The Nullification Door can Swing Both Ways

By Bruce Johnson  June 24, 2013

Patrick Henry, John Calhoun, and George Mason would be delighted that States are showing some backbone after 220 years of Federal power encroachment. States are again beginning to question Federal authority by, in effect, nullifying some Federal mandates. But the "nullification door" is swinging both ways. Is it not nullification of law by the Federal Government itself when they who hold the federal reins refuse to enforce the laws currently on the books? And when no enforcement of the law is at the whim of an administration, what recourse exists for the citizenry? For the States?

Both ends of the political spectrum have engaged in nullification, the rejection of Federal law. As noted in this piece by David Leib, the current focal points of dissonance between State and Federal revolve around a strange mix of topics; healthcare, guns, illegal immigration, citizen identification, and marijuana. We can clearly identify both ends of the sociopolitical spectrum and note they have become strange bedfellows in disobeying the federal government. Coloradans thumb their nose at federal marijuana laws while Montanans do the same with federal gun laws.

Mr. Leib in his article " Federal Nullification Efforts Mounting in States", lists a few of today’ de facto nullifications:

"About 20 states now have medical marijuana laws allowing people to use pot to treat chronic pain and other ailments — despite a federal law that still criminalizes marijuana distribution and possession. Ceding ground to the states, President Barack Obama’s administration has made it known to federal prosecutors that it wasn’t worth their time to target those people…

Federal authorities have repeatedly delayed implementation of the 2005 Real ID Act… about half the state legislatures have opposed its implementation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

About 20 states have enacted measures challenging Obama’s 2010 health care laws…

After Montana passed a 2009 law declaring that federal firearms regulations don’t apply to guns made and kept in that state, eight other states have enacted similar laws…"

But the nullification door swings both ways. As States issue an affront to select federal law, the federal authorities elected and appointed seem also to have some issues themselves with federal law. Even though they have pledged via their oaths of office to enforce these laws, when it serves their political purposes we often get nonenforcement. Despite vowing diligence there is a steady record that is in effect "legislation via non action" by federal agencies and apparently done so at the direction of the Executive and Judicial branches.

In some instances the federal authorities reject any local, police, or State assistance in enforcing federal law as in the Arizona illegal immigration situation. In many marijuana cases, the federal government seems uninterested that State law conflicts with the law on the federal books. Illinois and Chicago in particular drag out a federal mandate to comply with the Second Amendment. Yet most assuredly those same federal authorities will expect local enforcement of new gun laws in Montana.

When polling place violations go unprosecuted, when sanctuary cities invite illegal immigrants and guarantee no pursuit, when immigration agents are told to ease up, and when the War Powers Act that requires the president to consult with Congress but the president only delivers mere notification… are these not de facto nullifications of law?

When States detect that they are being harmed by new federal law, it is more justifiable for them to act than those oath obligated federal office holders channeling their political wishes by choosing which laws to enforce and which to ignore.

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people"

As Madison noted in his Federalist Paper #45,

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.".

Article I, sect 8 of the Constitution clearly delineates that which the Federal Government "can" do, and section 10 of the same Article clearly states what the States "can’t" do. State governments preceded the "federal experiment" and it was from these 13 States the powers so delegated to the "federal experiment" originated. But now add in the Supremacy Clause noting State law can not be in conflict with Federal Law, and if such occurrence arise, Federal law will be "supreme’. More complications arise when the powers of Article I, sect 8 are deemed unbound by how activists interpret the "necessary and proper" clause. All of this sets before us a cauldron of countervailing double- entendre laden documents that often seem internal contradictory. Is it a ‘mish mash’ or a brilliant work of governance?

The Federal Papers lend guidance to the Constitution. These papers fill in the gaps and clarify instances in which the English language within the Constitution sometimes falls short. In Federalist #32 and #33, Hamilton, a devout federalist, points to a certain sovereignty status retained by the States.

32nd:

As the plan of the convention aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not, by that act, exclusively delegated to the United States.

Today’s resurgence of nullification of federal law by the States is perhaps the greatest since 1861. John C. Calhoun led a nullification movement in South Carolina in 1832 regarding the collection of federal tariffs on imports. Prior to that, there were the instances of opposition to a National Bank, New England’s opposition to the War of 1812 voiced in the Hartford Convention and also New England’s opposition to the Mexican War and their sending of troops to that effort. Thomas Jefferson himself led nullification efforts in 1798 with the Kentucky Resolution in which "the states had the right and the duty to declare unconstitutional any acts of Congress that were not authorized by the Constitution". Madison followed with the Virginia Resolution in the same spirit.

"If prudently limited and wisely directed, almost any government can be a blessing; yet unless firmly constrained, any government of whatever form will tend to augment its powers in excess, going beyond even the plainest legal limits on its just authority, and will sooner or later become dangerous." Thomas Jefferson (A Constitutional History of Secession, Graham)

Nullification has three stages. (as noted by Graham pp. 108, 109)

Interposition: This involves the identification of the grievances by the offended party (State), adopted by the legislator of that State, and noting the unconstitutional nature of the proposed act by the Federal Government or by other States as being injurious to the offended State. A demand for "appropriate redress" is included.

