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Air Fresheners as Probable Cause? A New Jersey Lawyer Talks Garden State Cannabis Arrests

June 16, 2017
(kali9/iStock)
The East Coast’s cannabis progression has been steadily picking up steam; Maine and Massachusetts voted to legalize cannabis for adult use in November 2016, joining Washington DC as the only three locations in the east so far to fully legalize. Eight other states in that region have also legalized some form of medical marijuana.

However, the curious case of New Jersey is somewhat of an anomaly. On one hand, the state has a medical marijuana program and active dispensaries. On the other hand, its cannabis laws are so restrictive that there are still tens of thousands of annual arrests for the possession of even minuscule amounts of cannabis. In 2014 alone, the state saw nearly 25,000 cannabis possession arrests.

Leafly got a chance to chat with Carmine Villani, a Point Pleasant-based criminal defense attorney specializing in cannabis cases, to discuss cannabis in New Jersey, the threat of arrest for tourists, and what your options are when faced with a cannabis charge in the Garden State.

Related

New Report Shows New Jersey’s Cannabis Laws Failing Its People

Leafly: What is the most common charge you see for cannabis?

Carmine Villani: Honestly, the most common charge is the possession of under 50 grams. Anything from zero to 50 grams, whether it’s half a joint or shake on my shirt. It’s ridiculous. Even the most minimal amount can lead to a disorderly possession offense, a misdemeanor penalty. You’re looking at six months in jail or a $1,000 fine, and you could lose your license if you’re caught with marijuana in a vehicle.

“I hear all the time, ‘But it was only a joint,’ or ‘It was only shake.’ It doesn’t matter.”
Carmine Villani , New Jersey Criminal Justice Attorney

In the standard case. If anyone’s driving, it leads to a search and anything that’s found is your evidence. If your brake light is out, or if you’ve got an air freshener–police are often profiling vehicles that have air fresheners hanging from their rearview mirror. An air freshener is considered an obstruction of the rearview, plus officers will ask, “Why do you have an air freshener? What smells are you trying to hide?” Most cases I see involve a car.

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Blood Testing Drivers for THC is Nonsense, AAA Study Says

Do you have any advice for those who are facing cannabis charges?

What do you do for a living? If you’re in a position where you work with children, you could be charged with a disqualifying event and you’ll never work with children again.

What happens most of the time is a diversion program known as a conditional discharge–you get out of jail free of charge–but you can apply for this only if you have never been in trouble before. You’ll pay a fine and be on probation for one year with random urine tests during that year.

Related

How long does THC stay in your system?

If you use up your conditional discharge on cannabis and you’ve got a more serious problem–for example, if you have a heroin problem, which is a scourge in New Jersey–well, gee, it might not be the best use of your conditional discharge. If you use up your conditional discharge at 18, and then get a heroin charge at 23, you could be facing additional criminal charges–1 to 5 years in a pretrial intervention program related to a felony.

“Police are often profiling vehicles that have air fresheners hanging from their rearview mirror.”
Carmine Villani

A conviction is what really matters if you’re a schoolteacher, which is great if you’re a first time offender, perfect for a conditional discharge.

However, some would rather take the charge, pay the fine and not do one year of probation. They’d rather move on with their life and not pee in a cup for a year. The consequences are substantial. If you have a charge for under 50 grams of cannabis, you can’t visit certain countries in the Middle East. And we’re talking just for some residue in a pipe, scraped out and tested.

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How do you think Governor Chris Christie has affected cannabis in New Jersey?

I really don’t know if Chris Christie has done anything to make things better or worse. I don’t really see anyone with a medical marijuana card. They’re like unicorns out here! You basically have to have cancer, be at the end of your life, and wasting away to qualify.

I don’t know where Christie stands on that, but I do know he was instrumental in the way the medical marijuana law was drafted, and it’s very very limited.

Related

Taking the Bat to New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Program

Have there been any cannabis cases in particular that stood out to you?

They’re all so similar, and that’s the shame of it. They’re all very normal people, and they all almost always face two charges–possession of under 50 grams of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

In the mechanics of the case, they have to prove that it’s marijuana, which means the chain of custody is reviewed: Did they have the right to conduct a search? Did the police have the right to be there?

Now, you have to prove to me that it’s marijuana. There’s a minimal visual test or, more likely, they’ll do a Duquenois-Levine Test, where they drop the sample in a solution and if it turns purple, that means it’s a derivative of marijuana.

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Here’s the crazy part, though. It can take four to six months to come back with that result.

One woman was supposed to start a job in September, but got arrested in August. Her case didn’t get resolved until March.

A lot of people just want to bite the bullet. So we say we need the results within 60 days; draw a line in the sand and hope that the results don’t come back in time, with the volume of tests submitted.

Related

New Jersey Pols Ready to End Prohibition When Christie Exits

Do you think legalization will be coming to New Jersey any time soon?

Well, with the governor’s race coming into the mix, maybe we’ll see some decriminalization. On the flip side, I don’t know what will happen if they decriminalize. It’s no longer a possession charge; now it’s driving under the influence and whether THC is in your system. The standard field sobriety tests were designed in the early 70s and were related to alcohol.

