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Mother’s Misdemeanors Manufactured by ‘Merica’s Marijuana Madness

1:06 pm in Uncategorized by patrick devlin

cross posted at mLaw

LEGAL Colorado Marijuana Grow

LEGAL Colorado Marijuana Grow

A frightening circumstance driven by the failure of timid and narcissistic former cannabis imbibing politicians to take action to set federal standards for the legal use of cannabis medicine has led to the indictment of a Minnesota parent who sought relief for her brain injured son using cannibidiol oils to relieve his chronic pain.

Angela Brown was charged with two gross misdemeanor violations (child endangerment and causing a child to need protection) when she was reported to police for administering cannabis oils to her ailing son, Trey, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2011. Each of the child endangerment-related counts Brown faces carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine. The charges came in spite of the fact that in May this year Minnesota’s governor, Mark Dayton, signed a law allowing patients to use cannabis as medicine upon a doctor’s recommendation. The law goes into effect next summer and Minnesota patients should be able to purchase cannabis medicines by 2016.

The Browns traveled to Colorado, where cannabis is legal for both recreational purposes and medical purposes, earlier this year in a desperate effort to find a medicine for their son that would help to combat what his mother describes as “extreme body pain.” Brown told Minnesota City Pages that Trey’s “headaches were so bad he couldn’t function.” Brown detailed how she had to hold her son down to prevent him from harming himself due to the intense pain he was experiencing because “he was suicidal.”

The journey to Colorado revealed to the family the dramatic pain relieving effect of cannibidiol oil, an extraction of the cannabis plant that does not contain psychoactive components. Brown said that the cannabis medicine would calm Trey’s muscle spasms and the young patient said he could feel the cranial pressure releasing when the medicine would take effect.

Trey’s symptoms reduced visibly to the point where Trey’s teachers noticed that he was feeling better. Ms. Brown told Trey’s teachers that the dramatic change was due to prescription cannabis oil from Colorado and within a week local police showed up at the family’s home asking that Ms. Brown “hand over” the medicine. Next, Minnesota Family Services confronted Trey while he was at school and asked him, according to his mother, “how much I was making him smoke and how high I was making him get.” Finally, Ms. Brown received papers through the mail advising her that she had been charged with two counts of committing a gross misdemeanor.

A spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington D.C. based cannabis legalization lobby group, Bob Capecci told Local Minneapolis TV station KARE 11 that, while prosecutors have discretion in which cases they choose to investigate, he was “stunned” when he heard about prosecutors pursuing the Brown family. “I can’t think of an instance,” Capecci said, “where an individual has been brought up on charges like this simply because the effective date hasn’t come around yet for the law that has already been passed.”

Complicating the matter, in March of this year Governor Dayton, reportedly advised parents of sick children, who he met with privately to discuss the pending medical cannabis law in Minnesota, that they should “buy pot off the street” to treat their children who can only be helped by cannabis medicines. The governor’s office has denied that Dayton made the statement.

Sadly, this instance of unnecessary harm being inflicted on the sick and the innocent is only one example of how the our federal politicians’ inaction on cannabis legalization is not some kind of undergraduate level poly-sci experiment in “the states being laboratories of democracy” as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have waxed in self-serving interviews conducted by fake journalist, but rather conscious and determined political positioning.

Witness the tragic and growing phenomenon in America of citizens who become medical cannabis refugees, the Brown family says that they intend to move to Colorado after Ms. Brown’s court case is resolved. Also, the bizzaro attempts by tough-guy local police and prosecutors at enforcing their interpretation of “justice” as they hammer unrelentingly at low-level cannabis users and medical cannabis users. It seems almost as if these prohibitionist law enforcers are determined to bag as many ‘final scores’ as they can, sending as many kids to jail and confiscating as much property and cash as they can before the inevitable federal legalization of cannabis.

The self-exculpating dodge of using the words “laboratories of democracy” to justify no action at the federal level is a common ploy for cowardly and amoral political animals. We have seen this over the course of 50 years where a woman’s right to choose has been under a prolonged and concerted attack by anti-democratic zealots, which has led to the embarrassing and dangerous situation where abortion, a fully legal medical procedure in the US, is unavailable to patients in 98 percent of America’s counties. Inaction on the federal decriminalization and rescheduling of cannabis dressed up as “allowing the states to be laboratories of democracy” is as bigoted, small minded, rooted in brute political calculation and, in a word, immoral as the abusive power wielding that anti-abortionist politicians have practiced over a half a century.

