The United States Marijuana Party

The United States Marijuana Party – is a motivated group of Americans who are tired of living in fear of their government because of marijuana prohibition. We are fed up with the intrusion into our personal lives, with urine testing at work and at school, with armed home invasions, and with the possibility of prison because of a plant. WE are Americans and WE do not piss in a cup for anyone!

WE feel it is time for the 20 million Americans who smoke marijuana on a regular basis to stop hiding their love for this plant and unite as one large body of voters to demand an end to the unconstitutional prohibition of marijuana and the drug war. The U.S. cannot lock up 20 million people.

The War on Drugs causes more harm than the drugs themselves ever will.

United WE are a potential 20 million vote political machine. WE want to live free and WE must be determined to stand up, be counted, demonstrate, rally, and write.

Waiting for the government to silence us all in the American prison system is not an option! Too many of our brethren are there, in prison right now.

More Americans are in jail today for marijuana offenses than at any previous time in American history. The war against marijuana is a genocidal war waged against us by a government determined to eradicate our plant, our culture, our freedom and our political rights.

Time Magazine Reports: U.S. Marijuana Party

U.S. Marijuana Party

By Christina Crapanzano Monday, Mar. 29, 2010
Top 10 Time Alternative Political Movements
Andrew Holbrooke / Corbis

Long before Loretta Nall campaigned on her cleavage, the activist’s cause was cannabis. The Alabama resident gained national attention during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign when she produced T-shirts with the caption “More of these boobs …” (with a photo of Nall in a low-cut shirt) “… And less of these boobs” (next to photos of her opponents). But the write-in candidate’s political roots date back to 2002, when a misdemeanor arrest for possession was the spark behind her forming the U.S. Marijuana Party (USMJP). The group — which demands “an end to the unconstitutional prohibition of marijuana” — has official party chapters in seven states, including Colorado, Illinois and Kentucky. While Nall left the USMJP to be a Libertarian Party governor nominee, the group continues to back candidates in local, state and national elections under the leadership of Richard Rawlings, who is currently running for Congress in Illinois.

Read more:

#WeAreKY But #ThisIsKY…Story of Elihu Shepherd

The incident leading to Gary’s killing began on a Sunday morning in August of 1993, when a helicopter on loan from the Kentucky National Guard was landed by officers of the Governor’s Marijuana Strike Force in a field adjacent to Gary Shepherd’s rural home. An officer familiar with Gary approached and told him that he was going to come in and cut down the dozen plants which were maturing around the perimeter of his property. Gary denied him entrance, saying it would happen “over [his] dead body.” Using Gary’s invocation of this metaphor as a pretext for his murder, the officer departed and called in additional officers, who covertly blockaded all routes to Gary’s house and began to monitor his movements.  LINK

In August of 1993, in Rockcastle County Kentucky, a four year old child watched his Father, Gary Shephard shot and killed by the Sheriff’s Department and Kentucky State Police, over a few Cannabis plants which his father used for medicine for pain and PTSD after serving in the Vietnam War…

This is his story…

(Please view in its entirety)

elihu

This factual story needs to be heard by everyone that lives in Kentucky.

Yes, #WeAreKentucky BUT #ThisISKentucky

https://www.facebook.com/Jacobelihu/posts/10218238922543418

https://www.drcnet.org/guide2-95/gary.html

Cannabis Activists Prepare For A Day In Frankfort, Kentucky tomorrow

ky banner

JOIN US IN FRANKFORT!  LOBBY DAY 2019!

FEBRUARY 6TH – ALL DAY!

Image may contain: text

2019 KY NORML Lobby Day and Rally in the Rotunda

Public · Hosted by KY NORML and 6 others

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 9:30 AM – 3 PM EST

700 Capital Ave, Frankfort, KY 40601-3448, United States

LINK TO EVENT ON FACEBOOK


No photo description available.

KY4MM Tunnel Talk

Public · Hosted by Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana

  • Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 10 AM – 2 PM EST

    Capitol Annex  702 Capitol Ave, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

  • LINK TO EVENT ON FACEBOOK

    No photo description available.

