In 2014 numerous states have joined the movement to legalize at least some form of medical cannabis. This of course excludes states such as Kansas, which has a government made up of extreme, right-wing, evangelical christians that will not give HB2198 and SB9 the time of day. The House and Senate have dismissed the bill for several years now, despite the overwhelming numbers of Kansans, including the Silver Hair Political group’s endorsement and polls indicating 70% of Kansans wanting the bill.
In Utah, the governor recently signed a measure legalizing low-THC cannabis oil. In Kentucky, the state’s legislature has voted unanimously to legalize cannabidiol (a compound found in cannabis); the measure is expected to be signed by the governor.
In Mississippi, the state’s House and Senate has voted to also legalize cannabis oil that’s low in THC for medical purposes. The measure awaits a response from the governor.
In Maryland, the state’s full legislature has voted to legalize medical cannabis, including dispensaries and cultivation centers.
Alabama’s Legislature has approved a measure which establishes a million dollar study on medical cannabis oil, allowing the University of Alabama to produce and distribute it to those with seizure disorders.
Although these measures don’t go far enough – the whole cannabis plant should be legalized for example, and not just cannabis oil – they’re clearly a step in the right direction. The approval of these proposals is also numerous states admitting that cannabis has medical value, demonstrating that it doesn’t fit the legal description of a Schedule 1 controlled substance.
With these states recently passing medical cannabis proposals, it makes 25 states in the U.S. – half of the entire country – that has voted to legalize some form of medical cannabis (with the others being Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington). This is a huge achievement given the first medical cannabis law was passed less than 20 years ago.
Other state legislatures, such as Florida‘s, are also currently advancing medical cannabis proposals, and numerous other states have legislation being discussed. It’s only a matter of time before medical cannabis will be legalized nation, and worldwide.
To help Kansans in their fight please read the information below.
Earlier this month, Kansas Sen. David Haley (D-Kansas City, Kansas) introduced SB 9, a bill which would allow Kansas residents with qualifying conditions to legally use and possess marijuana.
According to a recent SurveyUSA poll, 70% of Kansans believe that medical marijuana should be legal, but unfortunately, State Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (R-Shawnee), chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, intends to block the bill from receiving a hearing. Pilcher-Cook said in an interview with AP, “I don’t think the Legislature would be for it,” she said. “We have a very limited session. You have to look at the opportunity costs.”
Opportunity costs? What about the opportunity cost of denying every sick person who would benefit from marijuana the right to use it? Or how about the opportunity costs of someone taking addictive and dangerous opiates because they don’t have safe access to marijuana?
Lives are literally hanging in the balance and the opportunity cost of not allowing this bill a hearing is too great.
Please call Senator Pilcher-Cook’s office (785-296-7362) urging her to allow SB 9 to receive a hearing.
More people have been leaving Kansas than moving here over the last four years, new Census figures show.
That number offsets a net gain of 9,830 people who migrated into the state from 2007 to 2009, Census numbers show.
Although the numbers seem at odds with Gov. Sam Brownback’s “Road Map for Kansas,” which aims to grow the state by improving the economy, Brownback’s spokeswoman Sara Belfry said “Kansas’ population has declined for a long period of time. She said the new Census data doesn’t reflect the true impact of Brownback’s tax cuts, which went into effect in January 2013. Brownback took office in January 2011“. These “tax cuts” are not being felt by the average Kansans, in fact, most working Kansans agree taxes seem to be rising and skilled jobs diminishing.
“The Governor has watched the population decline in Kansas throughout his lifetime,” Belfry wrote in an e-mail to The Eagle. “Since being elected, the Governor has worked hard to grow the Kansas economy and jobs. The numbers don’t lie though. Belfry works for the Governor, so she really has no choice but to narrate excuses in a positive light. Belfry also stated “we are happy with the growth Kansas has seen.” This statement sums up what is wrong with Kansas.
Kansas has never been known as a progressive state, usually following the rest of the nation. Crime rates rise and population falls. People move to locations with good schools, good hospitals and healthcare and good job opportunities. That is just basic, general knowledge.
Sedgwick County saw more people leave from 2010 to 2013 than any other county in the state, with a net loss of 5,236 people. Wyandotte and Shawnee counties each lost about 1,500 people to migration during that time.
Johnson County saw a net gain of 9,699 new residents over the same time period. Other big gainers were Riley County, with 1,588 new residents, and Douglas County, with 1,360.
