Pennsylavania Cities Continue to Embrace Decriminalization of Marijuana

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With the recent passage of a marijuana decriminalization ordinance, the City of York joins Philadelphia, State College, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg in no longer criminalizing the simple possession of small amounts of marijuana. Following several meetings to discuss the proposal, members of city council heard from Chris Goldstein, former executive director of Philadelphia NORML and Les Stark, executive director of the Keystone Cannabis Coalition. Both spoke in support of the proposal and even provided encouraging data showing a decline in marijuana arrests in other municipalities that adopted similar measures.

“Towns across Pennsylvania are moving away from handcuffs and towards issuing fines instead, that’s good news in a state where we have more than 18,000 consumers arrested every year,” said Chris Goldstein.

Similar to other decriminalization measures that have been adopted by municipalities in the Commonwealth, the ordinance approved by the York City Council replaces criminal prosecution and potential jail time with a simple fine or community service for those possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana. The ordinance also decriminalized the public consumption of marijuana.

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While local governments across Pennsylvania continue to adopt measures to reduce the penalty for personal possession of marijuana from jail time to a simple fine, state lawmakers have been more apprehensive on the issue. But advocates are hopeful things will change as the conversation advances on the local level. “This really puts the pressure on legislators in Harrisburg to vote on statewide bills and start having the bigger conversation about full legalization,” added Goldstein.

Read more here: http://www.ydr.com/story/news/2017/07/19/york-city-council-passes-bill-decriminalize-possession-small-amounts-marijuana/480013001/

For future updates on marijuana law reform efforts in Pennsylvania, follow Philly NORML by visiting their website and Facebook page!

Atlanta City Council Considers Decriminalization of Marijuana

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**Update: Peachtree NORML has just informed us that the vote has been postponed. We will keep you posted as developments unfold. 

On Monday, May 15, 2017, the City Council of Atlanta, Georgia will vote on an ordinance that would decriminalize the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana within Atlanta’s City Limits. Under Georgia law, the possession of one ounce or less is an arrestable offense that could result in up to a $1000 fine and 12 months in jail. This ordinance would allow for the issuance of a citation which carries a $75.00 fine. The ordinance would only apply to the Atlanta Police Department. Other agencies operating within the City, such as the State Patrol and Fulton County Sheriff, would still be able to arrest for the offense.

While it may not seem like much protection, the passage of this ordinance would be a giant step in Georgia. The small town of Clarkston passed a similar ordinance in July 2016. While that stirred up some news, the Capital of Georgia passing it would have a major ripple effect. One mayoral candidate, Vincent Fort, who is a current member of Georgia’s Senate, has made decriminalization the major plank in his campaign platform. It is a hot topic in Georgia.

Peachtree NORML, in association with Georgia C.A.R.E. Project, has begun a City-by- City campaign which is beginning to have some success. By providing fact-based data to municipal governments wishing to consider such measures, we hope to begin reducing the harm caused by an arrest for small amounts of marijuana in Georgia.

If approved by Council, Atlanta will join a growing list of cities around the country that have adopted a more pragmatic approach for dealing with marijuana-related offenses on the local level. Kansas City, Houston, Memphis, Nashville, Tampa, Orlando, Milwaukee, Monona, Toledo, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and several others have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Sharon Ravert, the Founder of Peachtree NORML is fond of saying, “When we are talking, we are winning.” Hopefully the City of Atlanta will prove her right next Monday.

Contact your council representatives today and urge them to vote “Yes” on a fiscally sensible proposal that will enable police, prosecutors, and the courts to reallocate their existing resources toward activities that will better serve the public.

Click the link below to get started!

TAKE ACTION: http://act.norml.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=20611

For more updates on local reform efforts, follow Peachtree NORML by visiting their website, Facebook and Twitter! To make a donation to Peachtree NORML, please click here.

Get NORML on 4/20!

Freedom_is_NORML 1 LineGet NORML this 4/20 with one of the dozens of events being hosted across the country by our affiliate groups. There are events going on across the country including festivals, concerts, comedy shows, softball tournaments, and more. Check out some of these activities on the list below. If you don’t see your state listed below, visit our chapter directory here to find your local group and check out their websites for their latest activities.

Don’t have a chapter nearby? What better way to celebrate 4/20 than getting a group of committed friends together and forming your own. Click here for information on starting a NORML affiliate in your local area.

