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Author Topic: Legalized Marijuana and the Crime Question  (Read 21839 times)
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« Reply #550 on: February 24, 2015, 11:43:24 AM »

Alaska becomes third state to legalize recreational marijuana as ballot measure takes effect
Published February 24, 2015
Associated Press

Feb. 20, 2015: Alaska Cannabis Club CEO Charlo Greene smokes a joint at the medical marijuana dispensary in Anchorage. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

JUNEAU, Alaska –  Alaska on Tuesday became the third U.S. state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, but organizers don't expect any public celebrations since it remains illegal to smoke marijuana in public.

In the state's largest city, Anchorage police officers are ready to start handing out $100 fines to make sure taking a toke remains something to be done behind closed doors.

Placing Alaska in the same category as Washington state and Colorado with legal marijuana was the goal of a coalition including libertarians, rugged individualists and small-government Republicans who prize the privacy rights enshrined in the Alaska state constitution.

When they voted 53-47 percent last November to legalize marijuana use by adults in private places, they left many of the details to lawmakers and regulators to sort out.

That has left confusion on many matters.

The initiative bans smoking in public, but didn't define what that means, and lawmakers left the question to the alcohol regulatory board, which planned to meet early Tuesday to discuss an emergency response.

That's left different communities across the state to adopt different standards of what smoking in public means to them. In Anchorage, officials tried and failed in December to ban a new commercial marijuana industry. But Police Chief Mark Mew said his officers will be strictly enforcing the public smoking ban. He even warned people against smoking on their porches if they live next to a park.

But far to the north, in North Pole, smoking outdoors on private property will be OK as long as it doesn't create a nuisance, officials there said.

Other officials are still discussing a proposed cultivation ban for the Kenai Peninsula.

In some respects, the confusion continues a four-decade reality for Alaskans and their relationship with marijuana.

While the 1975 Alaska Supreme Court decision protected personal marijuana possession and a 1998 initiative legalized medicinal marijuana, state lawmakers twice criminalized any possession over the years, creating an odd legal limbo.

As of Tuesday, adult Alaskans can not only keep and use pot, they can transport, grow it and give it away. A second phase, creating a regulated and taxed marijuana market, won't start until 2016 at the earliest. That's about the same timeline for Oregon, where voters approved legalizing marijuana the same day as Alaska did but the law there doesn't go into effect until July 1. Washington state and Colorado voters legalized marijuana in 2012 and sales have started there.

And while possession is no longer a crime under state law, enjoying pot in public can bring a $100 fine.

That's fine with Dean Smith, a pot-smoker in Juneau who has friends in jail for marijuana offenses. "It's going to stop a lot of people getting arrested for nonviolent crimes," he said.

The initiative's backers warned pot enthusiasts to keep their cool.

"Don't do anything to give your neighbors reason to feel uneasy about this new law. We're in the midst of an enormous social and legal shift," organizers wrote in the Alaska Dispatch News, the state's largest newspaper.

Richard Ziegler, who had been promoting what he called "Idida-toke" in a nod to Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, reluctantly called off his party.

There's no such pullback for former television reporter Charlo Greene, now CEO of the Alaska Cannabis Club, which is having its grand opening on Tuesday in downtown Anchorage. She's already pushing the limits, promising to give away weed to paying "medical marijuana" patients and other "club members."

Greene -- who quit her job with a four-letter walkoff on live television last year to devote her efforts to passing the initiative -- plans a celebratory toke at 4:20 p.m.

Meanwhile, Alaska Native leaders worry that legalization will bring new temptations to communities already confronting high rates of drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and suicide.

"When they start depending on smoking marijuana, I don't know how far they'd go to get the funds they need to support it, to support themselves," said Edward Nick, council member in Manokotak, a remote village of 400 that is predominantly Yup'ik Eskimo.

Both alcohol and drug use are prohibited in Nick's village 350 miles southwest of Anchorage, even inside the privacy of villagers' homes.

But Nick fears that the initiative, in combination with a 1975 state Supreme Court decision that legalized marijuana use inside homes -- could open doors to drug abuse.

Initiative backers promised Native leaders that communities could still have local control under certain conditions. Alaska law gives every community the option to regulate alcohol locally. From northern Barrow to Klawock, 1,291 miles away in southeast Alaska, 108 communities impose local limits on alcohol, and 33 of them ban it altogether.

But the initiative did not provide clear opt-out language for tribal councils and other smaller communities, forcing each one to figure out how to proceed Tuesday.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/02/24/alaska-becomes-third-state-to-legalize-recreational-marijuana-as-ballot-measure/?intcmp=latestnews
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« Reply #551 on: February 26, 2015, 11:28:52 AM »

DC legalizes pot: Last-minute push by GOP reps to blunt legalization goes up in smoke
By Chad Pergram
Published February 26, 2015
FoxNews.com


House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Government Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., rolled a missive over to Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser late Tuesday night. In a little more than 24 hours, Washington, D.C., was set to become the first jurisdiction in the eastern U.S. to decriminalize small amounts of pot. And with marijuana about to become legalized in the nation's capital at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Chaffetz and Meadows were determined to pre-empt jokers, smokers and midnight tokers in the federal city.

