- Philly to Become Largest City to Decriminalize Marijuana September 15, 2014
- Former World Leaders Calling for Drug Decriminalization September 15, 2014
- A Quick Tour of High Times’ Cannabis Cup Seattle September 12, 2014
Marijuana News in Arizona and World
A new report published this week by former world leaders states that drug use should be decriminalized and governments should look into the idea of broad scale legalization.
The Global Commission on Drug Policy’s ideas are also shared by some of the leaders of the countries that have been most affected by the illegal drug market. They argue, that not only is the war on drugs pointless, it is also the main reason for the crime and violence it was originally set up to prevent.
Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general says, “The facts speak for themselves. We need drug policies informed by evidence of what actually works, rather than policies that criminalize drug use while failing to provide access to effective prevention or treatment. This has led not only to overcrowded jails, but also to severe health and social problems.”
A report in 2011 came to a similar conclusion, and even went so far as to suggest some recommendations for the policy currently in place. They feel that drug use and possession in regards tothat disproportionately affect certain groups or minorities should be decriminalized. The report also suggests that experimental legalization, like in Colorado and Washington, should be done on a much larger scale in other countries. They believe that marijuana is a good place to start, but that it should not be limited there.
They go on to suggest that low level, non-violent drug dealers should not be sent to jail, but instead disciplined in a different and more humane way. The spokeswoman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Cameron Hardesty, seems to agree on this point. She says, “We agree that we should use science-based approaches, rely on alternatives to incarceration for non-violent drug offenders, and ensure access to pain medications. Our goals are not so dissimilar from the goals of the Global Commission. However, we disagree that legalization of drugs will make people healthier and communities safer.”
It will be great to see other states in the US following the example set by Colorado and Washington in the upcoming elections in regards to the recreational use of marijuana, as well as to see how Uruguay’s model of nationwide marijuana legalization works out. One thing is for certain - the current policy has to change.
While the majority of Americans are coming around to the idea that marijuana can be valuable, whether it be for recreational or medical purposes, the opposition is looking to a team of researchers in hopes that they can scare and influence policymakers into continuing to believe that marijuana is a dangerous substance. They claim the lack of testing that has been done on marijuana makes it a risky alternative to modern medicine.
It appears a great number of these researchers are receiving compensation by some of the biggest names in the pharmaceutical industry to remain anti-marijuana. The main reason being that marijuana could easily take the place of some of these companies’ highest grossing drugs.
Many credible doctors who have spoken publicly about the “dangers” associated with marijuana use are getting paid by large-scale pharmaceutical manufacturers such as Purdue Pharma, creator of the painkiller, OcyContin.
People in the marijuana field feel that some of these doctors’ financial arrangements with big pharmaceutical companies should be considered a conflict of interest. Studies done on marijuana in association with pain relief have shown that it is a viable replacement for addictive opiates which mimic the effects of heroin. What they fail to mention, however, is that prescription painkillers are responsible for roughly 16,000 overdose deaths annually, while no one in recorded history has ever overdosed from marijuana use.
Nation magazine ran a story in July which stated that many of the largest anti-marijuana advocacy groups rely on funding from painkiller manufacturing companies such as Purdue Pharma. While these companies fill the general public’s heads with skewed opinions, they take away from one of the biggest problems facing the US, which is the over-prescribing of painkillers.
Meanwhile these companies pump more and more painkillers into the hands of the unsuspecting American public every single day because the media often tells them that opioids are a safer alternative to using the all-natural remedy, marijuana.
It appears the NFL will finally be looking towards changing their antiquated and overly severe drug policy. The NFLPA (NFL Players Association) will soon vote on some proposed changes to the NFL’s current policy.
If the changes are accepted, there would be an increased threshold for any player that tests positive for marijuana. Nate Jackson, a New York Times contributor, who was also a former NFL tight end, says that he medicated with marijuana for the majority of hisand feels that the way Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Josh Gordon was treated is unfair.
Jackson goes on to say, “Gordon has marijuana in his system. He broke the rules. I understand that. But this is a rule that absurdly equates marijuana with opiates, steroids, and PCP. The NFL’s threshold for disciplinary action for marijuana is 10 times higher than the one used by the International Olympic Committee.”
This is a long time coming for the NFL to take a look at the way they handle marijuana across the league. Morgan Fox of the marijuana policy project sums it up best by saying, “The NFL’s harsh marijuana penalties do nothing to promote the health and safety of the players.”
The Tucson City Council voted to remove zoning restrictions on medical marijuana cultivation centers. Council members and advocates said the change will greatly benefit the city’s economy.
Vicky Puchi-Saavedra, a Tucson marijuana industry jobs and improve revenue for the city because cultivation facilities can now be bigger than the previous 3,000 square-feet limit. Many have been purchasing medical marijuana from , where there are no zoning restrictions, in order to keep up with demand. These Tucson were nearly paying retail price, making it impossible to lower costs for their customers.owner, said the decision will help generate new
“It is like trickle down economics. You don’t justa grower, you hire bookkeepers, you hire warehouse managers…” said Puchi-Saavedra. “Aside from the sales tax we are paying, city sales tax, so we are helping the city instead of moving our warehouse out of Tucson, back into Phoenix.”
