Backers of an effort to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana use in Washington state submitted more than 340,000 signatures Thursday to try to qualify their initiative, a move protested by some legalization supporters who say the proposal would hurt medical-marijuana patients. About a dozen protesters carried signs that read "Legalize, not penalize," and shouted as members of New Approach turned in signatures for Initiative 502 to the Legislature.
Colorado se convirtió en el tercer estado de EE.UU. que pide una relajación en los controles federales sobre la marihuana, al pedir a la Dirección Estadounidense Antidrogas (DEA) que la reclasifique para permitir su uso médico. La petición de Colorado se basa en el argumento de que la ley federal actual, bajo la cual toda posesión o distribución de la marihuana es ilegal, dificulta la aplicación de la norma del estado que legaliza la droga para su uso con fines medicinales.
Colorado has become the third state to ask the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana in a way that allows doctors to prescribe it as a medical treatment. The state asked the Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana from Schedule 1, a category that includes heroin, to Schedule 2. The change would allow doctors to prescribe pot and pharmacies to fill marijuana prescriptions. The governors of Rhode Island and Washington have made similar requests.
The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) traveled to California and attended the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in LA to find out what are the latest development of the battle for legal marijuana in the US. We interviewed activists from several organizations, asked questions about the chances of state level ballot initiatives, we even saw how people will use cannabis in the 21st Century. Welcome to the future of US marijuana regulation - please watch and share HCLU's new movie.
Latin American leaders have joined together to condemn the U.S. government for soaring drug violence in their countries, blaming the United States for the transnational cartels that have grown rich and powerful smuggling dope north and guns south. Alongside official declarations, Latin American governments have expressed growing disgust for U.S. drug consumers — both the addict and the weekend recreational user heedless to the misery and destruction paid for their pleasures.
The youth vote helped propel Barack Obama to the presidency, but that enthusiasm has declined sharply. One issue might reignite youthful enthusiasm: marijuana — partly its medical use, but especially the right to recreational use free of potential arrest. Police arrest youth for marijuana possession by the hundreds of thousands, threatening life prospects for a young man or woman saddled with a permanent "drug arrest" record that's easily located by employers, landlords, schools, credit agencies and banks. Small wonder that 62 percent of young Americans (ages 18 to 29) now favor legalizing marijuana, as a Gallup poll reported.
Fifty years after signing the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and 40 years after the U.S. government declared a "war on drugs," many obstacles remain despite the partial successes of efforts to counter the problem. The Andean-United States Dialogue Forum, noted with concern how drug policy has monopolized the diplomatic and economic agenda between the Andean countries, contributing to tensions among the governments and impeding cooperation on other crucial priorities, such as safeguarding democratic processes from criminal networks.
King County authorities and the Washington State Public Stadium Authority have agreed to stop harassing people collecting signatures outside the Seahawks football stadium for an initiative that would legalize and tax recreational marijuana in the state. One of the collectors, Benjamin Schroeter, was arrested Nov. 13 after he refused an order to stop collecting signatures for Initiative 502 in a public area outside the stadium where fans were tailgating.
Last week's request by Govs. Chris Gregoire and Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee to have the federal government reclassify marijuana as medicine--which at first glance looked like unalloyed good news for those who support safe access for patients--is actually a double-edged sword.
While it is allowed in some form in 16 states and Washington, DC, Colorado is the leader in trying to make medicinal pot a legitimate business. It has been legal since a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution in 2000, but the for-profit side only took off two years ago after the legislature allowed individual counties and towns more flexibility in interpreting the rules. Over a hundred have done so.
Rafael Lemaitre (Communications director for the Office of National Drug Control Policy)
02 December 2011
The complexity and scale of our drug problem requires a nationwide effort to support smart drug policies that reduce drug use and its consequences. The Obama Administration has been engaged in a government-wide effort to reform our nation's drug policies and restore balance to the way we deal with the drug problem. We have pursued a variety of alternatives that abandon an unproductive enforcement-only "War on Drugs" approach to drug control and acknowledge we cannot arrest our way out of the drug problem and, further, that drug addiction is a disease of the brain, not some "moral failing."
