Every once in a while, there is room for humor at the expense of America’s war on marijuana and this is a story that I couldn’t help but share:
In their unyielding pursuit to rid the world of all of its marijuana plants, police in Corpus Christi, Texas arrived at a city park last week to pull up hundreds of weeds. The only problem with their gardening project is that these weeds were not marijuana at all but a type of wild mint that grows in the area.
Corpus Christi’s KRIS TV news reports that police…
…spent an hour pulling up about 400 plants and filling several garbage bags with the weeds. But, when they got back to the police station and ran some tests it turned out the suspected pot plants were just a fairly common type of weed called ‘horse mint.’
This is clearly an embarrassing waste of public safety resources. However, I can’t help but think about how much more useful an activity like clearing weeds out of a park is compared to chasing down adults for growing marijuana plants on their own property.
What do you think?
Law enforcement officials from all over the nation have descended upon San Diego, California this week to attend a conference for the National Marijuana Initiative (NMI) and the California Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP). We’ve been pointing out the futility of marijuana “eradication” campaigns like CAMP and NMI for years but don’t expect conference attendees to spend any time rethinking their failed prohibitionist policies while enjoying their stay in sunny San Diego.
The agenda for the publicly funded conference, held at the prestigious U.S. Grant Hotel from May 10 through May 13, is not available to the public. In fact, the conference is under the close guard of about a dozen San Diego Police officers and even some military personnel.
We do know that former U.S. Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey was a featured speaker. According to his press release, McCaffrey laid out talking points against California’s Tax Cannabis 2010 initiative. That’s right, your tax dollars are essentially being used to hold an anti-reform campaign rally behind closed doors.
There’s also no doubt that conference attendees are patting themselves on the back for their work in the largest and most expensive weed abatement project of all time. Since 2003, CAMP’s marijuana plant seizures have grown by 500% but nevertheless have had no effect on marijuana’s availability or cost, which has actually decreased slightly since CAMP’s inception in 1983. Programs like CAMP are actually making matters worse by driving illegal marijuana operations deeper into harder-to-reach and environmentally sensitive areas on our public lands.
A Bay Area CBS affiliate recently released a poll showing that 56% of California adults believe that the state should legalize marijuana. This finding is consistent with last year’s Field Poll showing the same support for including marijuana reform as part of California’s budget solution.
Age appears to be significantly correlated to support for marijuana legalization. An overwhelming 74% of respondents age 18 to 34 said marijuana should be legal, but only 46% in the 35 to 49 range thought so. Support is at 49% for baby boomers and only 39% for those over 65.
The survey, conducted on April 20, found majority support in every geographic region in California and across all ethnic groups except for Hispanics.
This data underscores the need for a high voter turnout – especially among younger people – for California’s Control & Tax Cannabis initiative on November 2. Young people are disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition; let’s hope they turn out in high numbers to end that injustice.
California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton seems to think that the marijuana issue might just be the key to reaching these young voters who are also more likely to vote Democratic during this mid-term election.
A PDF of the Survey USA poll can be downloaded from our website.
Today, the California Secretary officially certified the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 for the state’s November ballot. This means that on November 2, Californians will be able to vote to send marijuana prohibition to the ash heap of history!
The groundbreaking initiative would make personal possession and cultivation of marijuana legal for adults over 21 in California. It would also allow cash-strapped cities and counties to tax and regulate marijuana sales in order to reap millions in new tax revenues. The proposition will also call on the legislature to enact a statewide system to tax and regulate marijuana.
Will the nation’s largest state finally create a legal market – complete with tens of thousands of new jobs – for what’s already its top cash crop?
We sure hope so!
When U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced last year that the federal Department of Justice would no longer prosecute medical marijuana patients and providers complying with state law, reform advocates cheered it as the greatest victory in over a decade.
The shift in federal policy was indeed a breakthrough for the medical marijuana movement, but did little good for Bryan Epis of Chico, California.
Last week, a federal judge ordered Bryan to prison for a 2002 conviction involving 100 marijuana plants he maintained for several state-legal patients. Under the current administration’s policy, Bryan would likely be left alone by the feds, but the problem is that his arrest and conviction occurred well before the new policy was implemented.
Bryan was sentenced to ten years in federal prison and has already served two years behind bars, but has been out on various appeals since 2004. Today he’s sitting in the Sacramento County jail awaiting transfer back to a federal penitentiary.
Friends and family are hoping President Obama pardons Bryan so that he isn’t forced to waste more of his life locked in a cage because of his compassion towards sick and suffering patients.
Bryan’s partner is circulating a petition urging President Obama to grant a pardon and she requests your help. A printable petition form can be downloaded here. Please help Bryan by collecting as many signatures as you can and mailing the petition back to the address at the bottom of the page.