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MPs on October 12 will consider a proposal to make the “production, sale and use of cannabis legal,” reports Jon Stone at The Independent.
The debate is being held in response to an official petition on the Parliament website which has received more than 213,000 signatures as of Wednesday.
The debate, which will take place in Westminster Hall, will be led by Labour MP Paul Flynn, a member of the Parliament petition committee. Flynn previously called for the legalization of marijuana for medical use, introducing a bill to do so in 1999 and supporting another along with Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake in 2008.
Fifteen years after Nevada voters approved the legalization of medical marijuana, the first dispensary opened its doors August 24 in Clark County. The southwest Las Vegas shop is allowed, under state law, to serve tourists who are registered medical marijuana patients in their home states, as well as Nevada residents.
“We’ve been so busy, there are lines around the corner at some times of the day,” said Darlene Purdy, managing director at Euphoria Wellness, reports Sarah Feldberg at Travel Weekly. Purdy said the dispensary has seen more than 100 patients a day.
“Patients are so happy,” she said. “Some people have been waiting 15 years for this.”
As long as out-of-state visitors are registered medical marijuana patients at home, with a valid authorization and government-issued ID, they are welcome to buy medical marijuana during their Vegas vacation.
The plight of marijuana lifers has received new attention since the release last week of Jeff Mizanskey, who had been one of them, reports Tony Dokoupil at MSNBC.
“Man, I feel great,” Mizanskey, now a great-grandfather after serving more than 20 years in prison, said as he looked at his first weekend as a free man in two decades. His sentence was commuted in May from life without parole to simple life, and last week he walked out of a maximum security prison in Missouri.
Mizanskey was sentenced in 1996 for trying to distribute six pounds of Mexican weed. There was no violence involved, but he had two previous convictions for the possession and sale of marijuana totaling 10 ounces.
More and more Americans have come to realize that the War On Drugs is a colossal failure — but presidential contender Hillary Clinton doesn’t seem to be one of those. Hillary seems unlikely to end that futile war and the mass incarceration which results from it, due to her ties to the prison lobby.
The pattern of mass incarceration triggered by the Drug War has resulted in the arrests of millions of otherwise law-abiding Americans, and has unfairly targeted the economically disadvantaged and people of color, reports Romain Bonilla at Marijuana Politics.
Clinton has stayed mostly silent on the failures of current drug policies during her presidential campaign. She has historically been opposed to marijuana decrim, and despite voters confronting her on multiple occasions, has failed to clarify her current stance on cannabis policy.
The the 1990s, Hillary favored harshly punitive sentences to deter people from violating drug laws, including “Three Strikes” measures which proved both disastrous and unconstitutional.
New federal Drug Enforcement Administration head Chuck Rosenberg in a TV interview last week called marijuana “dangerous” and added, “If we come up with a medical use for it, that would be wonderful. But we haven’t.”
The woefully misinformed DEA administrator also said that federal drug agents in the field won’t be discouraged from working on big marijuana cases, despite directives from the Obama Administration to not waste resources pursuing state-compliant providers, reports James Rosen at Fox News.
“I’ve been very clear to my agents in charge,” Rosenberg said. “If you have a big marijuana case, if that in your jurisdiction is one of your biggest problems, then bring it.” That, of course, leaves the door open for pot-hating federal prosecutors to continue their war on marijuana, same as it ever was.
Fox News asked Rosenberg about the continued inclusion of cannabis in Schedule I, the federal government’s harshest and most dangerous category of narcotics. “Marijuana is dangerous,” Rosenberg replied.
The issue — whether veterans should be denied prescription medications because they use marijuana for physical or emotional pain, even in states which allow marijuana use — arose when a Vietnam veteran was denied his pain pills because he tested positive for pot, reports Tyler Carter at KSNT.
“I went in to get a refill on my pain medication and they refused to let me have it, because I have marijuana in my blood,” said disabled Vietnam veteran Gary Dixon, 65. While in Vietnam, Dixon was exposed to Agent Orange.
“I hurt, and I hurt from something I got fighting for my country,” Dixon said.
With 23 states and the District of Columbia having legalized medical marijuana, and four states plus D.C. legalizing the herb for recreational purposes, it’s starting to have a real impact on such choices, reports Chris Taylor at Reuters.
Since retirees don’t have to check off a box on a form saying why they chose a particular location for their sunset years, figuring our how many people are retiring to legal states is challenging. But “there is anecdotal evidence that people with health conditions which medical marijuana could help treat, are relocating to states with legalized marijuana,” according to Michael Stoll, professor of public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, who studies retiree migration trends.
Stoll cites data from United Van Lines, which show the top U.S. moving destination last year was Oregon, where marijuana had been expected to be legalized for years and finally passed a ballot initiative last November.
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Cannabis POW of the Month
By Cheri Sicard (Cannabis Cheri)
Antonio Bascaro, who has served more than 35 years behind bars for a nonviolent marijuana conspiracy offense, holds the dubious honor of being the nation’s — and perhaps the world’s — longest serving marijuana prisoner. A former Cuban naval pilot who participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion, Bascaro fled Castro’s Cuba shortly thereafter.
Now 83 years old, Antonio’s de-facto life sentence is almost over and he will be eligible for release in in the summer of 2019. However, his daughter Aicha, who lost her father to prison when she 12 years old, fears that may be too late.
The octogenarian grandfather is in poor health and suffers from severe back problems, glaucoma, and other ailments. Back surgery left him confined to a wheelchair for a period of time, but with the help of a walker and a lot of determination he is slowly starting to get back on his feet.
Antonio’s “crime” involved no violence and no drugs aside from marijuana, and his part in it was that of a minor player. Antonio Bascaro had no prior convictions. That’s right, a first time offender can be sentenced to life or de-facto life, for a nonviolent marijuana offense, not in Castro’s Cuba, but right here in the so-called land of the free.
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