The Census data confirms what many of Sedgwick County’s elected officials and business leaders already know. Although there is no data to confirm it, it’s natural to connect the county’s large job loss with an exit of people, wrote Tim Chase, president of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, in an email to The Eagle.
Sedgewick County reported losing 32,000 jobs and gaining 7000 new jobs. Not exactly the plan that Governor Brownback had in mind.
Area leaders are working to find new ways to rebuild the regional economy by growing primary jobs, Chase said. This may be the case but the numbers do not indicate good job growth in Kansas.
The Census shows that Kansas gained 16,752 people from international migration over the last four years, but lost 26,949 to other states, resulting in the net 10,197 loss. Sedgwick County gained 2,136 people from other countries, but lost 7,372 to domestic migration.
The numbers don’t reveal any information about who left, or why.
Kansas was among the bottom 10 states in the number of people who moved in from other states compared with the number who moved out during the 12 months ending July 1, 2013. Kansas ended that 12 months with a net loss of 12,557. Colorado and Oklahoma, on the other hand, were in the top 10 states receiving people.
For the 10-year period from 2000 to 2009, the state had a net migration loss of 17,574. Most of it occurred during the five-year period from 2001 to 2005 when Kansas had a net loss of more than 27,000 people.
Kansas being known for rich farmland, could have industrial hemp, which is used for paper, clothes, you name it, but the conservative, right-wing would rather import from other countries than open up this new revenue stream.
Kansas is still behind the times. I guess the old saying “if you want to travel back 50 years in time, go to Kansas” still rings true.
Baby Boomers also are expected to move out of the state in large numbers as well.
Maybe Kansas needs to think a little more about the economic future. This may include passing HB2198 and SB9, which would open up new markets for medicinal cannabis (marijuana) and also improve the quality of life for thousands of Kansans, while providing much-needed job growth and tax revenue for the state.
By Emery Myers
Additional information obtained HERE.
If I told you that in America almost 1 million black Americans were forever forbidden from voting, you might think I was talking about Jim Crow 50 years ago, but you would be wrong. According to the Sentencing Project, a staggering number of nonviolent individuals who have been released from prison, are not on probation or parole and who have committed no further crimes, are forever prohibited from voting.
Sign the petition HERE for drug policy reform and the decriminalization of a natural plant, Cannabis!
Many black Americans are prevented from ever voting because of the war on drugs.
“These sentences are disproportionately affecting minorities and low-income communities. A recent report from the American Civil Liberties Union reports that blacks are four to five times more likely to be convicted for drug possession. Some dismiss this because they think blacks are committing more drug crimes, but in June, The New York Times reported that although black Americans were four times more likely to be arrested than whites for marijuana possession, both groups used the drug at similar rates.”
“Why are the arrest rates so lopsided? One widely cited study by The San Jose Mercury News reviewed 700,000 criminal cases that were matched by crime and criminal history of the defendant. The analysis revealed that similarly situated whites were far more successful than blacks and Hispanics in the plea-bargaining process.”
Today, the United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world, and the racial disparity in arrest rates has been absolutely devastating to the black community. Professor Michelle Alexander has even called the war on drugs “the New Jim Crow.”
It’s not just black Americans. Regardless of the color of your skin, the war on drugs has ruined the lives of thousands of young people.
“I know a man about my age in Kentucky who grew marijuana plants in his apartment closet in college. Thirty years later, he still can’t vote, can’t own a gun, and when he looks for work, he must check the box that basically says: “I’m a convicted felon, and I guess I’ll always be one.” Getting a job is nearly impossible for him.”
“John Horner was a 46-year-old father of three when he sold some of his prescription painkillers to a friend. His friend turned out to be a police informant, and he was charged with dealing drugs. Horner pleaded guilty and was later sentenced to the mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison.”
“John will be 72 years old by the time he is released, and his three young children will have grown up without him. The informant, who had a long history of drug offenses, was more fortunate — he received a reduced sentence of just 18 months, and is now free.”
“So many judges oppose mandatory-minimum sentencing precisely because such an arbitrary law does not take into account that each case is different.”
“I want to be clear: I am not advocating for any type of get-out-of-jail-free passes for individuals who break the law. I am simply arguing that the federal government should get out-of-the-way, and allow local and state judges to do their jobs.”
“Mandatory-minimum sentences automatically impose a minimum number of years in prison for specific crimes — usually related to drugs. By design, mandatory-sentencing laws take discretion away from prosecutors and judges so as to impose harsh sentences, regardless of circumstances.”
