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November 09, 2007

Comments

Somerville Reader

THANK GOD. It's utterly ridiculous that we conflate marijuana with hardcore drugs. It ought to be like a traffic ticket. I'm not a smoker myself, but I am appauled by how much time we waste policing something that's not any worse than tobacco or alcohol.

Go PJ!

Clubber Lang

Oh my God, can Pat become any more of a freak? Isn't she supposed to be helping residents and business owners reduce taxes, get better schools, REDUCE drugs (pot is a gateway drug).... more of the PDS siding with the criminals. I'm so sick to my stomach with who represents us.

Read and become enlightened:

Harmful Effects of Marijuana


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The harmful effects of marijuana on the Brain and Central Nervous System
Impaired thinking, mood, memory, and coordination
Marijuana (THC) is an extremely powerful and pleasurable intoxicant. It affects, alters, and damages brain cells controlling thinking, emotion, pleasure, coordination, mood and memory. The pituitary gland is also damaged which regulates hunger, thirst, blood pressure, sexual behavior, and release of sex hormones.
Clogged synapses, brain damage and addiction
Marijuana accumulates in the microscopic spaces between nerve cells in the brain called "synapses." This clogging interferes by slowing and impairing transfer critical information.
Long term use causes the brain to stop production of brain chemicals necessary to "feel good" - a negative feedback condition. And, the user becomes chemically addicted to marijuana.
The harmful effects of marijuana on the Heart
Speeds up heartbeat as much as 50%, increases blood pressure, and poses great risk to those with hypertension and heart disease.
The harmful effects of marijuana on the Endocrine System
Marijuana damages the network of glands, organs, and hormones involved in growth and development, energy levels, and reproduction.
Organs and glands affected:
pituitary gland
thyroid gland
stomach
duodenum
pancreas
adrenal glands
testis
The harmful effects of marijuana on the Reproductive System males and females
Marijuana use can decrease and degenerate sperm, sperm count, movement, and cause lowered sex drive. Females can have egg damage, suppression of ovulation, disrupt menstrual cycles, and alteration of hormone levels.
Regular use during pregnancy can lower birth weight and cause abnormalities similar to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (small head, irritability, poor growth and development.
Can destroy the number of chromosomes, resulting in cell abnormalities and impaired function.
Other affects on the central nervous system
distortions of perceptions, thinking and reality
Difficulty in forming concepts and thoughts
Poor concentration
Mental confusion
Loss of motivation
Wide mood swings
Aggression and hostility
Depression, anxiety and paranoia
The harmful effects of marijuana on the Eyes
Sleep looking, blood-shot eyes with dilated pupils.
The harmful effects of marijuana on the Throat
Irritates membranes of the esophagus; increases chance of developing cancer of larynx and esophagus.
The harmful effects of marijuana on the Lungs
Significant damage and destruction of the air sacs of the lungs, reducing the lungs ability to bring oxygen and remove carbon dioxide - Emphysema.
Causes bronchial tubes to be inflamed, thickened and to produce more mucus; resulting in narrowing of the air passages - Chronic Bronchitis.
Marijuana smoke has twice as much "tar" as cigarette smoke and significantly increases chance of lung cancer, inflammation and infection.

And she is spending her time legalizing this rather than working for her constuients? Can we please all vote her out ASAP.

Election

Those sound like the effects of too much Fox News watching as well.

Clubber Lang

Election, I doubt Pat watches Fox. She seems more the type to be hanging out in her bathrobe watching Sponge Bob smoking a fattie!

Born Here

Pat, what are you high or something ??
Oh, never mind.

Election

Clubber, don't bother telling us why you think alcohol abuse is not the cause of your comprehension disorder.

Election

There are no logical reasons to criminalize pot but not alcohol.

cabbie

Rightwingers can be hilarious. They rattle on and on about getting the government out of our personal lives --- you hear it all the time UNTIL the topic of "drugs" comes up. Then suddenly people like Clubber are all for the "Nanny State" that they blame on the Dems.

Strange ain't it?

