Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Globe Forgot 4/20

"Dispense with medical marijuana alarmism" by Yvonne Abraham Globe Columnist  April 19, 2015

Massachusetts voters legalized medical marijuana back in 2012. The first dispensaries should have opened last summer. But the implementation of the system has been a case study in ham-handedness. The approval process for vendors became such a bog of questions, confusion, and scandal that some applicants fled.

Yeah, almost as if the state authorities that didn't want it were dragging their heels and sabotaging the process.

One company, Patriot Care, survived the state’s messy approval process (and several unflattering Globe stories) to get licenses for three dispensaries. It is hoping to open the first in downtown Boston, on Milk Street, a short walk from St. Anthony’s Shrine.

But some powerful neighbors won’t have it. The Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, a coalition of commercial property owners in the area, is opposed.

So am I.... now.

Too much hassle, too much trouble, let the sick suffer and die for all I care!

The group’s president, Rosemarie Sansone, was kind enough to call from vacation on Friday to explain the group’s reasoning, but after a long conversation, I’m still mystified.

She said the BID worries the dispensary planned for Milk Street would be too close to day-care centers, the Old South Church, the Freedom Trail, and the Irish Famine Memorial. Those tourist attractions bring “many young people into this area on a daily basis,” she said. That part of downtown, home to several homeless shelters, already sees many 911 calls, she said.

“We are working very, very hard to make this the comeback neighborhood everybody wants it to be,” she said. “We’re not there yet, and this is one additional challenge.”

Why should a dispensary be an additional challenge? We’re not talking about a strip club, or a brothel. A marijuana dispensary is not like a methadone clinic, or a shooting gallery where heroin addicts gather and get high. It’s not as if a dispensary is going to bring hordes of potheads onto Milk Street, who will then park themselves on the sidewalk outside to toke up and gorge themselves on Funyuns.

Funny stereotyping, ha-ha.

Is it possible some of Patriot Care’s customers, carrying permits they don’t deserve, will use the marijuana they get from Milk Street recreationally? Of course. There will no doubt be abuse of the system, but that’s on state regulators, not on the dispensary. 

I'm sorry, I was spacing out. Whadja say?

And it’s certainly not on the Father Joe Quinns of the world, who deserve a chance to get the medicine they need, somewhere near their homes....

So that's what is going on in the Catholic church: the priests get high and then do some diddling.


Honestly, you are better off doing heroin because the authorities will love you and show caring compassion for your recovery.

"Police arrested three 19-year-old men in Roxbury at around 1 a.m. Saturday after three .22- caliber loaded firearms and several bags of marijuana were discovered in their vehicle, officials said. Ronald Watts of Quincy, Jordan Creech of Mattapan, and Jabree Daugherty of Stoughton were driving when two officers on patrol stopped them for having a broken tail light and failing to completely stop at a red light on Columbus Avenue, according to a statement from Boston Police. As one officer asked for the license and registration, the second officer spotted a loaded long rifle on the floor in the back of the car, police said. Officers then found a second loaded firearm on the waistband of Creech, and a third weapon in between the driver’s seat and the center console. Police also said they found several bags of marijuana on the front passenger’s side. All three were charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and unlawfully carrying a loaded firearm. Watts and Creech were also charged with possession and intent to distribute Class D drugs. A hearing is expected on Tuesday at Roxbury District Court, Boston police officer Rachel McGuire said."

I'm angry enough to spit!

"Vermont considers spit test to check marijuana use by drivers" by Dave Gram Associated Press  April 22, 2015

MONTPELIER — Vermont is one of a growing number of states looking at following Colorado’s and Washington’s lead by legalizing marijuana, but there is a problem. How can police identify those too stoned to drive?

They can't already tell? Doesn't that solve the "problem" itself?

The House Transportation Committee is considering a bill that would allow police to use newly developed machines that can test saliva for marijuana and six other drug classes: opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, methadone, and benzodiazepines. Fourteen other states have such laws, and police would administer the test much as they do an alcohol breath test, officials said.

Talk about tyranny! And I thought Vermont was crunchy-green liberal and all that.

State Police statistics show that of the 44 traffic fatalities in Vermont last year, nine involved drivers impaired by marijuana and six involved drivers who were drunk.

What about the rest? 

Maybe cars should be banned like guns.

‘‘The tide has turned from alcohol-related fatalities to drugged-driving fatalities,’’ said Representative Patrick Brennan, a Colchester Republican who chairs the committee.

Alcohol is legal because it is the rich man's drink, and they are above the illegal drug laws.

Critics of police efforts to charge people with driving while impaired by marijuana have long complained that blood tests could show evidence of use as much as 30 days before the driver is pulled over.

Complaints about civil liberties and mistakes? What are you guys smoking?

Lieutenant Garry Scott of the State Police Crash Reconstruction Team said in an interview the new tests should put that concern to rest, because they test for only a short-acting component of marijuana.

Another concern with a drug test akin to what is used with drunken driving is that unlike the 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content standard used to prove drunken driving, there is no set level for other drugs at which one is deemed to be impaired.

Colorado uses a standard of 5 nanograms of marijuana’s active ingredient per milliliter of blood. But Lieutenant John Flannigan, head of the Vermont State Police barracks in St. Albans, told lawmakers recently that ‘‘those numbers are sort of arbitrary.”

Both Scott and Flannigan said the focus should not be on the level of consumption but on a totality of evidence. Officers are trained to look for and report the odor of intoxicants, slurred speech, bloodshot or watery eyes, and other factors.

Allen Gilbert, executive director of the Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the bill raises ‘‘some pretty serious constitutional questions . . . like search and seizure. You can’t just put a swab in somebody’s mouth and take something without a search warrant, generally speaking.’’ 

Good thing the victim, 'er, criminal is stoned in this case. Even the dogs say so.

Gregory Nagurney, the state’s traffic safety resource prosecutor, said the evidence-gathering parts of the process would parallel those used with drunken driving. If initial tests show a driver is impaired, the suspect is taken to the police office, where he or she is read constitutional rights, allowed to call a lawyer, and then is asked to submit to an evidentiary collection of bodily fluids.


At least they busted a bunch of drug dealers:

"Forty-one fugitives have been arrested in Vermont as part of a six-week national enforcement effort to reduce violent crime, the US Marshals Service said Friday. Law enforcement focused on fugitives wanted for violent crimes, sex offenses, narcotics violations, and gang activity. ‘‘The approach was quality versus quantity, and was strengthened by working with state and local law enforcement to get the worst of the worst fugitives off the streets,’’ said US Marshals Service director Stacia Hylton. Most of the 41 arrests from March 2 and April 10 were in the Chittenden County area, Mike Barron, deputy US Marshal for the District of Vermont, told the Burlington Free Press. Nationally, 7,127 arrests were made in the program."

You wanna hit (cough)? 

Related: The View From Vermont

Also see: Former Vt. principal pleads not guilty to taking school money

What was he smoking? Or is it something in the food?

Sorry I forgot to link relevant pieces and pasts posts; however, I'm feeling kind of hungry and it is lunchtime.


This really will have you spitting:

"Prosecutors in Middlesex and Essex counties and on the Cape and Islands have suspended the use of breathalyzer test results in drunk-driving cases until State Police complete a review of whether the test procedure is reliable, authorities said Wednesday. Concerns about the test, which prosecutors were informed of last month, have led defense attorneys and prosecutors to sift through old cases and look for evidence of questionable breathalyzer results."

Almost forgot to post that here.