Chronicle AM: CT Could See Legalization on Ballot, Big Cutbacks at Drug Policy Alliance, More... (5/21/19)

The nation's leading drug policy reform group is seeing staff cuts and state office shutdowns, the NFL and its players' union are looking at league marijuana policies, Connecticut lawmakers may put legalization up to a popular vote, and more.

The path to marijuana legalization in Connecticut may lead to the voting booth. (Creative Commons)
Marijuana Policy

Connecticut Legislature's Legalization Effort Falls Short, Talk Turns to 2020 Constitutional Amendment. It now appears there are not enough votes in the legislature to pass legalization this year, so some legislators are considering placing the issue before the voters next year as a constitutional amendment. That would require three-quarters of both the House and the Senate to approve a resolution allowing the measure to appear on the ballot in 2020. If the resolution passes with less than three-quarters in either house, it would go back to the legislature next year, and if it passed that session by a simple majority, it would go to voters in 2022.

Illinois Poll Has Strong Support for Legalization. A new poll from Big Think Illinois show marijuana legalization has broad support across the state. Statewide support was at 60%, with support at 68% in suburban Cook County, 60% in Chicago and the metropolitan collar counties, and 54% downstate. The poll comes as the legislature considers a legalization bill with two weeks left in the session.

Oakland to Consider Lowering Marijuana Business Taxes. The East Bay city has a 10% tax on gross receipts for all non-medical pot businesses, which is among the highest in the state. City Council member Dan Kalb is now proposing an ordinance to lower that rate to 5% in a bid to keep such businesses from leaving the city. The council is set to vote on the ordinance later today.

Medical Marijuana

NFL, Players to Study Marijuana as Pain Management Tool. With collective bargaining talks between the NFL and the players' union, the NFLPA, getting underway, marijuana is on the agenda. The league and the NFLPA have agreed to form two new joint medical committees, partly to study marijuana as a pain management tool. The move could result in a revision of the NFL's current drug policy, which bars marijuana and punishes players for using it.

Drug Policy

Drug Policy Alliance Cuts Staff, Closes Two State Offices. Citing a decline in funding, the Drug Policy Alliance announced Monday that it was laying off 17 of its 65 staff members and closing its state offices in Colorado and New Jersey. State offices in California, New Mexico, and New York will remain open, but the New Mexico office is seeing a staff cut.

Drug Testing

Louisiana Bill to Require Drug Testing in Severe Auto Accidents Advances. The House Transportation Committee approved a bill Monday to require either chemical, blood, or urine testing for drivers involved in a crash involving serious bodily injury or death. SB 1138 would expand the state's current law, which requires testing only in the case of fatal accidents. The bill has already passed the Senate and now heads for a House floor vote.

Drug Policy Alliance is a financial supporter of Drug War Chronicle.

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Dain Bramage's picture

Cars kill

Regarding the Louisiana bill, a couple points...

1. The existence of this bill in a political body, as opposed to this being a policy under discussion within medical circles, demonstrates the fact that "drug testing" is not a medical procedure, but rather, it is a political procedure.  I think we can count on the doctors in the ER to do their jobs without unsolicited help from a Louisiana politician.

2.  Sadly, what we are blind to as a culture is the fairly apparent fact that what puts a driver or a pedestrian in the hospital or the morgue after an automobile crash is not chemical impairment, but rather, it is the vehicle -- the automobile itself.

Cars kill, and we completely ignore it.  Instead, we ask "Heavens to Betsy, what in the world went wrong?  Let's analyze some chemicals under a microscope."  ...as if it were some great mystery as to the cause of the carnage.  

Cars kill!  There's your answer, detective.

I am in no way advocating for drunk driving, it's a stupid and deadly and immoral thing to do.

My point is simply this: so is driving a car.  We just pretend like it ain't so.

 

Rather than pick on you, I will take the hotseat, and give you an example.  I oppose cruelty to animals, and although I do eat meat and wear leather, I do not believe in pointless, avoidable violence.  For example, if I were walking down the street and saw a cat, I wouldn't kill it for no reason.  But if I were driving down the street, I might. 

In fact, I did.  I didn't mean to.  But that doesn't matter to the cat, or its owner.  I am sorry.

Dain Bramage's picture

Corporate products

The automobile is a corporate product, like a dish washing machine, or a cell phone, or a pack of cigarettes.

We market these products to ourselves, then we buy our own bullshit in the marketing -- that's how soft in the head we are.  Then, we buy the products themselves.  We use them, expecting to get the results we were promised in the advertising.  When we discover that we've been had -- when we realize that the cheeseburger we were sold looks nothing like the cheeseburger we were promised, the cheeseburger in the pictures -- then we get mad, naturally.  

