Achieve the Four Modernizations.

AnthonyM
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Mar 7, 2012 AnthonyM commented on The Facts on I-502.
7. For one, it is absolutely not true that I-502 changes probable cause laws in any manner, as any degree of cannabis (including the smell) would still be complete probably cause for a search, as there is a designated limit that officers will be allowed to check for (unlike Russ Belville's comparison to beer, which you can possess an unlimited amount of).

8. This is extremely misleading, as patients, under 69.51a, are allowed to legally possess 24 ounces, grow 15 plants, etc. Given this, it's quite a stretch to say that patients will have arrest protection without a registry because they can possess 4% of what voters decided they could possess.

11. A link to a selective factsheet from your own organizaton is hardly "science". To show the other side here are some links that people should visit and read up about:

http://www.patientsagainsti502.org/resou… -
http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…
http://www.patientsagainsti502.org/media…
http://norml.org/pdf_files/MMIG_Workgrou…
http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/201…
http://www.thejointblog.com/naw-dui-limi…
http://norml.org/library/item/you-are-go…
http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…

Beyond this, whatever it is that is said in support of the per se policy, it's still exactly what the White House wants on a national level, and they want it because it's far easier to prosecute those with drugs in their system that may otherwise be unimpaired and would be able to properly defend themselves in court. This is from the White House's own website on their top steps towards trying to "combat" drugged driving (http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/drugged-…

- "Encouraging states to adopt Per Se drug impairment laws" (***this will be SO much easier if they feel they even have the support of the legalization community***);
- "Collecting further data on drugged driving;"
- "Providing increased training to law enforcement on identifying drugged drivers;"

I think it's safe to assume that the White House and Drug Czar don't have our best interests in mind when supporting a per se policy, and there are very clear reasons that groups like NORML and MPP are fighting so hard to stop it in states like Colorado: http://www.capwiz.com/norml2/issues/aler…

If you want to make the argument that the per se limit is worth the 1 ounce decrim, than that's one argument (and one I'm willing to debate), but please don't try and make it appear as if per se DUID laws aren't inherently unfair, because all you're doing is giving ammo to groups and figures like the Drug Czar who so clearly want a national per se policy, and that so many in the reform movement have so adamantly fought against for years.
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Mar 7, 2012 AnthonyM commented on Pot Activists vs. Pot Activists.
Hey Hempfester, I read the article but the Northwest Leaf is incorrect on their assertion with this particular issue.

However, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to oppose it, so I concur profusely with NO on I-502.
Mar 7, 2012 AnthonyM commented on Pot Activists vs. Pot Activists.
Hey Hempfester, as a staunch opponent of Initiative 502 I want to correct you on the statement that medical cannabis access points will shutdown. Besides the unscientific, unwanted and arguably unconstitutional per se DUID law that will effect patients and non-patients alike, I-502 does nothing to effect, alter or remove any protection that our medical cannabis law provides for qualifying patients.
Mar 6, 2012 AnthonyM commented on Are Stoners Throwing Patients Under the Bus?.
Hi Phil: I first want to say that I greatly respect the work you've done in the community. It's a shame we're on opposite sides of this argument, but I think it's become clear that there are good arguments on either side: it just comes down to what we feel one ounce decrim is worth. Personally, I think that it's not worth instituting a per se DUID limit (that, once again, even when looking beyond the "it'll nab sober drivers" argument, is still a policy our Drug Czar wants on a national level).

NaFun, absolutely not, which is why I've spent so much of my waking time trying to end cannabis prohibition for the past couple years - I think it's a travesty. That being said, I think that it's much more of a tragedy in the face of felony charges that truly haunt, potentially forever, the lives of those involved (remember, I-502 does nothing to change the fact that if you possess more than 50% of their "legal" amount: you committed a felony with the same maximum sentence as 3rd degree rape). Those charged with misdemeanor possession charges (the 1 ounce that I-502 is decriminalizing) have to go through a lot of unnecessary hassle, and in many (if not most) instances will have their lives altered quite negatively. However, there are still certain areas, especially in King County, where amount under an ounce won't lead to prosecution either way.

That being said, I certainly won't argue that 1 ounce decrim, by itself, is something we shouldn't do for the time being until we can bring a more effective way to end prohibition. However, the primary question is whether or not it's worth the strict liability limit. Those of us who oppose I-502 clearly say no. For one, being hit with a DUID is in most cases more severe on a person's record than a minor possession charge (and a per se limit WILL nab sober drivers, there's no other reason why groups like NORML would have, and would be (Colorado) putting such resources into stopping it). Will the number of arrests for DUIDs under I-502 top the amount of simple possession charges that won't take place? That's yet to be seen, and not an argument I can make with a ton of confidence (for obvious I-can't-tell-the-future reasons).

However, at least in my eyes, you have to look at the fact that the per se mandate will have direct consequences reaching far beyond Washington State (and you must remember that even with the 1 ounce decrim cops will still make arrests based on public display (many cannabis arrests start from this), passing a joint to a friend which would still be a felony, being in constructive possession of 2 ounces if you and a friend have an ounce each in your car, etc.). If I-502 passes it will push other reform efforts into assuming they must introduce a similar per se limit, giving a huge amount of ammo, from WITHIN the cannabis community, to the Drug Czar and the White House who will see it as a huge sign that they can shove a national per se limit down our throat and get away with it (something that reform groups have feared, and fought against for a long time).
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Mar 5, 2012 AnthonyM commented on Are Stoners Throwing Patients Under the Bus?.
Schmacky what makes you assume it's better than the alternative? The thousands of arrest that are cited that would change under Initiative 502 are false statistics, as there is no way to tell how many of those are from over one ounce possession which I-502 does nothing to change. I've also been talking with some others who made the point that a majority of cannabis arrests happen at traffic stops, which clearly I-502 actually worsen, since if a cop finds bud on you, no matter the amount, you can damn well bet they'll use that as probable cause to give you a blood test to see if they can nab you with a DUID. And since I-502 has no language changing probable cause law they'll have full authority.

