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The State Legislature approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes on Monday, and Gov. Martin O’Malley has said he would sign the measure.
NYT > Marijuana and Medical Marijuana
Law Would Make Uruguay First Government In World To Legally Supply Marijuana
The president of Uruguay on Wednesday submitted a proposal to Parliament to legalize marijuana under government-controlled regulation and sale, making it the first country in the world where the state would sell marijuana directly to its citizens. The proposal, signed by Uruguayan President José Mujica, is part of a package of measures aimed at fighting crime and requires parliamentary approval before being enacted.
Despite Uruguay being one of the safest countries in Latin America, it has faced an increase in crime from drug gangs due to its position on a drug transit route to Europe via West Africa. The aim of the measure is to combat the rising insecurity in Uruguay by removing the profits of marijuana sales from drug gangs, separating the marijuana market from those for other illegal drugs, and avoiding marijuana users’ exposure to drug dealers who also sell coca paste and cocaine. Additionally, the revenues from marijuana sales will be invested into treatment for “problem” drug users.
The single article of the proposal states that the government “will assume the control and the regulation of the activities of importation, production, acquisition of any title, storage, marketing, and distribution of marijuana and its derivatives” and that these activities “must be exclusively realized in the framework of a harm reduction policy.”
“With this bold proposal, President Mujica is taking a key leadership role in the drug policy reform debate,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “He has joined the increasing calls for an end to the war on drugs from Latin American leaders – including presidents Juan Manuel Santos (Colombia), Otto Perez Molina (Guatemala), Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica), Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (Argentina), and Rafael Correa (Ecuador) – and he has taken it one step further by proposing a concrete policy alternative.
“Successful models of marijuana reform can already be found in various countries, such as Portugal’s decriminalization, the Netherland’s cannabis coffee shops, Spain’s social clubs, and the U.S.’s medical marijuana dispensaries,” Nadelmann pointed out. “In addition, three U.S. states – Colorado, Washington, and Oregon – will be voting on marijuana legalization this November.
“Marijuana decriminalization bills are currently being debated in Chile, Brazil, and Belize,” Nadelmann said. “Evidently, marijuana reform measures are on the rise worldwide.
“After national alcohol Prohibition was repealed in the United States, differing state-level alcohol policies were enacted, from privatized sale with minimal regulation to state monopolies,” Nadelmann said. “Similarly, there is no one optimal marijuana model. Uruguay needs to find the model that works best for Uruguay.”
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An unhinged Canadian man with a diaper obsession has been charged with sending a series of death threats to federal prosecutors in Seattle just before “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery’s extradition to the United States to face marijuana charges.
Emery, the B.C.-based marijuana seed millionaire, pleaded guilty in 2008 to exporting cannabis seeds to the U.S. After having been indicted in Seattle, Emery almost worked out a deal under which he could have served his time in a Canadian prison, but when that fell through, the feds were busily working to get the Prince of Pot on the American side of the border.
Bragging that he made $ 2 million a year from his mail-order marijuana seed business, Emery cut a flamboyant and outspoken figure in the cannabis community, crusading for pot law reform and donating to various weed-friendly causes. He was a major contributor to the 2008 presidential campaign of libertarian Republican Ron Paul.
Emery’s high-profile case and apparent martyrdom “spawned a devoted following,” the Weekly reports, and on the afternoon of December 10, 2009, “perhaps his most fanatical minion dialed the Western Washington U.S. Attorney’s office.”
That would be Cartier, and his rambling voice message — left for a deputy assistant federal prosecutor identified in court documents only as T.G. — included the following choice phrases:
Hey, go fuck yourself ‘cuz you touch him, you extradite him, you’re gonna be dead. Your office is gonna be taken out and you’ll be killed. I’m not messin’ around here. I’ve got some hit men who’ll get ya, and I’ve got some people in the U.S. Government, and the CIA, and this is for real. Don’t touch Marc. You leave him right where he is. He’s not coming to Seattle. You do not handle him or touch him. [...] You’re dead already.
Apparently leaving a voice message with a death threat wasn’t enough of a day’s work for Cartier, because he then also sent a fax to the U.S. Attorney’s office a few minutes later. Here’s what the fax said:
Cartier still wasn’t done after sending the fax; he then made a brief phone call to the receptionist in the U.S. Attorney’s office, according to court documents saying “I’m going to fucking kill you and [prosecutor] T.G. when I get to town.”
After a week of quiet, Cartier, on December 17, allegedly left another voice mail, this time calling himself “666″ and repeating his extremely odd “diapers” death threat. He ended the message with the phrase “You’re all dead.”
After another threatening phone exchange with the receptionist, federal investigators indicted Cartier on December 23, 2009 on felony “interstate threat” charges.
After two and a half years, Cartier was finally arrested on May 8. He’s being held in federal custody pending a mental competency exam.
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WashingtonPost / AP / 1,3,2011
NEW YORK ? A Columbia University student who sold marijuana as part of a campus drug-dealing ring is beginning about a year of drug treatment that could get his charges dismissed.
Christopher Coles pleaded guilty Tuesday to selling more than a pound of marijuana to an undercover officer and steering the officer to another student to buy the stimulant Adderall. But Coles will be allowed to withdraw the plea, and the case will be dismissed, if he succeeds in inpatient rehabilitation Defense lawyer Marc Agnifilo says Coles sold pot to feed his own ha and is serious about treatment.
Prosecutors said Coles was motivated by profit, not addiction. But a judge approved the treatment plan. Three other students have pleaded guilty to various charges. A fifth student has pleaded not guilty.And the rich kids parents just bought his way out of prison,whereas anyone caught in the projects doing the same would be headed to Riker’s Island,,or the closest local penitentiary. My comment at WP: It is good that the courts are starting to reduce their sentencing policies concerning cannabis but it will be better when these peoples lives and futures are not ruined.
Legalize,tax and regulate cannabis,,take the billions of dollars exported tax free to Mexico and Canada and keep it here,,where it can give our economy a jump start.
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – An Australian Rules footballer sporting a spiky mohawk was sent off for having a dangerous haircut in a minor league match near Melbourne last weekend.
Nathan Van Someren was shown a yellow card during the third quarter of his team Simpson’s game against Otway Districts in the Colac and District Football League.
“Before the game the umpire said that I could not play with my hair like that. He told me it was dangerous,” Van Someren told the Geelong Advertiser.
“We all thought that he was taking the mickey out of me. A few umpires have made jokes about my hair before, so I didn’t think any more of it.
“I played a bit in the first and second quarters and then I was yellow carded.”
Van Someren, 25, said he had no intention of changing his hairstyle and league officials later ruled he should not have been punished.
“The Colac umpires … have acknowledged that it was an incorrect interpretation of the rule that really refers to prohibited items,” Gerard Ryan, local umpiring chief, told the Warrnambool Standard.
“Nathan has been playing for a period of years with the hair as it was on the weekend and there has never been an issue in the past.”
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Greg Stutchbury)