The Chaffetz/Meadows message to Bowser, a Democrat, was blunt.

"If you decide to move forward tomorrow with the legalization of marijuana in the District, you will be doing so in knowing and willful violation of the law," the congressmen warned the mayor. "We strongly suggest you reconsider your position."

It's doubtful that Obama's Justice Department would prosecute Bowser or other city figures. Mike Steel, an aide to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, deferred comment to the Oversight Committee. Steel said he was unaware of any movement by the House to potentially sue the city.

But the congressional interference has drawn a strong reaction. Democratic Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington, D.C.'s non-voting representative in Congress, claimed her colleagues were being "unnecessarily hostile" toward the capital.

And, in the end, the last-minute warning didn't work. Growing and possessing weed became legal in the city overnight.

But how can two lawmakers from other states have any say in local Washington, D.C., affairs? Let's get into the weed(s).

The District of Columbia has a long and sordid history with the U.S. Congress serving as a super city council. Washington, D.C., is afforded no vote in either the House or Senate -- despite federal taxation of the city's residents. The federal government controls nearly 30 percent of all land in the District of Columbia. And until the mid-'70s, Congress essentially ran the city.

Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the right "to exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever," over Washington, D.C. But 42 years ago, Congress ceded some of that authority to the city, establishing "home rule." That law granted the District of Columbia the right to elect a mayor, a city council and form a local government. D.C. could enact and enforce its own laws like any other city in the country.

However, Congress periodically wades back into Washington's affairs when things heat up. Such has been the case on local issues like abortion, needle exchange programs, education and firearms.

And then along comes Mary.

In November, nearly two-thirds of D.C.'s voters adopted a ballot measure permitting persons age 21 and older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and grow as many as six cannabis plants. So it should come as no surprise that members of Congress want to hash things out with the city now.

In December, Congress approved a massive, overarching spending bill -- which lawmakers dubbed the CRomnibus -- to fund nearly the entire federal government. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., previously authored an amendment short-circuiting D.C.'s marijuana initiative which lawmakers adopted in committee. That provision then made it into the CRomnibus which President Obama signed. So when Bowser indicated the city was moving ahead with its own marijuana initiative, lawmakers got involved.

"Given Congress's broad powers to legislate with regard to the District of Columbia it would be unprecedented for the District to take actions proscribed by legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President," wrote Chaffetz and Meadows.

Chaffetz and Meadows contend Bowser and other D.C. officials are running afoul of the CRomnibus and the Anti-Deficiency Act. The latter is a federal law dating back to 1884 which penalizes government workers who blatantly spend more money in their annual budgets than appropriated by Congress. The lawmakers informed Bowser they were launching an investigation into the city. They demanded a list of city officials involved in the implementation of the ballot initiative as well as those workers who declined to participate.

Harris says the District of Columbia conducted meetings about how to handle marijuana. D.C.'s Police Chief Cathy Lanier was involved in talks with other city officials about implementing the program. Harris says those activities violate the express intent of Congress, banning the expenditure of any funds toward the cannabis initiative.

"I think the attorney general should prosecute people in the District who participate in this under the Anti-Deficiency Act," said Harris. "These people should be very afraid."

Bowser bristled.

"Me being in jail wouldn't be a good thing," said Bowser, arguing that the lawmakers were "bullying" the city.

But Harris thought it was high time for Congress to weigh in.

"We don't take lightly being involved in D.C. home rule," said the Maryland Republican.

The tension between District of Columbia locals and their congressional overlords is as old as the republic. In fact an uprising by an unhappy militia at Philadelphia against the "Congress of Confederation" in 1783 was what drove the founders to form a special federal district. They designed Washington like no other American locale to serve as the seat of government. As J.D. Dickey writes in "Empire of Mud" about the creation of Washington, "the nation's leaders always stood in jeopardy, and the only way to ensure their safety was to keep the locals on a tight leash." As the incipient nation developed, the founders elected to forge its own district where Congress was secure from the riff-raff and make its own federal decisions.

Those who lived in the District of Columbia, well, they were out of luck. In the 1870s, Congress curbed D.C.'s borrowing power. It probed the local "territorial" government. Dickey writes that in the mid-1870s, Sen. Justin Smith Morrill, R-Vt., authored a bill to ban voting by D.C. residents. The Organic Act of 1878 dictated that Congress was the sole governing engine of the nation's capital.

This interface between the federal government and local residents is practically a nucleic acid of the nation's DNA. Controversial issues augment the nexus and explain why the District of Columbia and Congress cross swords today.

One might call this the "politics of contraband," as sung by Glenn Frey in the 1980s song "Smuggler's Blues."

And despite what lawmakers want to do about D.C.'s marijuana provision, it's legal now.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/02/26/last-minute-drive-by-gop-reps-to-blunt-legal-pot-in-dc-goes-up-in-smoke/?intcmp=latestnews
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« Reply #552 on: March 11, 2015, 10:24:39 AM »

Sens. Booker, Gillibrand and Paul unveil federal medical marijuana bill
By Niraj Chokshi
March 10, 2015

Senators are unveiling a bipartisan bill that would prevent the federal government from prosecuting medical marijuana users in states where it is legal.