Every self-interested politician who mouths the weasel-words “laboratories of democracy” knows that cannabis medicine saves lives and relieves pain, that allowing cannabis to remain criminal will permanently label over 600,000 Americans every year as arrestees and that the vast majority of these citizens will be young African Americans and Latino Americans.
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Coppers Ride the Cannabis Arrest Tide, Allow Criminals to Slide

7:12 am in Uncategorized by patrick devlin

The drug war became a perpetual motion machine

Statistics compiled by the US Department of Justice reveal that arrests of Americans for simple cannabis possession have increased by over 300 percent nationwide since 1991. Washington Post writer Christopher Ingraham analyzed data provided by the DOJ to find that since 1991 cannabis arrests have tripled even though arrests for all crimes, including violent crimes, have reduced over that same period. Ingraham noted that the figures reported by the DOJ with respect to cannabis possession arrests “are likely even higher,” as some states do not report arrest data to the agency.

Ingraham found that 42 percent of all drug arrests in 2012 were arrests for simple possession of cannabis (as opposed to arrests for possession of cannabis with the intent to distribute the substance) and that cannabis possession arrests constituted 5.4 percent of all criminal arrests in 2012. The 2012 statistics as reported by the DOJ exemplify a trend over the course of 23 years reflecting a knowing and considered mindset of local and state police enforcers: cannabis arrests are easy, safe and, in light of failures to combat real crime and violent crime, serve to portray that police forces are doing their jobs promoting public safety. Ingraham also noted that his review of DOJ statistics revealed that, in 2012, 53 percent of all reported violent crimes in the US went unsolved, the perpetrators of these crimes remaining at large.

The government’s figures report that over that same 23 year period between approximately 600,000 and 700,000 Americans were arrested each year for simple cannabis possession. As we know from a raft of academic studies, and even from comments made by President Obama, the overwhelming proportion of cannabis possession arrestees during the past two decades have been African Americans and Latino Americans. While Ingraham notes that not all of the individuals who were subject to cannabis possession arrest ended up in prison, all of the arrestees were faced with the burdens of the costs of defending themselves and the on-going personal costs of living with an arrest record that impacts the arrestee’s employment opportunities, housing choices, ability to apply for student aid and a myriad of life-long road blocks to becoming full participants in our society and economy.

Ingraham’s review of the DOJ data also revealed the widely divergent law enforcement attitudes toward arresting simple cannabis possessors that are reflected in a state-by-state comparison of cannabis arrest rates. Cannabis users in Louisiana and Nebraska are 40 times more at risk for arrest than cannabis possessors in Massachusetts. And, the arrest disparities are even evident between so-called blue states. Ingraham reports that one of every eight arrests in New York is for cannabis possession, while in the bordering state of Massachusetts, cannabis possession arrests number only 1 out of every 1000.

The statistics that our own government provides detail how our citizens have been harmed by a conspiracy between law enforcers who see the value in spending time and resources busting minorities for non-violent victimless crimes and politicians who see the value in promoting the divisive and counterproductive drug war — both seeking to score points with their constituents by looking drug-war tough. But, are the costs to society worth the self-interested grandstanding? The data that Ingraham reviewed shows that the drug war has failed to end cannabis use but has become a perpetual motion machine, serving to promote law enforcement and political careers at the cost of harming the lives of hundreds of thousands of citizens every year for decades and thwarting research into the medical possibilities of cannabis.

Alas, in policy considerations there is never a magic bullet…but wait, reclassify, decriminalize, both of which can be done easily. All that is required is a bit of agreement and concerted effort by our law enforcement officials and politicians…but waitRead the rest of this entry →

BDS: Beautiful, Delicious Summer

3:12 pm in Uncategorized by patrick devlin

cross posted at the demise

A picnic spread on a blanket outdoors

Some politics for your next picnic.

Been thinking of having a summertime picnic – and as it always is with a picnic, trying to determine what yummy summertime portable food to bring, what other equipment to pack — and most importantly: the setting.