“I don’t really see anyone with a medical marijuana card. They’re like unicorns out here! You basically have to have cancer, be at the end of your life, and wasting away to qualify.”
Carmine Villani

There are no studies that say the standard field sobriety tests apply to marijuana. If you’re high, you can still lift one leg and walk a straight line.

If they find marijuana and ask questions, people think that if they tell the truth, the police will somehow give them a break. This is not true. It says it right there in your Miranda Rights–they should drop the ‘can’–it will be used against you in a court of law.

Imagine telling this to a client from out of state.

Related

Cannabis Legalization Looms Large in NJ Governor Race

The PNC Bank Arts Center on the Garden State Parkway is a popular venue and concert hall. My phone will be blowing up the day after a young person’s concert because the parking lot also houses the state police barracks. They smoke a joint and get arrested in the parking lot for the residue of a joint and they just can’t believe it.

Out-of-state clients aren’t as scared shitless–they’re from out of town and they don’t even realize they’re in a parking lot right next to a police barrack.

I hear all the time, “But it was only a joint,” or “It was only shake.” It doesn’t matter. The car is where you are most likely to be arrested, so be cautious and treat it seriously.

Lisa Rough's Bio Image

Lisa Rough

Lisa is a former associate editor at Leafly, where she specialized in legislative cannabis policy and industry topics.

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  • grandpaguam

    In 2001 British Columbia legalized “medical marijuana”. Soon production and use of marijuana got out of hand and the police quit trying to enforce the law against recreational marijuana use. Several pot “coffee shops” opened and operated in complete defiance of the law. Vancouver became known as the “Amsterdam” of the west Coast. As always hard drugs followed. This is because the human body adjusts to all mind-altering substances and what once was enough to get high is no longer enough. We see this with wine drinkers that graduate to cognac and beer drinkers that switch to bourbon. So dope smokers seek stronger strains, then resin concentrates and then hard drugs. Now 1000 people a year are dying from drug overdoses in British Columbia. Legalizing hard drugs did not work in 19th century China. It will not work in 21st century America. If we are losing the war on drugs it is for the same reason all wars are lost. We are not fighting hard enough.

    • EmperorPenguin

      Different drugs have a particular feel. People choose certain drugs over others for a reason. It’s not some generic 1-dimensional scale that you are obviously picturing in your head.

      Use of marijuana has nothing to do with the promotion of other drugs. Any association between marijuana and hard drugs has been formed artificially by prohibitionists who have used propaganda to associate the two in order to justify jailing people for a substance that has no dangerous overdose or even a passing correlation to reduced life-expectancy.

      The people who educated you about those so called facts are either con-men or ignorant.

      • grandpaguam

        Read the news (old and new) from Vancouver, British Columbia. The step-by-step progression from marijuana to hard drugs can be tracked over the period from 2001 to the present. I repeat: the body adjusts to all mind-altering drugs. Over time stronger and stronger doses are required. We can see this in people who were beer drinkers in their twenties, cocktail drinkers in their thirties and whiskey drinkers in their forties. The body adjusts in something like an immune-system response and what once was enough to get high is no longer enough. So pot-smokers (over time) go to stronger strains of marijuana, then concentrated resins (such as hashish) and then hard drugs like cocaine, meth, heroin etc. This can be seen in communities throughout the world but Vancouver, Canada is the prime example of this progression. Marijuana is not medicine. It is poison. Specifically it poisons the brain. That is why it is illegal.

        • Brian Kelly

          The “Gateway Myth” has been proven false over and over again. Correlation doesn’t equal causation.

          If prohibitionists really want to protect people from a drug proven to destroy lives and families, then they should be up in arms, protesting the legality of booze. Alcohol is the drug that causes the most traffic fatalities and domestic violence by a huge landslide.

          More so than all other drugs, combined.

          Why doesn’t that concern prohibitionists even more? It should…

          “Marijuana Is Gateway Drug” Theory Debunked, Again
          -OpposingViews

          Marijuana a “Gateway” Drug? Scientists Call Theory Half-Baked
          -CBS

          Marijuana as a Gateway Drug: The Myth That Will Not Die
          -Time Magazine

          Seven Studies That Debunk the Gateway Myth
          -NORML

        • Brian Kelly

          There is absolutely no doubt now that the majority of Americans want to completely legalize marijuana nationwide. Our numbers grow on a daily basis.

          The prohibitionist view on marijuana is the viewpoint of a minority and rapidly shrinking percentage of Americans. It is based upon decades of lies and propaganda.

          Each and every tired old lie they have propagated has been thoroughly proven false by both science and society.

          Their tired old rhetoric no longer holds any validity. The vast majority of Americans have seen through the sham of marijuana prohibition in this day and age. The number of prohibitionists left shrinks on a daily basis.

          With their credibility shattered, and their not so hidden agendas visible to a much wiser public, what’s left for a marijuana prohibitionist to do?

          Maybe, just come to terms with the fact that Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think, and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

          Legalize Nationwide!…and Support All Marijuana Legalization Efforts!

          • Brian Kelly

            In reply to “Marijuana is not a medicine. It is a poison”

            Nobody can deny the Medical effectiveness of Medical Marijuana.

