Archive for legalization

Old Gov. Moonbeam Returns To California -- A Bit More Crazy Now

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Moonbeam

I live in California so things my Governor says impact my life a bit more than say, Nikki Haley, Scott Walker or Rick Scott. Add to that I recreationally used marijuana during and after college so the subject is near and dear to me. Though I haven't smoked in years, I still remember how it affected me and those who joined me at the bong or vaporizer.

So when Jerry -- that's what we call him out here -- recently went on Meet The Press and tossed caution to the wind about full marijuana legalization here in California, my ears pricked up. What was Governor Moonbeam -- his nickname from his early terms before he found philosophically whatever it is that he found -- thinking?

First, here's what he said, from WaPo:

He also expressed worry about the "tendency to go to extremes."  After legalization, he said, "if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together."

Really Jerry? You fear potheads are going to take over. Look at history. Look at alcohol. Go ahead, take a good look. Has our society crumbled with the repeal of the Volstead Act (Prohibition)?

And what are we really talking about with recreational legalization? California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana use in 1996, when 56 percent of voters approved Proposition 215. Do you know what it takes to get a medical marijuana certificate today? Nothing.

Venice Beach 2

On a recent outing with my wife, we strolled along the boardwalk in Venice Beach, Ca. There were five, count 'em five storefront walk-in clinics within one mile. You see a "doctor" after filling out a form and he stamps it approved, takes your picture and a certificate is issued. You can immediately walk to the back room and buy some very aromatic OG, Lemon or Purple Kush. Licensing is a joke. And not just here in California. It's a process that is abused everywhere that state certificates are issued.

I got my license years ago because I claimed I had insomnia and back pain issues. That was it. Boom. Stamped. Certified. I bought some grass minutes later.

So to your implied point, Gov Moonbeam, that pot is perhaps different from alcohol, you're right. It's not nearly as debilitating. But to hold off full legalization like Colorado and Washington state with the excuse that everyone will become potheads is insane. I think Jerry is having a flashback and it's more dangerous than reality.

Come back to us Jerry. And bring practical sense and a well rolled joint with you. It's your turn to blaze more than a new pathway to reality. Set California free. Or if you're really that concerned about each person being responsible for themselves and their behavior, try banning alcohol. See how well that does for you when you run for a fourth term.

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Marijuana - An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure

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ounce of prevention

Now let me begin with I'm a skeptic when it comes to things like Dr. Whoopadoo's Snake Oil Elixir, good for whatever ails you. There's no panacea that does it all. At least I haven't found it. But I'd like to believe that good health and cures for all diseases are within our reach.

Now I read this on HUFFPO:

Marijuana has long been used to effectively treat symptoms associated with HIV, such as chronic pain and weight loss. But a growing body of research suggests the plant may be able to stop the spread of the disease itself.

Adding to these findings is a Louisiana State University study published last week in the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses Scientists found that damage to immune tissue in the primates' stomachs, one of the most common areas in the body for HIV infection to spread, decreased.

Some of you may say, who cares? HIV is a "gay" disease, attributed to risky sexual behavior. Those queers deserve what they got. It's God's wrath. Well if you believe that, you don't need to read any farther. Go back to reading your Flat Earth Society Monthly periodical.

I suppose I attribute my being spared from HIV to my relatively normal, quite risk-free lifestyle. But hey, maybe my many years of smoking weed was actually helping me in ways of which I had no knowledge. Putting honesty above claims that marijuana saved me revelations, I'm glad to see these scientific research findings. And not for the reason you may think.

I'm glad because I come from the generation that saw so many die of HIV-related AIDS complications. It was the '80s and '90s. Being diagnosed with HIV was as close to a death sentence as you could get. There were no cocktails of meds that could save you. I saw friends die. Now, things are bit different.

So what if smoking grass could prevent this awful disease and its related complications? Wouldn't that be great?

Put aside the old thinking that marijuana is nothing more than a gateway drug. Of course it's got its drawbacks which, like the premature reports of Mark Twain's death, have been greatly exaggerated. It's not for everybody -- neither is alcohol or peanuts. There are also limits to be discussed. But with all the arguments against smoking cannabis, the movement to legalize it is a juggernaut. It's happening. The sooner the better.