State Declaration of Nullification: The State will call for assemblies and authorities within the State to then empower such bodies to then craft an ordinance of nullification.

Ordinance of Secession: If the ordinance of nullification should fail to restore proper balance between the Federal Government and the State, by act of sovereign power and ordinance of secession will be adopted.

Secession is unlikely today, but the concept was unresolved in 1861. State sovereignty was a more justifiable position. Virginia, Rhode Island, and New York all ratified the Constitution with the proviso that if they became harmed by the "federal experiment", they retained the powers to withdraw. To extrapolate, and because these ratifications were unconditionally accepted at the convention in which all States were equal partners, these rights to ‘withdraw’ radiated to all the States ratifying at that time.

State resistance to harmful federal legislation is an important component to our federal system. Nullification must be promoted cautiously but once committed, States must hold firm even if it draws an extortion such as the withholding of Federal highway funds. Turnabout is fair play, and as an administration selectively ignores passed law, States gain traction in challenging new Federal law. Principle must trump financial consideration and the promise that is our form of government must not be whittled away.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/06/the_nullification_door_can_swing_both_ways.html#ixzz2XB1xZEFz

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I Went From Selling Drugs to Studying Them — And Found That Most of What We Assume About Drugs Is Wrong

A scientist with a rough past explains how he used his life experiences to blow the lid off modern drug research.

June 19, 2013 |  

This is the prologue to Columbia University researcher Dr. Carl Hart’s explosive new book, " High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journal of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Psychology."  Read a Q&A with the author here.

The paradox of education is precisely this—that as one begins to become conscious, one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.

—James Baldwin

The straight glass pipe filled with ethereal white smoke. It was thick enough to see that it could be a good hit, but it still had the wispy quality that distinguishes crack cocaine smoke from cigarette or marijuana smoke. The smoker was thirty-nine, a black man, who worked as a street bookseller. He closed his eyes and lay back in the battered leather office chair, holding his breath to keep the drug in his lungs as long as possible. Eventually, he exhaled, a serene smile on his face, his eyes closed to savor the bliss.

About fifteen minutes later, the computer signaled that another hit was available.

“No, thanks, doc,” he said, raising his left hand slightly. He hit the space bar on the Mac in the way that he’d been trained to press to signal his choice.

Although I couldn’t know for sure whether he was getting cocaine or placebo, I knew the experiment was going well. Here was a middle-aged brother, someone most people would label a “crackhead,” a guy who smoked rock at least four to five times a week, just saying no to a legal hit of what had a good chance of being 100 percent pure pharmaceutical-grade cocaine. In the movie version, he would have been demanding more within seconds of his first hit, bug-eyed and threatening—or pleading and desperate.

Nonetheless, he’d just calmly turned it down because he preferred to receive five dollars in cash instead. He’d sampled the dose of cocaine earlier in the session: he knew what he would get for his money. At five dollars for what I later learned was a low dose of real crack cocaine, he preferred the cash.

Meanwhile, there I was, another black man, raised in one of the roughest neighborhoods of Miami, who might just as easily have wound up selling cocaine on the street. Instead, I was wearing a white lab coat and being funded by grants from the federal government to provide cocaine as part of my research into understanding the real effects of drugs on behavior and physiology. The year was 1999.

In this particular experiment, I was trying to understand how crack cocaine users would respond when presented with a choice between the drug and an “alternative reinforcer”—or another type of reward, in this case, cash money. Would anything else seem valuable to them? In a calm, laboratory setting, where the participants lived in a locked ward and had a chance to earn more than they usually could on the street, would they take every dose of crack, even small ones, or would they be selective about getting high? Would merchandise vouchers be as effective as cash in altering their behavior? What would affect their choices?

Before I’d become a researcher, these weren’t even questions that I would think to ask. These were drug addicts, I would have said. No matter what, they’d do anything to get to take as much drugs as often as possible. I thought of them in the disparaging ways I’d seen them depicted in films like New Jack City and Jungle Fever and in songs like Public Enemy’s “Night of the Living Baseheads.” I’d seen some of my cousins become shells of their former selves and had blamed crack cocaine. Back then I believed that drug users could never make rational choices, especially about their drug use, because their brains had been altered or damaged by drugs.

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Rand Paul: Marijuana users lose IQ points and lack motivation

By Eric W. Dolan / Monday, June 17, 2013 22:18 EDT

Rand Paul screenshot

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said Monday he did not support the legalization of marijuana, though he did support some form of decriminalization.

“What I think is that if your kid or one of his friends goes out and gets caught with marijuana, sticking them in prison is a big mistake,” he told Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution. “So I don’t really believe in prison sentences for these minor non-violent drug offenses, but I’m not willing to go all the way to say it is a good idea either. I think people who use marijuana all the time lose IQ points, I think they lose their drive to show up for work.”

