Even though Colorado legislature passed a law in 2001 that brought marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to a petty offense, one little town named Longmont is apparently still reaping in the rewards of the cash cow system created by the war on drugs.
A group called, Free Marijuana in Longmont, wants the $100 fine and possible jail time for possession of marijuana reduced to $5. They feel community service and a $25 fine, instead of jail time and $100 fine is the way to go for public display or consumption of marijuana. This would just be a change for the adults however, the minors would still have to fork over their
drug lunch money and allowance and pay the current fine.
The group plans to bumrush city council members the next time they hold a meeting and basically give them an ultimatum of agreeing to changing the code or they would send out petitions and collect signatures to get the issue on the ballot in November and therefore let the people decide.
Although medical marijuana is legal in Colorado, Paul Tiger, another Longmont resident worries about the chances of people smoking marijuana for recreation and not medication if it’s decriminalized and the penalties are reduced.
Kevin Clowers, leader of the group, uses the logic that if the fine is reduced to something like $5 then the authorities won’t bother in chasing the potheads and thus they save money in the long run with the courts and freeing up police officers to go after the real bad guys.Rick
Maybe if all activists wore suits and spoke without slang in their vocabulary then people would stop laughing at the issue itself. Of course doing that will just further influence people into thinking that a suit + education = success, and that would just continue establishing an antiquated stereotype.
Now if they could make a bong out of the Washington Monument, that would be some feat.Rick
Whether you’re at work, home or even on the road, you now can get updates of numerous street cart vendors that notify their customers via Twitter. Thanks to Serious Eats, you can now narrow down the mobile caterers that are in your area and know exactly what their special of the day is, time and location.
Academics and left-wing activists are well known for their opposition to the war on drugs. It’s less often that one hears the criticism straight from the horse’s mouth. In an interview for Allison Kilkenny’s blog, a former detective lieutenant and narcotics officer offered up some first hand evidence that the war on drugs is little more than a police-orchestrated charade.
The detective, Jack Cole, is now a member of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.) A 26-year veteran of the New Jersey state police, Cole was well-acquainted with the discrepancy between department objectives and the reality on the ground:
We nor our bosses had any idea of how to fight a war on drugs. Our bosses did know one thing though; they knew how to keep that federal cash-cow being milked in their personal barnyard. To accomplish that they had to make the drug war appear to be an absolute necessity. So early on we were encouraged to lie about most of our statistics and lie we did.
And so the department inflated arrest statistics, seizure statistics, and any other metrics that would make them look successful:
We exaggerated the amount of drugs we seized by adding the weight of any cutting agents we found (lactose, mannitol, starch, or sucrose) to the weight of the illegal drug. So we might seize one ounce of cocaine and four pounds of lactose.
And as the lie steamrolled onward, the department funding poured in. Soon, “cooking” the stats was a mere formality and part of everyday policework. And, as they tend to do, the lie spiraled out of control.
In Cole’s words:
The War On Drugs gives the racists an easy hook to hurt people they don’t like. And they do.
The need for stats bred racial profiling, destroyed minority communities, and locked up hundreds of thousands of non-malicious, non-violent youths.
As Morgan Freeman noted in The Shawshank Redemption, “Prison time is slow time.”
For one former drug trafficker, time has afforded him the opportunity to share his story with his fellow countrymen. Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, once the most powerful drug boss of his day, has released a 36-page retelling of his reign to the Mexican magazine, Gatorpardo.
Entitled Diaries of the Boss of Bosses, the manifesto covers the 18-years that Gallardo spent in the drug trade, ultimately finding himself at the top of the heap.
From his high vantage, he had a clear view of the corrupting influence of narco-dollars on his own men, and on the police and military officials that he courted.
One close associate of his, Gonzalez Calderoni, was publicly known as a Tango & Cash-like supercop. In reality, Calderoni was nothing more than a corrupt official, living off of tips and intelligence provided by friendly traffickers. When the price was right, Calderoni turned on Gallardo, and ambushed him at a local Guadalajara restaurant.