    Rally in the Rotunda

    Public · Hosted by SB80 Support Page

  • Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM EST

    700 Capital Ave, Frankfort, KY 40601-3448, United States

  • Hosted by SB80 Support Page

  • LINK TO SB80 SUPPORT PAGE ON FACEBOOK

    LINK TO EVENT ON FACEBOOK


    The following BILLS are to be focused on this year:

    SB 80 –  Dan Seum –  An Act relating to the regulation of cannabis and making an appropriation therefor.

    (Adult Responsible Use Act)

    Establish and create new sections of KRS Chapter 245 to define terms, allow possession, growth, use, processing, purchasing, transfer, and consumption of Cannabis; establish limits for transfer; allow for purchasing and manufacturing cannabis accessories; authorize activities and operation of retail stores…

    HB 136 – Several Sponsors – An Act relating to medicinal marijuana and making an appropriation therefor

    (Medical Cannabis Act)

    …require the Department for Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control to implement and regulate the medicinal marijuana program in Kentucky…

    SB 82 – Jimmy Higdon – An Act relating to marijuana possession.

    (Decriminalization)

    …make the penalty for possession of a personal use quantity of marijuana a prepayable non-criminal fine…

    SB 83 / Perry B. Clark “Shauna’s Law”  Relating to a drug free workplace / Seeks to mandate an appeals process for those employer’s who enforce drug-testing upon their employee’s which will address those persons who have been found in violation of the drug-free workplace policy by testing positive on random drug screens for legal Hemp products such as CBD. It would set aside that violation if proven that a legal product had been used.

    RELATED:

    KENTUCKY MARIJUANA BILLS 2019

    Kentucky Will March To The Capital, Once Again…

    ky call 2019

    A Libertarian Solution to Fixing America’s Illegal Immigration Problem

    The Libertarian Vindicator

    Immigration is poking its head once again thanks to President Trump and his push to build a wall on the southern border which has caused the longest government shutdown in American history.

    Illegal Immigration can be a problem, but a wall isn’t the way to go anymore, not in the day and age we live in. We need different alternatives and fix the problems that we have in this country that attracts illegal immigration.

    Former Congressman Ron Paul offers the best solution to this “crisis.”

    View original post

    Kentucky Will March To The Capital, Once Again…

    gatewood rainbow farm

    Rainbow Farm was located in Vandalia, Michigan & was a cannabis friendly community. They had great concerts & speakers. The government came in later & killed the owners & stole the farm from the legal birth right of the son, Robert, 1 week before 9-11 (September 3rd & 4th,2001). Tom Crosslin & Rollie Rolhm were the owners & each one of them were systematically gunned down & tortured after being out numbered 300 to 1. In order to stop a memorial day concert, that was to start a signature campaign to legalize cannabis in the state of Michigan.

                                              ——————————–

    1/13/2019

    ShereeKrider

    The Country as a whole has come a long way since the incident above in 2001, but it still has a very long way to go.  We have 11 “legalized States” and 33 “medicinal States” to date according to NORML.  More than the majority of Americans believe it should be made “lawful”.  Many sick people including children are suffering needlessly and we have the ability to help rectify the situation.

    We should not still have to be going to the Capital in Frankfort to beg for something that we should have had in Kentucky more than seven years ago.  In fact, it never should have been “unlawful” to possess in the first place.

    Gatewood Galbraith, “The greatest Governor that Kentucky never had”, spoke to this issue many times and had he been elected we would not still be in this same fight today.  He said, “You have got to get political.  Because if you don’t get political then I’m gonna die in the streets!” 

    The number of people who are dying in the streets has exponentially increased in the past 5+ years in earnest.  The crisis was started by the Government and their Pharmaceutical cronies who promoted highly addictive opioid drugs for daily use to patients who were suffering and  they bit the bait.  After everyone was sufficiently addicted to the pharmaceuticals the Government claimed an “opioid crisis” and immediately withdrew these needed medications by way of intimidating the Physicians and forced drug testing to the point that the Medical Establishment could no longer take the chance of losing their Practice’s, and so they immediately withdrew needed medicines from Patients who legitimately needed them, as well as other’s who had become addicted for other reasons – and there are many reasons…  This in turn caused people to literally die in the streets due to a dire need to medicate and the ample supply in the streets of much more potent and deadly drugs than what the Physicians had been prescribing them to begin with.

