2014: The Year In Review — NORML’s Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy

2014: The Year In Review - NORML's Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana PolicyNORML reviews the top news stories of 2014.

#1 Marijuana Legalization Measures Win Big On Election Day
Voters in Oregon and Alaska decided on Election Day in favor of statewide initiatives legalizing the commercial production and sale of marijuana for adults, while voters in the nation’s capitol and in numerous other cities nationwide similarly decided on local measures to eliminate marijuana possession penalties.

#2 Colorado And Washington Begin Regulating Retail Marijuana Sales
Two states, Colorado and Washington, initiated retail marijuana sales in 2014. Colorado’s program began on January 1. In Washington, state-licensed retail outlets began legally selling cannabis to adults in July.

#3 Congress Enacts Measure Protecting State-Sponsored Medi-Pot Programs
President Barack Obama signed spending legislation into law in December that included a provision limiting the Justice Department’s ability to take criminal action against state-licensed individuals or operations that are acting in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states. The amendment states, “None of the funds made available in this act to the Department of Justice may be used … to prevent … states … from implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

#4 Congress Moves To Permit State-Sanctioned Hemp Cultivation
Federal lawmakers approved legislation in February permitting state-sponsored hemp cultivation to move forward despite the plant’s federal status as a Schedule I prohibited substance.

#5 Federal Judge Hears Challenge To Cannabis’ Schedule I Status
United States District Judge Kimberly Mueller heard five days of testimony in October in regard to the constitutionality of marijuana’s Schedule I status under federal law. Defense counsel and their experts argued that the scientific literature is not supportive of the plant’s present categorization. Judge Mueller is expected to make her ruling in early 2015.

#6 JAMA: Fewer Opiate-Related Deaths In Medical Marijuana States
The enactment of statewide medicinal marijuana laws is associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates, according to data published in August in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers reported, “States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8 percent lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws.”

#7 President Acknowledges That Booze Is More Harmful Than Marijuana
Consuming cannabis is less harmful to the individual than is drinking alcohol, President Barack Obama acknowledged in January in an interview with The New Yorker. “I don’t think it (marijuana) is more dangerous than alcohol,” he stated. He added, [W]e should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time.”

#8 Study: Medical Marijuana States Have Fewer Violent Crimes
Medicinal cannabis laws are not associated with any rise in statewide criminal activity, according to data published in April in the journal PLoS ONE. “Medical marijuana laws were not found to have a crime exacerbating effect on any of the seven crime types. On the contrary, our findings indicated that MML precedes a reduction in homicide and assault,” authors concluded. “In sum, these findings run counter to arguments suggesting the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes poses a danger to public health in terms of exposure to violent crime and property crimes.”

#9 NYT Editors Opine In Favor Of Legalizing Cannabis
The New York Times editorial board in July called upon federal lawmakers to end the criminalization of cannabis for those over the age of 21. The paper’s editors opined: “The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana. … Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. … [W]e believe that on every level, … the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization.”

#10 Americans Say Marijuana Is Less Harmful To Health Than Sugar
Americans believe that consuming cannabis poses less harm to health than does the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, or sugar, according to the findings of a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released in March. Respondents were asked which of the four substances they believed to be “most harmful to a person’s overall health.” Most respondents said tobacco (49 percent), followed by alcohol (24 percent) and sugar (15 percent).

44 thoughts

  1. #10 is very telling! It seems that Americans got these answers correct. If only our idiotic congress would pull their heads out long enough to end prohibition our nation could be great again… As it is, America is an embarrassment in my humble opinion. If I went overseas for some reason, I would not want to admit to being from a country that is ran by such stupidity.

    By the way, I recently saw on the news that the top Republican presidential candidates are, wait for it, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush! Ha Ha!!! They don’t have a chance if that’s the best they can do… Ha Ha!!!

  2. I’m looking at how the judge’s decision in #5 might affect the lawsuit that Nebraska and Oklahoma are bringing against Colorado.

    I’m thinking the Koch Bros. wield power in Kansas, and despite their support of right-wing conservatism, I’m thinking, they are libertarian one the topic of cannabis legalization, so could that be the reason Kansas didn’t jump in on the lawsuit right away? Saving money by ending cannabis prohibition can put more money in their pockets, unless they’ve got their fingers in the drug-testing industry pie, too. I just am not sure about the Kochs on this, help or hindrance.

