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Posts tagged War on drugs

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Cali-like crackdown on dispensaries begins in Colorado

Federal officials began a California-style crackdown on Colorado medical marijuana businesses Thursday, targeting those located near schools in a move that could affect nearly a dozen Colorado Springs businesses.

U.S. Attorney John Walsh said 23 dispensaries across Colorado that are within 1,000 feet of schools have until Feb. 27 to shut down or face federal penalties, which can include asset seizure or forfeiture of property. The warning letters, dated Thursday, were sent to dispensary owners and their landlords.

Walsh said prosecutors expect to target more medical marijuana businesses near schools.

The orders set up a possible showdown with businesses that worked closely with state lawmakers to develop regulations they hoped would prevent such action.

“Colorado’s the last place they should probably be trying to do that considering the evolution we’ve made in just a very short period of time to create an industry that’s fully transparent and regulated,” said Mark Slaugh, membership director of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council.

Colorado took extreme pains to avoid the pitfalls of California, but it doesn’t matter. The federal government has decided weed is something that they’ll ruin lives over, even when the law of the land allows it. It just goes to show how drastically the government will move the goal posts to justify their war on ‘drugs’ (in reality, a war on people who use certain types of drugs).

The idea that we need to have more regulation on dispensaries than we do on pharmacies that sell extremely addictive opiates and amphetamines is just absurd on it’s face.

Filed under war on drugs drug war drug policy Marijuana weed colorado denver colorado springs

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Colorado Asks DEA to Reschedule Marijuana, DEA Expected to Ignore Request

The head of the Colorado Department of Revenue has written a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration asking that federal controls on marijuana be loosened slightly to account for its “potential medicinal value.”

Colorado is the third state with a medical-marijuana program to ask the DEA to reschedule marijuana…

The letter asks that the DEA consider moving marijuana from schedule I — a category that includes such drugs as heroin and LSD that are not considered to have medicinal value — to schedule II. Drugs in that category, such as methadone and cocaine, are considered to have some medicinal value but also be highly addictive.

Schedule II substances are able to be prescribed by doctors but are still subject to strict controls. It is unclear whether Colorado’s medical-marijuana laws — which allow doctors to authorize marijuana use through recommendation and allow patients to grow their own cannabis plants — would clash with those controls.

Earlier this year, the governors of Rhode Island and Washington also asked the DEA to reschedule marijuana. The DEA has in the past rejected similar requests to reclassify the substance.

According to the US Government, Marijuana is more dangerous, more addictive, and has less of a medicinal use than cocaine and methadone. This is a clear and obvious lie.

Filed under marijuana DEA drugs War on drugs drug war

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Oklahoma mother gets 10 years for $31 marijuana sale

kamaolesands:

jonathan-cunningham:

robot-heart-politics:

Hey, I have an idea for how we can cut the budget…

Finally, this criminal posing as a functioning, contributing member of society will be added to our permanent underclass.  And to think, it will only cost the tax payer $162,020.  

But wait a moment- what about her children?  We can’t have a relative of the children raising them, they might have a shot at a decent life.  Oh, nevermind, we arrested their grandmother as well:

Police say Spottedcrow and her 50-year-old mother Delita Starr sold $11 worth of pot to an undercover cop at her home in 2009 on New Year’s Eve, according to The Oklahoman. Two weeks later, the cop came back and bought $20 worth of marijuana.

Both women were arrested and charged with drug distribution. And since Spottedcrow’s children were present in the home during the drug deal, the pair was also charged with possession of a dangerous substance in the presence of a minor, according to the paper.

So, two children are without parents and the tax payer is out $324,040, plus the cost of raising the orphans we made.  Sounds like our legal system works just fine to me!

i wasn’t aware marijuana was a dangerous substance….

Patricia Spottedcrow is still in prison and kept from her four children, over a year after her conviction. She reflects on her sad tale:

"The first eight months were a blur," Spottedcrow said. "I just cried a lot. It’s like I woke up a couple of months ago." 

Her daily schedule starts with breakfast at 5:30 a.m., followed by her job in the laundry. At 4:30 p.m., she is released and goes to the gym, followed by dinner and then church at 7 p.m. 

"You have to try and keep your mind busy," she said. "It’s easy to get sad, depressed and stuck in your own head in here"…

But it’s her kids taking up most of her thoughts. 

"I was there every day taking of care of them before this," she said. "I did everything from going to football games and PTA." 

While in prison, Spottedcrow has taken parenting classes, finished her GED and participates in a grief/loss recovery program, a behavior course, Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous and a faith-based program. She is on a waiting list to begin higher education and Career Tech classes. 

"The life I was living before, that’s over," Spottedcrow said. "I’m not playing with my life anymore. I would never chance this again for my children." 

Spottedcrow never denied she smoked pot but said she was never a drug dealer or ever used or sold marijuana in front of her children. 

"I got myself in this situation, and I’m not saying I shouldn’t be punished," she said. "But I think this is a little excessive, especially looking at other cases from my county. And I’m sleeping next to people who have killed people, and they have less time than me. There are days I really can’t believe I’m in prison." 