First, not all drugs are equally bad. Pot is a freakin' ride on a merry-go-round compared to coke which is benign compared to heroin which is health food compared to meth. Maybe the law should reflect these facts? Instead approx. half of the "war on drugs" resources are directed at marijuana despite the fact that most would agree it's not half "the problem".

And "pot is a gateway drug" -- PLEASE. Hey Jack Webb, the 60s are over. We've all known that's b.s. for a long time. Following the "gateway drug" logic one could say there's no more effective gateway drug than oxygen. After all, 100% of heroin addicts were using oxygen first. Speaking of H.....have you considered that a change in the law like this just may free up law enforcement to concentrate on the JUNK. That and Oxy are what's killing - literally killing - kids around here. That's where the enforcement and educational efforts need be concentrated. Perhaps the $250 fines that would be doled out should be earmarked specifically for such efforts.

Clubber Lang

Cabbie, don't go preaching to me about H and Oxy. I have a lot more experience in those areas then you'll ever have in your worthless life. Pot is a gateway drug (trust me) and no one is defending alcohol abuse. We have problems with people driving impaired on alcohol and now you want to legalize pot, so people can drive around stoned all day? How stupid are you?

And shouldn't this bag of bones (Pat Jehlen) be working for her local consutients? She is truly worthless.

No, I don't hate THE PDS. I pity the fools, and I will destroy any man who tries to take what I got! - Clubber Lang

Look at her record....

"...have you considered that a change in the law like this just may free up law enforcement to concentrate on the JUNK. That and Oxy are what's killing - literally killing - kids around here. That's where the enforcement and educational efforts need be concentrated. Perhaps the $250 fines that would be doled out should be earmarked specifically for such efforts."
~Don't worry, Pat has already taken care of this, also. She and her gang in the State House passed a law last year that says anyone 18 or over who has an ID can purchase hypodermic needles at the drugstore. Gee, let's see....any correlation between that and the spike in IV drug use? and the spike in used needles found littered around the city?
We don't need funds for enforcement and education - the cops are already there and the 'education' is a joke, it's meaningless. But don't worry, decriminializing pot is nothing compared to what she has done to kids by making heroin so easily attainable!

Election

Yup, now they even have heroin at the vending machine down at Star Market! And they put it in the food of our kindergarten kids!

reality check

Pat get a life. I think your going senile in you old age...........time for you to go.

Credit where credit is due

I smoked a blunt with the Senator last night - it was good stuff!

Larry Stevens

College kid receives jailtime for marijuana possession and gets raped @jail
This disgusts me utterly . So now this guy who was in possession of marijuana could possibly have AIDS, herpes, hepatitus or whatever just for possession! Great world we live in . All they know how to do is create murderers,by ignorance like this!

"On June 6, 2003, a 19-year-old Alachua County, Florida, college student was raped by his cellmate as he served the first of four weekend sentences for delivering marijuana, a felony offense. (The student's name has not been released.) He had been placed in a cell with a violent offender who had been in the county jail for 11 months awaiting trial on sexual battery charges."

Richard Cranium

This is BIG. A major move by one of the nation's top medical groups, they are backing medical marijuana and they want the federal government to leave doctors alone. In a unanimous vote, the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association has approved a strongly worded statement supporting legal protection for patients using medical marijuana...

Tom Benson

If marijuana were legalized, regulated and taxed at the rates applied to alcohol and tobacco, revenues would reach about $6.2 billion annually, according to an open letter signed by 500 economists who urged President Bush and other public officials to debate marijuana prohibition. Among those economists were three Nobel Prize winners.

Hey I am business man, can't argue with that...

Jeff

Legalize it, this is insane its gone so long illegal...

Cinder Buach

More people died last year from eating Spinach than smoking Marijuana

— Marijuana laws are a mishmash among the 50 states. It isn't entirely legal anywhere, but 12 states have at least partly decriminalized it, to the point that in Alaska there is no penalty for possessing an ounce or less at home.

Not having a green line or voting for another Bush is more dangerous than weed.

Credit where credit is due

It's pretty much decriminalized at the moment in Somerville. No cop is going to bust you for smoking a spliff.

Cinder Buach

I actually get mine from a cop...

