The Smell Of Marijuana Should Not Be A Death Sentence

download (1)Philando Castile was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop last year. This week we learned that the officer rationalized his actions by claiming that the alleged smell of “burnt marijuana” made him fear for his own life.  Here is how the officer recounted his actions, in his own words: “I thought, I was gonna die and I thought if he’s, if he has the, the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the five year old girl and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke and the front seat passenger doing the same thing then what, what care does he give about me. And, I let off the rounds and then after the rounds were off, the little girls [sic] was screaming.”

The reality that law enforcement would make such claims, and then use lethal force based on such misconceptions, speaks once again as to why we need to both reform America’s marijuana laws and reassess the way that police interact with the communities for which they are sworn to protect and serve.

Too often we hear of violence being perpetrated by officers of the state against our fellow citizens on the basis of similarly irrational claims. Philando Castile is the name we must speak today, but sadly there are countless others, particularly people of color, who have fallen victims to or as a result of this senseless marijuana prohibition.

Keith Lamont Scott, a 43 year old black man, was shot and killed in Charlotte, North Carolina in September of 2016 after police officers saw him smoking what they described as a “blunt” in his parked vehicle.

Ramarley Graham, an 18 year old black teenager, was shot and killed in 2012 while flushing marijuana down a toilet after police had entered his Bronx apartment.

Trevon Cole, a 21 year old black man, was shot in the head and killed in 2010 while attempting to flush marijuana down his toilet after police forced their way into his apartment at 9 am during a drug raid.

These are just a few of the names that have made headlines in recent years, not to mention the hundreds-of-thousands of individuals, disproportionately young people of color, who are arrested and prosecuted for marijuana violations.

According to the ACLU, Between the years 2001 and 2010, there were over eight million pot arrests in the United States. Eighty-eight percent of those arrested were charged with violating marijuana possession laws. Among those arrested, the ACLU reports:

“On average, a Black person is 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person, even though Blacks and whites use marijuana at similar rates. Such racial disparities in marijuana possession arrests exist in all regions of the country, in counties large and small, urban and rural, wealthy and poor, and with large and small Black populations. Indeed, in over 96% of counties with more than 30,000 people in which at least 2% of the residents are Black, Blacks are arrested at higher rates than whites for marijuana possession.”

They continue:

(T)he War on Marijuana, like the larger War on Drugs of which it is a part, is a failure. It has needlessly ensnared hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal justice system, had a staggeringly disproportionate impact on African-Americans, and comes at a tremendous human and financial cost. The price paid by those arrested and convicted of marijuana possession can be significant and linger for years, if not a lifetime. Arrests and convictions for possessing marijuana can negatively impact public housing and student financial aid eligibility, employment opportunities, child custody determinations, and immigration status. Further, the War on Marijuana has been a fiscal fiasco. The taxpayers’ dollars that law enforcement agencies waste enforcing marijuana possession laws could be better spent on addressing and solving serious crimes and working collaboratively with communities to build trust and increase public health and safety. Despite the fact that aggressive enforcement of marijuana laws has been an increasing priority of police departments across the country, and that states have spent billions of dollars on such enforcement, it has failed to diminish marijuana’s use or availability.”

Regulating the adult use of marijuana can play a role in reducing some of the drug war’s most egregious effects on our citizens. For instance, we have seen immediate easing of tensions in states that have enacted legalization when it comes to interactions between police and the communities they serve in relation to traffic stops.

The United States of America and our citizens face tremendous issues, including the long-standing racial tensions held over from the original sin of slavery and its lasting effects, mentalities, and systems of oppression. Legalizing marijuana alone is not going to solve all of these problems, but it will take away yet another tool of the state and law enforcement to oppress those they are sworn to protect.

Below are additional facts regarding the racial disparity of prohibition:

*  A 2017 analysis of New Jersey arrest data found that African Americans are three times more likely than whites to be arrested for violating marijuana possession laws (The American Civil Liberties Union, Unequal & Unfair: NJ’s War on Marijuana Users, 2017)

*  A 2017 analysis of Virginia arrest data determined that African Americans are three times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as compared to whites and that this disparity is increasing (Capital News Service, The numbers behind racial disparities in marijuana arrests across Virginia). A separate analysis reported that blacks account for nearly half of all marijuana possession arrests in Virginia, but comprise only 20 percent of the state population (Drug Policy Alliance, Racial Disparities in Marijuana arrests in Virginia: 2003-2013, 2015).