I’ve picnicked on the banks of Amphitheater Lake on the top of Wyoming’s Grand Teton, on the iron-stone shores of Lake Superior, in the springtime groves of the Hudson River Valley’s fragrant blooming apple orchards, on the banks of the Flathead River in the Great Bear Wilderness, watching the sun sink below Midwestern farm fields and the Mississippi River, on the beach at Mora in Olympic National Park, on the sandy shores of the Atlantic as it lapped up on Puerto Rico, on the knobby green mountains of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Parkway, at sacred Native American sites in Arizona (within both State and National parks), in the rolly green hills of Wisconsin’s driftless region, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the Cocteau friendly town of Menton France, on the shore of the wild North Atlantic coast at the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim Ireland, in the High Atlas Mountains of central Morocco, surrounded by a magnificent and usable piece of modern art by Frank Gehry in Chicago’s Millennium Park and even amongst the hundred year old trees that dot the Boston Common…so many beautiful spots to picnic in this world.

Breathtaking, delightful settings.

I read a story in the UK’s Guardian newspaper that described some Israelis who have been picnicking themselves over the past week – having a nice summertime meal, sharing wine and sharing community in this sweet and sweltery season, on the hills that overlook Gaza. I’m sure the view is remarkable – heard about those picnickers taking pictures and just basically enjoying themselves … even whooping it up together as they celebrate a meal al fresco in the summer evenings.

Bombing … destruction … senseless

If you are thinking about picnicking and are considering how to fill that picnic basket, here are some things you may want to remember to forget.

Food products:

  • Sabra Hummus: After capturing 60 percent of the American hummus market, Sabra also is attempting to capture the hearts of Israel by “adopting” an Israel Defense Forces unit. The company’s chairwoman says that IDF soldiers are “not army, Israeli soldiers are our kids.”
  • Tribe Hummus :The second largest hummus seller in America, one of whose owners has a long and cooperative relationship with the Jewish National Fund, which is the Israeli organization that buys up Palestinian land (from “absent owners”) and only leases the land to Israeli settlers. The JNF also has a nasty habit of using Caterpillar bulldozers to flatten Bedouin villages…repeatedly.
  • Jaffa Citrus: Grown in the Jordan Valley, 94 percent of which has been land-grabbed by Israel. Extracting wealth from stolen lands is against international law. Knowing this, Jaffa’s products may well leave a sour taste in your mouth.
  • Golan Heights Wine: Named after land stolen from Syria more than 40 years ago, this biz claims in its advertising that it grows its grapes in Israel’s world-class vineyards. More accurate; “grown on land Israel has occupied in contravention of international law for generations.”
  • Soda Stream products: Soda Stream manufactures its products on illegally occupied Palestinian land. Choose instead the similar product made by Cuisine Art called ‘Sparkling Beverage Maker’, and your soda glasses won’t get bloodstains on them.
  • Ahava Cosmetic Products: Ahava operates on land stolen from Palestine and, in a bizzaro fashion, is owned in part by settlement villages the establishment of which is a violation of international law. Another part owner manufactures motion detection systems used by Israel on it’s apartheid wall. Additionally, Ahava excavates the raw materials to make their products from illegally occupied lands. That’s an international law violation three-fer.
  • Medjool Dates: Medjool farms land stolen from Palestine using Palestinian child labor, while often labeling that their products come instead from Israel. Operating on stolen land, using child labor and misrepresenting the origin of the product? That’s a real blind date.

Picnic Togs:

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Nothing to see here – move along…

5:33 pm in Uncategorized by patrick devlin

cross posted at mLaw

SWAT team

SWAT

When a gang of armed men smashed through the doorway of the 600 square foot home of 29 year old Jason Westcott’s partner, 22 year old Israel Reyes, Westcott acting upon directives he received from the Tampa Bay police, grabbed his weapon and was killed in a rain of semi-automatic gunfire.

Westcott had called the Tampa police earlier this year after being threatened by another citizen. As a result of Westcott’s complaint to the police; the person who had threatened Westcott was confronted by the police, but no arrests were made, and the police advised Westcott to avail himself of one of modern America’s most protected rights, not the right to privacy, not the right to a fair trial, not the right to not have the modern version of Caucasian American Christianity (that Christ himself would find objectionable) shoved into your face – but rather the ‘god given’ right to blow the crap out of anyone you feel threatened by with your concealed and carried and beloved human killing machine. The exact quote from the police to the frightened Westcott when he reported the threat was, “If anyone breaks into this house, grab your gun and shoot to kill.”

