Never Underestimate The Power Of A Single Face To Face Interaction

Legalize marijuanaCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is following through on his 2015 pledge to legalize and regulate the adult use of cannabis. Presently, Liberal Party backed legalization legislation is making its way through Parliament, which hopes to implement the new public policy by mid-2018.

But, as Toronto Star reporter Susan Delacourt writes, Trudeau was not always a supporter of marijuana policy reform. In fact, it wasn’t until he met face to face with NORML representatives that the Canadian Premiere ultimately changed his mind for good.

[Excerpt] When marijuana becomes legal in Canada next year, it will be mainly because Justin Trudeau had a change of mind in 2012.

… Five short years ago, Trudeau was not a fan of legalized pot. As he wandered around the 2012 Liberal policy convention in Ottawa — the same one in which a majority of party members voted in favour of legalization — Trudeau was a dissenting voice.

He told one interviewer that marijuana “disconnects you a little bit from the world” and that it was “not good for your health.” For those reasons alone, Trudeau said he wasn’t in favour of any measures that could make pot use more widespread.

“I don’t know that it’s entirely consistent with the society we’re trying to build,” Trudeau said in an interview that still lives on YouTube, where it’s immediately clear he hasn’t had his run-for-leadership makeover: he still sports a moustache and the long, unruly hair.

By the end of 2012, a lot of things had changed for Trudeau — beyond his appearance. He had changed his mind about running for Liberal leader, officially launching his campaign in October, and he was also starting to see that legalization was better than the decriminalization option he’d long favoured.

Today, Trudeau and his advisers trace the shift to a meeting with two women in his office in November of that year, who armed him with some of the pro-legalization arguments that he’s still using today — now, as prime minister. The two women were Kelly Coulter and Andrea Matrosovs, then representing what was known as the women’s alliance of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

Coulter, who now lives in Victoria, remembers the meeting well, and is heartened to hear that Trudeau traces his conversion to this encounter.

“I actually saw the ‘aha’ moment,” Coulter says. It had been an emotional meeting in Trudeau’s tiny Parliament Hill office; the three of them talked about their own personal experience with marijuana. Trudeau talked about his mother using pot, and his brother, Michel, who had been charged with possession not long before he died. (Trudeau has subsequently told the story publicly of how his father used connections to get the charges dropped so that his son didn’t have a criminal record.)

Coulter told Trudeau flatly that decriminalization would not keep gangs and organized crime out of the marijuana business. “Al Capone would have loved it if alcohol had only been decriminalized,” she said — a line she often used when talking to politicians.

“I saw the light go on in his eyes,” Coulter said. “He was seeing this as a politician, realizing ‘I can sell this,’ ” she recalled.

Trudeau could see how this argument would blunt Conservative attacks on him as being soft on crime; with legalization, he could simultaneously seem liberal about marijuana but conservative about gangs and criminals. It helped persuade Trudeau that legalization, would be the best way for the government to regulate its use and keep it safe, especially for kids.

As we approach NORML’s upcoming National Conference and Lobby Day — taking place September 10-12 in Washington, DC — it is important to emphasize how influential a single face to face meeting with your elected officials can be. NORML’s interactions with lawmakers, whether its at town meetings or in the halls of Congress, are changing minds and shaping public policy.

Be part of the marijuana revolution. Get active. Get NORML.

Closing medical marijuana dispensaries increases crime, according to new study

Contrary to popular belief, medical marijuana dispensaries (MMDs) reduce crime in their immediate areas, suggests a new report.

Study: Crimes Spike Following Closing of Dispensaries

3410000930_95fc2866fa_zThe closure of medical marijuana dispensaries is associated with an increase in larceny, property crimes, and other criminal activities, according to data published in the Journal of Urban Economics.

Researchers at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Irvine assessed the impact of dispensary closures on neighborhood crimes rates in the city of Los Angeles. Investigators analyzed crime data in the days immediately prior to and then immediately after the city ordered several hundred operators to be closed. Authors reported an immediate increase in criminal activity – particularly property crime, larceny, and auto break ins – in the areas where dispensary operations were forced to close as compared to those neighborhoods were dispensaries remained open.

