Explosive If True: “I’m a Clinical Lab Scientist, C19 Is Fake, Wake up America” | The Truth Defender

By Derek Knauss

What we found was that all of the 1500 samples were mostly Influenza A and some were influenza B, but not a single case of Covid, and we did not use the B.S. PCR test. We then sent the remainder of the samples to Stanford, Cornell, and a few of the University of California labs and they found the same results as we did, NO COVID. They found influenza A and B. All of us then spoke to the CDC and asked for viable samples of COVID, which CDC said they could not provide as they did not have any samples. We have now come to the firm conclusion through all our research and lab work, that the COVID 19 was imaginary and fictitious.

The flu was called Covid and most of the 225,000 dead were dead through co-morbidities such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, emphysema etc. and they then got the flu which further weakened their immune system and they died. I have yet to find a single viable sample of Covid 19 to work with. We at the 7 universities that did the lab tests on these 1500 samples are now suing the CDC for Covid 19 fraud. the CDC has yet to send us a single viable, isolated and purifed sample of Covid 19. If they can’t or won’t send us a viable sample, I say there is no Covid 19, it is fictitious. The four research papers that do describe the genomic extracts of the Covid 19 virus never were successful in isolating and purifying the samples. All the four papers written on Covid 19 only describe small bits of RNA which were only 37 to 40 base pairs long which is NOT A VIRUS. A viral genome is typically 30,000 to 40,000 base pairs.

With as bad as Covid is supposed to be all over the place, how come no one in any lab world wide has ever isolated and purified this virus in its entirety? That’s because they’ve never really found the virus, all they’ve ever found was small pieces of RNA which were never identified as the virus anyway.

So what we’re dealing with is just another flu strain like every year, COVID 19 does not exist and is fictitious. I believe China and the globalists orchestrated this COVID hoax (the flu disguised as a novel virus) to bring in global tyranny and a worldwide police totalitarian surveillance state, and this plot included massive election fraud to overthrow Trump.

Source: The True Defender

CDC’s failed coronavirus tests were tainted with coronavirus, feds confirm | ArsTechnica & The New York Times

CDC Headquarters As Agency Take Heat Over Coronavirus Testing Kits

A federal investigation found CDC researchers not following protocol.

By Beth Mole

As the new coronavirus took root across America, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent states tainted test kits in early February that were themselves seeded with the virus, federal officials have confirmed.

The contamination made the tests uninterpretable, and—because testing is crucial for containment efforts—it lost the country invaluable time to get ahead of the advancing pandemic.

The CDC had been vague about what went wrong with the tests, initially only saying that “a problem in the manufacturing of one of the reagents” had led to the failure. Subsequent reporting suggested that the problem was with a negative control—that is, a part of the test meant to be free of any trace of the coronavirus as a critical reference for confirming that the test was working properly overall.

Now, according to investigation results reported by The New York Times, federal officials confirm that sloppy laboratory practices at two of three CDC labs involved in the tests’ creation led to contamination of the tests and their uninterpretable results.

“Just tragic”

Shortly after the problems became apparent in early February, the Food and Drug Administration sent Timothy Stenzel, chief of in vitro diagnostics and radiological health, to the CDC to investigate what was going wrong. According to the Times, he found a lack of coordination and inexperience in commercial manufacturing.

Problems that led to the contamination included researchers coming and going from labs working on the test kits without changing their coats and researchers sharing lab space to both assemble test components and handle samples containing the coronavirus.

The CDC said in a statement Saturday to the Times that the agency “did not manufacture its test consistent with its own protocol.” Though the CDC appeared reluctant to admit contamination was at the root of the problem, the Times noted that in a separate statement the CDC seemed to acknowledge such problems, saying the agency has since “implemented enhanced quality control to address the issue and will be assessing the issue moving forward.”