    I am enjoying the latest MSNBC mini-series Pot Barons of Colorado, and look forward to Harry Smith’s end-of-year cannabis special tentatively scheduled for January 5, 2015, as well as the new CNN potumentary. However, I would like to see the New York Times keep up the legalization drumbeat. If The Big Apple would legalize cannabis they could use some of the revenues to meet the demands of their employees, specifically to address the pension and union concerns of city employees, especially like stop pissing off the NYPD in exchange for the cops ending Stop N Frisk based upon cannabis. So far that whole neck of the woods has had political leaders who have been flaming useless for cannabis legalization. Douchebag Cuomo, Douchebag Christie, and so far de Blasio not going far enough soon enough and then shit backfiring on him big time. The whole New York City metropolitan area is high profile for organized crime, the mafia families, has been for almost a century now, History or H2 was showing documentaries along these lines, and both governors decided to shut down the reform and restructuring of the Port Authority, and against the wishes of their respective state legislatures. They both are as prohibitionist as they can get away with right now in the political climates of their states. Christie would have UNDONE Corzine’s legalization of medical cannabis in New Jersey, and Cuomo would have stalled medical cannabis as long as possible in New York state. If it affects mob money, it ain’t happenin’ so adult recreational ain’t happenin’ in those states for a while. States without the ballot initiative are the most prohibitionist, even when there is a majority of the public in support of it. Pennsylvania has had majority support for medical marijuana, but no ballot initiative, and since it’s got the most corrupt legislature in the nation, according to political reporter John Baer, you (Baer doesn’t make that connection) can pretty much figure if the price of pot drops as was reported in The Cannabist about “Oscar” the illegal pot grower that legal medical cannabis put out of business and another story in The Cannabist about how the price has dropped for Mexican farmers and how legalization is really working that if it reduces mob money in Pennsylvania then the legislature will postpone legalizing cannabis in any way as long as possible. After New York’s crime families, Philadelphia’s crime family network is probably the next most powerful on the East Coast. Christie’s mother was of Sicilian descent, and he has that King Shit swagger about him they way he treated that little girl’s dad, Vivian Wilson’s dad, like medical cannabis is complicated but the dad was too dumb to understand it and just was a total asshole to the dad.

    Something positive needs to happen so that legal adult recreational takes hold in D.C.

    I certainly hope NORML’s plans work there, and that they succeed in legalizing by ballot initiative in New England.

  3. #11 Native Americans Can Engage In Cannabis Commerce
    http://blog.norml.org/2014/12/12/obama-to-native-americans-marijuana-legalization-is-a-ok/

    #12 Colorado Did Not Implode After Legalization

    #13 Harry Anslinger, William R. Hearst, Andrew Mellon, DuPont Industries are outed as so f#!@ing racist and greedy that they denied the USA of 80 years of research and development of new medicines, technology, and jobs by creating marijuana prohibition. All this to lock up blacks, Mexicans and Native Americans, while profiting off of the lumber industry.

    Jobs, jobs, jobs, medicine, food, fiber, fuel.

  4. The media outlets are already attacking WSJ editorials regarding cannabis opinions promoting the future of drug prohibition and the fallout from separating cannabis from other recreational drugs. Science and personal research shows the efficacy and safety of cannabis over medications touted by chemical companies worldwide. Just don’t try to convince anyone from the other side without knowing the information will be used against you in a court of law. The vote no longer matters.

  5. put it this way: too much sugar and I feel like crap for at least the next day. Smoke too much pot and the next day I feel awesome!

  6. OMGoodness YES, 2014 has indeed been an interesting year in Medicinal-MJ World. (That “interesting” is as in an Asian statement, “May you have an interesting life.”)
    But I would like to comment on an event from many years ago…which means I do not now remember just what year it WAS…in San Francisco, CA.
    A group of people advertised that there would be a program presented regarding signing people up to test effects of MJ on human beings.
    One amusing-to-myself side note, the signing up of people for the program, along with comments from the Study Group overseers, in a venue called Langley-Porter Mental Health Facility.
    Not amusing: females were not allowed to sign up for the study.
    Why? That question came from a woman in one of many folding chairs, and was apparently a question several women wished to ask. I say that because when the first woman to be pointed at by a program mission overseer so as to allow her to voice her comment or question, other women lowered their hands as if to indicate “Yes, that was my question as well.”
    One of the men addressing the group of people in chairs explained the non-admittance of females into the program thusly: “We are not sure whether or not females’ reproductive capabilities would be altered.”
    Another woman raised her hand and was recognized by the lecturer.
    “What if,” she asked, “a female knows she is sterile due to having had a complete hysterectomy years ago? Could such a woman be considered okay to sign up?”
    Lecturer: “Well, no. You see, even if a female might be sterile, we are not sure of any possible adverse effects of testing females with THC, a primary ingredient in MJ.”
    At the moment the lecturer finished giving the excuse for banning females from the Effects on Humans of THC study, many women and any men who had accompanied them to the Lecture left the lecture room.
    Basically, many of the women and the men who were with them said “Well, if an entire gender is not allowed into tis study, how badly-skewed might the results of such a study be?”
    The answer to that question was never heard since it was not spoken.