ARIZONA

Festival Of Education
When: 4/20 – 12pm until 6pm
Where: Tumbleweeds Health Center, 5301 E. Broadway Bjvd., Tucson, Arizona
About: 4/20 is upon us again and we encourage all our members to come out to Tumbleweeds Health Center, 5301 Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85711. 10am-6pm. Saturday April 20th 2013. There will be live music, information booths, vendors, food and our signature Cures not Wars, Marijuana March & Rally. 2013′s Festival of Education starts at 10am, at Tumbleweeds Health Center, 5301 Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85711. The Rally will begin at 1pm and at 3pm the March will head west to Rosemont crossing Broadway Blvd. then will turn East, and crossing Craycroft Ave., march to Park Mall crossing Broadway Blvd. again turning west, crossing Craycroft Ave, again and returning to Tumbleweeds Health Center, the circular nature of the march allows anyone who is unable to complete the planned route to participate can conveniently begin or end at their own discretion. Signs will be provided or bring your own! Don’t forget your hat and a bottle of water, sunscreen is advised. A continuous stationary rally will start at 12noon and continue till 5pm out in front of the 4/20 event at Tumbleweeds. This will allow our non-mobile patients to participate.

FLORIDA

Hitting for Hemp: Benefit Softball Tournament
When: 4/20 – Softball games will be starting at around 9AM.
Where: Mills Pond Park, 2201 NW 9th Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
About: Bring plenty of sunscreen. Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the softball field. Admission to the softball tournament is free but donations will be welcome. There will be T-shirts for sale for both the tournament and for NORML of Florida.

420 Nugfest
When: 4/20 – 2pm to 2am
Where: Fusse Studios, 327 NE 59th Terrace, Miami, FL
About: There will be live bands, vendors, food trucks, contests, giveaways, information and more. All that for $10 at the door. Admission limited to 18 and over.

ILLINOIS

IL NORML Monthly Meeting
When: 4/20 – 10am
Where: Whiskey Roadhouse, 3207 N Main St, Rockford, Illinois
About: We’ll go over updates on legislation in Springfield, local efforts and national bills that are being debated in Congress. General info on cannabis prohibition and ways to get involved in ILLINOIS NORML.

QFA Illinois NORML Benefit
When: 4/20 – 9pm until 2am
Where: Live Wire Lounge, 3394 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, Illinois
About: Join host and QFA CEO, Lair Scott, at Live Wire as we benefit IL NORML for the important work they do here in Illinois to pass positive cannabis laws. Bands are Seeso, Heroin Black, Catch A Fire, The Hello Freaks, Element Control, The Loudness War and MC Rota. Door Donation, 21+ w/ proper ID.

INDIANA:

Indiana NORML – 420 in the Park
When: 4/20 – 4:20pm
Where: Lynnville Park, 405 W SR 68 Lynnville, IN.

Indy Mojo’s 420 Tent Party
When: 4/20 – 7pm
Where: The Mousetrap, 5565 N Keystone Ave, Indianapolis, IN
About: IndyMojo’s 3rd annual 4.20 Tent Party @ The Mousetrap. 3 stages, Jam + EDM + Acoustic
Tickets are $7, ages 21+

MASSACHUSETTS

MassCann/NORML and UnRegular Radio Present: The 2013 Battle for the Rally
When: 4/20 – 8pm
Where: The Spotlight Tavern, 208 Rantoul St, Beverly, MA
About: Celebrating the passage of Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts and officially kicking off the campaign for FULL LEGALIZATION in 2016, this year people we are stepping it up for the 24th annual and first ever 2-day Boston Freedom Rally on September 14th and 15th 2013 on the Boston Common. To help us educate and rock the expected 50,000 plus crowds, MassCann with the help of Unregular Radio are kicking off the 2013 Battle for the Rally. This year over 36 bands will be competing for 3 spots on the Rally’s 2 Stages, with 3 bands winning the chance to play at the second largest PRO-Marijuana concert in the Country.

MICHIGAN

4/20 Celebration With MINORML Chapters
When: 4/19 – 4/21
Where: Archie Keil Residence, Rapid City, MI
About: Kalkaska, Antrim, Leelanau, Grand Traverse, and Benzie County NORML Chapters will join together to promote Michigan NORML at the Archie Keil residence in Rapid City, MI on April 19,20,& 21. Live music,camping,food,and fellowship are on the agenda. Open to the public. Contact Archie at 231-676-0123.

MINNESOTA

The 4/20 Show – A Fundraiser for Minnesota NORML
When: 4/20 – 8pm
Where: The Comedy Corner Underground, 1501 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, Minnesota
About: The Comedy Corner Underground (In basement of Corner Bar) is hosting a Fundraiser for Minnesota NORML! There are only 150 tickets available, 75 per show! The show times are 8PM and 10PM. We expect both of them to sell out quickly, so buy your tickets ahead of time here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/341804 – The 8PM show is 18+ and the 10PM show is 21+

NEBRASKA

4-20 Rally & Concert
When: 4/20 – 12pm until 5pm
Where: Grace Abbott Park, 601 State St. W, Grand Island, NE.
About: This is a free event hosted by NORML Nebraska! Come on down for the good times and great live music. Featuring Homemade Crazy and A Life Led Lucid!