“Since mandatory sentencing began in the 1970s in response to a growing drug-and-crime epidemic, America’s prison population has quadrupled, to 2.4 million.”
“Currently, America jails a higher percentage of its citizens than any other country, including China and Iran, at the staggering cost of $80 billion a year. Drug offenders in the United States spend more time under the criminal justice system’s formal control than drug offenders anywhere else in the world.“
“Most public officials — liberals, conservatives and libertarians — have decided that mandatory-minimum sentencing is unnecessary. At least 20 states, both red and blue, have reformed their mandatory-sentencing laws in some way, and Congress is considering a bipartisan bill that would do the same for federal crimes.”
“About 1.3 million people — more than half the total prison population — are behind bars for nonviolent crimes, and federal prisons are 40 percent over capacity. “It’s a waste of tax dollars and human lives,” said Anthony Papa of the Drug Policy Alliance.“
It’s time for these unjust laws to end. We do need responsible reform of the antiquated drug laws. The Federal Government also needs to reclassify marijuana’s scheduled stats as a drug in the same ranks as Heroin, MDMA and LSD, Cannabis is the only all natural plant in the list. Cocaine, Methamphetamine and high-powered opiate pain medications are on a lower level of severity than Marijuana. It makes no sense, so it has to be tied to industry, government, lobbyists and the 1%…The ultra rich!
“On March 20, I introduced the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013 with the Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat. We have been joined by Sens. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat; Angus King, Maine independent; and Kristen Gillibrand, New York Democrat, in the Senate, and Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, Virginia Democrat, joined by 11 others, introduced similar legislation in the House. The legislation is short and simple. It amends current law to provide “authority to impose a sentence below a statutory mandatory minimum” if certain requirements are met.”
Mandatory-minimum sentencing has done little to address the very real problem of drug abuse, while also doing great damage by destroying so many lives. Each case should be judged on its own merits, yet mandatory minimums prevent this from happening. The Justice Safety Valve Act will be an important step in improving justice in our nation’s courtrooms.
This war has cost so much in human lives, families and monetarily. The War on Drugs has failed. It is time for drug law reform. This legislature and law is NOT working in America…it is victimizing Americans!
1. Laney’s Bill, technically House Bill 2198. Click the red button below to find out more, sign it if you like, and/or share the petition with friends. Please, this is how change happens!
2.The “War on Drugs” has been a miserable failure and taken millions of American victims with it! America incarcerates MORE of its own citizens than any other country in the world.
Non-violent, Marijuana incarcerations, have ruined hundreds of thousands of lives in America, especially over the last 40 years…since Nixon enacted the Drug War! America is the home of the imprisoned currently and for the last several decades at a horrible cost to all of us, especially, the non-violent 18-year-old that went to prison for marijuana possession(small amount). While in prison, he was raped and killed. Is that justice or is that terror? That is America’s War on Drugs!
This just doesn’t add up, considering how harmful tobacco and alcohol are to Americans. These products have no acceptable use and are ‘man-made’. Marijuana, or Cannabis, is a natural medicine that grows in your garden…free of pesticides, if you are lucky enough to live in a progressive state that cares about the people’s opinion and not their own personal bias!
I can buy a 9mm gun in 30 minutes in my state but I can’t treat Crohn’s disease with a plant? This is fact! I am not exaggerating in the least. We need to stop the insanity and sign this petition, forcing our Government leaders to take a serious look at this petition.
Its time to end the hypocrisy of the War on Drugs, started by a crook, President Nixon. President Nixon would have been impeached if he didn’t resign a split minute before-hand! His “War on Drugs” has been a COMPLETE failure. War lost, decades ago.
As a father of a chronically ill child, a USMC veteran of Desert Storm and a registered nurse, I care about my fellow Americans. Give them safe access to a scientifically proven medicine that has been used safely for thousands of years!
Give those without a voice a choice. Give them the freedom of choice in treating their disease.
“We have to Stand United. Republican, Democrat, Independent or whatever party affiliation, it does not matter. Proudly, we are all Americans that HAVE to Voice for what is right in our country or the “status quo” will always be good enough for the career politicians”. ~E. Myers~
Original article at: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/20/paul-the-devastating-effect-of-a-drug-war-weapon/?page=all
[Editor’s Note: Portions of the following article should have been attributed to “Rethinking mandatory sentencing,” an article written by Dan Stewart that appeared in The Week on Sept. 14, 2013.]