Archive for December, 2010

Arizona medical marijuana laws stricter than expected

After I posted a post a couple of weeks ago on Arizona passing its medical marijuana laws and becoming the fifteenth state in the Nation to do so, High Times Magazine and NORML announced that the laws are going to be the strictest ever.

According to the Director of Arizona Department of Health Services, that only 20,000 Arizona citizens will qualify as medical marijuana patients compared to the estimated 100,000 citizens that were going to be able to have access to medical marijuana.  Under these new rules Arizona’s medical marijuana law is the strictest in the nation.

Earlier this year as well New Jersey finally, after a year, brought its medical marijuana plan into action and will allow medical marijuana patients to gain access to cannabis by the beginning of summer 2011. They were thought to have the strictest rules, laws, and regulations against marijuana but now it seems Arizona has taken over that plateau.

Arizona State Health Services Director said early Friday that, “We figured hey, if we put some true checks and balances in this system, we can actually make this a medical marijuana program and not a recreational marijuana program … For that guy in his 30s without any qualifying medical condition who is going to expect to be able to walk into a physician and get a quick recommendation by saying his shoulder’s been sore – those are people that we expect to have a bigger challenge in actually getting a qualified patient card.”

It seems Arizona Director of Health thinks it’s becoming to easy for patients to gain access to a marijuana card.  So the new laws are really enforcing how a patient can have medical marijuana.

It really is that easy to get a medical card for marijuana by complaining about back pain, eye problems, and other simple aches, especially out West in California.  From my research it seems some people are getting marijuana cards to get medical marijuana, which is usually more potent than street marijuana, to sell and distribute.

This problem is what Arizona is trying to control it looks like by, making it a medical program, instead of a “recreational program,” like the Arizona Director of Health Services mentioned earlier today.

Leave a comment

Say Goodbye to Synthetic Marijuana

After this semester at school and seeing how popular the synthetic marijuana, known as K2 -K4 and other similar products, are being pulled from the shelves in a few CT communities.

Many CT communities such as Waterbury and Torrington have sold the stuff for months but are now going to be forced to remove the products from the shelves by late December.   The Federal Drug Enforcement Agency has placed the synthetic marijuana in a category that includes ecstasy, heroin, and LSD.

The DEA wants to “avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety,” according to the Federal Register.

The Central CT campus has been seeing a growth in the fake marijuana this semester and it grew faster than ever.  Now that the DEA is coming in to stop this product from being sold, I bet that it’s not just going to be Torrington and Waterbury that are going to lose the substance but all of CT and even the whole country.  Central is going to be next along with my home town Danbury.

According to NORML’s website, the DEA will start the control of the five chemicals within the synthetic weed along with the product.  At the end of December the DEA will make a final notice making the substance illegal for at least a year and a possibility of a six month extension while the Department of Health and Human Services studies whether this chemicals need to be controlled or not.

The official statement released by the DEA: “The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is using its emergency scheduling authority to temporarily control five chemicals (JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol) used to make “fake pot” products.  Except as authorized by law, this action will make possessing and selling these chemicals or the products that contain them illegal in the U.S. for at least one year while the DEA and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) further study whether these chemicals and products should be permanently controlled.”

NORML who is in favor of adult production and consumption does not support the recreational use of synthetic marijuana.  In fact will this new ban on the substance be even more dangerous for the people who is it?  Does the DEA ever learn?  That banning this will just make the students who use it go after it harder just like they do with marijuana.  It could just lead to more dangerous situations for people and more pointless arrests which is what NORML is trying to get rid of with the legalization of real cannabis.

Just another bad situation that could turn worse in my opinion, what do you guys think?

Leave a comment

Jail overcrowding; one of the biggest issues facing marijuana today

HIGH TIMES Magazine
HIGH_TIMES_Mag HIGH TIMES Magazine
“The fact that you can get drugs in prison underscores the total failure of the war on drugs more than anything else that I can think of”
I follow High Times Magazine on Twitter and they twitted this earlier today.  I retweeted it because it is something i truly believe in and what my final project for two of my classes is on.
Are they right since you can get drugs in prison is the war on drugs failing?  Will it be easier to completely decriminalize marijuana so there will be fewer people overcrowding in prisons and fewer worries about marijuana coming into prison systems?  A very serious issue that needs to be brought to serious attention.

Statistically the number of arrests for Marijuana possession and sales has increased by 800 percent since 1990.  Since 1990, over 5.9 million Americans were arrested due to marijuana charges and that’s more Americans than the entire populations of the states of Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming combined.

Roughly 88 percent were charged with use and or possession and a small 12 percent were charged with selling or growing.  In 2007,  nearly   782, 000 American were arrested on Marijuana charges with 60, 000 to 85, 000 of those arrested sentence to county jail or prison terms. The average cost for putting a man or woman in prison for year in 2005 was $23,876.

The prices for prison incarceration vary in different states and this number could have gone up since 2005 and gotten pricier since then as well.

If you do the math, 85,000 of those people who were arrested for use and possession and multiple the average cost of holding one person in prison, and that comes out to $2,029,460,000 dollars.  That’s 2 billion dollars of money that can be put toward hunting down actual drug rings, gang related crime, and other bigger offenses rape, murder, etc.

Just a small look at what jail overcrowding is doing in this country and how marijuana users are a huge part of this problem and need to be fixed sooner than later.

I will post my full project on the subject next when I finish it.

Reference for stats: LegalizationofMarijuana.Com: http://www.legalizationofmarijuana.com/index.html

Leave a comment

New Jersey finally allows medical marijuana after a year

New Jersey became the fourteenth state to allow medical marijuana in 2009, but after a year with officials arguing over the details, New Jersey will finally allow patients to get medical cannabis.