            When a loved one is wasting away unable to eat due to Chemotherapy, AIDS Wasting Syndrome, or Multiple Sclerosis, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let’s have the compassion to allow them to have it.

            Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

            Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

            Support Medical Marijuana Now!

            Below is a small sampling of quotes and a list of just a few of the many Professional Medical Organizations Worldwide that attest to Medical Marijuana’s effectiveness and Support Legal Access to and Use of Medical Marijuana.

            Along with the thirty U.S states that have already legalized medical marijuana.

            Are they ALL wrong?

            “[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane.” — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, “Federal Foolishness and Marijuana,” editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

            “[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications.” — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

            “[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate.” — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

            “Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.” — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

            “The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses’ Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine.” — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

            “[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use.” — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, “Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” 1995

            “When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.” — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

            International and National Organizations

            AIDS Action Council
            AIDS Treatment News
            American Academy of Family Physicians
            American Medical Student Association
            American Nurses Association
            American Preventive Medical Association
            American Public Health Association
            American Society of Addiction Medicine
            Arthritis Research Campaign (United Kingdom)
            Australian Medical Association (New South Wales) Limited
            Australian National Task Force on Cannabis
            Belgian Ministry of Health
            British House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology
            British House of Lords Select Committee On Science and Technology (Second Report)
            British Medical Association
            Canadian AIDS Society
            Canadian Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs
            Dr. Dean Edell (surgeon and nationally syndicated radio host)
            French Ministry of Health
            Health Canada
            Kaiser Permanente
            Lymphoma Foundation of America
            The Montel Williams MS Foundation
            Multiple Sclerosis Society (Canada)
            The Multiple Sclerosis Society (United Kingdom)
            National Academy of Sciences Institute Of Medicine (IOM)
            National Association for Public Health Policy
            National Nurses Society on Addictions
            Netherlands Ministry of Health
            New England Journal of Medicine
            New South Wales (Australia) Parliamentary Working Party on the Use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes
            Dr. Andrew Weil (nationally recognized professor of internal medicine and founder of the National Integrative Medicine Council)

            State and Local Organizations

            Alaska Nurses Association
            Being Alive: People With HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA)
            California Academy of Family Physicians
            California Nurses Association
            California Pharmacists Association
            Colorado Nurses Association
            Connecticut Nurses Association
            Florida Governor’s Red Ribbon Panel on AIDS
            Florida Medical Association
            Hawaii Nurses Association
            Illinois Nurses Association
            Life Extension Foundation
            Medical Society of the State of New York
            Mississippi Nurses Association
            New Jersey State Nurses Association
            New Mexico Medical Society
            New Mexico Nurses Association
            New York County Medical Society
            New York State Nurses Association
            North Carolina Nurses Association
            Rhode Island Medical Society
            Rhode Island State Nurses Association
            San Francisco Mayor’s Summit on AIDS and HIV
            San Francisco Medical Society
            Vermont Medical Marijuana Study Committee
            Virginia Nurses Association
            Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, DC)
            Wisconsin Nurses Association

            Additional AIDS Organizations

            The following organizations are signatories to a February 17, 1999 letter to the US Department of Health petitioning the federal government to “make marijuana legally available … to people living with AIDS.”

            AIDS Action Council
            AIDS Foundation of Chicago
            AIDS National Interfaith Network (Washington, DC)
            AIDS Project Arizona
            AIDS Project Los Angeles
            Being Alive: People with HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA)
            Boulder County AIDS Project (Boulder, CO)
            Colorado AIDS Project
            Center for AIDS Services (Oakland, CA)
            Health Force: Women and Men Against AIDS (New York, NY)
            Latino Commission on AIDS
            Mobilization Against AIDS (San Francisco, CA)
            Mothers Voices to End AIDS (New York, NY)
            National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Association
            National Native American AIDS Prevention Center
            Northwest AIDS Foundation
            People of Color Against AIDS Network (Seattle, WA)
            San Francisco AIDS Foundation
            Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, DC)

            Other Health Organizations

            The following organizations are signatories to a June 2001 letter to the US Department of Health petitioning the federal government to “allow people suffering from serious illnesses … to apply to the federal government for special permission to use marijuana to treat their symptoms.”

            Addiction Treatment Alternatives
            AIDS Treatment Initiatives (Atlanta, GA)
            American Public Health Association
            American Preventive Medical Association
            Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights (San Francisco, CA)
            California Legislative Council for Older Americans
            California Nurses Association
            California Pharmacists Association
            Embrace Life (Santa Cruz, CA)
            Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
            Hawaii Nurses Association
            Hepatitis C Action and Advisory Coalition
            Life Extension Foundation
            Maine AIDS Alliance
            Minnesota Nurses Association
            Mississippi Nurses Association
            National Association of People with AIDS
            National Association for Public Health Policy
            National Women’s Health Network
            Nebraska AIDS Project
            New Mexico Nurses Association
            New York City AIDS Housing Network
            New York State Nurses Association Ohio Patient Network Okaloosa AIDS Support and Information Services (Fort Walton, FL)
            Physicians for Social Responsibility – Oregon
            San Francisco AIDS Foundation
            Virginia Nurses Association
            Wisconsin Nurses Association

            Health Organizations Supporting Medical Marijuana Research

            International and National Organizations

            American Cancer Society
            American Medical Association
            British Medical Journal
            California Medical Association
            California Society on Addiction Medicine
            Congress of Nursing Practice
            Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
            Jamaican National Commission on Ganja
            National Institutes of Health (NIH) Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana
            Texas Medical Association
            Vermont Medical Society
            Wisconsin State Medical Society

          • cactusjim420

            Fantastic collection of facts! Thank you! I truly admire your determination to tell the truth so those who don’t already know can learn. There’s been 80 years of lies told to us, I know more people using cannabis now then ever before, I myself quit alcohol & tobacco while using cannabis, could not have done it otherwise, so if cannabis is a stepping stone, it takes you away from the hard drugs and alcohol, not towards it. Keep the truth coming, make it legal like tomatoes.

