The Weight of Thought

Cops take your pot?

They’ve got to give it back if you’ve got a medical marijuana card – even one from another state.

Without comment the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to disturb state court rulings that said medical marijuana patients whose drugs are taken by police are entitled to get them back.

Monday’s order most immediately affects Valerie Okun, whose drugs were taken at a Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8 near Yuma in 2011. While she was never prosecuted – she has a valid medical marijuana card from California – sheriff’s deputies refused to return the drugs.

The order should finally put the issue to rest. Until now, Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot refused to hand over the marijuana despite contrary rulings from the Arizona Court of Appeals and Arizona Supreme Court.

A United Nations-based drug agency urged the United States government on Tuesday to challenge the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington, saying the state laws violate international drug treaties.

The International Narcotics Control Board made its appeal in an annual drug report. It called on Washington, D.C., to act to “ensure full compliance with the international drug control treaties on its entire territory.”

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said last week that he was in the last stages of reviewing the Colorado and Washington state laws. Holder said he was examining policy options and international implications of the issue. Marijuana is illegal under federal law.

Texas Democrats believe that marijuana should be decriminalized — so strongly, in fact, that decriminalization made it onto their party platform this year.

Texas Democrats affirmed their commitment to sound drug policy while simultaneously denouncing the erroneously titled “War on Drugs,” which has led to high incarceration rates but very little in the way of reducing drug use. “Since the war on drugs began, 85% of the arrests for marijuana have been for possession only,” the platform says:

Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Recent polls show over 50% of Americans believe marijuana should be decriminalized. While arrests for marijuana since 1965 have been over 20 million citizens, marijuana is more prevalent than ever before.

There is no evidence that marijuana is a “gateway” drug leading to the use of more lethal drugs. 75% of citizens arrested for marijuana are under 30. Minorities account for a majority of those arrested for marijuana. Criminal conviction permanently scars a young citizen for life.

Rebecca Brown says she tried every prescription drug she could find to control the frequent seizures her son suffered because of a severe form of epilepsy.

When nothing worked consistently, and the drugs and special diet caused kidney stones and pancreas problems as side effects, the Oakland County woman turned to medical marijuana.

Now, Cooper Brown, 14, is one of 44 Michigan residents younger than 18 with a medical marijuana card. His mom says his seizures have dropped off dramatically since he started using it early this year.

But the treatment is controversial. Marijuana — medical or otherwise — is illegal at the federal level and some doctors say it shouldn’t be used by adults, let alone children. A lack of clinical studies means there is uncertainty about its effects on developing brains and nervous systems.

Responding to the Obama Administration’s latest national drug control strategy, leading drug policy reform advocates assailed the president for “prioritizing low-level drug arrests” over other policies that even the White House has acknowledged to be more effective in boosting public health and safety.

In an introductory statement (PDF) issued Tuesday, President Barack Obama wrote that his strategy outlines “A Drug Policy for the 21st Century“ that emphasizes addiction treatments over incarceration and life-saving outreach over harsh law enforcement. The White House website even brags about the effectiveness of harm-reduction strategies over mass incarcerations, saying the approach is “grounded in decades of research and scientific study.”

“There is overwhelming evidence that drug prevention and treatment programs achieve meaningful results with significant long-term cost savings,” the Office on National Drug Control Policy claims. “In fact, recent research has shown that each dollar invested in an evidence-based prevention program can reduce costs related to substance use disorders by an average of $18.”

By implementing a drug control strategy that acknowledges the growing body of knowledge on how to mitigate the worst effects of substance abuse, “we will not only strengthen our economy but also sustain the national character and spirit that has made the United States a world leader,” Obama’s statement explains.

Six organizations looking to reform U.S. drug laws urged President Barack Obama to halt raids on medical marijuana providers following the raid on Oaksterdam University in California.

“Our coalition represents the views of tens of millions of Americans who believe the war on medical marijuana patients and providers you are fighting is misguided and counterproductive,” Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Marijuana Policy Project, National Cannabis Industry Association, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) wrote in a letter to the President.

Oaksterdamn University, which trained people to work in the booming medical marijuana industry, was raided by federal agents on Monday.

New York City has the dubious — and well-earned — reputation as the world’s marijuana arrest capital, with more than 50,000 people being arrested for pot possession there last year alone at an estimated cost of $75 million. It also has a mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who has famously said he smoked marijuana and enjoyed it, yet who presides over a police force that has run roughshod over the state’s marijuana decriminalization law in order to make those arrests, almost all of which are of members of the city’s black and brown minority communities.

Janusz Palikot, the leader of a new party which brought in Poland’s first trans-gender and openly gay MPs, launched a drive Friday to legalise marijuana by smoking pot in parliament.

“This is the weed,” he told reporters in his office in the lower house of parliament, lighting up a large incense joint containing what he said was a legal quantity of marijuana.

Palikot said his party had submitted a bill to legalise marijuana.

After 11 years, the Florida Hemp Fest is back with a new twist.

Dennis “Murli” Watkins, who served four months of jail time for orchestrating a “doobie toss” at the event in 1994, is bringing back what used to be an annual celebration of marijuana and a protest for its legalization. —Gainesville Sun

Murli just so happens to be a supporter of the “truth.” When we were contacted by him to set up a table and to give a talk on various topics such as the Federal Reserve, fluoride, and 9/11 we gladly accepted.

Watkins said this year’s edition will touch on other, even more controversial issues than legalizing pot. “Hemp has been cultivated for thousands of years. Here it is almost 2012, and we’re still fighting this same stupid battle,” he said. “9/11 was an inside job and they’re worried about someone smoking a doobie. They’ve got to get their priorities in order.” Watkins said there will be a “9/11 truth booth” set up at the event, which will be held on the city’s Bo Diddley Community Plaza downtown.Gainesville Sun

California legalized medical marijuana for seriously ill patients in 1996 and it is now legal in 16 states and DC.  However, the Obama Administration wants to shut down pot dispensaries in California.

Obama’s renewed ‘War on Drugs’ is ironically led by the Department of Justice while they are currently trying to cover-up the Gunwalker/Fast & Furious scandal that involves the federal government handing military-style assault weapons over to Mexican drug cartels.  The guns have been used to murder people on both sides of the border. 

More than 42,000 people have been killed in drug related violence in Mexico since their president Felipe Calderon stepped up his ‘War on Drugs’ in 2006.

Legalization of drugs will end drug trade related violence.

The US ‘War on Drugs’ is an abject failure that costs US taxpayers $15 billion a year, or $500 a second.  The ‘War on Drugs’ has wrongly imprisoned tens of millions of non-violent American drug users and costs taxpayers almost $200 billion a year.

If the federal government was sincere about stopping drug use, they would end the CIA’s drug smuggling adventures

The federal government’s enhanced War on Drugs is not really about drugs, it’s about crushing States Rights under the Tenth Amendment and generating mega-profits for the pharmaceutical industry.