Rob

Something like this is long overdue. There's no reason to be locking up otherwise innocent people who just happen to have pot on them. Driving while high? That should be a crime. But just possession? Should be minor.

cabbie

"It's pretty much decriminalized at the moment in Somerville."

Yeah, tell that to my friend who lost his license and spent two years on probation for a minor quantity of herb. Further, because of the penalties being more harsh if you're in a school zone the arresting officer followed his vehicle for an additional half a mile so he could make the arrest in a school zone. Yeah, that's fair.

PearsonGal

I'm thrilled that I live in a jurisdiction that's sensible enough for our representatives to be able to take common sense positions like this. Pot should have been legalized and taxed long long ago. It horrifies me to think of how much money we waste policing marijuana. It also drives me nuts how hypocritcal it is to have tobacco and alcohol be legal and marijuana illegal.

Like Rob, I'd love to see laws that are extremely tough on driving under the influence but liberal on posession.

cabbie

Pearson and Rob - count me in on the DUI tip. Driving while stoned is driving while stoned whether you're on booze, crank or pot. I believe the existing DUI laws cover whatever substance one is Under the Influence of. And they should.

BTW - Clubber, I'll preach to you about Oxy and Junk if I feel like I want to. You claim that have "a lot more experience in those areas" then I'll ever have. If that's true I'm sorry to hear that. Having seen this shit destroy lives first hand, having witnessed people OD, if you've seen more of the gutter than I really do feel for you. Even if you feel the need to call my life worthless. Listen jackass, I actually saved someone's house and maybe their life today. I'm not making that up and gosh maybe that means my life isn't worthless after all.
"Pot is a gateway drug (trust me)" - on this, I don't trust you. I know scores of people who smoke the herb who NEVER touch anything harder.
"How stupid are you?" - I'm guessing not nearly as stupid as you.

Liberal Hypocrites

This is another example of the liberals being hypocrites. They want everyone to smoke pot, buy needles at CVS, get condoms and birth control at school, yet they want to send in the police if you're smoking a cigarette in your own home or car! And before long they'll have random food testing to be sure you're not using the wrong kind of cooking oil, and have dreaded trans fats in your food! They want freedom and choice depending on the issue, and the rest of the time they want to monitor your entire life. Hypocrites!

Election

Unlike Repuke nazis who are all for family values while they abuse their own children in the basement.

Ron Newman

they want to send in the police if you're smoking a cigarette in your own home or car

Who has proposed this, and when?

nobody

I think Jehlen's a moonbat generally, but I'm with her on this one. Seriously a waste of money and crime producer, the vast majority of people have done pot at some point, and the affects aren't much worse than alcohol.

To the person who complained that Republican's talk about individual freedom except when it comes to drugs, please take a look at the libertarian party, the only part that is in favor of small government on economics and social issues. You don't have to agree with all of their positions, but its enlightening to see that there is no special reason for the mirror image mismatch of the 2 major parties with respect to the size of government on social vs economic issues.

Cinder Buach

I am sure anything that doesn't exist in your simple small little world and mind seems like a "moonbat"....

Wow I bet your easily spooked,, Hey I bet I can you do anything I want just by saying "9-11".

9-11 9-11 9-11

Pretty spooky huh. Can you imagine what the terrorist will do to us if we let them...

Election

Al Quaeda is gonna get us if we legalize pot.

T Hilfigure

Bupe could end heroin addiction and cut crime, but it isn't patented so drug companies ignore it. Why the best technology doesn't always win? Why all are you all conned? When will you wake up?

Bubba Lou

By 57-to-43-percent margin, Denver voters have approved a ballot initiative that instructs police to make possession of marijuana in small quantities (less than an ounce) their lowest law enforcement priority. Denverites already had voted to repeal local penalties for possession of less than an ounce, with no noticeable effect on arrests; police just charged pot smokers under state law instead. Citing this history, the Rocky Mountain News says, "once again, the vote likely means nothing." But Mayor John Hickenlooper has promised to appoint a Marijuana Policy Review Panel to decide how the new ordinance should be implemented. Initiative organizer Mason Tvert says:

Although these officials say adult marijuana possession is already a low priority, it could undoubtedly be lower. For example, the City of Seattle, which adopted a very similar lowest law enforcement priority measure in 2003, handled just 125 cases of adult marijuana possession in 2006, whereas Denver -- a city with fewer residents -- handled nearly 1,400.

