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Three out of four Washington, D.C. voters would support changing District law to replace criminal penalties for possession of limited amounts of marijuana with a civil fine similar to a traffic ticket, according to a survey conducted last week by Public Policy Polling. Two-thirds (67%) said they believe law enforcement resources currently being used by District police to arrest individuals for marijuana possession should be directed toward other crimes.
The poll also found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of District voters would support a ballot measure similar to those approved by voters in Colorado and Washington in November, which made marijuana legal for adults and directed state officials to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol. A solid majority (54%) said drug use should be treated as a public health issue, and people should no longer be arrested and locked up for possession of a small amount of any drug for personal use.
The survey of 1,621 randomly selected District voters was conducted April 10-11. The full results and crosstabs are available at http://www.mpp.org/DCpoll.
A national survey, released by the Pew Research Center on April 4, found that for the first time in its 40 years of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans (52%) support making marijuana legal. Just 45% said they think marijuana should remain illegal. Its report on the survey notes that a Gallup poll conducted in 1969 found just 12% supported making marijuana legal and 84% were opposed.
Given such strong support, MPP and our allies will be talking to community leaders and elected officials about various options for adopting a more sensible marijuana policy in D.C., including the possibility of a ballot initiative campaign as early as 2014.
Backers of the move on Tuesday took the first step toward getting the measure on the August 2014 primary ballot. Three prime sponsors of the effort filed their application for an initiative petition along with signatures from what they say are at least 100 other supporters with the state lieutenant governor’s office.
The group is led by Tim Hinterberger, an associate professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The other two prime sponsors are Bill Parker and Mary Reff, according to Gail Fenumiai, state elections director.
The measure would tax and regulate marijuana sales and allow Alaskans to cultivate marijuana for personal use. Among other things, it would allow the Legislature to create a Marijuana Control Board, though until then, the Alcohol Beverage Control Board would regulate marijuana sales. Alaskans age 21 and older could legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana under the proposal, or six marijuana plants, three of which could be mature.
If state officials decide everything’s in order after a 60-day review, backers will have until mid-January to get signatures from another 30,169 people — 10 percent of the number who voted in the last general election — to force a vote, said Steve Fox, the national political director of the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalization group in Washington. The Marijuana Policy Project is working with the local committee.
The signatures would have to be gathered from at least 30 of the state’s 40 House districts, under procedures specified in the state constitution.
Alaskans rejected a legalization initiative in 2004, with only 44 percent of the state’s voters backing the idea. But Alaska’s marijuana laws are among the most liberal in the nation. In 1975, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that a person’s privacy included the right to possess up to 4 ounces of marijuana in his or her home — which is more than the new proposal would allow.
Complete Article: http://drugsense.org/url/RX7AcJSi
Source: Anchorage Daily News (AK)
Author: Rob Hotakainen and Lisa Demers, Anchorage Daily News
Published: April 16, 2013
Copyright: 2013 The Anchorage Daily News
Joe | Apr 01, 2013 | Comments 0
Reports out of Colombia say that officials in the country’s capital city, Bogota, are looking into a new way to get addicts off of basuco, which is the country’s version of crack cocaine. Authorities want to set up a pilot program to see if marijuana can be beneficial in mitigating the withdrawal symptoms of the basuco.
An expert in Bogota estimates that the city has at least 7,000 “problem users,” which means they could take up to 15 to 20 hits a day. And while basuco isn’t exactly like crack, it is an impure version of cocaine that is common among poorer segments of society in Colombia.
“The first thing you do is to start to reduce the dose. After that, you begin to change the way that it’s administered: if you were injecting heroin, you move to smoking heroin; after smoking heroin, you move to combining it with cannabis; after that, you’re staying with the cannabis,” said Julián Quintero, from the Bogota-based non-profit organization Acción Técnica Social. “What you’re looking for is for the person to reach a point where they can stabilize the consumption and that the consumption doesn’t prevent them from being functional.”
This idea would be met with scorn here in the U.S., especially among most elected officials. And since our federal government does it’s best to squash all kinds of cannabis research, an idea like this probably won’t even be looked into until after legalization on the federal level.
One also has to account for the massive “rehab” industry in this country and how much money they spend to keep cannabis illegal. They need so-called “marijuana addicts” to be forced into their facilities by a court of law, but they also need to avoid cannabis as direct competition for getting people off of hard drugs.
If the program in Bogota is implemented and is successful, at least advocates in other countries will have statistics to point to when proposing a similar idea.
But anorexic guys may identify with more feminine stereotypes, study suggests
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) — Men obsessed with muscle-building lean toward traditional ideas of masculinity, while men fixated on being thin likely associate with more feminine stereotypes, according to new research.
Guys consumed by the idea that they are not muscular enough have a disorder called muscle dysmorphia, popularly known as “bigorexia.”
It had been believed that sexuality was one of the main factors behind muscle dysmorphia in men, but this study suggests that how men view themselves is more important, according to the Australian researchers, whose study results are published in the March 27 issue of the Journal of Eating Disorders.
The researchers had a group of men complete a questionnaire designed to find out how they viewed themselves in comparison to common stereotypes of masculine thoughts and behaviors.
Men with a strong desire for being muscular had a greater preference for traditional masculinity, while those with a high drive for thinness (as in anorexia nervosa) leaned more toward feminine roles, the study found.
“This does not mean that that the men with anorexia were any less masculine, nor that the men with muscle dysmorphia were less feminine than the control subjects we recruited,” study leader Stuart Murray, a clinical psychologist, said in a journal news release. “It is, however, an indication of the increasing pressures men are under to define their masculinity in the modern world.”
He and his colleagues noted that research over the past several decades has shown that a growing number of men say they are unhappy with their body image. This may show itself in either a desire to lose weight and become thinner or to gain weight and build muscle.
This can lead to problems if a person abuses steroids or adopts unhealthy eating habits, or if the compulsion to exercise overwhelms normal life and leads to loss of sleep, reduced quality of life or even an inability to hold a normal job, the researchers said.
Marijuana’s momentum becomes more impressive every day, making strides previously never thought possible in states like Missouri, where a newly released survey has 50 percent of all registered voters voicing their support for legal recreational marijuana by stating they either “strongly” favor or were at least “leaning towards” backing legal pot. The telephone poll was sponsored by tireless activist group Show-Me Cannabis and surveyed 500 voters likely to …More