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Indiana: New bill would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana

just got this email alert from MMP - passing it along. pass, pass...pass.

Dear Supporter,

Senator Karen Tallian has taken an important step towards improving marijuana laws in Indiana by introducing SB 314.

This bill would reduce the penalty for possessing a small amount of marijuana to a civil fine. Please contact your state representative and senator and ask them to support her bill.

Link to the MPP petition site: https://secure2.convio.net/mpp/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=9037DAA691A3B8B44A19EC7EBA5AD9E4.app253b?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=2217

Currently, a person who possesses up to 30 grams of marijuana in Indiana faces up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Indiana’s penalties are some of the harshest in the country. SB 314 aims to fix that by establishing a more reasonable approach. Under the bill, a person who possesses up to 2 ounces of marijuana could not be arrested or jailed and would only be subject to a fine of up to only $500. Importantly, a civil infraction is similar to a speeding ticket and is not considered a criminal offense — which could affect employment, housing, or student loans.

This legislation is a major step in the right direction for Indiana’s marijuana laws. Please take a moment and tell your legislators to support SB 314.

Then, please pass this message to friends, family and relatives in Indiana!

Medical marijuana bill introduced in Pennsylvania Senate (Tues)


But don’t count on the bill becoming law anytime soon. Gov. Tom Corbett has refused to sign any such bill until the federal Food and Drug Administration approves cannabis for medical purposes.

Nevertheless, the bill’s bipartisan sponsors — state Sens. Daylin Leach, D-17, of Upper Merion, and Mike Folmer, R-48, of Lebanon County — are lobbying hard for its passage.

Leach has launched a social media campaign highlighting children who could benefit from medical marijuana. Folmer plans to hold a public hearing designed to educate his fellow legislators on the benefits of medical cannabis.

“This is a drug we need to get to these kids,” Leach said. “If it were a derivative of a yucca plant, it would be in every CVS in the country.”

Will Marijuana Decide the Florida Governor's Race?


Democratic and Republican insiders are saying that marijuana law reform may decide the Florida governor’s race, according to a recent Bloomberg report. As activists in Florida work on a ballot initiative that would make it the first state in the South to legalize medical marijuana, Democratic candidate Charlie Crist could benefit from supporting medical marijuana in his closely-anticipated match-up with incumbent GOP Governor Rick Scott.

Although Crist approved increased penalties for marijuana possession as governor, he – unlike Gov. Scott – supports the proposed medical marijuana ballot measure. Crist held the governor’s office from 2007-2011 as a Republican, before switching parties. No Democrat has won a governor’s race in Florida since 1994.

A medical marijuana victory at the ballot box in Florida would certainly be a breakthrough in the South, a breakthrough in one of the most populous states in the country, and a breakthrough in a bellwether state in American politics. But if the measure plays a deciding role in the outcome of the governor’s race, it could also finally put to bed the misperception that drug policy reform is a third rail in American politics.

Although marijuana reform is often compared with marriage equality as another emerging political issue on the cusp of mainstream acceptance, support for marijuana reform (especially medical marijuana) is actually much stronger. While support for full marijuana legalization has skyrocketed to 58 percent in recent years, support for medical marijuana has consistently remained way up in the 75-80 percent range since the 1990s.

Louis Armstrong

said he smoked gage, or ganja all his life because he grew up in the U.S. and had to deal with racism on a daily basis. A creative, happy, boundary-breaking genius of a musician - who was arrested for possession at one point. As was his wife. Luckily he was acceptable enough to white America because, beyond his path breaking work, he was so happy all the time. So he didn't end up serving prison time.

The rumor was that Louis Armstrong had Richard Nixon smuggle in some pot for him at one point. Even if the story isn't true, I sure wish it were...


CNN reporting on Denver cannabis tourism

The reporter - inside a van of people smoking - paying $300.00 per person (!) to drive around Denver, visit different shops, smoke in the van, see the sites...and the reporter seems to have unintentionally inhaled...

