Archive for May, 2012

May 19, 2012

Are you in the 74%?

A new national study has been released regarding cannabis, medical cannabis specifically, and President Obama’s amplified war on the plant. Mason-Dixon conducted an interview of 1,000 likely 2012 general election voters, informing them that “currently, 16 states plus the District of Columbia have made the use of marijuana legal. In some of these states, individuals have been authorized to cultivate and sell medical marijuana under tightly regulated conditions. However, medical marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, even in states that have passed laws or ballot measures that allow it for medical treatment.” Mason-Dixon’s poll then asked the 1,000 participants if they felt President Obama should “respect the medical marijuana laws in these states, or use federal resources to arrest and prosecute individuals who are acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws?”

With the participants broken into near thirds of political parties, 37% identifying as democrat, 32% republican, and 30% independent or unaffiliated, this slice of our nation found 74% want the Obama administration to respect the states with medical cannabis laws and end federal funding for raids. Independents rang in the heaviest support with 79%, while republicans showed two thirds support, and only 19% responded with opposition to those complying with state laws. The 18-34 demographic was overwhelmingly supportive, 81% answering that they felt Obama should respect medical cannabis laws, and 64% of the oldest group agreed.

The final results across races, ages, political affiliation and sex showed the United States clearly disagrees with Federal cannabis policy. Huffington Post reported via Americans for Safe Access that more than 170 aggressive SWAT-style raids have been conducted in nine states that allow medical cannabis, resulting in at least 61 federal indictments since October 2009. Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Huffington Post that “what the results of this survey show is there is absolutely no political justification for what President Obama is doing with respect to medical marijuana laws. Across the board… there is extremely strong support for respecting state medical marijuana laws.”

If you identify as one of the 74% of American voters like myself who wish the Obama Administration would discontinue funding the war on cannabis, let them know! Call the White House directly at 202-456-1111 between 11am and 5pm and leave a comment for President Barack Obama, or cruise ContactingTheCongress.org and let your Congress men and women know that they have the majority of their parties support in passing and protecting medical cannabis laws. We are the voices that need to be heard, as our President seems to ignore the growing population seeking safe access.

 

Resources:

http://www.mason-dixon.com/Mason-Dixon/HOME.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/republicans-state-medical-marijuana-laws_n_1519176.html

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/write-or-call#call

http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

http://www.mpp.org/

May 7, 2012

Forgotten for Days: $20 Million Claim Filed Against DEA

 

4/20 was a day to celebrate and surround yourself with like minded smokers for many, but for one UC San Diego student it was the start to nearly 5 terrible days that would culminate in a suicide attempt in a DEA holding cell.

Daniel Chong, after celebrating 4/20, was at a friend’s home on Saturday. The house was raided by the Drug Enforcement Agency, who found 18,000 ecstasy pills, along with guns and ammunition. DEA officials have said that the pills did not belong to Chong, and that his extended detainment was an accident, but that has been very little comfort to the student.

Daniel Chong was brought in by the DEA for questioning regarding the ecstasy bust, but was not charged or arrested, and was placed in a holding cell. He was told he would be released that same day. One officer reportedly offered him a ride home. He did not get to leave, however, on April 21st.

Daniel Chong was forgotten in the 5-foot-by-10-foot windowless DEA holding cell, and for nearly 5 days he screamed and cried for food, water, a toilet, but the DEA was deaf to his calls.

Chong told NBC he drank his own urine out of fear of dehydration, and was treated for near kidney failure when finally taken to a hospital. Chong was kept in Intensive Care for 3 days, also recovering from a torn esophagus after eating his own broken glasses in an attempt to end his life. He says hallucinations started on the 3rd day, and without food or water he was sure he would die in the DEA’s cell. He broke his glasses, and began to cut a message into his forearm, the shortest he could think of to express his condolences to his parents, “Sorry mom.”

DEA agents discovered Daniel Chong in their holding cell after more than 4 days unattended, and drove him to the hospital where they paid for his medical care. Special agent in charge of the San Diego division of the DEA, William Sherman, has extended his “deepest apologies [to] the young man,” adding that he ordered an “extensive review” of the DEA procedures leading up this this incident. Chong has filed a $20 million claim against the DEA following what he calls a “life-altering” ordeal.

The articles I found useful for this story:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/02/daniel-chong-dea-urine-cell-5-days_n_1470430.html

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/daniel-chong-ucsd-san-diego-dea-149758275.html

http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2012/05/dea_forgets_pot-smoking_student_in_cell_for_five_d.php

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/05/dea-apologizes-to-student-who-drank-his-urine-to-survive.html

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