Presidents use their pardon power all the time for criminals that are in the white moneyed social circles. It’s a shame they won’t use it to actually correct injustices- these children will grow up without a mother, because some dirtbag asked her if she had any pot, then arrested her when she was nice enough to share.

(via nema-tode)

Filed under drugs war on drugs

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Cops Losing their Jobs for Criticizing the Drug War

“I was terminated not because my service was inadequate, but because I hold certain opinions that are shared by millions of my fellow Americans,” [former border patrol agent Bryan] Gonzalez is quoted as saying in an ACLU press release. “I am no less patriotic or dedicated to excellence in my work because I respectfully disagree with some of our current border enforcement policies. It was wrong for the U.S. Border Patrol to retaliate against me for exercising my free speech rights guaranteed by the very Constitution I swore to uphold”…

Last September, Joe Miller, a probation officer in Arizona’s Mohave County, near the California–Mexico border, joined 32 members of LEAP in signing a lettersupporting last year’s failed California ballot measure to legalize and tax marijuana. Two months later, Miller was notified that he was under investigation for failing to “indicate that [his] opinion was not the opinion of the Mohave County Probation Department,” even though the LEAP letter included a disclaimer at the bottom that specified that that “all agency affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.”  Miller was ultimately terminated.

The majority of the people who signed the petition that Joe Miller was fired for were retired police officers. Think about that for a moment: the majority of the people who signed a petition stating how much damage the drug war has done were police officers who didn’t feel comfortable enough to speak out until they retired (for good reason- look at what happened to Officer Miller). 

The threat is implicit, but never deny that it is there. It is there to stifle criticism of the Drug War, and to continue the militarization of the police. A civilian police force should be filled with people in touch with their community and willing to say what policies negatively affect them. Instead, we’ve filled our police force with soldiers who aren’t allowed to question orders.

Filed under War on drugs police police militarization Free speech

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Obama's Commutation: a prelude to systemic reform?

There are hundreds of thousands of Americans serving outrageously long prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenses as a result of our nation’s widely discredited and inhumane "war on drugs." On Tuesday night, President Obama did something he had not yet done as president — he commuted someone’s prison term. While we applaud President Obama’s decision to allow Eugenia Marie Jennings, a mother of three suffering from cancer who has served 10 years of her 22-year sentence for selling 13.9 grams of crack cocaine, to return to her family 12 years earlier than she otherwise would have, we hope this stands not as a mere isolated gesture of generosity but rather marks the beginning of an enduring, fundamental change in the president’s systemic approach to drug policy.

We have commended the president for his role in the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the crack to powder cocaine sentencing disparity from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1. But much more reform is still needed. Indeed, many nonviolent drug offenders — including Ms. Jennings — do not benefit from the newly reduced disparity. And even those who do benefit still receive a sentence that is disproportionately harsh and that disproportionately affects African-Americans.

Furthermore, while Ms. Jennings likely caught the president’s attention because of her particularly sympathetic story, strong legal team and a supportive United States senator, there are so many more like Ms. Jennings who don’t have such powerful advocates and yet are no less deserving of the president’s mercy. With hundreds of thousands of nonviolent drug offending Americans behind bars, sporadic commutations aren’t nearly enough to solve the nation’s current incarceration crisis or prevent us from perpetuating the unjust “war on drugs” in future generations.

It’s sweet that Mr. Obama pardoned Marie Jennings, but it’s clearly a publicity stunt. He wants people to believe he cares about these issues without actually having the courage to face them. He threw a bone to a single person and now expects us to forgive him when he destroys hundreds of thousands of other people’s lives in the name of political expediency. 

Filed under Obama ACLU War on drugs drugs

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The CIA admitted in 1998 that guerrilla armies it actively supported in Nicaragua were smuggling illegal drugs into the United States—drugs that were making their way onto the streets of inner-city black neighborhoods in the form of crack cocaine. The CIA also admitted that, in the midst of the War on Drugs, it blocked law enforcement efforts to investigate illegal drug networks that were helping to fund its covert war in Nicaragua.
Michelle Alexander, from The New Jim Crow.  Michelle’s source for this information includes a book by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair called Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs, and the Press.  She also cites two different newspaper articles and a 2004 magazine article written by Cockburn for The Nation.  Cockburn is a political journalist with a long list of credentials.  Also, the CIA’s complicity and active encouragement of the drug trade has been well documented. (via letterstomycountry)

Filed under CIA Nicaragua war on drugs drugs

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The budget problem isn't related to social services

As we endlessly hear about a massive debt crisis, the current President has started one optional war that has already exceeded its estimated costs, plans to continue (if not escalatetwo more, is drone-attacking a new country on a seemingly weekly basis, expands sprawling covert military actions in still other countriesbuilds new overseas detention facilities, all while offering only the most modest, symbolic and illusory “cuts” in military spending.  The alleged need to slash the financial security of American citizens — and the notion that America faces a severe debt crisis — would be more persuasive if the country didn’t continue its posture of Endless War and feeding the insatiable, bloated National Security State (to say nothing of the equally insatible and wasteful Drug War and its evil spawn, the increasingly privatized American Prison State, which the Obama administration is expanding as aggressively as the War on Terror).

We are making an active choice to prioritize war and the criminalization of drugs over Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security.

Filed under greenwald war on drugs military industrial complex