“[W]e find no evidence that closures decreased crime,” authors wrote. “Instead, we find a significant relative increase in crime around closed dispensaries.” Specifically, researchers estimated that “an open dispensary provides over $30,000 per year in social benefit in terms of larcenies prevented.”

They concluded, “Contrary to popular wisdom, we find an immediate increase in crime around dispensaries ordered to close relative to those allowed to remain open. The increase is specific to the type of crime most plausibly deterred by bystanders, and is correlated with neighborhood walkability. … A likely … mechanism is that ‘eyes upon the street’ deter some types of crime.”

The findings are consistent with those of prior studies determining that dispensary operations are not associated with ‘spillover effects’ in local communities, such as increased teen use or increased criminality.

An abstract of the study, “Going to pot? The impact of dispensary closures on crime,” appears online here.

Setting The Record Straight

 

One of NORML’s primary missions is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults. One of the ways we successfully achieve this goal is by debunking marijuana myths and half-truths via the publication of timely op-eds in online and print media. Since the mainstream media seldom casts a critical eye toward many of the more over-the-top claims about cannabis, we take it upon ourselves to set the record straight.

The majority of NORML’s rebuttals are penned by Deputy Director Paul Armentano. In the past few weeks, he has published numerous op-eds rebuking a litany of popular, but altogether specious claims about the cannabis plant – including the contentions that cannabis consumption is linked to heart attacks, psychosis, violence, and a rise in emergency room visits and traffic fatalities, among other allegations.

Below are links to a sampling of his recent columns.:

Major ‘drugged driving’ report’s findings prove overblown

Attorney General Jeff Sessions thinks legalizing pot increases violent crime – he’s wrong

The evidence is overwhelming; cannabis is an exit drug fro major addictions, not a gateway to new ones

Pot, heart attacks, and the media hype cycle

The five biggest lies about pot – and how to rebut them

Trump administration’s dubious claims about pot and opioids are dead wrong

Debunking the latest viral pot paranoid theory

Three new scientific studies that debunk conventional marijuana myths

You’d be crazy to believe the ‘reefer madness’ study

For a broader sampling of NORML-centric columns and media hits, please visit NORML’s ‘In the Media’ archive here.

If you see the importance of NORML’s educational and media outreach efforts, please feel free to show your support by making a contribution here.

Historic: Decriminalization is Scheduled to Be Heard on the Texas House Floor

Texas-NORMLOn May 11, new ground will be broken in Texas politics and the marijuana movement.

HB 81, to decriminalize marijuana from jail time to a simple ticket, will be heard by the full Texas House.

This is unprecedented as sensible sentencing reform has not been debated from the house floor since 1973, , when Texas changed their laws to their current state (previously, you could face life in jail for small amounts of possession).

Are you a TX resident? Contact your lawmakers RIGHT NOW and urge them to support HB 81.

Know people in Texas? Send them this information and have them contact their lawmakers.

“This bill is about good government and efficient use of resources,” said Rep. Joe Moody, sponsor of HB 81, “Arrests and criminal prosecutions of low-level marijuana cases distract law enforcement and prosecutors, leaving fewer resources for violent crime.”

You can read more about the effort from Texas NORML and support their work  here.

 

 

Alternative Fact: Marijuana Causes Violence

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Photo by Gage Skidmore

Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Photo by Gage Skidmore

Speaking to the press this evening, Attorney General Jeff Sessions doubled down on his infamous reefer madness rhetoric. Sessions stated:

“We’re seeing real violence around that. Experts are telling me there’s more violence around marijuana than one would think and there’s big money involved.”

Sessions’ latest comments describe a reality that only exists in the world of alternative facts. Marijuana legalization has not lead to increased crime or violence, but rather is associated with lowered youth use rates and access, increased tax revenue, and fewer arrests of otherwise law abiding American citizens. The truth is that legalization is working as voters have intended and that the new US Attorney General’s opinions are reckless, irresponsible, and outright false.

