Sunday, February 2, 2014

Flag on the Play: Why Stoner Bowl is no Laughing Matter - NJ to exploreMarijuana Legalization | Drug Policy Alliance

The recent Legalization of Marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington have far reaching effects in areas of Business, Economics, and Criminal Justice in the rest of the Country.
With the criminal aspect removed these States have hit upon a winning combination.
As the "Big Game" to be played in New Jersey, that State is planning a journey into the recreational Legalization of Marijuana (Medical is already Legal).
WE are the ones who can make this happen in our States.
Let's Act on it.
And don't forget, there is a football game to be played.
Enjoy the #StonerBowl!!!
_MP

Flag on the Play: Why the #StonerBowl is No Laughing Matter


It is time to recognize that ending marijuana prohibition can and should be a tool to help address institutional racism. The jubilance of the #StonerBowl at the Meadowlands taunts the more than 600,000 families in New York whose lives have been shattered by racist, unlawful, and expensive marijuana arrests. Photo: AP
January 31, 2014 - By Kassandra Frederique

With both Denver and Seattle playing this week’s Super Bowl, the news is full of marijuana puns, and jokes about the #StonerBowl.  Yet as someone invested in the drug policy reform movement and acutely aware of how much marijuana prohibition has harmed communities of color, I struggle to find the humor.

http://www.drugpolicy.org/blog/flag-play-why-stonerbowl-no-laughing-matterThe irony of the Super Pot Bowl being held in the stadium of the two New York City football teams should not be lost on anyone. New York, after all, is the marijuana arrest capital of the world, with tens of thousands of marijuana possession arrests every year. Young Black and Latino men make up over 85 percent of the arrests in New York City; and in areas like Buffalo and Syracuse, it’s over 90 percent.

As my second-favorite Manning brother throws touchdowns, somewhere in Bedford Stuyvesant, a young Black man will face his first arrest – handcuffed, taken to the station, photographed, fingerprinted, and given a permanent arrest record – all for a simple marijuana possession.


Keep in mind that the state of New York decriminalized marijuana in 1977, but due to racially biased policing, it remains the #1 arrest in NYC and among the top arrests in the entire state. For young men of color, marijuana really is a gateway drug – a gateway into the criminal injustice system.
In fact, marijuana prohibition is one of the main engines of mass incarceration and the cause of the large racial disproportionality in the criminal injustice system. Black and Latino men arrested for non-violent drug offenses comprise a majority of the US prison system and most for marijuana.

We must beat the drums for justice and support our elected officials who show leadership for reform.

President Obama said, “We should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing.”
The wins in Colorado and Washington  - the first states to legalize marijuana - are victories for everyone but we must acknowledge the fact that Colorado and Washington and other states believed to be next up to end prohibition - like Alaska and Oregon - have considerably small populations of Black and Latino people.

I can’t help but wonder when will states with large populations of those most impacted by marijuana prohibition take steps to reform their laws? Ending marijuana prohibition in states like New York, Texas, and California could help shatter the glass ceiling on the racist War on Drugs. Because ending marijuana prohibition in these states will force us to explicitly confront the original reason marijuana was made illegal: racism.
So New Yorkers, as we suffer through the influx of Super Bowl tourists, do not ignore the irony of hosting teams from the two states to have ended marijuana prohibition.

Let’s act on it.

It is time to recognize that ending marijuana prohibition can and should be a tool to help address institutional racism. The jubilance of the #StonerBowl at the Meadowlands taunts the more than 600,000 families in New York whose lives have been shattered by racist, unlawful, and expensive marijuana arrests.
Because when the big game is over, no matter what NFL team wins, young Black and Latino men still lose.

Kassandra Frederique is a New York policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance.
http://www.drugpolicy.org/blog/flag-play-why-stonerbowl-no-laughing-matter

Legalize marijuana in NJ? One lawmaker says yes

legalize-marijuana.jpg
A medical marijuana dispensary in Woodbridge grows pot. Sen. Nicholas Scutari wants to legalize the sale and possession of recreational marijuana (Andrew Mills/The Star-Ledger)

By MaryAnn Spoto/The Star-Ledger
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on January 25, 2014 at 7:00 AM, updated January 26, 2014 at 8:58 PM

TRENTON — Calling New Jersey’s war on marijuana "a miserable failure," state Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) said Friday he wants to follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington state and legalize the sale and possession of marijuana here.
Allowing New Jersey to regulate the growth, procession and sale of recreational marijuana would dry up the illegal drug market, clean up street corners and stuff the state’s coffers with a new source of tax revenue, Scutari said in laying out his case during a conference call.
The proposed legislation – expected to be introduced within the next month – comes on the heels of legalization of pot in Colorado and Washington but almost certainly faces an uphill battle in the Statehouse, supporters and opponents concede.
Scutari said there is no companion bill in the Assembly but he hopes a sponsor will come forward.
"We’re not delusional about how simple the effort would be," Scutari said. "But I think from a standpoint of moving this state and this country forward on its archaic drug laws, I think it’s a step in the right direction.
"It’s high time that we address this issue head on," he said.
Scutari, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a sponsor of New Jersey’s medical marijuana law, acknowledged it is a "controversial issue," but said his proposal is "the opening of a dialogue" with other state lawmakers and the Christie administration.

http://www.drugpolicy.org/Read More:  http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2014/01/legalize_pot_in_nj_one_lawmaker_says_yes.html

End the Federal War on Marijuana

President Obama is starting to get serious about marijuana policy reform. But even though we're changing the nature of the debate, the only way to end the war on marijuana is to pass federal laws. Tell Congress to support legislation that would reform our marijuana laws.
Take action.





 
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