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#1376293 - 12/07/12 12:24 PM Ithaca Mayor: "Ease suffering; legalize marijuana"
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 2744
Loc: Gaia
Ease suffering; legalize marijuana

Times Union
By SVANTE MYRICK, Commentary

December 3, 2012

New York lawmakers have an opportunity to show compassion and foresight in their upcoming legislative session by legalizing medical marijuana.

Unlike broader marijuana legalization, medical marijuana is no longer so politicized and controversial. The vast majority of New Yorkers support it because they recognize that seriously ill patients should not be forced onto the battlefield of the "war on drugs" while we wait for our lawmakers to catch up to public opinion.

Every day, thousands of sick New Yorkers are being forced to decide between taking dangerous prescription pills or breaking the law to make them feel better.

This shouldn't be the case. Medical decisions should be made between patients and their doctors. I have spoken to residents of Ithaca who have been using cannabis to treat their side effects from chemotherapy. They deserve safe access to their medicine.

Marijuana is already legal for medical purposes in 18 states and the District of Columbia. It's already too late for New York to be a national leader on this issue. However, New York should not be among the last to reform our laws and provide empathy to our patients.

I understand that some people are concerned that passing this will lead us to becoming "another California," where seemingly anyone can get a doctor's recommendation and obtain marijuana. But we should instead be looking to the other states that have passed these laws since then, and have greatly improved upon each other's mistakes, to inform our model for New York.

Other states now have model laws that allow for patients to find relief without increasing pressure on enforcement. Colorado, for example, has both provided sick patients the relief they need while generating significant revenue for the state.

With state Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, now sponsoring this bill, a champion of bipartisanship, I truly hope that the Republicans come to their senses and pass this bill this coming legislative session.

The larger lesson here is that the drug war has failed and continues to bring hardships on average Americans — including those who are severely ill. Every year, millions of dollars are spent on law enforcement and thousands of young people — disproportionately young people of color — have their futures destroyed for possession of small amounts of cannabis.

Because of that, I believe that New York should seriously consider legalizing marijuana; taxing it, and regulating it. That's also why I have directed the Ithaca Police Department to focus on other issues that will more effectively protect the public. Between dealers of hard drugs and stopping violent crime, our officers have more important things to be focusing on than low-level marijuana offenses.

In the meantime, while full legalization is still being debated, sick New Yorkers should not be caught in the war on drugs. We hope to see the same leadership Gov. Andrew Cuomo had on marijuana decriminalization show its face again on medical marijuana, where patients are counting on him.

Svante Myrick is mayor of Ithaca.

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/opinion/articl...p#ixzz2ENo2QExF
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#1376311 - 12/07/12 01:53 PM Re: Ithaca Mayor: "Ease suffering; legalize marijuana" [Re: Teonan]
BigRed Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 206
Loc: ny
Great. The Commons is already a giant cesspool these days. Now it will be even worse, covered with "kush shops" and welfare bums trying to score medicinal (and taxpayer funded) pot for "anxiety disorders." Nice job, Baby Obama.

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#1376321 - 12/07/12 03:12 PM Re: Ithaca Mayor: "Ease suffering; legalize marijuana" [Re: BigRed]
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 2744
Loc: Gaia
Originally Posted By: BigRed
Great. The Commons is already a giant cesspool these days. Now it will be even worse, covered with "kush shops" and welfare bums trying to score medicinal (and taxpayer funded) pot for "anxiety disorders." Nice job, Baby Obama.



Nice job? GREAT job Mayor Myrick!

Times They Are A-changing

-Bob Dylan

Come gather round people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth saving
Then you'd better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone

For the times, they are a-changin'

Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pens
And keep your eyes wide, the chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon, for the wheel's still in spin
And there's no telling who that it's naming
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times, they are a-changin'

Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the halls
For he that gets hurt will be he that has stalled
There's a battle outside and it's raging
It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times, they are a-changin'

Come mothers and fathers all over the land
And don't criticize what you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly aging
Please get out of the new one if you can't lend a hand
For the times they are a-changin'

The line, it is drawn, the curse, it is cast
The slow one will later be fast
And the present now will soon be the past
The order is rapidly fading
The first one now will later be last
For the times, they are a-changin'



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#1376427 - 12/08/12 10:18 AM Re: Ithaca Mayor: "Ease suffering; legalize marijuana" [Re: Teonan]
Mean Gene Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/10/09
Posts: 2330
Loc: Yates County
As a retired law enforcement officer I tend to agree with the "Mayor". I would have never thought that way many years ago. I worked drug investigations for many years, chasing users and small time weed dealers is a waste of taxpayer money.

Its no different than the Prohibition years. Regulate it and tax it!!

Just because they change the law, doesn't mean I will rush out and buy some weed and start smoking!
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#1376447 - 12/08/12 11:08 AM Re: Ithaca Mayor: "Ease suffering; legalize marijuana" [Re: Teonan]
bluezone Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 28738
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Teonan
Every day, thousands of sick New Yorkers are being forced to decide between taking dangerous prescription pills or breaking the law to make them feel better.


what medical condition do you need to subdue?
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#1376485 - 12/08/12 04:35 PM Re: Ithaca Mayor: "Ease suffering; legalize marijuana" [Re: BigRed]
VM Smith Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 37794
Loc: Ship of Fools
Originally Posted By: BigRed
Great. The Commons is already a giant cesspool these days. Now it will be even worse, covered with "kush shops" and welfare bums trying to score medicinal (and taxpayer funded) pot for "anxiety disorders." Nice job, Baby Obama.