  7. EDIT my comment above: The lecturer also said that non-sterile females could not be allowed to participate in the program “Because women cannot sign away their reproductive rights.”

    What? That sounds more, to me, like: “You women who are not sterile and who might have children someday might today, by agreeing to participate in our study, have issues regarding possible birth defects or challenges of any children to whom such women could give birth.
    So no, no females sterile or fertile were to be allowed to enroll in the study that day.

    I am sorry I forgot to include this “Edit” in my first comment.

  8. Maybe @fireweed is hinting at the ESDMO Every-Second-Day Modus Operandi– set up a fascinating hands-on workschedule for the first four hours after serving first vapetokes in 2 days, and during the ensuing inspired LEAP (Long-term Episodic Associative Performance) Memory worktime, disciplinedly abstain from munchies especially sugarcrap.

    The resulting “Our Four Hour Tour” work achievement will launch you on a trajectory of triumphant success lasting 2 days into the next brilliant preabstinentized “breakfast tokefest”.

  9. Happy Green in 2015 everyone!

    Reading these lists fills my heart with good feelings for the future and reminds me there are cannabinoids in the heart that only hope and hard work can stimulate… (although a little cannabis of the Trainwreck variety can be quite a complimentary way to celebrate and sustain a good feeling 🙂 ).

    So ol Armentano went and one-upped Keith’s list and placed hemp in #4? Now I feel like a D!c* for going off on Keith on that long list of uses for hemp on the last blog. (No hard feelings Keith… Perhaps we should emphasize in these lists that there isn’t necessarily a priority going from one to ten so people like me don’t freak out about whether “5” is more significant than “4” 🙂 )
    Honestly, with the exception of the legalization of each state, the priorities of these lists are all equally important in the moment of events, but when they succeed they will take a life of their own. Hemp, in the form of fuel, food, shelter, medicine and agricultural sustainability is sparking nothing less than an agricultural revolution that I am not sure most Americans are aware of how quickly is taking place. We’ve got Senators on both aisles, Investment bankers, and State legislatures lining up for the band-wagon… (or, that is, hemp-wagon). U.S. hemp legalization is a truly inspirational, revolutionary paradigm event that will change our planet’s climate and economy forever.

    Then I read #5 on your list. O.K., so the case is pending, we’re all waiting on the edges of our seats for the verdict of Federal Judge Mueller in the next month or two over the scheduling of marijuana, which according to the evidence presented by Mr. Armentano (THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH), looks Highly likely to go in favor of the Cannibis-Defense.
    Then, there’s the suspense of the TIMING in this Federal decision! Getting this case through the Apellate courts and into the SCOTUS to coincide with 2016 elections when California tips us over the %50 U.S. population mark for states with pro-marijuana legislation is HUGELY significant… And very exiting to watch. It will be like watching the perfect storm land on all of our prohibitionist opponents who are still trying to divide us.