A historic Senate medical marijuana bill unveiled Tuesday would dramatically reshape the landscape for the plant, nearly 80 years after it was effectively criminalized.

The bill, introduced by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), would end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana and eliminate the ambiguity surrounding related state laws. It would untie the hands of veterans’ doctors when it comes to recommending the drug and bankers when it comes to providing business services to the industry. It would also facilitate very limited inter-state trade, expand research and shift marijuana out of the most severe category in the federal government’s drug classification.

“Today, we join together to say enough is enough. Our federal government has long overstepped the boundaries of common sense,” Booker said at a news conference, flanked by advocates and patients, including a young girl, Morgan Jones, who suffered a mild seizure as the senators presented their bill, her mother said. Kate Hintz, a New Yorker, advocates for expanded access to medical marijuana for those, such as her daughter, who suffer from epilepsy and associated seizures.

While the bill’s fate in the Republican-controlled Senate is unclear, it may appeal to a strain of conservative thinking that favors states’ rights. Already, three potential Republican presidential candidates — Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) and former Florida governor Jeb Bush — have said that they support states’ rights to legalize the drug, even if they do not personally support such policies.

“We’re going to approach all our colleagues,” Gillibrand said. “This is the first step of a long process of advocacy.”

Advocates see the bill as laying the groundwork for a public, high-level discussion about legalizing the drug, at least for medical use, for which public support has risen in recent decades and years.

In addition to ending the federal prohibition on medical pot, the bill — the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act — also would recognize marijuana’s medical benefits by switching its classification from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2, under the federal government’s five-category drug classification system.

The bill would expand research opportunities for the drug and let doctors with the Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend the drug to veterans. It would allow bankers to provide to the marijuana industry the same services they provide to other businesses.

The bill would also expand access to the drug to patients in states that have approved limited medical marijuana laws. While medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia, a dozen other states have approved use only of strains of the plant with high levels of Cannabidiol, which does not produce the high associated with the drug and is used in treating epileptic seizures. The bill would remove specific strains of CBD oil from the federal definition of marijuana, thereby expanding access for patients.

Several advocacy organizations involved with passing state marijuana laws also were involved in discussions surrounding the crafting of the bill, including the Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project and Americans for Safe Access.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2015/03/10/sens-booker-gillibrand-and-paul-unveil-federal-medical-marijuana-bill/
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« Reply #553 on: April 22, 2015, 04:07:26 PM »

Medical Marijuana Bill Passed by Senate Committee in Alabama
Apr 22, 2015
By Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Senate Judiciary Committee has narrowly approved a bill to allow medicinal marijuana in Alabama.

Committee members approved the bill on a 4-3 vote Wednesday. It now moves to the Alabama Senate where it faces steep odds.

The legislation would allow patients with certain medical conditions, including cancer and AIDS, to buy or grow a small amount of marijuana each month.

Applause broke out from advocates who have unsuccessfully lobbied at the Statehouse for years. Tammy Collazo said she takes a small amount of marijuana to ease the pain of a brain tumor.

Opponents said not enough is known about the effects of marijuana and that people risked harm by taking the drug as medicine.

http://www.wkrg.com/story/28872525/medical-marijuana-bill-passed-by-senate-committee-in-alabama
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« Reply #554 on: April 23, 2015, 08:34:59 AM »

Kind of sad really, we all claim we want smaller government, less intrusion into our lives, and yet in 2015 in many places in the US one cannot obtain marijuana legally to treat symptoms from various illnesses. Putting medicinal marijuana aside, that adults can't legally access it yet can buy a 5th of vodka and a carton of cigarettes makes zero sense to me.. But I live in a state where you cannot sell cars or buy liquor on Sunday so.. 
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« Reply #555 on: April 23, 2015, 09:18:47 AM »

Kind of sad really, we all claim we want smaller government, less intrusion into our lives, and yet in 2015 in many places in the US one cannot obtain marijuana legally to treat symptoms from various illnesses. Putting medicinal marijuana aside, that adults can't legally access it yet can buy a 5th of vodka and a carton of cigarettes makes zero sense to me.. But I live in a state where you cannot sell cars or buy liquor on Sunday so.. 

Sunday being a invention of humans, there is no such thing as Sunday and we impose all this nonsense on it. We are a truly stupid bunch of apes.
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« Reply #556 on: April 24, 2015, 04:04:04 PM »

Colorado businessman blames 'stoned' workers for move to SC
Published April 24, 2015
FoxNews.com

A Colorado man who moved his business to South Carolina says the state's decision to legalize pot has left him with a stoned labor pool. (AP)

When workers at his Colorado business went to pot, Mark Brawner said it was enough for him to roll out of the Rockies and head for South Carolina.

Brawner, who ran Little Spider Creations out of an old  Denver warehouse for years until this month, told KUSA-TV Thursday he moved because pot was hurting his company. He said employees started to come to work stoned after the state legalized the drug for recreational use in 2012.