          • Gary Craig

            Cannabis is a gateway drug! A gateway to better living, a gateway for pain relief, a gateway for getting off opiates, a gateway to getting off killer alcohol. So, yes, cannabis is a gateway drug. Actually it’s a seed bearing plant!

          • cactusjim420

            Excellent reply, now THATS telling the truth!

        • EmperorPenguin

          Ah, so you’re a con-man. It’s always tough with prohibitionists to determine who’s ignorant and who genuinely wants to mislead and confuse the public. You are the latter.

        • cactusjim420

          Your acceptance of the old propaganda has poisoned YOUR brain. Good God, your spewing old rhetoric, the kind of crap Nixon used, with no basis of fact, is to say the least frightening. People who choose to remain ignorant are just that, ignorant. With all the acceptance of its medical efficacy changing around the WORLD, isn’t it time to admit you know nothing about cannabis, and even less of the truth about the war on drugs. Pills can kill, alcohol surly can and does kill, as well as tobacco & sugar. You say it “specifically poisons the brain” care to elaborate?

    • Brian Kelly

      Marijuana consumers deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and even glorified as an All American pastime, booze.

      Plain and simple!

      Legalize Marijuana Nationwide!

      • Brian Kelly

        Marijuana is not “dope”. By calling it that, you only make it that much easier for everyone to see your ignorance. Along with the anger and resentment you hold towards this natural plant and it’s consumers.

        If anything, you can say that booze is the real “dope” because it makes people do the dumbest things, often become violent, and then blackout and not remember all the havoc caused by the booze, like true “dopes”.

        Go ask your local street drug dealer for some “dope”.

        You’re not going to get marijuana, guaranteed!

        • Brian Kelly

          What we certainly don’t need are anymore people who feel justified in appointing themselves to be self-deputized morality police.

          We are very capable of choosing for ourselves if we want to consume Marijuana, a far less dangerous choice over alcohol, and we definitely don’t need anyone dictating how we live our own lives.

          We can’t lock up everyone who does things you prohibitionist don’t personally approve of.

          If I were you Grandpaguam and worried so much about “saving all of us” adults from ourselves, well then, I’d begin with the deadliest drug. Which causes more broken homes, domestic violence, and traffic fatalities than all other drugs, combined. That most dangerous and deadly drug is alcohol.

          Yet alcohol remains perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised, even glorified as an All American pastime.

          Why doesn’t the much more prevalent, more widely abused, use of alcohol concern you much more than marijuana which is a relatively benign drug when compared to all other ones?

          Protesting the legality of booze should be your number one priority if you are truly so concerned about “saving us all” from ourselves.

          • Brian Kelly

            The “War on Marijuana” has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful “War on Drugs” that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.

            Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions more of our tax dollars fighting a never ending “War on Marijuana”, lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. It’s a no brainer.

            The Prohibition of Marijuana has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?

            Marijuana is much safer to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?

            The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less marijuana “crimes” because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.

            Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

            Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

          • Brian Kelly

            In the prohibitionist’s world, anybody who consumes the slightest amount of marijuana responsibly in the privacy of their own homes are “stoners” and “dopers” that need to be incarcerated in order to to protect society.

            In their world, any marijuana use equates to marijuana abuse, and it is their God given duty to worry about “saving us all” from the “evils” of marijuana use.

            Who are they to tell us we can’t choose marijuana, the safer choice instead of alcohol for relaxation, after a long, hard day, in the privacy of our own homes?

            People who consume marijuana are smart, honest, hard working, educated, and successful people too, who “follow the law” also.(except for their marijuana consumption under it’s current prohibition of course) .

            Not the stereotypical live at home losers prohibitionists make them out to be. They are doctors, lawyers, professors, movie stars, and politicians too.

            Several Presidents of The United States themselves, along with Justin Trudeau, Bill Gates, and Carl Sagan have all confessed to their marijuana use. As have a long and extensive list of successful people throughout history at one point or other in their lives.

            Although that doesn’t mean a dam thing to people who will make comments like “dopers” and “stoners” about anybody who uses the slightest amount of Marijuana although it is way safer than alcohol.

            To these people any use equals abuse, and that is really ignorant and full of hypocrisy. While our society promotes, advertises, and even glorifies alcohol consumption like it’s an All American pastime.

            There is nothing worse about relaxing with a little marijuana after a long hard day than having a drink or two of alcohol.

            So come off those high horses of yours. Who are you to dictate to the rest of society that we can’t enjoy Marijuana, the safer choice over alcohol, in the privacy of our own homes?

