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Offline Rudi Jan

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Washington DC considers decriminalization of marijuana
« on: July 15, 2013, 03:13:04 PM »
Washington DC considers decriminalization of marijuana

Published time: July 12, 2013 19:43
Edited time: July 15, 2013 11:58
source: http://rt.com/usa/washington-consider-decriminalization-marijuana-026/


AFP Photo / David McNew

Smoking weed on the steps of the US Capitol may soon result in little more than a slap on the wrist: the Washington, D.C. City Council has announced that it may soon decriminalize small quantities of marijuana possession in the US capital.

Councilman Tommy Wells on Wednesday unveiled legislation that would eliminate criminal penalties for anyone caught possessing less than an ounce of marijuana. If the bill is passed, those in possession of the drug would face a civil fine of $100, but would not drastically have their lives altered.

“Possession of less than one ounce will no longer be a permanent barrier to individuals seeking employment; those caught with less than one ounce will no longer have their driver’s licenses suspended, will not be thrown out of public housing, and will not have their eligibility for public assistance revoked," Wells said at a press conference. "They will not have their personal property subject to seizure and forfeiture simply because they are caught with less than one ounce of marijuana.”

D.C. law currently punishes offenders with a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail. In the news release published on his website, the councilman references a report, which states that the capital’s police force made 846 marijuana arrests per 100,000 residents in 2010. The national average was 256 arrests.

Additionally, African-Americans were eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in Washington, D.C. than white people, according to an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) report.

Residents in the District have long sought marijuana decriminalization, claiming that arrests for possession weaken the community and ruin lives. A survey conducted by the Public Policy Polling last April found that 67 percent of D.C. voters believe police should focus their attention toward other crimes, and 63 percent said they would support a ballot measure resembling those approved in Washington and Colorado. Fifty-four percent of respondents said that instead of imprisoning marijuana users, the city should instead treat drug use as a public health condition.

“D.C. voters clearly want to end the failed war on drugs,” Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement in April. “Decriminalizing marijuana is a no-brainer.”

The “Simple Possession of Small Quantities of Marijuana Decriminalization Amendment Act” already has wide-ranging support in the city council, which has 13 seats. Council members Marion Barry helped draft the bill, and six others co-introduced it. The ACLU and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) have already endorsed it.

"The effort to decriminalize marijuana is about removing barriers for individuals - the impact on their education, and their opportunities for employment," Wells said. "Current legal practices in the District impose a record that sticks with them for life, rather than imposing more sensible civil fines.

If Washington, D.C. chooses to decriminalize marijuana possession, it would follow in the steps of  the 17 US states that have already adopted similar measures. 
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Offline Sue

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- Washington DC considers decriminalization of marijuana
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2013, 04:51:18 PM »
Quote
If Washington, D.C. chooses to decriminalize marijuana possession, it would follow in the steps of the 17 US states that have already adopted similar measures.

Any Canadian province could decriminalize marijuana


Did you know that BC can decriminalize marijuana? Indeed,
any Canadian province could decriminalize marijuana possession at any time.

Provinces have all kinds of legal options when it comes to dealing with possession of marijuana.

We know what the RCMP’s preferred option is: more arrests and more charges for marijuana possession.

The RCMP have increased marijuana possession charges across Canada by about 30% since Harper came to power. In BC the increase has been the greatest: there was a 211% increase in pot possession charges between 2005 and 2011.

For provincial politicians to simply pass the buck while writing ever larger cheques to the RCMP is simply not acceptable. It’s time for BC to adopt a sensible marijuana policy: the Sensible Policing Act.

Policing is provincial jurisdiction

Many Canadians don’t realize that policing is provincial jurisdiction, and that all police in BC operate under the authority of BC’s Police Act and the provincial Attorney General.

All provinces have the duty and responsibility to instruct and direct all police in their province in terms of priorities and spending. This duty has become more important than ever, as policing costs are skyrocketing across Canada.

There are many precedents for provinces decriminalizing certaing activities by directing police resources and enforcement priorities

8 provinces decriminalized possession of an unregistered long gun

In 2003, eight provinces refused to enforce the federal Firearms Act because they did not support the Long Gun Registry. The government of British Columbia joined with seven other provinces by simply refusing to enforce the federal law.

In that case, provincial governments declared that “resources should be directed to the prosecution of substantive criminal offences.” A provincial government could simply take the same stance in regards to simple possession of cannabis.

BC decriminalized injection drug use at InSite

More recently, the BC government fought for the right of InSite, the Supervised Injection Site, to continue operations despite the federal government wanting to close it down. In that case, the provincial government took the federal government to court on an issue of drug policy, and won the right to keep InSite open.

