Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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Monday, March 2, 2015

DEA warns of stoned rabbits if Utah passes medical marijuana

The killer bunny?

Here is the infamous rabbit scene. That rabbit's dynamite!

Utah is considering a bill that would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to be treated with edible forms of marijuana. If the bill passes, the state's wildlife may "cultivate a taste" for the plant, lose their fear of humans, and basically be high all the time. That's according to testimony presented to a Utah Senate panel (time stamp 58:00) last week by an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"I deal in facts. I deal in science," said special agent Matt Fairbanks, who's been working in the state for a decade. He is member of the "marijuana eradication" team in Utah. Some of his colleagues in Georgia recently achieved notoriety by raiding a retiree's garden and seizing a number of okra plants.

Fairbanks spoke of his time eliminating back-country marijuana grows in the Utah mountains, specifically the environmental costs associated with large-scale weed cultivation on public land: "Personally, I have seen entire mountainsides subjected to pesticides, harmful chemicals, deforestation and erosion," he said. "The ramifications to the flora, the animal life, the contaminated water, are still unknown."

Fairbanks said that at some illegal marijuana grow sites he saw "rabbits that had cultivated a taste for the marijuana. ..." He continued: "One of them refused to leave us, and we took all the marijuana around him, but his natural instincts to run were somehow gone."

It's true that illegal pot farming can have harmful environmental consequences. Of course, nothing about these consequences is unique to marijuana. If corn were outlawed and cartels started growing it in national forests, the per-plant environmental toll would be about the same.

But backcountry marijuana grows are a direct result of marijuana's illegal status. If you're concerned about the environmental impact of these grows, an alternative is to legalize and regulate the plant so that people can grow it on farms and in their gardens, rather than on remote mountainsides.

Now, regarding rabbits. Some wild animals apparently do develop a taste for bud (and, yes, best to keep it away from your pets). But I don't know that the occasional high rabbit constitutes grounds for keeping marijuana prohibition in place, any more than drunk squirrels are an argument for outlawing alcohol.

And let's not even get started on the nationwide epidemic of catnip abuse.
There was a time, not too long ago, when drug warriors terrified a nation with images of "the devil's weed" and "reefer madness." Now, it seems that enforcers of marijuana law conjuring up a stoned bunny?

 Not scary enough for the Utah Senate, it seems: the panel approved the bill and sent it to the full Senate, where it will be debated this week.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

U.S. Won't Stop Native Americans From Growing, Selling Marijuana On Their Lands

Source: Hartford Courant

WASHINGTON — Opening the door for what could be a lucrative and controversial new industry on some Native American reservations, the Justice Department on Thursday will tell U.S. attorneys to not prevent tribes from growing or selling marijuana on the sovereign lands, even in states that ban the practice.

The new guidance, released in a memorandum, will be implemented on a case-by-case basis and tribes must still follow federal guidelines, said Timothy Purdon, the U.S. attorney for North Dakota and the chairman of the Attorney General's Subcommittee on Native American Issues.

It remains to be seen how many reservations will take advantage of the policy. Many tribes are opposed to legalizing pot on their lands, and federal officials will continue to enforce the law in those areas, if requested.

Representatives from the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes in Connecticut, which run the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun resort casinos, respectively, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The policy comes on the heels of the 2013 Justice Department decision to stop most federal marijuana prosecutions in states that have legalized the possession or sale of pot. Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia have all moved to legalize the drug, though the D.C. law may be scaled back by Congress.

Some tribes see marijuana sales as a potential source of revenue, similar to cigarette sales and casino gambling, which have brought a financial boon to reservations across the country. Others, including the Yakama Reservation in Washington state, remain strongly opposed to the sale or use of marijuana on their lands.

Purdon said in an interview that the majority of Native American tribes, mindful of the painful legacy of alcohol abuse in their communities, appear to be against allowing marijuana use on their territory.

The federal government will continue to legally support those tribes that wish to ban marijuana, even in states that now permit its sale, Purdon said.

But the Justice Department will generally not attempt to enforce federal marijuana laws on federally recognized tribes that choose to allow it, as long as they meet eight federal guidelines, including that marijuana not be sold to minors and not be transported to areas that prohibit it.

"The tribes have the sovereign right to set the code on their reservations," Purdon said.

John Walsh, the U.S. attorney for Colorado, said a primary purpose of the memorandum to be released Thursday is to assure U.S. attorney offices and tribes that despite the changes in Justice Department policy announced last year, federal prosecutors still have the authority to prosecute marijuana felonies on tribal lands.

In many cases, federal prosecutors are the only ones permitted by law to prosecute marijuana felonies on tribal lands.

Walsh said that the new memorandum, like the one issued for states last year, emphasizes that states or reservations must have "robust and effective regulatory systems in place" and that federal prosecutors reserve the right to take broader enforcement actions.

The policy is likely to be criticized in states opposed to marijuana sales, particularly those with Native American reservations.

Kevin A. Sabet, an opponent of marijuana legalization and former adviser on drug issues to President Obama, called the policy an "extremely troubling development."

"It once again sends a message that we really don't care about federal drug laws," he said.

Sabet, director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida, said, "Native Americans and their families suffer disproportionately from addiction compared to other groups. The last thing they want is another commercialized industry that targets them for greater use."

Times staff writer Hugo Martin in Los Angeles and Courant staff writer Matthew Sturdevant in Hartford contributed to this report.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remember we Fought for Freedom and NOT Prohibition

source: Cannabis Culture

November 11 is known as Remembrance Day in Canada, the UK and other Commonwealth countries, and Veterans Day in the US; a day of mourning for soldiers and civilians lost in international conflicts and a recognition of the sacrifices made by all victims of war.