“The main reason we pulled out was because of marijuana,” Brawner said. “Marijuana got into our industry. Half the sculptors will come in high. As soon as we’d catch it, they’d be let go. We went through 25 sculptors. Only five of (our sculptors) either were quality or would show up unimpaired.”

“The main reason we pulled out was because of marijuana.”

- Mark Brawner
But Brawner told FoxNews.com Friday his comments got “twisted out of proportion,” although he did not deny relocating to the Myrtle Beach area, where smoking pot is still illegal.

“They had an agenda. They got what they wanted and not what they heard,” he said.

A call to KUSA news director Christy Moreno was not immediately returned.

Little Spider has built Halloween-like props for Six Flags amusement parks, the Dollywood Theme Park in Tennessee, and other haunted house entertainment venues.

The company's a new home is a spacious facility in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. The local Chamber of Commerce lured Brawner to move with a $25,000 grant. In exchange Brawner pledged to create 35 jobs and to make a $2.65 million investment in his business. In Colorado, Little Spider employed 47 sculptors, artists and animators.

The Myrtle Beach Sun News reported that back in Colorado, Brawner had been dealing with a “nasty” local government regulator and too many stoned workers. Those problems made his wife’s entreaties to move more appealing.

Now Brawner would like to take back remarks he made to KUSA like this one:

“A painter doesn’t do production as quick as we want. If you build a house you can build a house to the plans. When we’re asking you to sculpt a giant dinosaur, and it has to have personality and stuff, when you’re high you can’t see it. Your whole body says its good enough, when it’s not. The quality suffers.”

A Colorado business group told the station Little Spider’s departure is the first they heard of a company leaving the state because of legalized marijuana.

Speaking to FoxNews.com, Brawner just wanted his marijuana remarks to go puff.

He declined to say how his comments, which were audio-taped, could have been misconstrued.

“I don’t have anything more to say, not even to make things right,” he said.

Colorado legalized pot in 2013, and the first marijuana shops opened at the beginning of 2014. Washington and Alaska subsequently legalized the drug, and similar measures have been proposed in other states.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/04/24/colorado-businessman-blames-stoned-workers-for-relocating-firm-to-south/
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« Reply #557 on: April 27, 2015, 12:05:54 PM »

Fox News poll: 48 percent favor same-sex marriage, 51 percent say legalize marijuana
By Dana Blanton
Published April 27, 2015
FoxNews.com

. . .

Legalizing Marijuana

For the first time, the Fox News poll finds more than half (51 percent) favor legalizing marijuana, while 44 percent oppose it.  That’s little changed from last year when it was 50-43 percent (January 2014). 

More voters were opposed than in favor as recently as 2013:  46 percent in favor vs. 49 percent opposed.

By a 15 percentage-point margin, voters under 35 (54 percent) are more likely than those 65+ (39 percent) to favor legalizing marijuana.  And by a 10-point margin, men (56 percent) are more likely than women (46 percent) to favor it.

Majorities of Democrats (62 percent) and independents (53 percent) support legalizing marijuana, while a majority of Republicans opposes it (59 percent). 

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,012 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from April 19-21, 2015. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/04/27/fox-news-poll-48-percent-favor-same-sex-marriage-51-percent-say-legalize/?intcmp=latestnews
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« Reply #558 on: May 05, 2015, 05:52:51 PM »

Colorado lawmakers approve medical marijuana for students in school
By Brooke Singman
Published May 05, 2015
FoxNews.com

A first-in-the-nation bill that would allow students to have medical marijuana in school is heading to the Colorado governor’s desk after passing the state legislature late Monday night.

The change in the law was sought to let schoolchildren in Colorado who are living with conditions like epilepsy, cerebral palsy and seizures take doses of low-THC medical marijuana. While marijuana possession and use is legal in Colorado, schools are still drug-free zones -- but bill supporters argued medical marijuana should be treated no differently than other medications.

“We allow children to take all sorts of psychotropic medications, whether it’s Ritalin or opiate painkillers, under supervised circumstances. We should do the same here,” Rep. Jonathan Singer said.

Singer, a Democrat, sponsored what became known as "Jack's Amendment." The amendment was inspired by 14-year-old Colorado boy Jack Splitt, whose personal nurse was reprimanded at his middle school for putting a medical marijuana patch on Jack’s arm that was prescribed by doctors to help his spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and dystonia. They were told never to return with the patch again.

The bill would allow parents or caregivers, with a doctor’s note, to come into schools and administer marijuana in the form of a patch.

“Jack’s Amendment will assure that children don’t have to choose between going to school and taking their medicine,” Singer said. Singer also sponsored the underlying bill, which was initially intended to regulate marijuana caregivers.

With the Colorado legislative session set to end on Wednesday, lawmakers were racing against the clock to pass the bill.

The legislation cleared the Colorado House with overwhelming support, and unanimously passed the state Senate. Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, has 30 days to sign or reject the bill. Colorado would become the first state in the nation to allow medical marijuana in the classroom, if the bill is signed.

A spokeswoman for the governor said Tuesday Hickenlooper planned to sign the bill.

But the legislation still could raise concerns. Robert O’Brien, former adviser on the Mitt Romney presidential campaign, said more marijuana in schools is a bad idea.