    @ Oracle,
    Speaking of which, I can’t help but warn you again about the Koch brothers. They donate what is merely chump change (to them) to legalization efforts… which I don’t blame the DPA or NORML from accepting… (just be careful of those summer interns! They’re moles, flushing out information to protect Koch Industries’ timber and petrochemical patents).
    While Koch Industries support popular Libertarian views to legalize marijuana on one hand, they also believe in anarchy (no income tax, no public education) …and donate the lion’s share of their campaign donations to policies that prohibit hemp such as being used as ethanol, like they did in the Farm Bill last February when they used their Tea-Party cronies to shut the government down… and they spent quite a bit of money trying to stop the now historic Hemp Research Amendment to that same bill.
    In this sense, we have to be very careful with an evolving Libertarian drug policy. On one hand, Libertarians like Jeff Bezos of Amazon have been some of our greatest allies. Of course, I’m sure Amazon is salivating at the possibility of shipping quality marijuana all over the world with the click of a mouse, stocking their warehouses and sending drones to deliver weed to remote destinations. Where we differ between Progressive Democrats and Republican Libertarians on marijuana, cannabis and drug policies will be in the way we tax recreational marijuana and industrial hemp, and how we use that revenue on public education and Cannibis-subsidized Canniversities. Balancing these taxes, writing this legislation and lobbying our Congressman will be the greatest continuing education and work that we can do in NORML as we continue to roll through this long, suspenseful tipping point in cannabis legalization that began with the NYTimes calling for an end to prohibition and Judge Mueller’s decision to hear evidence of rescheduling cannabis, and will end with elections in 2016.
    Consume Cannabis and Stay Healthy My Friends… The Revolution of our American Cannabis Tragedy is in the middle of its two-year climax, and we can count the Tragic Heroes of Prohibition as they fall.

  10. how vicious this war on mj,just like ohio’s slow ass politicians! all the signatures? rediculous! so close but so far. i live in 1 of 2 democratic counties out of 88. how is it we voted a democrate for president for 2 terms and the whole state is 86 of 88 republican? so how is dc so gridlocked?

  11. sorry about my posting. i just get in a rush. then i start ranting about all the grey haired rich d–ks in washington! i’m 62 w /f who has seen so much. grew up seeing things almost great in this country then the leaders f–ked it all up!

  12. pss. god i hope that judge muller believes the needs we all have to keep our rights to self medicate , for whatever the reason.

  13. Julian says:
    January 1, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Where we differ between Progressive Democrats and Republican Libertarians on marijuana, cannabis and drug policies will be in the way we tax recreational marijuana…

    A tax is a government license to kill. I’m against them. Those taxes will also hit the poor hardest and possibly drive up the cost of medicine especially for things like cancer where several pounds can be required for a cure.

    No more taxed than tomatoes.

    The cure for too much government is NOT more government.

    Quality info on the Koch bros BTW. Thanks.

  14. @Julian – I agree that all of these items Paul listed are equally important and not necessarily in any kind of order. I also wanted to remind you that Jeff Bezos at Amazon is already shipping quality marijuana all over the globe, legally. Only this marijuana will not get you high but it will keep you alive and healthy.

    Amazon ships out Canadian grown hemp seed and fiber for eating right from the package or mixed into shakes. Hemp oil is great on salads and in dressings, and yes Amazon ships hemp oil right to our homes. We can buy clothing, linens, and many other products made from hemp fiber from Jeff and his marijuana friendly company.

    A food revolution is about to begin again once people see the benefits of mariju…(ahem)..hemp, this long lost product will bring us into the next revolution.

    I would love to see Rachel Ray or Gordon Ramsey use and package their own brand of hemp oil in their products. In the future if we run out in the kitchen we can suck some hemp oil out of our cars fuel tank and use that.

    Why do we pollute our environment with the fecal oils drilled from the bowels of Mother Earth when we can grow and suckle the enviromentally friendly and renewable milk from her bosom?

  15. King Cuckold Cuomo & Fat Boy never turned down a meal Christie hate cannabis , period !
    2015 should be the year they wake up, as people flee their state’s for
    Greener ones.

  16. I would really, really like to see a state legislature legalize marijuana. That would be a tipping point!

    [Editor’s note: In 2015, a New England state likely has best chance (with eyes notably on VT, ME and RI)]

  17. Why do we pollute our environment with the fecal oils drilled from the bowels of Mother Earth when we can grow and suckle the enviromentally friendly and renewable milk from her bosom?

    Why do we mine metals? Oil is natural. It comes from the earth. It powers civilization. Energy is life. Until hemp oil is cheaper than drilling for oil we should not give up on drilled hydrocarbons. Think of the poor.

    ==========

    What we need is to get the government out of the business altogether. No more taxed or regulated than tomatoes. At any level. We don’t want illegal cartels. We don’t want legal cartels.

    We have done enough begging on our knees to make our point. It is now time to stand on our feet and demand what Eric Garner demanded. “It stops today.” – “Don’t touch me.” – “Just leave me alone.”

