College Student Tortured by DEA for Celebrating 4/20

By Margaret St. Pierre

Daniel Chong by NBC News

The end of the college semester brings all sorts of stress. Usually money is tight, food options tend to suck, sleep is limited, and the workload seems impossible. During this time I often find myself thinking “what could be worse than this?”

After some mindless thinking about what could possibly be worse than dealing with the end-of-the-semester-bullshit, I stumbled upon a real life nightmare no college student would ever see coming.

College students do all sorts of crazy things to get by- eating a diet of ramen noodles, pulling countless all nighter’s and trading your once flourishing social life in for glasses of wine in front of the computer screen are all college-student standards around this time of year. 23-year-old UC San Diego student Daniel Chong and his friends decided that they would forget the stresses this time of year brings and relax with a little self medicated marijuana.

Chong realized he had made a poor decision sleeping at his friends’ house the night of the 4/20 holiday. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time when he and his friends encountered some unexpected visitors early Saturday morning, DEA agents raided the apartment in which Chong had spent the night,  seizing 18,000 ecstasy pills as well as other drugs and criminal weapons. Chong and nine others were taken into custody by the DEA for questioning.

Though Chong was not arrested or charged with any criminal activity, he was still handcuffed and placed in a 5×10 holding cell where he was promised a timely release. Hours turned into days and soon Chong began to realize there was a chance he might never get out.

Chong suffered in that holding cell for five full days.”They never came back, ignored my cries and I still don’t know what happened” explains Chong. “I’m not sure how they could have forgotten me.” The DEA’s official statement claims that “Chong was accidentally left in one of the cells” despite Chong’s incessant cries for help.

Several reports tell of the 23-year-old’s struggle in his cell as he tried everything he could think of to get the attention of the several agents he heard outside his cell door. Chong was forced to relive his real-life nightmare as he described his experience in the cell during a press conference. The young man first ripped a piece of his jacket with his teeth and placed the fabric under the door in hopes that someone would recognize that there might be a human being inside. To no avail, Chong was forced to drink his own urine in order to stay hydrated and ingested a white powder he found in the cell later to be revealed as methamphetamine. Chong stacked a number of his belongings including a blanket, his pants, and shoes onto a bench so he could reach a fire sprinkler. He hoped to set it off by cupping his hands and swatting at it, but his efforts were unsuccessful. By the third day, he found himself tearing apart the plastic lining of his cell walls in search of water as told to him by Japanese animation characters he had hallucinated.

Reaching utter hopelessness, Chong was driven into a state of mental disparity and soon attempted suicide by carving the words “Sorry Mom” after using his broken glasses as a torture tool. He wanted to leave something behind for her, and though (luckily) he had only made it through the “S” he decided that ingesting the glass might be a quicker and less painful option.

On April 25, Chong was found covered in his own feces and completely dehydrated. The DEA Agent who found him “on a total fluke” responded to his presence in total shock and bewilderment, saying “Where’d you come from?”

Chong was soon rushed to the hospital where he was treated for kidney failure, severe dehydration, cramps and a perforated esophagus. He had lost fifteen pounds and says he “had pretty much lost [his] mind.”

The Huffington Post reported on how Chong and his attorney’s were going to attack the tragic mistreatment of Daniel Chong with serious legal action.

His attorneys filed a $20 million claim on Wednesday against the federal agency, saying his treatment constitutes torture under U.S. and international law. The five-page notice, a required precursor to a lawsuit, was sent to the DEA’s chief counsel in Washington, D.C. The $20 million figure refers to the maximum amount that Chong and his lawyers would seek. – Huffington Post

Chong was forced to miss his midterm exams, and may be asked to leave USCD because of the incident.

I cannot help but feel nothing but sympathy for poor Daniel Chong. I know that while I’m sure he knew what his drug-dealing-violence-loving friends were up to, the fact of the matter is that Daniel Chong was an innocent American citizen who was treated in the most unlawful and cruel ways. I don’t believe that any human being deserves to be tortured with such brutality, but the fact that Chong was innocent in this case really upsets me. I wish the best to Chong and his family in successfully fighting the DEA for their mistreatment of Daniel, and can only hope that an incident like this never occurs again.

If you’re interested in hearing some outside insight on the story I highly advise you to check out this video. These two break down the situation in a way I find totally appropriate, and I think most of you will too!

OMG TOTALLY NEW INFORMATION RIGHT HERE!