            We’ve worked real hard our whole lives to provide for our loved ones. We don’t appreciate prohibitionists trying to impose their will and morals upon us all.

            Has a marijuana consumer ever forced you to use it? Probably not. So nobody has the right to force anybody not to either.

            Don’t try to impose your morality and “clean living” upon everybody else with Draconian Marijuana Laws, and we won’t think you’re such prohibitionist hypocrites.

            Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

          • Brian Kelly

            “Marijuana is 114 times safer than drinking alcohol”

            http://rt.com/usa/234903-marijuana-safer-alcohol-deadly/

            “Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say”

            “Marijuana may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say New study: We should stop fighting marijuana legalization and focus on alcohol and tobacco instead By Christopher Ingraham February 23

            Compared with other recreational drugs — including alcohol — marijuana may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use.

            Those are the top-line findings of recent research published in the journal Scientific Reports, a subsidiary of Nature. Researchers sought to quantify the risk of death associated with the use of a variety of commonly used substances. They found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.”

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/23/marijuana-may-be-even-safer-than-previously-thought-researchers-say/

            “The report discovered that marijuana is 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Researchers were able to determine this by comparing the lethal doses with the amount of typical use. Through this approach, marijuana had the lowest mortality risk to users out of all the drugs they studied. In fact—because the numbers were crossed with typical daily use—marijuana is the only drug that tested as “low risk.”

            http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2015/02/scientific-reports-weed-114-safer-alcohol

          • grandpaguam

            Marijuana is a sweet poison that can destroy society (as evidenced by what has happened in British Columbia, Canada where 1000 people a year are now dying from overdoses of illegal hard drugs since “medicinal” marijuana was legalized in 2001).
            That is why marijuana is illegal and why our government is obligated to protect us from it. All mind-altering drugs (including alcohol) are a threat to society and maybe they all should be banned. So Brian Kelly I think you should avoid them (as I do) whether they are legal or not. I tell you this because I care about you. Don’t smoke dope. It will make you stupid..

          • Brian Kelly

            Oh please, spare us the dumb prohibitionist scare tactics and “Doomsday Scenarios” okay? You aren’t fooling anybody with at least half a brain and their very own internet access with Google.

            Please provide us one hundred percent undisputed proof of at least just one case ever in all human history where a doctor diagnosed marijuana consumption alone to be the direct cause of death.

            We’ll wait.

            *yawns*

            I mean let’s face reality here. If marijuana was the killer you claim it to be, then it should be very easy for you to provide indisputable proof of just one death in all human history where the doctor and coroner diagnosed marijuana consumption as the sole and direct cause of death.

            Provide the proof or admit to flat out lying and give the idiotic scare tactics a rest.

          • grandpaguam

            The April 2014 journal of Forensic Science International has an article entitled “Sudden Unexpected Death Under Influence of Cannabis” by Benno Hartung, Silke Kauferstein, Stefanie Ritz-Timme, and Thomas Daldrup. The article documents in scientific detail the death of two healthy young men in Germany by cardiac disorders caused by smoking marijuana. Marijuana killed them directly. Searching the internet you can find other cases where the THC caused strokes (it raises blood pressure) or killed by arrhythmia (it affects heart rate). Marijuana has also killed a lot of people indirectly (for example in a train wreck caused by the engineer being whacked out on weed). Stay away from all mind-altering substances. You will be healthier and happier.

          • grandpaguam

            Google the April 2014 edition of Forensic Science International. There is an article entitled: “Sudden Unexpected Death Under Influence of Cannabis”. It details not one but two deaths caused by smoking marijuana.

          • Brian Kelly

            You brought it up. Don’t now tell me to Google it when evidence is requested.

            You provide the direct quote from the article that not only claims they were “under the influence of cannabis”, but rather that cannabis consumption alone was the direct and sole cause of death.

            Still waiting for the proof or else admit there is none.

            Face reality:

            Not a single death in all documented medical history where a doctor and/or coroner declared marijuana consumption alone was the direct and sole cause of death.

            Or else, Prove otherwise…

          • grandpaguam

            The article specifically states that the deaths of two healthy young German men can only be attributed to smoking marijuana. The authors present their case in their argument that marijuana smoking was the direct and sole cause of death. Please read it. In any case my whole argument is that marijuana should not be legalized because British Columbia, Canada has a very bad problem with hard drugs which I claim are the result of legalizing medical marijuana in 2001. That is my argument. I have nothing more to add. Go ahead and have the last word if you want.

          • Brian Kelly

            So, were these authors the medical professionals who personally treated these two young men?

            Was marijuana consumption alone “linked” to their deaths, “associated” with their deaths or PROVEN to have been one hundred percent beyond doubt the direct and sole cause of their deaths by the medical professionals whom actually treated them?

            Can’t you simply quote in the article where the two healthy young men’s doctors and/or coroners proclaimed that marijuana consumption alone was the direct and sole causes of their deaths or not?

            All I’m asking for is you to do is directly quote where in this proof that you still haven’t provided it is claimed that marijuana consumption alone was the direct and sole cause of their deaths. Then, please just provide a link the entire document.

            Is your proof so non-credible that you are too embarrassed to just quote it directly and then link the source?