If you're an opponent of legalization, I understand. You really don't have the facts. But give a bit of credence to the findings quoted above or this one below:

Similar research spearheaded by Molina in 2011 found that infected monkeys treated with THC had a better chance of surviving. And a report published in 2012 pointed to evidence that marijuana-like compounds can fight HIV in late-stage AIDS patients.

Let's face facts. Most of us aren't scientists. So being dubious is natural. If you have doubts about marijuana being nothing more than snake oil, that's your business. No one's forcing you to imbibe. Just don't stop others whom modern medical science show are being benefited by it. And not just HIV sufferers.

Last year, an oncologist from the United Kingdom found that marijuana compounds can kill cancer cells in leukemia patients, and scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco have conducted research that suggests those compounds can also effectively combat other forms of aggressive cancer.

If there's even the slightest bit of medical benefits to this drug, that's important to all of us. And if by some chance it actually does stop the spread of disease, let's make it available for anyone of legal age to have access to. It won't hurt you and it could ease a patient's pain or even prevent the spread of a deadly disease. The time is here. Let's take our heads out of the sand and back marijuana legalization when it comes up for a vote in your state. As they say, the life you save may just be your own.

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Why Does The GOP Fear Same-Sex Marriage?

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marriage rings

The Raw Story:

Republicans in the Kansas House of Representatives have introduced a bill that would make it legal for both government employees and private individuals to discriminate against same-sex couples on religious grounds.

According to House Bill 2453, “no individual or religious entity shall be required by any governmental entity” to “provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges” if “it would be contrary to the sincerely held religious beliefs of the individual or religious entity regarding sex or gender.”

I guess the GOP in Kansas doesn't read newspapers, the internet or news from any source. They totally missed the Department of Justice memo of last week. Or maybe they did get it and are scared. Neither Discrimination nor hate are part of any religious doctrine that I'm aware of. So violating that "tenet" is impossible to justify as being a religious belief. Talk about reaching!

Bible thumping, hate mongering, fear and revivalist dogma aren't the answer. And either is Kansas House Bill 2453.

With same-sex marriage now legally accepted in nearly a third of our 50 states, the recent Attorney General announcement that the DOJ is going to fully recognize same sex marriage, it's time to take a look at the repercussions these haters in Kansas are trying to promote. With the Justice department memo, gay couples now have the ability to file jointly for bankruptcy and guaranteeing that married same–sex partners would not be forced to testify against each other in trial. They'd be given the rights to visit the dying reserved for family members. 

Hmm. Can't see where that's hurting heterosexual marriage any.

With same-sex marriages come the de-stigmatizing of all adoptions. As a matter of fact, the number of adoptions by same-sex partners is growing rapidly -- and that means more orphaned and unwanted children are finding good homes and the love they've previously been denied. That doesn't seem to be harming heterosexual marriage and at the same time lessens a burden on the states of caring for these unfortunate children.

Then where's the problem? There's not one documented case of same-sex marriage infringing on or interrupting a traditional heterosexual marriage. Not one.

Well, that's still not good enough for the National Organization of Marriage, NOM.

According to THE HILL:

But NOM’s Brown said the [recent DOJ] measures trample on states’ rights to make their own decisions on how to define the institution of marriage.

“The American public needs to realize how egregious and how dangerous these usurpations are and how far-reaching the implications can be,” Brown said. “The changes being proposed here to a process as universally relevant as the criminal justice system serve as a potent reminder of why it is simply a lie to say that redefining marriage doesn't affect everyone in society."

How interesting a point made here. What's their point in case you missed it? THERE ISN'T ONE.

Benefits of same-sex marriage are numerous, some of which are spelled out above. And ther are many more. Among the most important is not to define this relationship between two consulting, loving individuals as second class. Human rights and dignity are the backbone of America. Classifying same sex love as a sin, or evil or a sickness is true -- but not of those who live it -- only of those who deny it from being allowed.