DEA Negotiated With Mexican Drug Cartel (x-post)


Agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Justice Department officials have met in secret with members of Mexican drug cartels in exchange for information on rival drug organizations, a new extensive investigative report by Mexico's El Universal newspaper startlingly concludes.

According to the report, U.S. agents held more than 50 secret meetings with cartel operatives on Mexican territory between 2000 and 2012 -- without informing Mexican authorities.

El Universal writes:

Without the presence of Mexican authorities, as bilateral agreements stipulate, without informing the Mexican government, the agents of the DEA met with members of the cartels in Mexican territory, to obtain information about their rivals and at the same time and establish at the same time a network of informants of narco-traffickers, who signed cooperation agreements, subject to results, so that they can obtain future benefits, including charges being dropped in the United States.

Several of the documents were related to the Chicago trial of Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, the son of Sinaloa leader Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.

As Business Insider noted in 2012, Zambada-Niebla alleged while in detention in Chicago that the U.S. government struck a deal with Mexico's Sinaloa cartel to finance and arm the drug traffickers in exchange for information. Zambada-Niebla was arrested after having met with DEA officials, and believed that the alleged deal implied he was immune from arrest or prosecution.

Apparently the DEA and Justice Dept. Negotiated with drug cartels in Mexico without informing the Mexican govt. Using informants is standard police work. I'm sure the rationale was the fear that govt. officials were corrupt.

Remind me of this... October 03, 2011


Emails show top Justice Department officials knew of ATF gun program

In the emails that the department turned over to congressional investigators, Justice Department officials last October discussed both the Fast and Furious gun-trafficking surveillance operation in Phoenix and a separate investigation from 2006 and 2007 called Operation Wide Receiver. In Wide Receiver, which took place in Tucson, firearms also were acquired by illegal straw purchasers and lost in Mexico, the emails say.

...this sounds like it was something Bush had already put in place.

Cannabis medicine is sound science

And it's true that the NIDA is very stingy with approval for studies because of its scheduling as a class I, with no medical value.

But as a palliative treatment for side effects of chemotherapy, cannabis was so effective, based upon user surveys from doctors, it was synthesized and that's why Marinol exists. Unfortunately, Marinol, from patient reports, is much stronger because it's just THC. And further research has indicated a synergistic effect from two diff. cannabinoids, not just THC.

The AMA has recommended that cannabis be removed as a schedule I substance so that more research can occur, again, based upon physicians' views of existing research and patient reports. But they have to couch their words so that they don't offend the DEA, etc., as you see in this link: http://www.amednews.com/article/20091123/profession/311239968/7/

But cannabis is already legally prescribed as a drug for epilepsy and MS, and other conditions, depending upon the country. Sativex is made from cannabis plants, not a synthetic, and delivered as a spray. GW Pharmaceutical, in GB, grows and processes all the plants used for Sativex at this time.

Cannabis is legal as medicine in the UK (on June 21, 2010, making it the first cannabis-based prescription medicine in the world) Approved to treat spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis in Spain, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland, Finland, Israel, Norway, and Poland.

There has only been one human study for cancer (gliomas) and that was only allowed when tradition treatments were no longer recommended. Animal studies have shown good results and have shown the way that cannabis creates apoptosis of various cancer cells.

These are current or upcoming studies:


Early Studies Indicate Cannabis May Shrink Tumor Cells (Studies: 1974-2010)
The link is to 5 studies that indicate cannabinoids shrink cancer cells (various cancers)

CBD cannabinoid prevents neuropathic pain from breast cancer chemo

This is an important overview from four researchers/doctors:
As recently as a decade ago a review of the world literature on the status of the efficacy and safety of cannabinoids for pain and spasticity revealed that only nine randomized studies of acceptable quality had been conducted . All of these were single dose studies comparing oral synthetic THC (or cannabinoid analogs or congeners) to codeine or placebo...In the past decade, the scope and rigor of research has increased dramatically. This research has employed cannabis, cannabis-based extracts, and synthetic cannabinoids delivered by smoking, vaporization, oral, and sublingual or mucosal routes.