*  An analysis of Maryland arrest data determined that African Americans accounted for 58 percent of all marijuana possession arrested despite comprising only 30 percent of the state’s population. (The American Civil Liberties Union, The Maryland War on Marijuana in Black and White, 2013)

*  A 2016 analysis of California arrest figures concluded that police arrested blacks for marijuana offenses at three and half times the rate of whites. (Drug Policy Alliance, Nearly 500,00 Californians Arrested for Marijuana in Last Decade, 2016) A prior statewide assessment reported that police in 25 of California’s major cities arrested blacks for marijuana possession violations at rates four to twelve times that of caucasians. (California NAACP and the Drug Policy Alliance, Arresting Blacks for Marijuana in California: Possession Arrests in 25 Cities, 2006-2008, 2010)

*  A 2016 review of New York City marijuana arrest data by the Police Reform Organizing Project reported that approximately 85 percent of those arrested for lowest level marijuana possession violations were black or Latino. (New York Times, Race and marijuana arrests) Those percentages have been consistent for several years. (Drug Policy Alliance, Race, Class & Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s  Two New Yorks, 2014)

*  Prior to the enactment of legalization, Colorado police arrested blacks for marijuana possession at 3.1 times the rate of whites. (Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Possession Arrests in Colorado: 1986-2010, 2012)

*  Prior to the enactment of legalization, Washington police arrested blacks for marijuana possession at 2.9 times the rate of whites.(Drug Policy Alliance, Costs, Consequences, and Racial Disparities of Possession Arrests in Washington, 1986-2010, 2012)

*  Prior to the enactment of decriminalization, an analysis of marijuana possession arrest data in Chicago by reported that the ratio of black to white arrests for cannabis possession violations is 15 to 1. (Chicago Reader, The Grass Gap)

*  Prior to the enactment of a Washington, DC voter-initiated law depenalizing minor marijuana possession crimes, African Americans were eight times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana-related crimes. (Washington City Paper, Crime stats show DC leads nation in per capita marijuana arrests)

 

Author: Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director

You can follow me on twitter @justinstrekal

65 thoughts

    1. @ Evening Bud,
      The GOP police state, that is.

      This article by Justin Strekal demonstrate that racism and bigotry are incompatible with marijuana legalization.

      Therefore, the marijuana legalization community unequivocally rejects the white-supremacist, KKK-loving bigots Trump and Sessions, along with and including all of their racist Republican enablers and supporters.

      There is no middle ground here.

      1. Thanks Justin.
        So much for “paranoid stoner conspiracies” 🙂
        Thanks to regular marijuana consumption, it turns out we just made a well grounded observation and moved on with our lives.

  1. When you reach for a FIREARM cops have every right to defend their life. THIS VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH SMOKING MARIJUANA

    1. Well, Fakenews youre an appropriately named moniker arent you?
      Theres video eidence he was reaching for his wallet as the officer clearly asked him to do before he was shot in front of a four year old.
      And this has everything to do with marijuana if the cop used the alleged smell as justification for cold blooded murder, you dip$#!+ of hollow-minded uselesness.

    2. Wow. We lost 5 insightful posts and the three we get back on this blog include THIS piece of work?
      Fakenews… such an appropriately named moniker for so such a shallow resovoir of research.
      Okaaay… were gonna spoonfeed you Faky…
      1). The video evidence clearly demonstrates Philando Castille was reaching for his wallet as the officer ASKED him to do, not his weapon.
      2). This case has EVERYTHING to do with marijuana when the officer in question reports the smell of marijuana somehow justifies the cold blooded murder of a man in front of a 4 year old child.

      If you dont want to read, dont write.

    3. Castile threw his gun over the fence, not aiming at the officer. Officer was so high on adrenalin he was going to kill someone, and he did just as the gun was tossed and the final shot to finish him off.

      Police training is to blame. They are taught to shoot until the suspect does not move or is dead, and when done shooting, stand around several minutes so the suspect can bleed to death – make sure he’s dead.

      Too many chicken shit cops now fear for their life because it is a get out of jail free card and has been forever, and looks like will continue to be.

      No wonder police are now being randomly targeted; sort of like black people randomly targeted.

      New big thing will be targeting the very rich. They don’t help the poor get jobs or better wages or whatever. They just let the profits trickle up to the saving account. We’ve seen that with every tax cut for the very rich so they will be next.

      The inequality between poor and the very well off is too great and will not stand. All cultures with that makeup fail from within.

      Thanks for listening.

      1. Another indication of problems with police training is the testimony of the cop saying that it was specifically his police training that qualified him to recognize the smell of both “burnt” and “fresh” marijuana.

        This is not the way to “learn” about marijuana, by amplifying and reinforcing an officer’s reefer-madness mentality. What did they do, burn some in a petri dish at the police station?

        Instead, police officers who have hostile and ignorant misconceptions about cannabis should be flagged as “problem officers” and taken off the streets. They should then be required to spend time in stoner company and society until they pull their twisted heads out of their backward asses.

  2. All those posts were erased. What happened?

    Anyway the most important one was this:

    Do not tell an officer you have a weapon unless asked or you give permission to search your vehicle.
    If an officer searches your vehicle without consent, you must file a Motion to Supress Evidence, preferably in a court higher than where the officer serves. If its a city cop, file with the county. County cop? File with the state to Federal and so on.

