Prime Minister Rejects New Call for Decriminalisation
Lib Dems Condemn Tories' 'Backward-Looking View'
David Cameron yesterday set his face against a change in UK drugs
policy after the Liberal Democrat crime-prevention minister Norman
Baker hailed a Home Office-commissioned report finding "no obvious"
link between tough laws and levels of illegal drug use.
Baker, minister responsible for drugs, said the report meant the
genie was out of the bottle and was not going back in. He said: "I
think the days of robotic, mindless rhetoric are over, because the
facts and the evidence will no longer allow that."
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Izaiah Ruiz's epilepsy was so severe, his daily life so miserable,
that his grandmother says she would have sold her Montgomery County
home and moved to Colorado for what many say is a new, miracle
But Lori Fountain couldn't make the finances work. As her 6-year-old
grandson suffered, all she could do was follow online the progress of
patients who sought treatment in Colorado, where marijuana is legal.
Their families reported patients suddenly were seizure-free, verbal,
able to dress and feed themselves thanks to treatment with a strain
of marijuana, a preparation known as Charlotte's Web, which has
become something of a national phenomenon.
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On Tuesday, voters will decide whether to take the next giant leap in
the pro-marijuana movement by approving ballot measures that call for
legalizing recreational use.
It's not too late to vote no.
There has been an awful lot of discourse on how to accomplish
legalization, but not so much on how to move in the opposite direction.
Since Colorado and Washington are already leading the way in the
pro-pot effort, I'll lay out three succinct reasons why voters should
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It's the silly season of the election. It's the season of the slate
mailers, which we're still amazed is an industry that survives.
They're so close to fraud, but those rules are set aside when
politics are in play.
Slate mailers are mass mailings, sent out by for-profit companies,
that seem to link local candidates and issues to better known
candidates and on-paper institutions that seem to be established
Thing is, you can buy a spot on a slate mailer. In Chico, Larry Wahl
could buy a slot on a mailer that would suggest Jane Dolan supports
him. In Oroville Mayor Linda Dahlmeier could buy what appears to be
an endorsement by her rival Cheri Bunker. There'd just be a little
asterisk by Larry's and Linda's names to indicate they'd paid for
that spot. Jane and Cheri wouldn't have to be consulted. And legally,
it wouldn't matter if they were annoyed.
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Illegal marijuana grows are damaging our national forests. Legalizing
marijuana will help stop that from happening.
In 32 years working for the U.S. Forest Service, I have seen the
Northwest's national forests face various threats, from the eruption
of Mount St. Helens to the drought of 1977. Today, our forests face a
threat that generates wildfires, deforestation, pollution and
wildlife poisoning: illegal marijuana grow operations tied to
international drug cartels. In both 2010 and 2011, law enforcement
found over 90,000 of their marijuana plants in Oregon's national
forests, and thousands more doubtless escaped detection. Our national
forests face an epidemic of marijuana cultivation from the Siskiyou
to the Wallowa-Whitman.
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Berwick has done it. So has Sunbury.
Two communities in neighboring counties that have been ravaged by
drug abuse took the bold step of enacting an ordinance that banned
landlords from renting to anyone who had been convicted of a felony
drug offense. Mount Carmel could vote on a similar ordinance as soon
as Nov. 20.
The impact of drug abuse is felt on communities every day, including
those in Schuylkill County. Because of it, we drug-test in schools,
we drug-test in work places. Like the proposed ordinance, such
procedures push the boundaries of constitutionality, and yet many
leaders, see little choice.
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DAVID Cameron ruled out relaxing Britain's drug laws yesterday,
despite Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Tory MPs calling for a review.
The Prime Minister said the current approach was working and
decriminalising "recreational" drugs use would send out the wrong
message to the nation's children.
Mr Clegg blasted the current policy as "totally misplaced, outdated
and backward" and called on the Prime Minister to "have some courage"
and accept that the war on drugs is failing.
The Deputy Prime Minister spoke after a Home Office report published
yesterday found no evidence that strict punishments for drug takers
led to a reduction in the number taking illegal narcotics.
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DAVID CAMERON is refusing Liberal Democrat calls to review the
Government's drugs policy, warning that as a parent he does not want
to send out the message that taking illegal substances is "OK or safe".
The Prime Minister insisted that the current approach to drugs was
having an impact as abuse was falling, following a major Coalition
row sparked by a Home Office report backed by the Lib Dems that
suggested easing laws on hard drugs would not increase the number of
users. Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, yesterday attacked the
Tory party's "facile" and "frightened" approach to drugs after
Downing Street distanced itself from the report. Mr Cameron said
yesterday that changing Britain's drugs policy would be "dangerous".
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You'd Expect Drug Use to Go Up - But, Surprisingly, a Major Report
Has Found That Sometimes It Actually Drops.
A man lies on the floor in a squalid bedsit, a rubber rope tied
around one arm, a needle in his hand. The door bursts open and two
armed police officers run in. They take in the scene and swiftly find
a bag of powder. What should they do next? The answer depends on the
country they're in.
The Home Office has published a major report into drug use across
various countries, apparently surprising even itself with the
findings. "We did not in our fact-finding observe any obvious
relationship between the toughness of a country's enforcement against
drug possession, and levels of drug use in that country," the report said.
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Will Tuesday's election prove to be a turning point for marijuana
legalization efforts across the United States? Or will it mark a
substantial setback for advocates of legalized pot?
