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Arizona’s Proposition 203 to approve medical marijuana passes

About fifteen minutes ago it was finalized after nearly two weeks of counting votes that proposition 203 in Arizona to allow medical marijuana is approved.  Arizona is the 15th state in the U.S. to approve the use of medical marijuana.

California was the first to approve medical marijuana in 1996 followed by 14 other states over the years which include: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  Also, Washington DC has allowed the use of medical marijuana.

The ballot barely won by 4,341 votes out of more than 1.6 million ballots counted, according to the final tallies announced Saturday.

The approval was definitely a surprise for me since prop19 failed out in California.  I thought no one wanted or was ready for any more legalization of any type of marijuana.  But that theory was proven wrong to me as people are ready for some use of marijuana in today’s society but still not quite ready for complete legalization.

At one point during election day the ballot was down nearly 7,200 votes until this past Friday where it pulled ahead in the final counting.   The final tallies of all votes was 841,346 in favor and 837,005 who opposed.

This passing of prop203 will allow patients from Arizona with HIV or AIDS hepatitis C or any other “chronic or debilitating” disease to have a guideline on growing plants and buy up to an ounce or two every two weeks.  Arizona will also allow only 124 marijuana dispensaries in the state for right now at least.

Politicians are worried that this will help lead to National legalization and people aren’t aware of the dire consequences from this.

The article from the New York Times has interviews and a little more explanation but overall the movement is still strong in our country and voters in Arizona really moved forward with prop203.

NORML is moving forward and is in better shape in it’s long long history!

Just another foundation for legalization.

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History Channels, ‘Marijuana: A Chronic History’

Below is the six part, 2 hour special on marijuana that was on the History Channel last Wednesday night.  My question is why did they broadcast this a day after the elections instead of before?  Seems like a conspiracy to make sure fewer people would vote for prop19 on election day.  This could have helped educate more people on what marijuana really is, its history, and background information on basically everything.  This is something that even educated me on the subject so please if you have the chance watch cause it is really good.  History Channel did an amazing job with this and is very informative to those who favor or are skeptical on marijuana.

Video 3: In the beginning says when marijuana first came to the state from Mexico people were afraid of this “foreign habit” and that’s how the first laws against cannabis came to be.  See Americans get scared of things that are different and change and the first thing we do is trying to ban or go against it.  Watch and judge for yourself.

The sound quality might be a little weird but overall it’s pretty good and part 1 starts from the bottom up.

Copyright: History Channel…just showing that I’m not stealing or plagiarizing their shows.  I just really appreciate what they did even if it was after the elections.

 

 






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CCSU Police Sergeant Jerry Erwin and his take on prop19 and marijuana

Earlier today I was able to get time to talk to one of Central’s beloved officers, Sergeant Erwin.

I wasn’t going to expect much of an opinion from an officer about the subject but he did give me some fair answers on what he thinks.  But it will be nice to get a view from a campus officer on what he knows and sees from his point of view.

I first asked him what his take on prop19 was and how he felt about it failing out in California.  Erwin said, “For law enforcement we’re under the letter of the law, and if it’s illegal, it’s illegal.”  So he does abide by the law and can’t say go smoke all the weed it’s not bad for you cause that’s not his job or why he took his oath.  “We just want whats safe for the students, that’s our job,” he added.

We then moved on to K2 and K3 other synthetic “marijuana” that has been sweeping the nation and Central’s campus just as fast as four lokos have.

“We are trying to do an informational program on K2 and K3 and we’re talking to the state now but they’re scared it will teach kids of how to smoke it rather than provide information on it,” Erwin said.   I find that to be complete BS to think the state thinks any program held by police officers would teach kids how to smoke the synthetic weed. It really opened my eyes to see how scared our government is or even Connecticut on drugs and how they won’t push for programs as such.

Anything different that come into our society people, especially people in politics or attached to the state, think everything is going to change and that’s a god damn shame.

Another reason officer Erwin abides by his oath is that, “Today’s society isn’t about kids just doing one drug or having one drink.  They’re always looking for that new high or a quicker high.”  When he went on to say he’s seen students on campus before smoking marijuana but adding other things into such as LSD or any other counterpart.  Which he believes marijuana can be a gateway drug but he also said the same about alcohol, with the whole four loko fascination sweeping the country.

He also mentioned students just having the, “Thrill at trying to get away with something,” which I find true.  When I first tried smoking it was for the illegal aspect of it  and getting away with it and it let me do something that’s against society and most of the kids now days really do try to go against what society believes as a “social norm.”  A story he told me was when he caught a couple of students breaking into a dorm to steal some things and he asked the kid why he did this, and simply said I wanted to try it.  Which must sound dumb to all people but people do stupid things and try stupid things just for the heck of it.

Jerry Erwin has been a police officer on Central’s campus for 12 years now and I’m in my junior year now.  I asked him if marijuana charges or possession have changed since I have been here or since he has been here over the past 12 years.  “Over the 12 years of being on campus I’d say its been pretty consistent with marijuana charges,” he said.