            Wow…

            Still waiting for the proof…

            *yawns*

          • grandpaguam

            quote: “After exclusion of other causes of death, we assume that the young men died from cardiovascular complications evoked by smoking cannabis,” the researchers wrote.

          • Brian Kelly

            “assume”?

            “researchers”?

            This doesn’t sound like one hundred percent proof of marijuana consumption alone directly and solely causing death.

            Sounds more like “researchers” with an anti-marijuana agenda. Not the doctors and coroners that actually worked on the two young men.

            Face it:

            If marijuana was the true “killer” you want everyone to believe it is, then why isn’t there a single, solid, documented case of death written by any medical doctor and/or coroner anywhere in the entire world in all human history where marijuana consumption is listed as a patien’ts direct and sole cause of death?

            Why? Not a single documented death. Ever.

            If what you claim is true about marijuana being such a “killer” then shouldn’t there by an abundance of cases throughout history where doctors and coroners examined patients and bodies declaring marijuana consumption alone was this persons’ direct and sole cause of death?

            Perfectly legal alcohol and cigarettes are listed by medical professionals and coroners many times over each and every single day as the direct and sole causes of death. Imagine that.

            Meanwhile…Not one death ever proven to have been caused by marijuana consumption alone ever in all documented human history.

            Don’t you have bigger fish to fry and many perfectly legal, widely accepted things that are far more prevalent within society, far more dangerous, and proven deadly to worry yourself oh so much over?

            Just saying….Where are your priorities?

            *yawns*

          • grandpaguam

            I just gave you two documented medical cases by professional medical coroners. There have been more since then. You can find them on the internet. I am out of here. Bye.

          • EmperorPenguin

            I’ve seen articles like the ones you claimed, basically the coroner can’t identify the illness that killed them so they just attribute it to something they pulled out of their ass. They get debunked shortly after being posted that’s why they are hard to find, grandpa.

          • cactusjim420

            If this is what you called documented, no wonder no one here believes you, yes, you should be out of here, you have nothing relevant to say. More fake news from gramps, nothing new

          • cactusjim420

            Fake news, that is all

      • cactusjim420

        Legal like tomatoes!

    • Storm Crow

      I have used cannabis for 50 years. (I’ll be 70 in July.) I have been known to drink an occasional glass of wine with dinner, however, I use no hard drugs and have no desire to do so. The only pharmaceutical I use is thyroid pills, and thyroid insufficiency simply runs in my dad’s family. So exactly when is this irresistible craving for harder drugs supposed to start? When I’m 90?

      My disabled husband (75) has been using cannabis for a little longer than I have. He finds that one of my “magic muffins” can often REPLACE his far more dangerous pain pills, with no risk of a fatal overdose. I guess “grand” would rather have my husband addicted to the doctor’s opiates, rather than have him eat a muffin with some home-grown herbal medicine in it!

      As for cannabis fueling the opiate epidemic, the facts do not seem to support “grand’s” theory. “In States With Medical Marijuana, Painkiller Deaths Drop by 25 Percent” (NewsWeek). Also “Medical marijuana could save Medicaid $1 billion in prescription drug costs” (Salon) by replacing many pharmaceuticals. Cannabis is a safe and effective herbal medicine!

      The War on Cannabis has been going on since 1937- a full decade before I was born. May I remind you of this old quote? “The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.”- Albert Einstein. 80 years of insanity is enough! Prohibition didn’t work with alcohol (a far more destructive drug), and it isn’t working with cannabis.

    • cactusjim420

      Cannabis is NOT a hard drug, and The whole lie about it being a “stepping stone” or gateway to harder drugs has been disproved. I wonder if you sit down with any kind of intoxicant, maybe a nice cold beer on a hot day, or perhaps some scotch or other “legal” poison on the rocks or mixed? What your missing is the fact that more people die from prescription drugs then street drugs. Alcohol kills even more then that, your last line says plenty of who you are, fighting drugs with the law does not work, it is a medical issue, and until your type is gone, more people will suffer due to the war on drugs then will die of an overdose. People who support the war on drugs have zero compassion for other humans, you would be wise to watch the special on the history channel this Sunday, Father’s Day, then just maybe you would understand.

  • grandpaguam

    Brian Kelly, I suggest you stay away from all mind-altering drugs (including alcohol) as I do. I also suggest you read the news from Vancouver, British Columbia and see what has happened since “medical” marijuana was legalized. Marijuana is not a medicine. It is a poison. Specifically it poisons the brain. The purpose of government is to “promote the common welfare” and “provide for the common defense”. This means government is obligated to protect us from poisonous mind-altering substances such as marijuana (and alcohol). In Vancouver the government failed to do this and 1000 people a year are dying from overdoses of illegal drugs now.

    • Brian Kelly

      Repeating and re-posting your baseless claims without any proof whatsoever over and over doesn’t make them credible nor valid. It just shows the readers here your utter desperation.

      So, again:

      Spare us the dumb prohibitionist scare tactics and “Doomsday Scenarios” okay? You aren’t fooling anybody with at least half a brain and their very own internet access with google.

      Please provide us one hundred percent undisputed proof of at least just one case ever in all human history where a doctor diagnosed marijuana consumption alone to be the direct cause of death.

