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While Drug War prohibitionists often claim we need to “protect young people,” the 60 Minutes piece showed one of the ways the War On Drugs endangers young people, reports Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) in The Huffington Post.
The TV news show shows young people who were arrested for small amounts of cannabis or Ecstasy who were then threatened with years in prison unless they “turned” and worked as confidential informants, “CIs.” A number of these informants unfortunately end up in life-threatening situations, or are pressured into lying at the expense of innocent people to reduce their own punishments.
Up to 80 percent of all drug cases in the United States may be due to information from informants, according to research, and 60 Minutes estimated that 100,000 people are currently working as confidential informants.
The move — a policy has been widely discussed in the United States, but hasn’t yet been implemented — comes after years of legal limbo for Chilean medicinal cannabis patients who couldn’t legally acquire marijuana, even when prescribed by doctors to relieve pain or other conditions.
While cannabis has been decriminalized in Chile for some time, users, including even pain patients, have continued to face legal repercussions. As recently as last month, a mother was separated from her newborn child for smoking weed.
Bachelet’s executive action will probably help remove some red tape from the medical marijuana system; it could also coincide with a legislative push to legalize cannabis recreationally.
Rep. Kelly Cassidy on Thursday announced that she is introducing new legislation for 2016 that would replace criminal penalties with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana in Illinois.
HB 4357 would make possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana a civil violation punishable by a fine. Adults would no longer face time in jail, and the civil offense would be automatically expunged in order to prevent a permanent criminal record.
The proposal largely mirrors legislation previously introduced by Rep. Cassidy that was approved in the Senate (37-19) on May 21 and in the House (62-53) on April 23, as well the amendments proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner when he vetoed the bill and returned it to the legislature on August 14.
“This is a reasonable proposal that is long overdue,” Rep. Cassidy said. “It needs to happen, and I am hopeful that we can make it happen quickly since it’s already such familiar territory for legislators and the governor.”
The initiative would amend the state constitution to allow cannabis for medicinal purposes. The petition needs signatures “equal to eight percent of the total votes cast in the 2012 governor’s election from six of the state’s eight congressional districts, reports The Missouri Times.
This means roughly 200,000 valid signatures would be required to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. The signatures must be submitted to the secretary of state’s office by 5 p.m. on May 8, 2016.
If approved by voters, the medical marijuana law would allow cannabis for medicinal purposes and would create a system for licensing and regulating medical marijuana cultivators and dispensaries. It would also impose taxes on medicinal cannabis retail and wholesale sales, and would use those funds for research into potential medical applications.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said he has mixed feelings about allowing his officers to write tickets instead of arresting people who are caught with small amounts of marijuana. But he said the approach is “just so damn practical.”
Police officers and city council members discussed the move at Tuesday’s public safety committee meeting of the Dallas City Council, reports Melissa Repko at The Dallas Morning News. The “cite and release” pilot program would mean citations for marijuana possession, rather than arrests.
The public safety committee voted to refer the idea to the entire City Council without a recommendation.
A Texas state law passed in 2007 allows cops to issue citations instead of making arrests for some minor offenses, including possession of small amounts of cannabis. The approach is intended to save time and money by keeping minor offenders out of jail and allowing cops to remain on the streets; it doesn’t change the official penalty for the crime.
Jed Adams, canine handler and a seven-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, was arrested after an informant set up a meeting with Adams, according to the Plainfield Police Department.
Police said Adams showed up for the meeting and supplied the informant with illegal drugs.
Sheriff John Layton fired Adams’ ass, the department announced in a press release, although they didn’t put it exactly that way.
Each strain will have different levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), according to drug board president Milton Romani, reports Malena Castaldi at Reuters.
“There will be three options with indications about the effects of each that point beginners toward starting with the lowest level” of THC, Romani told Reuters on the sidelines of the marijuana forum Expocannabis 2015.
Romani wouldn’t identify the three cannabis varieties which will be available in pharmacies.
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