“Even in a tightly regulated regime, I don’t think more marijuana in the schools is a better idea,” O’Brien told FoxNews.com's "Strategy Room." “The kids need to get the treatment they deserve, if it’s an efficacious treatment, that’s great, but I don’t want that in the schools.”

If the bill is signed, it's unclear exactly what the penalties might be for students, or adults, who don't follow the new rules. But drug-free zone laws can come with tough penalties. Illicit sale in a no-drug school zone in Colorado, for instance, carries an eight-year sentence.

Parents in Maine also are urging lawmakers to allow medical marijuana in their schools, but have not gotten as far as in Colorado.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/05/05/colorado-lawmakers-approve-medical-marijuana-for-students-in-school/
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« Reply #559 on: May 18, 2015, 06:35:12 PM »

 Shocked

Boys who smoke cannabis ‘are four inches shorter’
Youngsters who regularly smoked marijuana were far shorter than their non-smoking peers

Smoking cannabis regularly stunts growth in prepubescent boys, scientists have found Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Sarah Knapton By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
19 May 2015

Boys who smoke cannabis before puberty could be stunting their growth by more than four inches, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that youngsters who were addicted to the drug were far shorter than their non-smoking peers.

And they also discovered that rather than being a relaxing pass time, smoking dope actually makes the body more stressed in the long term.

"Marijuana use may provoke a stress response that stimulates onset of puberty but suppresses growth rate,” said study leader Dr Syed Shakeel Raza Rizvi, of the Agriculture University Rawalpindi in Pakistan.

Scientists at the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Agriculture University Rawalpindi in Pakistan studied the levels of certain hormones involved in growth and puberty in the blood of 220 non-smoking and 217 cannabis-addicted boys.

Levels of puberty-related hormones such as testosterone and luteinising hormone (LH) were increased in the cannabis smokers. In contrast, growth hormone levels in the group were decreased.

It was also found that non-smoking boys were on average four kilos heavier and 4.6 inches taller by the age of 20 than the dope smokers.
• Cannabis use shrinks and rewires the brain
•Even casual use of cannabis alters the brain
• Cannabis can be highly addictive, major study finds
The researchers also looked at the effect of smoking cannabis on levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in 10 cannabis addicts.

They found that dope smokers have significantly higher levels of cortisol than non-smokers.


A cannabis plant

Cannabis is the most widely available illicit drug in Europe, and it's estimated that it's been used by 80.5 million Europeans at least once in their life.
The proportion of 11-15 year olds in England who had used cannabis in the last year fell from 13.3 per cent in 2003 to 7 per cent in 2013, around 250,000 youngsters.

The latest report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) reveals that the highest prevalence of cannabis use is among 15 to 24-year-olds and is significantly higher among men than women.

Previous studies have looked at the effect of smoking cannabis in adult rats and humans, but this is the first time that the effects have been looked at in prepubescent boys.

Dr Rivzi said the the research may have a wider impact than just health, adding: "Early puberty is associated with younger age of onset of drinking and smoking, and early matures have higher levels of substance abuse because they enter the risk period at an early level of emotional maturity."

The researchers say their findings, presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology in Dublin, will lead to a better understanding of the dangers of drug abuse on growth and development in children.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11613107/Boys-who-smoke-cannabis-are-four-inches-shorter.html
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« Reply #560 on: May 18, 2015, 06:38:33 PM »

Fox News poll: 48 percent favor same-sex marriage, 51 percent say legalize marijuana

the majority of the USA is liberal. 

only a few people with their head in the sand can deny it now.
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« Reply #561 on: May 19, 2015, 01:06:54 PM »

Marijuana-infused coffee pods hit store shelves
Published May 18, 2015
FoxNews.com

Cannabis infused coffee is available in loose grounds and convenient single-serving pods. (Fairwinds Manufacturing)

Cannabis-infused coffee is now available in convenient single-use pods for those who want a little more buzz to their a.m. jolt.

Seattle-based Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop now sells pods of  premium Catapult coffee at a steep $10 per pod. Each pod works in standard, single-serve coffee makers and contain 10 mg of THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient. The shop previously sold loose grounds infused with marijuana but the pods are “quickly becoming big sellers,” said the shop.

“I liken it to a Red Bull and vodka,” Jennifer Lanzador, Uncle Ike’s sales manager, told Yahoo. “I had more energy, but I still had the relaxation you get from cannabis.”

Fairwinds Manufacturing, the Vancouver company that actually makes the pods for Uncle Ike’s, reported that the pods now account for 60 percent of company sales.

Fairwinds isn't the only company making cannabis-infused coffee.

House of Jane in California has four types of cannabis K-cups: medium roast, dark roast, decaf and mocha café.  It also sells marijuana infused coffees, teas and creamers—one of which recently won a best-edible award at one of the world’s largest medical marijuana trade shows HempCon.  It is also working on cannabis-infused “Frappuccino”—the drink will not be sold at Starbucks but the team hopes to capitalize on the popularity of the well-known creamy beverage during the hot summer months.

Ed Rosenthal, whose brand is well known for marijuana growing guides and a line of pre-rolled joints, has a line of coffees called Ed Rosenthal’s Select Coffee & Tea.