      We’ll wait.

      *yawns*

      I mean let’s face reality here. If marijuana was the killer you claim it to be, then it should be easy for you to provide indisputable proof of just one death in all human history where the doctor and coroner diagnosed marijuana consumption as the sole and direct cause of death.

      Provide the proof or admit to flat out lying and give the idiotic scare tactics a rest.

      • Brian Kelly

        In reply to “Marijuana is not a medicine. It is a poison”

        Nobody can deny the Medical effectiveness of Medical Marijuana.

        When a loved one is wasting away unable to eat due to Chemotherapy, AIDS Wasting Syndrome, or Multiple Sclerosis, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let’s have the compassion to allow them to have it.

        Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

        Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

        Support Medical Marijuana Now!

        Below is a small sampling of quotes and a list of just a few of the many Professional Medical Organizations Worldwide that attest to Medical Marijuana’s effectiveness and Support Legal Access to and Use of Medical Marijuana.

        Along with the thirty U.S states that have already legalized medical marijuana.

        Are they ALL wrong?

        “[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane.” — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, “Federal Foolishness and Marijuana,” editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

        “[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications.” — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

        “[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate.” — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

        “Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.” — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

        “The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses’ Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine.” — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

        “[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use.” — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, “Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” 1995

        “When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.” — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

        International and National Organizations

        AIDS Action Council
        AIDS Treatment News
        American Academy of Family Physicians
        American Medical Student Association
        American Nurses Association
        American Preventive Medical Association
        American Public Health Association
        American Society of Addiction Medicine
        Arthritis Research Campaign (United Kingdom)
        Australian Medical Association (New South Wales) Limited
        Australian National Task Force on Cannabis
        Belgian Ministry of Health
        British House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology
        British House of Lords Select Committee On Science and Technology (Second Report)
        British Medical Association
        Canadian AIDS Society
        Canadian Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs
        Dr. Dean Edell (surgeon and nationally syndicated radio host)
        French Ministry of Health
        Health Canada
        Kaiser Permanente
        Lymphoma Foundation of America
        The Montel Williams MS Foundation
        Multiple Sclerosis Society (Canada)
        The Multiple Sclerosis Society (United Kingdom)
        National Academy of Sciences Institute Of Medicine (IOM)
        National Association for Public Health Policy
        National Nurses Society on Addictions
        Netherlands Ministry of Health
        New England Journal of Medicine
        New South Wales (Australia) Parliamentary Working Party on the Use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes
        Dr. Andrew Weil (nationally recognized professor of internal medicine and founder of the National Integrative Medicine Council)

        State and Local Organizations

        Alaska Nurses Association
        Being Alive: People With HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA)
        California Academy of Family Physicians
        California Nurses Association
        California Pharmacists Association
        Colorado Nurses Association
        Connecticut Nurses Association
        Florida Governor’s Red Ribbon Panel on AIDS
        Florida Medical Association
        Hawaii Nurses Association
        Illinois Nurses Association
        Life Extension Foundation
        Medical Society of the State of New York
        Mississippi Nurses Association
        New Jersey State Nurses Association
        New Mexico Medical Society
        New Mexico Nurses Association
        New York County Medical Society
        New York State Nurses Association
        North Carolina Nurses Association
        Rhode Island Medical Society
        Rhode Island State Nurses Association
        San Francisco Mayor’s Summit on AIDS and HIV
        San Francisco Medical Society
        Vermont Medical Marijuana Study Committee
        Virginia Nurses Association
        Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, DC)
        Wisconsin Nurses Association

        Additional AIDS Organizations

        The following organizations are signatories to a February 17, 1999 letter to the US Department of Health petitioning the federal government to “make marijuana legally available … to people living with AIDS.”

        AIDS Action Council
        AIDS Foundation of Chicago
        AIDS National Interfaith Network (Washington, DC)
        AIDS Project Arizona
        AIDS Project Los Angeles
        Being Alive: People with HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA)
        Boulder County AIDS Project (Boulder, CO)
        Colorado AIDS Project
        Center for AIDS Services (Oakland, CA)
        Health Force: Women and Men Against AIDS (New York, NY)
        Latino Commission on AIDS
        Mobilization Against AIDS (San Francisco, CA)
        Mothers Voices to End AIDS (New York, NY)
        National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Association
        National Native American AIDS Prevention Center
        Northwest AIDS Foundation
        People of Color Against AIDS Network (Seattle, WA)
        San Francisco AIDS Foundation
        Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, DC)

        Other Health Organizations

        The following organizations are signatories to a June 2001 letter to the US Department of Health petitioning the federal government to “allow people suffering from serious illnesses … to apply to the federal government for special permission to use marijuana to treat their symptoms.”