  3. For your civil suit against the officer… also out of venue (city to county to state and federal)…
    Here are the list of typical charges filed:

    Types of misconduct include coerced false confession, intimidation, false arrest, false imprisonment, falsification of evidence, spoliation of evidence, police perjury, witness tampering, police brutality, police corruption, racial profiling, unwarranted surveillance, unwarranted searches, and unwarranted seizure of property. Others include:

    Bribing or lobbying legislators to pass or maintain laws that give police excessive power or status
    Similarly, bribing or lobbying city council members to pass or maintain municipal laws that make victim-less acts tickettable (e.g. bicycling on the sidewalk), so as to get more money
    Selective enforcement (“throwing the book at” people who one dislikes; this is often related to racial discrimination)
    Sexual misconduct
    Off-duty misconduct
    Noble cause corruption, where the officer believes the good outcomes justify bad behavior
    Using badge or other ID to gain entry into concerts, to get discounts, etc.
    Influence of drugs or alcohol while on duty
    Violations by officers of police procedural policies
    Police officers often share a ‘code of silence’, which means that they do not turn each other in for misconduct. While some officers have called this code a myth, a 2005 survey found evidence that it exists.

  4. Re: bicycling on the sidewalk– seems cyclists are rightly concerned about reckless drivers and choose the sidewalk for self-preservation. (Of course, they must abide by a much slower speed so as not to terrorize innocent civilian walker victims.)
    .
    Relevance to cannabis issue: who knows how many cyclists are persons who recently had reasonable tokes and/but are concerned not to be driving a vehicle just then in any case? If cannabis is legalized, will massive overweight rich guy snob luxury car sales drop?

    1. @ mexweed,

      I am continually impressed at how grounded you are. I think for some experienced users, tokes provide some lucidity, which helps them see their world more clearly, and can help eliminate the mania which marketing, of all kinds, infuses into our minds.

      Slow down and think about it… Not getting hit by a car, as a priority, is a higher priority than any meeting or function you might have going on that day. So why do we race to work,then hear about the accidents later that night on the evening news? (Unless, of course, it was you on the news!)

      Toke on that, then stay safe out there, my friends!

    2. I can answer one question, Mexweed: if the bicyclists are from Austin theyre ALL stoned! Especially if you see a frisbee-golf disc in their backpack… These people remain high continuously. Its rather impressive. But then, you kinda have to be stoned to ride a bycicle in Austin these days… with all the traffic and drunk District Attorney’s riding around you wanna stay stoned to survive the impact and the ride to the hospital …which could involve another accident.
      The Texas legislature is never going to fix our roads out here either. Too busy passing bathroom bills like suddenly trannies will start using men’s bathrooms or the AT&T center in SA is going to build “mixed gender” bathrooms… instead of passing sensible marijuana reform which would reduce traffic… and byciclist… fatalities. (Now there’s a scary thought… going to see Iron Maiden tonight and mistakenly wandering into the “mixed gender” bathroom. “No! The 80’s hair-band days are OVER and you two will put that lipstick away right this INSTANT!” …lol… ok, Maiden is NOT a hair band, that was a joke, and besides, us Maiden fans are all middle-aged now which is scary enough, so we need to get stoned just to survive General Admission…)
      Actually Mexweed I confess I copied that list of police misconduct from Wikipedia. I thought about replacing the bicycle example with “marijuana smell” but now Im glad I left it in, as it lead to this post. 🙂

  5. What about legal cannabis banking? Cannabis consumers need a place to consume, like Dutch coffeeshops so that if they can’t do it at home or in public that they are not smoking and driving in a vehicle where the driver compartment is separated from the smoking compartment. Party train cars on Amtrak. Adult cannabis clubs and coffeeshops. We all need legal cannabis banking.

    Things like this should not be a death sentence.

    1. @the Oracle,

      Now that it appears that this blog is functioning properly, (Fake news excepted), and now that I was able to adequately respond to the problem in question, allow me to respond to “What about cannabanking.”

      Some banks are complicit in the drug war. We didnt have to watch Scarface to figure that out, we could just ask ourselves where all the DOJ’s secret accounts go? Somebody has to clean all that money for the IRS. So banks are caught in a rock and a hard place for clean cash and even NORML has recently been experiencing rejected accounts from the likes of Bank fuck America who choose not to distinguish legal activist groups from illegal drug trafficking.
      This is for us to make Congress fix. And unfortunately the Dems are not going to win back Congress and fix the broken banks unless the Supreme Court rules against gerrymandering and we take the Republican Crosscheck Program to court and stop voter caging.

