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The War on Drugs


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#41 Tusk Bilasimo

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 02:50 PM

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WARSAW — In the year 2000, as the president of Poland, I signed one of Europe’s most conservative laws on drug possession. Any amount of illicit substances a person possessed meant they were eligible for up to three years in prison. Our hope was that this would help to liberate Poland, and especially its youths, from drugs that not only have a potential to ruin the lives of the people who abuse them but also have been propelling the spread of H.I.V. among people who inject them.

We assumed that giving the criminal justice system the power to arrest, prosecute and jail people caught with even minuscule amounts of drugs, including marijuana, would improve police effectiveness in bringing to justice persons responsible for supplying illicit drugs. We also expected that the prospect of being put behind bars would deter people from abusing illegal drugs, and thus dampen demand.

We were mistaken on both of our assumptions. Jail sentences for the possession of illicit drugs — in any amount and for any purpose — did not lead to the jailing of drug traffickers. Nor did it prove to be a deterrent to drug abuse.

http://www.nytimes.c...-laws.html?_r=3

#42 Tusk Bilasimo

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 02:55 PM

Poll shows strong support for legal marijuana: Is it inevitable?


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A new national poll shows a clear majority of Americans in favor of legalizing and regulating marijuana – "the strongest support ever recorded," according to one pro-marijuana activist.

The Rasmussen poll found that 56 percent of respondents favored legalizing and regulating marijuana similar to the way alcohol and tobacco cigarettes are currently regulated. Thirty-six percent were opposed. Critics have dismissed the survey, saying its questions were asked in a particularly leading fashion – a charge that Rasmussen contests. But experts who track the issue say the poll is consistent with the overall trend of steadily rising acceptance of marijuana use.


http://www.csmonitor...s-it-inevitable



#43 Tusk Bilasimo

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 01:24 PM

Cutting marijuana penalties cuts incarceration costs

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A bill introduced in New Jersey that would impose fines rather than jail time for marijuana possession offers a more reasonable approach to the war on drugs.Under the measure, a first-time offender arrested with 15 grams of marijuana or less would face a $150 fine. The fine for subsequent offenses could increase to up to $500, along with referral to a state drug-education program. The bill won unanimous approval with bipartisan support Monday from the Assembly Judiciary Committee. A Senate version was introduced last week.Unfortunately, legislative approval may not be enough. A spokesman for Gov. Christie has said it is unlikely that the former federal prosecutor would sign it.Christie similarly took the wrong stance in opposing legalization of medical marijuana. But it would be hypocritical for him not to support a measure that not only would save taxpayers millions of dollars, but also falls in line with his proposal to require mandatory drug treatment, rather than jail, for nonviolent drug offenders, rightly recognizing that addiction is a disease that warrants treatment.A Rutgers-Eagleton poll last year found that nearly 60 percent of registered voters in New Jersey support relaxing the punishment for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Fourteen states, including New York and Connecticut, have passed similar measures.Currently, marijuana possession is a disorderly-person offense in New Jersey, the equivalent of a misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to six months in jail, $1,000 in fines, and a criminal record that cannot be expunged, which can make it difficult to find gainful employment.Statistics show that tough but ineffective drug laws have swelled the nation’s prisons. Almost half of all drug arrests are for marijuana, and nearly 80 percent of those arrests are for possession. Only about 6 percent of the marijuana cases result in a felony conviction, according to the Sentencing Project. Those arrests disproportionately affect African Americans, who represent about 14 percent of marijuana users, but 30 percent of arrests.Philadelphia allows some defendants caught with small amounts of marijuana to pay a fine and enter an educational program, which leads to their records being expunged.It’s time the war on drugs took a better approach. Marijuana should be regulated, but reasonable alternatives to incarceration make a lot more sense.

http://www.philly.co.../154196295.html



#44 Tusk Bilasimo

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:18 PM

Western banks 'reaping billions from Colombian cocaine trade'