    Some of us were strong enough and smart enough to turn to Cannabis which saved our lives, even though it is illegal.  A lot of us have lost close friends and family members to this ‘war on drugs’.  Many of us grieve daily because of it.

    There have been Senators, Representatives and Citizen Activists, working hard to see Cannabis regulation and lawfulness is passed in the very State that in WWII the Government pleaded with people to grow Hemp for their War efforts.  The people responded to their requests in a time of need.  However, the Government turns their heads the other way when the Citizens request that they help them establish a safe and lawful way to use Cannabis, medically and otherwise.  Not only would this help the multitudes of patients who direly need this medication, it would also establish a lawful product that can be taxed and used for the greater good of the State we reside in, including new businesses and employment.  As a result, even those who chose not to partake in Cannabis would benefit from the legalization and taxation of the  product – much like alcohol – with much less lawlessness than alcohol promotes…

    It would establish a lawful alternative to Alcohol and Tobacco and other illicit drugs, such as street level opioids which are destroying families and responsible for unending deaths even as we speak.  Yet, to date, our Kentucky Government has refused to act upon this issue. 

    Why has Kentucky Government taken such a path in governing of the people?

    “Petrochemical-Pharmaceutical-Military-Industrial-Transnational-Corporate-Fascist-Elite-Bastards”  LINK

    For a more in-depth read on why and how our Country has fell into the hands of the NWO you can view this LINK.  “The Elkhorn Manifesto” is an archived page of the Kentucky Marijuana Party, written in 1996 by R. William Davis, and collaborated with Gatewood Galbraith. 

    Here we are, once again, in the year of Our Lord, 2019, begging for our leaders to hear our plea’s.  And once again, they will try to ignore us! 

    As far as I am concerned, the lawfulness of Cannabis should first have been rightfully returned to the people through REPEAL of Federal Treaties and Statutes which made it unlawful to begin with.  Possibly as far back as the 1914 Harrison Narcotics Tax Act.  However, the situation has been taken into the hands of the individual States and their “States Rights” because the Federal Government refused to stand up for the rights of our people.  Instead they have enlisted a “New World Order” to do their dirty work which seeks to contain society at large – world wide control of the masses, control of all plants, food, medicines,  WATER, etc., to be placed under strict guidelines to which we must abide by the rules or suffer the consequences.

    We have become damned if we do submit to the law and damned if we do not follow it as well. 

    There is  research already out there and patients are being helped and in some cases literally saved from an early death by using Cannabis.  Many people have been saved from addiction by using Cannabis. 

    We cannot wait another year to change the Cannabis Statutes in Kentucky.  We need it now.  We needed it 20 years ago.

    There are currently two Bills in Kentucky Legislature – one in Senate and one in the House.  Both bills should be passed and this is my reasoning for this:

    SB 80 / Dan Malano Seum / Establishes the “Department of Cannabis Control” which will oversee lawful consumption of Cannabis in Kentucky by adults 21 and over.  This Bill gives limited and controlled freedom back to the people in that it does allow for growing on our own property and consumption as well as sets the stage for business to be lawful throughout Kentucky.  This legislation could be enacted fairly quickly and jumpstart the economy here.  It is imperative that we implement this legislation this year if we seek to make our State livable again.

    HB 136 / Establishes a very strict “Medical Cannabis” bill for bonified Patients.  Because of the nature of illnesses and the fact that many Children could be served by this Bill it is imperative that “medicinal Cannabis” be made available in Kentucky to those who are in need, medically, whether they be adult or child.  Many people who are not familiar with Cannabis and it’s use would serve to be protected as patients by this medical legislation.  The problem is that with the measures necessary to comply with the Bill as it is written it would most certainly be a slow process to set up across the State and reach all patients equally.   However, we should proceed immediately on this Act as well.

    Additionally, a drug-free workplace Bill for the use of legal Hemp CBD products, currently sold on the open market:

    SB 83 / Perry B. Clark “Shauna’s Law”  Relating to a drug free workplace / Seeks to mandate an appeals process for those employer’s who enforce drug-testing upon their employee’s which will address those persons who have been found in violation of the drug-free workplace policy by testing positive on random drug screens for legal Hemp products such as CBD.  It would set aside that violation if proven that a legal product had been used.  This Bill must be passed in order to preserve the integrity of the Hemp market as well as employee’s rights.