Three measures to legalize the use of recreational marijuana
including Oregon's Measure 91 are on the ballot across the country.
(The other measures are in the Alaska and Washington, D.C.; the D.C.
measure hasn't drawn nearly the sort of publicity that has
accompanied the Oregon and Alaska measures.)
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I'm a mother and grandmother who just joined the Moms for YES on
Measure 91 Facebook page.
If we really care about our kids, we need to tax and regulate
marijuana for adult use. Legalization will help protect our kids from
dealers who sell them marijuana and possibly other drugs. Police will
be able to focus on major crime that compromises the safety of our
families. Tax money from the sale of legal marijuana will go to our
schools, drug treatment, and law enforcement. Mexican cartels that
depend on black market marijuana will abandon grow sites in our forests.
Prohibition didn't work for alcohol and it's not working for
marijuana. Vote yes on Measure 91.
Claudia Little, Ashland
One might reasonably ask this question of the recent events listed
below: What do they have in common?
The deaths of four young women, college athletes, by an
out-of-control tractor-trailer rig in Oklahoma.
The death of a gifted young NASCAR driver who, enraged, leapt out of
his disabled race car and stormed into the path of another speeding race car.
The physical abuse of his son by a world class athlete.
The shooting death of a young black man after he robbed a convenience
store and attacked a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri
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DAVID Cameron clashed with Nick Clegg today in a furious Coalition
bustup over drugs policy.
In a surprisingly hard-hitting attack on the Liberal Democrats,
Downing Street bluntly ruled out a "reckless" move towards
decriminalisation. "The Lib-Dem policy would see drug dealers getting
off scot-free and send an incredibly dangerous message to young
people about the risks of taking drugs," a No 10 source said.
But Deputy Prime Minister Mr Clegg tore into his Coalition partners
over a report on international drugs policy which the Lib-Dems claim
the Conservatives have sought to suppress.
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Medical marijuana advocates are applauding a new law that aims to
improve housing protection by voiding provisions in state rental
agreements that had allowed a tenant's eviction based on their status
as a registered medical marijuana patient.
Act 60, enacted by the Legislature and signed by the governor earlier
this year, takes effect Saturday.
Rafael Kennedy, executive director of the Medical Cannabis Coalition
of Hawaii and Drug Policy Action Group, said it is encouraging to see
the issue coming to light.
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SPD Tells Parents to Take Usual Precautions
Just Candy in Original Wrap
Seattle police say to watch your children's Halloween candy closely,
but don't be too concerned about pot-infused treats sneaking in.
For several weeks, Denver police have been warning of pot-infused
Halloween treats and telling parents to check their children's candy
They showed pictures of marijuana edibles that look "eerily close to
mainstream candies." Local and national media picked up those
concerns and, suddenly, "Halloweed?" headlines were prevalent.
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A little-known battle in this country's marijuana war is underway in
a small town of 1,500 in western Colorado, known (if at all) for its
underground coal mines, 12 wineries, a microbrewery, organic
vegetables and fruit - and its perfect climate for growing pot.
The town is Paonia and, this November, its registered voters will
decide whether to allow the sale of pot for recreational use. Looking
back at the history of this town, nestled at the base of 11,400-foot
Mount Lamborn on the North Fork of the Gunnison River, it is clear
that the battle lines in today's culture war were drawn long ago.
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Non-Binding Question on Tuesday's Ballot Will Ask About Support for
You might call it an "altitude check."
Voters in Santa Fe County have a chance to weigh in on just how high
they are on seeing their elected officials, law enforcement and
courts lighten up on marijuana laws.
They will do so by answering an advisory question appearing on the
Tuesday general election ballot that asks whether the County
Commission should "support county, city and statewide efforts to
decriminalize possession of one ounce or less of marijuana."
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Officials Estimate Potential Revenue
But Coming Vote Is on Possession, Not Sales
If D.C. residents vote to legalize marijuana possession next week, it
wouldn't just mean a sea change in drug policy in the nation's
capital. It could also mean big business.
A study by District financial officials shared Thursday with
lawmakers estimates a legal D.C. cannabis market worth $130 million a year.
The ballot initiative voters will see Tuesday does not allow for the
legal sale of marijuana - only the possession and home cultivation of
small amounts - but D.C. Council members gathered Thursday to hear
testimony about what a legal sales framework might look like.
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Polling shows majority of voters support measure
D.C. lawmakers, advocates and business owners spent Thursday debating
the finer points of the regulation and taxation of marijuana in the
District, moving past what appears to be the foregone conclusion that
voters Tuesday will approve legalization of the drug.
The views on legalized pot have shifted dramatically over the last
year among city lawmakers, many of whom were initially wary of such
an approach and opted to support the less controversial course toward
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Home Office Fact-Finders Reveal Long-Delayed Report Legalisation
Policies Do Not Result in Wider Use
The Home Office comparison of international drug laws, published
today, represents the first official recognition since the 1971
Misuse of Drugs Act that there is no direct link between being "tough
on drugs" and tackling the problem.
The report, which has been signed off by both the Conservative home
secretary, Theresa May, and the Liberal Democrat crime prevention
minister, Norman Baker, is based on an in-depth study of drug laws in
11 countries ranging from the zero-tolerance of Japan to the
legalisation of Uruguay.
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