Sunday, September 24, 2017

Drug Crimes

Drug Crimes
Marijuana laws are changing everywhere these days. One in five U.S. residents now lives in a state where it is legal to smoke marijuana without a doctor’s recommendation. As of 2017, adults may possess small amounts of pot for personal use in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Washington, D.C. Also as of 2017, marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes in 29 states. Texas, however, continues to enforce some of the harshest marijuana laws in the nation.
WHY ? is the question


Heather Fazio, Texas political director with the Marijuana Policy Project, says“No one deserves to have their lives derailed due to a criminal conviction for possessing a substance that is safer than alcohol., ” Ms. Fazio and other advocates of marijuana reform in our state were confident that genuine reforms could be enacted in Texas in 2017, but once again, Texas lawmakers found ways to avoid the issue.

 In Texas, possession of even a tiny amount of marijuana can land you in jail; in fact, anything less than 2 ounces carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. But penalties are even more serious for possessing concentrates such as hash oil, which is charged as a felony and can result in up to two years in state prison.
Thus, the possession of marijuana in any amount remains against the law in Texas under almost all circumstances. A variety of marijuana reform bills were introduced in the Texas Legislature this year, including a proposal to expand the state’s barely-functioning medical marijuana program as well as a proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use by adults.
HOW DOES THE TEXAS MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAW WORK – OR NOT WORK?
In the words of Michael Barajas, writing in the San Antonio Current, the state’s single medical marijuana law makes it “basically illegal for doctors to approve patients for treatment, rendering the bill practically useless.” Federal law prevents doctors from prescribing any Schedule One controlled substance, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration still classifies pot as a Schedule One controlled substance.


Because the Texas medical marijuana law specifies that a doctor must “prescribe” rather than “recommend” medical marijuana (in the form of cannabis oil), the language of the law needed to be changed and still does, since lawmakers took no action.
An attempt to do away with criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use by adults ran into a similar dead end in the Texas Legislature in 2017. The bill, which was sponsored by State Representative Joe Moody of El Paso, would have reduced the penalty for possession of a small amount of pot for personal use by an adult to a $250 fine. Lawmakers adjourned without even considering the proposal.
WHY HAS MARIJUANA REFORM STALLED IN TEXAS?
Representative Jason Isaac believes that his colleagues in the Texas Legislature are rejecting all marijuana reform measures because they fear that any liberalization of marijuana laws will open the floodgates to full legalization. Interestingly, however, and increasingly, many Texas prosecutors disagree and are now favoring at least some reform of the state’s pot laws.
In 2011, prosecutors across Texas dismissed 23 percent of all misdemeanor marijuana cases. By 2015, according to the Austin American-Statesman, about a third of the state’s misdemeanor marijuana cases were being dismissed.


Bexar County dismisses more than a third of its misdemeanor marijuana cases. Travis County dismisses about fifty percent. Harris County no longer jails those arrested for possessing small amounts of pot. Instead, first-time offenders go to a diversion program and attend drug education classes.
That’s good news if you are charged with possession of marijuana in those counties. Nevertheless, it is still illegal to possess, sell, or grow marijuana in Texas, and a conviction for a felony marijuana sale or distribution charge can still land someone in a Texas state prison.
Marijuana laws in Texas are complicated, and the penalties for any pot conviction can be harsh, so anyone who is charged with a marijuana violation will need to consult right away with an experienced Plano criminal defense attorney. The possession of two ounces or less of marijuana in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor. A conviction for a first offense is punishable in most cases by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2000.
WHAT CONSTITUTES DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED BY MARIJUANA?
As you might suspect, even when marijuana reform finally comes to Texas, it will continue to be against the law to drive a vehicle while under the influence of pot. In Texas today, even a trace of marijuana in a driver’s blood or urine constitutes driving under the influence of marijuana.
Because tetrahydrocannabinol or “THC,” the active ingredient in pot, stays in the blood for weeks after a marijuana high has faded, almost anyone driving in Texas who has smoked marijuana in the last thirty days or so could potentially be prosecuted for marijuana-DWI.