Paul, however, added that he believed individual states should be allowed to decide whether they wanted to legalize marijuana or not.

Much to the chagrin of his libertarian supporters, Paul has said he doesn’t support drug legalization. Despite Paul’s lack of support for legalization, many drug policy reformers view him as an ally because of his support for legislation to scale back the war on drugs.

During the Hoover Institution interview, Paul also said he supported overturning the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. He said abortion as well as same-sex marriage should be issues for the states to decide.

Watch video, courtesy of the Wall Street

CONTINUE READING…

Mayo Clinic: Teens with chronic pain should not use medical marijuana

By Michelle Castillo / CBS News/ June 17, 2013, 2:56 PM

Teens with chronic pain should not be prescribed medical marijuana, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Due to a lack of information on the risks and benefits of medical marijuana for adolescents, the Mayo Clinic is not recommending that youth be given pot for pain conditions. While the drug may help alleviate some of their other conditions or symptoms, marijuana can lead to some negative short-term side effects including fatigue, impaired concentration and slower reaction times.

"The consequences may be very, very severe, particularly for adolescents who may get rid of their pain — or not — at the expense of the rest of their life," commentary co-author Dr. J. Michael Bostwick, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist, said in a press release.

The commentary will be published in the July issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the U.S. according to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. About 15.2 million users used marijuana in the month before they completed the questionnaire.

The plant may provide benefits for people with medical conditions, such as improving mood, reducing pain and increasing appetite for patients. Seventy-six percent of doctors who were surveyed for a May study in the New England Journal of Medicine said they approve of medical marijuana use. Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia allow people to be in possession of marijuana with a doctor’s prescription, and Washington and Colorado have legalized pot for recreational purposes.

Smoking too much marijuana can also carry risks, including distorted perceptions, difficulty with coordination, difficulty problem solving and having a hard time learning and memorizing. Marijuana can also cause dizziness, anxiety, sedation, fatigue and a lack of motivation, the Mayo Clinic reported.

About one out of 10 marijuana users will become addicted, and younger people under 25 are more prone, Bostwick pointed out.

In their argument, the authors bring up the cases of three teens who were being treated at Mayo Clinic’s pediatric chronic pain clinic. Despite their regular pot use, their pain only got worse. In addition, the young patients found it harder to function and had more problems being socially active.

The researchers pointed out that weed use before the age of 16 has been linked to earlier development of psychosis in patients prone to the psychological disease. A 10-year study published in March 2011 in the British Medical Journal showed that adolescents and young adults who smoked pot doubled their risk of having psychotic symptoms.

In addition, an August 2012 study revealed that smoking marijuana more than once a week as a teen was connected to a drop in IQ later in life, while those who started consistently smoking as an adult did not have their IQs affected. Subjects who admitted to smoking pot regularly by the age of 18 had their IQ drop an average of 8 points between the ages of 13 and 32. However, a January PNAS study showed that education, occupation and other socioeconomic factors may have attributed to the subjects’ IQ dips.

The Mayo Clinic recommended that teens who have chronic pain be screened for marijuana use, and they should be offered alternative treatments like biofeedback, acupuncture and physical therapy, in addition to education about marijuana’s risks.

Said Bostwick, "People have to learn to get on with their lives even despite the pain."

CONTINUE READING…

Put our kids first, Mr. Holder, and enforce federal law against marijuana

Christian Science Monitor

 

ohhhh-so-beautiful

Anyone who is cultivating, selling, or distributing marijuana is violating the federal Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law. Obama must enforce federal law and begin prosecutions to stop the proliferation of ‘medical’ and recreational marijuana that is harming our kids.

By David G. Evans, Op-ed contributor / June 18, 2013

To: Hon. Eric Holder, US Attorney General

and Michele M. Leonhart, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration

From: David G. Evans, Executive Director of the Drug Free Schools Coalition

Dear Mr. Holder and Ms. Leonhart:

Parents across America are waiting for you to enforce the federal Controlled Substances Act in the states of Colorado and Washington, which have legalized recreational marijuana, as well as in the 19 states where “medical” marijuana is legal. These laws were passed as the result of a well-funded lobbying campaign by the marijuana industry. The public has been misled by this campaign to see marijuana as harmless, natural, and medicinal, just as we were misled years ago by the tobacco industry, which claimed that tobacco was not addictive and that smoking had no ill effects.

Anyone who is in the business of cultivating, selling, or distributing marijuana, including “medical” marijuana, is in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act, which preempts state law. You must enforce federal law and begin prosecutions to stop the proliferation of “medical” marijuana stores and widespread recreational use of marijuana. I also urge you and President Obama to use the “bully pulpit” to make parents aware of the dangers of these pro-marijuana laws to our kids.