    IF our Legislator’s  and Governor do not seek to enact the Bill’s which we as a People have requested  for our health and well-being in general, then the political system of the Commonwealth of Kentucky needs to be immediately and completely changed and replaced.  This would also include other issues of great importance in Kentucky such as the Pension Crisis.

    The corruption in Kentucky runs far and wide and seeks to be ended this year.  The time is now for change…not later.  We cannot wait another year to be lawful!

    7976961615_e1457307a6_m

    http://antiquecannabisbook.com/Appendix/AppendixC.htm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1ggjadAnSg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Crosslin

    http://rainbowfarmcamp.com/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5moSy-Ooouk&t=294s

    https://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article44148519.html

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5312634/

    http://www.lrc.ky.gov/recorddocuments/bill/19RS/HB136/bill.pdf

    http://www.lrc.ky.gov/recorddocuments/bill/19RS/SB80/bill.pdf

    http://www.lrc.ky.gov/recorddocuments/bill/19RS/sb83/orig_bill.pdf

    https://norml.org/states

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherburnham/2018/06/29/kentucky-retirement-systems-a-case-study-of-politicizing-pensions/#514247ce299a

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp_in_Kentucky

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatewood_Galbraith

    https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2015/10/26/rights-and-freedoms-may-in-no-case-be-exercised-contrary-to-purposes-and-principles-of-the-united-nations-how-the-united-nations-is-stealing-our-unalienable-rights-to-grow/

    New Congressional Marijuana Bill Is Actually Numbered H.R. 420

    Tom Angell Contributor

    In a hat tip to marijuana culture, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have officially reserved the number H.R. 420 for a bill that would dramatically change federal cannabis laws.

    420, of course, is a special number for marijuana enthusiasts, who celebrate the plant extra hard every April 20.

    The new bill filed in the House on Wednesday by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is titled the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. If passed, it would remove cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act.

    “While the bill number may be a bit tongue in cheek, the issue is very serious. Our federal marijuana laws are outdated, out of touch and have negatively impacted countless lives,” Blumenauer said in a press release. “Congress cannot continue to be out of touch with a movement that a growing majority of Americans support. It’s time to end this senseless prohibition.”

    This isn’t the first time that 420 has worked its way into official legislative numbering.

    California’s first effort to create statewide medical cannabis regulations was through a bill numbered SB 420 in 2003.

    In 2017, a Rhode Island senator filed a marijuana legalization bill given the designation of S 420.

    And on Capitol Hill, the first time the House voted on measure to block the Department of Justice from interfering with state medical cannabis laws, it was through an amendment considered under 2003’s Roll Call 420.

    The current legislation, which Blumenauer picked up from former Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who was sworn in on Tuesday as Colorado’s new governor, would also transfer cannabis enforcement authority from Drug Enforcement Administration to a renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms and Explosives.

    A similarly renamed Alcohol, Tobacco and Marijuana Tax and Trade Bureau within the Department of the Treasury would also have oversight authority, as would the Food and Drug Administration. Federal permits would be issued for cultivating, packaging, selling and importing marijuana.

    Shipping or transporting marijuana into states that have not legalized it would be prohibited.

    Last Congress, Polis’s version of the bill garnered 26 cosponsors.

    Separately, Blumenauer recently released a step-by-step plan to federally legalize marijuana in 2019.

    His new bill is the third piece of standalone cannabis legislation filed in the new Congress, which began last week.

    CONTINUE READING…

    “Any displays, sale or solicitation of CBD oil is illegal and individuals involved are subject to federal investigation and prosecution.”

    CBD oil, sold in stores throughout Ohio, is illegal and can carry a felony charge

    CBD oil, sold in stores throughout Ohio, is illegal and can carry a felony charge

    By Shannon Houser | October 9, 2018 at 9:49 PM EST – Updated October 10 at 11:26 AM

    CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) – CBD oil is available online, in every state and is commonly found on store shelves across Northeast Ohio; however, it’s illegal and can result in a felony charge.