These statements are not only out of touch with reality and public sentiment, but they also go against President Trump’s promise on the campaign trail to leave marijuana policy to the states. If you support legalization now is not the time to be silent. Now is the time to stand up and fight back.

The only way to ensure our progress continues in light of this proposed push back is to pass federal legislation that makes certain that the Attorney General can’t intervene in states that have enacted adult use regulatory laws. We need to pass the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017. This legislation would prevent the federal government from attack state approved legalization and medical marijuana laws.

Click here to write your elected officials in support of this legislation

This is a true test of our movement. Stand with is against these threats because together we are unstoppable. Together we will legalize marijuana nationwide.

Are you with us?

New York Times OpDoc: A True Satire Of The War on Some Drugs

While there is nothing genuinely funny about a seventy-five year prohibition on cannabis that has arrested over 25 million cannabis consumers, making fun of the failed policy never goes out of style, especially when done right, with aplomb, which the NORML staff occasionally highlights on an otherwise serious-minded public policy blog.

While over a week-old it would seem a crime itself not to share this New York Times so-called OpDoc (where videos rather than guest columns are submitted). The Gregory Brothers, a quartet of video artists from Brooklyn, absolutely skew the disparity between American society’s hypocritical legal vs illegal drug paradigm.

They accomplish this by very humorous employment of auto-tune and eye-rolling use of politicians’ own words about the now near universally acknowledged failed war on some drugs.

Check out former Congressman Ron Paul, New York governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey governor Chris Christie (with intentional help from Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes of ‘Jay and Silent Bob’ fame) sing in a way, about a subject matter, they surely didn’t intend t00 when they opened their mouths and spoke the truth about an unpopular public policy (which, ironically, is what elected policymakers are supposed to do in democracies).

You can watch the video here.

Enjoy!

Weed Card by Garfunkel and Oates

Riki “Garfunkel” Lindhome and Kate “Oates” Micucci sing a song about getting a medical marijuana card in California. LYRICS: Everyone knows marijuanas dangerous And medical pot is really strong Thats why its so hard it California To get your weed card Unless somethings really wrong Gonna pay a visit to my doctor Its a long shot but I gotta try She hands me a list of all the ailments I can have to qualify Cant believe what I am reading This is just what Ive been needing A government supply To get legally high Weed card, thats what I need Hardly ever, okay, always But its not an addiction Cause my doctor gave me a prescription You can get your card for having headaches, bad dreams or anxiety Propensity for drugs or alcohol, Anorexia or Obesity Too fat, too thin, either way you win) Carpal tunnel syndrome, color blindness, St-st-stuttering, tt-tooth decay Fatigue, depression, motion sickness, Impotence or TMJ You can smoke to quit cigarettes For asthma or mother fucking Tourettes Its a dream come true Theres nothing pot cant do Weed card, thats what I need Hardly ever, okay, always But its not an addiction Cause my doctor gave me a prescription Got back pain need mary jane Cant handle this, need cannabis Got a stomach ache, gotta wake and bake Have an injury, need tch Get fucked up for your hyperhydrosis Which is sweaty palms in case you need a diagnosis Its not a crime, its 4:20 time Weed card, thats what I need Hardly ever, okay, always But its not an addiction Cause my
Video Rating: 4 / 5

CNN Dr. Sanjay Gupta Medical Marijuana As Medicine Dr. Julie Holland – Vaporizers – Health

