Will New Hampshire Republicans override Democrat’s veto?

It came as no surprise when New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat serving his fourth and final term, vetoed SB 409 today. Gov. Lynch vetoed a similar bill in 2009, and he has avoided meeting with patients who hoped to educate him on the subject, so this veto was unfortunate but very much expected.

Despite the governor’s opposition, this bill has earned majority support in both parties and both chambers of the legislature. All eyes will now be on the House and Senate next Wednesday, June 27, when both chambers will vote on whether or not to override the veto.

Fortunately, Sen. Jim Forsythe (R-Strafford) has refused to give up. He published a powerful editorial this week in the Concord Monitor, and he is still working hard to convince his colleagues they should override the veto and pass SB 409 into law.

The Republican-dominated House has twice passed… Continue reading

When Is the Contempt Vote for Michele Leonhart?

Between selling guns to Mexican drug cartels, killing innocent civilians in Honduras, and having to suspend agents for cavorting with prostitutes, it’s been a rough year so far for the DEA. You can understand then why the House Judiciary Committee wanted to call in Michele Leonhart, head of the DEA, for an oversight hearing yesterday.

After a blistering round of questions (starting at 1:02:07) from Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) on the agency’s bloated budget and the relative harms of marijuana, it was Congressman Jared Polis’ (D-CO) turn to try to get some sort of answers from Leonhart. Again, Leonhart dodged, ducked, and weaved, refusing to answer question after question from the Congressman. Watch for yourself. It really was a virtuoso performance in evasion techniques, particularly considering she works for an administration who recently claimed its drug policy is committed to “science over dogma, evidence over ideology.”… Continue reading

Chicago mayor: Tickets, not jail, for pot users

By NBC News and msnbc.com staff

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel explained publicly for the first time Tuesday why he is throwing his support behind a controversial proposal that would give police officers the option to ticket, rather than  arrest, people for having small amounts of marijuana.

“It’s not decriminalization. It’s dealing with it in a different way and a different penalty,” Emanuel said Tuesday at an unrelated press conference.

The mayor last week issued a statement announcing his backing for the proposal introduced last fall by Alderman Danny Solis.

He said he changed his stance on the matter after his administration analyzed the amount of police time used to chase and prosecute suspected users, especially given that many of the cases are thrown out in court.

“I got comfortable with this because I think this is the right thing to   do for a number of reasons.… Continue reading

Council Erupts Over Pot Motion

Monday night motion to support Stop the Violence BC campaign sparks heated debate; Mayor Dooley says he will ‘go to the wall’ to keep it from happening

Emotions ran high Monday night as Nelson city council debated a resolution that asked the mayor to write a letter in support of the Stop the Violence BC campaign.

“I believe it will have a negative impact on our community,” said Mayor John Dooley.  “The domestic market is only supporting a small portion of organized crime.  The drugs that are being grown in British Columbia are being sold to the United States in exchange for cocaine that is being brought back to be sold to the youth in this community and the children in our schoolyards.  I sit on the police board, I see the evidence and I can not put this community in that position.”

Stop the Violence BC… Continue reading

Medical Marijuana Does Not Increase Teen Drug Use

Marijuana use among teens has been on the rise for some time–it’s become more popular than smoking cigarettes in recent years–but a provocative new study shows that legalizing pot for medical purposes doesn’t increase the chance that teens will abuse it or certain other drugs.

“There is anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana is finding its way into the hands of teenagers, but there’s no statistical evidence that legalization increases the probability of use,” Daniel I. Rees, an economics professor at the University of Colorado Denver who worked on the study, said in a written statement.

Rees and his team looked at nationally representative data from high school students from 1993 through 2009–medical marijuana was legal in 13 states during that time–and found that legalization didn’t affect marijuana use at school. According to study co-author Benjamine Hansen, assistant professor of economics at the University of Oregon, the data showed the opposite:… Continue reading

AG Eric Holder Urged To Oppose MJ Ballot Issue

A Colorado committee formed to defeat a marijuana issue on the November ballot has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to weigh in with his opposition.

Amendment 64 would allow adults statewide to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana for recreational use.

The measure is opposed by a citizens group called Smart Colorado, which is represented by the Denver law firm of Holland & Hart.

In a letter to Holder, Smart Colorado attorney Jon Anderson noted that Colorado’s ballot measure “parallels” a California measure, Proposition 19, that voters there defeated in 2010.

The Department of Justice “aggressively” opposed that measure, Anderson said, and Smart Colorado wants the department to do the same in Colorado.

“As you know, Colorado has the most expansive medical marijuana industry in the country,” he wrote Holder. “To further expand their drug profits, this industry will invest enormous sums of money to erase all state… Continue reading

Hemp Activist Arrested Near White House

The Plant Is a Raw Material, Not Pot, Head of Soap Company Says

David Bronner locked himself in a metal cage Monday outside the White House with a stash of hemp plants and equipment, hoping to make enough hemp oil to spread on a piece of French bread.

Bronner, president and chief executive of Dr.  Bronner’s Magic Soaps, never got to finish the oil-pressing process or to have his usual breakfast.

D.C.  police and firefighters used a chain saw to cut open the steel cage door and arrest him.  Bronner was charged with possession of marijuana and blocking passage.

Bronner, whose Californiabased company uses hemp oil in its soap products, pleaded with President Obama – via microphone – to allow hemp harvesting in the United States.

Bronner was moved to protest after a recent 28,000-signature petition asking for hemp legalization didn’t get the response he wanted, according… Continue reading