ONE MINUTE DEBATE: 3 views on whether states should legalize marijuana

The damage of marijuana – and these laws – is clear. Legalization of marijuana for “medical” use and recreational use in those states has resulted in more marijuana use, particularly among young people, which can permanently impair brain development. Teens who use marijuana are more likely to engage in delinquent and dangerous behavior and experience increased risk of schizophrenia and depression. Despite arguments by the drug culture to the contrary, multiple studies show that marijuana is addictive. Marijuana is the number one drug causing young people to enter treatment and there has been a substantial increase in the people in treatment for marijuana dependence.

Marijuana use also damages the American economy. Employees who test positive for marijuana had 55 percent more industrial accidents and 85 percent more injuries, and they had absenteeism rates 75 percent higher than those who tested negative.                                                          

Medical marijuana

Science and experience say that passing “medical” marijuana legislation is bad medicine and poor policy. A past evaluation by several federal Department of Health and Human Services agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the National Institute for Drug Abuse, concluded that “no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use.”

A major study, “Early Findings in Controlled Studies of Herbal Cannabis: A Review,” concluded that despite the widespread public interest in the therapeutic potential of herbal cannabis, “the data alone fails to make the case that crude, smoked cannabis should be made available to patients.” Numerous other studies have replicated those findings.

If marijuana is going to be considered a medicine, it should be treated as such and be subject to the Food and Drug Administration approval process that includes clinical trials to determine its efficacy as a medication.

Who is really using “medical” marijuana?

“Medical” marijuana is generally a ruse for recreational use of marijuana. Let’s look at two states with medical marijuana dispensaries – Colorado and California. Who is really getting “medical” marijuana in Colorado? As of December 31, 2012, there were 108,526 people getting “medical” marijuana. Of those, 94 percent are treating “pain,” and 16 percent are treating “muscle spasms.” These are very subjective determinations. Very few are getting it for serious conditions such as cancer (3 percent), glaucoma (1 percent), and HIV/AIDS (1 percent). The average age of cardholders is 41, and 68 percent are male; 37 “patients” are under the age of 18.

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OPEN Letter to Ohio Legislators and Washington DC

 

 

2007_1110TYPennington0016

by Tonya Davis on Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 9:33pm ·

Lawmakers… Please don’t let me die knowing that this plant could have saved me and you denied the same access as 18 states and DC as well as the 4 federal patients. You can stand up for me and many folks like me..

(I just want to say thank you for reposting my Open Letter Note.)

Come on Obama Administration… I need access to the whole plant of cannabis. I do not buy …. sell or grow… I should have the right to grow it like tomatoes for my medicine. I should be able to use its oils and juice its leaf or eat is raw. or smoke a joint whichever I need at the time.End marijuana Prohibition TODAY!!! and also SAVE Americans at the same time. This plant is the only thing that could save my life. Facebooker’s will you share this everywhere please.

This is an open letter to my Ohio legislators.

I have nowhere else to turn. I hope you hear my cries for help and I hope you stand up for me. Representative Bobby Hagan will be  Re introducing the Ohio medical compassion act which I hope you will consider cosponsoring  in January 2013.

It would merely allow Ohio’s doctors and patients to decide whether or not medical cannabis could benefit them or not. It would allow the department of health to keep an eye on the program and make sure there were no abuses. Anyone that is in the program would be in a database so that you can keep track of this act of compassion.

We also believe that it would save Ohio taxpayers millions of dollars by not arresting, incarcerating  and prosecuting folks for making a choice using cannabis as medicine. we also believe that the Obama administration would not bother our program because there would not be storefronts or dispensaries selling the product.

Over 73% of Ohioans support the compassionate use of marijuana..I am not sure you are aware but our sister state of Michigan has a medical cannabis program. We believe that we should have the same rights as those folks  just across our border.

Also Colorado and Washington just legalized marijuana for personal use.

My name is Tonya Davis and I’m your constituent. I am a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter. I could be your neighbor, friend, coworker. You have seen me at the Ohio Statehouse over the last decade in a suit rolling around in my wheelchair trying to bring your attention to alternative medication that is actually safer than aspirin. Yes I’m talking about medical cannabis and this has been my choice of medicine. For a long time you said to me to "bring in a doctor that supports this issue" I have!  you have said "bring in the science that supports cannabis as medicine" I have.. You have said " get a Republican on board" WE HAVE… we have jumped through the hoops that you have asked us to jump through.

We have a certified petition for the Ohio alternative treatment amendment that was certified by the SOS and the AG October of last year. We currently have house Bill 214  that is being ignored in the health committee because our speaker of the house refuses to give it a hearing. Now I’m asking you to save my life.

My whole life I have begged for help no one ever hears me. I will be heard this time because  this is my life I’m fighting for and I’m going to die on my terms.

Our government knows that cannabis is a medicine and that it is a neuro protective and antioxidant. they have  patents on it.  I am literally fighting for my life and my independence as well as tryin to keep my cognitive thinking okay.  By allowing me the same access as the 18 states plus Washington DC as well as the four patients that are currently allowed on federal level …it is not harming anyone.