“Ed’s been wanting to come up with a new product that’s not the standard candy bar,” Rosenthal’s CEO Ross Franklin told Yahoo.

Emily Paxhia, co-founder of Poseidon Asset Management, a California asset manager focusing on marijuana-related investments, says that coffee will give cannabis-infused edibles a wider appeal.

“The more that cannabis can be consumed in forms that are familiar to broader populations, the more interesting it’s going to become to a mass market,” Paxhia said.

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2015/05/18/marijuana-k-cups-and-coffee-pods-hit-store-shelves/
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« Reply #562 on: May 19, 2015, 01:55:19 PM »

Shocked

Boys who smoke cannabis ‘are four inches shorter’
Youngsters who regularly smoked marijuana were far shorter than their non-smoking peers

Smoking cannabis regularly stunts growth in prepubescent boys, scientists have found Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Sarah Knapton By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
19 May 2015

Boys who smoke cannabis before puberty could be stunting their growth by more than four inches, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that youngsters who were addicted to the drug were far shorter than their non-smoking peers.

And they also discovered that rather than being a relaxing pass time, smoking dope actually makes the body more stressed in the long term.

"Marijuana use may provoke a stress response that stimulates onset of puberty but suppresses growth rate,” said study leader Dr Syed Shakeel Raza Rizvi, of the Agriculture University Rawalpindi in Pakistan.

Scientists at the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Agriculture University Rawalpindi in Pakistan studied the levels of certain hormones involved in growth and puberty in the blood of 220 non-smoking and 217 cannabis-addicted boys.

Levels of puberty-related hormones such as testosterone and luteinising hormone (LH) were increased in the cannabis smokers. In contrast, growth hormone levels in the group were decreased.

It was also found that non-smoking boys were on average four kilos heavier and 4.6 inches taller by the age of 20 than the dope smokers.
• Cannabis use shrinks and rewires the brain
•Even casual use of cannabis alters the brain
• Cannabis can be highly addictive, major study finds
The researchers also looked at the effect of smoking cannabis on levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in 10 cannabis addicts.

They found that dope smokers have significantly higher levels of cortisol than non-smokers.


A cannabis plant

Cannabis is the most widely available illicit drug in Europe, and it's estimated that it's been used by 80.5 million Europeans at least once in their life.
The proportion of 11-15 year olds in England who had used cannabis in the last year fell from 13.3 per cent in 2003 to 7 per cent in 2013, around 250,000 youngsters.

The latest report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) reveals that the highest prevalence of cannabis use is among 15 to 24-year-olds and is significantly higher among men than women.

Previous studies have looked at the effect of smoking cannabis in adult rats and humans, but this is the first time that the effects have been looked at in prepubescent boys.

Dr Rivzi said the the research may have a wider impact than just health, adding: "Early puberty is associated with younger age of onset of drinking and smoking, and early matures have higher levels of substance abuse because they enter the risk period at an early level of emotional maturity."

The researchers say their findings, presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology in Dublin, will lead to a better understanding of the dangers of drug abuse on growth and development in children.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11613107/Boys-who-smoke-cannabis-are-four-inches-shorter.html

I would say any child that abuses drugs at that age will have issues, they used addicts did they not?
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« Reply #563 on: May 19, 2015, 02:10:55 PM »

I would say any child that abuses drugs at that age will have issues, they used addicts did they not?

Sounds like it, although the study also found "Even casual use of cannabis alters the brain."
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« Reply #564 on: June 15, 2015, 01:31:15 PM »

Employers Can Fire Medical Marijuana Patients For Private, Off-Duty Use, Colo. Supreme Court Rules
Matt Ferner [email protected]
Posted:  06/15/2015
 

 
While medical marijuana is legal in Colorado, employers can still fire patients for using it -- even if they aren't impaired at work.

In a landmark decision Monday morning, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic medical marijuana patient from Colorado who was fired by Dish Network in 2010 for using the drug while at home and off-duty, was not protected under the state's "lawful activities statute."

“Although I’m very disappointed today, I hope that my case has brought the issue of use of medical marijuana and employment to light," Coats said in an emailed statement. "If we’re making marijuana legal for medical purposes we need to address issues that come along with it such as employment. Hopefully views on medical marijuana –- like the ones in my specific case -- will change soon.”

The arguments from both Dish's and Coats' attorneys centered on the question of what exactly constitutes "lawful" use of medical marijuana outside of the workplace -- and how such use can be considered lawful when federal law still classifies marijuana as an illegal substance, even though the state of Colorado has legalized its use both medically and recreationally.

"The Supreme Court holds that under... Colorado’s 'lawful activities statute,' the term 'lawful' refers only to those activities that are lawful under both state and federal law," the Colorado court ruled. "Therefore, employees who engage in an activity such as medical marijuana use that is permitted by state law but unlawful under federal law are not protected by the statute."

The court had been considering the case for nearly a year.

"Mr. Coats was never accused or suspected of being under the influence and received satisfactory performance reviews all three years [he worked at the company]," argued Coats' attorney, Michael Evans, in front of the state Supreme Court last year.