Evidence is accumulating that cannabinoids may be useful medicine for certain indications. Control of nausea and vomiting and the promotion of weight gain in chronic inanition are already licensed uses of oral THC (dronabinol capsules). Recent research indicates that cannabis may also be effective in the treatment of painful peripheral neuropathy and muscle spasticity from conditions such as multiple sclerosis . Other indications have been proposed, but adequate clinical trials have not been conducted. As these therapeutic potentials are confirmed, it will be useful if marijuana and its constituents can be prescribed, dispensed, and regulated in a manner similar to other medications that have psychotropic effects and some abuse potential. Given that we do not know precisely which cannabinoids or in which combinations achieve the best results, larger and more representative clinical trials of the plant product are warranted.

Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking. It is true cannabis has some abuse potential, but its profile more closely resembles drugs in Schedule III (where codeine and dronabinol are listed). The continuing conflict between scientific evidence and political ideology will hopefully be reconciled in a judicious manner . In the meantime, the decision to recommend this treatment in jurisdictions where use of medical marijuana is already permitted needs to be based on a careful assessment


Based upon the patient response that was broadcast to the world via CNN, FDA Approves Investigational Trials Assessing Cannabidiol for Pediatric Epilepsy (Cannabis, as Sativex, is already legal in many countries, as noted above, for epilepsy in adults.)

Marijuana Causes Remission in Crohn's Disease

Uruguay, who just legalized, is in talks with Canada and research labs to supply cannabis for medical purposes. Canada would not be doing this if the govt. thought there was no medical value in the cannabis plant, not just a synthetic.

I don't think cannabis as medicine quite fits the definition of woo.

If we didn't have a WORTHLESS Republican House

that has refused, time after time, to bring issues related to this for a vote, we would have had much more progress than we do.

When Frank and Paul entered a bill during the last Congress, Lamar Smith, (R-TX) made sure it died in his office (head of the judiciary committee.) oh, and he's now on the science committee and he's a scum sucking creep in the pocket of the oil industry, so expect him to help make the world worse in terms of global climate change, too. Sadly, he's the rep for Austin, but the Republicans gerrymandered districts so eve Austin has a reptile republican representative, and Austin is a liberal city.


There were 16 sponsors for Jared Polis' (D-CO) bill- HR499 - to End marijuana prohibition for 2013. Never made it to a roll call. The REPUBLICAN 2013 Congress, btw, was considered the WORST EVER by polls of the American people. funny how people are sick of republican bullshit posturing and scientific stupidity - about cannabis, evolution, global climate change - the whole ball of dung.


Representative Polis’ legislation, The Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013, would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, transfer the Drug Enforcement Administration’s authority to regulate marijuana to a newly renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms, require commercial marijuana producers to purchase a permit, and ensure federal law distinguishes between individuals who grow marijuana for personal use and those involved in commercial sale and distribution.

Speaking on the bill, Rep. Polis stated, “This legislation doesn’t force any state to legalize marijuana, but Colorado and the 18 other jurisdictions that have chosen to allow marijuana for medical or recreational use deserve the certainty of knowing that federal agents won’t raid state-legal businesses. Congress should simply allow states to regulate marijuana as they see fit and stop wasting federal tax dollars on the failed drug war.”

Representative Blumenauer’s legislation is aimed at creating a federal tax structure which would allow for the federal government to collect excise taxes on marijuana sales and businesses in states that have legalized its use. The Marijuana Tax Equity Act, would impose an excise tax on the first sale of marijuana, from the producer to the next stage of production, usually the processor. These regulations are similar to those that now exist for alcohol and tobacco. The bill will also require the IRS to produce a study of the industry after two years, and every five years after that, and to issue recommendations to Congress to continue improving the administration of the tax.