Who has said that it will be "taxpayer funded", other than you? Why is it that you imagine that a plant that anyone can grow in a pot on a window sill would even need taxpayer funding?

If you believe that, do you similarly believe that people are so helpless that they cannot grow tomatoes, FI, without the aid, support, micro-management, and dictatorial control of your beloved state?


Edited by VM Smith (12/08/12 04:45 PM)
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#1376548 - 12/08/12 10:16 PM Re: Ithaca Mayor: "Ease suffering; legalize marijuana" [Re: VM Smith]
pocketmouse Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/11
Posts: 194
Loc: geneva, ny
VM You stated:

"Who has said that it will be "taxpayer funded", other than you? Why is it that you imagine that a plant that anyone can grow in a pot on a window sill would even need taxpayer funding?"

Are your speaking about the ease of growing "pot" on a window sill from personal experience? If so, I think you should excuse yourself from this discussion, unless you have some illness, that pot would ease your pain. Will we now be having "pot" smoke in hospitals after crucifying tobacco smokers for doing so there?

Smoke is smoke. I am an ex-smoker (40 yrs at 2 packs a day) and feel very sorry for my friends that cannot quit the habit. I have known too many non-tobacco smoking friends, that smoke pot behind closed doors and then publicly speak out against tobacco smokers. Not good, not good at all.

I also think any medical treatment will end up paid by insurance, public or private. Why would it not? All another treatments receive some financial insurance coverage.

I would feel much better if some issues were further clarified in this matter, before of any legal passage of pot use for any reason.

sob

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#1376673 - 12/09/12 09:33 PM Re: Ithaca Mayor: "Ease suffering; legalize marijuana" [Re: Mean Gene]
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 2744
Loc: Gaia
Originally Posted By: Mean Gene
As a retired law enforcement officer I tend to agree with the "Mayor". I would have never thought that way many years ago. I worked drug investigations for many years, chasing users and small time weed dealers is a waste of taxpayer money.

Its no different than the Prohibition years. Regulate it and tax it!!

Just because they change the law, doesn't mean I will rush out and buy some weed and start smoking!



Most American's seem to share your common sense.



Majority of Americans to Feds: Let the Weed Smokers Be
As the government weighs their options, polls show that Americans are light on marijuana

by Common Dreams
- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

December 7, 2012

A day after marijuana became effectively legal in Washington, compelling the Justice Department to consider possible legal action against the state, a new poll announces that a majority of Americans think the federal government should simply back down and let Americans light up and enjoy their new won freedom.

Washington residents lit up Wednesday night as possession of marijuana officially became legal in the state. According to the YouGov poll released Friday, fifty-one percent of Americans support the idea that "in the two states that have legalized marijuana use for adults, the federal government should exempt any adults following state laws from federal drug law enforcement." Only 30 percent of those polled believe federal enforcement agencies should continue to expend resources in states where voters have approved new rules legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

Poll respondents were even more friendly in regards to medical marijuana, with fifty-eight percent favoring exemptions from federal drug laws in those cases, and only 23 percent opposed.

Crowds of pot proponents gathered at midnight Wednesday in downtown Seattle to ring in the enaction of State Initiative 502. The celebration, at least temporarily, disregarded a statement issued earlier that day by US Justice Department attorney in Seattle, Jenny A. Durkan, who reminded Washington residents that the drug remained illegal.

“Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on December 6 in Washington State, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law,” she said. “The Department of Justice is reviewing the legalization initiatives recently passed in Colorado and Washington State. The department’s responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged.”

Durkan's statement echos media reports that "the Obama administration has been holding high-level meetings since the election to debate the response of federal law enforcement agencies to the decriminalization efforts."

According to several people familiar with the deliberations, "senior White House and Justice Department officials are considering plans for legal action against Colorado and Washington that could undermine voter-approved initiatives to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in those states," the New York Times reports.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described a number of litigation options but cautioned that the issue "had raised complex legal and policy considerations — including enforcement priorities, litigation strategy and the impact of international antidrug treaties."

During the Administration's first term, the Justice Department issued a policy for handling states that have legalized medical marijuana which required that federal officials not use their "limited resources to go after small-time users" but should rather target large-scale trafficking organizations. The surprising consequence of which was an uptick on federal raids on marijuana dispensaries.

However, as these closed-door discussions continue, growing support and acceptance of marijuana, particularly among liberal demographics, makes pursuance a “sticky wicket for Obama,” as stated by University of Texas professor Bruce Buchanan.

Another poll released this week found that the majority of American voters support the legalization of marijuana, fifty-one percent to forty-four percent, with "men and younger voters holding more tolerant public views about use of the drug."

Of the findings, Quinnipiac University pollster Peter Brown noted:

With the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes legal in about 20 states, and Washington and Colorado voting this November to legalize the drug for recreational use, American voters seem to have a more favorable opinion about this once-dreaded drug.

It seems likely, however, that given the better than 2-1 majority among younger voters, legalization is just a matter of time.


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"They only call it class warfare when we fight back." - Anon.

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#1376847 - 12/10/12 09:52 PM Re: Ithaca Mayor: "Ease suffering; legalize marijuana" [Re: Teonan]
twocats Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 02/09/10
Posts: 11865
Loc: NYS
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#1376860 - 12/10/12 11:10 PM Re: Ithaca Mayor: "Ease suffering; legalize marijuana" [Re: twocats]
Teonan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 2744
Loc: Gaia


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