Note that not one single patients has not benefited once from the medical marijuana law that was passed last year.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, announced last week that New Jersey will move forward with the program and allow six “alternative treatment centers.”  These centers will grow and sell cannabis to qualified patients.

Gov. Christie reportedly only wanted four to act as dispensaries and two as places to grow marijuana.  Also as apart of the New Jersey agreement that, satellite locations and home delivery of cannabis will not be allowed.

This law in Jersey is very strict and restrictive.  Only patients of serious health conditions qualify as patients.  Also patients are limited to two ounces of cannabis every 30 days.

According to the New Jersey state government it will open dispensaries in the summer of 2011 and should be fully functional within the next six months.

Another step in moving forward for marijuana’s future.

This article shows more on the strict rules in New Jersey:  Rules on Jersey medical cannabis

Leave a comment

President of NORML at CCSU and his views on the future of marijuana

Last week when I went to the screening of ‘Super High Me’ which was an event NORML held here at CCSU, I caught up with the new NORML President, Larry Vitko.

With Prop19 failing in November to legalize marijuana on a state level Larry showed some enthusiasm into the future of this bill.  But also thought it could still use some more  support.

“I believe with the failure of prop 19 it showed that there is still tremendous support out there for full legalization. With that Californians and americans as a whole need to be properly convinced that legalization is the next step for marijuana. Primarily the campaign for prop 19 relied more or less on just the economic side of the discussion. Just that alone can’t motivate the base since only 55% of our generation came out to vote on it,” Vitko said.

He makes sense where there is more support needed from voters of our generation.  If only 55% showed up to vote in California, it seems that if the other 45% came to vote we could have different or closer situation in the voting.  Our generation really needs to help step up and voice their opinions because this is for our future and the future of America.

Also, how the primary discussion of legalizing it through mainly economic issues won’t help win voters.  Like Vitko said, “just that alone can’t motivate,” and the National NORML and other politicians during voting for this need to elaborate the other positives of legalizing marijuana.

“We need to promote all the pro’s of marijuana; hit the public with an onslaught of information supporting it that directly counters what the government and anti pot supporters use as their main arguments for keeping it criminalized,” he added.

Vitko also said, “I believe they will again attempt to legalize it in cali and should pass since it did come very close this election. Also our generation comes out in force for a presidential election rather the midterms. If the promarijuana groups keep on pushing the topic til election day I find it hard pressed to see it fail.”

In 2012 is when prop19 is back up on the ballot to see if California will be ready to legalize marijuana.  Also, with the Presidential election coming up in 2012 as well maybe it will bring out more young voters and push them to vote for prop19 as well, like Vitko said.

I agree with what Larry had to say and how he sees it being hard press to see it fail in 2012.  Once people become more aware of this topic and situation and learn more about it I think they will realize the benefits from this out weigh the negatives.

He also believes that Connecticut will decriminalize in 2011.  I wasn’t able to talk to him about this yet but hopefully fingers crossed for decriminalization in CT.  We need it!  No more non violent marijuana users going to jail and taking up space for actual violent people!

Leave a comment

Rob Huebel and Rob Riggle short skit on marijuana

I thought this would be funny to add to the blog.  It is a small clip from ‘Super High Me’ where Rob Riggle and Rob Huebel act as undercover officers and act like marijuana is the worst thing and do a spoof on how it influences many things like Hurricane Katrina.

It’s a good metaphor to how the government and the law see marijuana as a “threat to society,” by giving examples and over exaggerating what harm it can do.  It was a very funny skit.

Leave a comment

NORML at CCSU has it’s first event late in the semester

Tonight the NORML chapter at CCSU held its first actual event of the semester.  Once again like the meeting I went to earlier this year there was barely anyone there.

The event was hosted by the treasurer of NORML at CCSU, Rebecca Flugrad and President Larry Vitko.  I asked Rebecca if this was their first event of the semester and she said, “This is our first actual event of the semester but next semester we will have more because of 4/20.”  In October they were supposed to have a Hookah night out in the student circle here at central but Rebecca added, “There are no hookahs allowed on campus anymore so we couldn’t have that event.”

The no more hookahs allowed was a surprise to me because every now and then, outside my dorm, I still see people using hookahs.  Rebecca said she thinks it’s because of people using it for the wrong reasons or because it can be “paraphernalia.”

I’m going to go talk to Chris Dukes,who is the Director of Student conduct here at CCSU, about the hookah situation and his views on NORML and what the movement is like on campus from what he has seen.

Anyways, the event was the showing of the movie, “Super High Me,” where comedian Doug Benson does a spoof of original movie “Super Size me.”  Super High me is about Benson not smoking for thirty straight days and then smoking for thirty days straight and recording the data of his life during both months.  He goes through tests like taking the SAT’s, taking a fitness and mental test, a psychic test, and shows how his daily life and comedic job are during these periods.

NORML event, showing the movie 'Super High Me' in the student center late Tuesday night.

The movie was shown twice on November 29 and 30 from 8:30 p.m. till 10 p.m. in the student center.  The crowd was very small.  Rebecca said four to five people, excluding herself and other members, came the first night and tonight when I went there was three others including myself and the member of NORML which brought it to seven total.  The event wasn’t promoted across campus which is why the small crowd.  The only thing I saw was a facebook group promoting the event.

There probably won’t be another event until next semester but  I will definitely be at the next one.  I’ve even given thought to an event of my own that I will talk to NORML and Chris Dukes about.  I think CCSU should have a mock vote of its own Prop19 and see what the students think of legalizing marijuana on the state level and see what students think.

Leave a comment