After the CDC first sent its test kit to states in early February, it took the agency around a month to fix the problem. By then, the virus had invaded many communities unimpeded, and any chance that the US had at containing its spread had virtually vanished. By mid-March, many states turned to mitigation efforts, such as social distancing, to try to blunt—rather than prevent—the life-threatening, healthcare-overwhelming effects of COVID-19.

“It was just tragic,” Scott Becker, executive director of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, told the Times. “All that time when we were sitting there waiting, I really felt like, here we were at one of the most critical junctures in public health history, and the biggest tool in our toolbox was missing.”

As of the morning of April 20, the US has confirmed more than 760,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 40,700 deaths. The numbers are expected to be underestimates due to the slow and still limited amount of testing.

Source: ArsTechnica & The New York Times

Congressman Confronts Zuckerberg About Censoring Information About Vaccine Safety | Collective Evolution

By

  • The Facts: Senator Bill Posey from Florida recently questioned Mark Zuckerberg during a hearing on Capitol Hill about Facebook’s censorship on information that paints vaccines in a negative light,
  • Reflect On: Why do proponents of vaccines always use terms like . “anti-vax conspiracy theories” and ridicule instead of simply addressing the points and facts that are made by vaccine safety advocates like Bill Posey?

Editor’s Note: The end of free speech on the internet continues here with deliberate censorship of other perspectives re: vaccines by Facebook, Google and Apple News and other “gatekeepers” of information (and disinformation comes along with the package). 

Mark Zuckerberg was recently confronted by Senator Bill Posey from Florida during a hearing on Capitol Hill about Facebook’s recent censorship on information about vaccine safety. Zuckerberg shared that they are simply conforming with the general scientific consensus, and do their best to censor information that may be harmful to people. This really shows his unawareness about vaccine safety, and he also used the term “anti-vaccine.” Furthermore, headlines are popping up within the mainstream once again reading “anti-vaccine conspiracy theories” and “vaccine misinformation.” This is a common tactic from the pharmaceutical controlled mainstream media, they always use these terms along with ridicule instead of addressing the concerns and points made by vaccine safety advocates. You can watch the Congressman and Zuckerberg’s exchange below, but first, I wanted to put a tidbit of information about why people are concerned about vaccines.

How safe are vaccines? More people are starting to realize that they are not as safe as they are marketed to be. This is why the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid out approximately $4 billion to compensate families of vaccine injured children. As astronomical as the monetary awards are, they’re even more alarming considering HHS claims that only an estimated 1% of vaccine injuries are even reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting, System (VAERS). Think about that for a minute, If the numbers from VAERS and HHS are correct – only 1% of vaccine injuries are reported and only 1/3 of the petitions are compensated – then up to 99% of vaccine injuries go unreported and the families of the vast majority of people injured by vaccines are picking up the costs, once again, for vaccine makers’ flawed products.

2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) conducted by Harvard doctors/researchers found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million. You can read more about that here.

If we look at the MMR vaccine, for example, there have ben 93,929 adverse events, 1,810 disabilities, 6,902 hospitalizations, and 463 deaths. Furthermore, it’s well documented that the measles vaccine has been a complete failure. This is evident by the documented outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations up to the present day. A study published as far back as 1994 in JAMA Internal Medicine makes this quite clear.

We found 18 reports of measles outbreaks in very highly immunized school populations where 71% to 99.8% of students were immunized against measles. Despite these high rates of immunization, 30% to 100% (mean, 77%) of all measles cases in these outbreaks occurred in previously immunized students. In our hypothetical school model, after more than 95% of schoolchildren are immunized against measles, the majority of measles cases occur in appropriately immunized children. (source)

During the measles outbreak in California in 2015, a large number of suspected cases occurred in recent vaccinees. Of the 194 measles virus sequences obtained in the United States in 2015, 73 were identified as vaccine sequences. The media (Pharma-owned) generated high public anxiety. This fear mongering led to the demonization of unvaccinated children, who were perceived as the spreaders of this disease, this type of fear mongering happens all the time, and Facebook has been apart of it.

