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On Saturday, May 3, nearly 300 cities worldwide, including Portland, will participate in the 15th annual Global Cannabis March. Portland participants will gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square to march at high noon through downtown Portland, accompanied by a police escort.
Oregon NORML, KBOO Community Radio and the publishers of Hemp News, Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) are sponsors of this event.
The keynote speaker for the event will be Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer, (District 3). He will be speaking immediately following the march,
Republicans on a House Appropriations subcommittee on Tuesday assailed the Obama Administration’s tolerance of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington, but Treasury Secretary Jack Lew defended the decision to let banks provide services to legal cannabis businesses.
Secretary Lew said the Department of the Treasury’s financial crimes division issued the guidance to banks in February to lend more clarity to the emerging licensed, legal marijuana trade in Colorado and Washington state, reports David Lawder at Reuters.
But Rep. Harold Rogers, the Kentucky Republican who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, assailed Lew, claiming the move was a “rubber stamp” for marijuana dealing, which is still illegal in most of the United States.
Nearly 200 members of Congress, including 22 Republicans, on Wednesday voted in favor of an amendment intended to allow physicians within the Veterans Affairs system to recommend medical marijuana to veterans in states that allow it. The bipartisan-sponsored amendment failed 195-222.
H.R. 4486, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, would have prohibited the VA from spending federal funds implementing a directive that prevents doctors from recommending medical marijuana to veterans suffering from debilitating conditions, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A Veterans Health Administration directive issued in 2011 forbids VA medical providers from signing forms that would allow veterans to obtain marijuana in accordance with state medical marijuana programs.
A groundbreaking report released on Wednesday by the National Research Council, the principal operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences, documents the unprecedented and costly price of U.S. incarceration rates.
With less than five percent of the world’s population but nearly 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, the United States continues to rank first among nations in both prison and jail population and per capita rates. As the report points out, this unprecedented rate of incarceration is a relatively new phenomenon in U.S. history. America’s prison population exploded largely as a result of the failed Drug War policies of the last 40 years.
The report, commissioned by the National Institute of Justice and the MacArthur Foundation, documents how the Drug War has contributed to the skyrocketing U.S prison population and the staggering costs associated with mass incarceration. The report points out that U.S. incarceration rates are 5-10 times higher than rates in Western Europe and other major democracies.
The Vermont Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that will expand access to medical marijuana for qualified patients. It will now be sent to Gov. Peter Shumlin, who has expressed support for the measure.
S. 247, sponsored by Sen. Jeanette White (D-Windham), will eliminate the cap on the number of patients who are allowed to access medical marijuana dispensaries. Currently, only 1,000 total patients in the state are able to access dispensaries.
The measure will also increase possession limits for dispensaries, allow them to deliver medical marijuana to patients, and permit naturopaths to certify patients for the program. The bill was amended by the House to initiate two studies: one to explore the possibility of adding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for the state’s medical marijuana program, and one to evaluate the potential impact of making marijuana legal for adults and regulating it similarly to alcohol.
The unworkable proposal, which of course is being backed by the law enforcement industry — they just love it! — would require a state agency, researchers, and doctors to violate federal laws in a manner never before seen in states with effective medical marijuana laws.
Specifically, it would be preempted by federal law because it would require the state Department of Health to contract with a marijuana manufacturer to obtain marijuana for clinical trials. The proposal would also require researchers and doctors to provide marijuana to patients.
You’d think it was a done deal, if you were satisfied with the skewed version of the “truth” presented you by “Radical” Russ Belville’s High Times story of April 28. It sounds pretty cut and dried, after all: “Washington Bans Collective Medical Marijuana Gardens,” reads the headline, and the news doesn’t get in better in the story.
But the sad fact is, High Times— once a trusted source of cannabis news — continues to busily chip away at what’s left of their credibility by allowing Belville to use the magazine’s website as a bully pulpit of repertorial ineptitude and flagrant dishonesty.
We’ll leave behind, after a moment, the palpable glee with which Belville — long a foe of the medical cannabis community in Washington state — reports the supposed “news.” But before we do, let’s just note that with it, Belville showed the same abysmal absence of class as when, a few months ago when it looked as if the Washington Legislature would take away from patients the right to grow their own medicine.
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It also shows how that money could be better used, rather than spending government time, money, and resources putting people behind bars for cannabis possession.
The next time a teacher is laid off, a library closes, or a bad road damages your car, think about how the money spent enforcing current cannabis laws could be used on those things instead.
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