NEW JERSEY

Greenfest 2013
When: 4/20 – 10am
Where: Ramapo College Band Shell Lawn
About: It’s almost that time of year again for NORML and 1STEP’s 4/20 celebration! This is easily Ramapo’s best Spring festival, so make sure you keep this weekend open! Invite your friends and stay up to date with event contests and announcements!There will be FREE FOOD, LIVE MUSIC, YOGA, GAMES, HIKES, INFLATABLE FUN, 30′ PARACHUTE, TIE DYE, BAKED GOODS AND MUCH MUCH MORE.

NEW YORK

Empire State NORML Meeting and Trivia
When: 4/24 – 6:30pm
Where: 9 Bleecker Street, New York, New York
About: Learn more about Empire State NORML, upcoming volunteer opportunities and exactly how YOU can help to legalize marijuana in New York. Followed at 8PM by a special ALL MARIJUANA Drug War Trivia Night sponsored by Empire State NORML.

NORTH CAROLINA

NCNORML 4/20 Event
When: 4/20 – Music starts at 9pm.
Where: Roux, 501 E 36th St, Charlotte, NC 28205
About: Music lineup includes The Fritz, Frankie Gene with Butter, Bubonik Funk, SpongeCake and the Fluff Ramblers. Tickets are $8 at the door.

Asheville NORML 420 Earth Day Event
When: 4/20 – 12pm
Where: 5th Annual Asheville Earth Day on Lexington Avenue, Asheville, North Carolina
About: Asheville NORML will be in full swing at the 5th Annual Asheville Earth Day Festival on 4-20. This is the perfect opportunity to educate the public on the benefits of Cannabis and to let everyone know about our new chapter! We will meet at 12:00 pm at Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville. We will have a brief chat and will supply our volunteers with flyers to pass out at the festival. If you would like to make your own signs with facts about Cannabis (especially facts that relate to “Earth Day”) and wear any clothing you have supporting Cannabis, we can have a bit of a parade as we leave from the park and head to the festival on Lexington. We also look forward to spending time with our new friends on 4-20! Please respond to this event so that we can plan on an appropriate amount of flyers. This will be our first community event and we want to make a respectful impression on the community! Come join us with peace in my mind and empower yourself with knowledge on the amazing plant we speak for CANNABIS! Keep Asheville NORML!!!

OHIO

Cleveland NORML – Dance with Mary Jane
When: 4:00pm
Where: Negative Space, 3820 Superior Ave. E, Second Floor, Cleveland, Ohio 44114
About: Negative Space & Cleveland NORML present Dance with Mary Jane. Come out on Saturday April 20, 2013 at 4pm @Negative Space in the Asian Town Center which is located at 38th St between Superior and Payne St in beautiful Cleveland Ohio. A truly unique event in the cannabis world! A holiday that surpasses all other events. You can if you want to come out you can see JustLikEdith and the feature of the event: Wanyama! There will be a 2 drinks with your $10 admission ticket and there will be a 2 ticket raffle prize drawing. There will be a finger snacks and a Cleveland NORML membership table.

Central Ohio NORML – 420 Party
When: 4:20pm
Where: Circus Club & Grub, 1227 N. High St, Columbus, Ohio 43201

Miami Valley NORML – Earth Day Celebration
When: Noon until 5pm
Where: Sawyer Point, 805 E Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Miami Valley NORML – 420 Earth Day Hemp Exhibit
When: Noon until 5pm
Where: Sawyer Point, 805 E Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Miami Valley NORML – 420 Earth Day Celebration
When: 6pm
Where: Fries Cafe, 3247 Jefferson Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220

Miami Valley NORML – Love ya Mother Earth
When: 8pm
Where: W.O. Wright’s Grill & Pub, 3979 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Beavercreek, OH 45324
About: Miami Valley NORML benefit, $5 Cover.

Miami Valley NORML – Wiley’s Comedy Club
When: 8:30pm & 10:30pm
Where: 101 Pine St, Dayton, Ohio 45402
About: Miami Valley NORML comedy show benefit, shows 8:30 + 10:30, cover charge is $10.