But never at ourselves, eh?  Never at ourselves for enabling and participating in the corporate charade in the first place.

Dain Bramage's picture

"Sell them their dreams"

Helen Landon Cass, a popular radio personality, told a display convention in 1923: "Sell them their dreams. Sell them what they longed for and hoped for. Sell them this hope and you won't have to worry about selling the goods."

 

"Them" is us.  We live in a corporate dream.  We live our entire lives in a self-induced, corporate fueled, fantasy world. 

Wake up time!

Cruelity to animals

Rather hypocritical to say your against cruelity to animals and support the worst cruelity- slaughtering animals.

 

Suggest you visit your local slaughter house and just perhaps you'll stop being a HYPOCRITE and give up eating them.

Dain Bramage's picture

You missed the point, dumbass.

That's why I took the hotseat, Redneck. 

Because you are incapable of introspection or critical thought.

 

Who gives a fuck what you think about me?   What you gonna do about it?

Dain Bramage's picture

Greenbrier Rick,You and I

Greenbrier Rick,

You and I (that is, "we") work in, and for, "the slaughterhouse."

You.  AND me.

Get it?  Nahhh, probably not. 

Dain Bramage's picture

Greenbrier Rick, ever drive a

Greenbrier Rick, ever drive a car?  Just wondering.

Ever wipe a bug off the windshield?  No, you wouldn't hurt a fly, would you?

Ever hit a squirrel?  How about a bird?  A frog?

Do you eat squirrel meat?  No?   You just left it there to rot?

Dain Bramage's picture

Visit a slaughterhouse?  I am

Visit a slaughterhouse?  I am the slaughterhouse.

And so are you, Greenbrier Rick.

Only difference between us is, you live in a dreamworld.

Dain Bramage's picture

Cars kill.

Cars kill.

Cars kill.Pencils misspell

Cars kill.

Pencils misspell words.

Spoons make people fat. 

I read this quote by Chris Lowe - "Stupidity combined with arrogance and a huge ego will get you a long way."

It makes me think off two people right off the bat. Donald Trump and Dain Bramage. Are you aware how much you sound like him?

Dain Bramage's picture

You spit when you talk, Harley

Harley, it is apparent from your spittle-flecked outburst that you haven't given this topic much thought.  Let me help you out here, if you're not too proud. 

If you had actually read the comments before popping off, you would know that I was talking about me driving a car.  Me!!  Okay, genius?   Try to keep up, please?

Cars kill.  Those corpses are called "road kill" -- ever hear the term before, stupid?  Sure you have.  So cut the crap.

Whenever you see road kill, remember: they clean up the dead people! 

That's a car WITH A DRIVER, we're talking about now.  Got it, stupid?

 

"So shove your spoons and pencils up your fat ass, Harley."

(That's not a Trump quote, is it?)

Dain Bramage's picture

Readers, please notice how

Readers, please notice how neither of these little wimps attacking me have had the intellectual honesty and courage to put themselves on the metaphorical hot seat, as I have, and admit that they too, as drivers, are serial killers of many critters great and small.

Greenbrier Rick, start with the motherfucking bugs on your windshield, and start counting.  Work your way up through the bugs to the frogs and snakes and rodents; now add in the squirrels and cats and dogs.  Ever hit a deer?  A bear?  A person?  You are drenched in the blood of innocents, you delusional freakshow.

 

Greenbrier Rick and Harley are a couple of intellectual pussies; they run from any facts that might threaten the happy little dreamworld in which they live.  In this dreamworld, cars are not serial killers; they are more like way cool friends you like to hang around with.  They're fun; they're fast; they're sexy. But that's all a fantasy.  And that fantasy was purposefully implanted into your mind by corporate America; the purpose of the implant was marketing and ultimately, profit.

And so, back to the topic -- the Louisiana legislation -- drug testing is a means of protecting that fantasy by scapegoating marijuana, among other things.

 

But that's a scary thought,  isn't it?

BOO!!  That's right, run, you cowards!

Dain Bramage's picture

Barbie and all her stuff, like cars

For every Barbie doll we sell our kids, there is an entire fantasy world behind it -- a vision of society.

The same thing is true for your automobile.  (Automobile: automatic walking. Seriously.  Like some Jetsons cartoon from the sixties.)

You thought you were a grownup, didn't you?  But it's all a Barbie and Ken fantasy.   Nice plastic car, by the way.

Now I am going to implant a vision in your head, Harley.   I am now hereby naming your car or motorcycle "Barbie."  From now on, whenever you look at your car or motorcycle, even if you trade it in or buy a new one, you will always think of the name "Barbie."

In fact, I dare you to try NOT to think of a Barbie doll, whenever you look at your car, from now on.

Mind control.

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