Monday, January 06, 2014

Stoned State of Colorado

   Once again, we are taking a short trip overseas to see what one foreign country thinks about the legalization of weed in the state of Colorado. That country would be Poland.

From Watching America comes the article in the Polish Gazeta Wyborcza - Original Article (Polish)

By Mariusz Zawadzki
Translated By Natalia Suta
30 December 2013   Edited by Bora Mici
From Jan. 1, in the state of Colorado, it will be possible to go to a store and buy weed in various forms, ranging from dried marijuana leaves for rolling a joint to marijuana cookies and drinks. There will be no need for a phony prescription, as is the case with so-called medical marijuana, which was legalized in 20 states. Colorado is entering the highest level of cannabis debauchery — it is sufficient that you have money in your pocket and that you are over 21. Residents will be able to buy 28 grams (1 ounce) in one go, and incomers from outside the state, 7 grams.
Local media are full of enthusiastic reports about marijuana tourists, who are arriving in Colorado from other states in order to start the New Year stoned or replenish their stock. “We are expecting lines just like those for Pink Floyd tickets,” a shop owner in Denver said joyfully during an interview with Reuters. He was among the first to obtain a license.
However, on their way back home, cannabis tourists have to take extra precautions.
They should avoid Kansas, bordering Colorado to the east, where being caught with 25 grams of marijuana results in a four-year prison term, or even eight years, if one has the bad luck of being arrested within 300 meters of a school. The county sheriff in Kansas will turn a deaf ear to explanations that weed was bought legally, and he will not care about a receipt form the shop in Denver.
To make it even funnier, formally speaking, Colorado's cannabis bonanza that begins on New Year's Day will be completely illegal. U.S. federal law, which theoretically affects all 50 states and Washington, D.C., forbids the manufacturing, sale or possession of marijuana.
If Obama's government treated the law seriously, it would send FBI agents to each shop in Denver to arrest sellers and buyers on a daily basis. According to federal law, possession of marijuana is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $1,000. The penalty for selling less than 50 kilograms is five years in jail and a fine of $250,000. Wholesalers who distribute marijuana to shops in Colorado fall within the strictest paragraph — selling a ton or more of the drug is punishable by a minimum of 10 years in jail to life imprisonment, plus a fine of $1 million.
Formally speaking, a state referendum held in November 2012, when the Colorado residents decided to abolish marijuana bans, was also illegal. States have no right to overrule federal law, but Obama's government announced that it will not go after marijuana-related crimes in the states that rebelled — apart from Colorado, there is also Washington, where legal sales will start in a few months.
This way — as marijuana legalization supporters argue — prisons will not be filled with a host of random young people who would only get demoralized behind bars and then set free as dangerous degenerates. The state of Colorado will earn a pile of money — marijuana is taxed at 25 percent — that will be used for building schools and other noble goals. Additional savings will come from the police not going after weed dealers.
Rebels from Colorado boast that they are trendsetters in this parade of humanity. They are even ahead of Amsterdam, where, in spite of common belief, marijuana is not legal at all but merely tolerated by the government and law enforcement agencies. They predict that in a few months or years other states will follow in Colorado's footsteps.
Maybe in 20 years, hardly anybody will remember that marijuana used to be banned in the United States. Just like nowadays, hardly anyone remembers that oral sex was illegal in the 1990s in the state of Maryland, for example; in general, all practices considered perverse and against nature were illegal. Such practices included "touching with one's lips somebody else's genitals," as precisely and graphically illustrated by the state law. Formally speaking, this sexual behavior was seen as an offense even among married couples enjoying intimacy in their own home.
We are mentioning the forgotten regulations from Maryland not in order to praise oral sex. On the contrary, we consider it a sin, and we strongly advise you against it, just as we advise against smoking marijuana and other ignominies of this type. However, we also discourage outlawing them entirely, as it has turned out to be very impractical in both cases.