marijuana

The Tragedy of Cannabis as a Schedule I Drug

Max Simon

Despite the fact that cannabis was a widely distributed medicine with MDs writing more than 3,000,000 prescriptions per year in the 1930s, it became prohibited at the federal level in the United States in 1937. That prohibition was continued via the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 with cannabis placed firmly in the Schedule I category, which is where it has remained since. The decision to place cannabis in the Schedule I category was not based on science.

How African-Americans Are Left Out of the Marijuana Boom

Allison Keyes

Earlier this month, the Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission awarded stage-one license preapprovals to 15 growers and 15 processors. None of the companies on tap for what are likely to be lucrative growing licenses is led by African Americans. “I think small guys were definitely not welcome to this game,” says Zulu, who says his primary reason for selling marijuana is to help senior citizens like his mother and others find relief from the pain of arthritis, eczema and other ailments. 

Marijuana Use in Michigan’s Arab-American Community

Samer Hijazi

Marijuana smoking is a recreational activity for many local Arab and Muslim Americans. But those who consume it continue to conceal the habit out of fears of social scrutiny, challenges with the law and uncertainty of where it stands in the religion. Michigan's marijuana laws continue to remain unclear. In the last few years, the laws have shifted drastically to decriminalize personal pot smoking in many cities and to allow medical marijuana patients an easier path for consumption.

Why Legalizing Marijuana Will Help Minority Youths

John McWhorter

Because drugs are illegal, one can sell them for a huge markup, and that means you can make a living, or even get by, helping to sell drugs instead of getting a legitimate job. That black market stands as an eternal temptation—often quite a rational one—for a young black boy stuck in a lousy school and growing up in a tough neighborhood. Negative interactions with often surly white cops are the main contact he ever has with the world outside his neighborhood. Hence, generations of young black men who feel like aliens in the only country they will ever know.

Support for Legalizing Marijuana Continues to Grow

Anna Challet

For the first time, over half of Californians are expressing support for the legalization of non-medical marijuana, according to new statewide survey results. With support having possibly reached a tipping point and efforts to produce a 2014 ballot initiative already underway, what might legalization look like in California? The survey, conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from the James Irvine Foundation, shows that 52 percent of Californians, as well as 60 percent of likely voters, support legalization. 

Why Trayvon Martin’s Marijuana Use Should Be Irrelavant in the Trial

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The issue then boils down to whether the Zimmerman jurors can separate his defense attorney’s deliberate muddle of the facts and trashing of Martin and see that there’s absolutely no credible proof that marijuana use in and of itself induces violent behavior in anyone. There is not a scintilla of evidence that Martin was inherently aggressive and violence prone. The prosecution’s job is to make sure that they see this. 

The Trillion Dollar Fail: How the War on Drugs Was Lost

Gabrielle Acierno

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, The War on Drugs costs the federal government approximately $15-20 billion per year, and with negligible success in lowering the supply of drugs or drug abuse rates, politicians and experts on all points of the political spectrum have deemed the War on Drugs an objective failure. With particular emphasis on cutting off the supply of narcotics, the United States drug policy has been predicated on the theory that eradication of an unwanted external malefactor can only be achieved through persecution of the malefactor and its backers. 

What Will President Obama Do About Marijuana Laws?

Edward Wyckoff Williams

This past week might very well mark the beginning of the end of the war on drugs as we know it, with recreational use of marijuana becoming legal in the state of Washington as a result of its citizens' vote. Coloradoans approved a similar measure and established an exchange in which citizens can grow and purchase the drug for medicinal use. A recent Quinnipiac poll shows that 54 percent of Americans support legalizing the drug, while 44 percent oppose it. As states slowly begin to decriminalize marijuana, it remains to be seen whether President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will continue to enforce federal oversight to arrest and prosecute offenders, no matter a state's laws. 

Man Bites Dog: The Rise of America's 'Zombie Laws'

Eugene Durante

In New York, lawmakers also seem concerned about the prophetic predictions of a “zombie apocalypse.” Governor Cuomo stated, "Bath salts and other synthetic drugs pose a direct, serious threat to public health and safety, and we must do everything we can to remove these harmful substances from sale and distribution in New York.” Still, other states have not taken action against the substances. States such as Washington, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Vermont, interestingly, have had no reported zombie incidents and have not moved forward with any bath salt restrictions.

Jesse Ventura on Politics, Keith Richards, and Why He’s an Atheist

Christopher Karr

Jese Ventura’s no fool when it comes to performance. He’s more than a TV personality. Before he was elected the governor of Minnesota in 1999, he was a professional wrestler, and before that, a Navy SEAL-turned-member of an outlaw motorcycle club in San Diego.  He’s appeared in a number of movies and TV shows, and has lectured at Harvard University. When I mention to Ventura that he taught one of the most popular courses at Harvard, he quickly cuts in to correct me: “It was the most popular. My class was the biggest class in Harvard history.”  Read Christopher Karr's interview with Jesse Ventura. 

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