    So, why the big confusion over the chemical compound?

    “I got pulled over in a traffic stop and long story short, they found CBD oil,” said Robert Faulkner.

    It was July of last year when Faulkner was arrested in Richland County.

    “I tried it for my anxiety. It didn’t work for me at that particular time and I just threw it in the back on my truck,” he said.

    Faulkner said he bought it from a store in Columbus. He said the oil was made and manufactured from a hemp store in Cincinnati.

    “I never went to the store and thought I was buying something that would potentially put me in prison,” he said.

    Faulkner was slapped with two counts of aggravated possession of drugs. He’s awaiting a grand jury trial for the felony charges.

    Here in Ohio, you cannot possess CBD oil. The laws aren’t stopping people from buying it and it’s not stopping stores from selling it.

    Faulkner believes the reason is there is so much confusion about the law.

    “I didn’t knowingly obtain everything illegal. I went to a store to try to help me with an issue I have,” said Faulkner.

    THC is the chemical compound responsible for the high in marijuana. The DEA says they’ve learned through science, that CBD will always contain some amount of THC, even trace amounts that won’t get you high.

    But given the presence of THC, the over-the-counter oil is illegal.

    Cleveland 19 found two local stores with shelves full of CBD oil.

    According to the DEA:

    “Any displays, sale or solicitation of CBD oil is illegal and individuals involved are subject to federal investigation and prosecution.”

    We found in some states, like in Texas, police are raiding stores who are selling CBD oil.

    So why isn’t that happening here if it’s illegal?

    The DEA wouldn’t say, but did say stores selling it aren’t immune from federal investigation.

    Faulkner says he hopes officials and lawmakers can help make the laws more clear so this doesn’t happen to someone else.

    “I have an ankle monitor on right now. I have to go check in with probation. I spent four days in jail. This is impacting my life seriously, for something I bought in at the store to just try to help my anxiety.”

    CBD is covered by Ohio’s medical marijuana law–and will be available to those with a medical marijuana card.

    The FDA recently approved a CBD oil medication that is used to help treat epilepsy.

    It can only be prescribed by licensed doctors.

    CONTINUE READING…

    RELATED:

    Why we must repeal prohibition

    NJ Weedman sold his weed in front of the Statehouse

    njweedman 9.27.18

    September 27, 2018

    NJ Weedman – “Mission accomplished…all good”!

    Today in front of the New Jersey Statehouse NJ Weedman,                Ed Forchion , followed by Vice News, made his way outside the    window of  Governor Murphy and asked him to “Veto the Bill”.

    In the video above he tells everyone about it!

    The latest version of the bill, like previous drafts, would not allow people to grow marijuana at home.LINK

    nj

    Although I could not find a copy of the Bill as it has NOT been released yet, I did come across a website named NJ Cannabis Insider that stresses the need for financing in excess of $1 to $2 MILLION DOLLARS needed for a startup!  That would  pretty much a guarantee that only well  financed Corporate Entity could apply.

    It also stresses that you must have a clean background – which would automatically eliminate anyone ever charged with any kind of Cannabis possession or trafficking.  Again, guaranteeing that only Corporate Entities with a well documented background should      apply!

    This is why Ed Forchion is asking that the Bill be vetoed as it stands.

    Image may contain: Edward Forchion, standing

    Neither I nor most minorities who were victimized by the current marijuana laws can’t participate or even fill out a application for a job or to get ownership in this proposed industry. The cannabaggers are making obscene requirements and prohibitions to make selling weed legally exclusive to the rich and politically connected.LINK

    This is a good example of the difference between legalizing and      repealing the prohibition of Cannabis altogether.

    Repeal would ensure that everyone has equal rights to a plant which God had put on Earth for everyone’s use.

    Legalization limits that plant severely and makes sure only the wealthy will dominate its very existence leaving everyone else open to prosecution as usual.

    If there are no growing rights then there are no rights, period. 

    #NoMensRea #RepealProhibition #StopDrugWar #EndProhibition

    RELATED:

    NJWeedman: Who Benefits from New Weed Law?