Un pedido para sacar a la marihuana del limbo legal en Estados Unidos: los gobernadores de dos estados solicitaron al gobierno federal que reclasifique el cannabis para permitir su uso medicinal en todo el país. En la petición ante la Agencia Antidrogas -la DEA-, la gobernadora de Washington, Christine Gregoire, y su par de Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee, expresaron la necesidad de garantizar un acceso más amplio a la marihuana como paliativo, permitiendo la prescripción por parte de los médicos y la comercialización en farmacias. Para ello, es necesario que la DEA cambie la categorización de esta droga, establecida mediante la Ley de Sustancias Controladas.
Los gobernadores de los estados de Washington y Rhode Island pidieron a la DEA, la agencia antidrogas estadounidense, que reclasifique la marihuana para permitir su uso con fines médicos. Actualmente, la DEA clasifica a la marihuana como una droga de categoría 1, lo que significa que su uso médico no es legal a nivel federal. Sin embargo, en 16 estados del país la marihuana sí es legal para uso médico, lo que entra en conflicto con la clasificación de las autoridades federales.
Polls show overwhelming support for amending the laws. In fact, 50 percent of Americans—the largest portion ever recorded—now favor legalizing marijuana, according to an October Gallup poll. But elected officials have yet to catch up. Even those politicians who privately wisecrack about all the weed they smoked in their younger days are usually too timid to take on decades-old preconceptions about marijuana. In other words, the politicians who have the power to enact new rules have been too wimpy to use it, and those who want to see changes don't have the clout. The result is a political limbo where reefer madness still rules.
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee have filed a petition with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration asking the agency to reclassify marijuana so doctors can prescribe it and pharmacists can fill the prescription. The governors want the federal government to list marijuana as a Schedule 2 drug, allowing it to be used for medical treatment. Marijuana is currently classified a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it's not accepted for medical treatment and can't be prescribed, administered or dispensed.
The Supreme Court agreed to resolve a question that has vexed the lower federal courts since Congress enacted a law to narrow the gap between sentences meted out for offenses involving two kinds of cocaine. Selling cocaine in crack form used to subject offenders to the same sentence one would get for selling 100 times as much in powder. The new law, the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, reduced the disparity to 18 to 1, at least for people who committed their offenses after the law became effective on Aug. 3, 2010.
Las declaraciones del presidente colombiano, Juan Manuel Santos, sobre la necesidad de incluir en el debate de la lucha contra el narcotráfico la posible legalización de las drogas, sin duda cayeron mal en Washington, pues fueron "extremadamente significativas" y podrían generar cambios a futuro. Eso piensa John Walsh, experto de la organización Wola (Oficina en Washington para Asuntos Latinoamericanos), quien lleva más de 15 años dedicado a estudiar las políticas antidrogas de EE. UU. y el resto del mundo.
As proponents of a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana near the deadline to turn in signatures, they face a puzzling picture of the electorate. An independent poll this summer found a slender majority of Coloradans support legalizing cannabis. But whenever marijuana has actually appeared on the ballot in Colorado in recent years — most commonly as measures to ban dispensaries and other marijuana businesses — it has generally fared poorly.
Es diciembre en Washington. A la Casa Blanca llega la noticia de que las Farc acaban de secuestrar a cinco agentes de la DEA y solo los soltarán si el gobierno colombiano libera a un jefe narcoguerrillero que está en prisión. El presidente de Estados Unidos ordena violar el espacio colombiano sin informar a Bogotá. Pero, en vez de recuperar a los rehenes, la misión pierde un helicóptero y nueve soldados. El golpe es duro. El mandatario gringo llama al presidente colombiano, un tal M. Santos, y le confiesa, sin recato alguno, que "hace 90 minutos invadimos su espacio aéreo". Santos agradece la llamada, libera al preso y rescata a los rehenes.
An intensifying federal crackdown on growers and sellers of state-authorized medical marijuana has badly shaken the billion-dollar industry, which has sprung up in California since voters approved medical use of the drug in 1996, and has highlighted the stark contradiction between federal and state policies. Federal law classifies the possession and sale of marijuana as a serious crime and does not grant exceptions for medical use, so the programs adopted here, in 15 other states and in the District of Columbia exist in an odd legal limbo.