by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the
government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be
enforced. - Albert Einstein
beliebers, welcome to the good fight
April 9, 2013 — Today, a coalition of over 175 artists, actors, athletes, elected officials and advocates, [including Russell Simmons, Sir Richard Branson, Will Smith, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Scarlett Johansson, Ron Howard, Jennifer Hudson, Demi Moore, Eva Longoria, Michael Moore, Mark Wahlberg, Harry Belafonte, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cameron Diaz, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Chris Rock, Russell Brand, John Legend, DJ Pauly D, Mike Tyson, Rick Ross, Jon Hamm, Natalie Maines, Ludacris to name a few] brought together by hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons and Dr. Boyce Watkins, presented an open letter to President Obama, urging him to double down on his efforts to change the United States’ criminal justice policy from that of a punitive, suppression-based model to one that favors evidence-based prevention and rehabilitation. According to Department of Justice data, the U.S. leads the world in the incarceration of its own citizens, both on a per capita basis and in terms of total prison population. More than 500,000 of the 2.3 million people behind bars in the U.S. are incarcerated for nothing more than a nonviolent drug offense.
“It is critical that we change both the way we think about drug laws in this country and how we generate positive solutions that leave a lasting impact on rebuilding our communities,” said Russell Simmons. “We need to break the school to prison pipeline, support and educate our younger generations and provide them with a path that doesn’t leave them disenfranchised with limited options.”
The coalition [of concerned activists, humanitarians and celebrities] suggests that the President continue to take a number of reformative actions, including extending the Fair Sentencing Act to all inmates who were sentenced under the 100-to-1 crack/powder disparity, supporting the principles of the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013 (which allows judges to set aside mandatory minimum sentences when they deem appropriate), and supporting the Youth PROMISE Act.
Dr. Boyce Watkins added: “The letter is intended to be a respectful appeal to the Obama Administration asking that we develop productive pathways to supporting families that have been harmed by the War on Drugs. Countless numbers of children have been waiting decades for their parents to come home, and America is made safer if we break the cycle of mass incarceration. Time is of the essence, for with each passing year that we allow injustice to prevail, our nation loses another piece of its soul. We must carefully examine the impact of the War on Drugs and the millions of living, breathing Americans who’ve been affected. It is, quite simply, the right thing to do.”
Research by Professor David Nutt [professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London] has found that psilocybin switches off part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex. It was known that this area is overactive in individuals suffering from depression. In his tests on healthy individuals, it was found that psilocybin had a profound effect on making these volunteers feel happier weeks after they had taken the drug, said Nutt – who was sacked as the chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in 2009 after repeatedly clashing with government ministers about the dangers and classification of illicit drugs.
Nutt’s team also discovered that another section of the brain known as the default mode network was also influenced by psilocybin. “People with depression have overactive default mode networks and so ruminate on themselves, on their inadequacies, on their badness, that they are worthless, that they have failed – to an extent that is sometimes delusional. Again psilo-cybin appears to block that activity and stops this obsessive rumination.”
A veteran NYPD officer is accused of going well below and beyond his line of duty by helping a crew of robbers to steal more than a million dollars from drug dealers. Jose Tejada, who has been a member of the NYPD since 1996, allegedly provided the robbers with high-tech police equipment and offered the use of his apartment to aid in the scheme. Tejada was arrested yesterday and faces multiple counts of robbery, drug dealing and weapon charges, which could lead to a minimum of 17 years in prison if convicted on all charges. Court documents filed yesterday claim that the robbers posed as police officers and used fake warrants to arrest a group of drug traffickers, then robbed them of their money and drug stashes that included pot, heroin, ecstasy and cocaine. In total, the crew of robbers, including Tejada and the 21 other members, are tied to more than 100 robberies throughout NYC since 2001. Tejada allegedly participated in three robberies in 2006 and 2007, stealing thousands of dollars while dressed in police uniform. Authorities will push for Tejada to be denied bail by labeling him a “substantial flight risk,” since he owns property in the Dominican Republic and has traveled there to visit family at least 10 times in the last decade.
“I’m particularly concerned about how the war on drugs has destroyed the fabric of the black community in America. I grew up in a lower middle-class neighborhood in Queens that was destroyed by drugs. It was the heroin capital of Queens. Everybody shot dope. My friend in the eighth grade was shooting dope. I’ve seen the suffering first-hand and I’ve been involved in the suffering too. I used every drug there is, back in the day, but it didn’t make me a bad person: it just made me a sad person, a diseased person. It didn’t make me a criminal.
What would have made me a criminal is if I’d been arrested and sent to jail for 20 years, which could have happened easily. A great number of kids in my neighbourhood did go to jail, and they didn’t come out so well. They were educated in criminal behaviour, came home violent criminals, and became repeat offenders.”