  18. Julian, I’m right there with you on how cannabis is taxed in the end, after the left-wing Democrats and Republican Libertarians reach some kind of agreement.

    Anarchist Libertarians want no taxes, but since the Libertarian Party is not a major player and if the two major parties continue to have their way in the signature-gathering restrictions for third party ballot access the Libertarian Party never will be a major player. Taxes, like the poor, will always be with us. The wealthy steer the government to use its resources to get them corporate welfare subsidies in the form of tax breaks and to wield the might of the U.S. military to fuel profits in defense industry companies (stock market) and to extend U.S. economic hegemony around the globe. The rich never have enough money or power. Inflation wheedles away at its value.

    In the sense of taxes being used to wage unnecessary wars to directly or indirectly enrich the already rich by utilizing the military or law enforcement taxes are a license to kill. For the most part, taxes are not a license to kill, James Bond 007 style, and such a statement is a best hyperbole. Fortunately, most of the so-called sheeple realize that taxes are necessary to have a society with a high standard of living. Most of the sheeple realize that the war on (some) drugs is a failure and are becoming sick and tired of paying taxes that go toward enforcing cannabis prohibition. Most of the sheeple realize that education can not be privatized without the dangers or re-segregation, or public monies paying for poor families who cannot afford tuition. Such notions resonate with the me-crowd who enjoy good health and comfortable wealth, those who would have others pay for infrastructure through taxes, yet they themselves not want to pay taxes and yet benefit from the roads, schools, rural electrification, etc. A society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable. Why should I share my hard-earned dollars with somebody else by means of a government wealth redistribution plan is because someday when you’re older you run into health problems and not want to loose your house and everything you own basically.

    I object to having to pay a fee to renew my driver’s license every fee years, and if I don’t I’ve somehow forgotten how to drive and therefore will suffer criminal justice consequences if caught driving without a “valid” license. I completely understand the Libertarian ideas, but there is absolutely no modern industrialized country that can remain a modern industrialized country with a banana republic style Libertarian tax platform OR a post-apocalyptic anarchist Libertarian tax scheme.

    Regarding taxes on cannabis:

    If you are just growing your own for personal use, no taxes.

    If not for medicine or personal use, society look upon recreational use a vice, hence vice squads and anti-drugs law enforcement crusades, then as tobacco and alcohol have excise taxes on them because people enjoy using those products for recreational-social purposes then so is also the case with recreational cannabis, you’re simply going to have an excise tax on it as opposed to a regular old sales tax on it as if it were something essential to life such as food, clothing, or shelter. It is an dream to expect cannabis to be taxed with only state sales tax, for those states that have a sales tax; it’s a Libertarian dream that cannabis will be legalized without excise taxes. That hasn’t happened in any state that has legalized recreational cannabis, and it’s not likely to happen in any state that legalizes in the future because the NIMBY people (not in my backyard) prohibitionists who will NOT be purchasing cannabis and will NOT be paying taxes on it subsequently will STILL want some of that money, that cannabis money that goes into the state’s General Fund.

    I can dream on about cannabis taxed no more than tomatoes the same way that I as a person with a former Libertarian streak can dream of not having to keep paying for my driver’s license to be renewed unnecessarily every couple of years. I completely understand where the Libs are coming from, but over the many decades have come to realize that taxes and fees of all sorts are simply here to stay, just as corporate welfare is here to stay, just as the present tax code Leviathan will only ever receive lip service about being reformed into a flat tax or whatever and is here to stay to provide tax breaks and corporate welfare for the rich to fill their pockets and for them to do the social engineering.

    I love tomatoes! I pay no taxes at the grocery store on tomatoes! Tomatoes don’t get you high, and they’re healthy.

    I’m looking forward to cannabis coffeeshops in D.C. kind of like you used to be able to smoke or vape at some places in Vancouver so long as you brought your own, the place wouldn’t sell it to you, but there always seemed to be a cannabist outside or nearby where you could score then go into the Vansterdam establishment and partake of the herb.

  19. Thanks @Ray, here some more ideas for the FOOD REVOLUTION.

    First, a caveat: “…seed and fiber for eating right from the package or mixed into shakes.”

    SHAKES was a good enough word for a hundred years, the only drawback today is it doesn’t GIVE ENOUGH CREDIT TO THE BLENDER, today we should say “blendersmoothies” or like that.

