Archive for legal marijuana

Pot Deaths In The US? Oh, About Zero

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Drug overdosing is a horrible thing. Death of any kind is terrible. But when it's attributed to abuse it makes this such an unnecessary loss. Well, on the heels of AG Eric Holder announcing the Justice Department was not going to enforce federal anti-drug laws over states laws, the US bureau of statistics released this amazing conclusion.

The number of human deaths from overdosing on marijuana is -- ZERO.

That's right. A giant goose egg.

HUFFPO:

Yeah, not a single person has ever died from a weed overdose. We don't have numbers on pandas, but we're guessing it's about the same. According to one frequently cited study, a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times the amount of THC in a joint in order to be at risk of dying.

The decision opened the floodgates for other states to pursue similar legalization efforts and outraged police groups apparently not excited to see a shift away from the failed war on drugs.

So why have police enforcement across the country come out against this ruling? Money. You see when a bulk of police arrests are attributed to drug infractions, legalizing the number of arrests will go way down. Cops will have to find another reason to justify stop and frisk. And we know that's not going to be guns, because the NRA won't allow that to happen.

Taking guns and cannabis off the table poses a conundrum for the police. So they've taken to another attack.

The police groups also make a number of additional controversial claims that marijuana use itself leads to violent behavior, suicidal thoughts and interest in harder drugs. Scientific studies have not been able to prove this causation conclusively, however, and research has also suggested that THC has significant therapeutic value to patients suffering from cancer, AIDS or glaucoma.

So, without public opinion or science on your side, what's left?

police donuts

Police use drugs as a reason to apprehend people. Now it's going to require another cause. Then there's also the reality that there won't be as many cops needed as a bulk of their arrests were drug related -- and Marijuana arrests tops among those apprehensions.

From Drug War Facts:

US Marijuana Arrests Percentage Share of Total Drug Arrests
- Year - Marijuana% Total Drug Arrests Marijuana% Total Manufacturing & Sale Arrests Marijuana% Total Possession Arrests
2011 49.5% 6.2% 43.3%
2010 52.1% 6.3% 45.8%
2009 51.6% 6.0% 45.6%
2008 49.8% 5.5% 44.3%

Basically, Marijuana is half of all drug arrests. And it's not growers who are being arrested, it's users. And many of them were legal users under state laws. Medical and recreational.

How does this relate to the stop and frisk numbers: According to the NY Times:

New York City spent one billion dollars and one million police hours prosecuting 440,000 marijuana arrestsFifty percent of those arrested were under the age of 21. Eighty-five percent of them were black or Latino.

Looks like racial profiling is going to take it on the chin with this DOJ declaration.

Now the cops in many states are going to be able to concentrate on real crime, not quota's of arrests for harmless usage. In those states where it's legal, life is about to change. Less fear. Less police interference. And watch for crime statistic numbers to drop. Eliminate the Mary Jane arrests and we're going to see the numbers fall -- and big time.

And also dropping will the the cost of jails and prisons. We're not going to see the populations grow, but rather fall. And so will the costs. Less prisoners to feed and house, less tax payer money allocated to these non-violent "prisoners."

So complain all you want, police officers. You do a good job when it comes to crime. Marijuana is not one of them. Good luck apprehending real criminals. Perhaps toke up before you go out on patrol -- cut down on your edginess.

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Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to hold hearing on marijuana: "State laws should be respected."

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Marijuana and Dr. Gupta

Senator Patrick Leahy, Senate Judiciary Chairman, is going to hold a hearing on September 10th covering state laws on marijuana. Apparently he's expecting a lot of people to show up, because he's reserved a very important, very big hearing room in the Hart Senate Office Building, one that is most often used for things like Supreme Court confirmation hearings or other events of the same magnitude.

Leahy invited Attorney General Eric Holder and his Deputy Attorney General to testify.

biden big f'ing deal

Via Roll Call:

“It is important, especially at a time of budget constraints, to determine whether it is the best use of federal resources to prosecute the personal or medicinal use of marijuana in states that have made such consumption legal,” Leahy said in a statement. “I believe that these state laws should be respected. At a minimum, there should be guidance about enforcement from the federal government.”

Cool beans, dude... and it's about time.

So far President Obama hasn't "evolved" on this issue the way he did on marriage equality. Let's hope he finally comes around and realizes that alcohol has had a much more negative affect on users' health and behavior than weed has. And that prison sentences for recreational marijuana users is destructive to lives and ineffective in the scheme of things.

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Looks Like Wall Street Is Starting to See the Dollar Signs in Legalizing Pot

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Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Jamen Shively, former Microsoft executive who wants to create America's first national marijuana brand and wants to become "the Starbucks of pot," spoke to MSNBC's Chris Jansing:

Jansing:

The nation's retail marijuana market is estimated at $30 billion. Maybe you have a different number. that's what I've seen. Washington state's marijuana consultant-- I didn't even know they had one-- but says he fears that you, personally, are seeking to profit off others' addiction. What do you say to him?