PENNSYLANIA

PhillyNORML/The Panic Hour – Smoke Down Prohibition IV
When: 4/20 – 3pm
Where: Independance Mall, Philadelphia, PA (by the Liberty Bell)
About: After three successful Smoke Down Events, The Panic Hour is back on the highest of stoner holidays, 4/20, to demand an end to cannabis prohibition! We will be playing a game show with fabulous prizes, signing cards of support for wrongly incarcerated drug war prisoners, and welcoming special surprise guests, possibly of an elected-official nature. There is absolutely no excuse for not spending the most important date on the marijuana calendar with us! Tell all your friends, roll a huge bone, and join The Panic Hour and Philly Norml as we have an absolute blast ending the LUNATIC INSANE FALSE TEACHINGS DRUG WAR.

Buds in the Burgh – 4/20 Smoke Down Event
When: 4/20 – 4pm until 5:30pm
Where: Point State Park, Pittsburgh, PA
About: This April 20th, 2013 come down to Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh and take your stand! We will be gathering together at 4:00 PM to let our voices be heard. Then promptly at 4:20 PM we will join together in a moment of cannabis reflection.

Pittsburgh NORML/Pittsburgh NORML Women’s Alliance – The Bong Show
When: 4/20 – 8pm
Where: Lava Lounge, 2204 E Carson St, South Side, Pittsburgh, PA
About: For this cannabis holiday, please come out to support NORML and the NORML Women’s Alliance of Pittsburgh at our 4/20 fundraiser! The long awaited return of the Bong Show, a talent show where the stakes are high, and so are the judges! Hosted by Phat Man Dee and Smokin’ McQueen, this high stakes gritty competition is judged off site by 3 very suggestible judges. These judges don’t have a Gong, but they have a Bong and are not afraid to use it! Don’t worry, no laws being broken here, the judges are shown live via satellite feed from the great state of Colorado! Live performances by musical groups Chai Baba, The Rusty Haywhackers and J Pad da Juggernaught! Prizes for the winner and raffle items provided by our generous sponsors: Slacker, Hot Rod Body Piercing, Jesters Court Tattoos, Krutch Rolling Papers, PKN Law, Element Skateboards.

TENNESSEE

TN NORML 4/20 Marijuana Education Day & Celebration
When: 4/20 – 4:20pm
Where: Performing Artist Co-Op, at 5-Points, East Nashville, TN
About: Come help educate & celebrate 4/20 with TN NORML! Wrapper’s Delight food truck will be there from 4:00 to 9:00!!! Entertainment includes comedy, music and poetry. We will have a table with information for the taking.

TEXAS

4/20 at the Green Elephant Presented by DFW NORML

When: 4/20 – 3pm until 2am
Where: The Green Elephant, 5627 Dyer St, Dallas, Texas
About: DFW NORML is back at the Green Elephant to celebrate everyone’s favorite hempy holiday, 4/20! As always, you can expect some of the finest live music DFW has to offer, as well as vendor booths, prizes, fire spinners, hoop dancers, live glass blowing, drink specials and more. RSVP and invite your friends and together we’ll continue ending cannabis prohibition one Texan at a time. 18+ Welcome.

VIRGINIA

First Annual NOVA NORML 4/20 Party
When: 4/20 – 6:30pm until 2am
Where: Lucy’s ARL. 2620 S Shirlington Rd, Arlington, Virginia
About: Can’t make it to Colorado for 4/20?! Come hang out with us! Join NOVA NORML on April 20th for our first ever social event! Join us for an evening of fun at Lucy’s in Arlington. We will have raffles with awesome prizes, drinks specials, good music and more.Your contribution will go to Virginia NORML to help end marijuana prohibition in VA! We are very pleased to announce that the Upton Blues Band and also Maple will be there performing live! It will surely be a night to remember! Invite your friends. No cover charge

WISCONSIN

Ben Masel Day at the Capital
When: 4/20 – 2pm
Where: State Capital Building, Madison, Wisconsin
About: In honor of Ben Masel, Madison’s proudest fighter for freedom, let’s meet at the Capitol to remember our missed friend and the ideas he stood up for. As April 20th has been officially deemed Ben Masel Day in Madison it seems only fitting. 2pm. Come ready to speak if you have words.

Cosmic Railroad at the Route 20 Outhouse
When: 4/20 – 9pm
Where: Route 20 Outhouse, 14001 Washington Ave, Racine, WI 53177
About: Show is 21+ – Tickets available online here.

Madison 4/20 Festival
When: 4/20 – 4:20pm until 2am
Where: High Noon Saloon and Brink Lounge, Madison, Wisconsin
About: Two music events that benefit Madison NORML. For more information click here.

Jack Cole, Founder of LEAP, Q&A session at HB1393 Medical Marijuana Hearing 8/19/2010 (Part 2 of 2)

Jack Cole, founder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, answers questions after his testimony at HB1393 Medical Marijuana Hearing on 8/19/2010 in Pittsburgh about his experience as an undercover cop busting kids for smoking a joint, and how pointless and counterproductive the war on drugs is.