      1. PNC Bank (NYSE: PNC) it appears also does not choose to distinguish legal activist groups from illegal drug trafficking.

        http://www.philly.com/philly/business/cannabis/marijuana-group-says-pnc-bank-to-close-its-accounts-amid-fears-of-a-doj-crackdown-20170621.html

        Big Banking is too big to need cannabis money, a least not without it first being laundered through a CIA asset shell company. You know, the cargo on government affiliated aircraft, the cargo: drugs, guns and money–Cuban-French-Southeast Asia connection,Iran-Contra, pallets of cash money delivered to Afghanistan. Once that cash is off the pallet you pretty much lose track of it so don’t know if it’s going to friends or foes (IS, et al.).

        Smaller banks–banks that are not too big too fail–are going to have to process that cash. Pennsylvania’s governor has as recently as this June (June 2017) told Sessions the state is going forward with implementing legal medical marijuana. That was just before Pennsylvania announced the 12 out of 447 applicants (177 for grower/processor licenses and 280 for dispensary permits).

        https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/pennsylvania-governor-warns-sessions/

        https://mjbizdaily.com/pennsylvania-issues-medical-marijuana-licenses-12-growers/

        http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/pa-medical-marijuana-grower-awarded-permit-20170626.html

      2. Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law is similar to New York’s in that smoking cannabis is not allowed, thus bud is not sold not even to vaporize, a great big cave-in to law enforcement because it doesn’t matter if you’d got a legal MMJ card, weed still isn’t allowed. As a medical marijuana patient, you can’t get around that by growing your own. You are not allowed to grow your own.

        Weak programs like this are faltering financially and in their purpose. Their purpose is to serve the medical marijuana sector of the cannabis community, but the black market bud is still cheaper than whatever delivery options the state allows: oils, cartridges, and whatever you can make with them, eg. homemade medibles, teas, etc. The state guaranteed cannabis monopoly is keeping pricing high because its costs are not split among a larger group of medical cannabis consumers. Are they even producing cannabis at maximum capacity?

        It’s just too restrictive. Plain and simple, the list of qualifications to get a medical marijuana card is far too tight, and the lack of legal availability of cannabis in seed, clone, and cured retail bud is continuing to force folks to the black market, as most folks won’t or can’t grow their own.

        http://www.thedailychronic.net/2016/58664/new-york-medical-marijuana-too-expensive-access-difficult-for-most-patients/

      3. @the Oracle:
        I’ve been witnessing this trend expand; Big Pharma, Project SAM and private prisons just pushed their smokeless mmj market in Florida as well, even though it was written into their amended constituion from their voter initiative.
        Its synthetics vs. whole plant cannabis. Which is why Ive been saying NORML chapters need to keep contact with laboratories to test products for whole plant purity… meaning no synthetic additives, no molds or dangerous chemicals. Were already hearing about fentanyl being mixed with whole plant marijuana. The legal stuff we buy has to be held accountable. Meanwhile we keep fighting in state and federal legislatures and in courts to improve the law.

      4. Thanks for reminding me of the other bank, PNC… theyve been giving NORML chapters trouble as well. But theres always a bank somewhere willing to take our money. As you well observe, if theyre pushing the CIA-mafia’s money than theres a conflict. The way the legal industry is about to grow under California though the banks, the DOJ… and the national street value of weed are about to get a run for their money. The current legal marijuana resistance is epic. And the stakes (and the rebels) could never be higher.

  6. What will you all do …when a Tyrant says… I don’t care about science… or facts… or even the truth itself?

    What will you do when a Tyrant says , Do what you are told or go to prison?…Whiny comments won’t matter at all.

    1. Wow. So like, what does that make YOUR comment? Like a non-turgid whiny dick?
      Quit complainin and hit the Act tab.

  7. In my opinion, based on the content of this article, the officer that shot and killed Philando Castile is guilty of murder. Extreme ignorance is not a good excuse! He killed that little girls father and should be in prison for it.

    If that cowardly officer was so afraid for his life, just because of the smell of marijuana, there is no way he should have ever been a police officer.

    Once again, for approximately the thousandth time, I wonder when are Americas leaders going to pass sensible legislation regarding the use of cannabis.

    This idiocy has to end. Seriously, do more people have to die first? If so, then how many will it take?

  8. This is how you win a civil suit against a violent, racist cop;

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/24/dallas-texas-police-shooting-genevive-dawes-lawsuit

    “The woman’s mother, Mary Dawes, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city, police department and two officers, alleging excessive force against the mother of two.”

    Wake up and sue EVERYbody for police misconduct. And dont be afraid to go federal, no matter what the cost. If you have a good civil trial lawyer they know they can work on retainer. When a four year old has to tell her hand-cuffed mother “dont scream mommy, I dont want you to get shooted…” from the back of a police car after her boyfriend was murdered by an unprofessional adrenaline junkie who goes to court and justifies his violent cowardice on the smell of marijuana?
    Sue his @$$ in Federal court, sue the city, sue his momma for failing to raise a man. We cannot allow this case to stand.