    ‘NJWeedman’ wants to get arrested. Police say no, lawmakers still working on legal weed

    Legal marijuana is coming to New Jersey (probably). But when?

    “…a man was sentenced to death for giving medical grade cannabis oils to patients in need.”

    Malaysian Court Sentences Man to Death for Distributing Free Cannabis Oil

    A man in Malaysia was sentenced to death after giving medical marijuana to patients in need.

    Published 3 weeks ago on September 4, 2018 By Nick Lindsey

    Malaysian Court Sentences Man to Death for Distributing Free Cannabis Oil

    Malaysia remains a potentially dangerous place to engage in anything related to medical marijuana. And that includes distributing it free of charge to patients who could benefit from it. Just last week, a man was sentenced to death for giving medical grade cannabis oils to patients in need.

    Death Sentence For Distributing Medical Marijuana

    On August 30, a judge in Malaysia sentenced Muhammad Lukman Bin Mohamad to death. The sentence came after the judge found Lukman guilty of breaking the country’s notoriously strict anti-cannabis laws.

    According to local news sources in Malaysia, Lukman was arrested when authorities discovered just over three liters of cannabis oil. Additionally, he was found in possession of 279 grams of compressed cannabis.

    All of this occurred in December 2015. Now, nearly three years after being arrested, Lukman received his sentence. Specifically, he was found guilty of breaking Malaysia’s Dangerous Drugs Act of 1952.

    This law states: “No person shall, on his own behalf or on behalf of any other person . . . traffic in a dangerous drug.” Further, the law stipulates: “Any person . . . guilty of an offence against this Act shall be punished on conviction with death.”

    Given that cannabis remains an illegal substance in Malaysia, the judge ruled that this law applied to Lukman’s case. Lukman is now being held in Kajang Prison. At this time, sources indicate that he plans to appeal the decision in the country’s Court of Appeal.

    Guilty for Giving Medical Marijuana to Patients

    Throughout Lukman’s case, his defense argued that his acts did not constitute drug trafficking. In particular, they focused on the fact that he was not distributing recreational drugs. Instead, defense lawyers argued, Lukman was distributing medicine to patients who might not otherwise be able to get it.

    Further, the defense pointed out that Lukman was not making a profit. Lukman was in fact working in cooperation with an organization that educates the public on issues related to medical marijuana.

    Lukman was not profiting from his distribution, either, since patients who could not afford the product were given it for free. In addition to all this, Lukman and his defense team pointed to the growing body of scientific evidence supporting the medical use of cannabis.

    Despite all this, the prosecutors maintained that Lukman still broke the country’s laws prohibiting all forms of marijuana. They also claimed that although marijuana is increasingly accepted throughout the world, there is nothing in Malyasian law that allows for the medical use of cannabis.

    One Of The World’s Worst Anti-Cannabis Countries

    Malaysia has long had some of the world’s most heavy handed anti-cannabis laws. Most obviously, this reputation comes from the fact that a person can still be sentenced to death for breaking certain drug laws.

    But Malaysia isn’t the only country where a person can be sentenced to death for possessing, distributing, or consuming cannabis. In fact, there are still a surprisingly large number of countries throughout the world with these types of laws in the books.

    Along with Malaysia, this list includes countries like China, Egypt, Singapore, Myanmar, Philippines, Nigeria, and several others.

    CONTINUE READING…

    RELATED:

    Trump wants the death penalty for drug traffickers. He’s got it.

    (2)

    …an offense referred to in section 408(c)(1) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 848(c)(1)), committed as part of a continuing criminal enterprise offense under that section…LINK

    Drug dealers could get death penalty under new Trump plan

    CONCLUSION:

    If it can happen there, it can happen here!

    Regulate: ex-world leaders’ solution to ‘failed’ drug war

    https://s2.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20180924&t=2&i=1307561780&r=LYNXNPEE8N08F&w=1280

    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – More governments should turn away from a repressive war on drugs that has “failed” and look to proven strategies to implement regulated markets for risky substances, a group of former presidents and leaders said in a report published Monday.

    Since the group that includes 12 former heads of state began advocating for an end to drug prohibition in 2011, a growing number of countries and U.S. states have created medical or recreational markets for marijuana.