    The cookstove was one of the dummest inventions ever, along with $igarette $moking, in today’s YWC Yes We Cannabis era the only two fuel energy machines needed in any kitchen are the CROCKPOT (only under 212F)
    and the BLENDER.

    Consider that you could plant 100 cannabis plants in your house, and keep clipping and pruning, editing male plants down into flowerless neuter dwarfdom (but let ’em live all year), and every day slip a few leaves, terminal buds, twiglets etc. into the blenderpitcher with your usual witchbrew of veggies, water, milk, fruit, pop, beer etc.–

    and every day carry 1-2 20-oz. juice bottles of smoothie with you to the Liebrewery to swig unnoticed while gripetyping your grumpentaries on the Free Public Kampfpewter.

    (At some point in the season when you know which ones are females, you can adopt those out to friendly grow-op professionals in the Grey Market, that way you are legally safe, right?)

    LEGAL Q: is there any law limiting how many male plants I can raise (and eat)? Did anyone ever accuse male cannabis plants of harboring any “illegal” THC? This is something to get clarified soon by our brilliant courts, I hope.

  20. @Oracle,
    Well said!
    @Ray,
    Good points, especiallyfor those of us looking desperately to regulate our endocannabinoid systems without getting high, but I was refering mostly to the psychoactive, prohibited varieties of cannabis that Amazon wants to distribute. Remember everyone to go to AmazonSmile!

  21. Write “NORML Foundation” as your non for profit charity and a percent of everything you buy will go to NORML. If you want to really kick some @$$ this year, donate directly to NORML PAC and your local NORML chapter to get state legislatures moving. Own your own Agricultural Revolution!

  22. When you donate to your local NORML chapter make it monthly if you can; even if it’s only $10 a month, it helps your homegrown lobbyist plan a budget so we can get something DONE, and get it done RIGHT.

    Remember it was more than two years ago when Obama was busy trying to get reelected that he told the Summit of the Americas that “We will not be changing our drug policy at this time.” (Of course, no one heard him say that while the DEA was leading the Secret Service to some prostitutes in Cartagena… Talk about a desperate decoy for the press…)

    Look how far we’ve come in just two years!! The man said marijuana is safer than alcohol and legalized weed all over Indian Country! We did that; when we stopped being afraid and faced our nation. But when we consider how deeply corrupted the S.S. and the D.O.J. has become due to prohibition, we have to give credit where credit is due…
    You got balls oh President of the Choom Gang Barack Obama; And the Spirit of a America is waking up to your leadership.

  23. TheOracle says:
    January 2, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    The multiplication of laws and taxes is how we get a police state. Laws need ENFORCERS.

    It always surprises me that those who have lived under the depredations of cannabis law ENFORCERS don’t make that connection.

    It is always, “Leave me alone. But those people? Go after them.”

    How about they go after no one. Or as few as possible.

    We have two parties the “Big Government Except For….” party and the “Small Government Except For…” party.

    Where does it lead? All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state. – And both parties are headed that way.

  24. It has been a great year for Marijuana policy–especially here in Colorado! We moved here in 2013 to finally be able to live freely and use the medication of our choice–my husband was injured in an RPG blast in Iraq and I have Crohn’s Disease. Legalization for recreational use has been a success and the medical program is still going strong–so far.

    Recently, there was a report on the local news about the increasing number of Medical Marijuana patients here in Colorado. The report mentioned that the state may consider closing the tax gap between the two types of sales–recreational and medical. Of course, this will mean an increase in the tax on medical marijuana. For medical marijuana patients who must use cannabis daily, this potential tax increase could be painful! The state should remember that medical marijuana patients have a need for this substance, rather than a desire. A recreational marijuana customer can CHOOSE to purchase pot on any given day based on the retail price and their personal finances and therefore can also CHOOSE whether or not to pay the tax, but a medical marijuana patient NEEDS the marijuana regardless of the price or their personal finances and is therefore compelled to pay the tax. If Colorado is concerned about the loss of tax revenue from individuals falsely obtaining their red card (medical marijuana card), then the state should take a look at the many “doctors” here that are signing the paperwork for patients. Even though I fully support medical and recreational marijuana use, the doctors who are recommending marijuana for anything and everyone are ruining the medical marijuana system for those who really need it–they are turning it into a joke. It only takes about $40 and 15 minutes to get a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana–no medical records or second visit needed. It’s easier than getting an oil change!