This is NOT better than it is now when you consider the ramifications of our state adopting a per se limit, and what kind of victory that would be to the White House/Drug Czar who want a per se policy on the national level.

The Seattle Weekly had a great, in-depth 7 page article on this issue that everyone here should read: http://www.seattleweekly.com/2012-03-07/…. It's quite unbiased, but is a great educational piece on the dangers and benefits of this initiative (which is what most of us hope to achieve, making voters aware of what they're voting for, as it's not being presented as what it really is).
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Mar 2, 2012 AnthonyM commented on Are Stoners Throwing Patients Under the Bus?.
Belville*
Mar 2, 2012 AnthonyM commented on Are Stoners Throwing Patients Under the Bus?.
"I have lost my patience for patients. Yeah, yeah, you're sick and disabled, sorry to hear it, but while you and other states' medical marijuana patients have been largely left alone while smoking copious amounts of weed, 13 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana and 50,000 Mexicans have been murdered (10% of them beheaded / tortured) and left in the streets with banners taunting law enforcement. Juarez's entire 2,600 man police force just had to move out of their homes and into a highly secured hotel with their families because of drug gang assassinations that killed five cops as they came home from work to their families."

This is callous to patients (and ignores the fact that many recreational users oppose it as well), many of which are so adamantly against the per se DUID because of groups like NORML, the organization Russ Bellevue works for. Beyond this, it's a massive stretch to try to assume, under any means, that I-502 would stop Mexican cartels and the massive profit that prohibition hands them. Remember, with possession of an ounce decriminalized with no legal market to buy it (for clear preemption reasons), and with the growth of even a single plant still being just as illegal as before, where do you think the average recreational smoker is going to purchase their "legal" ounce? The black market of course.
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Mar 1, 2012 AnthonyM commented on We're Not Anti-Legalization, We're Anti-Bad Policy.
Hi approachingmidnight, I just wanted to make clear that our entire group is made up of volunteers, and many of us have been fighting for legalization for many years. However, we can't accept instituting a per se DUID policy, without scientific consensus and without a legal defense, in exchange for a distribution system that will be preempted (we're not the only ones adamantly against a strict liability policy, NORML and many other reform groups have been fighting against per se policies, very heavily, for years).

Also, the study that I quoted to Dominic was a study showing that individuals can fail the ZERO tolerance policy set in place for individuals who are under 21 (which the study in Dominic's article proves, as 24% of the individuals were above that limit 6 full days after having consumed cannabis, which clearly has nothing to do with impairment - check out a recent testimony from Dr. Gil Mobley who spoke in front of the House Judiciary Committee in favor of protecting patients against Initiative 502's per se DUID law: http://www.patientsagainsti502.org/medic…).

And undead ayn, we're not saying that it's impossible to prove impairment (which is currently our state law - an officer must prove impairment), we're saying that there is no scientific consensus on any particular per se limit, better yet 5 ng/ml, so to take away our legal defense in court for a designated limit decided by a few lawyers and politicians seems unacceptable.
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Feb 26, 2012 AnthonyM commented on Sorry, Medical Marijuana Activists, Your Study Doesn't Prove that I-502 Will Nab Sober Drivers for DUIs.
Venom, no one is saying it shouldn't be legislated against, we're saying that it needs to be done in a just and effective manner, and a per se limit that takes away the legal defense of someone over a specified limit (decided by a few lawyers/politicians), regardless of the circumstances, is not just. If driving while under the influence of cannabis was an issue, our legislatures could of adopted a per se policy years ago, especially after medical cannabis was first made legal (not even the law enforcement in our state has called for such a limit). How often do you hear of driving under the influence of cannabis being an issue? We have laws that explicitly state that drivers can be hit with a DUID if they can prove impairment, which is the fairest system we have at this point - a per se DUID limit is fixing a problem that's not there, and refusing to acknowledge the 6th amendment of our Constitution which gives us all the right to a fair trial. A trial without a defense is not a fair trial.

Also Venom, I could bring up further studies as well, these were simply a handful of studies that show that this issue is not cut and dry, the science is not there, and we need to rethink instituting such a dangerous limit without reconsidering the consequences.

That being said, it's hard to consider I-502 legalization, when legally all that it does is create a legal exception for individuals to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis, and an exception to be licensed through the state (which won't last due to federal preemption): not quite legalization (although most of us would at least be neutral and not opposed if not for the per se DUID limit, which many within the cannabis reform movement have fought against for decades).
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Feb 26, 2012 AnthonyM commented on Sorry, Medical Marijuana Activists, Your Study Doesn't Prove that I-502 Will Nab Sober Drivers for DUIs.
Hey venom, here is a link to the 1998 study: http://www.ukcia.org/research/driving4.h…

And a link to the 2000 study: http://www.mapinc.org/newscc/v00/n1161/a…

My point with these studies are that when looking at driving while under the influence of cannabis in an unbiased manner, it becomes clear that the dangers are extremely overstated, and that alcohol is exponentially more dangerous than cannabis (15 times moreso according to the 2004 Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention study): Trying to institute a limit for THC that mirrors our limit for alcohol (as New Approach has tried to do, stating as much) makes little to no sense, especially when considering how long active THC metabolites can stay in our system (and considering the 5 ng limit will more harshly effect women and those who are overweight).

I've said it already, but I believe strongly that we should be educating the public on this issue rather than pandering to them by mandating such an unscientific limit in order to bring such faulty reform.
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