Gallardo’s story offers up some important reminders for modern drug warriors. One, is that these vast sums of drugs targeted and seized are a hugely corrupting influence on all who come across them. Another, is that regardless of who is removed from the drug trade (even the kingpin himself) it will always perpetuate itself.Erin
If you’re a regular (or even occasional) marijuana smoker, chances are you’ve been faced with all the stereotypes associated with stoners. As an attempt to clear some of these up, we’ve come up with a list of the most common marijuana misconceptions and accompanying explanations.
1. Pot smokers are unproductive and unmotivated.
This website is built and run by pot smokers. Consider this stereotype defeated already, but I can go on…
As one of the most productive stoners I know, smoking can actually help you become more focused; you just have to make sure you’re smoking the right weed. Pick a sativa or sativa-dominant hybrid to keep you alert – a heavy indica will make you feel groggy and sleepy, which is not good for work time.
2. Marijuana is addictive.
Actually, this is probably one of the most common misconceptions out there. Since it involves inhaling smoke, many people group weed together with cigarettes, forgetting about the nicotine and other addictive substances that cigarettes contain. Unlike cigarettes and alcohol, smoking weed does not result in physical dependency and does not produce any withdrawal symptoms. Only a small minority of Americans (<1%) smoke marijuana every day.
3. Smoking marijuana causes lung damage.
There have been no reports of lung cancer solely associated with marijuana. While the smoke does contain a number of irritants and carcinogens, it’s only a fraction compared to the chemicals crammed in cigarettes, and even heavy cannabis users exhibit no obstruction to the airways, unlike tobacco smokers. Reference Doug Benson’s Super High Me – in over 10 years of heavy marijuana smoking, the doctors told him he has done no permanent damage to his lungs.
Check out the other 7 misconceptions after the jump…Rick
In an interview with USA Today on Wednesday, Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, commented that one of his priorities within the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy will be to crack down on prescription abuse.
We get overly concerned about drugs coming in, but the pharmaceuticals are here already.
Under his plans Kerlikowske wants doctors and pharmacists to be able to log prescriptions, particularly to the addictive drugs, so that law enforcement can track them. Some states already have a database of such, known as prescription-monitoring programs.
We’re going to shout that from the rooftops. We have a national effort to combat swine flu. In the same way, we can bring all forces to bear on the drug problem.
Although Kerlikowske takes a step back from previous administrations with the view on the war on drugs, he hasn’t completely escaped the dark side — at least not in front of over 300 police, federal agents and other law enforcement:
Legalization isn’t in the president’s vocabulary, and it certainly isn’t in mine.
Two things come to mind about the prescription monitoring programs:
- What rights would we as citizens and patients have for our records to be private and confidential, as the Hippocratic oath assures? Does this mean any local yokel sheriff’s department will have access to the database on a mere whim, or will the information be protected and they would have to have a warrant to access it?
- If more states begin to participate in these programs, what are they doing to safeguard our information from the computer intrusion specialists? After all, we reported a few weeks ago that a prescription monitoring program in VA was hacked. If the script kiddies can get through, what about infiltration by government trained hackers from other countries?
Although the new Drug Czar and his viewpoints are considered by some to be a breath of fresh air, we still need to be vigilant about the stale stench that could easily engulf him.Rick
No doubt the cannabis movement to overgrow the government has progressed tenfold to the point where legalizing weed has become a national topic. However the news, never really captures the imagery needed to show the beauty of the plant. Steering away from typical photos depicting marijuana as a “dangerous drug”, Photographer, David Walter Banks delves into the medical marijuana community and captures the raw essence of what the plant and the culture surrounding it, is all about.
At a medical marijuana grow op in Georgia there are no labs, no beakers, no solvents needed to cut the finalized product… a simple clothesline is needed to dry the plant.
The plant is then taken to a medical marijuana dispensary and displayed for patients to purchase, like at this Cannabis Therapeutics dispensary in Colorado Springs.
This plant then helps medical marijuana patients like A.I.D.S. patient, Damien Lagoy — saying the plant helps him keep his food and medication down.
These photos by Banks, are a welcome change from the imagery that is usually associated with the world of marijuana.