Photo by Saulo Cruz from Flickr

By Margaret St. Pierre

THIS JUST IN LADIES AND GENTLEMAN! Recent and totally riveting studies done by the The Partnership at Drugfree.Org and the MetLife Foundation have found that teenagers do in fact use marijuana on a regular basis. The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study showed that a stunning 1.5 million teenagers have smoked the devil’s lettuce up at least 20 times a month!

Crazy right? Teenagers smoking weed….good joke right? Part of me can’t even believe this is actually news but, despite it’s utter wackness, I still have a few things to say on the matter.

Marijuana use has hit an all time high! Usage has gone up 80% since 2008, an impressive growth in my opinion. Last time a study showed such an increase in smoking weed was in 1998, where usage was up 27%. I don’t know about you, but I find it extremely comforting that so much of the population has found it fitting to sit back and smoke some weed every now and then.

The dudes at the Drugfree.org are not so enthused about the results of this study (even though, lets be real, what did they really expect?). Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership at Drugfree.org  used the word “disturbing” when commenting on the study. He expressed serious concerns for high school students who are smoking cannabis regularly, warning us all that using marijuana “can spell real trouble for these teens later on.”

“Heavy use of marijuana — particularly beginning in adolescence — brings the risk of serious problems and our data show it is linked to involvement with alcohol and other drugs as well. Kids who begin using drugs or alcohol as teenagers are more likely to struggle with substance use disorders when compared to those who start using after the teenage years.” – Steve Pasierb, from redOrbit

Apparently smoking weed has become far too “normal” for the youth’s own good. 71% of the teens surveyed in the study say that they have friends that like to smoke pot. On the flip side, 26% said that marijuana use wasn’t an issue in their schools. Teens however aren’t to blame for their lack of judgement according to Pasierb. He is blaming parents for the boost, claiming that they aren’t taking the issue seriously enough.  Apparently Mom and Dad are putting too much of their focus warning their kids about the dangers of  heroine and cocaine, leaving the world of prescription drugs and cannabis consumption free to explore.

Dennis White, President and CEO of the Metlife Foundation offered a bit of advice to the non-tokers of America.

“The latest findings showing an increase in marijuana use among teens is unsettling and should serve as a wake-up call to everyone in a position to prevent unhealthy behavior. While it may be difficult to clearly understand just how dangerous marijuana use can be for teens, it is imperative that we all pay attention to the warning signs and intervene anyway we can. Early intervention is critical to helping prevent teens from drug abuse and addiction.” – Dennis White from redOrbit

Does this sound bogus to anyone else? It’s totally bizarre that the generations before us have forgotten about the 60’s and 70’s (a period of time I like to refer to as “the Golden Years”). Smoking weed has been apart of youth culture for has long as history has documented marijuana use. I am curious to know what exact “dangers and risks” Pasierb and White speak of when commenting on the not so new smoking habits of teenagers. These guys were probably smoking all sorts of things during those Golden Years and they turned out fine. Where’s the danger in packing a pipe and listening to your favorite Beatles album?

It is my righteous and firm belief that the “man” of today’s society (in this case, Steve Pasierb and Dennis White) is scared to death of the way our generation will revolutionize society. I don’t know about you, but I feel like we are on the verge of a political explosion- we’re sick of war, sick of debt, sick of loans, and sick of all these oppressive rules keeping us from living and loving to our fullest potential. Luckily we are able to take comfort knowing that we are the future! Soon enough we will have the power to make some necessary changes most of the population has craved since the new millennium. Whether they like it or not- marijuana will most definitely be legalized within our lifetime. We, like the many generations before us are simply looking to be free, have fun, and get high whenever we see fit.

While I do see why teens smoking weed might spark a level of concern among adults, I think it’d be much more beneficial to start teaching the facts about marijuana and the many ways it has helped people throughout history. Clearly we are not scared of the stuff so it’s obviously time for a different approach. Proper knowledge can only lead to smarter decision making, and that’s all these guys really want, right? The fact of the matter is that teens are gonna smoke weed whether it’s legal or not- it’s about time the government stops tip-toeing around the facts and accept marijuana for what it really is…awesome 🙂

Welcome to the Good Life Connecticut!