There are a number of concerns with vaccines, the list is quite large. Vaccine ingredients is another big concern.

A study published in 2011 makes the issue quite clear:

Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant. Despite almost 90 years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical science’s understanding about their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor. There is also a concerning scarcity of data on toxicology and pharmacokinetics of these compounds. In spite of this, the notion that aluminum in vaccines is safe appears to be widely accepted. Experimental research, however, clearly shows that aluminum adjuvants have a potential to induce serious immunological disorders in humans. (source)

The key takeaway here is that “medical science’s understanding about their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor.”

After this study, more research came out to help us better understand what happens when aluminum is injected into the body. It has been found that injected aluminum does not exit the body; in fact, it stays in the body and travels to various organs in the brain, where it remains. This isn’t surprising since it’s the adjuvant, it’s designed to stay there or else the vaccine doesn’t work.

As the groundbreaking study in 2015 emphasized:

Evidence that aluminum-coated particles phagocytozed in the injected muscle and its draining lymph nodes can disseminate within phagocytes throughout the body and slowly accumulate in the brain further suggests that alum safety should be evaluated in the long term.

Furthermore, in 2018, a paper published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry found that almost 100 percent of the intramuscularly injected aluminum in mice as vaccine adjuvants was absorbed into the systemic circulation and traveled to different sites in the body such as the brain, the joints, and the spleen, where it accumulated and was retained for years post-vaccination. (source)

You can watch a video here of Dr. Christopher Exley, a Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University explains what happens to aluminum when it is injected via a vaccine.

The Takeaway

Regardless of how mainstream media outlets are presenting this part of the hearing, it’s great to see Zuckerberg questioned about Facebook’s censoring of information regarding vaccines. We here at Collective Evolution have experienced this censorship, along with other independent media outlets, we’ve been heavily censored, blocked, and demonetized. A clear strategic agenda by Facebook, and those who control it, to shut down information and viewpoints that do not fit within the accepted framework of the global elite.

US Vax Court Sees 400% Spike in Vaccine Injuries, Flu Shot Wins Top Honors for Biggest Payout | Vaccine Impact

Vaccine injury cases are on the rise people, so if you’ve got your head in the sand and you haven’t been paying attention, it’s time to wake up.

Here’s a little background for those of you just getting started.

Ronnie Reagan… almost 30 years ago to the day, the 40th president of the United States signed away the rights of Americans to sue vaccine makers, replacing them with a law that forces families who have suffered vaccine injury or death to sue the U.S. government instead of a pharmaceutical company.

As a result, special masters from the United States Special Claims Court, also known for our purposes as the vaccine court, are given full authority as judge with no jury to decide the fate of Americans who have had the unfortunate ‘luck’ to be stricken by a vaccine injury — which can range from chronic, mild symptoms to death.

Once a year, this non-traditional court provides the public with a glimpse into its inner workings, by issuing an annual report on its website — a ritual that happens every January.  The report is sent to the President of Congress, otherwise known as the Vice President of the United States, where it is intended to serve as a bell weather monitoring reactions the American public may be having to vaccinations that are increasingly becoming forced by government mandates around the country.

Great, right?  Accountability in action?

Wrong.

The report, which is consistently ignored by mainstream media/politicians/health officials and the CDC, lies dormant on the reports page of the U.S. Special Claims Court website.

No headlines, no press release, no analysis, no alert the media, no nothing.

No surprise, given that most people in America don’t even know that vaccines were ruled to be unavoidably unsafe by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011.  Also no surprise, that mainstream, co-opted, globalist elite media constantly ignore this report, along with sane arguments made by health freedom advocates about the dangers and risks of vaccine injury (‘look! a unicorn!’), instead using terms like ‘the science is in,’ and vaccine risk has been ‘debunked,’ to deter rational discussion pertaining to evidence that is hiding in plain sight.