  9. For anyone who hadn’t caught Frontline’s “Policing the Police” last year:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/policing-the-police/?elqTrackId=E38E6BEBC650696FCDA65065F5FCE16E&elq=72df3bfdee5f46aeb54e7db4be57964a&elqaid=4215&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=2135

    And as we engage our law enforcement the way these investigators bravely do, questioning police tactics and justifications, peeling the masked code of silence from the direct violence, let’s not forget the Law Enforcement Action Partenership:

    https://lawenforcementactionpartnership.org

    Please support and donate to this network so we can restore police integrity with our communities as we reform marijuana law.

    I like the new ideas Jersey is taking with their policing policies, despite the Governor’s interference. Police officers should be allowed to consume medical marijuana for PTSD or any induced trauma from their work. Who knows? Perhaps it will save some lives as officers think twice, obtain some empathatic perception and relax on the trigger.

  10. Well doesn’t that say something about the American police force, if that’s all it takes for someone to tell killed by someone who is sworn to protect and serve the comunity and country then they should do exactly the same to police officers as they are to our soldiers for doing there job and getting sentenced for war crimes and yet our soliders are only doing there job. Yet the police are allowed to blatantly murder someone in cold blood and nothing happen to them. It is a shameful country and maybe they should think before they act and murder someone. The police don’t know what effects Marijuana has on the body and why? Simple cos they have never done the drug before I use cannabis on a daily basis and the effects aint that bad for someone to get shot over the smell off cannabis. Police shoud get prosecuted like everyone else

  11. I just remembered one of the posts I originally wrote that got erased from watching a clip of the Daily Show that brought up the same shameful point;

    Where is the NRA in all of this? A lawfully armed man gets shot and loses his life for owning a weapon, and the only right the NRA believes in is their “right to remain silent” claims Trevor Noah.

    But what Trevor is missing is that it wasnt just a black man… or perhaps gun sales to racist cops to consider… A man was killed in possession of a fire arm and marijuana… a combination that a Federal court declared last year is now a felony. As we asked then, we ask again; WHERE in the flying fu€* was the NRA?
    Back then my analysis was that the NRA would not take a political stand against the ATF, who backs the court’s decision in order to make more unwarranted arrests. The ATF, which operates out of the Treasury Department, has no congressional oversight of its “Fast & Furious” sting operations selling guns to both sides of the drug war… foreign cartels and foreign governments… because for starters the CSAct gives Presidents executive privilege. But Congress did even worse; they gave the ATF exclusive authority to track serial numbers of all weapons sold in the United States. Due to a little known law passed in the 1980s, the ATF doesnt have to disclose how many guns get sold to who, and the CDC is barred from studying gun related deaths. Between these laws and the CSAct, the DOJ becomes the world’s drug cartel and the ATF becomes the world’s arms cartel.

    Through all this race becomes yet another political distractor for our government cartels and the ongoing drug war. Not only was race used to confuse American farmers into voting to outlaw the hemp that sustained their farms, but today race is being used to confuse white gun owners into supporting lobbies like the NRA that support possession of marijuana and a gun as a felony… which targets ALL of our freedoms.

    1. @ Julian,
      Race is complicated; here’s another twist to add: From Alternet & Kali Holloway, PEW Research Center has polled, and come up with this regarding Trump, a blatant white supremacist bigot:

      50% of whites report “feeling good” about Trump.
      (44% had a “poor” view of Trump.)

      Whereas:

      Blacks: 88% disapproval
      Hispanics: 72% disapproval,

      Which means that Trump’s historically low approval numbers are driven largely by non-whites.

      Two questions:
      1) Does the white stoner community have a special moral responsibility to oppose Trump, given our drug-war privileges, like not getting shot on sight?
      2) What the fuck is wrong with white men, and white women, who also support the pussy-grabber-in-chief? I mean, seriously! Are most white folks just evil? Or what?

      1. Mark,
        Its exactly my point; racism could never have worked for the rich and evil without convincing poor white farmers they were going to magically share with the billionaires in the spoils of war… (hint: that never happens: see “The Free State of Jones.”)

        Racism is always about aquiring the property of a minority target… then suppressing their ability to vote in order to maintain the fascist status quo.

        In the same vein, Marijuana prohibition has always been about racist voter supression. Because “divided we fall.” If only poor white people could vote Democratic and realize theyre being targeted and preyed upon in different ways than poor minorities by some of the same bad billionaires like the Kochs, Mercers, Paulsen and Adelson. We would have reformed marijuana laws decades ago.
        The opiate crisis connection to states with legal mmj and felony possession of a fire arm with possession of marijuana are two ways to wake up poor white voters that the target is on them too.

      2. The attack on our 2nd amendment from marijuana to guns making possession a federal felony is also a way to convince middle class whites to vote Democratic and reform marijuana laws. Democratic Representatives and Senators should be jumping all over this.