Photo from Flickr by Curt Moore

By Margaret St. Pierre

Today’s news is some of the happiest I have heard in a while. It is with great pleasure that I inform you that Connecticut’s House of Representatives has voted yes on 96-51, aka legalizing medical marijuana for CT residents! Born and raised in the nutmeg state, I am extremely proud and excited about the vote, and am eager to see how its progression will affect the state.

You can’t have a good thing without some haters of course. It’s probably no shock to anyone that Connecticut is crawling with them. We CT natives have a reputation for being loaded with money, snobby and arrogant. This is a stereotype that is so far from the truth, but exists nevertheless- even I’m shocked the bill was passed because lets face it, arrogant rich snobs are never in favor of legalizing marijuana.

The bill states that patients suffering from illnesses such as glaucoma, HIV, cancer and multiple scleroses are able to use medical marijuana provided that it is prescribed by a licensed physician. Patients must re-apply for the prescription after one full year, and can only refill once a month. The drug will still be banned from public places, moving vehicles, in the presence of minors and of course in school zones, but does not specifically state what form the drug will be in. After seven hours of debate the measure passed with 96 in favor and 51 not in favor. Interestingly enough, 17 Republicans voted for the bill and 17 House Democrats voted against it.

Representative Penny Bacchiochi says that this bill is better than any other that has been offered in the past decade for several reasons. “It sets up a system for growing and dispensing marijuana. Patients would not have to grow the marijuana plants themselves. The number of producers would be limited to 10 and they’d be charged a $25,000 non-refundable application fee.” On top of all that, dispensaries will be required to be overseen by a licensed physician

Personally I think that sounds like a fine bill! However, Connecticut U.S. Attorney David B. Fein disagrees. I can only imagine how pissed he must have upon hearing the result of the vote, for sent a “strongly-worded” letter to two of the state senators about the bill only two days before. In the letter, Fein wrote

“House Bill 5389 will create a licensing scheme that appears to permit large-scale marijuana cultivation and distribution, which would authorize conduct contrary to federal law and undermine the federal government’s efforts to regulate the possession, manufacturing, and trafficking of controlled substances. Accordingly, the Department of Justice could consider civil and criminal legal remedies against those individuals and entities that set up marijuana growing facilities and dispensaries, as they will be doing so in violation of federal law.” – David B. Fein

The bill is causing quite a stir according to The Hartford Courant. Many are worried about what kind of messages will be sent to Connecticut’s younger generations. Some are concerned that legalizing the drug will effect work performance negatively, and a number of people agree that the issue shouldn’t even be discussed on a state level because it is a federal matter.

All that aside, the only message I’m getting from of all these haters is that they are freaking out because they are loosing control and it seems to me that they simply don’t want to see sick people get better. I will never understand why these patients should be denied the one medicinal substance that makes them feel better. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand why the government may not want everyone and their mother walking around like a stoned zombie, but the fact of the matter is that marijuana is everywhere and under no circumstances will it ever disappear for good.

Needless to say, I am most definitely looking forward to my next trip home to Connecticut, and will keep my fingers crossed that this bill is put into effect smoothly. I encourage you all to read some of the specifics of the debate here in hopes of forming your own opinions if and when medical marijuana is legalized in your state too!

Happy Holiday Y’all!

from flickr by atache

By: Margaret St. Pierre

Today is the day we long for all year. Everybody grab your lighters and your favorite piece of glass, for the greatest day of the year has finally come again. April 20th is something like Christmas for stoners everywhere, making big plans to get real silly celebrating mother natures finest herb.

It’s safe to say that everyone knows 420 relates to marijuana, but the facts behind this special number aren’t so clear. I safely assume that we all giggle a little when the clock strikes 4:20, or when we pay $4.20 for munchies at the local gas station. We all know what 420 means, but it seems to me that few know where the number combo came from. To help us get a better understanding of the origins on 420, I have done a little research. Here is what I found:

The folks at Huffington Post have posted this article every year on this day since 2009. I highly recommend checking out their investigation on the matter- these guys know what’s up with the details on 420 as well as the dudes who created the phenomena.

Apparently the story goes like this. Many think that way back in the glory days of the 70’s police used 4/20 as a code for “smoking marijuana in progress.” Naturally when the youth heard of the code, they started using it among themselves, referring to smoking weed as 420ing and opting to meet at 4:20pm to 420.

This isn’t the case.

The real story goes like this:  Celebrity stoner Steve Bloom wandered through the sea of hippies partying in a parking lot before a Greatful Dead show in Oakland California circa 1990. Bloom was gifted a yellow flyer that read “We are going to meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais.”

