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  • June 12 2013

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    Judge Strikes Down Colorado’s Proposed Regulations on Marijuana-Themed Magazines

    A federal judge struck down a provision of Colorado’s legalization law on Tuesday, which would have required marijuana-themed magazines to be treated like pornography and sold behind the counter.

    Magazine publishers and local bookstores filed a lawsuit against the state in early June, arguing that such restrictions were not in place while marijuana use was illegal.

    The ruling follows last week’s statement by anti-marijuana Attorney General John Suthers that the provision is unconstitutional.

    The Colorado Department of Revenue, which is in the process of setting up the law’s regulatory framework, announced that it will not enforce the provision.

    Mason Tvert, MPP’s communications director and a campaigner for Colorado’s 2012 referendum, said, “The idea that stores can prominently display magazines touting the joys of drinking wine and smoking cigars, yet banish those that discuss a far safer substance to behind the counter, is absolutely absurd. It is time for our elected leaders to get over their reefer madness.”

  • June 12 2013

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    Scientists Decry UN Interference with Research

    In the latest issue of Nature Reviews Neuroscience, leading scientists argue that the UN conventions on drugs in the 1960s and 1970s, which outlawed drugs with psychoactive substances such as marijuana, is hindering research into potentially significant medicinal uses, estimating that research in key areas such as consciousness has been set back by decades.

    Report authors Professor David Nutt and Professor David Nichols contend that the illegal status of psychoactive drugs makes it almost impossible to examine their mechanisms of action and potential therapeutic uses.

    DavidNutt

    Prof. David Nutt

    Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, stated that the ban is “motivated by politics, not science” and characterized it as “the worst case of scientific censorship since the Catholic Church banned the works of Copernicus and Galileo.”

    Nutt and Nichols, a professor at UNC Chapel Hill, have called for a more rational approach to drug regulation that would empower researchers to make advancements in the field of neuroscience and uncover new treatments in areas such as depression and PTSD.

    The call for reform has been endorsed by the British Neuroscience Association and the British Association for Psychopharmacology.

  • June 12 2013

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    Poll: Majority of New Jersey Voters Support Decriminalization for Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana

    A recent poll found that a majority of New Jersey voters believe people who are caught with small amounts of marijuana should pay a fine, but not go to prison.

    Commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance, the poll of 604 registered voters determined that 61 percent support the elimination of criminal penalties for minor possession (under two ounces).

    The poll also found that 82 percent of voters either favor, or are neutral to, politicians who advocate for reducing criminal penalties for possession.

    Rosanne Scotti, the New Jersey State director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said, “More than 22,000 individuals were arrested for marijuana possession in New Jersey in 2010 at a cost of more than $125 million dollars. New Jerseyans understand that current penalties for marijuana are unfair and wasteful.”

    Despite this wave of public support, NJ Gov. Chris Christie has stated that he will veto any decriminalization bill.

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