Left and Right Agree That Civil-Forfeiture Laws Must Be Radically Reformed
When the public is more afraid of the cops than the bad guys, the
system is broken. There's reason for some law-abiding Americans to
worry about their pocketbook becoming lighter after a visit from the
lawman. Bonnie and Clyde never pretended to be anything but robbers.
A 64-year-old Texas woman, for example, was accused of being a drug
dealer simply because she was carrying cash in her pickup truck from
the sale of her land. The cops took her money, though she had never
been convicted of a crime in her life. She had to sue in federal
court to get all of her money back.
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A LEADING American newspaper has come out in favour of the
legalisation of marijuana, in an editorial which compares the drug's
ban to that of alcohol in the Prohibition era of the Twenties.
Calling on the federal government to follow the lead of a number of
states in allowing citizens to consume marijuana for recreational
purposes, The New York Times said the evidence was "overwhelming"
that moderate cannabis use was less dangerous than alcohol and
tobacco. And while the newspaper's editorial board called for sales
to be limited to those over the age of 21 due to concerns about the
effect of the drug on adolescent brains it said the social costs of
criminalising marijuana were unsustainable.
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The Agency Is Caught Between States That Lean Toward Marijuana
Legalization and Law Enforcement That Maintains a Hard Line
WASHINGTON - For narcotics agents, who often confront hostile
situations, Capitol Hill has been a refuge where lawmakers stand
ready to salute efforts in the nation's war on drugs.
Lately, however, the Drug Enforcement Administration has found itself
under attack in Congress as it holds its ground against marijuana
legalization while the resolve of longtime political allies - and the
White House and Justice Department to which it reports - rapidly fades.
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As revolutions go, it is hardly an overnight Leninist coup. National
statutes, UN protocols and who knows how many luckless souls bolted
up in cells round the world affirm that the old prohibitionist order
has not collapsed.
But the wheel on drug policy is slowly beginning to turn, both within
the United States and further afield.
The war on drugs has been a losing fight for 40 years.
The response to unending failure has always been to demand more law
enforcement and more prison cells.
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Marijuana is no longer whispered about nor hidden in back rooms and
basements. It has slowly come into the open in American life despite
decades of federal prohibition and laws treating the drug as more
dangerous than meth and cocaine. When The New York Times'
editorial board made a full-throated call this weekend for the
government to end its ban on weed - and let states decide how to
regulate it - the newspaper reflected what a majority of Americans
have told pollsters: Marijuana should be legal.
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I'm looking forward to voting on the Florida constitutional amendment
to legalize medical marijuana. Even though some may abuse a useful
tool, many more would be helped by its medicinal qualities.
I have a condition for which there is no known cause and no known
cure. It visits every person when they least expect it and stays
longer than welcome. Those of us with polymyalgia rheumatica take
varied medications to help us move our hands, arms and legs every
day. Some mornings, I cannot make a fist to wash my face, pour a cup
of coffee, or reach an itch on my shoulder. A lot of the medications
for this condition have annoying side effects. A physician I visited
initially said that more relief - and a quicker remission and
recovery - can be attained with medical marijuana.
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Reports repeatedly conclude habitual drug use in the United States is
the root cause for children from Central America to illegally come
here. The drug cartels there use violence to make them leave, or the
children can stay and be killed.
The armed forces, several thousand law enforcement employees, miles
of fences and walls, electronic and air spying, jails and deportation
proceedings - all of these combined will not greatly alleviate this
latest immigration problem we bring upon ourselves. Besides, all of
them are a great waste of time, money and manpower except for those
among us who want to make money by these means.
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On this 28th day of July, marking 25 years since the discovery of the
hepatitis C virus, we are calling attention to World Hepatitis Day.
Why? To begin with, because more than 50,000 Quebecers have the
disease. In Canada, the figure is 300,000 to 350,000 people, more
than a quarter of whom do not know they have it.
Next, because there are new, highly effective treatments for treating
and eradicating hepatitis C, with cure rates exceeding 90 per cent.
However, in Canada, fewer than 5 per cent of people with hepatitis C
have, to date, obtained treatment for it. Hepatitis C is transmitted
through the blood. In other words, any act that can cause the blood
of two individuals to come into contact can constitute a risk of
transmission: parlour-based tattooing and piercing; sharing drug-use
equipment and personal-hygiene items; transfusion prior to 1992; and
sometimes even certain risky sexual practices.
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Arbitration Rulings Show It's Considered a 'Disability'
MONTREAL - A war of words has broken out over a fired cocaine-using
Canadian Pacific chief executive Hunter Harrison lashed out when CP
was ordered this month to reinstate the engineer even though an
arbitrator confirmed the employee had "consumed cocaine at a time and
of a quantity which could impact his work performance."
Harrison said: "On my watch, this individual will not operate a locomotive."
The engineer's union - Teamsters Canada Rail Conference - called
Harrison's comments an "unjustified and unprecedented" personal
attack, arguing the worker deserved a second chance.
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New York Times Latest Voice To Join Call For The Legalization Of
The political debate over marijuana legalization in Canada could soon
intensify, following a New York Times editorial that calls for the
U.S. federal government to repeal its 44-year ban on pot.
The influential newspaper, which says the question of legalization
should be left up to individual U.S. states, is running a six-day
series on the issue, and has reignited a hot debate among Americans.
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The New York Times has seen the light. On Sunday, the paper
editorialized in favor of an end to the federal ban on marijuana.