I deserve that same access even though I am in the state of Ohio. I should not have to go die like a wounded animal in the woods. (going to a state that does have medical cannabis laws) where  I have no family and a support system.

I am not a drug addict, suffer from mental illness or have any type of criminal record.

I do have my Ohio doctors support , I have my pharmacist support… I have my out-of-state written recommendation from my cannabinoid specialist .  I have lived in same place for the decade ive fought for this issue. Here is a video clip of me and my cannabinoid specialist 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP5QOvkv77Y&feature=share

My neurologist came into my hospital room and told me a year ago that there was nothing that they can do for me anymore except keep me comfortable and treat symptoms. I have massive calcium deposits on my brain. I have pseudo-hypo parathyroidism which has completely disabled me and caused major medical problems such as crippling arthritis ,diseased esophagus, hiatal hernia ….inflamed bowel disease with adhesions wrapped around it…. severe hypocalcaemia…. very high phosphorous..  my blood pressure is all over the map … my heart rate is through the roof. All of this can be proven and backed up. Will you do the right thing and support compassion not corruption?

My future is bleak but I have an opportunity to change things and to protect what brain that is not damaged yet.  and most importantly die on my terms.

I CHALLENGE YOU TO SEND THIS TO ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES IN WASHINGTON.

ADDITIONALLY, MS. DAVIS WROTE THE FOLLOWING…..

If anything happens to me I blame my government for not allowing me the same access as my sister state Michigan or the other 17 states and DC …. I want my President to open his heart and allow me to fight for what life I have left with dignity and feel like I belong in this world as well. No ones ever heard me. As a child being abused and molested raped …I tried to tell anyone that would listen I was not heard or protected from age 5 to 12 when someone believed me I was removed to an orphanage. This is just the beginning of how my life spirals I am asking you remove sick people out of this drug war. I can not understand for the life of me how you can do anything you want to smoke a lot of pot do not get caught and you can be president of the United States. But If you do get caught with one joint it can ruin your life. Can we use common sense for drug policy when it comes to cannabis? why can the sister state Michigan get compassion and we don’t? I could go on about my life and I will but not right now. So as you can see there is a way you can save me. If our doctors are smarter now which I believe they are. They are licensed in the state of Ohio… We trust them to write prescriptions / with our lives in their hands anyway why can’t we trust them on determining whether or not their patient can benefit from the use of cannabis as a medicine? DEA will still have their work because people will still break the law. let our law-enforcement get real bad guys those committing domestic violence, violent crimes, home invasions harder drug addictions anything where there is a victim. There has to be a middle ground. I am tired of feeling like I’m a criminal and I don’t deserve to have to live in fear. It is the worst feeling ever. Let me know what you think on the subject. President Obama you are the one president that could change my life forever. What harm does it cause to allow someone like me to use cannabis as a medicine? I should be allowed to use that plant in any form. You could be America’s hero you could be my hero. Please read my open letter to share with your friends I would like you to care enough to stand with me. You all know this drug war is a lie? Have a lot to say tonight. I also want to say I am watching my friends die off one by one and I’m ready when father God calls me home… I don’t have to die right away I believe that with all my heart. Okay I’m done for a while… I may continue my talk if my community is watching ,thank you for being tolerant of me. You guys gave me my voice. Some day you will hear my whole story my life didn’t change until my mid-30s. It’s been a vicious cycle of domestic violence rape home invasion theft..even kidnapping my life has been a nightmare. No one has ever heard me I always fell before things changed. my life is make life movie. I would call it "If Only Heard" I have a strong testimony and willing to share it as well.. God has been a big part of my survival. seems like I had to experience all this to understand so id be a strong servant. my life is in Gods hand as well as our government…

OPEN Letter to Ohio Legislators and Washington DC

 

2007_1110TYPennington0016

 

 

 

by Tonya Davis on Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 9:33pm ·

Lawmakers… Please don’t let me die knowing that this plant could have saved me and you denied the same access as 18 states and DC as well as the 4 federal patients. You can stand up for me and many folks like me..

(I just want to say thank you for reposting my Open Letter Note.)

Come on Obama Administration… I need access to the whole plant of cannabis. I do not buy …. sell or grow… I should have the right to grow it like tomatoes for my medicine. I should be able to use its oils and juice its leaf or eat is raw. or smoke a joint whichever I need at the time.End marijuana Prohibition TODAY!!! and also SAVE Americans at the same time. This plant is the only thing that could save my life. Facebooker’s will you share this everywhere please.

This is an open letter to my Ohio legislators.

I have nowhere else to turn. I hope you hear my cries for help and I hope you stand up for me. Representative Bobby Hagan will be  Re introducing the Ohio medical compassion act which I hope you will consider cosponsoring  in January 2013.