If the BC government can fight and win against the federal government when it comes to protecting the health and safety of a small number of injection drug users, then surely the BC government can also stand up for the health and safety of the hundreds of thousands of current marijuana users in the province?

Let’s not forget that health care is also provincial jurisdiction, and that there are tens of thousands of medical marijuana users in BC who are not being treated well under the federal government’s failure of a medical marijuana program.

BC decriminalized impaired driving

As a third example, let’s remember that BC also decriminalized impaired driving in 2011, by creating a provincial regulatory scheme, and then instructing police to use the province’s administrative penalties instead of the federal Criminal Code.

If the province can circumvent the Criminal Code with a set of administrative penalties and regulations around impaired driving, then why can’t the province also create a set of rules around safe production and sale of cannabis, and focus police resources on those who are not in compliance with those rules.

Vancouver has decriminalized marijuana possession

Finally, there is the simple matter of a policy directive. The BC government has authority over the RCMP in BC, and they should exercise it, and tell them to adopt the same policy that is already in place in Vancouver.


The Vancouver Police Department have a long-standing policy of not making charges for marijuana possession, and of not bothering people about possession of marijuana unless there is a complaint.

In the rest of BC, the RCMP have decided to adopt the opposite approach, with a steadily increasing number of police hours being spent to seize small amounts of marijuana, and a steadily increasing number of charges being laid. This is despite the fact that British Columbians don’t think marijuana use is a crime, and that the BC Union of Municipalities wants to decriminalize marijuana.

It would be perfectly reasonable and appropriate for the BC Attorney General to simply order the RCMP to stop wasting their time and taxpayer’s money on busting people for marijuana possession.

The Sensible Policing Act

The Sensible BC campaign has written legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession in BC, called the Sensible Policing Act.

This legislation would do four things, all within provincial jurisdiction:

(1) stop police from searching or arresting adults for marijuana possession in BC.
(2) treat possession of marijuana by minors the same as alcohol.
(3) call upon the federal government to repeal marijuana prohibition.
(4) start figuring out the rules needed for legalization in BC.

Join Sensible BC today!

  The Sensible Policing Act has already been approved by Elections BC as valid legislation, within provincial jurisdiction and suitable for a referendum.

Sensible BC is working to collect the signatures needed in order to have a provincial vote on the Sensible Policing Act. We will be starting the official 90-day signature-gathering period in September, and right now we are getting volunteers in place, building public awareness and pre-registering supporters.

Source: http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2013/06/05/any-canadian-province-could-decriminalize-marijuana/
Please join our campaign for a marijuana referendum.

BC can decriminalize marijuana possession, as the first step to a sensible marijuana policy.
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline Rudi Jan

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- Washington DC considers decriminalization of marijuana
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2013, 05:03:15 PM »
Many Canadians don’t realize that policing is provincial jurisdiction, and that all police in BC operate under the authority of BC’s Police Act and the provincial Attorney General.

All provinces have the duty and responsibility to instruct and direct all police in their province in terms of priorities and spending. This duty has become more important than ever, as policing costs are skyrocketing across Canada.


It would be perfectly reasonable and appropriate for the BC Attorney General to simply order the RCMP to stop wasting their time and taxpayer’s money on busting people for marijuana possession.

Would be an even better thing if the federal government was booted out of provincial jurisdictions by either creating their own provincial police or, better yet, adopt the American system of local law enforcement by electing a sheriff. That would mean getting rid of the imposed regional system and consider replacing that legislated (no one asked for it) provincial authority with a county style system.
Suspend all belief. Get the facts ~ Rudi
No one rules if no one obeys ~ Lao Tzu

Offline Sue

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- Washington DC considers decriminalization of marijuana
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2013, 05:25:39 PM »
Would there be any chance of this happening? Too many bureaucrats would loose their easy, well paid jobs.
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline Rudi Jan

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- Washington DC considers decriminalization of marijuana
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2013, 05:46:55 PM »
Would there be any chance of this happening? Too many bureaucrats would loose their easy, well paid jobs.

