A Day in the Life of Your Friendly Neighborhood Weed Messenger

Categories: Marijuana

Jeremy Eaton
Desmond* has been a weed courier on and off for almost four years. He's in his mid-twenties now, but he was still in college when he heard about the opportunity through a classmate. He works three days a week, and makes, on average, 15 deliveries a day. If he makes more than 20, he gets a free bag. Usually he'll give it away or resell it — he used to be a big stoner, but he doesn't smoke much any more; certain strains make him anxious.

The work helps him pay off his student loans and subsidizes his creative pursuits (he's in two bands and does photography on his days off). When he's working, he looks like any one of the hundreds of bike messengers who speed around New York City, clad in shorts, perched on a single-speed bike, with a bag and a couple of delivery tubes slung over one shoulder. And like any other messenger, he can be at your door in 20 minutes or less.

*Not his real name.

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Medical Marijuana Bill Wins in the New York State Assembly

Categories: Marijuana

Alexodus via Compfight cc
On Monday, a bill that would allow medical marijuana use sailed through the New York State Assembly, passing with a clean 95-38. If the bill makes it through the Senate, folks with "severely debilitating or life-threatening conditions" could be prescribed pot by their doctors.

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NYPD Biased Against Blacks in Marijuana-Related Stops, Civil Liberties Group Analysis Suggests

The NYPD's stop and frisk campaign led directly to the surge in low-level marijuana arrests, figures released today by the New York Civil Liberties Union show.

For context, marijuana arrests are the top arrest category in the entire stop and frisk program. Last year, five percent--or 26,000--of all stops were for suspected possession of marijuana. Despite the fact that whites use marijuana at a higher rate, blacks by far bore the brunt of those stops--61 percent, in all. Incredibly, just 9 percent of marijuana-based stop involved white folks.

Here's the kicker: misdemeanor law requires that the pot be in plain view, and cops can only stop people they actually see with marijuana, and yet, the drug was seized in just 8.5 percent of the stops, which means cops were either wrong or willfully wrong in the other 91.5 percent.

The numbers, the NYCLU says, "strongly suggest that officers are stopping people for alleged marijuana offenses without any justification."

Out of those 26,000 stops, just over 5,300 resulted in marijuana arrests.

"Despite the NYPD's repeated claim that its stop-and-frisk program is valuable because it targets guns, the facts show that it is much more a marijuana arrest program," the NYCLU says.

Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced in NY Legislature [Updated with Commentary]

Categories: Marijuana, Weed

Assembly Bill 6357 and Senate Bill 4406 would allow for medicinal use of medical marijuana in New York.
A bipartisan coalition has introduced a bill in the New York State Assembly and Senate simultaneously that would permit use of cannabis for medical purposes by patients who have been certified by a doctor. So far, 18 states have passed similar bills, including New Jersey.

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Cuomo & Christie Complete Opposites on Marijuana Decriminalization... Kinda

Gov. Christie has threatened to veto the Jersey weed decriminalization bill.
This has been one hell of a week for marijuana in the Tri-State reefer scene.

After Governor Cuomo attempted to pass a bill that would have decriminalized the "public view" loophole of pot policy, Senate Republicans banded together to scalp the proposal before reaching a vote. Once the bill was dead, Cuomo called out the Senate Republican blockers for their "extreme conservative policy" and warned them that they'd face electoral consequences for the buzz-kill opposition. Now that the legislative deadline past last Thursday, it seems as if New York State and its voters will have to wait until January for any future attempts to smoke their weed in a much calmer (and legal) environment.

And then we found out that New Jersey, our neighbor to the west, and its state government were weighing a decriminalization bill akin to the one that died in Albany. It would make possession of a half ounce or less a summary violation - a major downgrade from the current situation, where possession lands you a $1,000 fine and possible jail time. The bill runs parallel to Jersey voters' 58% approval rating of quasi-legalizing the cannabis and a vote is being pushed for this Monday to test this civilian-government relationship.

But, it turns out that Cuomo's "extreme" Republican accusation stretches into Jersey territory. And it includes his colleague, Governor Chris Christie.

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BREAKING: Parents Don't Know How To Talk To Their Kids About Drugs

This just in: Parents don't know how to talk to their kids about drugs, according to media reports.

As detailed recently by The Associated Press, medical marijuana legalization efforts have complicated "the drug talk" between moms, dads, and teens.

"Parent-child conversations about pot 'have become extraordinarily complicated,' Stephen Pasierb, president of the Partnership at Drugfree.org, told the AP. "Legalization and medical use of marijuana have 'created a perception among kids that this is no big deal.'"

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Pot Policies: Weed's Legal Use Might Widen in Arizona

New York still hasn't decided whether it's going to OK medical marijuana, but more developments across the U.S. suggest that it's spreading -- though with some legal blowback from the U.S. courts and feds.

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Goodbye, Chemical Cannabis? U.S. Senate OKs Fake Pot Ban

K2 Weed-thumb-450x300.jpg
The U.S. Senate has just put the kibosh on K2.

After a months-long effort to ban synthetic marijuana, spearheaded by the Empire State's very own Charles Schumer, the Senate voted today to ban the sale of fake bud.

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Medical Marijuana Ban Doesn't Hurt Disabled, Court Says

More weed news from the West Coast: A federal court in California just ruled 2-1 that cities can ban medical marijuana dispensaries -- and that doing so doesn't violate the Americans With Disabilities Act.

As detailed by the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco's Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said federal drug law does not make exceptions for disabled individuals who use pot for severe pain. Medical marijuana bans, the judges said, do not count as discrimination.

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Pot Politics: Here's How Medical Marijuana Can Influence Elections

As the medical marijuana debate continues in New York, there's a bit of news from the West Coast that might interest vote-seeking Empire State pols: Looks like prescription pot can make or break a candidate.

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