Voices from inside discuss practices and issues involved in distributing medical cannabis. Tours of five cannabis dispensary models provide an unprecedented look into this quasi-legal business. Doctors, lawyers, law enforcement, patients and caregivers share their perspectives and concerns. Watch the trailer and checkout the website: www.dispensingcannabis.com

Dr. Lester Grinspoon, MD, Q&A at HB1393 Medical Marijuana Hearing 8/19/2010 (Part 2 of 2)

Question and answer session with Dr. Lester Grinspoon, MD, Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Harvard University after his testimony at HB1393 Medical Marijuana Hearing on 8/19/2010 in Pittsburgh about his experience researching marijuana to prove it’s harmful effects, only to find the exact opposite of the lies that have been told over the last 70 years. Dr. Grinspoon testified via Skype, so please excuse the poor quality of his image.

The Top Ten “Reefer Madness” Stories of 2011

This 2011 Reefer Madness propaganda is Anslinger Approved!

It’s end-of-year retrospective time!  While my colleagues on the NORML Blog (go check out the new look that matches the new site) are going to bring you the biggest marijuana news stories of 2011, here at The Daily Stash Blog we’re going to bring you stories that may have fallen through the cracks of other drug policy 2011 remembrances.

Today we bring you the Top Ten “Reefer Madness” Stories of 2011.  ”Reefer Madness”, of course, is the 1936 anti-pot propaganda film showing young people becoming crazed and violent on the effects of “reefer”.  Today, we use “Reefer Madness” as shorthand to describe the hysterical warnings by the anti-drug zealots as reported unchallenged by a complacent media.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the Top Ten Cannabis Science Stories of 2011.  Thursday we’ll cover the Top Ten “Stupid Stoner Stories” of 2011.  Friday we’ll cover the Top Ten People in Marijuana of 2011.

Top Ten “Reefer Madness” Stories of 2011 (audio mp3)

10. Oregonian editorial board hypes fears of medical marijuana and teen pot smoking

(The Oregonian – “Seeing through the smoke” editorial) It’s about time someone took action on the increasing number of medical marijuana dispensaries. … Right now, anyone, including teenagers, can apply [for a medical marijuana card]. A study done by Oregon Partnership found, for example, that 35 percent of students at Wilson High School and 46 percent at Marshall High School knew someone with a card.

Unlike the Oregonian editorial board, I check sources (I work for NORML: I have to.) The survey they refer to was addressed at a Marshall High community town hall meeting. The poll was conducted by students as part of a project called “SMASH” in a “confidential, random, peer-to-peer” survey – meaning one high school kid asking another high school kid. We have no control group, no control for confounding variables, not even a mention of the survey size or the randomness of those polled (maybe the SMASH kids are more likely to “randomly” speak to their friend, for instance, or stood in the hall and talked to anyone passing by who would answer.)

But besides all the methodological issues arising from trusting the polling data of high school kids talking to their friends, it’s important to note what their survey actually said:

PERCEPTION: Students surveyed believed that 8 out of 10 students smoke marijuana

REALITY: 7 out of 10 students DO NOT smoke marijuana

Kids surveyed thought 77.3% of others were smoking marijuana.  76.07% of kids never smoked marijuana, another 12.27% smoked it once or twice a month.  So, kids think 3 out of 4 other kids smoke pot when 3 out of 4 kids actually don’t.  Where, oh, where could the kids be getting the message that youth cannabis smoking is out of control, when, in fact, Oregon’s 12th grade monthly cannabis use rates have declined 14% (before | after) since 1999, when medical marijuana got underway in Oregon?

9. Papa John’s Pizza supports driver who reported medical marijuana patient to police

You would think that pizza delivery companies would understand who their customers are and that a great number of them smoke marijuana.  If you’re a pizza delivery company in Colorado, you’d understand that many of the marijuana smokers in your delivery area may be legally using cannabis for medicinal purposes.  But apparently Papa John’s pizza in Colorado doesn’t care too much about its drivers violating the privacy of its customers who are medical marijuana patients.

(9News) The man was smoking medical marijuana just before the pizza arrived on Friday evening. The delivery driver smelled the marijuana and called the cops. The Papa John’s employee, who was not identified, was concerned because the customer’s 9-year-old daughter was in the house.

8. The annual scaremongering about marijuana-laced Halloween treats begins now

L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Glen Walsh said parents should definitely inspect the candy their children bring home after trick-or-treating.

Walsh said a pungent smell or an odd taste can serve as indicators on whether the food contains marijuana. As for the potency of the marijuana-laced prodcuts, Walsh said the level of THC, the chemical found in marijuana, can vary from zero to over 90 percent.