Perhaps it's just wishful thinking on my part. I'm more or less trying to get people to think outside the box cage. Eventually politicians and bureaucrats will have exhausted all credibility whatsoever and when (?) that happens the people need to rethink the whole paradigm of government and centralized authority. I'm trying to pave the way by introducing some basic talking points. Much of that is what we've already learned in the works of such men as Thomas Payne, John Adams, Lysander Spooner, the authors of the anti-federalist papers and so many more.
Suspend all belief. Get the facts ~ Rudi
No one rules if no one obeys ~ Lao Tzu

Offline Sue

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- Washington DC considers decriminalization of marijuana
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2013, 08:40:07 PM »
Perhaps it's just wishful thinking on my part. I'm more or less trying to get people to think outside the box cage. Eventually politicians and bureaucrats will have exhausted all credibility whatsoever and when (?) that happens the people need to rethink the whole paradigm of government and centralized authority. I'm trying to pave the way by introducing some basic talking points. Much of that is what we've already learned in the works of such men as Thomas Payne, John Adams, Lysander Spooner, the authors of the anti-federalist papers and so many more.

We are all capable of wishful thinking and do it...

Have you read Frédéric Bastiat; ''The Law''?

A Just and Enduring Government

If a nation were founded on this basis, it seems to me that order would prevail among the people, in thought as well as in deed. It seems to me that such a nation would have the most simple, easy to accept, economical, limited, nonoppressive, just, and enduring government imaginable — whatever its political form might be.

Under such an administration, everyone would understand that he possessed all the privileges as well as all the responsibilities of his existence. No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor was free, and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack. When successful, we would not have to thank the state for our success. And, conversely, when unsuccessful, we would no more think of blaming the state for our misfortune than would the farmers blame the state because of hail or frost. The state would be felt only by the invaluable blessings of safety provided by this concept of government.

It can be further stated that, thanks to the non-intervention of the state in private affairs, our wants and their satisfactions would develop themselves in a logical manner. We would not see poor families seeking literary instruction before they have bread. We would not see cities populated at the expense of rural districts, nor rural districts at the expense of cities. We would not see the great displacements of capital, labor, and population that are caused by legislative decisions.

The sources of our existence are made uncertain and precarious by these state-created displacements. And, furthermore, these acts burden the government with increased responsibilities.

http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html#SECTION_G005
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline Rudi Jan

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- Washington DC considers decriminalization of marijuana
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2013, 09:15:52 PM »
Have you read Frédéric Bastiat; ''The Law''?

I have the book. Also a PDF version. Was something that I read a long time ago and was instrumental in my understanding of the law and politics. He died rather young (age 50) and I sometimes wonder how much more he might have contributed has he lived longer though just that little book alone was considerable.
Suspend all belief. Get the facts ~ Rudi
No one rules if no one obeys ~ Lao Tzu

Offline Sue

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- Washington DC considers decriminalization of marijuana
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2013, 10:11:53 PM »
I have the book. Also a PDF version. Was something that I read a long time ago and was instrumental in my understanding of the law and politics. He died rather young (age 50) and I sometimes wonder how much more he might have contributed has he lived longer though just that little book alone was considerable.

I did not know that he died so young. Pretty knowledgeable person for age 50.
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline Dwayne

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- Washington DC considers decriminalization of marijuana
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2013, 04:04:20 PM »
I did not know that he died so young. Pretty knowledgeable person for age 50.

The Law is one of my staple references, along with Thomas Paine's and Lysander Spooner's works.

Offline Rudi Jan

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- Washington DC considers decriminalization of marijuana
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2013, 05:29:41 PM »
For those interested here is the PDF.
Suspend all belief. Get the facts ~ Rudi
No one rules if no one obeys ~ Lao Tzu

Offline OldTimes

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- Washington DC considers decriminalization of marijuana
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2013, 03:46:32 PM »
The only reason Washington would consider decriminalizing marijuana is that too many people can supplement their income by growing it themselves.  This is yet another economic attack, while they cast off a vice-business that probably only has mediocre revenue for themselves.

When they pull the rug out from under the economy, the last thing they want is people getting by while competing with them via their drug/vice businesses.

Offline Rudi Jan

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- Washington DC considers decriminalization of marijuana
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2013, 04:32:25 PM »
The only reason Washington would consider decriminalizing marijuana is that too many people can supplement their income by growing it themselves.  This is yet another economic attack, while they cast off a vice-business that probably only has mediocre revenue for themselves.

When they pull the rug out from under the economy, the last thing they want is people getting by while competing with them via their drug/vice businesses.