Marijuana is considered a Level 1 drug which is the most dangerous out of all the levels which the least dangerous is level 5, according to the Controlled Substances Act.  There is a big controversy over it being labeled as a “level 1” and as of now there is talk of removing it from the level 1 and moving it to a lower level because there is no known case of an overdose of THC.  Seriously though how is methamphetamine and cocaine a lower level than marijuana and marijuana is right next to heroin in level 1?  Really?  I’m sorry but that’s just outrageous.  Officer Erwin believes that, “There is indeed a need of revaluation of drugs and what they are capable of.”

Overall the experience of talking about this subject to an officer so openly ready to talk about it was a good change of pace and relaxing for me.  I was able to talk to him freely about whatever without him raising his voice or judging.  He said he’s really here for the kids and keeping them safe and if cracking down on marijuana or even alcohol he’ll do it.

He finished with, “I am Jerry Erwin, I’m fair and respectful…when I put  this uniform on I’m the same person.”  This is something I can respect from a police officer and something you don’t hear much.

Him and Vance RA’s are putting on a drug an alcohol program on tonight and he invited me to come and watch and gather more information on the matter at hand on:  marijuana.  I will post about the program and what I saw and learned from there later on tonight.

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California voters reject prop19

Last Tuesday, November 2, California voters voted on prop19 which would legalize marijuana in California under state law.  unfortunately it didn’t pass and for it to be voted on again it has to wait till the elections in 2012.

I am in favor of legalizing it under state law to relinquish the problems of arresting harmless citizens who mind their own business of smoking.  The money can go to way better things and maybe even drug and alcohol prevention.

An article released on November 5 by, POLITICO 44: A living diary of the Obama presidency, showed what Gil Kerlikowske, President Obama’s Drug Czar and who is the director of the Office of National Drug Policy, said he is quite happy that prop19 in California shows that Americans can not be manipulated by the “spin” from advocates of legalizing marijuana.

“I think I was very proud of the fact that the voters of California saw through the rhetoric, all the false promises that had been talked about,” said Kerlikowske to POLITICO.

The Obama administration doesn’t plan on dropping the consideration of legalizing marijuana in answer to the results in California, according to Kerlikowske.

The war on drugs is seemingly failing and the route to legalization of at least marijuana could also be an answer to help stop trafficking in the U.S.  “There’s no need to say, ‘The drug war has failed; therefore, we have to go to legalization,” he said to POLITICO.

The final results of prop19 were somewhat close but disappointing because surveys in the beginning of the year had prop19 in favor of passing.  The final results are posted in the graph below where it was in favor of NO 56% to a 44% YES, according to election ballotpedia.

For something of this caliber and being in California the voter turnout was roughly around 8 million people, which is good, but also shows that many more people need to go out and vote.  Most of them probably being young voters as we have seen this year in CT has also been a problem.

Proposition 19 (marijuana legalization
Results Votes Percentage
No(X) 4,339,838 54.00%
Yes 3,698,522 46.00%

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Wiz Khalifa on Propositon 19

 

With six days left till November 2 and the vote for Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana in California, musicians like rapper Wiz Khalifa believe this is important to California.  Even with his habits for smoking weed his opinion might not mean much to people but it does mean something.  He talks about how important it is to go vote especially how it’s important in young voters.  In the video Wiz says, when asked if voting is important, “no matter what it’s for, if it’s something you believe in go out there and support it.”  I like what he said and it’s something I think most people my age would like to hear from older adults as well.  Just something I found enjoyable and something for you guys to see.

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NORML audio slideshow

This audio slide show is basically touching up on what NORML is and what Proposition 19 is about. It’s positives and negatives and how this could be a good thing for the state of California. With proposition 19 being voted on exactly a week from today, November 2, this is something to help people understand what people will get out of this bill. Expect much more posts after November 2 after the voting of the bill.

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Facebook Founders Donate to Proposition 19

Earlier this month Facebook co-founders Sean Parker and Dustin Moskovitz donated money to help support the proposition 19 cause, which is going to be voted on in California on November 2.

Sean Parker, who is a Facebook co-founder and the founder of Napster, donated $100,000 and Dustin Moskovitz originally donated $50,000 but then just donated another $20,000 to Proposition 19 effort.

Moskovitz is also one America’s youngest billionaires worth an estimated 1.4 billion, which the majority of that from his 6 percent share ownership of Facebook.  He left Facebook in 2008 and started Asana, a software company that allows individuals and small companies to work together more effectively.  He first donated $50,000 and then another donation of $20,000 for a total of $70,000 towards Proposition 19.

Even with Parkers and Moskovitzs support for Proposition 19 Facebook has banned any marijuana ads that have an image of a pot leaf on it.  It’s funny to see its founders supporting it but the actual website is blocking ads against marijuana.  A spokesperson for Facebook, Andrew Noyes said the company would not comment on what an employee of Facebook, past or present, does with his or her own checkbook.

Even with seeing the movie, Social Network, in one scene when Facebook moved out to California to expand they had a party in their house where there was a six-foot bong in the room.  It’s just odd to add that into the movie as them smoking pot but not allowing the use of ads of it on Facebook.  I can see where Facebook is coming from and not looking for a bad image on supporting “drugs.”