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The vast profits made from drug production and trafficking are overwhelmingly reaped in rich "consuming" countries – principally across Europe and in the US – rather than war-torn "producing" nations such asColombia and Mexico, new research has revealed. And its authors claim that financial regulators in the west are reluctant to go after western banks in pursuit of the massive amount of drug money being laundered through their systems.
The most far-reaching and detailed analysis to date of the drug economy in any country – in this case, Colombia – shows that 2.6% of the total street value of cocaine produced remains within the country, while a staggering 97.4% of profits are reaped by criminal syndicates, and laundered by banks, in first-world consuming countries.
"The story of who makes the money from Colombian cocaine is a metaphor for the disproportionate burden placed in every way on 'producing' nations like Colombia as a result of the prohibition of
drugs," said one of the authors of the study, Alejandro Gaviria, launching its English edition last week.
"Colombian society has suffered to almost no economic advantage from the
drugs trade, while huge profits are made by criminal distribution networks in consuming countries, and recycled by banks which operate with nothing like the restrictions that Colombia's own banking system is subject to."
His co-author, Daniel Mejía, added: "The whole system operated by authorities in the consuming nations is based around going after the small guy, the weakest link in the chain, and never the big business or financial systems where the big money is."
The work, by the two economists at University of the Andes in Bogotá, is part of an initiative by the Colombian government to overhaul global
drugs policy and focus on money laundering by the big banks in America and Europe, as well as social prevention of drug taking and consideration of options for de-criminalising some or all drugs.
The economists surveyed an entire range of economic, social and political facets of the drug wars that have ravaged Colombia. The conflict has now shifted, with deadly consequences, to Mexico and it is feared will spread imminently to central America. But the most shocking conclusion relates to what the authors call "the microeconomics of cocaine production" in their country.
Gaviria and Mejía estimate that the lowest possible street value (at $100 per gram, about £65) of "net cocaine, after interdiction" produced in Colombia during the year studied (2008) amounts to $300bn. But of that only $7.8bn remained in the country.
"It is a minuscule proportion of GDP," said Mejía, "which can impact disastrously on society and political life, but not on the Colombian economy. The economy for Colombian cocaine is outside Colombia."
Mejía told the Observer: "The way I try to put it is this: prohibition is a transfer of the cost of the drug problem from the consuming to the producing countries."
"If countries like Colombia benefitted economically from the drug trade, there would be a certain sense in it all," said Gaviria. "Instead, we have paid the highest price for someone else's profits – Colombia until recently, and now Mexico.
"I put it to Americans like this – suppose all cocaine consumption in the US disappeared and went to Canada. Would Americans be happy to see the homicide rates in Seattle skyrocket in order to prevent the cocaine and the money going to Canada? That way they start to understand for a moment the cost to Colombia and Mexico."
The
mechanisms of laundering drug money were highlighted in theObserver last year after a rare settlement in Miami between US federal authorities and the Wachovia bank, which admitted to transferring $110m of drug money into the US, but failing to properly monitor a staggering $376bn brought into the bank through small exchange houses in Mexico over four years. (Wachovia has since been taken over by Wells Fargo, which has co-operated with the investigation.)
But no one went to jail, and the bank is now in the clear. "Overall, there's great reluctance to go after the big money," said Mejía. "They don't target those parts of the chain where there's a large value added. In Europe and America the money is dispersed – once it reaches the consuming country it goes into the system, in every city and state. They'd rather go after the petty economy, the small people and coca crops in Colombia, even though the economy is tiny."
Colombia's banks, meanwhile, said Mejía, "are subject to rigorous control, to stop laundering of profits that may return to our country. Just to bank $2,000 involves a huge amount of paperwork – and much of this is overseen by Americans."
"In Colombia," said Gaviria, "they ask questions of banks they'd never ask in the US. If they did, it would be against the laws of banking privacy. In the US you have very strong laws on bank secrecy, in Colombia not – though the proportion of laundered money is the other way round. It's kind of hypocrisy, right?"
Dr Mejia said: "It's an extension of the way they operate at home. Go after the lower classes, the weak link in the chain – the little guy, to show results. Again, transferring the cost of the drug war on to the poorest, but not the financial system and the big business that moves all this along."
With Britain having overtaken the US and Spain as the world's biggest consumer of cocaine per capita, the Wachovia investigation showed much of the drug money is also laundered through the City of London, where the principal Wachovia whistleblower, Martin Woods, was based in the bank's anti-laundering office. He was wrongfully dismissed after sounding the alarm.
Gaviria said: "We know that authorities in the US and UK know far more than they act upon. The authorities realise things about certain people they think are moving money for the drug trade – but the DEA [US Drugs Enforcement Administration] only acts on a fraction of what it knows."
"It's taboo to go after the big banks," added Mejía. "It's political suicide in this economic climate, because the amounts of money recycled are so high."
Anti-Drugs Policies In Colombia: Successes, Failures And Wrong Turns, edited by Alejandro Gaviria and Daniel Mejía, Ediciones Uniandes, 2011


http://www.guardian....n-cocaine-trade


#45 MungoFungo

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:07 PM

hehehhehe beat me to it.................. was just gonna post this.............