The origin of 420 had nothing to do with a police code, though the San Rafael part was dead-on. A group of five San Rafael High School friends known as the Waldos — by virtue of their chosen hangout spot, a wall outside the school — coined the term in 1971. – Huffington Post

Back in the fall of 1971 the Waldos were blessed with some very valuable information. A member of the coast guard was unable to tend to his marijuana crop Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station. The Waldos, who were all athletes, decided to create a map and meet after their sports practices at 4:20 to go on a treasure hunt.

Steve Capper, one of the original Waldos said that while they never actually did find the patch, they did find an extremely handy code word

“I could say to one of my friends, I’d go, ‘420,’ and it was telepathic. He would know if I was saying, ‘Hey, do you wanna go smoke some?’ Or, ‘Do you have any?’ Or, ‘Are you stoned right now?’ It was kind of telepathic just from the way you said it. Our teachers didn’t know what we were talking about. Our parents didn’t know what we were talking about.” – Steve Capper

The term exploded throughout the nation with the help of the Grateful Dead. The band relocated to Marin County Hills when the hippie culture of San Fransisco was squashed by “speed-freaks, thugs, and con artists.” Because Marin County Hills was only a few blocks from San Rafael High school and the Waldo’s had some serious connections with the band, they found themselves smoking weed with them on several occasions.

The rest is history- the term trended among the band and from there was recognizedby High Times. Editor at the time Steve Hagar started incorporating the number in several events put on by High Times, like the Cannabis Cup and the World Hemp Expo Extravaganza. The number became an international sensation and was recognized among smoker’s everywhere!

The best part about this story is that there is proof of it! Somewhere, in some bank, in some vault, in San Fransisco lies the Waldo’s original 420 handy work. The vault is home to a stitched 420 flag, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia from the Waldo’s glory days. I encourage you all to check out the photos here.

So there we have it- 420 was created by a group of high school kids who just wanted to get high and jam out with the Grateful Dead. 420 will forever remain legendary among the marijuana-loving community. Now that you’ve learned your “something new” of the day, I wish you all the happiest of holi-daze!

Oaksterdam University Raided for Distributing Knowlege?

Marijuana use is generally frowned upon in educational settings. Parents and teachers seem to think that if a student is high, they are not learning. There is one college however, that embraces all the wonderful things pot does for us.

Oaksterdam University, located in Oakland California is America’s first and only college designed to train future growers of the ins-and-outs of “the budding cannabis job fields.” Since opening their doors in 2007, the school has flourished being apart of California’s legalization movement and provides thousands of students with the highest quality information and tools to enter the budding medical marijuana job market.

On the morning of April 2, 2012, the school fell victim to a serious raid by the DEA. Armed with search warrants and trash bags, DEA agents blocked the doors of the school and carried away several trash bags filled with unknown substances. “Arlette Lee, an IRS spokeswoman told reporters that agents were serving a federal search warrant but said she could not otherwise comment on the purpose of the raid.” As a result, hundreds of medical marijuana users and advocates of the university came together to protest the raid, chanting “Shame!” as well as “DEA, go away!” Some of the protest can be seen in the video below.

Richard Lee founded the college with a mission statement claiming to “legitimize the business and work to change the law to make cannabis legal.” He says that he is unable to offer much insight on why his organization is being targeted by the government, as he insists the university would operate legally. Lee’s reasons for opening the school are simple and seemingly harmless.

“I’ve seen in California that there are not enough good people who want to work in the cannabis industry in a professional way, who want to pay taxes and obey regulations and help improve their community.” – Richard Lee

Steve DeAngelo, founder of the Oakland Harborside Health Center which is credited to be the biggest dispensary in the world feels that Lee is being targeted unfairly. “We’re seeing American agents gong in and raiding a university,” says DeAngelo. “They didn’t distribute cannabis. They were distributing knowledge. It’s not a coincidence they went after Richard Lee. They are trying to silence him.”

It makes sense that the government would target Lee, as he is one of the biggest leaders in the fight for legalization. Though he was not arrested, agents did find it fitting to raid his home and keep him detained while the raid was happening.

