch the industry on a huge scale.

 

And with all of that being said, would we really want those blood sucking bastards in charge of the marijuana industry? Look at what they have done to society with their research and development already. Can you imagine what they would do to marijuana to make it super addictive? It wouldn’t even be marijuana anymore; the product would be some Frankenstein herb that is meant to take your dollars instead of providing comfort, recreation, and relief. Marijuana is a cottage industry, and I really hope it stays that way forever. I love going to different areas and seeing what their stuff is like. If it was just bland budget weed sold across the nation, it would really make me sad.

 

I picture some slick talking tobacco executives sitting down with members of Congress. The executives explain that they can grow marijuana on an enormous scale, that it would all be under the close watch of the government, and that they can provide tax dollars out the wazoo. They give the politicians large sums of money in exchange for marijuana becoming legal. On the surface, marijuana consumers are stoked because the marijuana plant is finally free. They don’t care how it happened, they just know that they have been waiting for this for a long time. It will only be after they see what big tobacco has done to the beloved marijuana plant that they realize the whole thing was f’d since jump street.

 

The alcohol industry is a better representation of what I think marijuana regulations will look like after legalization. There will still be large companies trying to corner the industry, much like Budweiser and Coors do today. However, there will also be a large cottage community producing marijuana, like the micro brew industry. Large companies will produce massive quantities of low grade product, much like Coors and Budweiser do with their beer. But, people that actually like flavor and quality will go for the cottage industry products, much like people go for a micro brew. Instead of making regulations to cater to the top companies, regulations will be more flexible to accommodate the small businesses. There will be more wiggle room for entrepreneurs to enter into the market as a result, and consumers will benefit from the buffet of deliciousness that will result.

I think the big debate that people run into when they get into this conversation is not necessarily the regulation structure for large and small businesses, so much as the age requirement. If marijuana is regulated like tobacco, it would have an 18 or older age requirement. Of course, if marijuana is regulated like alcohol, it would have an age requirement of 21 or older. Again, marijuana is smoked, so people naturally gravitate toward the 18 year old requirement. However, marijuana is an intoxicating substance, so this has to be considered. Marijuana doesn’t impair a person nearly as much as alcohol (unless they are a total rookie), so I personally think that an ‘in-between’ age would be sufficient. Whether that is 19 or 20, I will let the policy makers decide. Somewhere there is a recently graduated high school student praying that it is 19 instead of 20 – my prayers are will you buddy! I remember what it was like to be too young before I got too old to be hip ha ha.

What do TWB readers think? I know there will be a bunch of you that say ‘it should have NO regulations!’ That would be great in a perfect world, but politics is an incremental game, and getting a grand slam straight out the gate might be asking for two much. We are going to have to give a little in order to get what we want in return. With that in mind, what is an appropriate age to start consuming marijuana legally? Would you prefer that large companies get into the movement in order to speed up legalization? Or do we want to keep those fascists out in order to keep things pure, even though it might take an extra election or two as a result? Do you want marijuana to be regulated more like tobacco, or alcohol, or something else, like grapes!? I look forward to the discussion.

Using Marijuana To Treat Pain

Medical Uses of Cannabis: Pain

By Alan Shackelford, M.D.

pain and spasms cannabisAccording to a paper published in the Journal of Opioid Management in 2009, more than 15,000 peer-reviewed scientific and medical studies of cannabis were published world-wide between 1960 and mid-2008. A number of those studies showed that cannabis can be an effective treatment for a variety of different medical conditions such as glaucoma, muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis, neuropathic and other kinds of pain, nausea, weight loss in wasting syndrome and several psychological conditions including PTSD and Tourette syndrome. Others showed that compounds found in cannabis may prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV-related dementia, and may limit neurological damage in strokes and trauma. This month, we will look at some of the evidence supporting the use of cannabis to treat pain.

Recent studies (the earliest documented use of cannabis as an analgesic was in China some 2,800 years BCE ) have demonstrated the efficacy of cannabis in alleviating acute pain resulting from chemical exposure, mechanical injury such as surgery, and burns. Other studies have shown that cannabinoids are very effective treatments for chronic neuropathic pain and pain caused by inflammation such as those associated with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Cannabis has also been found to be an effective treatment for migraine headaches and to enhance the effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and opiate pain medications.

In addition to its remarkable effectiveness in relieving a variety of different kinds of pain, two other factors make cannabis a particularly good treatment option: its incredible safety and low toxicity. There has never been a verified report of a death due to a cannabis overdose in its more than 4,000 years of use as a medicine. The same cannot be said of narcotic pain medicines, nor can it be said of prescription and over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Deaths from opiate overdoses rose nearly 97 percent between 1997 and 2002, to more than 12,000 a year in American metropolitan areas. Today, some nine years later, narcotic overdoses are the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States, just behind traffic accidents, according to the CDC. Furthermore, in the late 1990s a conservatively estimated 16,500 patients with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis were thought to have died each year from the effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, according to the June, 1999 New England Journal of Medicine. That number has continued to rise each year since then. Given these kinds of statistics, maybe cannabis deserves more than a just a fleeting glance as a treatment option for pain.