    Now the group is looking at ways to smooth the way out of prohibition, recommending countries start regulating lower-potency drugs as well as reforms to international treaties that require prohibition and punishment.

    “The international drug control system is clearly failing,” said Helen Clark, a former prime minister of New Zealand. “The health … of nations is not advanced by the current approach to drug control.”

    By taking control of illegal drug markets, the report argues governments can weaken the powerful criminal gangs that have grown despite decades of efforts to stamp them out.

    The report, “Regulation: The Responsible Control of Drugs” by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, will be released at an event on Monday in Mexico City.

    The commission chose to launch its report in Mexico, whose criminal gangs are top suppliers of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana to the United States and where gang-related violence has driven murders to a record high.

    “Mexico is the most important country in the fight against drugs,” said former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria.

    Mexico’s recent history exemplifies the report’s claim that evidence shows arresting drug traffickers has little impact on drug supply and may increase violence.

    Just over 10 years ago, Mexico intensified its battle with drug gangs by sending out the military to battle traffickers.

    While dozens of kingpins have been captured or killed, the number of gangs operating in Mexico has multiplied as new criminal leaders step into the breach and battle over turf.

    The commission recommends governments open participatory processes to shape reforms toward regulation.

    Incoming Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has already started to hold town-hall reviews on violence and discuss potential “amnesty” for non-violent drug traffickers and farmers. Members of his team have said Mexico will evaluate creating legal markets for marijuana as well as opium.

    The report calls for a renegotiation of the international treaties that created a “repressive” strategy where drug users and low-level dealers face stiff prison sentences, but it cautions nations are far from a global consensus yet.

    Canada will legalize recreational marijuana use on Oct. 17, and it recognizes it is violating treaties.

    “Current drug policies are reducing neither the demand nor the supply of illegal drugs, quite the contrary, while the increasing power of organized crime is a sad reality,” writes Ruth Driefuss, the former president of Switzerland and chair of the commission.

    CONTINUE READING…

    PDF OF REPORT IN ENGLISH VERSION

    Marijuana Arrests Are Increasing Despite Legalization, New FBI Data Shows

    Tom Angell Contributor i  Policy  

    Marijuana arrests are rising in the U.S., even as more states legalize cannabis.

    There is now an average of one marijuana bust roughly every 48 seconds, according to a new FBI report released on Monday.

    The increase in marijuana arrests—659,700 in 2017, compared to 653,249 in 2016—is driven by enforcement against people merely possessing the drug as opposed to selling or growing it, the data shows.

    Last year, there were 599,282 marijuana possession arrests in the country, up from 587,516 in 2016. Meanwhile, busts for cannabis sales and manufacturing dropped, from 65,734 in 2016 to 60,418 in 2017.

    The increase in cannabis possession arrests comes despite the fact that four additional states legalized marijuana on Election Day 2016.

    While among those states, legal recreational sales were only in effect in Nevada by the end of 2017, the prohibition on possession for adults was lifted soon after the successful votes there as well as in California, Maine and Massachusetts.

    “At a time when more than 100 deaths per day are caused by opioid overdoses, it is foolish to focus our limited law enforcement resources on a drug that has caused literally zero,” Don Murphy, federal policies director for the Marijuana Policy Project said in an interview.

    “Actions by law enforcement run counter to both public support and basic morality,” added NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “In a day and age where twenty percent of the population lives in states which have legalized and nearly every state has some legal protections for medical cannabis or its extract, the time for lawmakers to end this senseless and cruel prohibition that ruins lives.”

    Overall, marijuana arrests made up 40.4% of the nation’s 1,632,921 drug arrests in 2017.

    Drug arrests as a whole also increased last year, up from 1,572,579 in 2016.

    There is now a drug bust every 19 seconds in the U.S.

    I’m a 15-year veteran of the cannabis law reform movement, and I know where to look to spot the most interesting legalization developments. I’m the editor of the cannabis news site Marijuana Moment, and I founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Follow me on Twitter to s…

    MORE

    Tom Angell publishes Marijuana Moment news and founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Follow Tom on Twitter for breaking news and subscribe to his daily newsletter.

    CONTINUE READING…

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