    As legalization efforts spread nationwide, states need to remember that there is a difference between medical marijuana patients and recreational marijuana customers and marijuana policy needs to reflect that.

    For more info on relocating to Colorado for marijuana and growing marijuana at home, check out ColoradoHomeGrowns.com

  25. It may not have shaped marijuana policy, but I consider Tommy Chong’s performance on Dancing With the Stars to be huge! His fellow stars and the dance pros all love him. In spite of his age, he did fantastic and this is after about 50 years of using marijuana!

    Can you imagine what it would be like if Michelle Leonhart (of the DEA) was to be a contestant? First, she would find that no one there likes her – not one little bit; I’m sure that whoever got chosen to be her dance-pro would be disgusted! Second, I seriously doubt that her dancing skills would be anywhere close to what 76 year old Tommy showcased. And third, she would never have survived to make it to the second show.

  26. I have to agree with Southpark Reapers. Although I am generally against any type of legislation or actions that would help prohibit anyone from obtaining weed legally, I agree with Reaper above that doctors who too readily prescribe MMJ can sometimes (unintentionally and indirectly) hurt the situation, and our cause, more than they help it.

    Reaper speaks from the MMJ patient’s point of view; my own position is far more selfish. To wit, I believe it was the too easy access of MMJ in California that helped lead to the defeat of legalization in that state a few years back. Those unsick people who were enjoying the benefits of MMJ had no motivation whatever to vote for recreational MJ. They already had their “golden tickets” and probably at very good prices. So why should they want to change that? And many in that crowd did in fact vote against legalization in Calif, and HELPED DEFEAT it. (My nephew, who lived in San Diego at that time, informed me that his multiple roommates all had MMJ cards and all voted against legalization!)

    Again, tho it pains me to say it, I would hope that doctors, in whatever states, would treat patients seeking MMJ cards with the same diligence and seriousness as they would patients with any other illnesses. It’s better on many levels, not the least of which would be the continued low taxes for MMJ patients, as well as giving the rest of us pot smokers the motivation to continue to push for the legalization of recreational MJ.

    BTW, Julian and The Oracle both make excellent points vis-à-vis the Libertarian and Progressive points of view concerning the taxing of MJ, and, indeed, taxes in general.

    @ Vickia52, regarding your question about 86 of 88 being Republicans, it’s the out-of-control gerrymandering in our political system. It’s utterly ridiculous that one party can garner more votes in an election than the other party, and end up with FAR FEWER representatives. That’s not democracy–it’s pure politics.

  27. Taxes not a license to kill? Ask Eric Garner. Well you can’t. He is dead. On suspicion of unpaid taxes.

    We have done enough begging on our knees to make our point. It is now time to stand on our feet and demand what Eric Garner demanded. “It stops today.” – “Don’t touch me.” – “Just leave me alone.”

  28. Oracle, wow! No, I do not expect sin taxes on marijuana, in exactly the same way creationism belongs in social studies and relious classes, not biology and science classes.

    They can cry all they want about it being a sin, but it is bullshit and has no place in our laws. Nothing libertain about it. Quite democratic actually. The NIMBY people can such it, they already do.

  29. Really! It is time to take America back from the Stupids. Agreeing marijuana should be sin taxed is stupid! Don’t give them help. You give an inch and they will take their mile.

    Do you not realize cigarettes used to be sold as a health tonic? That there were “Tobacco Insitutes” dedicated to publishing fake science about how Healthly is For You to Smoke Tobacco? Do you not realize the push for sin taxes on marijuana is coming from the anti-tobacco people that still think marijuana is worst the tobacco? They see the “science” supporting a healthlier image of marijuana as the same kinds of lies Tobacco Sellers told for decades until they were finally understood to be nothing but lies?

    Do not place marijuana next cigarettes, cocaine or heroine, you’re just doing work for Prohibitionists and agreeing to their broken logic.

  30. I doubt marijuana will ever be legal; because the amount of jobs included in enforcing the MJ Laws are too great; and legalization would cause too many job losses; for example; because no stop and frisk in NYC; I read: “Bail bondsman are suffering financially! like I care about “bailbondsmen”!

