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ACLU Report: The War on Marijuana in Black and White

posting as an OP in this forum for reference


Between 2001 and 2010, there were over 8 million pot arrests in the U.S. That’s one bust every 37 seconds and hundreds of thousands ensnared in the criminal justice system.

Enforcing marijuana laws costs us about $3.6 billion a year, yet the War on Marijuana has failed to diminish the use or availability of marijuana.

Marijuana use is roughly equal among Blacks and whites, yet Blacks are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.

ACLU: Racism of the Drug War Verified


Blacks are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites – even though usage rates are comparable, according to a report issued today by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Marijuana enforcement has unfairly targeted black people, said the report, entitled “The War on Marijuana in Black and White.”

The racial disparity in marijuana arrests has markedly increased in the last 10 years, the ACLU found. Although black people are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for possession than white people, blacks are now 30 times more likely to to be arrested for the drug in the counties with the widest disparities, they found.

The ACLU also analyzed the wider law enforcement handling of current marijuana laws. States spent an estimated $3.61 billion enforcing marijuana possession laws – in 2010 alone.


The current incarceration rate deprives record numbers of individuals of their liberty, disproportionately affects people of color, and has at best a minimal effect on public safety. Meanwhile, the crippling cost of imprisoning increasing numbers of Americans saddles government budgets with rising debt and exacerbates the current fiscal crisis confronting states across the nation.

Private prison companies, however, essentially admit that their business model depends on locking up more and more people. For example, in a 2010 Annual Report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) stated: “The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by . . . leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices . . . .” As incarceration rates skyrocket, the private prison industry expands at exponential rates, holding ever more people in its prisons and jails, and generating massive profits.

We fought a war in this nation to stop this shit, yet it returns, in different iterations, generation after generation.

Thank you, Ronald Reagan and your fellating conservative acolytes, for your dedication, over decades, to promoting slavery by another name. The irony, of course, is this that they constantly pretend they are promoting freedom.

What about it, Congress?

Are you going to continue this repulsive slide into neo-Confederate racism as YOUR LEGACY, or are you going to address the way in which the laws you have created have been nothing more than a cover for the most disgusting legacy of government since this nation was founded?

You'd think that, maybe after more than two hundred years, you might get this one right.

But you'd have to assume Congress is something other than the bought and sold peons for big business... and they continually prove the majority of them are nothing but.

Mason Tvert, (Marijuana Policy Project) with Chris Hayes

on Colorado's recent legalization.

Low Doses of THC protect brain/may halt brain injuries


Prof. Yosef Sarne of Tel Aviv University's Adelson Center for the Biology of Addictive Diseases at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine says that the drug has neuroprotective qualities...He has found that extremely low doses of THC -- the psychoactive component of marijuana -- protects the brain from long-term cognitive damage in the wake of injury from hypoxia (lack of oxygen), seizures, or toxic drugs. Brain damage can have consequences ranging from mild cognitive deficits to severe neurological damage.

Previous studies focused on injecting high doses of THC within a very short time frame -- approximately 30 minutes -- before or after injury. Prof. Sarne's current research, published in the journals Behavioural Brain Research and Experimental Brain Research, demonstrates that even extremely low doses of THC -- around 1,000 to 10,000 times less than that in a conventional marijuana cigarette -- administered over a wide window of 1 to 7 days before or 1 to 3 days after injury can jumpstart biochemical processes which protect brain cells and preserve cognitive function over time.

...While performing experiments on the biology of cannabis, Prof. Sarne and his fellow researchers discovered that low doses of the drug had a big impact on cell signalling, preventing cell death and promoting growth factors. This finding led to a series of experiments designed to test the neuroprotective ability of THC in response to various brain injuries.

...According to Prof. Sarne, there are several practical benefits to this treatment plan. Due to the long therapeutic time window, this treatment can be used not only to treat injury after the fact, but also to prevent injury that might occur in the future. For example, cardiopulmonary heart-lung machines used in open heart surgery carry the risk of interrupting the blood supply to the brain, and the drug can be delivered beforehand as a preventive measure. In addition, the low dosage makes it safe for regular use in patients at constant risk of brain injury, such as epileptics or people at a high risk of heart attack.

Hello, DEA. We're sick of your lies. Stop treating this plant like it's a dangerous drug, like, say, all those pharmaceuticals that you have no problem with in spite of their many negative side effects.

Sincerely, American People

Louisiana Passes Bill to Lessen Marijuana Penalties


I sent out some love to Louisiana here the other day... http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022893488

The Louisiana House narrowly passed a bill Wednesday to dramatically lessen penalties for marijuana possession. With little more than a week left in the 2013 session, the legislation now moves to the Senate side for further debate.

House Bill 103, sponsored by state Rep. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans, would lessen the jail time and fines imposed on someone convicted of simple marijuana possession. Speaking on the House floor Wednesday, Badon said the bill would save the state money in incarceration costs as well as keep people united with their families and in their jobs.