If decriminalized then wouldn't the price fall considerably? There would be very little money in it then unless they go for the licensing/permit legalization option - which is more than likely. My position is that vegetation is not a drug and that no government has any authority to over plants or what people do with plants.
Suspend all belief. Get the facts ~ Rudi
No one rules if no one obeys ~ Lao Tzu

Offline laconas

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- Washington DC considers decriminalization of marijuana
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2013, 10:28:50 PM »
I voted no on my state's last referendum on medical marijuana. The law passed, but I don't believe people should pay doctor to smoke a weed. Even though, it's pretty obvious that this is the direction they're going--regulation and control through the medical industry. For smokers, and I'm not one of them, it probably won't cost anymore than it does now, but the profits will be going to the medical industry rather than "independent businessmen." That's their goal, but the more likely scenario will be small growers everywhere for personal use that will diminish profit for the 2 aforementioned groups.
Nobody censors what they agree with

Offline Rudi Jan

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Illinois becomes 20th state to legalize medicinal marijuana as reform continues

Published time: August 02, 2013 23:50
source: http://rt.com/usa/illinois-legalizes-medical-marijuana-974/


Reuters / Anthony Bolante

Marijuana has been legalized for medicinal use in Illinois, making it the twentieth state in the US that permits individuals with serious diseases, including HIV and multiple sclerosis, to buy the drug in limited quantities.

The law, signed Thursday, goes into effect on January 1, 2014 and enacts regulations considered to be among the toughest used by states that have legalized medical marijuana. Patients, after being issued a state identification card, will be allowed to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two week period. There will also be 22 cultivation centers located throughout Illinois, where plants will be grown.

Illinois patients will not be allowed to grow their own marijuana, which is allowed in other states, and the cultivation centers will be under 24-hour surveillance. Medical marijuana users from outside the state will not be allowed to use their ID to buy it in Illinois, an unusual rule among the other states.

Marijuana can help relieve symptoms from cancer, muscular dystrophy, lupus, and over 30 other illnesses. The drug is known to combat insomnia, lack of appetite, general pain, movement disorders, glaucoma, and vomiting, among other maladies.

“It’s important we do whatever we can to ease their pain,” said Governor Pat Quinn as he signed the bill into law at the University of Chicago. “The reason I’m signing the bill is because it is so tightly and properly drafted.”

Patients suffering from a variety of injuries, ranging from military wounds to the physical deterioration that comes with old age, have complained of prescription pill cocktails that leave them groggy and unable to function.

Mike Graham, whose old football injury morphed into spinal problems that confined his life to a bed, was on hand when Governor Quinn signed the law on Thursday. He admitted to the Chicago Tribune that he was hesitant to try marijuana to fix the pain because of the stigma that came from living in a family of police officers.

“In a matter of days, I started to feel better. I could keep food down,” he said. “I thought, ‘Oh, boy, what am I going to say at Thanksgiving? But then they noticed that I could eat, so they knew something was up…I hadn’t been there the three previous years because I wasn’t able to get out of bed.”

Marijuana acceptance has quickly spread throughout the US. New Hampshire legalized marijuana for medicinal use in July, becoming the 19th state nationwide and ending its time as the final holdout in the New England region.

Since Colorado and Washington State voted in favor of laws decriminalizing the recreational use of marijuana, though, there have been signs of resistance from the federal government. Marijuana remains listed as a Schedule I drug on the federal level, which trumps state law whenever the two are in conflict. Under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana remains classified with the likes of heroin and MDMA.

As a Schedule I drug, the national government claims “the drug or other substances has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” Because of that listing, scientists are prevented from testing any medical benefits marijuana may have, a contradictory legal technicality that has frustrated critics for decades.

Despite a promise from US President Barack Obama that the Drug Enforcement Agency would not enforce federal law where states voted in favor of marijuana, the DEA quietly launched four simultaneous raids in Washington State last month. The confusion was palpable in an article written by the editorial board of the Seattle Times.

“At the time, the DEA said the dispensaries were selling to non-patients and trafficking in illegal amounts…If there are to be raids, arrests and prosecutions, they should be done under state authority unless there is evidence of a multistate enterprise,” the Seattle Times wrote.

“The Obama administration should accept state authority over cannabis that does not cross state lines and allow the reform of marijuana prohibition to proceed.”

RW - As much as I laud the loosening of the prohibition on smokeable herb I cannot help but a little queasy as far as this is being done through agency, by way of amount, restrictions and circumstance. This will create the same sort of monopoly and control that came out of alcohol prohibition wherein those who had no compulsion to flaunt the law bootlegging became the kingpins of the industry when alcohol became legalized. Treating herb as a controlled substance does not bode well if license favors a select few. I simply cannot agree with legalization on principal. It should no more be controlled than growing tomatoes. In other words it needs to be decriminalized entirely and removed from any federal or state control whatsoever.
Suspend all belief. Get the facts ~ Rudi
No one rules if no one obeys ~ Lao Tzu