Evans went on to argue that Coats' use should fall under the state's Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute.

"He was fired after an unknown type or amount of THC was found after a mouth swab test," Evans said last year. "Dish knew he was a medical marijuana patient. The mere presence of THC is not proof of impairment."

Evans also argued that the drug testing on Coats did not determine what kind of THC was found in his system, or how much was present. There are active and inactive forms of THC, and inactive forms can remain in a person's body for more than 40 days after use.

But Dish Network attorney Meghan Martinez argued last year that whether or not Coats was ever impaired at the workplace was not the issue. Rather, she said, the issue at hand was the "use" itself. She defined "use" as simply having THC in one's system.

"He tested positive, had THC in his system," Martinez said. "We are alleging that he was using THC at the workplace. The definition of use is in the medical marijuana act [Colorado's Amendment 20]. It's the employment of something, the longstanding possession of something. He smoked marijuana while at home, but he crossed the threshold [to his office] with THC in his system. The use is the effects, it's the THC, it's the whole point of marijuana. So when he came to work, he was using."

Coats was fired from Dish Network, a satellite cable provider company based in Englewood, Colorado, more than five years ago, after testing positive for THC during a random drug test at work. Coats had been a patient on the state registry for about a year at that point, and was using medical marijuana based on a doctor's recommendation. Evans told The Huffington Post that Coats had been a successful employee at the company, where he'd worked for three years serving in the customer service division as a telephone operator.

"We have the proof that he was [a top performer] in his evaluations," Evans told HuffPost in 2014. "I think he was late twice, and that was the extent of any discipline."

And while Dish hasn't claimed that Coats was impaired at work, the company's decision was unequivocal: Coats failed a drug test, so therefore he had to be fired.

Coats first challenged the firing in county court in 2011, but that case was dismissed on the grounds that medical marijuana is not "lawful activity."

Coats appealed that decision, but a state appellate court dealt another blow to his case in July 2013, upholding the trial court's decision in favor of Dish. The appellate judge ruled that when it comes to marijuana, federal law trumps state law.

When Coats was 16, he was a passenger in a vehicle that crashed into a tree. That accident paralyzed over 80 percent of his body, and he has experienced severe involuntary muscle spasms and seizures ever since.

"My spinal cord is broken, so messages don't get back and forth from my brain to my body," Coats told HuffPost. "My legs still work, but they just can't get the signal. Sometimes my whole body can just seize up."

At first, Coats used prescription drugs to combat the spasms, but over time their effectiveness waned. Then his doctors recommended he start using medical marijuana. Coats joined Colorado's medical marijuana registry in 2009, hoping that the cannabis would alleviate his persistent spasms.

Medical marijuana changed his life, Coats said. Smoking a small amount of cannabis each evening proved to be an effective treatment, allowing him to go to work without discomfort the next day.

But like many companies, Dish Network has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to any drug use, even if that drug is state-legal and used for medical purposes.

"To ensure a safe and productive work environment, Dish Network reserves the right to administer nondiscriminatory, unannounced random drug testing," the company drug policy reads. "No employee shall report to work or be at work with alcohol or with any detectable amount of prohibited drugs in the employee's system. Any violation of this statement of policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination."

While the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 protects most employees with serious medical conditions from discrimination, it doesn't protect their use of medical marijuana. And although 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use, very few jurisdictions offer explicit protections for patients. An exception is Arizona, where employers are prohibited from discriminating against an employee who has tested positive for marijuana and is a registered medical marijuana patient, as long as he or she doesn't have a "safety sensitive" job, such as heavy-machinery operator or airline pilot.

In Colorado, Amendment 20, which legalized medical marijuana in the state in 2000, says that employers are not required to "accommodate the medical use of marijuana in any work place." But the law does not explicitly state whether an employer has the right to fire an employee who uses medical marijuana at home.

Evans said that clarity on that point is the "silver lining" of this case.

"There was previously no clear definition on what an employer and employee could do when it came to [medical marijuana]," Evans wrote in an email. "It was a very scary ‘gray’ area for both sides. All of that hard work and risk put into this case was not a waste, because at least now there is clear communication for everyone on that issue from the Court."

Evans also noted that the court issued its decision after the state's legislative session had ended, indicating that it may have been waiting for the state House or Senate to act and fix the "obvious" problem with the law.

"Today’s decision means that until someone in the House or Senate champions the cause, most employees who work in a state with the world’s most powerful medical marijuana laws will have to choose between using medical marijuana and work," he wrote.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/15/brandon-coats-medical-marijuana_n_7585832.html
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« Reply #565 on: June 16, 2015, 05:51:30 AM »

Sounds like it, although the study also found "Even casual use of cannabis alters the brain."

I would be concerned about MJ more so then alcohol in kids, while the effects might be over stated our bodies have an endocannabinoid system, with all sorts of effects on brain differentiation etc.


It does depend on what they mean by alter, it does alter blood flow, receptor activation etc.. but structural?
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« Reply #566 on: June 30, 2015, 01:03:05 PM »

RAND PAUL 1ST MAJOR-PARTY CANDIDATE TO COURT POT DONORS
BY KRISTEN WYATT
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Jun 30, 2015

DENVER (AP) -- Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul planned Tuesday to court donors from the new marijuana industry, making the Kentucky senator the first major-party presidential candidate to publicly seek support from the legal weed business.