    2. @ Julian,
      And regarding the NRA, to paraphrase an old cereal commercial, “Silly Liberal! The NRA is for white folks!”
      They had me fooled, too… I thought they actually cared about gun rights… Silly me!

      1. Mark,
        The NRA cares about gun sales. THEN they care about exploiting racist propaganda and fascist legislation… as it suits the sales of guns.

        As I discovered years ago in an Advanced Placement government class attending a DC public school, Americans always underestimate our own power to consume. Our purchasing power is the life blood of a capitalist democracy. If people would just turn off the Cable “news” and listen to their hearts for a minute we could all make better purchasing decisions and vote with our dollars.
        Until then I’m looking forward to some legally and fairly taxed marijuana shops opening up in California while the Drumph administration’s racist Koch-NRA policy implodes.

      2. I see; the NRA is racist so they can sell weapons by stirring up fear and civil strife and violence just to sell some guns;

        http://billmoyers.com/story/new-low-nra/

        Is it any wonder they went silent on the rights of a black man in lawful possession of a gun? Or when courts made it a felony to have weed and a gun ay where in “possession”? I wonder what the NRA would do if we publicize all the white people who get busted with a felony possession of a gun and some weed?

        Their commercial looks more like terrorist propaganda to me. And I own a gun. (To hunt with or shoot skeet… not for the Zombie Apocalypse). But Bill Moyers is right… this is a new low even for the NRA. Just to make a buck on wars and violence! They should do a commercial warning us about themselves!

  12. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/06/26/philando-castiles-family-reaches-nearly-3-million-settlement-in-his-death/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_philando-castile-930am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.a3c4d91be888

    Good for the Castille family. $3 million wont bring him back but it will teach the city council a lesson about how else to make money than profiling black people with broken tail lights that “smell like” marijuana.

    Forget about county prosecutors lawyer up for your civil suit against the city and state.

    1. Of course the trade off is dropping the federal civil rights law suit. Its like that case when the DEA locked that kid up from UC for four days wthout food or water. I suggested to his lawyer to sue on Constitutional grounds without collateral… but the “protracted suffering” of the victims always takes precedent over the overall suffering from the unconstitional judgements and bad laws that continue to terrorize us for being black and/or marijuana consumers.
      We need to crowd fund a Federal suit against the CSAct and marijuana prohibition in general.

  13. A list of victims and effects created by the ambiguous and overwrought federal definition marijuana that many have learned to fear unquestionably. Sad.

    That definition should be simply reformed to state the truth so that ignorant fear can be replaced with commonsense understanding, and thereby be rescheduled. For example:

    The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L. which is, as are the viable seeds of such plant, prohibited to be grown by or sold by any publicly traded corporation or subsidiary company.

    This reform could be considered as a real-life sentence.

    1. Year-bait, you fuc*ing clown…

      You continue to advocate the arrest of Americans for the simplest and cheapest way to consume marijuana.. through the “combustion” of the “smoke.” And I have to give you credit, at least in Pennsylvania, New York and Florida your parasitic agenda is taking shape… for the time being.

      (…California… wait for iiit…)

      How proud you must feel inside… that a medical marijuana patient that doesn’t qualify or can’t afford the hiked price of synthetically laced whole plant cannabis oils in a “smokeless” legal mmj state… has to suffer and DIE… because you want to spread confusion and propaganda as if there’s something wrong with smoking a JOINT?!!!

      I’ve got news for you Year-bait… We’re going to legalize the smoke of whole plant marijuana in many more states than your Machiavellian agenda will achieve. And the consumers from states where your predatory agenda prevails will cross state lines to smoke it. And as the smoke rises up to the heavens as your soul descends into guiltiness and self-deception… and as your saprophytic life fades away like the tick who was smoked out of its host… you must ask yourself…

      “Lord, when did I see you thirsty, naked, sick or in prison, and did not comfort you, or bring you food, clothes or medicine? And the Lord said ‘Even what you did for the least of these, my Brethren, (Even those who smoke weed to cure their ailments), You did it for Me.”

      1. @Julian
        The cannabis you possess will be legal before smoking it, just continue to use discretion. The patients don’t really benefit from the combusted cannabinoids or the ash particles. It is the uncombusted parts that benefit them. They get more by not combusting it. Just continue to use discretion when smoking – until it is rescheduled and probably even after that. Let’s hope the medical studies lead to a quick rescheduling.

        Long before the Anointed One got nailed by the Roman State, Moses had a cloudy tabernacle with the Holy of Holies inside it.

      2. Imperveous to reason, aren’t you Yearbait? You can fool some people sometime, but you cant fool all the people all the time.
        You must acknowledge that REscheduling is still prohiition? Still it incarcerates marijuana consumers unjustly for simply combusting the smoke? Can you at least agree with this is fact? Take credit for your shameful deception?