OK, so watch closely, parents.  You don’t want your kid getting a candy with 0% THC in it.  But if you find any of that 90% THC stuff, you can send it my way for proper disposal.

How stupid is this?  First off, if there is a person out there who would intentionally hand THC-laden treats to children, they are a criminal.  They’d be just as likely to poison Halloween treats or put pins or razor blades in them.. which is an urban legend with no truth to it whatsoever.

Second, if you are a person who uses THC-laden treats for medical or recreational purposes, why are you handing out a $20 “Buddafinger” when you could pass out a 20-cent “Butterfinger”?  You want to be so sure some kid you don’t know and won’t see gets high that you’ll spend 10 times more on Halloween candy?

7. Portland Reporter Anna Canzano: A medical marijuana-hating sheriff’s best friend

[Oregon Sheriff's Association President] Tom Bergin said at the rate Oregon is going, he believes Oregon is three times sicker than California. Why? Well, more than 90 percent of cardholders say they’re using pot to treat pain — not glaucoma or cancer — as the bill was initially marketed.

Here are the facts from the state’s medical marijuana program registry:

  • There are 49,220 medical marijuana patients
  • There are 44,756 patients who indicate chronic pain as a qualifying condition

So Canzano, Bergin, and every prohibitionist who scoffs at people in serious pain treating it with a non-toxic herb pull out their calculators and exclaim “90% of cardholders are using it for pain, not glaucoma or cancer!”  (The number is actually 90.9%.)

What Canzano distorts lies in the word “not”.  Under Oregon law, a registry cardholder can qualify under more than one condition.  The state even puts “A patient may have more than one diagnosed qualifying medical condition” right there on the website where you got the numbers to crunch.  Are we to believe people with cancer and glaucoma don’t suffer chronic pain as well?

6. Florida Woman Sues Over Being Arrested for Sage

A woman in Florida who was arrested for felony marijuana possession is suing for wrongful arrest. She might just have a case, she was charged with marijuana possession even though the bag they caught her with turned out to be Sage. 49 year old, Robin Brown says a Broward County Sheriff’s deputy caught her while she was bird watching back in March of 2009. He used his field kit on the herb she had in a bag, and said that in the field it tested positive for marijuana. The deputy sent the 50 grams of substance to a state crime lab.

Her lawsuit says that she was arrested before the test was performed. Her arrest was ordered by the Assistant State Attorney, Mark Horn, in June of 2009. She was arrested at her place of business, Massage Envy in Weston. She said that she was arrested in front of co-workers and her customers and subjected to a full body cavity search during her overnight stay in jail. When her lawyer discovered the herbs had not been tested a second time, he used the courts to force the tests which determined what Ms. Brown was contending all along, her sage was completely marijuana free.

5. Teen dies after plastic fumes scar lungs, media blames synthetic pot

The boy smoked the fake marijuana out of a plastic PEZ candy dispenser. The chemicals in the drugs caused extensive damage to his lungs. Brandon was put on a respirator in June and had a double lung transplant in September.

So, we’re to assume here it was the K2 that scarred the boys lungs and not the freakin’ fumes from the melting plastic of a PEZ dispenser?!?

Tonya Rice told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper Brandon was put on a respirator in June after smoking Spice fake cannabis, which is said to be ten times more dangerous than cocaine.

Not to be cruel or insensitive about the boy’s death, but he didn’t suddenly die from the acute effects of K2 use.  He used it in June, fell very ill, was given a double lung transplant, and died from an infection because of his lowered immune system in October.  So, to compare, we have cocaine, which can give you a heart attack by overdose and kill you the minute you snort / smoke / inject it, versus a synthetic cannabinoid smoked through plastic, requiring a double lung transplant, leading to a fatal infection four months later in the hospital that kills one boy.  We’re not trying to say K2 is safe – it isn’t – but it’s not “ten times more dangerous than cocaine”.

4. CASA’s Joe Califano blames marijuana for Arizona shooter

I haven’t seen press reports or talking heads discuss their concern about how easy it has been for this mentally ill young man to get marijuana. And there has been no mention of the potential of marijuana to spark latent psychosis and exacerbate schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

So as we continue to think about this killer and his deranged mind, we should be asking this question: Is Jared Loughner an individual whose psychosis was prompted or exacerbated by the use of marijuana?

Gee, Joe, what do you think we ought to do?  Make marijuana illegal?  Lock up people who use it?  Break down their doors at night and shoot their dogs?  Use helicopters and infrared to eradicate the plant wherever it’s grown?  Throw billions at American and Mexican law enforcement for armor and weapons to fight its traffickers?  Train dogs to sniff it out?  Drug test employees, high schoolers, even middle schoolers to detect its use?