"The most far-reaching and detailed analysis to date of the drug economy in any country – in this case, Colombia – shows that 2.6% of the total street value of cocaine produced remains within the country, while a staggering 97.4% of profits are reaped by criminal syndicates, and laundered by banks, in first-world consuming countries."

now wonder why drugs are illegal still??

THE GOD DAMN BANKS!!! imagine if that drug money wasn't in the banks??

#46 Alder Logs

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:10 PM

Just like Michael Ruppert has been telling us for years.

#47 Tusk Bilasimo

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 10:54 AM

now wonder why drugs are illegal still??


I agree Mungo, and that's not to mention all the law enforcement; security; equipment manufacturers that are making a killing

#48 Tusk Bilasimo

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:18 AM

NYC Marijuana Decriminilization

The governor will call for the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view, administration officials said. Advocates of such a change say the offense has ensnared tens of thousands of young black and Latino men who are stopped by the New York City police for other reasons but after being instructed to empty their pockets, find themselves charged with a crime.
Reducing the impact of the Bloomberg administration’s stop-and-frisk policy has been a top priority of lawmakers from minority neighborhoods, who have urged Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, to pay more attention to the needs of their communities. The lawmakers argue that young men found with small amounts of marijuana are being needlessly funneled into the criminal justice system and have difficulty finding jobs as a result.
By deciding to get involved in the biggest law enforcement issue roiling New York City, Mr. Cuomo is again inserting himself into the affairs of the city in a way that has been welcomed by some and resented by others. He previously brokered the resolution of a dispute over legalizing street hails of livery cabs, and he ordered the city to stop requiring that food stamp applicants be fingerprinted.
In this case, the governor would be acting against the wishes of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and in spite of a September directive from the police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, who instructed officers not to arrest people who take small amounts of marijuana out of their pockets or bags after being stopped by the police.
The Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy group critical of the Police Department’s marijuana arrest policies, found that only a modest decline in the arrests followed Mr. Kelly’s memorandum.
Though the governor’s legislation does not address the high number of stops by the police, it would take aim at what many black and Hispanic lawmakers as well as advocacy groups say has been one of the most damaging results of the aggressive police tactics: arrest records for young people who have small amounts of marijuana in their pockets.
“For individuals who have any kind of a record, even a minuscule one, the obstacles are enormous to employment and to education,” said Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “When it’s really a huge number of kids in the community who go through this, and all have the same story, the impact is just devastating.”
The police in New York City made 50,684 arrests last year for possession of a small amount of marijuana, more than for any other offense, according to an analysis of state data by Harry G. Levine, a sociologist at Queens College. The arrests continued — one in seven arrests made in the city was for low-level marijuana possession — even as Commissioner Kelly issued his directive.
Mr. Bloomberg has opposed ending arrests for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. His administration has argued that the arrests serve to reduce more serious crime by deterring drug dealing and the violence that can accompany the drug trade. A spokesman for the mayor declined to comment Sunday.
Mr. Cuomo plans to announce his support for the change at a news conference at the Capitol. While his push comes late in the year’s legislative session, which is scheduled to end June 21, the governor has been successful in his first 17 months in office at focusing attention on a limited number of legislative priorities and persuading lawmakers to address them quickly.
“This proposal will bring long overdue consistency and fairness to New York State’s Penal Law and save thousands of New Yorkers, particularly minority youth, from the unnecessary and life-altering trauma of a criminal arrest and, in some cases, prosecution,” an administration official said in an e-mail.
It would also save law enforcement “countless man-hours wasted” on arrests and prosecutions “for what is clearly only a minor offense,” the official added.

http://www.nytimes.c... /><br /><br />



#49 Tusk Bilasimo

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 01:57 PM

Marijuana law just creates criminals


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More than 50,000 people in 2011 were arrested in New York City for possessing small amounts of marijuana -- the majority of whom were black and Latino -- at a considerable judicial and financial cost. New York City spends about $75 million every year on arresting people for recreational marijuana possession.

But what many people don't know is that the state decriminalized this offense more than 30 years ago, making private possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana a violation punishable by a $100 fine. Possession of the same amount in public view remains a criminal misdemeanor.

Despite this change in law, arrests for small quantities of marijuana over the last decade have skyrocketed, with more than 400,000 people arrested and unceremoniously run through the criminal justice system. Marijuana possession is now the No. 1 arrest category in New York.

Why is this happening?.

http://edition.cnn.c...-law/index.html



#50 bugs

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 10:51 AM

Now, let me get this straight. According to the article, it looks like cops can stop anyone, at random, and demand that they empty their pockets. Is this true?
I've read about stop-and-frisk laws that allow LEO's to frisk suspicious characters (as defined by the PIQ (Pig in Question)) but this is even worse.