Also no surprise that the U.S. Special Claims Court offers up an ineffective, low tech, archaic version of the report every year.  Instead of a nice, sort-able spread sheet, the court posts a scanned PDF document — a format which requires labor-intensive activities to conduct any sort of concrete analysis.  One must either re-data-entry all 220+ pages which would take weeks, or conduct an extensive, hand-written breakdown by vaccine of each case, combined with extensive tallying and organization efforts in order to identify statistical relevance and trends emerging from the vaccine court.

Is this by design?  Perhaps.  Most definitely it is at the very least a deterrent from having anybody actually sit down and try to analyze the damn thing.

Which is exactly why we do it, every year since 2014.  Not to be deterred, it took us 10 months to finally finish our analysis of this year’s report.  But once we did, the trends we found were shocking — not just because of what they revealed about the continual increase in vaccine injury, but also because of the deafening silence present among the halls of mainstream media, as vaccine injury continues to be a subject that journalists and media outlets ignore — chalking it up to yet another conspiracy theory from yet another fake news site.

Well pull up a chair and hold on to your hats, because guess what we discovered:

  1. Vaccine court settlement payouts increased in total $91.2 million in 2015, up from $22.8 million in 2014 to $114 million in 2015 — a 400% increase. 
  2. Vaccine court settlement payments for flu shots increased the most, from $4.9 million in 2014 to $61 million in 2015 —  an increase of more than 1000%, despite autumnal onslaughts every year of media/pr/advertising campaigns urging Americans to ‘get your flu shot,’ with total abandon for the statistical facts coming out of the vaccine court.
  3. Varicella (chicken pox) had the third biggest increase — from $0 in 2014 to $5.8 million in 2015.  (No surprise shingles is on the rise among the elderly population, as recently vaccinated grandchildren continuously shed live virus to their unsuspecting elders.)
  4. Hepatitis B was the fourth largest increase in vaccine court settlements, increasing 321% in 2015 to more than $8 million in 2015 from $1.9 million in 2014.
  5. TDap/DTP/DPT and D/T shots were the fifth largest increase, leaping 75% in 2014 from $5.5 million to $9.8.

The rest of the settlements not pictured here are: Tetanus, $4 million; HPV $3.4 million, up from almost nothing in 2014 (one to watch in January when the 2016 report is issued); MMR, which actually decreased from the number one position last year to under $1 m — an 88%+ decrease in payouts; pertussis, $1.7 million; thimerisol $1.5 million; HIB, $345k, menginococal $500k, HEP A $408k, DPT & Polio, $210k & rotovirus $76k. 

You may have noticed we omitted the second place winner, ‘other.’  Here’s why.

‘Other’ illustrates perfectly the dodgy nature of the vaccine court report, and its lack of transparency in the vaccine court process.  Instead of identifying which combination of vaccines are being charged with injury or death and labeling the case accordingly, a special master can decide to label a vaccine case ‘other,’ thereby diluting its affect on the overall numbers in the final analysis.

In 2015, the ‘other’ category was the second largest increase in vaccine settlement payments, totaling $21.5 million in payouts, up 388% from $4.4 million in payouts the year before.

We’re not accusing anybody of anything.  But, 388% increase is a lot.  What combination of vaccines is causing such an increase?  Doesn’t the public have a right to know?  If the court decided, for example, that there were too many flu shot settlements mounting for the year, couldn’t it simply skew the data by categorizing certain cases as ‘other,’ which would artificially deflate the flu category?

Did we mention that these results are ONLY for the judgements — cases that are found in favor of the plaintiff.  It does NOT include the EXTENSIVE legal fees for both sides, which are paid for by the U.S. government whether the lawyer wins or loses the case?  Those are categorized as costs.  And instead of submitting them in the report along with any judgments that are awarded, often they are entered as separate entries, making the exercise of linking them with their judgement payouts that much harder, requiring yet another step in the arduous, analysis of data.