Tvert also notes that a similar initivative has had a significant impact in Missoula County, Montana, where the local prosecutor has told police to lay off pot smokers.

Smoking Police

Ron,
There are many initiatives across the country that have or are considering banning smoking in your home, or in your own car. Check out California for one, but there are others.

please

And what about your beloved Rebecca, Ron. She wanted to have cops spend their time enforcing non-smoking bans in area parks. If this is about using law enforcement resources, I'm not sure I want Somerville's finest strolling parks to make sure cigarettes are extinguished.

Ron Newman

I wouldn't favor any of that, though private condominium associations may be able to set their own rules.

Bubba Lou

Does protein powder lead to steroids? I am trying to build muscles and I am considering the use of some protein powder... but I don't want that to lead to steroids... After all a lot of people who use steroids also use protein powder.... It is a "gateway powder" they call it... And I am not sure I want to go through that door. I am scared.


"Based on government figures estimating that about five and a half percent of all arrests are marijuana arrests, [experts put] the total price tag for arresting, processing, trying, punishing and incarcerating marijuana users at $10.7 billion a year." Awesome, and how many kids go hungry every night in America?

Finally

Condo associations that don't ban smoking are stupid. Smoking inside significantly increases the risk of fire. Furthermore, long-term smoking reduces the value of the property. It is extremely costly to clean up a smoking place to satisfy potential buyers who don't want to smell smoke in the unit.

Bubba Lou

My guess is that Finally is not a PDS.. but it won't be long before some knuckle-dragger comes along and groups him in with them and then calls it a fringe group.

Why are you people so easy to con. Really what does it take one or two hours of talk radio a day to make you all cube-bots and wage slaves?

Common Sense

Thank God someone has some common sense at the State House! Alcohol is way more destructive than pot and look what happened when they passed Prohibition......it made the Mafia and many other gangs into corporations. Just like the gangs that smuggle pot into this country or gangs that grow it within our borders.....decriminalize pot and you get rid of these gangsters. Also you would save the tax payers loads of money from court costs and the big business of putting people in jail.

Susan Daly

Hey freaks (PDSers), is pot bad for you? Yes or No?

Don't doubletalk me about alcohol or cigerettes or eating bad food being bad for you too. That is not the question. The question is: Is POT BAD for you? YES or NO.

If the answer is YES, then why make it legal? Use your heads. Kids are dying left and right and getting hooked POT and then on Oxy (for $65 @ 80mg) and H FOR $5 a HIGH!!!Now this Pat Jehlen wants to make a harmful drug legal? She is damp in the head. No doubt.

There should be mandatory sentencing for even a trace of weed. Say 6 months in a camp to learn the effects of drugs. That's how you stamp out the problem of drug abuse.

Tricky

And what if the answer is NO?

One of the main reason marijuana's a gateway drug is the same guy who sells you a joint is gonna be the same guy who sells you a couple Oxy tablets.

Is anyone making the argument alcohol's a gateway drug? No, because you can't buy a spliff at your local liquor store.

cabbie

Susan -

You know who else had your take on drug use? Mao Tse-Tung. When the "party" took over China, the party was over and they just lined up all the drug users and killed 'em. It took a lot of bullets but gosh their drug problem was over.

How's it feel to agree with a Commie?

So what are you a Red? Why do you hate America?

coach

The question of whether pot is bad for you was never answered I see. Answer it yes or no.

Election

The answer to the idiotic question posed by our resident genius is that IT DEPENDS, like with everything else.

Common Sense

Daily News

COMMON SENSE AND MARIJUANA POLICY
(Source:Metrowest Daily News)
Regional News

Massachusetts
-------
A stream of witnesses brought a common sense approach to marijuana policy to a hearing on Beacon Hill this week. The current law making possession of small amounts of marijuana a criminal offense wastes money - $24 million a year, according to a Boston University study - and hurts people, especially young people, they testified. And after 35 years of the war on drugs, it's hard to argue that the current policy is preventing people from using marijuana.