Westcott was an armed drug dealer and was treated as such by the Tampa Police. The Tampa police sent a SWAT team to bring down the drug king pin of Seminole Heights – using whatever force they deemed to be required. Westcott’s evil drug dealing existence was terminated by Tampa’s finest (whose only goal in their action was to protect the community – especially the children, from the evils of cannabis). The police recovered two dollars worth of the dangerous narcotic.

Reyes has not denied in media interviews he has given since Westcott’s killing that he and his partner occasionally sold small amounts of cannabis to friends – but he maintains that this was not their sole source of income and, as Reyes framed it, “There weren’t people coming in and out of the house every day. It wasn’t paying the bills. We were still broke.”

The police dispute that characterization, as they described the SWAT team raid to the media after the shooting.

They first said that the decision to raid the home was prompted due to complaints from neighbors. When reporters were unable to find such complaining neighbors, the Tampa police admitted that the raid was spurred by an investigation where an undercover Tampa police officer made cannabis purchases at the home. A freedom of information request was filed with the department regarding the incident, and the actual truth of the matter is that the inspiration to SWAT raid the Seminole Heights home came instead from an “confidential informant”, and in police work this could include a criminal who is trying to broker a deal after being arrested to get a lesser charge or not be prosecuted.

Tampa police spokesperson Laura McElroy told Tampa, when confronted with the cover-up the department orchestrated after the shooting that, “Each time the informant was at this house, he saw pre-packaged marijuana.” McElroy also claimed that the “confidential informer” had claimed to have seen a weapon in the home.

The chief of police in Tampa, Jane Kastor, took to the airwaves herself after the community questioned the actions of the department when it became clear that a young Tampa citizen was mowed down by officers over two dollars worth of cannabis, where she spoke a ritualistic incantation as if memorized that all TV news watchers in all American cities have heard and themselves been mesmerized by: Read the rest of this entry →

Black Law Enforcers Take a NOBLE Stand Against the War on Cannabis

5:54 pm in Uncategorized by patrick devlin

cross posted at mLaw

Police Chief John Dixon III

The Grand Rapids Press and MLive Media reported Tuesday on the annual meeting of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) where conferees leveled a unified and scathing critique of the national ‘war on cannabis’ that is driven by self-serving local police, federal and state level prohibitionist politicians, private prison owners and purveyors of bigoted pseudo medical justifications, which has, according to attendees at this year’s NOBLE conference, “ruined the lives” of countless African American youths, stood as a force against medical treatment of addiction, intensified racial inequality and served to burn bridges of understanding and cooperation between law enforcers and the communities in which they serve.

Chief John Dixon III, police chief of Petersburg, VA, speaking at a session at the NOBLE conference titled, “Decriminalizing the Black Community”, characterized the continued federal prohibition of cannabis bluntly for conferees, stating, “It’s insanity. We know,” adding that after 40 years of prohibition’s failures, “The results haven’t changed.”

Dixon said that while police often view marijuana arrests as victories that ostensibly assist the user come to grips with their use of the illegal substance, the stark fact is that, “locking people up for a dime bag, for a joint,” and putting them into the criminal justice system “pretty much ruins the rest of their lives.” “We, as law enforcement professionals, we need to really take a look at how we can decriminalize marijuana, especially user amounts,” Dixon told the gathering, “Sometimes, we’ve got to say the things that most of law enforcement isn’t going to say.”

Dixon remarked on the devastating effects that criminalized cannabis has had on communities of African Americans across the US and noted that his real-life experiences had led him to conclude that drug addiction is best spoken to as a community health matter rather than as a law enforcement program.

The director of the organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Major Neil Franklin, a 34 year veteran of the Maryland State Police and the Baltimore Police Department, reminded the assembled law enforcement officials of the disturbing statistics associated with America’s failed drug war, stating that between 1990 and 2005 the size of the prison population incarcerated for drug offenses grew from 415,000 Americans to over 1.9 million convicts.

Franklin also expressed his concerns that the war on cannabis is driven by private prison owners who are seeking to have their jails filled with non-violent young minority men caught up in the drug war, and supported by law enforcement agencies which have come to rely upon drug forfeiture laws to extract cash and property from arrested drug users to support their departments in a time of reduced funding of public services across the country as politicians refuse to tax the wealthy and businesses to pay their fair share in supporting America’s communities. Franklin concluded, “Marijuana is one of the biggest money makers for law enforcement agencies today.”

