EDITOR'S NOTE: Legalizing recreational marijuana is being considered
in New Jersey.
The most recent Rutgers-Eagleton poll shows public support for
legalizing recreational marijuana in New Jersey is 58 percent - the
highest it's ever been - with 39 percent opposed.
Although Gov. Chris Christie has said he would not sign a bill
legalizing recreational marijuana, both the state Senate and Assembly
are working on legislation.
This is the third in a three-part series that will explore the issue
of legalizing recreational marijuana and its potential effects on
Sussex County and the surrounding area. The series looks at the
economic, public health and criminal justice impact legalization could
have. All three parts can be viewed at www.njherald.com.
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The ban on legal highs will not lead to the disappearance of spice
and other synthetic cannabis-like drugs because they are so
profitable to dealers, a senior government drugs adviser has warned.
Prof Harry Sumnall, a member of the Home Office's Advisory Council on
the Misuse of Drugs, said the economics of producing the substances -
often collectively dubbed "spice" - versus that of growing
traditional cannabis made them an appealing proposition.
Sumnall said the ingredients were easily available online. "We were
making some in the lab the other day. Very, very easy to do, pretty
much shake and bake. Really easy to make, highly profitable, these
drugs aren't going anywhere."
[continues 127 words]
Everyone from the chief inspector of prisons to prisoners themselves
is now expressing concerns about the impact that new psychoactive
substances are having on prisoners, prison officers and the efficacy
of the prison system (Prisoners reveal regular 'spice' habit has
tripled, 1 June). Current approaches to addressing their use are not
working, and the situation is getting worse.
HMP Forest Bank, however, is taking a fresh approach. Using the
principles of restorative justice, it is encouraging those prisoners
who are using spice and other so-called "legal highs" to face up to
the impact of their behaviour on their fellow prisoners and on prison staff.
[continues 74 words]
Prison should not be regarded as a punishment (Letters, 2 June). It
is place of restraint where those who are incorrigibly violent - such
as terrorists and incurable psychopaths - must be kept.
Punishment is a consequence of this restraint, but it should not be
its aim. Punishment can be achieved by much more effective means, eg
ill-gotten gains can be sequestered and subsequent earnings mulcted.
The aim must be restitution, reform and rehabilitation, not
Magistrates, who can only award useless short sentences, should have
this power removed completely. Crown court judges should have their
sentencing audited, and where it has proved ineffective they should
be held to account. If all drugs were legally regulated imprisonment
would reduce by about 65%.
[continues 87 words]
At least one part of Scarface is accurate - the part when cocaine
dealers amass ungodly sums of money and use it to transform the Miami
skyline. So much cash was flowing into southern Florida in the late
1970s that, according to a U.S. Treasury analysis, the country's
entire currency surplus could be traced to Miami banks.
To try to put a stop to this - or to at least grab a cut of the
action - Congress amended the federal tax code in 1982 to include a
section called 280E, which bars anyone dealing in controlled
substances from claiming the cost of the drugs on their federal taxes.
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Dear Stoner:I'm going to Vegas in October and wonder if I can use my
Colorado medical card to pick up a little medicine while I'm there. Rich
Dear Rich: Nevada is one of the few medical marijuana states with a
reciprocity law that allows out-of-state patients to possess and
purchase cannabis while they're visiting. Although the state might
not have as many dispensaries or options as you'll find in Colorado,
Nevada has become a haven for patients coming from states with more
restrictive regulations - and those coming from states with no MMJ. A
February article in the Las Vegas Sun detailed how pre-screened
tourists with a valid California ID or U.S. passport boarded a
California-bound bus in Vegas and were connected with a doctor, who
evaluated the tourists for a California medical card. If the tourists
were approved, a medical marijuana recommendation was printed on the
bus in Vegas, where the new patients were then free to visit
dispensaries and carry and consume cannabis.
[continues 274 words]
A Look at the Cannabis-Friendly North Fork 53 Homestead
IN A FUTURE COLUMN, we'll take a closer look at the seemingly
schizophrenic rules being issued by city and state agencies that are
making it damn near impossible to find anyplace outside your home to
consume cannabis. (Spoiler alert: It's not going to be a feel-good
column.) But for now, let's talk about something that will be a
feel-good experience, namely the multifaceted gem North Fork 53, just
down the road a piece on Highway 53 by Manzanita.
[continues 619 words]
Are Giant Marijuana Companies on the Way?
Will new cannabis laws create giant marijuana companies, like a
Philip Morris or Anheuser-Busch of weed?
SIGNS POINT to yes.
The pot industry is in a curious place. On one hand, it is still a
cottage industry. On the other, there are lots and lots of cottages,
with legal sales projected to hit $6.7 billion this year. Somehow
this is happening despite recreational weed being legal in just four
states and despite the strictures of federal law. Since we have no
idea how pot will be regulated going forward, it's actually kind of
fun to theorize about it.
[continues 417 words]
Last year, I watched a room full of white people cheer as a white
grower told a panel of white lawmakers that the word "marijuana" was racist.
It wasn't the first time I'd heard that particular line of thinking,
and certainly wasn't the last. It's been repeated by many in the
industry, from gentle reminders at public meetings to blog posts from
Oakland-based weed heavyweight the Harborside Health Center. It's
gaining purchase in government circles.
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