Tag Archives: Heads
Yesterday, in a 4-1 vote, Vermont’s Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve a bill that would reduce penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Under H. 200, which has already passed the House, possession of up to an ounce of marijuana would become a civil offense punishable by a fine rather than a criminal misdemeanor.
H. 200, introduced by Rep. Christopher Pearson (P-Burlington) with a tripartisan group of 38 co-sponsors, would remove criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine, similar to a traffic ticket. Those under age 21 would be required to undergo substance abuse screening. Under current state law, possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail for a first offense and up to two years in jail for a subsequent offense.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of Vermont voters support removing criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana and replacing them with a civil fine, according to a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling in February 2012.
Senators will soon be voting on this bill. If you live in Vermont, click here to send them one last message of support!
LONDON (Reuters) – Revered or reviled, history shows that the placement of a public statue of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher anywhere in the capital risks becoming a lightning rod.
Reactions to the idea of Thatcher atop the empty fourth plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square mirror the emotions stirred up by the death of Britain’s “Iron Lady” on Monday.
Some mourners left flowers outside her home, while others “celebrated” with a street party and buying so many copies of the 74-year-old “Wizard of Oz” song “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” that it surged into a top 10 spot in the UK charts.
One small indication of the future prospects for a public statue of Thatcher happened more than a decade ago.
Theatre producer Paul Kelleher decapitated a statue of Thatcher in 2002, saying it “looked better that way”.
The work, created by sculptor Neil Simmons, was on display at the time at London’s Guildhall, just a short walk from St. Paul’s Cathedral where her funeral will be held on Wednesday.
In a telephone interview with Reuters, Simmons laughed as he recalled hearing of the attack on the statue, adding that he knew it was a “poisoned chalice” when he took on the commission.
“I thought it might be sprayed with graffiti, maybe a few eggs thrown at it, but the decapitation was something else,” he said.
Conservative London Mayor Boris Johnson said his office would do everything it can to ensure Thatcher gets a high profile London memorial.
A tribute in Trafalgar Square would put Thatcher on equal footing with King George IV and British army generals Henry Havelock and Charles Napier who occupy the other plinths. Though she would still be some way below the 50 meter-high monument of naval hero Horatio Nelson, who won the Battle of Trafalgar.
London Labour leader Len Duvall said on Thursday that such a gesture would be “crass triumphalism”, particularly as the popular tourist spot was one of the sites of the riots over a deeply unpopular “poll tax” which contributed to her downfall.
Visitors to the square on Thursday were split over the idea.
“It would become a monument of hatred, you’d have a deluge of people coming from the north to vent their anger,” said 57-year-old Glasgow-born Laurie who declined to give his last name.
But 20-year old Mia Cook said Britain’s first female prime minister did a lot for the country.
“I think it would be a good idea and right now there’s only men around here,” she said.
Kelleher’s first attempt at the Thatcher statue in 2002 with a cricket bat failed to get the job done, but a second swipe with an iron pole took its head clean off.
“Mr Kelleher was an Englishman armed with a cricket bat and inevitably destined to fail,” the prosecution noted. Kelleher was later sentenced to three months in jail.
Simmons’s original 2.6-metre likeness of Thatcher was designed for the Members’ Lobby of Britain’s House of Commons where a new larger-than-life bronze statue was placed in 2007.
“I might have preferred iron, but bronze will do,” Thatcher quipped to laughter and applause at the statue’s parliamentary unveiling. “It won’t rust. And, this time I hope, the head will stay on.”
(Additional reporting By Dasha Afanasieva, editing by Paul Casciato)
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After years of work, a bill that would stop the criminalization of Vermont’s marijuana users is headed to the floor of the Vermont House of Representatives. It could get a vote as early as Friday.
Over the last week, the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on both sides of the issue. Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn, and many others testified in support, and the committee listened. Yesterday, it voted 9-2 in favor of reform.
But the opposition is making their voices heard, too. Yesterday, several police are lobbying against this modest proposal to impose a civil fine — not possible jail time — on possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. It’s vital that lawmakers hear from the 63% of Vermonters who believe police have better things to do than to arrest and book marijuana users.
If you live in Vermont, please write your lawmakers today. Politely ask them to support reducing the penalty imposed on Vermonters who possess a substance that is safer than alcohol. Then, share this message with other sensible Vermonters so that they, too, can speak out for reform.
Erik | Apr 09, 2013 | Comments 0
The Maryland Senate has passed the legislation that would legalize cannabis for medical purposes in their republic by a highly supportive vote of 42-4.
The last stop on the bill’s journey through the gauntlet of legislative scrutiny is the desk of the state’s Governor Martin O’Malley where it awaits final approval.
According to reports from the Baltimore Sun, the governor is expected to sign the legislation into law having avowed that this particular bill has been written to regulate the medical cannabis system with a “yellow light” approach which is something that he feels comfortable lending his support toward.
Congratulations to the people in need of cannabis for medicinal purposes in Maryland and to all those that helped bring this legislation to fruition.
Stay tuned to The 420 Times for all your cannabis community news and entertainment.
Eight former Drug Enforcement Administration chiefs say the federal government needs to act now or it might lose the chance to nullify Colorado and Washington’s laws legalizing recreational marijuana use.
The onetime DEA heads plan to issue joint statements Tuesday saying the Obama administration has reacted too slowly and should immediately sue to force the states to rescind the legislation. The Associated Press received an advance copy of the statement Monday.
One of the former DEA administrators, Peter Bensinger, told the AP that the more time goes by, the harder it’ll be to stop the two states. Marijuana is illegal under federal law.
Bensinger, who lives in the Chicago area, said the government must immediately sue the states or risk creating “a domino effect” in which other states follow suit.
“My fear is that the Justice Department will do what they are doing now: do nothing and say nothing,” said Bensinger. “If they don’t act now, these laws will be fully implemented in a matter of months.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told a meeting of state attorneys general last week that he is still reviewing the laws but that his review is winding down. Asked Monday for a comment on the criticism from the former DEA administrators, Holder spokeswoman Allison Price would only say, “The Department of Justice is in the process of reviewing those initiatives.”
The department’s review has been under way since shortly after last fall’s elections. It could sue to block the states from issuing licenses to marijuana growers, processors and retail stores, on the grounds that doing so conflicts with federal drug law. Alternatively, Holder could decide not to mount a court challenge.
The ex-DEA heads are issuing the statements though the Florida-based Save Our Society from Drugs, a national group lobbying against legalization. One of the group’s spokesmen is based in Chicago.
The former DEA administrators are Bensinger, John Bartels, Robert Bonner, Thomas Constantine, Asa Hutchinson, John Lawn, Donnie Marshall and Francis Mullen. They served for both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Holder is scheduled to appear Wednesday before a U.S. Senate judiciary committee hearing. The former DEA chiefs want senators to question Holder on the legalization issue.
Advocates of legalization have welcomed Colorado and Washington’s new laws, arguing that criminalizing drugs creates serious though unintended social problems. The ex-DEA heads say they disagree with that view.
After votes last fall, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize marijuana’s recreational use – putting federal authorities in a quandary over how, or whether, to respond.
Washington state officials responsible for creating a regulated marijuana system have said they are moving forward with a timetable of issuing producer licenses by August.
Bensinger – who served as DEA administrator under Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan – said the supremacy of federal law over state law when it comes to drug laws isn’t in doubt.
“This is a no-brainer,” he said. “It is outrageous that a lawsuit hasn’t been filed in federal court yet.”
Source: Huffington Post (NY)
Author: Michael Tarm, Associated Press
Published: March 5, 2013
Copyright: 2013 HuffingtonPost.com, LLC