Franklin asked his audience pointedly, “Who do you want to (control the flow of drugs) in your neighborhood? The cartels? The 20,000 gangs we have around the country? Or do we take control of it, regulate it?” Franklin echoed the comments of Chief Dixon when he challenged the audience of law enforcers, “There’s no more powerful voice than the people in the trenches.”

The 38th annual NOBLE conference, which was open to the public and presented sessions on all aspects of law enforcement and a job fair, took place in Grand Rapids Michigan between July 13 and 17.

-this is part three of the mLaw series, “Time to Reschedule, President Laughy-boy

Note: this news-opinion piece relies heavily upon the reporting of John Agar of the Grand Rapids Press and MLive and mLaw expresses its sincere appreciation for bringing this important event to our attention.

Supreme Court Unanimously Stands with the Fourth Amendment on Citizens’ Cell Phones

11:49 am in Uncategorized by patrick devlin

More on Firedoglake: “Get A Warrant” Before Searching Cell Phones from Kevin Gosztola

cross posted at the demise

A hand holding a cell phone

Want to search it? Get a warrant! –SCOTUS

In a truly landmark ruling that challenges the assumptions of law enforcement officials and prosecutors across America regarding the ephemeral notion of personal privacy. While privacy has been under an aggressive attack by both local law enforcers and national security state enlargers who have suggested that Americans should have absolutely no expectation of the right of personal privacy, the US Supreme Court agreed in a unanimous decision that police are required to obtain a court order before searching the contents of a citizen’s cell phone or smart phone.

The ruling resolved two cases where suspects were convicted after police accessed information; including photos, contact information, text messages and the call histories of the arrestees without seeking a warrant to perform the searches.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the opinion for the court, stated, “We cannot deny that our decision today will have an impact on the ability of law enforcement to combat crime,” because, Roberts reminded, “Privacy comes with a cost.”

The court ruled that arresting officers can examine an arrestee’s cell phone “to ensure that it will not be used as a weapon,” but they cannot examine the contents of arrestee’s cell phones without first convincing a judge that further examination is warranted. The justices said that once officers secure the cell phones of arrestees, the “data on the phone can endanger no one.”

Roberts suggested in his opinion that the court was obliged to establish a bright-line ruling on the matter of warrantless searches of Americans’ cell phones and smart phones due to the proliferation of the devices and the technological advances that have resulted in such phones being the single largest repository of personal information that citizens own.

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Vodaphone Drops a Dime On Massive Warrantless Spying Operation

1:29 pm in Uncategorized by patrick devlin

cross posted at the demise

Vodafone Logo

A surveillance disclosure report by Vodafone suggests how far the NSA will go to invade our privacy.

The British telecom company Vodaphone, the world’s second largest telecommunications company, which owns and operates networks in 21 countries and partners with telecommunications companies in over 40 additional countries, has released its first and the world’s first self-described “Law Enforcement Disclosure Report” that confirms allegations that have been made by many who are concerned about the warrantless spying carried out by the US government on its own citizens and the citizens of nations around the world; that the US government has been and is currently engaging in massive worldwide surveillance and data collection of the complete content of phone calls that pass through the networks of not only Vodaphone but all telecommunications networks via direct access using “pipes” or wires connected directly to the companies communications equipment.

Vodaphone’s revelations, first reported by the Guardian but set forth in Vodaphone’s separately released disclosure report, represent the first confirmation from a major telecommunications company itself that the US security directorate and the countries who cooperate with the NSA have physically tapped into the world’s telecom substructure, confirming allegations that have been made by telecommunications technicians and privacy rights advocates since early last decade.

The significant aspect of Vodaphone’s revelations is it’s recognition that, using direct wiretapping technology as the company reports, US government spy agencies are able to listen to and record the entire content of the telecommunications of the world’s citizens with absolutely no requirement to seek a warrant from any judge, including the secret judges in America’s secret courts that were established in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

In the public statements made by many apparatchiks of the Obama administration and by the president himself, Americans concerned by the implication of the revelations made by former National Security Administration employee Edward Snowden (that their constitutionally protected rights against unwarranted surveillance have been abrogated and nullified under the national security lockdown that followed the initiation of America’s “War on Terror”) have been continually reassured that “When it comes to telephone calls: nobody is listening to your phone calls,” and further “This program, by the way, is fully overseen not just by Congress but by the FISA courts,” (Barack Obama, July 2014).