Please join us again next month as we continue to explore the use of cannabis as a treatment for a variety of different medical conditions.

Courtesy of Culture Magazine

Alan Shackelford, M.D., graduated from the University of Heidelberg School of Medicine and trained at major teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School in internal medicine, nutritional medicine and hyperalimentation and behavioral medicine. He is principle physician for Intermedical Consulting, LLC and Amarimed of Colorado, LLC and can be contacted at Amarimed.com.

Most Americans Want To Legalize Marijuana: New Poll

420lawyer03.jpeg
Graphic: Misplaced In The Midwest

​Just give me the ganja. A new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found that a majority of Americans continue to believe that marijuana should be legalized, but don’t support the legalization of other drugs.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,003 American adults, 55 percent of respondents support the legalization of cannabis, while 40 percent oppose it.
Democrats are the group most supportive of legalizing cannabis in the United States, with 63 percent in favor of ending the war on marijuana. Almost as many Independents, at 61 percent, also support the move.
Republicans were out of step with the majority on the legalization issue, with just 41 percent supporting marijuana legalization and 56 percent opposed.
Marijuana legalization enjoyed big majorities among men (57 percent) and respondents aged 35 to 54 (also 57 percent).

However, when it comes to other drugs, the numbers shrink rapidly.
Screen Shot 2011-08-09 at 2.53.18 PM.png
Graphic: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Clear majorities of Democrats and Independents support marijuana legalization, while a clear majority of Republicans opposes it.
Only 10 percent of Americans support legalizing MDMA, or “ecstasy.” Smaller proportions of respondents said they would approve of legalizing powder cocaine (9 percent), heroin (8 percent), methamphetamine (7 percent) and crack cocaine (7 percent).
Across the country, 64 percent of respondents said they believe America has a “serious drug abuse problem” which affects the entire United States. One in five (20 percent) believe the drug abuse problem is confined to specific areas and people (this would include the racist contingent who are blithely ignoring the facts).
Only one in twenty Americans — 5 percent — think America does not have a serious drug abuse problem.
The War On Drugs has a serious public relations problem, according to the poll.
Only nine percent of respondents believe the Drug War — the efforts of the U.S. government to stymie the illegal drug trade — has been a success. Two-thirds, 67 percent, say the Drug War has been a failure.
“The survey shows a country that is concerned about the effects of drugs, and at the same time deeply disappointed with the efforts of the U.S. government to deal with the drug trade,” Angus Reid Public Opinion offers in the “Analysis” section of their press release.
This is the third year in a row that Angus Reid Public Opinion surveys have shown majority support for marijuana legalization in the United States. The 2009 (53 percent) and 2010 surveys (52 percent) also found a majority of Americans calling for pot legalization.
“Cannabis is definitely not seen as a substance that is as harmful as other illegal drugs, as evidenced in the minuscule level of support for the legalization of cocaine or heroin,” Angus Reid Public Opinion noted.
The margin of error on the poll is plus or minus 3.1 percent, according to Angus Reid Public Opinion.
To see the full report, detailed tables and methodology of the survey, click here [PDF].
Screen Shot 2011-08-09 at 2.58.48 PM.png
Graphic: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Marijuana legalization enjoys majority support across the board when it comes to genders and age groups.

Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal

Drug warriors often contend that drug use would skyrocket if we were to legalize or decriminalize drugs in the United States. Fortunately, we have a real-world example of the actual effects of ending the violent, expensive War on Drugs and replacing it with a system of treatment for problem users and addicts.

Ten years ago, Portugal decriminalized all drugs. One decade after this unprecedented experiment, drug abuse is down by half:

Health experts in Portugal said Friday that Portugal’s decision 10 years ago to decriminalise drug use and treat addicts rather than punishing them is an experiment that has worked.

“There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal,” said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction, a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.

The number of addicts considered “problematic” — those who repeatedly use “hard” drugs and intravenous users — had fallen by half since the early 1990s, when the figure was estimated at around 100,000 people, Goulao said.

Other factors had also played their part however, Goulao, a medical doctor added.

“This development can not only be attributed to decriminalisation but to a confluence of treatment and risk reduction policies.”

Many of these innovative treatment procedures would not have emerged if addicts had continued to be arrested and locked up rather than treated by medical experts and psychologists. Currently 40,000 people in Portugal are being treated for drug abuse. This is a far cheaper, far more humane way to tackle the problem. Rather than locking up 100,000 criminals, the Portuguese are working to cure 40,000 patients and fine-tuning a whole new canon of drug treatment knowledge at the same time.

None of this is possible when waging a war.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/07/05/ten-years-after-decriminalization-drug-abuse-down-by-half-in-portugal/

Picture of the Day: Peace Cross Joint

SO DOPE!

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