Posts Tagged ‘usa’

Marijuana on the ballot: 6 states moving toward ‘legalization’

While the battle to control Congress is getting most of the pre-election ink, voters in several states will also be deciding how to states handle the touchy issue of marijuana’s legal status. Fourteen states already have medical marijuana laws on the books, and more are likely to vote in doctor-approved pot use this year or in 2012. (Watch a Reason Magazine report about legalization’s consequences.) Here are six states that could take a major step down the path toward decriminalization (or even legalization) on Nov. 2:

California
Passage of Proposition 19 by Golden State voters would create by far the most permissive marijuana law in the nation. The ballot measure would legalize — at the state and local level, anyway — recreational amounts of marijuana and allow local goverments to tax and regulate sales of the drug. The contentious battle over Prop 19 is creating some strange political dynamics, says NPR‘s Mandalit del Barco. For instance, many growers and “stoners” are opposed to the new taxes and government oversight, while some cops and mothers’ groups support Prop 19 as a way to take profits out of the hands of drug dealers and Mexican cartels. None of that may matter, says Nate Silver in The New York Times, since support for the measure appears to be “going up in smoke” as the election nears. Today it stands no better than a 50-50 chance of passing.

Oregon
More than one in every 100 Oregonians already smokes marijuana legally for medical purposes, and Measure 74 would let them purchase their pot from state-licensed growers and nonprofit retailers, or dispensaries (under current law, card-carrying smokers have to grow their own marijuana, or designate someone to grow it for them). The problem with the measure, says The Portland Mercury in an editorial, is it has no regulation mechanism to assure “all pot is safe and legal,” like other medicines. Oregon should learn from the mistakes in California and Colorado, “and do ours better.” But Oregon already “took the main step” of legalizing medical marijuana, says the Albany (Ore.) Democrat-Herald in an editorial, and “if something is legal to use — such as liquor and tobacco — it’s not unreasonable to authorize places where it may be sold.”

Arizona
Proposition 203 would allow Arizonans with a host of diseases to possess up to 2.5 ounces of pot with a doctor’s recommendation. They would be allowed to buy medical marijuana from nonprofit, state-licensed dispensaries, or grow it themselves if the nearest outlet is more than 25 miles away. “Opponents worry it will bring more crime, substance abuse, and corruption to our state,” says Lori Jane Gliha at ABC News 15. But with polls showing it the most popular measure on the ballot, with 54 percent support, “we’ll go out on a limb and say [it] will probably pass” anyway, says Ray Stern in the Phoenix New Times.

South Dakota
Measure 13 is a do-over for South Dakota medical-marijuana proponents, after a similar measure in 2006 fell short by about 15,000 votes, or 4 percentage points. Activists “think they can get over the top this time around,” says Phillip Smith in Drug War Chronicle, with restrictions carefully tailored “to win over a skeptical and conservative prairie electorate” — to wit, the proposed law limits people with specific conditions to one ounce and only upon the recommendation of a doctor with whom they have “bona fide relationship.” But not all skeptics are convinced: “I just think it’s a total scam being done by people interested in legalizing marijuana,” says Yankton County (S.D) Sheriff Dave Hunhoff. “If they want to legalize marijuana… they should just stand up and use that argument.”

Vermont
The Democratic candidate for governor of the Green Mountain State, Peter Shumlin, publicly advocates the decriminalization of marijuana, says Ron Kampia in The Huffington Post. And if he beats Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie (R), who is “ultra-hostile to decriminalization,” Vermont — which already has a medical-marijuana law — “has a good chance of decriminalizing the possession of marijuana,” too. But Shumlin can’t count on getting every pro-pot vote, says Brad Sylvester in Yahoo News, since he’s also facing Liberty Union candidate Ben Mitchell, whose platform calls for making Vermont into the “Amsterdam of the U.S.”

Massachusetts
In November, 73 Massachusetts towns and cities will vote on a nonbinding ballot measure instructing state lawmakers “to vote in favor of legislation that would allow the state to regulate the taxation, cultivation, and sale of marijuana to adults” — in short, to legalize pot. Although only 13 percent of the state’s voters will see the ballot initiative, its sponsor, the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition, says majority approval would lay the foundation for a statewide, binding ballot measure in 2012. State voters have already approved decriminalization, says Michael Cutler in Wicked Local, and “the sky hasn’t fallen.” Full legalization would better limit access to the drug and raise revenue.

Article written by The Week

Shots fired into Mexico by U.S. Border Patrol agents

(CNN) — U.S. Border Patrol agents fired gunshots into Mexico over the weekend after being attacked during a marijuana seizure in Mission, Texas, the agency told CNN on Monday.