“We are in the process of a dramatic shift in the marijuana policy landscape,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “Public attitude, state law, and established practices are all creating irreconcilable difficulties for public officials at every level of government. We want the federal government to be a responsible partner with the rest of the universe of marijuana interests while we address what federal policy should be regarding drug taxation, classification, and legality.”

Holder could call for rescheduling, but Obama has already said he wants Congress to do its job. Good luck with that. Or maybe some republicans will listen to reason now that they see dollar $ign$ when compassion wasn't enough for their sorry souls.

Uruguay has legalized marijuana for their entire nation and, at this time, various nations are fighting back against prohibitionists at the UN as they create their 10 year drug policy statement - but Argentina, too, is looking at legalization.

This year, a majority of Americans indicated they wanted legal recreational marijuana. BUT for MORE THAN A DECADE, approx. 70% of Americans have supported legal medical mj.

So, now here are the Republicans, with their pants around their ankles trying to pretend they weren't jerking off to some new law to stick wands up women's patooties while the rest of the world tells them to grow up.

Here's an old list of just a few who want to use science-based evidence, not racist-based laws, regarding cannabis. This list has grown since then - http://www.democraticunderground.com/117052

World's First Legal Recreational Marijuana


(video also at link, plus a whole lot more of the article...)

World's first legal recreational marijuana sales begin in Colorado

Police reported no problems with the crowds, and government officials marveled at its calm. Overall, the day went as marijuana activists had hoped it would: In the most extraordinary way possible, it was ordinary.

"What I love about it," Denver Councilman Albus Brooks said, "is the peacefulness of the crowd ... and the diversity."

At 8 a.m., the lines of customers outside most stores were fairly short, but they built as the day went on. By mid-afternoon, customers at BotanaCare in Northglenn said they waited as long as five hours to make their purchases. At LoDo Wellness, in Denver, the line stretched down the block, with a wait of around three hours.

Stores were charging $30 to $50 — and sometimes more — for an eighth of an ounce of marijuana, which is slightly to significantly higher than prices for medical marijuana. At least one store had upped its prices for the day. Several stores, including 3D Cannabis, imposed limits on how much customers could buy.

Video and article on NBC: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/01/22132546-colorados-legal-recreational-pot-industry-off-to-smoking-start?lite

Harm Reduction: not really a manifesto, but a goal

I'm in.


Definition: ‘Harm Reduction’ refers to policies, programs and practices that aim primarily to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of the use of legal and illegal psychoactive drugs without necessarily reducing drug consumption. Harm reduction benefits people who use drugs, their families and the community.

While "Harm Reduction" as an organization is focused on the War on Drugs, Harm Reduction as an approach to policy and political alliance is used for many issues - many of them related to the War on Drugs, such as prison and sentencing reform, regulation of prostitution, and other "vice" issues. Here are some principles behind this view:

Targeted: Harm reduction is a targeted approach that focuses on specific risks and harms (rather than "sin-based" approaches.)

Evidence based and cost effective: Harm reduction approaches are practical, feasible, effective, safe and cost-effective. Harm reduction has a commitment to basing policy and practice on the strongest evidence available.

Incremental: Harm reduction practitioners acknowledge the significance of any positive change that individuals make in their lives. Harm reduction interventions are facilitative rather than coercive, and are grounded in the needs of individuals. As such, harm reduction services are designed to meet people’s needs where they currently are in their lives. Small gains for many people have more benefit for a community than heroic gains achieved for a select few. People are much more likely to take multiple tiny steps rather than one or two huge steps.

Dignity and compassion/Universality and interdependence of rights: Harm reduction practitioners accept people as they are and avoid being judgmental. Harm reduction practitioners oppose the deliberate stigmatization of people.

Challenging policies and practices that maximize harm: Many policies and practices intentionally or unintentionally create and exacerbate risks and harms. These include: the criminalization of drug use, discrimination, abusive and corrupt policing practices, restrictive and punitive laws and policies, the denial of life-saving medical care and harm reduction services, and social inequities.

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