John Horner, a 46-year-old fast-food restaurant worker, lost his eye in a 2000 accident and was prescribed painkillers. Years later, he met and befriended a guy who seemed to be in pain himself. His new friend asked if he could buy some of Horner’s pain pills. Naturally, the friend was a police informant. Prosecutors in Central Florida say Horner was ultimately paid $1,800 for pills. “My public defender told me, ‘They got you dead to rights,’” he said. “So I thought, ‘OK, I guess there’s no need taking this to trial.’” His story is recounted in a BBC News Service story about the problematic use of informants by U.S. law-enforcement agencies.
It’s an important subject and the article tackles it well.
But let’s focus here on the anecdote about Horner, because it gets at the utter madness of the War on Drugs. For the sake of argument, let’s presume he’s guilty of selling $1,800 of pain pills prescribed to him for an injury. Forget that he was arguably entrapped. Just look at the crime in isolation.
What sort of punishment should it carry?
You’ve got a 46-year-old employed father, with no criminal record, caught selling four bottles of prescription pain pills. “Under Florida law Horner now faced a minimum sentence of 25 years, if found guilty,” the BBC reports.
Twenty-five years minimum!
It costs Florida roughly $19,000 to incarcerate an inmate for a year. So I ask you, dear reader, is keeping non-violent first-time drug offender John Horner locked behind bars in a jumpsuit really the best use of $475,000? For the same price, you could pay a year’s tuition for 75 students at Florida State University. You could pay the salaries of seven West Palm Beach police officers for a year. Is it accurate to call a system that demands the 25-year prison term mad?
Well. Prosecutors offered to shave years off his sentence if he became an informant himself and successfully helped send five others to prison on 25 year terms. He tried. But “Horner failed to make cases against drug traffickers,” says the BBC. “As a result, he was sentenced to the full 25 years in October last year and is now serving his sentence in Liberty Correctional Institution.”
“He will be 72 by the time he is released.”
Meet his kids:How about a pardon, Governor Rick Scott?
Following the recent passage of Amendment 64 in Colorado, which legalized recreational marijuana possession of up to one ounce for those 21 and older, two Denver entrepreneurs have launched the country’s first marijuana tourism company. In celebration of the worldwide marijuana holiday on April 20th, My 420 Tours has a full week’s schedule of events planned for visitors as part of “World Cannabis Week.” This includes car service from the airport to a “420 friendly” hotel, cooking classes, Home Grow Cultivation 101, concerts, bus tours, daily 4:20PM Happy Hour parties, and more.
This is an update that’s long overdue. I just want to say that I’m really surprised and humbled by how much this Tumblr has grown since I started it for my own amusement back in 2010. Thank you all so much for following, reblogging, liking, and sharing. I wish I had the time to update it as often as I did in the past, but real life got in the way, and I’ve had to drop it for a while.
But now I’m back in the loop and working at The Fix. It’s hard to believe I’d never known about this site until recently, but it’s a great source, so check it out.
So yeah, thank you! And stay tuned.
The Green Cross (TGC) medical cannabis collective opened its doors in 2004 as a storefront location in the [Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco]. Instantly it was known for its professional, patient-centric operation style. The mantra that TGC followed was “patients first,” a mantra that has since been used by many other organizations entering the medical cannabis industry.
TGC broke the mold in 2006 by morphing into a delivery service. Today, TGC still offers many strains, medicated edibles and smoking alternatives directly and discreetly to your home with the same friendly service and low prices people have come to expect. TGC has also been known as an exemplar in community and outreach services by offering patient consulting, care giving services, and an online community, going above and beyond traditional dispensary services, making it clear to not only its patients, but the community and the local government as well, that cannabis is much more important than many people deem it to be.
pyroveride asks: Glad to see you back!!
Thanks, glad to be back!
Security cameras have been installed, scales calibrated and signs declaring “no returns” hung on the walls at Capital City Care.
By mid-April, Capital City Care plans to begin selling four strains of medical marijuana from its 2,000-square-foot perch on North Capitol Street. Two more licensed dispensaries are slated to open shortly thereafter.
District rules allow patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis or glaucoma to buy 2 ounces of marijuana every 30 days. Prices have yet to be set, but one-fourth of an ounce of marijuana is expected to cost between $100 and $120 — roughly the same as its street value, said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access.
In addition to medical marijuana, the storefront will also sell hash by the gram, as well as accessories such as pipes, grinder and vaporizers. There is a counseling room for individual and group sessions, and [general manager, David] Guard said he hopes to eventually set up a kitchen at the company’s 11,000-square-foot cultivation facility, where items like cookies and muffins can be prepared.
keepyourthoughtshidden asks: You're alive!
I am! Sorry that I’ve been MIA for a while.