The bill before the Joint Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee would impose a $250 civil fine for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, freeing offenders of the criminal record that can close off access to jobs and student aid.

Nobody showed up to speak in opposition to the bill, but that doesn't mean there is clear sailing ahead. The state Legislature has been reluctant to vote on anything that might brand members as soft on crime, and a spokeswoman for Gov. Deval Patrick reiterated his campaign pledge to veto any decriminalization measure.

Patrick, who looks more like a conventional politician by the day, showed more common sense in endorsing bringing casinos to Massachusetts. While agreeing that gambling can be addictive, he recognized that, for most people, it isn't. A 10-year study by Harvard Medical School found that 3 to 5 percent of people will develop a gambling problem, which is another way of saying that for 95 to 97 percent of the people, gambling is a harmless entertainment.

Can the same be said for marijuana? Yes, but alcohol is an easier comparison. Marijuana is far less addictive than booze and, strictly speaking, it's not addictive at all. It is less destructive to your liver and other organs than alcohol, nor is it as associated with violence, family break-up or other social ills. There is no known fatal dose of marijuana.

Alcohol prohibition failed because people finally admitted that, while alcohol is a problem for some people, it's a harmless entertainment for most. Marijuana prohibition is more punitive than alcohol prohibition ever was, since the Volstead Act never simple possession of alcohol illegal.

Consistency would argue that whether the vice in question is a hobby or a habit, drinking beer, smoking pot or playing poker is an individual decision, not something that should come with a prison sentence.

Consistency may be more than we can expect from our state Legislature. Rep. Ruth Balser, D-Newton, who has endorsed the marijuana decriminalization bill, is an opponent of legalizing casinos. A similar marijuana bill was approved by Balser's committee last year, but was never brought to the floor of either house for a vote.

In Massachusetts, as in other states, the public is way ahead of the politicians on marijuana reform. Since 2002, voters in 30 House districts approved nonbinding ballot questions endorsing some form of decriminalization, often by wide margins. Activists are now circulating petitions to put an initiative decriminalizing marijuana possession on the statewide ballot in 2008.

Eventually, common sense will bring change to the state and nation's drug policies. The wonder is that it is taking so long.

RIGSO

Finally something smart from someone in legislature. Decriminalizing marijuana is intelligent, and cost effective. There is no reason to believe more people will smoke it either. GO PAT!!

Election

Patrick is a dumb hypocrite. These days he is pushing to ban online gambling in MA (with jail time for offenders) while at the same time pushing to build casinos in MA!

Marijuana is a gateway drug

Legalization is not the answer! Drug use and abuse is not a victimless crime! Keeping drugs illegal keeps down use, addiction, and death. Medicalization (legalization) and decriminalization of drugs sends the wrong message to our citizens==particulary our youth. Everyone needs to give our young people the clear and unambiguous message that drugs are illegal, unhealthy, and wrong. Legalization has more to do with profit than compassion. Marijuana is not a harmless drug.

Mariguana:

decreases motor coordination, reasoning and memory
higher levels of carcinogens than tobacco
inhibits the reproduction system
impairs the immune system
causes birth complications

This will come back to bite Jehlen in her ass!
Mark my words

Ron Newman

So should we try banning beer again? That didn't work out so well last time.

Kerry Kennedy

Ron, beer has nothing to do with this. Alcohol is also not a victimless crime, but that ship sailed a while ago, booze is legal and look at the destruction that causes. Now you want to add another vice - that we know causes health and social problems - to the "it's ok to do this, kids" list. The solution is not to throw your hands up and quit.The solution is to have a zero tolerance policy with all drugs, build more facilities - just for drug offenders - to teach people how bad drugs are and then get them clean. Someon e gets got with pot they go to a drug treatment facility for 1 month - no questions asked. OXY, coke or heroin - 6 months - no questions asked. That would cure the problem. Society needs to get tough.

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