The facts are that 1% of the population exhibits schizophrenia, whether it is 1979 and 60% of high school seniors have tried marijuana or it is 1992 and 33% have tried it.  A study of 186 UK mental hospitals found no increase in schizophrenia or psychosis admissions, despite use rates of cannabis increasing greatly during that decade.

3. UK Daily Mail: Cannabis ‘kills 30,000 a year’

Cannabis ‘kills 30,000 a year’

Oh, dear.  From zero deaths* in 5,000 years of human use to ’30,000 a year’.  That sounds serious.  Let’s read on…

More than 30,000 cannabis smokers could die every year, doctors warn today.

Wait, “could die”?  We’ve gone from the active headline verb “kills” to the lede adverb “could”?  Usually you bury that wiggle room somewhere in paragraph umpteen.  Continue…

Professor John Henry, a leading authority on the drug, said the change – due to take place this summer – had undermined doctors’ efforts to highlight the risks.

He said: “Cannabis is as dangerous as cigarette smoking – in fact, it may be even worse – and downgrading its legal status has simply confused people.”

“May be” worse?  Where are the wards full of cannabis smokers?  Britain actually has some level of health care worthy of a civilized (civilised) people.  You’d think the National Health Service would bring these figures up.  It sounds like quite a cost to the government.

2. American Cancer Society says marijuana use can lead to amputation

Although it is rare, severe shutdown of blood circulation to the arms or legs has been reported in young people who smoked marijuana. In some cases, it was so severe that amputation was required.

In all my years beating back reefer madness, this is a first.  I have never heard a story of someone’s marijuana use leading to amputation.  I have covered stories of people who use marijuana for their already-existing amputation, since it is a superior medication for “phantom” pain, and I’ve covered one double-amputee diabetic’s eviction for her medical marijuana use, though.

1. Butt-chugging, vodka tampons, drinking bleach, and other parent-frightening urban legends

(KPHO) [School Resource Officer Chris] Thomas spends his days patrolling the halls of a Valley high school. He’s heard first hand how kids are getting tipsy.

“What we’re hearing about is teenagers utilizing tampons, soak them in vodka first before using them,” Thomas said.

“This is definitely not just girls,” Thomas said. “Guys will also use it and they’ll insert it into their rectums.”

Rather than the traditional beer bong you’d find at a college party, kids are sticking the tube elsewhere to get wasted.

They’re calling it “butt chugging.”

Rrrighttt… young teenage males, typically the most homophobic and self-conscious creatures on the planet, are dropping trou in front of their peers and inserting plastic tubes up their ass to chug beer.  And the vodka tampons?  Huffington Post reports that “the practice remains unverified despite multiple reports of incidents in the U.S. and elsewhere” and that a blogger “conducted her own informal trial to see whether the purported method worked“, where she notes the alcohol dissolves the glue and consistency of the tampon so much it couldn’t be inserted and that even if it were inserted, the burn you’d feel on your sensitive lady parts would not make this an enjoyable drunk.  Plus, the idea that it would help teens avoid detection with no alcohol on their breath is false, as alcohol metabolizes in your breath no matter how you ingest it.

Groovin’ Thursday: Lucid Music – “Three Twenty”

Adventures of the Invisible Band ReduxLucid Music didn’t officially become a group until the winter month of December 2005. Before then it was just two friends making music strictly for the fun of it in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They met while working at the same dead end retail store. Warren was an emcee from Long Beach California who had moved to Pittsburgh in 1999 to attend school and take care of his elderly grandmother. Marcus was a Chicago transplant who would freestyle in his grandmother’s basement while working towards a degree in business administration.

The Lucid Music sound is inspired by the hiphop it’s members grew up on. The lyrics are positive and profanity free allowing the group to perform for audiences of all ages. Jazz, rock and funk samples are used to create what can only be described as “ that old boom bap”: uptempo drums, thick basslines, melodic horns and piano. Turntablism also plays an important part of not only their sound but a live show as well.

Lucid music has distribution through Root70lounge.com, a japanese indie label, As well as international distribution with seminal hip hop label Bomb Hip Hop out of California.

Check out Lucid Music at http://ludicmusicwakeup.blogspot.com

Lucid Music
“Three Twenty” (mp3)
from “Adventures of the Invisible Band Redux”
(Bomb Hip Hop)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
More On This Album

Teen dies after plastic fumes scar lungs, media blames synthetic pot

News outlets are reporting the tragic death of a thirteen-year-old boy in Pennsylvania named Brandon Rice.  We’ve reported on Brandon’s story earlier this year, so imagine our surprise when we see the following headline from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

This tragic death of a teen boy could never have happened with the glass paraphernalia and natural cannabis that Pennsylvania would arrest him for.