What was revealed by Vodaphone today is that such statements are misrepresentational and intentionally obfuscatory. Moreover, these statements display in a stark fashion the level of cynicism and patronization with which our elected representatives and their appointees in the national security establishment treat American citizens and their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Vodaphone described in their disclosure report a neo-fascistic scheme constructed by US spy agencies with absolutely no congressional oversight or judicial order where phone company employees and contractors, “are bound by law to absolute security. They are not permitted to discuss any aspect of a demand received with their line management or any other colleagues, nor can they reveal that a demand has been received at all, as doing so could potentially compromise an active criminal investigation or undermine measures to protect national security. Additionally, in some countries, they cannot even reveal the specific law enforcement assistance technical capabilities have been established within their companies.” Vodaphone goes on to describe that these company employees work in secret rooms that can only be accessed with national security clearances and where company employees receive their orders from and report only to government security agents – phone company supervisors and executives are barred from even entering the secured spy-rooms.

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Arizona Supreme Court Takes a Smart Approach to Stoned Driving

10:23 am in Uncategorized by patrick devlin

cross posted at mLaw

The Arizona Supreme Court has overturned an appeals court ruling that allowed police to arrest drivers who are legal medical cannabis users who are in no way impaired.

A trooper writing a ticket at a traffic stop.

The Arizona Supreme Court rules for sanity in the state’s drugged driving law.

The state’s lower court had agreed with state prosecutors who argued that Arizona’s zero-tolerance style law regarding driving with detectable remnants of cannabis use, some of which remain inactive in the blood stream for as long as 30 days after using the medicine, allowed police officers to arrest medical cannabis users who were not under the influence of the substance.

The court ruling establishes that, in Arizona, for a driver to be arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of cannabis, the driver has to actually be under the influence of cannabis. Only after finding active cannabis metabolites in the blood of a driver can the police make a DUI arrest for cannabis.

The court’s decision arose from an incident where a driver was stopped by Arizona police for speeding. When the driver advised the officer that he had used cannabis the previous evening, the driver was blood tested and arrested.

The decision rendered by the court stated plainly that the officer’s interpretation of the law “leads to absurd results. Most notably, this interpretation would create criminal liability regardless of how long the metabolite remains in the driver’s system or whether it has any impairing effect.”

Hold-out Justice Ann A, Scott-Timmer, who remained unconvinced by the other justices’ clear-cut understanding of the matters involved in the case, wrote as the sole dissenter that, in her mind, arresting drivers whose blood stream contains inactive cannabis metabolites that in no way effect or impair drivers for DUI serves to “enhance detection and prosecution of drugged driving.”

The practice of arresting patients who are not under the influence of cannabis, a knowing misinterpretation of the intent of Arizona’s traffic safety laws, was viewed to be a form of harassment by police (some of whom do not personally agree with medical cannabis) due to the fact that simple common sense should indicate to an honest person that it is physically impossible for a cannabis user to be under the influence of a drug that they consumed weeks or even months earlier.

The questionable and aggressive interpretation of the state’s zero-tolerance rules was enshrined as standard operating police procedure when Arizona state prosecutors warned all medical cannabis users to simply stay off Arizona’s roads or risk being arrested for driving under the influence. Medical Cannabis advocates and patients, outraged over the suggestion that cannabis using patients could never drive again because they are administering legal medications, correctly analyzed that the prosecutors’ threat criminalized their usage of the legal medicine.

Across the US, 26 states have passed legislation allowing for cannabis to be used by patients as medicine. As it stands today the laws regarding how cannabis in the blood stream of drivers is measured to identify impaired drivers are inconsistent and contradict each other. Eight of these states have rules similar to Arizona, where the laws do not distinguish between active and inactive cannibidiol metabolites creating Catch 22 situations for patients; choose to use medicine and risk being arrested on criminal charges, or do without needed medications.

In 2013 the Supreme Court of Michigan held that medical cannabis patients have to be shown by police to actually be impaired by cannabis usage before being criminally charged with driving under the influence.