Marijuana is on the ballot in 6 states this election. Dr. Sanjay asks what doctors really mean by “medical marijuana.” Dr. Julie Holland details Medical Marijuana as medicine and using vaporizers as the healthiest intake method. Please share, like, comment, G+, tweet etc :) Thanks! Cheryl Shuman Please support “Marijuana Moms” Women Who Prefer Cannabis Over Alcohol (It takes alot of courage to be on the front lines of the drug war :) CBS TV COMPLETE INTERVIEW RAW FOOTAGE ON THIS LINK: www.youtube.com Behind the Scenes Footage: Cheryl Shuman Sit Down Complete Interview: www.youtube.com Cannabis Tasting with Pot Moms: Photos: www.youtube.com Video: www.youtube.com Shout Out: www.youtube.com Signing with William Morris Endeavor: Video: www.youtube.com Press Release: Please share everywhere. Some supportive comments would be great also. Let’s make sure we have a lot of positive support out there in the mainstream and take this viral :) Thanks in advance everyone! :) My company’s products “The CANNACIG” by stock symbol $ RFMK is featured! Marijuana is safer than Alcohol!!!! Spread the word! :) Thanks all! About Cheryl Shuman: Tom Cruise, Steven Tyler, Julia Roberts, Madonna, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mike Myers, Elijah Wood, Lindsay Lohan, Fergie, Will.i.am and Michael Jackson are just a few of the names you’ll find scrolling through the client files during the 25 year career of Cheryl Shuman. Known as the “Martha Stewart of Marijuana,” Cheryl Shuman announces the formation of

This ad features Manistee, Mich. resident Dr. George Wagoner, whose wife of 51 years, Beverly, succumbed to cancer in 2007. During her ordeal, she found that few prescription medications effectively combated her chemotherapy-related nausea as well as medical marijuana, which Dr. Wagoner procured for her. Since her passing, he has dedicated himself to ensuring that no one else has to break the law in order to relieve their loved ones’ suffering. As he notes in the ad, “It shouldn’t be a crime to follow a doctor’s advice.”

Study: Those Arrested For Minor Pot Offenses Unlikely To Subsequently Commit Violent Crimes

Arresting and prosecuting low level marijuana offenders in New York City has little or no impact on law enforcement efforts to reduce violent crime, according to a study released today by Human Rights Watch, an international advocacy organization that focuses on human rights violations worldwide.

The study’s authors reviewed data from the New York Department of Criminal Justice Services to track the criminal records of nearly 30,000 people who had no prior convictions when they were arrested for marijuana possession in public view [NY State Penal Law 221.10] in 2003 and 2004. Researchers assessed whether those arrested for minor marijuana violations engaged in additional, more serious criminal activity in the years following their arrest.

They reported: “[W]e found that 3.1 percent of [marijuana arrestees] were subsequently convicted of one violent felony offense during the six-and-a-half to eight-and-a-half years that our research covers; 0.4 percent had two or more violent felony convictions. That is, 1,022 persons out of the nearly 30,000 we tracked had subsequent violent felony convictions. Ninety percent (26,315) had no subsequent felony convictions of any kind.”

New York City police arrest more people for possessing small amounts of marijuana in public view than for any other offense, the study found. Between 1996 and 2011, police made more than half-a-million (586,320) arrests for this misdemeanor, including a total of around 100,000 in just the 2 years of 2010 and 2011. Of those arrested, the overwhelming majority are either Black or Latino and under 25 years of age.

Investigators concluded: “[T]he rate of felony and violent felony conviction among this group of first-time marijuana arrestees appears to be lower than the rate of felony conviction for the national population, taking into account age, gender, and race. … Neither our findings nor those of other researchers indicate the arrests are an efficient or fair means for identifying future dangerous felons.”

Under New York state law, the private possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana is a non-criminal civil citation, punishable by a $100 fine. By contrast, the possession of any amount of cannabis in public view is a criminal misdemeanor.

In June, Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged lawmakers to close the ‘public view’ loophole. That effort was ultimately quashed by, Senate majority leader, Republican Dean Skelos, who argued, “Being able to just walk around with ten joints in each ear, and it only be a violation, I think that’s wrong.”

In October, Gov. Cuomo reiterated his support for amending the state’s marijuana laws. Speaking a the New York State Trooper Class of 2012 graduation ceremony, Cuomo said that he “would not consider” convening a special legislative session unless lawmakers were willing to consider reforms to reduce New York City’s skyrocketing marijuana arrest rates.

