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Tag: Cannabis

Over $1 Trillion Spent Since Nixon Began The War On Drugs

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

The “war on drugs” costs Americans a staggering amount of money every year that it persists. Despite the billions they receive, federal, state and local law enforcement have a proven inability to stem the flow of drugs on the nation’s streets.

Since Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs in June 1971, the cost of that “war” had soared to over $1 trillion by 2010. Over $51 billion is spent annually to fight the drug war in the United States, according to Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting more humane drug policies.

It’s also taken a massive toll on human lives. In 2013, at least 2.2 million people were incarcerated in the U.S., withsome estimates reaching 2.4 million, making the U.S. home to the world’s largest prison population. A vast number of those prisoners are victims of the war on drugs, reported Alejandro Crawford in U.S. News and World Report in March:

Army Vet Faces Felony For Helping Other Veterans Treat PTSD With Cannabis (Updated)

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Even though more states are legalizing medical marijuana, and federal officials have claimed that the prosecution of pot smokers is no longer a priority, the “war on drugs” continues to destroy the lives of Americans suffering from dire medical conditions.

Sean Kiernan is a U.S. Army veteran from Rancho Santa Fe, California, who, along with his wife, pleaded guilty earlier this year to felony charges related to growing marijuana for other veterans.

Kiernan attempted suicide in 2011, nearly becoming part of a horrifying statistic: Although the figure is disputed, some estimates suggest that an average of 22 veterans commit suicide each day. Still struggling two years later, Kiernan was involuntarily committed by officials at a Veterans Affairs hospital, an experience which he says led him to embrace the benefits of cannabis over pharmaceutical drugs.

DEA Chief Admits Marijuana Is Less Dangerous Than Heroin, But Won’t Reschedule

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Despite ample evidence pointing to the therapeutic, non-addictive qualities of marijuana, the new head of the Drug Enforcement Agency wants to keep it legally classified alongside heroin and other highly addictive substances.

“If we come up with a medical use for it, that would be wonderful. But we haven’t,” declared Chuck Rosenberg, the acting head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, in a Sept. 5 interview with Fox News.

This surprising denial of medical science came in response to a question posed by James Rosen, the chief Washington correspondent for the network. He asked Rosenberg whether it was time to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, considering two of the past three presidents of the United States have admitted to using the substance recreationally.

New Schools, Less Crime: Colorado Sees Benefits Of Marijuana Legalization

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Colorado’s successful experiment in marijuana legalization is bringing in millions of dollars of revenue per month while simultaneously benefiting schools and contributing to a drop in crime rates.

Colorado reached over $50 million dollars in recreational cannabis sales in June, breaking the state’s previous record, according to Ricardo Baca, a staff writer for Denver Post’s The Cannabist. In addition, medical sales reached $25 million.

Based on the state’s various taxes on marijuana sales, Baca reports that the state has earned over $60 million dollars in marijuana tax revenue so far this year.

Despite Support By Experts, Marijuana Still Unavailable To Most Veterans With PTSD

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Thousands of American veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and they’re forced to endure the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs while an effective treatment with few side effects, medical marijuana, remains illegal and inaccessible to most.

A 2012 study from the Veterans Administration estimated that as much as 20 percent of veterans of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. Among these veterans, the suicide rate is 50 percent higher than the national average and PTSD is a major contributing factor, according to a 2015 study by the National Institute of Mental Health. Nick Wing and Matt Ferner, writing in The Huffington Post, suggested VA doctors typically treat veterans with a combination of therapy and a selection of dozens of pharmaceutical drugs approved for the treatment of the often debilitating condition. Missing from that list, according to their report, is one particular treatment that’s made a difference in many lives: cannabis.

“[T]the government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug with no medical value and explicitly prohibits VA doctors from recommending marijuana,” Wing and Ferner wrote last month. The federal scheduling system is meant to classify dangerous drugs by weighing their risks versus their potential benefit to humanity. Under this system, marijuana, which studies have repeatedly demonstrated to be relatively safe and carry almost no risk of addiction, is considered more dangerous than heroin or amphetamines.

Feds Raid Native American Reservation, Seize 12,000 Legal Marijuana Plants

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Last week, federal agents raided land belonging to two federally-recognized Native American tribes, and seized 12,000 cannabis plants from their properties. The bust came despite new federal guidelines designed to allow limited marijuana cultivation by indigenous groups in the United States.

The agents arrived at the properties at the far northern edge of California on July 8, ultimately seizing the plants and over 100 pounds of marijuana ready for use from two buildings — an event center belonging to the Alturas Rancheria and a greenhouse belonging to the Pit River tribe. Benjamin Wagner, the U.S. district attorney in Sacramento, led the raid.

“The volume of marijuana that the XL facility alone was capable of producing … far exceeds any prior known commercial marijuana grow operation anywhere within the 34-county Eastern District,” Wagner said in a statement quoted by The Sacramento Bee on the day of the bust.