Marriage is a choice. Homosexuality, being gay, lesbian, transsexual or bisexual is NOT. Let's remember the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson in that very cherished document, The Declaration of Independence:

declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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Anti-Pot Chris Matthews Rails Against Alcohol And Tobacco, Too

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MatthewsKennedyw349h222video below at end of post

There's never a time when the unpredictable Chris Matthews isn't opinionated. That's what he's best known for and he's made a niche for himself being just that -- outspoken and oftentimes outrageous -- on his MSNBC show, HARDBALL.  He's so self-inflated in importance he oftentimes loses sight of logic and reason. He's the aging old dog that has been gifted with a relatively meaty bone and doesn't let you get near it with his growling and barking. Even after the bone's been chewed clean of the last hint of anything to eat, even its aroma of past pleasures, he's protective.

Yesterday was a case in point. Now it's a bit unusual for him to disagree, even somewhat reluctantly, with President Obama. He will, from time to time pick around the edges, but as a general rule he allows the President to make his own decisions and justifies them with the Big O's surrounding himself with qualified minions to help him form intelligent choices.

Chris took exception to Obama's coming out publicly and stating what a vast majority of Americans and pillars of the scientific community have been saying for years now. Pot is not good for you in general, but it's no more harmful than alcohol and tobacco.

That wasn't strong enough this time for Matthews. He decided that scientific evidence isn't good enough in this case. So he traipsed out two of the Kennedy clan -- newer generations of the Camelot crew -- Christopher Lawford and Patrick Kennedy. Both recovering addicts -- but not from pot -- from Alcohol and pills.

In Matthews' mind, and perhaps to these fine, brave gentlemen, one addiction is the same as another. And I'm not sure they're wrong. Addictive personalities can be just as harmful whether the vice is drinking, drugs, sex, video games, pornography, eating, et.al. The bottom line is anything can get you high if abused. That's the point of the book that Lawford was really on the show to promote. He wasn't there as an expert, but rather a survivor who was trying to sell his book, which Matthews gladly promoted at the end of the interview. If that makes you know more than someone else, fine. But surviving a 12 step program doesn't make you a counselor.  It makes you a veteran.

So after all was said and done, Chris, who's about as current as last week's expired milk in your refrigerator, made an anti-pot stand. And I'll applaud him for that -- speaking his mind -- or what's left of it. His ability to idolize Ronald Reagan and his former boss, Tip O'Neill while overlooking all the laws these two men broke, shows that he's still got the '70s going on in his mind. But granting him that clouded thinking, he's now going after pot with a similar cloud around his thinking.

His argument is that pot is a gateway to other vices. Maybe it is, but that's like saying drinking milk leads you to over eating chocolate chip cookies or Oreos. They are really not connected, but you could statistically make an argument.

So if Chris wants to take on the 'pot is bad for you' challenge, saying that it is as dangerous as tobacco and alcohol, then why isn't he pushing for tobacco and alcohol being outlawed? Certainly scientifically we can prove these two substances are dangerous, cause deaths and are gateways to all sorts of crimes and misdeeds, not just death.

Or maybe I missed the point. Perhaps that IS what Matthews on HARDBALL was really saying. Using his own argument, that pot can be addictive and lead to dangerous behavior, tobacco and alcohol should be against the law. If what's good for the goose is good for the gander, than he should be taking his soapbox to Capitol Hill and start rallying Congress for a revisit to the Volstead Act as well as banning all tobacco products. They're as dangerous (or as safe) as marijuana.

What? That's not what he meant? Then what was he doing when he chose to argue against legalization where the usage of cannabis products are monitored and quality is checked? Hundreds if not thousands died from bathtub gin and moonshine during prohibition. That's because there were no quality controls of the products. And to get these elixirs, how many were killed in back alleys or gunned down by the likes of Capone and his lieutenants?

Today we're unfairly incarcerating people, outrageous numbers of minorities, all over a little plant that has still not been proven to be any more harmful than legally obtained alcohol and tobacco. So move the soap box to another corner, Chris. Your arguments to outlaw pot are the same ones to make cigarettes and booze illegal. I don't think you'll want to take to the air to defend that. But you did. And here it is:

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One More Reason Not To Legalize Weed

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munchies

I think you all know that dangers of marijuana -- they are too numerous to list completely. But sometimes the proponents of making cannabis legal are overlooking some of the other side effects or "collateral damage" these pot heads are causing you and me. Here's an New Zealand video that demonstrates just what I'm talking about. Maybe you've been in this situation before. I know I have.

