Cory Booker calls for prison reform, decriminalizing marijuana

Cory Booker calls for prison reform, decriminalizing marijuana

Booker laid out a plan to provide more drug treatment, end mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders, decriminalize marijuana, increase funding for prisoner re-entry programs, and bring an end to for-profit, private prisons.

He also excoriated a prison system that incarcerates vastly higher numbers of African -Americans than whites for similar offenses.

“In New Jersey, blacks make up 14 percent of the state’s population but make up over 60 percent of our state’s prisons,” he said. “There is something fundamentally wrong with those numbers.”

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Any researcher …

Any researcher attempting to study marijuana must obtain it through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The U.S. research crop, grown at a single facility, is regarded as less potent–and therefore less medicinally interesting–than the marijuana often easily available on the street. Thus, the legal supply is a poor vehicle for studying the approximately 60 cannabinoids that might have medical applications.

This system has unintended, almost comic, consequences. For example, it has created a market for research marijuana, with “buyers” trading journal co-authorships to “sellers” who already have a marijuana stockpile or license. The government may also have a stake in a certain kind of result. One scientist tells of a research grant application to study marijuana’s potential medical benefits. NIDA turned it down. That scientist rewrote the grant to emphasize finding marijuana’s negative effects. The study was funded.

Marijuana Research

Current restrictions on marijuana research are absurd

The administrat…

The administration of THC modulates emotional processing in healthy volunteers, according to placebo-controlled crossover trial data published online by the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology.

Investigators from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on 11 healthy male subjects. Following the administration of THC or placebo, researchers assessed subjects’ brain activity during their exposure to stimuli with a negative (‘fearful faces’) content or a positive content (‘happy faces’). They hypothesized that THC administration would reduce subjects’ negative bias in emotional processing and shift it towards a positive bias. A bias toward negative stimuli has been linked to diagnoses of certain mental illnesses such as depression.

– See more at: http://blog.norml.org/2013/08/27/study-thc-increases-brain-activity-in-response-to-positive-stimuli/#sthash.JvcBu8rd.dpuf

Trudeau Liberals surge back into healthy lead in polls after leader’s pot admission

Trudeau Liberals surge back into healthy lead in polls after leader’s pot admission

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau appears more likely to become prime minister after admitting to smoking marijuana while being a Member of Parliament, a new poll suggests, as more Canadians say they are supportive of relaxing drug laws.

The Liberals have surged to 38% support from voters in the latest Forum Poll for the National Post, while the Conservatives have slipped to 29% and the NDP trail at 22%. The poll was conducted one day after Trudeau’s pot admission shook up Canada’s sleepy summer recess.

“After a brief dip last month, the Liberals have rebounded, and they now have a substantial lead over the government in the poll. It may be that Liberal policies around marijuana have had something to do with this, but it’s clear Justin Trudeau’s admission of pot use did him no harm,” Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff said in a statement.