In Texas, whenever anyone is charged with driving while intoxicated by pot, it is dealt with legally just as if the person had been charged with driving while intoxicated by alcohol. Marijuana-DWI is a quite serious charge in this state, and defendants will need the top-quality legal representation that an experienced Plano criminal defense attorney can provide.
An adult convicted of a first marijuana-DWI offense in Texas faces penalties that include up to 180 days in jail, up to one hundred hours of community service, a driver’s license suspension for up to a year, a fine of up to $2,000, and an additional once-a-year driver’s license fee for three years.
A good criminal defense attorney will fight diligently to protect your rights and your freedom if you are charged with any marijuana-related crime in Texas. Especially when it comes to pot charges in Texas, you need a lawyer with abundant criminal defense experience and up-to-the-minute knowledge of legal trends and the most recent court rulings.
If you are charged with the possession, sale, or cultivation of marijuana, or if you are charged with marijuana-DWI, do not try to act as your own attorney. In Texas, too much is at stake. Have a good defense attorney advocate on your behalf.
According to CNN Money, marijuana is about to boom. The national marijuana market, worth $5.7 billion in 2015, is expected to increase to a value of $21 billion by 2020. Unfortunately, this year’s failure to act by this state’s elected lawmakers will keep legitimate Texas interests out of the flourishing marijuana business for at least two more years, since the Texas Legislature will not formally convene again until 2019.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

CAN THE PRESIDENT END MARIJUANA PROHIBITION ?

After President Obama admitted last year that he doesn't think marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol, he was pressed to reconcile this view with the federal war on weed. Why won't he once and for all declassify marijuana as a controlled substance?

The president's response, and that of his attorney general, is that it's a job for Congress. But that's not true, says Brookings Institution Senior Fellow John Hudak. According to a report authored by Hudak and Grace Wallack, the federal Controlled Substances Act clearly details a process by which the administration can take marijuana out of the drug schedules or, at the least, lower its schedule so that medical research can proceed.

To the feds, marijuana is a Schedule 1 substance, considered the most dangerous of the five classes of drugs. Schedule 1 drugs are defined as having a "high potential for abuse," and are the only controlled substances the feds claim have "no currently accepted medical use." That's why marijuana is treated the same as heroin, and why it's even more restricted than meth.

Since California became the first state to legalize in 1996, many more states are waking up to the benefits of ending pot prohibition. Twenty-three states and the nation's capital have already legalized medical marijuana, while Pennsylvania enacted a law to do so just last week and at least a dozen more states are considering following suit this year. Four states allow recreational use, and over 80 percent now permit some form of medical cannabis extract. These reforms mean that patients with diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's can get life-changing treatments, violent drug cartels are being starved,

 ISNT THAT WHAT WE WANT SERIOUSLY WHY PAY THEM WHEN REFORM COULD BENEFIT US ALL FINANCIALLY AND ALSO HELP PEOPLE WITH MEDICAL PROBLEMS and state and local governments have a new revenue source to make good on their unfunded liabilities.

So why does federal law still matter if states are legalizing left and right? Because it means federal agencies still can—and have—ignored state sovereignty by raiding legal facilities on a whim. They deny cannabis businesses  ACCESS TO LOANS AND BANK ACCOUNTSand, perhaps most perniciously, federal regulations prevent most scientists from studying marijuana's medical benefits. IT also puts marijuana suppliers and dispensarys at risk for robbery and such for handling large amounts of cash!

In fact, the feds say marijuana has to remain in Schedule 1 because there aren't FDA-style clinical studies supporting its medical value. Yet such clinical studies are exactly what the feds prohibit by keeping marijuana in Schedule 1.

Even with this catch-22, there's already abundant evidence of marijuana's medical value from other types of studies—just ask the Surgeon General. Or the Department of Health and Human Services, which owns a patent on the chemical components of marijuana. Or the FDA itself, which has approved and allowed the rescheduling of cannabis-based medicine. Or the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which has suggested we need to reconsider marijuana as a medicine and allow more research.

The most recent petition to reschedule marijuana was filed with the attorney general in 2011, and—half a decade later—is still pending. Only four such petitions have been considered since 1972, and one took over 20 years to adjudicate. The DEA claims it will complete its review of the current petition by June, but this history shouldn't encourage marijuana reformers to hold their breath.

The clock is ticking on the Obama administration. Absent further congressional action, will the president finally find the political will to end federal pot prohibition? Or will he leave it to a future Congress or POTUS?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

marijuana news,laws and reviews

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Think marijuana laws will never change in the U.S.?

  • LAWS ARE CHANGING!
  • HERE SOME FACTS THAT MAY SUPRIZE YOU !

  • 88%  of the people support MEDICAL MARIJUANA
  • 84% of the people support NO JAIL TIME for MARIJUANA
  • 58% of the people support  LEGALIZING MARIJUANA
    Source: Washington Post 
      cannabis USA -- Public health researchers generally agree that on balance, marijuana is a less harmful drug than alcohol. Booze, for instance, is more addictive than pot, and from a chemical standpoint, it's far more toxic — and hence lethal — than marijuana.
        Alcohol isn't just more harmful to individuals than marijuana is; it's more harmful to society, too. Drunken driving is a big factor in this — studies generally show that alcohol impairs driving ability much more than just about any other drug does. Alcohol also makes people aggressive, and is a factor in roughly 40 percent of violent crimes committed today. 