It is good to see people helping the cause of Proposition 19, especially people who have money and who are apart of big company like Facebook.  It’s rare to see that and its unique for people like that to put their voice out there for something they believe in.

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My first NORML meeting at CCSU

I was able to make it too my first NORML meeting at CCSU.  The meetings are held in the clock tower room in the CCSU student center in the Devil’s Den next to the blue and white room every Thursday 12:30 – 1:30.

The meeting had eight people there including myself.  The executive board consists of a President: Ross Martowski, who wasn’t there this meeting for personal reasons, Vice President Larry Vitko, Treasurer Rebecca Flugrad, and Secretary Laura Jakubczyk.  With the NORML Advisor being Scott Hazin.

 

Members of CCSU NORML brainstorming ideas for upcoming events

 

The point of this meeting was to start brainstorming ideas for this years NORML event on campus.  The two main ideas that were talked about for the next month were a movie night with some extra activities thrown in.  It would be held in the Devil’s Den and the movie would most likely be Pineapple Express and/or Super High Me. But for them to be able to show either of those movies they would have to get the rights to show them at the school, which is usually the hardest thing to do, according to VP Larry Vitko.

The movie night would also consist of other activities like trivia question game which will help people brush up on their marijuana education and to win some cool prizes.  There would be food and drinks as well along with a sale of hemp based products if you’re really into hemp.  They didn’t really expand on what exactly they would sell but I’m sure it would be stuff like hookah tobacco, bowls etc.

The other idea was to have a Halloween hookah night out in the student circle on October 26 around 7 p.m.  There will be candy, hookahs, and a fun atmosphere for people to come out and have a good time.  This is to help people get informed with NORML and hopefully join the cause for what it stands for.  People good bring friends and their own hookahs if the liked but there will be some hookahs provided for people.

That’s really all the meeting talked about.  I was a little disappointed on how small it was and wish there were more people but the group said usually later in the year after some events more people tend to show up.  Since Preposition 19 is less than a month away I hope to see more people become aware of what NORML is here for.

I plan on going to plenty more of these meetings and to attend the events that they hold.  I really believe in what NORML stands for and their fight for marijuana reformation.  I will try and recruit for them when I can so I can see a better turn out at the meetings and get CCSU aware of the cause.

 

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K2 and K3 comes to CCSU

Earlier this week I went the BP gas station ( 1707 Stanley St, New Britain, CT 06053) across from the Welte parking lot at Central Connecticut State University.  I went in to pay for some gas and right underneath the glass counter I saw the small lettering of K2 and K3.  At first i did a double take to actually make sure I saw what I saw.  Then the shop owner who I talked to said took it out for me too look at and it was exactly what I saw.

K2 which is being sold right across the street from CCSU campus

K2 and K3 just an herbal incense blend of herbs, and spices and it smells like such.  The smell isn’t strong at all and looks like oregano and some spice you would sprinkle on pizza.  But it also has chemicals in it which has synthetically copied the actual THC content in marijuana.  So it is completely legal in all senses since there is no real THC content in it.

At the gas station it’s only ten dollars for a gram which is relatively cheap for something like this.  It’s very weird to even see this in Connecticut since it has been banned in other countries and a few states in the U.S.  Since it is not natural THC and has chemicals in it to replicate THC it would be something people can worry about.  There have been many incidents so around the country where teens have been hospitalized because of  K2 and the dangers of it are making people wary about it coming around.   I am originally from Danbury and the smoke shops in Danbury are still hesitant in getting this in their store since they don’t know how local authorities will react if they sold it.

It also has many different flavors, like in the photo above, such as:  pink, ultra, raspberry, vanilla, and may more.  This is also why it is so attractive to it’s consumers since it has so many flavors and in which some smell very good.  But is it just more chemicals being added in to it to make it smell like that or is it a naturally smelling blend?  I am interested to see where this will go further into the semester and I will have to investigate on this topic more to give myself and you more information.

To see New Britain here with K2 and K3 is very new to me and first I’ve seen in CT.  Especially right next to a college campus, where NORML is the only chapter in CT.  Does this have something to do with that or is it just a coincidence that K2 has made its way to New Britain next to CCSU.

The owner of the BP who works there said, “I sold out within the first two days I had this,” the day I first saw it there.  So it has obviously caught the eye of students around campus  after only a few weeks of being sold there.

So will students turn to this as a new “high” instead of risking smoking actual marijuana and getting in trouble?  This is a story I will follow-up on in the near future and compare results with students around the CCSU campus.  I will also talk to police officers and the NORML Chapter to see how all their views are similar and different.

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NORML at CCSU

Just for some small information about NORML on the CCSU campus.  As proposition 19 is right around the corner I’m sure our NORML will be having some events and discussions on the subject.  Even now Norml at CCSU is a chapter and the only chapter in Connecticut.  When I  found that out I was even surprised myself.  They meet every Thursday at 12:30 in the Blue and White Room in the student center.  You know you will see me there and I suggest others go and check it out as well.  They also have their own website and Facebook for you to get some more information.

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