It would merely allow Ohio’s doctors and patients to decide whether or not medical cannabis could benefit them or not. It would allow the department of health to keep an eye on the program and make sure there were no abuses. Anyone that is in the program would be in a database so that you can keep track of this act of compassion.

We also believe that it would save Ohio taxpayers millions of dollars by not arresting, incarcerating  and prosecuting folks for making a choice using cannabis as medicine. we also believe that the Obama administration would not bother our program because there would not be storefronts or dispensaries selling the product.

Over 73% of Ohioans support the compassionate use of marijuana..I am not sure you are aware but our sister state of Michigan has a medical cannabis program. We believe that we should have the same rights as those folks  just across our border.

Also Colorado and Washington just legalized marijuana for personal use.

My name is Tonya Davis and I’m your constituent. I am a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter. I could be your neighbor, friend, coworker. You have seen me at the Ohio Statehouse over the last decade in a suit rolling around in my wheelchair trying to bring your attention to alternative medication that is actually safer than aspirin. Yes I’m talking about medical cannabis and this has been my choice of medicine. For a long time you said to me to "bring in a doctor that supports this issue" I have!  you have said "bring in the science that supports cannabis as medicine" I have.. You have said " get a Republican on board" WE HAVE… we have jumped through the hoops that you have asked us to jump through.

We have a certified petition for the Ohio alternative treatment amendment that was certified by the SOS and the AG October of last year. We currently have house Bill 214  that is being ignored in the health committee because our speaker of the house refuses to give it a hearing. Now I’m asking you to save my life.

My whole life I have begged for help no one ever hears me. I will be heard this time because  this is my life I’m fighting for and I’m going to die on my terms.

Our government knows that cannabis is a medicine and that it is a neuro protective and antioxidant. they have  patents on it.  I am literally fighting for my life and my independence as well as tryin to keep my cognitive thinking okay.  By allowing me the same access as the 18 states plus Washington DC as well as the four patients that are currently allowed on federal level …it is not harming anyone.

I deserve that same access even though I am in the state of Ohio. I should not have to go die like a wounded animal in the woods. (going to a state that does have medical cannabis laws) where  I have no family and a support system.

I am not a drug addict, suffer from mental illness or have any type of criminal record.

I do have my Ohio doctors support , I have my pharmacist support… I have my out-of-state written recommendation from my cannabinoid specialist .  I have lived in same place for the decade ive fought for this issue. Here is a video clip of me and my cannabinoid specialist 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP5QOvkv77Y&feature=share

My neurologist came into my hospital room and told me a year ago that there was nothing that they can do for me anymore except keep me comfortable and treat symptoms. I have massive calcium deposits on my brain. I have pseudo-hypo parathyroidism which has completely disabled me and caused major medical problems such as crippling arthritis ,diseased esophagus, hiatal hernia ….inflamed bowel disease with adhesions wrapped around it…. severe hypocalcaemia…. very high phosphorous..  my blood pressure is all over the map … my heart rate is through the roof. All of this can be proven and backed up. Will you do the right thing and support compassion not corruption?

My future is bleak but I have an opportunity to change things and to protect what brain that is not damaged yet.  and most importantly die on my terms.

I CHALLENGE YOU TO SEND THIS TO ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES IN WASHINGTON.

ADDITIONALLY, MS. DAVIS WROTE THE FOLLOWING…..

If anything happens to me I blame my government for not allowing me the same access as my sister state Michigan or the other 17 states and DC …. I want my President to open his heart and allow me to fight for what life I have left with dignity and feel like I belong in this world as well. No ones ever heard me. As a child being abused and molested raped …I tried to tell anyone that would listen I was not heard or protected from age 5 to 12 when someone believed me I was removed to an orphanage. This is just the beginning of how my life spirals I am asking you remove sick people out of this drug war. I can not understand for the life of me how you can do anything you want to smoke a lot of pot do not get caught and you can be president of the United States. But If you do get caught with one joint it can ruin your life. Can we use common sense for drug policy when it comes to cannabis? why can the sister state Michigan get compassion and we don’t? I could go on about my life and I will but not right now. So as you can see there is a way you can save me. If our doctors are smarter now which I believe they are. They are licensed in the state of Ohio… We trust them to write prescriptions / with our lives in their hands anyway why can’t we trust them on determining whether or not their patient can benefit from the use of cannabis as a medicine? DEA will still have their work because people will still break the law. let our law-enforcement get real bad guys those committing domestic violence, violent crimes, home invasions harder drug addictions anything where there is a victim. There has to be a middle ground. I am tired of feeling like I’m a criminal and I don’t deserve to have to live in fear. It is the worst feeling ever. Let me know what you think on the subject. President Obama you are the one president that could change my life forever. What harm does it cause to allow someone like me to use cannabis as a medicine? I should be allowed to use that plant in any form. You could be America’s hero you could be my hero. Please read my open letter to share with your friends I would like you to care enough to stand with me. You all know this drug war is a lie? Have a lot to say tonight. I also want to say I am watching my friends die off one by one and I’m ready when father God calls me home… I don’t have to die right away I believe that with all my heart. Okay I’m done for a while… I may continue my talk if my community is watching ,thank you for being tolerant of me. You guys gave me my voice. Some day you will hear my whole story my life didn’t change until my mid-30s. It’s been a vicious cycle of domestic violence rape home invasion theft..even kidnapping my life has been a nightmare. No one has ever heard me I always fell before things changed. my life is make life movie. I would call it "If Only Heard" I have a strong testimony and willing to share it as well.. God has been a big part of my survival. seems like I had to experience all this to understand so id be a strong servant. my life is in Gods hand as well as our government…

