Obama Frees Drug Offenders

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By Joan Eberhardt

Obama will commute the sentences of nonviolent drug offenders

President Obama announced last week that he will commute the sentences of dozens of people convicted for nonviolent drug crimes.

In the next few weeks Barack Obama will issue orders freeing dozens of federal prisoners. This broad use of his clemency power will mean Obama will commute more sentences in one go than any other president has total in 50 years.

The White House put out a call for clemency petitions to federal prisoners earlier this year, so far 30,000 have responded. The move is intended to correct an imbalance in sentences for those caught in the War on Drugs, when politicians needed evidence they were tough on crime.

The petitions are being reviewed but the overwhelming response has slowed the process. “I think they honestly want to address some of the people who have been oversentenced in the last 30 years,” Julie Stewart, the founder and president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, told the New York Times.

Marijuana Use Among NFL Rampant

The NFL may consider it a banned substance, but marijuana use might be extremely prevalent among its players. Bleacher Report spoke with past and former football players, though no current players would speak on the record, about cannabis use among players.

Jamal Anderson, a former running back who retired from the Atlanta Falcons in 2001, said that before he retired cannabis was widely used among players, who didn’t see a stigma and older generation might.

Anderson estimated that in his time in the NFL 50-60 percent of players would use marijuana either recreationally or because they knew it would help with concussions and other medical conditions.

Most players are only drug tested during specific time of the year, usually training camp, so they know when to abstain. Players in a drug treatment program are tested more frequently.

Some unnamed players suggested their union and the league might have an unspoken agreement. Both the league and the union denied such an agreement exists.

Illinois will take suggestions on pilot program eligible ailments

Starting today and through the end of the month the Illinois Department of Public Health will accept petitions from state residents for diseases that should be added to the medical cannabis pilot program.

The state has one of the more restrictive programs in the nation, and it has been slow to start. Only 2600 people have been approved to use medical marijuana, a number far below the 70,000 who were estimated to be eligible. Adding more diseases to the list of eligible conditions could help raise patient numbers.

Quick Puffs

  • Washington State made $70 million in taxes in its first year of legal marijuana sales.
  • The THC count on your edible’s package could be way, way off.
  • A measure to derail the leading proposal for legal marijuana sales in Ohio passed the state’s house. The bill is aimed specifically at a measure that would install an effective cartel in Ohio’s marijuana production market.

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