If you hate waiting in check-out lines at a 7-Eleven or Circle K or other convenience store, maybe now you'll understand the real reason. This video most certainly is for you.

So to all of you hempsters out there smoking your Kush and your ganja, with your bongs and your vaporizers, watch this clip and hopefully then you'll realize the implications of your getting high and how that effects everyone else.

My responsible, less snarky side says that despite my feelings that legalizing marijuana isn't a bad thing, I would like to caution anyone who smokes, just like anyone who drinks, to do so responsibly. Don't get behind the wheel if you're impaired. You know there's no shame in having a designated driver in your group, even if you've only been smoking. Err on safety's side.

Now go enjoy yourself.

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Drink A Beer And Do A Year

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leading from behind

Why is the government always the last to know? They really do lead from behind.

There's no sane reason that marijuana (cannabis)  has been classified up there with heroin or cocaine as a Schedule 1 drug. Anybody who's done any research on this issue knows that. But the government doesn't seem to get the message. The organization of 'the world is flat' thinkers just seem to be stuck in neutral.

Schedule I substances are those that have all three of the following:

A. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.

B. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

C. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

Putting marijuana aside, let's look at beer. Beer is legal and marijuana generally isn't... at least not on the federal level.

Using the ABC's of schedule one above, ask yourself about each of the three tenets in terms of beer.

A. Is there hight potential for abuse with beer? Ah, yeah! (Burp)

B.  Is there currently any accepted medical treatment that calls for beer? Not unless you call Dr. Bud Weiser. If he's not in his office, check over at Kelsey's Bar or Conchita's Tap Room.

C. Is there a safety for using beer under medical supervision because it's not prescribed. Safety? Yeah, when the keg's empty, Dr. Weiser usually changes the tap, or his chosen brand. That's how he discovered Michelob.

So if you hold a beer to the same restrictions or requirements  for marijuana, the cannabis might very well be removed from that schedule 1 classification and beer might be put on it. I'll drink that that!

Face it, cannabis is less harmful than beer, yet beer, we celebrate and marijuana we incarcerate.

So maybe the argument should be to have beer reclassified. "Have a brew, do a year or two."

I'm not really for that. Perhaps if our backwards thinking regulators saw that example, they might, over a glass of suds, suddenly see straight. They might even realize that they've been wrong and federally legalize cannabis. It might just be safer to light up one for the road.

There is room in the marketplace for both. The liquor distributor lobby doesn't want that, or the truth to get out there. But aren't the Republicans always pushing free commercial trade and less restrictions? Here's their chance to put their joint, er, money where their mouth is.

When this happens, and it will, here's what you will be seeing on TV. What a welcomed sight that will be:

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Speaking of Government Revenue Shortfalls, Tax Marijuana Instead of Prosecuting It

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) officially signed marijuana legalization into law.

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

[T]he White House and Department of Justice are not only going to likely continue their wasteful prosecution against marijuana, despite laws passed on cities and states, it may very well expand the baffling war on weed [...]

Yes, it would be ludicrous to claim that tax revenues on marijuana would close the federal budget gap (cut military spending and raise taxes on those who need to pay their fair share for the benefits of democracy), but it could surely help contributing to alleviate it. [...]

Furthermore, making the marijuana industry a home grown product beyond Humboldt County, California, and other illicit hot spots would keep a lot of dollars that go to growers south of the border in the United States. [...]

And while other drugs, including cocaine and an increasing amount of meth are critical to the narco trafficking through Mexico, allowing marijuana use and cultivation in the US would reduce at least one of the drugs that the US is conducting a crusade against (via the corrupt forces of the Mexican government, military and police), a crusade that is killing tens of thousands of Mexicans in a failed show war. [...]

If you had two focus groups: one getting drunk on whiskey, and one getting high on marijuana, what would be the different end results?

Well, with the drunk group, you might end up with one or two of the participants getting into car accidents on the way home; if some of them didn't get into fights and arguments during the session; and if any one of them had a gun, all bets are off.

As for the group smoking marijuana, you might end up with one or two of them sitting with their legs crossed mesmerized by a kitten crossing a window sill; three of them listening to music on their I-Pods, with one of them singing along very loudly; and a couple making out.

So why is marijuana the banned control substance?

Please read the rest here.

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