Kentucky’s Egregious Death Penalty

Published: October 24, 2012

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights voted unanimously last week to recommend that the state abolish the death penalty.

There is every reason for Kentucky to take the advice and become the 18th state to prohibit capital punishment.

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The death penalty in Kentucky is colossally unfair, costly and riddled with constitutional error. From 1976 through last year, of the 78 people sentenced to death in the state, 50 had their sentences overturned on appeal, with 15 of those for prosecutorial mistakes or misconduct.

In December, a report conducted by the American Bar Association based on a two-year review by a team of lawyers, professors and former members of the State Supreme Court found enormous problems with the state’s capital system.

Kentucky’s laws and procedures, the report said, failed to “protect the innocent, convict the guilty and ensure the fair and efficient enforcement of criminal law in death penalty cases.”

For instance, among the state’s 57 prosecutors’ offices, some “will charge every death-eligible case as a capital case” while most others do not. This means that the pursuit of the death penalty in Kentucky is largely arbitrary and capricious, determined by which office happens to be prosecuting the case.

Judges presiding over capital trials often give inadequate jury instructions so that almost half of the jurors interviewed in a long-term study did not understand that they could consider mitigating evidence at sentencing, which could allow them to avoid imposing the death penalty. The system does not protect the rights of people with severe mental illnesses who, the United States Supreme Court has said, cannot be sentenced to death. And there are no standards governing the qualifications for lawyers who handle capital cases, with dreadful consequences: 10 of the 78 people sentenced to death had lawyers who were later disbarred.

In 2010, a state court blocked Kentucky from executing anyone because of “substantial legal questions regarding the validity” of its lethal injection protocol. That ruling alone should be the end of capital punishment.

Kentucky can ensure that heinous criminals are no longer threats to society by sentencing them to life without parole. It is time for the state to end the death penalty.

A version of this editorial appeared in print on October 25, 2012, on page A30 of the New York edition with the headline: Kentucky’s Egregious Death Penalty.

CONTINUE READING…

We need to think carefully, critically about legal marijuana

• Published October 03, 2012

As I visit with people, read newspapers and watch the news, it is clear the people who wish to legalize marijuana are passionate about their cause. The advocates for legalization of marijuana assert that if Initiative 502 were to pass, that it is good public policy that will help the state economically and provide the law enforcement the opportunity to be better stewards of our resources, as we will not be enforcing “minor” marijuana possession laws.

I ask each of you to carefully and critically evaluate what is being said about the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal drug in the U.S. Those who support its legalization, for medical or for general use, fail to recognize that the greatest costs of marijuana are not related to its prohibition; they are the costs resulting from marijuana use itself.

ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO USE LESSONS

Important lessons can be learned from those two widely-used legal drugs. While both alcohol and tobacco are taxed and regulated, the tax benefits to the public are vastly overshadowed by the adverse consequences of their use. Alcohol-related costs total more than $185 billion while federal and states collect an estimated $14.5 billion in tax revenue. Similarly, tobacco use costs more than $200 billion but only $25 billion is collected in taxes. These figures show that the costs of legal alcohol are more than 12 times the total tax revenue collected, and that the costs of legal tobacco are about eight times the tax revenue collected. This is an economically disastrous trade-off.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM MISCONCEPTION

There is a common misconception that the principle costs of marijuana use are those related to the criminal justice system. This is a false premise. Studies have found that the percentage of people in prison for marijuana use is less than one half of one percent (0.1-0.2 percent).

An encounter with the criminal justice system through apprehension for a drug-related crime frequently can benefit the offender because the criminal justice system is often a path to treatment. The future of drug policy is not a choice between using the criminal justice system or treatment. The more appropriate goal is to get these two systems to work together more effectively to improve both public safety and public health.

DRUG-IMPAIRED DRIVING

Drug-impaired driving will also increase if marijuana is legalized. Marijuana is already a significant factor in highway crashes, injuries and deaths. In a recent national roadside survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of weekend nighttime drivers, 8.6 percent tested positive for marijuana or its metabolites, nearly four times the percentage of drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 g/dL (2.2 percent). In a study of fatally injured drivers here in Washington state, 12.7 percent tested positive for marijuana. These studies demonstrate the high prevalence of drugged driving as a result of marijuana use. Law enforcement agencies do not have sufficient resources for dealing with drug impaired drivers.