The incident between border patrol agents and alleged drug traffickers took place around 7:40 a.m. Saturday, Border Patrol spokeswoman Rosalinda Huey said.

“Our agents were being fired upon and they did respond with fire back into Mexico,” she said. “I don’t have the number of how many people were involved. But none of our agents were injured.”

Agents seized over 1,000 pounds of marijuana during the incident, according to Huey. The incident is under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and the Mexican government, Huey said.

“At this point we don’t know what cartel it’s tied to or if it’s just an unaffiliated source. We’re not attributing it to anybody right now,” she said.

Although attacks against border patrol agents are not uncommon, assaults against agents have decreased in the last fiscal year, she said.

Mission is a small border town in the Rio Grande Valley near McAllen, Texas.

Border patrol agents this year have seized more than 800,000 pounds of marijuana in this area, Huey said.

In June, a border patrol agent in El Paso, Texas, fired into Mexico killing a 15-year-old from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Surveillance video of the incident showed the teen throwing rocks at the agent before being shot.

Marijuana Activists Call On President Obama To Pardon Canadian Pot Prisoner

Seattle area marijuana activists will gather outside the Federal Courthouse at 700 Stewart Street on Friday, September 10, to protest the sentencing of Marc Emery, the so-called Prince of Pot, who faces five years in federal prison for selling marijuana seeds by mail order to Americans and to call on President Barack Obama to pardon him. The controversial Canadian faced federal charges after DEA agents entered Canada and arrested Emery in 2005. Emery is expected to be sentenced to five years in federal prison under a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors.

“The Emery case is a prime example of the overreach of the federal government and the need for marijuana laws that match social reality in America,” said Philip Dawdy, Sensible Washington’s co-founder and vice-chair. “It’s crazy that he’s going to prison for selling seeds and that the federal government is willing to spend millions of dollars prosecuting and imprisoning him. President Obama should pardon Emery and get busy with reforming America’s outdated marijuana laws.”

When Emery was arrested in 2005, federal officials described his arrest as a blow to efforts to legalize marijuana in the US. Emery was the publisher of the Vancouver-based Cannabis Culture magazine and planned to use his seed-selling profits to fund legalization efforts in the US.

Activists will gather outside the US Courthouse from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday while Emery, already in federal detention in SeaTac, is being sentenced. Continue reading

Bring Marc Emery Home to Canada

We want the Canadian government to bring Marc Emery home, to serve his sentence in Canada.

This is a normal process called “Treaty Transfer” whereby American and Canadian prisoners are transferred home to serve their sentences in their native country. This is normally done so that prisoners can be closer to their families, and be better monitored and reintegrated into society.

Once Emery is sentenced in the USA, his lawyers will try to initiate the treaty transfer process. They expect no objection from American authorities, but there must also be support from Canada’s Public Safety Minister.

Originally we were fighting for Canadian officials to block Marc’s extradition entirely. Now we are simply asking the Public Safety Minister to accept Marc’s treaty transfer and allow him to serve some of his sentence in Canada.

The Canadian Minister of Public Safety is Vic Toews (pronounced “Taves”). Please contact Mr. Toews and tell him that you want him to support Marc’s prison transfer back to serve his sentence in Canada.

Pease be polite and respectful – but very firm – when contacting Vic Toews office.

The best way is to write a letter to Vic Toews, postage free:

The Hon. Vic Toews
Parliament Hill
Suite 306, HC Justice Building
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

You can also call Vic Toews office at: 204-326-9889 and 613-992-3128

Vic Toews can be reached by email at: Toews.V@parl.gc.ca and toewsv1@mts.net

FreeMarc.ca

A Brief History of Marijuana [video]

A reddit user comes up with a short video about the history about hemp and cannabis. Check it out.

Marc Emery has been locked up in solitary confinement since Thursday!

Written by Jodie Emery:

On Thursday night, June 3rd, Marc was put into solitary confinement, or “SHU”, (Security Housing Unit) at SeaTac Federal Detention Centre (SeaTac FDC) while he awaits his sentencing in September. The reason? For unknowingly breaking an unwritten rule. I haven’t heard from him since… Here’s what happened.

On Thursday afternoon, Marc had me record a phone call that was meant as his first US Prison Podcast, similar to the ones he did last fall while imprisoned here in BC and posted on iTunes and our website. That evening, as he was writing me an “email” through the Corrlinks prison messaging system, he mentioned that a guard had just given him a citation, said his phone access was suspended for “at least three days” and that there would be a disciplinary hearing in “a few days”.

Read more at Cannabis Culture and FREE MARC EMERY!

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