Councilwoman Karin Uhlich stated that Tucson area patients were suffering the consequences of strict marijuana cultivation regulations.
“Most of the product was being cultivated in Maricopa County and in the Phoenix area, which added cost to patients in our area,” stated Uhlich. “And so we are really monitoring what is happening across the state as thegets implemented and recognizing that being overly restrictive simply ads cost to patients in Tucson.”
Another free giveaway by AZmarijuana.com has begun. This new giveaway is for a $100 dispensary gift card. As always, our giveaways are free to enter and win.
Anyone 18 or older can enter to win the gift card. But in order to use the gift card the person must have a valid Arizona medical marijuana card.
The gift card can be used at either of Nature’s AZ Medicines’ two dispensary locations. The gift card user can purchase marijuana, or other products such as a , , or . View Nature’s AZ Medicines’ menu to see all their current products.
The giveaway ends on Sept. 30. So enter to win today!
Three cities in Maine will be voting this coming November on adopting a program that would allow adults age 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.
Law enforcement and local governments have shown strong opposition to this movement, but the initiatives in each city are still gaining momentum.
Lewiston, Maine’s second largest city, was the first to place the initiative on its ballot. They were able to gather many more signatures than needed to get the initiative on the ballot.
The city of South Portland faced unanimous opposition in regards to the initiative, but still managed to turn in more than enough signatures from local supporters.
York, the third city pushing for the legalization of small amounts of marijuana, was also able to gather enough signatures to get the initiative on their town’s ballot despite facing great opposition as well.
Activists in Maine are hoping that this will push their state in a pro-marijuana direction, and that Maine voters will be able to vote for legalized recreational marijuana by 2016.
The Berkeley City Council in California has decided that medical marijuana should give a break to patients who can’t afford to buy their marijuana at dispensaries.
The City Council unanimously voted on a measure that will force medical marijuana dispensaries to donate 2% of their inventory to state-approved medical marijuana patients who pull in less than $32,000 annually.
The program just passed and is expected to be underway by mid-2015.
Low income residents in need of medical marijuana are extremely pleased that this measure passed allowing them to get the relief they so desperately need, but struggle to afford.
California has allowed medical marijuana in the state for over 20 years and many California dispensaries have voluntarily provided medical marijuana to patients in need.
The Berkeley Patients group is athat has been giving marijuana to its patients for over 10 years. They believe that no one should be turned away based solely on their income.
According to Denver news reports, marijuana-enjoying tourists leaving the Mile High City have been giving their leftover marijuana to rental car employees because they’re afraid of a shakedown by airport security.
“It happens quite often…every couple of days” said one rental car employee. Another rental car agency employee said departing travelers hand her their leftover marijuana several times per day. “It happens pretty often. More during the weekends. Probably like four times a day,” she stated.
Some workers “just throw it in the trash” while others likely keep the free marijuana because marijuana is legal in Colorado for adults 21 and older.
This marijuana-ditching phenomenon seems to be a common occurrence at Denver International Airport because tourists are highly aware that transporting marijuana via airplane is a felony and could get them arrested. This is because marijuana is still considered illegal by the federal government and by the Federal Aviation Administration, even though marijuana is legal in Colorado.
Airport officials stated that the few individuals caught with marijuana have simply been asked to throw it away. “We want them to discard it peacefully and carry on with their trip,” said Stacey Stegman, a spokesperson with the airport. “We don’t want to have to issue a citation, we don’t want anyone to get in trouble.”
According to an online CivicScience poll of over 450,000 Americans, 58 percent of respondents support regulating marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.
The majority of respondents reported that they would support “ain [their] state that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana like alcohol”. Only 35% of respondents reported that they would oppose such a change in law.
Another recent poll of responses found even stronger support for marijuana legalization, with 61% of respondents polled agreeing with marijuana law reform.
The CivicScience survey is not a scientific poll, although its findings are very similar to those reported by Gallup in 2013, when 58% of respondents reported that they support marijuana legalization.
Furthermore, in April, the Pew Research Center reported that 54% of Americans support legalizing marijuana.
The federal government has decided to increase their marijuana supply for research purposes. The DEA announced last week that they will increase their marijuana production quota from a meager 21 kilograms to a whopping 650 kilograms in order to meet demand.
A farm at the University of Mississippi in Oxford is federally permitted to grow a set amount of marijuana to be used in clinical trials. All protocol must first be approved by the DEA, FDA, and the US National Institute on Drug Abuse before administering marijuana to human test subjects.
Marijuana advocates have been quick to point out that in the past the majority of the research being done by the federal government on marijuana has been designed to point out all the potential harms rather than the many therapeutic benefits.
A spokesman for the research said, “The additional supply of cannabis to be manufactured in 2014 is designed to meet the current and anticipated research efforts involving marijuana. This projection of increased demand is due in part to the recent increased interest in the possible therapeutic uses of marijuana.”
There are currently eight trials being done on marijuana’s effects on humans, but only two are devoted to researching the plant’s benefits.