Thankful For Marijuana Moxie in Texas

Beyond the obvious blessings of good health, being a member of loving families, living in a free country and pursuing one’s muse, on this Thanksgiving…I’m thankful for Zachariah Walker (a member of University of North Texas NORML) and his pro bono team of Texas lawyers from NORML’s Legal Committee.

In the wake of our recent elections, where voters in the states of Colorado and Washington have chosen to end cannabis prohibition, I’m thankful that Zack has the moxie in Denton, Texas to face down a possible six month prison sentence for the criminal charge of possessing two grams of cannabis. I’m thankful that when confronted with a plea bargain (which is how 90% or more of cannabis-related cases are legally dispatched from the criminal justice system), Zach just said no.

I’m thankful that NLC members David Sloane, Jamie Spencer and Jamie Balagia possess equal moxie and commitment to personal freedom by stepping into the breech by providing Zack with pro bono representation in challenging such a ridiculous waste of the local government’s resources and taxpayer dollars: Tens of thousands of tax dollars, in the middle of crushing recession and tight municipal budgets, to arrest, prosecute, pee test and incarcerate a young man for 180 days, who, should otherwise be working, spending money and therein adding taxes to society.

With over 750,000 annual cannabis-related arrests in America (approximately 90% for possession only), if more citizens charged with cannabis possession offenses regularly challenged their arrest and possible conviction, like the way Zach is in Texas, there is no doubt that the criminal justice system in many cities and counties across the country will come to a grinding halt—forcing both bureaucrats and elected officials to re-evaluate and likely support at a minimum cannabis ‘decriminalization’, possibly legalization.

With these crucially important changes of law and custom pending in Colorado and Washington regarding ending all criminal sanctions for adults who possess a little bit of ganja, citizens charged with minor cannabis-related offenses and their legal counsel from around the country can and now should challenge more and more of these petty cannabis charges—juxtaposing and educating judges and juries all along the way that in some parts of the country the ‘offense’ before them is not only no longer a crime in some states, the product is actually regulated and taxed.

How much longer will cannabis prohibition last in America?

Not much longer if we all demonstrate the moxie of Zach and his NLC legal team.

 

 

 

 

Arizer Solo Vaporizer, CURE Stash Jars & No Victim No Crime Raffle Fundraiser

Hey there folks, it’s good to be back!!! Please sign the UK e-Petition here! epetitions.direct.gov.uk 25500 have signed so far, that’s only a quarter of what we need! Please sign it and get everyone else to! RAFFLE: To enter please send £2 via paypal to winstonmatthewsfund@gmail.com for every entry you would like to make for your chance to win and enter “NO VICTIM NO CRIME” in the notes section to win a Jar and Sticker. CURE stash jars are available at ukglass.bigcartel.com where you can also pick up shirts, hoodies and stickers. Thanks to those that have supported me so far by buying merch – it helps me get to all of the UKCSC meetings and help others progress in their activism locally. http Arizer solo can be bought in the uk at http:/vapefiend.co.uk Thanks to my webbie for bringing it over or a nice vape session – although we did hit the bong pretty hard all day before hand which is why I didn’t really talk about the herb! NEWEST PODCAST: cureuk.podomatic.com June 2nd 2012
Video Rating: 4 / 5



This Week in Weed: June 10th-16th

This Week in Weed

Click here to subscribe to NORMLtv and receive alerts whenever new content is added.

The latest installment of “This Week in Weed” is now streaming on NORMLtv.

This week: a study shows no correlation between marijuana dispensaries and crime, new polling data shows growing support for marijuana legalization, New Hampshire sends their medical marijuana measure to the governor, Rhode Island’s Governor signs their decriminalization measure into law, and the New York General Assembly approves medical marijuana legislation.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Be sure to tune in to NORMLtv every week to catch up on the latest marijuana news. Subscribe to NORMLtv or follow us on Twitter to be notified as soon as new content is added.