Medical marijuana?  For those of you who missed the initial reporting of Brandon’s story, it was reported that the teen had smoked K2 brand incense sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids through a plastic PEZ dispenser!

Now the Gazette has scrubbed their headline to say “synthetic marijuana” and reposted it with other slight variations.

The AP, reposted by Huffington Post, reports that the boy had received a double lung transplant, but succumbed to his injuries this morning.

The boy smoked the fake marijuana out of a plastic PEZ candy dispenser. The chemicals in the drugs caused extensive damage to his lungs. Brandon was put on a respirator in June and had a double lung transplant in September.

So, we’re to assume here it was the K2 that scarred the boys lungs and not the freakin’ fumes from the melting plastic of a PEZ dispenser?!?  When my post on K2 has garnered over 230 comments from K2 users who had bad experiences, yet not one has died or has scarred lungs requiring a double transplant?

InvestmentWatch continues the demonization of the synthetic cannabinoids, not the plastic:

Tonya Rice told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper Brandon was put on a respirator in June after smoking Spice fake cannabis, which is said to be ten times more dangerous than cocaine.

Who said that?  Because we have some fairly good statistics on deaths from cocaine overdose:

A recent study conducted by doctors at the Forensic Pathology Service at the Institute of Legal Medicine (Seville, Spain) and published in the European Heart Journal shows that more than 3% of all sudden deaths that occurred in south-west Spain were attributed to cocaine usage.

Not to be cruel or insensitive about the boy’s death, but he didn’t suddenly die from the acute effects of K2 use.  He used it in June, fell very ill, was given a double lung transplant, and died from an infection because of his lowered immune system in October.  So, to compare, we have cocaine, which can give you a heart attack by overdose and kill you the minute you snort / smoke / inject it, versus a synthetic cannabinoid smoked through plastic, requiring a double lung transplant, leading to a fatal infection four months later in the hospital that kills one boy.  We’re not trying to say K2 is safe – it isn’t – but it’s not “ten times more dangerous than cocaine”.

The only reasons this K2/Spice shit even exists on store shelves is because (1) the adults who want real cannabis that has never killed anyone or scarred anyone’s lungs aren’t allowed to have it and (2) the adults who get the real cannabis anyway are piss tested for it.  The only reason anyone would smoke anything through a Pez dispenser is because some states, like Pennsylvania, make such draconian paraphernalia laws against glass / wood / stone pipes.

Brandon’s parents, however, didn’t see the fact that prohibition led to these circumstances, and instead have been fighting for even more prohibitions:

Since Brandon’s hospitalization, the Rice family has spoken out about the drug which damaged their son’s lungs — with brand names such as K2, Spice, Blaze, Ivory Wave, White Rush, Starry Nights and Vanilla Sky — in hopes that other children will not be harmed.

A bill to ban sale of synthetic marijuana in Pennsylvania was signed June 28, just weeks after the Southmoreland eighth-grader was placed on a respirator. More than 30 other states have also banned the drug and others are considering it.

For everyone who screams “What About The Children?!?” when we bring up marijuana legalization, for everyone who worries that legal pot would mean teenage boys would have greater access to pot, ask yourself if you’d rather be a mom or dad chewing your kid out when you find his pipe and stash of natural cannabis, or if you’d rather be a mom or dad planning your kid’s funeral because he tried a more dangerous way of getting a marijuana high?  Because banning K2, Spice, Blaze, Ivory Wave, White Rush, Starry Nights and Vanilla Sky isn’t going to work; it will just lead to newer versions of synthetic cannabinoids that aren’t banned (didn’t the seven brand names I just listed give you that clue?)

Finally, if you really believe that a prohibition will be the best way to protect your children’s lungs, I don’t understand why the parents aren’t marshaling resources to prohibit Marlboro, Camel, Pall Mall, Kool, Virginia Slims, Lucky Strike, and Winston?

Still, the story is a sad one and we do mourn the loss of a anyone’s child.  We don’t advocate children doing drugs, period, except for medical reasons (and even then we think some of those are over-prescribed… Ritalin, we’re looking your way…)  But it wasn’t synthetic pot that killed Brandon Rice and it was prohibition of cannabis that brought him synthetic pot.

Donations can still be made in Brandon’s memory to any PNC Bank branch location using account number 6006292603 or mailed to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 West COTA Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403.

Checks or money orders should be made payable to COTA, with “In Honor of Brandon R.” written on the memo line of the check.

Secure credit card donations are also accepted online at www.COTAforBrandonR.com

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