The attorney for the arrested Arizona medical cannabis patient, Michael Alarid III, told the Associated Press that the court’s the ruling on the matter and the clarity that the decision provides can “have far reaching impacts on medical marijuana patients” in that it “corrects an error in the interpretation of the law.”

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64.5 percent of Dane County, Wisconsin Residents Want to Spark a Prairie Fire

11:53 am in Uncategorized by patrick devlin

cross posted at mLaw

Portrait of Scott Walker

Even many voters in Scott Walker’s conservative strongholds support cannabis legalization.

An overwhelming majority of residents in Dane County, WI (home of Madison, the state’s capitol and the University of Wisconsin) voted to express their desire for the state’s politicians to legalize cannabis in the state on Tuesday.

Though the referendum is not binding and, unlike the measures passed by voters in Washington and Colorado, does not have the force of law, the measure does reflect the broad-based and active support of the voters in Dane County for legalizing cannabis for recreational use by adults who are, by the measure, demanding that state, county and local politicians do their putative jobs; “represent” and “legislate.”

The voting in the referendum revealed some surprises. In some Dane County towns that overwhelmingly voted to retain republican governor Scott Walker, voters voiced their strong support for legalizing cannabis – indicating that even in areas that are republican strongholds and where conservatives live, support for the notion of ending prohibition, re-evaluating efficacy of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ and consideration of the benefits of the taxation of legalized cannabis are commonly held opinions of both conservative and liberal Wisconsin voters.

And, while some republican strongholds did not vote their support for the referendum signifying somewhat of a partisan divide on the the issue, the significant support for the referendum in traditional democratic locales in Dane County should embolden timorous democratic politicians to step from the shadows and join the majority of Americans who now are calling for the end of cannabis prohibition and acknowledging their awareness that cannabis is an important medical substance.

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Gaming the System: Guns & Ganja in Georgia

3:16 pm in Uncategorized by patrick devlin

The state legislature in Georgia has adjourned failing to pass a well-supported law allowing young sick Georgians to seek relief with cannabis medicines as US citizens in 20 other states are allowed to do.

The Georgia State Capitol dome

Georgia legislators chooses guns over sick kids.

A bill legalizing heavily restricted sales of cannabis to child patients who suffer from seizure disorders in Georgia landed on the trash pile after elected officials failed to move on the legislation.

The senate version of the medical cannabis bill was encumbered with an amendment that ensured that the measure would fail in the republican dominated senate. The amendment, which upon analysis by any compassionate American should have increased support for the measure, would have mandated insurance company coverage for the treatment of autism.

A supporter of the concept that the medical condition of autism should in fact be recognized and covered by health insurance companies who sponsored the amendment in the state’s house, Republican Representative Allen Peake, correctly predicted that the insertion of the amendment in the senate bill would lead to its demise in the state’s senate due to the fact that small businesses would fight the autism amendment perceiving that providing coverage for children afflicted with the tragic aliment would increase business costs.

While the state failed to address the needs of sick and young patients, Georgia’s politicians did extend the rights of gun toting second amendment misinterpreters allowing them to carry loaded weaponry into establishments of spirit worship and of the worship of spirits. The legislature passed a bill that allows conceal and carriers to bring their weapons into bars and taverns and churches and chapels.

The new Georgia law allowing partyers and pray-ers to be armed and dangerous does allow individual bar owners to determine if they want liquored up sharp-shooters in their drinking establishments and allows church congregations to decide if they are comfortable with having prayerful potshots in their houses of worship.

The OK-to-carry-loaded-weapons-anywhere law also allows the Georgia’s “hunters” to use silencers on their high-powered rifles.

Republican State Representative Rick Jasperse, the lead sponsor of the gun-toter measure in the state’s house, celebrated the measure’s success stating, “For the past two years we’ve worked hard to improve the Second Amendment rights of Georgians. It has been a long and winding road.” Republican State Senator Fran Millar lamented, “We did nothing for kids, but we passed a gun bill.”

Sarah Caruso, the mother of a 5-year-old girl with epilepsy and cerebral palsy said that “silly political games” had caused the failure of the measure supporting the provision of medical cannabis to sick children. “We were only asking not to be prosecuted for getting our child the medicine that she needs,” the mother told reporters, her cheeks stained with tears. “There will be kids who will die during this year,” due to the inaction of the gun-loving legislature, Caruso promised, and, “I will be back with their pictures.”

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