Under current law, a first-time offender could be jailed up to six months. A repeat offender could be sentenced up to five years, with those convicted three times open to a 20 year jail sentence.

Badon's bill would lessen this jail time to not more than two years for repeat offenders, five years for third-time offenders and eight years for those convicted four or more times. The maximum fine for possession would also be lessened from $5,000 to $2,500.

The earlier bill failed - the penalties were less than in the current bill that passed in the House. But I'm so happy to see places that make bad laws a little better, at least.

Still have a ways to go, but every bit of progress matters.

Historic Marijuana Bills Approved in Colorado

Discussion of the recent legislation in Colorado


L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl - 1st "out" politician/cannabis patient


The video is nearly 30 minutes long at the link, but well worth listening to as Rosendahl talks about cannabis policy and his own experience with cannabis as a cancer patient.

Louisiana Marijuana Sentencing Reform Bill Fails

State Rep. Austin Badon (D-New Orleans) had introduced a bill to address this reality:

As of 2012, Louisiana held the honor of having the highest prison population in the world, with an estimated 40,000 people locked up in the state's prisons. That number is cited as thirteen times times the total number of inmates in Chinese prisons. In 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that more than 12-percent of inmates at the state and federal levels are serving for marijuana offenses, costing Americans an estimated one billion dollars a year (that's with nine zeroes people).


HB 103 was intended to create more appropriate sentences for marijuana. A third arrest for marijuana possession in Louisiana can result in a 20 year sentence. No distinction is made between people arrested for something like simple possession and violent offenders under sentencing laws in the state.

Badon's bill went to the floor for the third reading and the final vote had a majority of the legislators present voting in favor of the legislation, with 46 yeas to the 45 nays. However, though the majority present voted in favor, any bill must pass with a simple majority of total house members. As there are 105 house members, those 46 yes' fell short of the 53 necessary to enact new law.

HB 103, had set to create more appropriate sentences for marijuana and cannabinoid offenses—sentences that could help boost the state's economy by collecting fines, and reducing the state's world-record prison population with more realistic sentencing guidelines. The law would have also created a crowbar of separation between marijuana and synthetics (which have been shown to have side-effects and can create legitimate health problems).

Please, Louisiana. Stop this nonsense.

The legislation can be brought to vote again.

Pops was arrested for possession back in the day. Your law could've prevented the inventor of the jazz solo from ever achieving his brilliance. You're so proud of your jazz, Louisiana. Jazz and reefer have a long and storied history. Stop pretending it's something it's not and stop undermining the lives of the people in your state.

Undercover cop begs autistic kid to break the law, then arrests him


Californians Doug and Catherine Snodgrass are suing their son’s high school for allowing undercover police officers to set up the 17-year-old special-needs student for a drug arrest.

In a video segment on ABC News, they say they were "thrilled" when their son -- who has Asperger's and other disabilities and struggled to make friends -- appeared to have instantly made a friend named Daniel.

"Daniel," however, was an undercover cop with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department who " hounded" the teenager to sell him his prescription medication. When he refused, the undercover cop gave him $20 to buy him weed, and he complied -- not realizing the guy he wanted to befriend wanted him behind bars.

In December, the unnamed senior was arrested along with 21 other students from three schools, all charged with crimes related to the two officers' undercover drug operation at two public schools in Temecula, California (Chaparral and Temecula Valley High School). This March, Judge Marian H. Tully ruled that Temecula Valley Unified School District could not expel the student, and had in fact failed to provide him with proper services.

So, police are resorting to entrapment to get special needs kids to sell them drugs so they can arrest them???????


What the fuck is wrong with this nation that police are going after AUTISTIC KIDS to put them IN JAIL after ASKING THEM to break the law?

San Diego Mayor Urges Jury Nullification for MJ Dispensary Case


San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has injected himself into a federal criminal case against the operator of a medical marijuana dispensary, intensifying his standoff with federal prosecutors on cannabis enforcement issues.

Filner's urging jurors who'll be chosen for the trial to reject federal law in favor of state statutes under a centuries-old legal concept known as “jury nullification"-- whereby jurors can refuse to convict people under laws they believe should not be applied.

"This is way overdoing it when local laws, state laws allow compassionate use of medical marijuana,” Filner told reporters at the downtown U.S. District Court complex Monday. “Someone should not be going through this stage of prosecution for trying to help people to have access to medical marijuana."

Filner spoke after attending a pretrial hearing for Ronnie Chang, a San Marcos man busted along with more than a dozen marijuana collective and dispensary operators countywide in late 2009.

If you are called for jury duty on a marijuana case, you can choose not to enforce federal law. You can inform your fellow jurors of the possibility of jury nullification and refuse to convict based upon corrupt, outdated, racist-inspired law.

The more this happens, the sooner we will be rid of current federal prohibition.
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