        What about a link between marijuana use and aggression? Most pot smokers will tell you that marijuana helps them relax. The popular stereotype of a heavy marijuana user is the guy stoned out of his mind on the couch, eating Funyuns and watching cartoons.

        But surprisingly, research on the link between marijuana and aggression has been mixed. Marijuana seems to make most people relaxed, but it can also cause anxiety and paranoia, conditions which can occasionally manifest themselves in violent ways. There are occasional reports out of Colorado of marijuana users causing harm to themselves or to others.
        So a recent study from the Netherlands, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, attempts to put this question to bed using the gold standard of scientific research: a random controlled trial. They recruited a group of 20 heavy alcohol users (three-plus drinks a day for men, two-plus for women), 21 heavy marijuana users who smoked at least three times a week, and 20 controls who didn't use either drug heavily at all.


        They then got the alcohol users drunk until their BAC measured 0.08, the standard threshold for impairment. They got the marijuana users high, by dosing them with 300 micrograms of THC per kilogram of bodyweight delivered via a vaporizer. The control group didn't get to do any of this fun stuff, because they were controls.

        Then they made all three groups complete a number of tests designed to get people riled up.
        The first, known as the "single category implicit association test," had people match positive and negative words to photos depicting aggressive and violent behavior — punching, kicking, etc. In the second test, respondents played a computer game in which they were told they could win money by pressing buttons. They were pitted against an adversary who could undermine the players by taking money from them. The players were unaware that the "adversary" was actually controlled by the computer.


        The researchers measured aggression, before and after the respondents took the test, by asking them how aggressive they felt on a 100-point scale. For good measure, they had the marijuana and alcohol users go through the whole thing again one week later, this time without getting high or drunk, as a kind of separate control.

        They found, first of all, that "alcohol intoxication increased subjective aggression in the alcohol group." The alcohol users, in other words, acted more aggressive when they were drunk than they did when they were sober. By contrast, the smokers became less aggressive when they were high.
         These findings held through both the self-assessments — alcohol users rated themselves as more aggressive when drunk — and through the responses to the tests: The drinkers tried harder to undermine their computer opponents when they were drunk. But the smokers actually acted less aggressive toward their computer opponents when they were high.
        "The results in the present study support the hypothesis that acute alcohol intoxication increases feelings of aggression and that acute cannabis intoxication reduces feelings of aggression," the researchers conclude.
        This is in line with other research. A study in 2014, for instance, found that marijuana use among couples was linked to lower rates of domestic violence. In a fun study from the 1980s, researchers gave undergraduates varying doses of marijuana and then asked them to administer electric shocks to people in another room. The more stoned the undergrads were, the less interested they were in zapping other people.
        It's true that as with any drug, marijuana can have unpredictable effects in some people. But this study strongly suggests that those unpredictable consequences — pot-crazed men jumping off ledges or shooting themselves — are tragic outliers. Those stories grab headlines because they're exceptional, not because they're common.
        Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.
        Source: Washington Post (DC)
        Author: Christopher Ingraham
        Published: July 20, 2016
        Copyright: 2016 Washington Post Company
        Contact: letters@washpost.com
        Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
        URL: http://drugsense.org/url/EHLg0F5o
        CannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives
        http://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml

        TYPES OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA STRAINS

        IF YOUR INTERESTED IN THE MEDICAL FACTORS HERE ARE SOME ADVANTAGES OF DIFFERENT STRANDS
        WHAT STRANDS ARE BEST FOR YOU??

        Looking at all of the medical marijuana strains that might be helpful for your condition can be overwhelming. Different medical marijuana strains can treat so many conditions and illnesses.
         Whether you are purchasing from dispensaries or growing at home, there are hundreds of types available. How do you know which one is right for you? There is no sure-fire answer since everyone has a different experience and reaction, but knowing the basics about medical marijuana strains can help.
        Medical marijuana is based on two different species of marijuana, INDICA and SATIVA As well as hybrids that mix the two). Medical marijuana strains come from breeding and cross-breeding these plants for different qualities, including the strength of the “high” that gives pain relief, the yield of the plant, and the plant’s tolerance to different environments. Dispensaries will always tell you what strain you are buying; in fact, it is required to be labeled on the jar. In general, Indica medical marijuana strains will provide strong “body effects” which are good for pain relief.
        It is important to keep in mind that a very strong or “heavy” high is sometimes called a “body stone,” meaning that patients should not plan on being active on the day they use it. Sativa strains will provide strong “mind effects” that are good for relaxation and conditions that affect the mind. Hybrids try to capture the best of both these strains.