Paul's fundraiser at the Cannabis Business Summit - tickets start at $2,700, the maximum donation allowed for the primary contest - comes as the marijuana industry approaches its first presidential campaign as a legal enterprise.

Though legal weed business owners have been active political donors for years, presidential candidates have so far shied away from holding fundraisers made up entirely of marijuana-related entrepreneurs.

"It really speaks to how important this issue is and how far it's come," said Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, a major sponsor of legalization campaigns in Colorado, Washington and other states.

"We're seeing officials at the local, state and now federal level recognize this is now a legitimate industry, just like any other legal industry in many facets," Tvert said.

Paul has embraced state marijuana experiments, while other candidates have either taken a wait-and-see approach or expressly vowed to challenge state legalization efforts.

Paul has joined Democrats in the Senate to sponsor a bill to end the federal prohibition on the use of medical marijuana. He also backs an overhaul of federal drug-sentencing guidelines, along with a measure to allow marijuana businesses to access banking services.

Asked last year whether marijuana should be legal, Paul said, "I haven't really taken a stand on that, but I'm against the federal government telling (states) they can't."

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GOP_2016_PAUL_MARIJUANA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-06-30-03-12-53
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« Reply #567 on: July 09, 2015, 09:36:17 AM »

Majority Of Denver Voters Support Marijuana In Bars, Survey Finds
Matt Ferner
National Reporter, The Huffington Post
Posted: 07/09/2015


A majority of Denver voters support recreational marijuana smoking in bars and other public venues in the city, according to a new survey, boosting a new drive to expand legalized pot.

A survey released Thursday by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found that 56 percent of likely 2015 voters in Denver would support allowing businesses to permit pot consumption on the premises. Only 40 percent said they were opposed.

 The survey appears to support a recently launched petition drive in Denver for a ballot measure that would give businesses the ability to allow for marijuana consumption. The measure would prohibit pot sales at the establishments, so patrons would have to bring their own.

“Denver voters have repeatedly voted in favor of treating marijuana similarly to alcohol,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for Marijuana Policy Project and a key backer of Colorado's 2012 recreational marijuana law. “For the same reasons many adults enjoy having a drink in a social setting, many adults would enjoy using cannabis."

The petition proposes to allow marijuana smoking and vaporizing in spaces that can't be publicly viewed. Smoking would likely be confined to enclosed outdoor areas, so venues can comply with state law that limits indoor smoking.

Marijuana tourism would get a boost from the measure, allowing visitors to Denver, which has become the "epicenter" of the legal marijuana industry, a place to consume their legal weed. Currently, tourists looking to light up have limited options, but are able to consume their weed in some hotels.

Colorado became the first state -- and the first government in the world -- to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana for adults in 2012, with the first retail shops opening in 2014. But state law continues to ban recreational marijuana consumption "openly and publicly." The law doesn't specifically block pot use in private clubs for those 21 and older, and the proposal would help to define private clubs in Denver.

Since Colorado's recreational marijuana law passed, a number of underground, fee-based, bring-your-own-pot clubs have sprung up in and around Denver. Law enforcement has at times cracked down on those gatherings. A handful of recreational marijuana clubs exist outside of Denver.

Activists must collect about 5,000 signatures of registered Denver voters by August in order for the "limited social use" initiative to appear on the November ballot.

 Tvert announced the campaign last week, along with Brian Vicente, attorney and co-author of Colorado's recreational marijuana law, and Jane West, a cannabis-related events promoter. 

"It would be ridiculous to limit alcohol consumption only to people’s homes," said Tvert. "So why must marijuana use be limited in such a fashion? There’s no rational reason to treat marijuana consumers so differently."

Some state lawmakers agree that the issue needs to be resolved, but they weren't sure the initiative is the best approach.

Democratic state Rep. Dan Pabon, who represents Denver, told HuffPost that it's not clear that this proposal would work without violating state laws. But it at least "invites a much-needed conversation" about where citizens would, and wouldn't, embrace public marijuana use, he said.

"First, people are already doing this anyway," said state Sen. Pat Steadman (D). "It's happening whether we like it or not. It would be best to regulate matters rather than allow the 'wild wild West' situation we have now. I think we should let the free market find solutions, but we have to remove legal barriers before this can happen."

Steadman said he hadn't yet decided if the initiative strikes the right policy balance.

State Rep. Jonathan Singer (D), a vocal supporter of marijuana policy reform in the state, said that adults should absolutely be able to consume cannabis legally and safely in private venues. 

"It's ludicrous that we can't have something similar to the bars, restaurants and private clubs we have for alcohol," Singer said.

Singer told HuffPost that he plans to introduce legislation in the upcoming legislative session to address the issue.

PPP surveyed 629 likely Denver voters who intend to vote in the November election, from June 12 to June 15.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/majority-of-denver-voters-support-limited-marijuana-use-in-bars-survey-finds_559dd1dde4b05b1d028fb2da?
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