#51 Tusk Bilasimo

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 11:07 AM

I'm not sure how US law works, but yes it appears that while they require a warrant to search private property, they can stop and search you on the street and/or I'm sure your car too?

#52 benderislord

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 09:21 PM

tusk...under laws now they can strip search you
anywhere and at anytime they feel the need to
this country has slid down a slippery slope straight to nazi'ville!

#53 Tusk Bilasimo

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 07:50 AM

Chicago Mayor Emanuel backs marijuana decriminalization

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(Reuters) - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Friday he would back a proposal that would decriminalize possessing small amounts of marijuana, the latest major U.S. political figure to support diminished penalties for the drug's use.

Under the proposed ordinance, to be voted on by the city council later this month, police officers in the nation's third-largest city would be able to issue a written violation for possession of 15 grams or less.

This is a modified version of an ordinance proposed last fall by a group of Chicago aldermen, who said the measure would help raise revenue for the city, save money and free up police to pursue more serious crimes.

More than a dozen states and several of the largest U.S. cities have already taken similar steps. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is another supporter of pot decriminalization.
Chicago Police Department statistics indicate that last year there were 18,298 arrests for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana, according to a statement from the mayor's office. Each case involves approximately four officers - two arresting and two transporting officers - and places an additional burden on the Cook County court and jail system, the statement said.
"These arrests tied up more than 45,000 police hours," Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in the mayor's office statement. "The new ordinance nearly cuts that time in half, which equals an approximate $1 million in savings, while freeing up cops to address more serious crime."

Currently, those caught with small amounts of the drug could face up to six months in jail. The aldermen's original ordinance set the limit at 10 grams.
When the ordinance was first introduced last year, Emanuel, who was President Barack Obama's first White House chief of staff, had said he would ask the police to do an analysis to see if the reform would make sense."The result is an ordinance that allows us to observe the law, while reducing the processing time for minor possession of marijuana - ultimately freeing up police officers for the street," Emanuel said.

McCarthy and Emanuel have been under pressure in recent weeks to quell a spike in gun violence in Chicago. Through May 13 of this year, there have been 185 homicides in the city, up from 116 during the comparable period last year, and the numbers have continued to rise. Emanuel had vowed to cut the city's crime rate when he was elected last year.
Fifteen states have reduced the penalty for possession of limited amounts of marijuana, according to Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML, a lobbying group working to legalize the drug. Other cities with similar policies include Seattle, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, as well as university towns like Champaign, Illinois, and Madison, Wisconsin. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana.

"It's a pragmatic move," said St. Pierre, regarding Emanuel's decision.
Under a New York proposal approved by the State Assembly Wednesday and backed by Cuomo, patients could buy marijuana at pharmacies and hospitals or from non-profits certified by the state. The Republican-led New York Senate is not expected to allow a vote on the bill this session.
Opponents of decriminalization have argued that it normalizes drug use, and results in a lost opportunity for intervention.
The Chicago ordinance will likely be voted on during the City Council meeting June 27.


http://www.reuters.c...E85E10J20120615



#54 bugs

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 12:06 PM

Although this type of decriminalization is a good baby step, it has one big fault. Fines. The idea of a penalty being imposed, even partially, with an eye toward increasing revenue.

Whether for driving infractions, pot possessions, whatever, fines disproportionately penalize the poor. A fine of a few hundred dollars can devastate an individual or family living on a small income, while being a small inconvenience to someone with greater earning power.

That's been one of my pet peeves for a long, long time.

#55 Alder Logs

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 01:58 PM

That's been one of my pet peeves for a long, long time.


What is this? Socialism.

Remember John Cleese as Robin Hood in Time Bandits?

"The poor. Oh you must meet them. I'm sure you'll like them. Of course they haven't got two pennies to rub together but that's because they're poor."

#56 Tusk Bilasimo

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 12:05 PM

Texas Democratic Party Platform Endorses Decriminalization Of Marijuana


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Texas Democrats came together at their state convention earlier this month and agreed to adopt a plank to their party platform calling for the decriminalization of marijuana.

From the party's website:

This decriminalization of marijuana does not mean we endorse the use of marijuana but it is only a call to wiser use of law enforcement and public health policy. Prohibition of marijuana abdicates the control of marijuana production and distribution to drug cartels and street gangs. Such prohibition promotes disrespect for the law and reinforces ethnic and generational divides between the public and law enforcement.