        Here are a few of the most popular medical marijuana strains to try based on the conditions they treat.
        CANCER: Arizonan Western Light Purp (indica/sativa), Cinderella 99 (sativa/indica)
        CHRONIC PAIN: Afghani #1 (pure indica or indica/sativa), Big Bud (indica/sativa)

        DEPRESSION: Blueberry (indica/sativa), OG-18 (indica/sativa)

        GLAUCOMA: Pluto OG (indica), most other indica strains

        HEADACHES:White Gold (indica/sativa), Super Lemon Haze (indica/sativa)

        INSOMNIA: Northern Lights (indica/sativa)

        JOINT PAIN: Purple Kush (indica)

        MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS:  (MS): Island Sweet Skunk (sativa/indica), Sour Diesel

        MUSCLE SPASM: White Widow (indica/sativa), Black Domina (indica), Apollo 11 (sativa)

        NAUSEA:  Dutch Haze (sativa/indica), Kandy Kush (indica/sativa)

        This is only a partial list. Just because certain medical marijuana strains are not on this list for a certain condition does not mean that they will not be effective. The active ingredients in medical marijuana strains, THC, Cannabinol (CBN), and Cannabidiol (CBD), are what treat the symptoms and they are present in all strains, whether sativa, indica, or hybrid.
        If your preferred strain is not available or you have not found a preferred strain yet, there is no reason to panic. While medical marijuana strains have different effects from person to person, the basic ingredients are the same so all medical marijuana strains should be able to offer at least some relief. If you get stuck, contact United Patients Group or ask a dispensary staff member for advice.

        HERES A LITTLE ABOUT THE LAWS IN WESTERN STATES


        WESTERN STATES BACK MEDICAL MARIJUANA


        With Montana’s approval of a medical marijuana initiative, nearly three-fourths of Western states now have such laws — while only two of the 37 states outside the West have adopted them.
        Why is the West so much more receptive to the idea?
        From a procedural standpoint, it’s just easier to get pot issues on Western ballots because most states in the region allow such initiatives. Nationwide, just 24 states allow citizens to put issues on the ballot by petition, bypassing the Legislature. Eleven of those states are in the West.
        But activists and political scientists also say Westerners are less willing than other Americans to tell their neighbors what they can and can’t do. And historically, Western states tend to be in front on social trends.
        “I would guess many of the people that voted for it probably don’t use marijuana, but they don’t want to say their neighbors can’t,” said Steven Stehr, political science professor at Washington State University.
        Westerners have a stronger belief in kind of individualism in the old-fashioned frontier sense,” said Sven Steinmo, a University of Colorado political scientist and board member for the Center of the American West.“Our politics in the West are much less constrained ... and it gives opportunities for initiatives like the death with dignity issue in Oregon or medicinal marijuana. You name it,” Olson said. Oregon rejects ambitious program Montana has become the 11th state in the country — and the ninth Western state — to allow medical marijuana. The approval came even as Montana voted by wide margins to ban gay marriage and to re-elect President Bush, a Republican.“We always say in Montana we’re extraordinarily independent, so we’ll vote for contradictory things,” said Jerry Calvert, political science professor at Montana State University in Bozeman. The Montana initiative passed 62 percent to 38 percent, support that marijuana reform groups say was the highest ever for a medical marijuana ballot initiative. Oregon voters rejected a measure that would have dramatically expanded its existing medical marijuana program. That may have been too ambitious even for the West, said Bruce Mirken, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project. Alaska, which also has an existing medical marijuana law, rejected a measure to decriminalize the drug, though marijuana groups were impressed that 43 percent of voters there supported it. Outside the region, voters in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Columbia, Mo., approved local medical marijuana measures. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled that states are free to adopt medical marijuana laws so long as the marijuana is not sold, transported across state lines or used for nonmedicinal purposes. The ruling covers only those Western states in the circuit. The Bush administration has appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. Besides the favorable initiative process in the West, the region is also usually the start of progressive political movements that work their way East, said Keith Stroup, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. In addition to Montana, Western states that allow medical marijuana are Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state. Arizona has a law permitting marijuana prescriptions, but no active program. Maine and Vermont are the only states outside the West with existing medical marijuana laws. For now, medical marijuana has not only found acceptance in the West, but the region may set the tone for proposals across the country.“As medical marijuana becomes more regulated and institutionalized in the West, that may provide a model for how we ultimately make marijuana legal for all adults,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director for the Drug Policy Alliance.
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