INCREASED USE BY OUR YOUTH

Studies have shown that expanded availability and perceived social acceptability will increase marijuana use among youth. The percentage of kids in drug counseling for marijuana addiction has been increasing annually, and the resulting negative effects place our youth’s development and our future workforce at risk.

MARIJUANA PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION IS BIG BUSINESS

The production and distribution of marijuana is already big business and many times controlled by violent drug cartels. As a law enforcement executive, I am concerned should this initiative pass that violent drug cartels are well-positioned to take advantage of lower marijuana prices by buying up the supply to resell here and throughout the United States. I have questions regarding where marijuana production will be allowed, dealing with fire hazards, security and safety issues posed by these grow houses, which have serious potential to impact the quality of life in our community. Imagine Washington as an attraction that fuels the illicit drug trade for the entire United States. Is that what we want to develop as one of Washington’s prime industries?

COSTS WILL OUTWEIGH THE SUPPOSED REVENUES

Are we serious about introducing more mind-altering substances into our society because it might produce tax revenues? Marijuana still remains illegal under federal law, thus are any locally imposed taxes legally uncollectible? The question is: Can a state compel a person or business to pay a tax that might subject them to prosecution by the federal government?

Drug use is damaging to our communities, our youth and everyone we are sworn to serve and protect. How could we make access to drugs easier? As protectors of public safety, I see only problems associated with Initiative 502 as it threatens to undermine our communities’ public health and safety.

John D. Snaza is the sheriff of Thurston County.

Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/2012/10/03/2272182/we-need-to-think-carefully-critically.html#storylink=cpy

Should pot be legal? NO: Voters should hold out for real reform, not fall for this narrow proposal

 

Washington voters are being told a big lie. New Approach Washington, the campaign behind Initiative 502, is advertising that it will “legalize” marijuana. It would not.

DOUGLAS HIATT • Published October 08, 2012

No Prohibition 

 

It creates a very narrow exception that defines the possession of one ounce by adults over 21, and the state’s rules for production, as “not a violation” of the law.

I-502 leaves every single law now making marijuana illegal on the books. Walk out of the state-sanctioned, licensed and taxed store and hand the marijuana to your significant other and it is a delivery of marijuana. This is not comprehensive, real reform.

What I-502 does change is our DUI law. Our current DUI laws are working just fine and result in conviction rates of over 90 percent. This initiative sets unneeded, unasked for and unscientific levels for impairment for adults (5 nanograms, rejected three times by the Colorado Legislature), while establishing a zero-tolerance provision for all drivers 16 to 21.

It also takes away your ability to defend yourself. If you meet the levels, you are guilty. No explaining that you are a patient, no arguing about the levels or tolerance, nothing. For drivers age 16 to 21, any detectable amount of marijuana will result in a DUI conviction and disastrous effects on their parents’ insurance.

This is not based on impairment; it is simply a new penalty for marijuana for kids. But it is a very impactful one for parents with teenage drivers. What parent wants to face the requirements for insurance and the expense of a DUI, all because of some youthful experimentation?

This initiative is also being sold as “pitting the citizens of Washington state against the federal government” and “carefully drafted” to withstand federal preemption. Not true. I-502 essentially wastes your vote to force federal change and will likely result in the federal courts construing this initiative to change the law to one ounce decriminalized, with nowhere legal to buy it and leaving the terrible changes to our DUI laws.

As U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan has stated, she knows of no attorney who thinks that this will survive federal preemption analyses. There are ways to avoid this drafting problem. See sensiblewashington.org for real cannabis reform.

Because the federal government will not allow the state to begin regulating and taxing a federally banned substance, these projections are moot. I-502 imposes taxes at three distinct levels and does not allow growers and sellers to be the same entity. This will produce taxes that will make the store-bought marijuana way too expensive to even begin to impact the current market.

I-502 will have absolutely no effect on criminal organizations in Mexico or anywhere else. To actually get the benefit of ending prohibition, as we did with alcohol, you have to actually legalize the substance in question, not play games and pander to fears. I-502 also fails to legalize hemp, which would open a $430 million domestic hemp market currently supplied primarily by China.

With regard to other criminal justice savings, because more than 90 percent of current marijuana possession charges are the result of traffic stops, the 10,000 possession arrests per year can easily be converted into 10,000 (or more) DUI arrests, thereby eliminating any savings in the criminal justice system stemming from reduced prosecutions. The zero-tolerance driving standard for drivers 16 to 21 will eliminate any savings on criminal justice costs and produce much misery for many families.

Just say no to I-520.

Douglas Hiatt is a Seattle-based criminal defense attorney and a co-founder of Sensible Washington, which opposes Initiative 502 and advocates for legalization of hemp and cannabis.

Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/2012/10/07/2278108/should-pot-be-legal-no-voters.html?storylink=addthis#.UHMRJ5sAzPs.facebook#storylink=cpy