        And even when Moses ordained the Holy Anointing oils, or kanneh bosem, exclusively for the Kings and priests at punishment of being expelled from the Kingdom of God, this was an early form of prohibition. What are you leaving a white glove on your posts for being a prohibitionist? Do you think youre clever advocating for what would only be a policy of continued prohibition under a rescheduled synthetic pharmaceutical poisoning of our nation? What you advocate… this “smokeless resheduling utopia” is nothing more than a thinly veiled regression into a synthetically patented marijuana prohibition far worse… cracking down on what we even have now accomplished in whole plant state legalization. To that I say you can roll me up and smoke me when I die.

        Your insidious, Machiavellian plans are fooling no one on this forum, and we continuously reject your deceptive ploy to let Big Pharma dominate our movement for clean, fairly taxed whole plant marijuana.

      3. Julian, if the law identified the whole plant as cannabis while simultaneously identifying its smoke as marijuana, you could still use slang to call the whole plant marijuana and smoke that. At least the law would then clearly uphold the Constitution.

        That Schedule 1 reform would be the first step to rescheduling the smoke of the de-scheduled whole plant. Its just a matter of using reason so more people can chip away at the deadly prohibition, and restore to Local Canna-businesses the Ninth and Tenth Amendments rights that federal law took away. Fearful gunshots induced by a faint smell is insane.

        Smoking is a personal choice that should be kept under control. Like gay sex, what legitimate interest does the government have in prohibiting personal choice in private quarters?

      1. @Dain Bramage
        The key to your question is in the rescheduling of the smoke. Bongs can be used two ways: Bongs for water cooling of vapors would be OK, but discretion would still be necessary for smoked use – until rescheduled. Let’s hope the medical studies lead to a quick rescheduling. Thanks for asking an important question for users.

      2. @yearofaction,

        I think you may have missed my point. Where pot is illegal, pot paraphernalia is also often illegal, and Tommy Chong was prosecuted over just such a non crime: for manufacturing bongs, which contained absolutely no marijuana at all. No smoke, no vapor,no pot! But he was busted just the same.

        So, you see, redefining cannabis smoke is not going to fool or stop our enemies. I understand the technical distinction you’re making — you’re saying it’s not marijuana until you smoke it.

        And maybe you’re right, I don’t know. But ain’t no cop gonna buy that, I guarantee you that! I wouldn’t advise you to bet your freedom on it!

      3. @Dain Bramage
        Raise your hand if this makes sense:
        A grasshopper with a PFE can really milk a bong.

      4. @ yearofaction,

        I can’t raise my hand because I don’t have hands… I’m just a brain floating in a vat of chemicals, hooked up to a bunch of tubes and wires. I can’t even tap on the glass, it’s very frustrating.

        But, I’ve managed to convince the scientists here at the lab that I am a big, fancy bong; so that way, I can get high on their stash when they do bong rips. Pretty smart, eh?

      5. Jiminy crickets, I’ve done that. What he is saying is that a grasshopper (vape pen) with a PFE (performance front end attachment) can fill a bong with vapor so dense that it looks like milk. It is awesome!

      6. Smarter than the brain-villain from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. At least you figured out how to get high!

        And way smarter than Year-bait comparing the incarceration or even murder of people who smoke marijuana with the criminalization of gay sex. THAT got weird. I mean, I realize Texas criminalized gay anal sex but how many gay people get shot at by a crazy cop for having gay sex in their car? (Not even gonna DEAL with the smell part… gross…)

        Next he’ll bring up the testimony of Dr. Gabriel Nahas the anesthesiologist during Senator Eastland’s 1970 hearings that justified prohibition by telling Congress smoking marijuana would “make you gay.” To that I say anyone who went from smoking weed to smoking cock was gay BEFORE they ever smoked marijuana… Let’s be straight about this, Year-bait!

  14. The smell of cannabis smoke wafting out onto the street in Alaska?

    Just like Amsterdam?

    I guess the tourism industry isn’t bringing in as much money as it could be. It’s such as pain in the ass crossing any border with the United States, you know, even when you are not bringing anything back with you. Anything you got left over you got to ditch. It’s not like the Schengen agreement and just driving right through with no border checks between state lines. I mean, how many people are just leaving Colorado, Oregon, or Washington and driving home with it?

    So you get to Colorado, you can all revved up and there’s nowhere to go. You are supposed to ditch it, as you aren’t allowed to take it out of state. Odds of getting caught taking it home with you are lower than going through a customs check.

    So you get to Alaska, like Amsterdam, you can get all revved up and buy it, and you don’t have to disappear into the shadows because there is a place for you to consume it, namely the shop where you bought it, or some other place that sells it that either doesn’t know of doesn’t care if you vape/smoke non-house cannabis. You still got to ditch it before you go, but you don’t have to break public consumption and hotel rules, and you don’t waste time fading into the shadows in public where no one will notice you or waste time trying to vent it or cover it up in the hotel to avoid that HYuge penalty fee the hotel is going to hit you with.