Shively:

Well, first of all, marijuana is not physically addictive. And since the only business that we intend to get into is cannabis, and we do not intend to get into the business of any addictive drugs, he's simply flat-out wrong in that regard. As far as Mr. Kleinman's assertion that I'm seeking to profit, guilty as charged.

And with that, a few snippets from Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

Barron's, the conservative financial news weekly published by Dow Jones, chose as its June 1st cover story an article that basically states the case for legalizing marijuana.

Coming from a publication that symbolizes the driving-force of Wall Street – financial data and investment prospects— the prominent placement of the story pondering marijuana legalization is a boost to those seeking to end its prohibition.

Although Barron's journalist Thomas G. Donlan also offers a few of the arguments against legalization, the article virtually advocates for an end to the criminalization of pot. For Barron's it is just good business: for the private market and for cash-strapped governments. [...]

Not only will law enforcement personnel be freed up, legalization would save imprisonment costs that run – on the low end of the range -- $25,000 per incarcerated individual per year.  It will also offer more opportunity to persons of color, the primary group put in jail for marijuana violations. [...]

Perhaps of more significance in terms of assessing which way the wind is blowing in public sentiment is this Barrons revelation:

Whether Congress realizes it or not, a good number of citizens want the problem fixed. The same Pew study that found a majority of people favoring legalization also found that 60% of Americans think the federal government should not enforce its prohibition in states that permit marijuana use. And 72% agreed with the proposition that federal enforcement of marijuana laws is not worth the cost.

[...] Barron's is one of the bibles, along with The Wall Street Journal, of the heavy Wall Street hitters. [...]

Seeing things in dollars and cents starts to get the attention of a publication such as Barron's – and ultimately the business class that pulls the strings in DC.

Please read the entire post here.

marijuana can't we all just get a bong

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Poll-itics: Majority of Senate now supports marriage equality, majority of Americans for legalizing marijuana use

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marijuana can't we all just get a bong

The culture wars now favor Democrats because they're now willing to take the offensive. It's about time. And look who just jumped on the bandwagon...

The Washington Post is reporting that Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) became the 51st senator to announce his support for marriage equality.

And Taegan posted a Pew Research poll that for the first time finds that a majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana, 52% to 45%:

poll pew marijuana

Taegan also has a new Marist Poll showing that 50% of voters nationally have more faith in President Obama than in the Republicans in Congress to handle the federal budget, as opposed to 41% who have more faith in the GOP.

With all that going for us, you'd think we could change and/or legalize a few things, but there's that little matter of perpetual Republican obstruction. How's that filibuster gentleman's agreement workin' for ya, Harry Reid?

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"A partial cure for what ails us, all of us, is marijuana."

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Another guest post is by our pal and regular TPC contributor, David Garber:

Do my eyes deceive me? Am I reading this right? I hope it's not glaucoma -- because if it is, I may have to move to Colorado or Washington -- or get my doctor to prescribe some special meds for me here in California.

A partial cure for what ails us, all of us, is marijuana. Yes, sweet Mary Jane. Good for the soul. Good for the eyes. Good for the budget.

Budget?

Here's the latest word from Colorado -- home of the recently passed freedom to smoke law. "I've seen some estimates in the high tens of millions, as much as $100 million for Colorado, whose voters legalized recreational marijuana use," said Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., who's pushing for federal legalization of marijuana in Congress.

Hmm, imagine what kind of education bills we could fund with that. Or how about a jobs bill? Certainly we've got some road and bridges that could use some help -- or maybe even hiring some computer savvy returning vets to update the veterans system and get it from paper, to computer. Oh, boy, we could move those deserving soldiers claims full speed ahead.

Jeffrey Miron, a pro-legalization scholar at the Cato Institute, just predicted that legalization of marijuana in this country would net about $6.4 billion in new tax revenue -- $4.3 billion for the federal government and $2.1 billion for the states.

4.3 BILLION DOLLARS? And that's the low estimate.

Let's get blazing, er, I mean fired up and decriminalize pot and let the users free from prison. Don't forget to add that savings to the budget as well.

For the past 25 years, David Garber has been serving as the show runner and or writer on some of television’s biggest hits… Saved By The Bell, Power Rangers, 227, Bill Cosby Show and many other network series. His writing and producing have also netted David two very prestigious awards:the PRISM AWARD and the TV CRITICS AWARD – TV SPECIAL OF THE YEAR. Currently he’s authoring a short story series called “A Few Minutes With…”

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Bonus Cartoon of the Day- Washington State Christmas Tree

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Via.

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