  31. A chillum, or chilam, is a straight conical pipe with end-to-end channel, traditionally made of clay and used since at least the eighteenth century[1] by wandering Hindu monks, known as sadhus[2] in India. It was invented in India.[citation needed] The culture of owning and smoking in a chillum has spread from India to the rest of the world since the mid-1960s.[dubious – discuss]

    According to Alfred Dunhill, Africans have long employed chillum-style pipes for smoking cannabis
    AReefers comment: The African Pygmies use Weed; they have narrow wooden pipes 10′ long!!(source national geographic)

  32. Here’s a solution Dave; I’m going to tell it to you like the only Republican Senator with any sense from Tennessee said it about the gas-tax; “Stop calling it a gas tax. It’s a user fee; You use the highway, you pay for it.”
    Stop calling recreational marijuana tax a “sin” tax and call it a “user fee.” You want Congress to pass legislation in favor of fair cannabis trade, banking regulation and eliminate work-related piss-testing discrimination of marijuana consumers, or do anything that is pro-marijuana for us voters? Then we need to wake up and look at Congress as the highway of fundraising they’ve become and realize this:

    If we don’t have SOME source of industrial and recreational revenue from fairly taxed cannabis we have no fair representation, and therefore no legalization.
    Colorado and Washington wouldn’t have legalized otherwise.

  33. @Anne, Re chillum, or chilam, the Wikipedia talk page has an illustration:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Chillum_(pipe)#Typewriter-compliant_diagram:_Long-stemmed_chillum_with_narrow-crater_adaptation

    which shows a way to use a socket wrench as a quarter-inch screened crater atop a converted (most easily wooden) chillum-piece (Handelstick). The hole at the top of the chillum is first changed to a conical shape into which the (usually hex-end, and fat enough) end of the proper size socket wrench fits snugly.

    (A better, hand-drawn diagram for that article will be substituted as soon as we get around to partnering with someone who has the scanner.)

    An article on wikiHow.com: “Converting a Wasteful Wide-bowl Chillum to a Quarter-Inch Single Toke Utensil” also needs a new illustration but verbally describes how to do the conversion.

    CHOOMETTE: this alleged Rastafarian idea of attaching a lengthy flexible drawtube (usually quarter-inch-o.-d. pvc) to the butt end of your chillum makes it possible to enact the “lowered lighter” Vapetoke procedure far enough from your eyes to get it right, and provides extra cooling distance for vapors to travel before reaching your tender trachea.

    Wire-braid a 2-inch safety pin onto your CHOOMETTE with which to (while sucking) gently clear the central screen windows before each Vapetoke.

    If this technology replaces Joints (Hot Burning Overdose Monoxide “$moking”) cannabis legalization will win Credibility everywhere, and the linked disappearance of $igarette paper pathology will win NORML a Knowitwell Price for Preventative Medicine (800,000 American kids NOT getting hooked each year on $igarettes, yearly “tobacco” deaths going from 400,000 to zero, thanks to cannabis advocacy).

    Meanwhile, handmanufacturing these Vapetoke utensils is one additional way for local biz to achieve the cannabis-associated industrial and recreational revenue @Julian mentioned.

  34. @ mexweed; et al. thanks much for the info…
    “Converting a Wasteful Wide-bowl Chillum to a Quarter-Inch Single Toke Utensil”; finding “a good pipe” is important to utilize the THC properly; I like the idea of a flexible pipe; easier to control toke intake safely. Thanks A

  35. @ Dave Coco Cola and Seven Up were “health tonics: My idea to stop Youth smoking;

    Take a cigarette of mint leaves or any herbs;
    Infuse a big burst of Peppermint Oil: Cinnamon Oil which would “explode upon smoke”;
    and the youth would get a kick from safe Cig.!
    “Incense and Peppermint”

  36. “By the way, I recently saw on the news that the top Republican presidential candidates are, wait for it, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush! Ha Ha!!! They don’t have a chance if that’s the best they can do… Ha Ha!!!”

    I know, it it funny as hell actually! Even though I despise Hillary, she would beat both of these Prohibs with one hand tied behind her back. But Jesus, we really could use someone else like Obama with their head on straight and I’m not sure that might be. We really don’t need to go back to “damaged goods” Presidents.

  37. Julian I get what you mean. As a conservative, I fully support an increase in the gas tax as it is the most effient way to fund our roads. The people that use the road more, either by having a heavy load or by driving more, pay more in tax. It is such a good system. Which is why are current crop of idiot Republicans will not support it. They hate anything connected with the government running well, and it is a conservative idea, so they will run from it like its AIDS. Piss Christie, still pissing in wind–its not rain, BTW fat boy. Its failure.

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