I personally think the government’s got it all wrong these days. They continuously fail to realize that we as a smoking community would want nothing more than to use marijuana freely and safely. As long as they continue to bag these so called “criminals,” marijuana will remain an underground operation and thus, more dangerous than it has to be. The medical marijuana industry is going to thrive no matter how hard the government tries to stop it. In my opinion, they should be more welcoming to people like Lee and DeAngelo, who only have the best intentions when it comes to people smoking pot. They have nothing but good intentions as they will continue working toward keeping the industry controlled in a safe and lawful manner.

Just Smoke the Real Stuff!

By Margaret St. Pierre

Is your dealer dry? Don’t have the funds for a 20 sac? Or worse, do you not know where to find everyone’s favorite herb? Luckily enough for you, a new substance is trending among people who have the same exact problems!

Don’t go jumping for joy just yet for as of late, synthetic pot, otherwise known as “K2” or “spice,” has caused some serious problems among it’s users. While it used to be available at gas stations and convenient stores all over the US, in February of this year K2 was removed from the shelves and labeled as controlled substance due to some scary side effects. DEA Agent Gary Boggs is quoted saying “legal doesn’t mean safe” in this CBS news story.

Synthetic pot is based around a blend of seemingly harmless floral ingredients. The recipe calls for “bay bean, blue lotus, lion’s tail, lousewort, Indian warrior, dwarf skullcap, maconhabrava, pink lotus, marshmallow, red clover, rose, Siberian Motherwort, vanilla, and honey.” Apparently the base is totally harmless until it is sprayed with a toxic chemical called JWH-018, a chemical invented by John W. Huffman, a former chemistry professor at Clemens University. Huffman is famous for testing the effects of various synthetic THC chemicals (Check out this interview with Huffman on synthetic marijuana here).

There have been a number of incidents resulting in a serious need for medical attention after smoking K2.

One girl, brought in for “altered mental status,” was catatonic: her eyes were open but she didn’t respond to the voices of those around her or to painful pinches. Her heart rate was fast, at 105 beats per minutes, but her breathing was slow, at 18 breaths per minute. Her legs were rigid. After she was treated with lorazepam, an anti-anxiety drug, and diphenhydramine, to treat muscle movement problems, she started to come around, slowly. Her boyfriend said they’d smoked K2.

Another teenager, a boy, was brought to the ER from a party, because he was “agitated,” aggressive, restless, dizzy, and suffered a headache and profuse sweating. He also had a fast heart rate, but slow breathing. He had smoked Spice, but his urine tests came back negative. He was also given lorazepam and diphenhydramine, and later released.

A third teen was brought in to the ER because his face seemed “frozen,” his speech was slurred, and he was confused and hallucinating. He was given lorazepam and eventually returned to normal. He’d also smoked Spice, hours earlier.

Teens are getting more bang for their buck smoking this garbage because the chemicals in synthetic pot bond to the cannabis receptor in your brain 5x stronger than regular THC can. While it sounds like a dream come true for some, smoking spice is resulting in some dangerous long-term health issues.

I personally have had the displeasure of smoking K2 a few months ago when my money flow was limited and the warm weather was coming in full swing. Take it from me when I tell you it’s totally not worth it your money- I didn’t end up the emergency room or anything but I had a series of panic attacks that were pretty much impossible to explain to my mom. I was short of breath, terribly upset, paranoid and all around a huge mess.

Isn’t it funny that the only reason this stuff is available is because real marijuana is illegal? Having said that, the moral of the story is- if you see this junk around, save your money and buy the real stuff. No one is looking for a mental break down when they are trying to get high and that’s all that will come out of smoking K2.

“From First to Worst”

By Margaret St. Pierre

President Barack Obama has done a lot of great things since the beginning of his presidency in 2008. As if becoming the first black president wasn’t cool enough, he also caught Osama Bin Laden and increased the employment rate by 5.9%.

So why is it that Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project calling him “the worst?” The answer (obviously) lies within his policies on medical marijuana. At the beginning of his term, Obama was quoted saying that he is “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue.” Promising to put an end to the Bush administrations numerous raids on the growing medical marijuana industry, everyone was optimistic and eager for the much awaited change.

You may be surprised to find out that despite the promise he made to pot smoker’s everywhere, Obama is actually about to exceed Bush’s count. Totaling up to 100 raids since he took office, the feds are busting dispensaries all over the country disregarding the fact that they are operating them in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws established in their respective states.