This decriminalization of marijuana does not mean we endorse the use of marijuana but it is only a call to wiser use of law enforcement and public health policy. Prohibition of marijuana abdicates the control of marijuana production and distribution to drug cartels and street gangs. Such prohibition promotes disrespect for the law and reinforces ethnic and generational divides between the public and law enforcement.


Every year, hundreds and thousands of Americans are arrested for marijuana possession violations- far more than all those arrested for violent crimes in America. Societal costs dealing with the war on drugs concerning marijuana exceeds 12 billion dollars annually. Since the war on drugs began, 85% of the arrests for marijuana have been for possession only.Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Recent polls show over 50% of Americans believe marijuana should be decriminalized. While arrests for marijuana since 1965 have been over 20 million citizens, marijuana is more prevalent than ever before.

There is no evidence that marijuana is a “gateway” drug leading to the use of more lethal drugs. 75% of citizens arrested for marijuana are under 30. Minorities account for a majority of those arrested for marijuana. Criminal conviction permanently scars a young citizen for life.

Texas Democrats urge the President, the Attorney General and the Congress to support the passage of legislation to decriminalize the possession of marijuana and regulate it’s use, production and sale as is done with tobacco and alcohol.

We further urge the immediate decriminalization of the possession and use of medical marijuana.

http://www.huffingto...hp_ref=politics



#57 MungoFungo

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 11:21 AM

YO! guys CHECK OUT THE NEWEST WEAPON AGAIST US, IN THE DRUG WAR!!! the war agaist everybody..

check this out!!!,
Will Grigg, blogger and author of Liberty in Eclipse, discusses his article “Judicially Authorized Rape: The Newest Weapon in the Prohibitionist Arsenal;” the stories of three victims of forced catheterizing by the police; more evidence that cops are habitual liars and shouldn’t be trusted; two cops who were promoted instead of getting prison time for sexually assaulting Stephan Cook; the “qualified immunity” legal exemption for costume-wearing state employees who break the law; and how the US is like a prison environment writ large, where civilians are convicts and cops are prison guards.

YES THE COPS CAN JUST DRAG U OFF THE STREET AND CATHERIZE YOU!! with permssion from a judge of course, cause some guy in a robe gave permission for bodliy fluids so it makes it legal and ok..................hahahhah!! we are so FREE, FEEL THE FREEDOM!!!!


http://antiwar.com/r.../will-grigg-33/

#58 Tusk Bilasimo

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:10 PM

Lawsuit Filed Over Arrests For Marijuana

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A lawsuit filed Friday by the Legal Aid Society charges that the New York Police Department is routinely ignoring a September directive reminding officers that they may not make arrests on misdemeanor marijuana charges if they have directed suspects to bring into open view the drug.

The organization is seeking a court injunction to compel the the department to stop these arrests, arguing that in such cases state law mandates a desk-appearance ticket for a violation that carries a $100 fine.

The filing takes aim at one aspect of the department's stop-and-frisk policy, and comes after a failed bid by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to decriminalize the public possession of small amounts of marijuana.

http://online.wsj.co...=googlenews_wsj


C
ould this be the tide finally turning? ...love it

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#59 Tusk Bilasimo

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 01:14 PM

Uruguay government aims to legalise marijuana
Uruguay has unveiled a plan to allow state-controlled sales of marijuana to fight a rise in drug-related crime.

Under the bill, only the government would be allowed to sell marijuana to adults registered on a database.

Defence Minister Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro said this was part of a plan to remove profits from drug dealers and divert users from harder drugs.

He said that the recent increase in murder rates was a clear symptom of a rise in drug trafficking crimes.

http://www.bbc.co.uk.../><br /></span>

#60 iatebadshrooms

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 01:26 PM

Okay people this is the way I understand the whole situation on legalization of medical marijuana, Right now we are living in an amazing time for Medical marijuana, for the first time in history-well since prohibition of mj the united states have decided to allow certain states to experiment.
We are living in the experiment stages right now! It is gonna take time people, The government Has allowed a handful of states to start prescribing Medical marijuana to patience and they are sitting back and WATCHING US CLOSELY AND TAKING NOTES! This is just a test run, The government is trying to find a way to control it and set up a system for it, I HOPE WE DON"T F****K THIS UP, were like little mice in the lab right now stoned running around in a maze and Big brother is watching and studying us, trying to find out if its gonna work or not, SO I hope they are pleased with what they see, and I hope that more states join the experiment and we do FINALLY prove to the government we can handle this MEDICINE and they can control it and make money on it........................................So that's my take on it, Were in the experimental stages right now, every one is pushing and pushing for legalization but there not gonna do it until they have some solid evidence that the system can control it, and it will not effect our Reputation and weaken the government's iron fist....





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