    1. Catalán, Spain officially legalizes their Cannabis Clubs:

      https://www.marijuana.com/news/2017/06/catalonia-spain-legalizes-cannabis-cultivation-and-consumption/

      And I was just plannin a vacation to Barcelona next year: 🙂

      But its not open to tourism 🙁

      But if you wait fifteen days 🙂

      Thats ok: its more important a local European government legalized Cannabis Clubs than open it to tourism. The way European culture feels under attack in the Eurozone I kinda empathize with them… perhaps this will help preserve their culture. These guys are the guinea pigs for club-models in Europe so they must feel like Colorado did at first not wanting to fu€k anything up.
      Good luck Catalán!

  15. The lower risk of a coffeeshop type establishment where on-site consumption is legal is the place cannabis consumers who want to be law-abiding citizens will choose. That’s why the coffeeshops in Amsterdam have many more cannabis consumers in them than there are people smoking cannabis in the streets or even in Vondel Park.

    Cannatourists’ money is just as good as anybody else’s. Even if most of the tourism occurs not unpredictably in the summer moreso than for Amsterdam, what are the cannatourism dollar estimates? Coffeeshops are retail jobs (horeca) to replace those being lost in the retail service sector because of E-tailing and online giants such as Amazon. Entry level cannajobs tend to pay more than minimum wage. In Amsterdam pretty much everybody speaks English but you pay in euros, whereas in Alaska pretty much everyone speaks English but you pay in dollars.

    http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/06/26/alaska-marijuana-consumption-pot-shops-july-board-meeting/82416/

  16. July 1, 2018 is looking like the date when all states and Cannabis will in unison go forward with legalization. Even now the feds do not have the resources and should not be wasting resources on enforcing cannabis prohibition.

    The feds are being so pig-headed about cannabis. Federal tobacco taxes are dwindling. The feds tax alcohol, yet have no estimates or proto-legislation for legalizing, allowing states to regulate if they want, and collecting a federal (very small) cannabis tax. The overall cost with taxes has to be low enough so as not to keep cannabis consumers going to the black market.

    If you can’t have a tax cut for the rich on the backs of people who will lose their healthcare, then rich folks can still get a tax break equivalent to whatever costs can be paid from cannabis taxes and revenues, in theory anyway.

    The US just needs to get out of these international agreements prohibiting and inhibiting cannabis legalization. Now!

      1. Compromise: CANABA. Draw up a Flag with a green canaba leaf in the middle (where the Maple used to be) and show it everywhere worldwide, also here stateside and in Medico.

  17. Mexico expects to integrate medical marijuana exports into NAFTA and supply %60 of the US mmj demand:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.entrepreneur.com/amphtml/296402

    International mmy imports are legal by every measure except the CSAct, but international treaties will break down over this deal… A green tsunami too big for customs to enforce? But our customs sprays imported herbs with pesticides, so whole plant mmj quality control is about to meet an enormous vacuum of demand.

    According to the Justice in Mexico Project from the University of California at San Diego, 2 Mexican citizens are killed every hour due to the drug war. Trump and Sessions have made it their campaign agenda to bring about another drug war and even drug lords and politicians in Mexico couldnt resist the opportunity to declare another failure from the Trump administration. Just check out this paid ad from former Presidente Vicente Fox on Trump:

    http://youtu.be/iYZKrn7Bbl8

    Yes, its hilarious. Fox tears into Trump hard. But politically it had a dynamite effect on galvanizing mmj legalization in Mexico and breaking down made-to-fail international drug policy. The US admin always wants to claim victory in LATAM every time there’s blood shedding personal sacrifice from Colombia or Mexico to make peace on their own despite US drug policy or the CIA toppling democratically elected leaders to weaken them for the drug trade. Legalizing MMJ in Mexico at this juncture, during the climax of our Great American Prohibition Tragedy, is a way for some of the worst victims of the drug war to give an enormous “Fuck you” to prohibitionists, tipping the scales while they’re all exposed and rounded up into one US administration. Eat yer heart out Sessions; whole plant cannabis is about to get a boost from Mexico.

    1. Julian,
      I gotta seriously thank you for providing that link to the Vicente Fox (former president of Mexico) anti-Trump commercial. It’s a must-see! Epic. And freaking hilarious!

      What a classy burn!

  18. Blaming police and other workers for our problems plays into the hands of the oligarchy by keeping us at each other’s throats while it rapes, pillages and plunders the people and the planet.

    1. Fu€kn Fat Freddy, you goon; do we really need to spell it out for you? When a cop shoots a man repeatedly to death who was peacefully reaching for his wallet in front of a four year old then said cop subsequently justifies his murderous cowardice and inexperience on the smell of marijuana? That’s EVERYONE’S problem!!!
      Pull the Fox-drip-I-V out of your veins, grow some balls, roll a Fatty and go on a Cable “news” fast until you lose the Fat. Youre gonna be alright.

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