These raids will directly affect the 730,000 US citizens who are prescribed marijuana to treat their painful and often terminal diseases. Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Drug Policy Alliance makes an interesting point as he says “the administration is going after legal dispensaries and state and local authorities in ways that are going to push this stuff back underground again.” Can you imagine a 70 year old glaucoma patient having to go through the hassle of finding a good dealer, picking up and then dealing with the stress of possibly getting arrested just so she can feel normal for a while?

What bothers me the most about this issue is that 70% of the population approves of medical marijuana and it still seems to be a problem! Isn’t this supposed to be a democracy? Last I checked those 30% who are not in-favor LOST THE VOTE!

Rob Kampia said it best- “medical marijuana is twice as popular as Obama. It doesn’t make any political sense.” Ladies and gentlemen we are so close to a marijuana revolution I can smell it already! It is our responsibility to stay informed with the progress in legalizing medical marijuana and to choose wisely when casting your ballot in November.  This video is a good place to start:

Look Before You Pass!

In case you didn’t know- selling pot is still illegal in the state of Massachusetts.

The states highest court met Monday, February 13, to discuss confusion with the bill that decriminalized marijuana in MA. The bill states that any person caught with less than an ounce of marijuana is only subject to pay a fine of $100.00, instead of jail time.

Unfortunately for Shawn Keefner, this was not the case. The Great Barrington Police were called after a woman spotted her daughter and Keefner smoking weed outside of her home in 2011. The police proceeded to search Keefner’s car where they found three individually wrapped bags holding two grams of marijuana each, $100.00 cash and a text message on his cellphone from someone wishing to purchase $20.00 worth of marijuana.

Keefner was arrested and appealed because the 2008 bill did not address what were to happen if someone were in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, but had the intent to sell. Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland, who was present in Monday’s meeting had this this to say:

” By creating specific exemptions in the simple possession statute, but not in the possession with intent to distribute statute, we conclude that the voters intended only to amend the simple possession statute and intended to exclude from the act’s reach the separate and distinct crime of possession … with intent to distribute”

Basically, Roderick Ireland is saying that those who voted in 2008 didn’t really know what they were voting for. Nevertheless, Keefner’s lawyer David Skeels was quick with to retort. Skeels pointed out that  “the 2008 law didn’t apply to those who were attempting to sell or distribute less than an ounce of marijuana…the law intended to shield from criminal charges, people who were merely sharing a marijuana cigarette.”

The high court justices decided to leave the debate for the day, leaving this footnote in the ruiling.

“the Commonwealth may criminally charge each person who passed the marijuana cigarette to another with distribution of marijuana or possession with intent to distribute, even though such individuals could not be charged criminally with possession of marijuana, because the amount of marijuana each possessed was one ounce or less.’’

Isn’t it completely ridiculous that people who are merely passing a joint back in forth are subject to harsher consequences than someone who is dealing it?! This is just another development in the marijuana market that is incredibly unreasonable and totally ignorant.  What do you think?

Legalize it already!

On the fence about voting this November? Perhaps the newest development in marijuana legalization in the state of Massachusetts can persuade you to get active and make that change that has been eagerly awaited.

Peter Lewis,  an Ohio resident and chairman of Progressive Insurance company has generously funded  $525,000 toward legalization of medical marijuana in the state of Massachusetts. Lewis donated to the Committee for Compassionate Medicine who is very much in favor of using marijuana for medical purposes. Lewis is responsible for virtually all of the $526,167 raised by the Committee for Compassionate Medicine, who are working to file “a ballot initiative that, if qualified and passed by voters, would create a voter approved medical marijuana program.”

Bills H.625 and SB 1161 are similar to the one’s that were stalled by the legislature during the 2011 session.

The ballot question would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis to get permission from their doctors to use marijuana.

The plan also calls for the state to register up to 35 nonprofit medical treatment centers around the state to distribute the marijuana. – Associated Press, Boston Herald

If the legislature decides to stall the ballot again, the people will be able to take matters into their own hands by weighing in directly. With the ballot initiative fostered by the Committee for Compassionate Medicine’s ballot is qualified and passed, voters will be able to create “a voter approved medical marijuana program” that will protect anyone who uses the now decriminalized drug for healing purposes.

Interested in learning more about Peter Lewis and his plans for legalization? Check it out here!

It seems as though it’s only a matter of time before marijuana makes it’s triumphant debut into the legal world, but it wont happen without our help! Judging by the way this debate has unraveled in the past, our generation simply wont stop fighting until the government realizes a little pot can do a person an immense amount of good.