        Addiction Treatment Alternatives
        AIDS Treatment Initiatives (Atlanta, GA)
        American Public Health Association
        American Preventive Medical Association
        Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights (San Francisco, CA)
        California Legislative Council for Older Americans
        California Nurses Association
        California Pharmacists Association
        Embrace Life (Santa Cruz, CA)
        Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
        Hawaii Nurses Association
        Hepatitis C Action and Advisory Coalition
        Life Extension Foundation
        Maine AIDS Alliance
        Minnesota Nurses Association
        Mississippi Nurses Association
        National Association of People with AIDS
        National Association for Public Health Policy
        National Women’s Health Network
        Nebraska AIDS Project
        New Mexico Nurses Association
        New York City AIDS Housing Network
        New York State Nurses Association Ohio Patient Network Okaloosa AIDS Support and Information Services (Fort Walton, FL)
        Physicians for Social Responsibility – Oregon
        San Francisco AIDS Foundation
        Virginia Nurses Association
        Wisconsin Nurses Association

        Health Organizations Supporting Medical Marijuana Research

        International and National Organizations

        American Cancer Society
        American Medical Association
        British Medical Journal
        California Medical Association
        California Society on Addiction Medicine
        Congress of Nursing Practice
        Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
        Jamaican National Commission on Ganja
        National Institutes of Health (NIH) Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana
        Texas Medical Association
        Vermont Medical Society
        Wisconsin State Medical Society

        • Gary Craig

          Grand suffers from a bad case, really bad case of Reefer Madness!!

    • John David Chadwell

      Hey grandpaguam, I can see you have the mistaken view as an WWII old guy who believes all things government. Alcohol has been known forever to cause you to become incoherent to your surroundings, but yet there are bars on every corner to line the “tax pockets” of our government bodies. They have absolutely no evidence about marijuana causing anything like alcohol, yet lump it together with it. Our doctors ( legal drug dealers) to over-prescribe narcotics to no end, and call for a ” opiod epidemic ” the is solely caused by these “legal government drug dealers”. Marijuana is NOT and opiod or a narcotic, it’s a cannabinoid, non narcotic PERIOD!!! It has more benefits than ANY legal drug dealer products the government has to offer and can be GROWN not man made, in any back yard. The issue is strictly ” TAX DRIVEN ” . Take for instance Colorado’s tax revenue has changed, such as ALCOHOL TAX REVENUE = 42 MILLION verses 63 MILLION CANNIBIS , and mind you, no killing of families behind the wheel. Can’t say that for the alcohol (legal drug) or the ( government legal drug dealers ) products, (oxycodone, Vicodin), just ask Tiger Woods! Keep your government mindset, and let the doctors ( practicing medicine ) ,dictate how your taking care of yourself after ALL of their DOPE, can’t help you eat or sleep after their chemo half kills you, GOOD LUCK PAL !!!

  • Brian Kelly

    “Police Arrested Someone For Weed Possession Every 51 Seconds In 2014

    Law enforcement officers made just over 700,000 arrests on marijuana-related charges in 2014, according to data released by the FBI on Monday. Of that total, 88.4 percent — or about 619,800 arrests — were made for marijuana possession alone, a rate of about one arrest every 51 seconds over the entire year.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/marijuana-arrests-2014_us_560978a7e4b0768126fe6506

    “Drug War Statistics
    Did you know….
    Number of arrests in 2014 in the U.S. for marijuana law violations: 700,993

    Number of these arrests that were for possession only: 619,809 (88 percent)”
    http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-war-statistics

    “According to the ACLU’s original analysis, marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simply having marijuana. Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend: significant racial bias. Despite roughly equal usage rates, Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.”
    https://www.aclu.org/gallery/marijuana-arrests-numbers

  • Brian Kelly

    There is absolutely no doubt now that the majority of Americans want to completely legalize marijuana nationwide. Our numbers grow on a daily basis.

    The prohibitionist view on marijuana is the viewpoint of a minority and rapidly shrinking percentage of Americans. It is based upon decades of lies and propaganda.

    Each and every tired old lie they have propagated has been thoroughly proven false by both science and society.

    Their tired old rhetoric no longer holds any validity. The vast majority of Americans have seen through the sham of marijuana prohibition in this day and age. The number of prohibitionists left shrinks on a daily basis.

    With their credibility shattered, and their not so hidden agendas visible to a much wiser public, what’s left for a marijuana prohibitionist to do?

    Maybe, just come to terms with the fact that Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think, and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

    Legalize Nationwide!…and Support All Marijuana Legalization Efforts!

  • Barbara H

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    BUDINSKI- Handmade Odor Proof Marijuana Toke Bags Read My Reviews @ Etsy shop: mybudinski FREE SHIPPING

  • Gene Suttle

    I’ve beaten Leafly about the head and shoulders a couple of times in the past several months, bemoaning what I perceived to be poorly written pieces that were either thinly veiled self-promotion or in another case, subject matter that appeared beyond the grasp of the author/writer/”reporter.” That said, this piece on road side testing is extremely well done because there is limited passion and advocacy. Its not that I have any issue with passion or advocacy, but this site is going to hold itself as a legit NEWS organ then, in my mind, there are ethical and professional standards to which consumers should hold accountable. The lead meets its “burden,” and is solid. The facts situations presented are well formed, and well communicated to the reader. This all from the perspective of an old former reporter who is also much too smug for my own good or that of humanity. The hard work is appreciated The Fourth Amendment issues at hand will be an interesting road the upon which courts will most likely be directing a lot of traffic. I am genuinely concerned about this issue and the impact it may have as on me an individual and a citizen who may have to rely on a system of due process to defend my liberties. Good job.