According to Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance, the Gray Lady
has become the first major national newspaper to support legalizing
The Times did not celebrate marijuana use; it simply addressed the
downside of prohibition - 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in
2012, with a disproportionate representation of young black men. The
editorial also laid out a rational view of marijuana. While research
suggests that marijuana can have adverse affects on adolescent brains
- - hence the paper's support for a ban on sales to those under 21- it's
not as hazardous to health as alcohol and tobacco. The paper also made
this commonsense but rare assertion: "Moderate use of marijuana does
not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults."
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Someday, we'll look back on two
federal prohibitions - on same-sex marriage and marijuana - and ask
ourselves: "How were we ever so dumb? What's the big deal?"
Indeed, more and more people are asking that question every day. Even
before the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act,
several states moved to recognize same-sex marriage. Massachusetts was
the first, in May 2004. Today, either by legislation or court order,
marriage equality is the law in 19 states, plus the District of
Columbia. Courts in 14 other states, most recently Virginia, have
ruled to strike down bans on same-sex marriage. While those decisions
remain on appeal, it's clearly only a matter of time before all 50
states accept the fact that every American, gay or straight, should be
free to marry the one he or she loves.
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Three medical marijuana caregivers are ready to open a shop for their
patients now that the Ferndale City Council has approved their plan.
Adam Applebaum, CEO of Meridian Wellness, told city council members he
and two other caregivers will service up to five patients each, as
allowed under the state's medical marijuana law.
Patients would be serviced by appointment and the facility would host
educational seminars and other meetings, Applebaum said.
"It is very hard for a patient to get matched with a caregiver," he
said Monday, adding that some patients are hesitant to have caregivers
come to their homes. "This way we can facilitate a neutral ground with
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A proposal to legalize possession of marijuana won't appear on
November ballots in Grosse Pointe Park after all.
Organizers of the effort learned Monday that city officials had found
a technicality - an incorrect date of Feb. 27 instead of June 27 on
one set of signatures -- that invalided their petition drive.
"It's my fault - I put down a two rather than a six," said Tim Beck,
62, of Detroit, who helped organize petition drives in 16 other cities
for marijuana questions headed for ballots this year.
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President's Views On Medical Use Unfair, Some Say
Some doctors are raising concerns that the national body representing
them has outdated views on medical marijuana that are creating
barriers for patients who could benefit from the herb.
Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, president of the Canadian Medical
Association, recently told the Citizen there isn't enough medical
evidence to support medical marijuana use, and that people who seek
the drug in doctors' offices are just looking for "dope."
Dr. Marcia Gillman, a physician who specializes in palliative care at
Montreal's Jewish General Hospital, said Monday that Francescutti has
a duty to be well-informed, which is "clearly not the case here."
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S.F. startup brings medical marijuana to clients' doorsteps. Tap your
smartphone to summon delivery of medical marijuana, arriving more
quickly than a Domino's pizza. Brant Ward / The Chronicle An Eaze
delivery person will arrive at a medical marijuana patient's door with
buds sealed in plastic bags.
That's the vision for a San Francisco startup launching Tuesday that
says it wants to be the "Uber of pot." Eaze (www.eazeup.com) says it
has relationships with an unspecified number of local dispensaries as
well as dozens of drivers piloting their own vehicles. Deliveries will
be free for patients, with driver fees and Eaze paid by dispensaries
in exchange for gaining new business.
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A Republican congressman from Pennsylvania says he has filed a bill to
legalize nationwide the kinds of non-psychoactive medical marijuana
treatments that have attracted dozens of families to Colorado.
Dubbed the "Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014"- after the name
of the Colorado-developed marijuana strain most famously used in the
treatment - U.S. Rep. Scott Perry's bill would exclude all hemp, as
well as the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol, or CBD, from the
federal government's laws against marijuana.
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Washington - Concerned that federal policies toward marijuana usage in
states that have legalized the drug often are "at odds with one
another," the four U.S. senators from Colorado and Washington state
are asking the White House to intervene and establish "consistent and
uniform" guidelines across the administration.
In a letter dated Monday, the senators expressed frustration with what
they saw as conflicting messages coming from various federal agencies.
And they urged Attorney General Eric Holder and Denis McDonough, the
White House chief of staff, to help develop a single policy that would
respect the rights of their states to regulate the fledgling industry.
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Every now and then, a good deed go unpunished. So it appears with San
Jose's regulation of medical marijuana distributorships.
Some wrenching decisions loom for the mayor and City Council,
including whether to put any tax measures on the ballot, and every
serious policy debate this fall will be complicated by heated races
for mayor and several Council seats. But at least there will be no
ballot battle over the city's new laws regulating medical marijuana
Signatures for a referendum on the rules passed in June fell short,
and activists have given up on a separate measure they hoped would
hoodwink voters into substituting bogus regulations for the council's
plan. It's taken years, but San Jose now has rules that will continue
the availability of medical marijuana while protecting neighborhoods
and the city's potential to attract good jobs.
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Goal is to help parents and teens recognize recruitment techniques and
B.C. anti-gang police and educators have prepared a booklet to help
parents understand how gangs work so they can better protect their
Called Understanding Youth and Gangs, the publication explains how
teens are most vulnerable to being recruited by gangs when they have a
driver's licence and a need for cash.
It says the dial-a-dope delivery system for illicit drugs is usually
the point of entry for some youth, who get sucked in by the promise of
earning big money.
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