Soldiers and their families and scores of reverent citizens pay their respects for those who gave their blood, their sweat, their freedom, and their lives; assembling at wreath-laying ceremonies and family gatherings as they evoke memories of loved ones affected by the many tragedies of war.

We at Cannabis Culture pay our respects to all those lost in war and those still fighting and suffering around the world in brutal conflicts, including the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, in which 919,967 people have been killed based on lowest credible estimates. The two wars continue to claim lives and cause untold destruction today.

As part of our memorial, we include the millions of casualties of the global War on Drugs, which continues to rage on around the world, intensifying in places like Mexico, where the government vows to continue its violent crackdown. The Drug War death toll in Mexico has now reached 50 deaths a day, and this year’s total toll is expected to exceed 18,000. According to the Globe and Mail, the total number of death since the beginning of President Felipe Calderon’s six-year term may be 60,000, "more than 10 times the number of Americans killed to date in both Iraq and Afghanistan."

Beginning in 1914, the US War on Drugs is the country's longest war, claiming the lives of countless individuals, imprisoning hundreds of thousands of non-violent citizens, tearing apart families, and destroying the hopes and dreams of Americans young and old.

Reports by the International Harm Reduction Association say more than one thousand people face execution for drug offences each year in 32 countries that retain the death penalty for drug crimes.

We also remember the sacrifices of police officers killed on duty enforcing drug laws and military officers overseas battling over drug plantations, like the heroin-producing poppy fields of Afghanistan.

The Papaver rhoeas, the red poppy, is an international symbol for those who died in war and commemorates the pain-relieving properties of the opium plant. The flower was immortalized in the poem In Flanders Fields by Canadian poet and soldier Lt Col John McCrae, and is worn on the jacket on Remembrance Day.

In a piece called "Drug War Remembrance" published by the UK's Transform Drug Policy Foundation, Steve Rolles writes,
It is hard to escape the dual-symbolism of the poppy in relation to the Afghanistan conflict. Over 800 coalition soldiers have died in Afghanistan, over a hundred of them British - at least some of which have been as a direct result of anti-drug operations aimed at eradicating the poppy harvest that provides the raw opium that in turn feeds over 90% the West's demand for illicit heroin. Many more Afghans have also died, both combatants and civilians. The symbolic historical links of the poppy with death are not just the blood red from battle fields but also the opium connection; the poppy being used as a traditional tombstone emblem to symbolise eternal sleep.
The Afghan conflict is, of course, more complex than merely a war on drugs, but the massive illicit profits that flow from the poppy fields are fueling the violence, and helping destabilize the entire region. ... It is the prohibition of opiates for non medical use that creates the illicit trade in the first instance. There is no violence, criminal profiteering or terrorism associated with the 50% of global poppy production (for medical use) that is entirely legal and regulated. It is prohibition that creates the link between drugs and terror, and prohibition that is responsible for the nexus of their respective wars.
Though the US and Canadian governments have an official policy of poppy eradication in Afghanistan, there are reports of our troops guarding opium fields and helping to maintain production, and statistics show production of opium has increased significantly since the beginning of the war.

Though it is indeed important on November 11 to pay our respects and remember those affected by war, the only true way to commemorate them is to help end war so future generations are spared the same fate. Remembering the past is pointless unless we use those memories to learn lessons and create a better future.

The fallen didn't have to die in vain. End the War in Afghanistan. End the War in Iraq. End the War on Terror. End the Drug War.
Lest we forget. End all Wars.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Otc 26, 2014 Todays 420 NewsBlast

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Friday, October 17, 2014

This Weeks Top Marijuana News Stories

Uruguay Marijuana Legalization May Not Last Past Next Year, Regulations Unsurprisingly Failing
Reason (Weblog) 12:02'I'll NEVER stop smoking cannabis': Multiple sclerosis sufferer...
Hull Daily Mail 02:05 Thu, 16 Oct 2014
New Cannabis-Based Epilepsy Drug Makes Mockery of FDA
Reason (Weblog) 13:05 Wed, 15 Oct 2014
At least 41 cities have banned recreational marijuana shops
HeraldNet, Washington 01:11 Thu, 16 Oct 2014
Afroman Remixes Hit Song To Support Marijuana Legalisation
Contactmusic.com 05:22 Thu, 16 Oct 2014

13.Lye man jailed for growing cannabis worth £51,000 Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser 08:38
16.Entrepreneur taking leap of faith with marijuana-infused syrups News & Observer, North Carolina 06:14
18.Pot still fails the sniff test The Globe and Mail 02:15
20.Steller: Three ways Arizona can legalize marijuana Arizona Daily Star 23:31 Thu, 16 Oct 2014
22.Dutch court lets off cannabis growers SBS 13:19 Thu, 16 Oct 2014
23.Breaking news - two Chinese men charged over cannabis factory Portadown Times 12:40 Thu, 16 Oct 2014
27.Covelo family awarded $242,000 in trespass marijuana case Chico Enterprise-Record, California 09:42
28.Mother presses Cuomo on medical marijuana Democrat and Chronicle, New York 09:24
30.Torquay cannabis couple in court Torquay Herald Express 08:28
33.Police: McDonald's kidnapping from bad marijuana Sun Herald, Mississippi 06:57
34.Inmate hid drugs in Playmobil motorcycles The Times of Malta 06:43 
40.Man jailed for cannabis possession with intent The Times of Malta 05:12