Observing the world of cannabis USA: U.S. to Prosecute Marijuana Cases Even With California Measure

The U.S. Justice Department will prosecute possession and distribution of marijuana in California even if voters approve a ballot measure to legalize the drug, Attorney General Eric Holder said.

USA: U.S. to Prosecute Marijuana Cases Even With California Measure.

The department "strongly opposes" California's Proposition 19, Holder said in an Oct. 13 letter to former administrators of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The measure would "complicate" U.S. drug enforcement efforts, he said. The Justice Department will "vigorously enforce" federal drug law "against those
individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for
recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law," Holder said in
the letter. 

The proposition, a referendum on the Nov. 2 ballot, would make it legal for anyone age 21 or older to possess one ounce or less of marijuana, and allow local
governments to regulate and tax sales even though it is illegal under U.S. law. 
California allowed the use of marijuana for medical reasons under a ballot measure
passed in 1996 and more than a dozen other states have followed suit.

USA: In Washington State, A Majority Say Legalize Marijuana

A majority of Washington state residents favor legalizing marijuana, but support levels are not as high in Oregon and Idaho, according to a new tri-state poll. 

Some 55% of respondents in Washington supported legalization, with 34% opposed, while in Oregon, it won a narrow plurality (45% to 43%), and in Idaho, opposition was at 52%, with only 37% in favor. he poll results are from a survey of the three Northwest states' residents conducted by the polling firm Davis, Hibbitts, and Midghall (DHM) for the Northwest Health Foundation and public radio stations across the region. The poll results have not yet been posted, but DHM's Adam Davis shared preliminary results with Drug War Chronicle during a phone interview Monday.

USA: Peter Lewis Kicks In $219,005 for Californian Prop 19 Legalize Marijuana Initiative 

Proposition 19, California's tax and regulate pot initiative, has received yet another large late donation, this one from Progressive Insurance founder Peter Lewis, who announced Saturday he was donating $209,500 for the effort.

"I'm supporting the campaign because I support common-sense reform of the nation's drug laws," Lewis said Saturday in a statement. "I admire the effort, energy and commitment of the people involved in the campaign, and want to help them get their message out to the voters."

Science: “Hemp attractive" for Biodiesel, Researchers Say

Researchers at the University of Connecticut reported last week that the fiber crop cannabis sativa, also known as industrial hemp, has several qualities that make it an attractive feedstock for producing biodiesel, a sustainable diesel fuel made from renewable plant resources. 

Industrial hemp can grow in infertile soils and does not require lots of water, fertilizer, or high-grade inputs to flourish, said researchers led by Dr. Richard Parnas, a professor of chemical, materials, and biomolecular engineering. It produces strong fibers that, until the advent of synthetic fibers in the 1950s, made it the premier product used in making rope and clothing around the world. 

Currently, much biodiesel feedstock comes from crops that could otherwise be used for human food consumption, such as soybeans, peanuts, olives, and rapeseed. Similar problems face the production of ethanol, which diverts corn that could have been used for cattle feed (and ultimately consumed as meat by humans) into the fuel production market. "For sustainable fuels, often it comes down to a question of food versus fuel," said Parnas. "It's equally important to make fuel from plants that are not food, but also won't need the high-quality land." Parnas pointed out that much of the world still relies on hemp as a primary fiber, mainly because of its ability to "grow like a weed." But in fiber production, hemp seeds are often discarded, and, the researcher said, this waste product could be put to good use by using it as a fuel.

Science: Study suggests US should decriminalise cannabis

The US government should decriminalise cannabis and instead regulate and tax producers, according to a study based on its own official statistics that suggest prohibition has simply increased its availability and potency in recent years. 

The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, based in Vancouver, Canada, highlighted that while the budget of the US Office of National Drug Control had increased more than six-fold to $18bn over the past two decades, cannabis seizures had jumped four times. 

The study is the most comprehensive attempt to analyse, using government data, the failure of US policy to reduce the use of cannabis through its criminalisation. Greater government financing of law enforcement has increased cannabis-related arrests, but retail costs fell from $37 a gram in 1990 to $15 in 2007. 

Dr Evan Wood, founder of the centre, said: "Data collected and paidfor by the US government clearly shows that prohibition has not reduced cannabis consumption or supply. Scientific evidence clearlyshows that regulatory tools have the potential to effectively reducerates of cannabis-related harm."

Brought to you by The Greenish Warbler

October 23rd 2010

Leave a comment