MJGreenNDP, or Legal Pot Clubs & BC Prison Pot Farms Where Crime Is Permitted To Grow?

Prison Pot Farms? Why has Medical MJ NOT been given a DIN#, so it can be “Prescribed” as a DRUG like other Medical DRUGS?? www.facebook.com In British Columbia Canada Illegal Drug activity is Hard to find?? www.facebook.com Legal Medical Marihuana / Marijuana vs Illegal MJ / Pot www.facebook.com I think I would be a good “Canadian Minister Of Peace” don’t you?? Ha! Ha! Ha! Just think of the Local support I would get from just sitting around smoking dope all day with “Local Enlightened Leaders” and no longer being seen as a Threat, but just a Guy wanting to help? I am and always was for sending all the NDP Party Members to the front lines, and to know if they have the support of the “Peace Department” with Me as “Minister Of Peace” with all my Union Staff there to HELP, when Needed like VAC Union Staff helps Veterans now? Well that and lots of clean FREE Legal Government Produced “Ministry Of Peace’s POT” to Smoke, I know they will be warmly accepted in the Circle for a Free Canadian Ministry Peace PUFF!! TTFN Bruce Webb CD Just remember that when the POT HEADS win the RIGHT TO SELL STREET DOPE in the CLUBS THEY OWN, WE ALL LOSE!! Lets not forget that some Stupid Pot Heads think Street Dope is Legal, and even more think “Medical MJ” is a crime? See how Stupid Pot Heads can be? Medical MJ is Legal and given away for FREE from the Government of Canada, and the Street POT they use is Illegal and sold by Criminals, Killers and the SCUM that SELL STREET DOPE to the SICK
Video Rating: 1 / 5



Idaho authorities bust a dozen head shops

While neighboring states Washington and likely Oregon will be deciding whether marijuana should be legal for all adults, my birth state of Idaho is still trying to put people in cages for selling pieces of glass.

District of Idaho U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said she was not sure how much Spice was seized from shops that sell tobacco and smoking paraphernalia in Boise, Kuna, and Nampa Thursday but did say additional state or federal drug charges are possible against the 16 people indicted on paraphernalia charges.

Olson said the Boise-area “headshops” were selling drug paraphernalia to drug users and traffickers under the guise of tobacco products, which allowed a federal grand jury to return the felony charges of conspiracy to sell, offer for sale and transport drug paraphernalia; offering drug paraphernalia for sale; and sale of drug paraphernalia. Those crime are punishable by up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Olson said at least nine of the 13 shops were openly selling Spice, and several of those stores sold the synthetic marijuana to undercover officers.

Idaho has some of the toughest statutes in the nation regarding paraphernalia and simple pot smoking.  Merely being in a place where people smoke pot is a misdemeanor worth 3 months in jail.  If you are found to be stoned in public, you can get 6 months in jail.  Being caught with a pot pipe (with no pot) can get you a year in prison.  If you’re caught with some pot, there’s another year in prison.  If you do any of this around a child, the crimes rise to a felony with 5 years in prison.  Selling pipes, bongs, grinders, and kief boxes in Idaho is a felony worthy of nine years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

But what happens if you don’t smoke pot and instead impregnate your underage girlfriend and then abuse your infant so severely it dies at the age of three months from blunt force trauma?

RUPERT • The father of an infant who died in 2008 from multiple injuries was sentenced Monday to serve 3 1/2 years in prison for felony injury to a child.

Three-month-old Nivea Lopez died Dec. 19, 2008, in a Pocatello hospital after receiving injuries that included skull fractures and healed rib fractures.

Monday’s sentence will run concurrent with a two- to 10-year prison term Lopez received for violating his probation on a rape conviction, stemming from the statutory nature of his relationship with Martinez.

Got that?  Beat your baby to death = 3.5 years.  Smoke pot around your baby = 5 years.  Sell someone a bong = 9 years.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom… but I hope you understand why I don’t visit often.

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