The total dollar payout of legal fees for the vaccine court in 2015 is $42 million.

Also, a hand full of settlements in the payout are based on annuities — that means that the payouts (many of which total more than $1 million) reoccur annually.  That’s because life as they knew it for some plaintiffs disappeared after their vaccine injury occurred, and the costs to care for them in perpetuity for the life of the plaintiff requires an annual sum that is often extensive.

Share far and wide people, it’s time to turn the tide.

Republished with permission of The Mom Street Journal. Read the full article at TheMomStreetJournal.com.

Source: Vaccine Impact & TheMomStreetJournal.com

MS-13 gang used California farm town as a base for crime | Yahoo News

More than two dozen MS-13 gang members and affiliates were arrested and charged following a monthslong murder and drug trafficking investigation centered on a rural California farm city that the gang turned into a base for its operations, U.S. and state prosecutors said Friday.

MS-13 took advantage of limited resources in the city of Mendota and used it and other areas of Fresno County to “conduct their crimes, to hide out from crimes that they committed in other jurisdictions and to prepare to commit crimes in states as far away as New York,” Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp said at a news conference in Fresno with state and federal officials.

Mendota has a population of roughly 11,000 people and lies 35 miles (60 kilometers) west of Fresno in California’s agriculturally rich Central Valley. Nearly the entire population is Hispanic, with many immigrants from El Salvador.

MS-13 is linked to more than 12 murders in Mendota and western Fresno County over the past two years, said McGregor Scott, the U.S. attorney in Sacramento. The federal charges announced Friday include allegations that two MS-13 gang members kidnapped and murdered a Fresno County man in December.

Scott said the investigation — dubbed “Blue Inferno” — uncovered evidence tying the gang to at least 30 murders and assaults in Mendota, Los Angles, Las Vegas, New York City and Houston. The evidence has prompted additional prosecutions in other cities, he said.

“This is a good day,” he said. “An extremely violent street gang which has terrorized western Fresno County has been completely dismantled and several murders and violent crimes across the nation have been resolved in a resounding way,” he said.

MS-13, or La Mara Salvatrucha, was formed in Los Angeles in the 1980s by refugees from El Salvador and is linked to many slayings in certain parts of the U.S. In California, the gang has clashed with rival Nortenos gang members. It also targets its own members for violating gang rules.

Nortenos are a street gang connected to the Nuestra Familia, a prison gang that originally formed in the California state prison system in the 1960s, according to federal prosecutors.

President Donald Trump has singled out the MS-13 gang as a threat to the U.S. and blames weak border enforcement for the group’s crimes. But many gang members were born in the U.S.

Source: Yahoo News

The Government Is Covering Up Vaccine Deaths | NewsPunch

Editor’s Note: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is continuing his personal crusade against Big Pharma and Big Government collusion, authoring a hard-hitting article explaining that the government are withholding information from the public about vaccines – and covering up vaccine deaths – in order to protect pharmaceutical companies.

Vaccine scientists and the public health community cautiously and occasionally will admit that vaccines can cause adverse reactions just like “any other medication or biological product.” Although experts are less willing to openly disclose the fact that adverse reactions can and do include death, one has only to look at reports to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) to see that mortality is a possible outcome.

From 1990 through 2010, for example, VAERS received 1,881 reports of infant deaths following vaccination, representing 4.8% of the adverse events reported for infants over the 20-year period.

Moreover, analysts acknowledge that VAERS, as a passive surveillance system, is subject to substantial underreporting. A federal government report from 2010 affirms that VAERS captures only about 1% of vaccine adverse reports.

On the international frontier, the public health community—with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the vanguard—previously used a six-category framework to investigate and categorize serious adverse events following immunization (AEFI), including death.

Guided by this tool, public health teams examined temporal criteria and possible alternative explanations to determine whether the relationship of an AEFI to vaccine administration was “very likely/certain,” “probable,” “possible,” “unlikely,” “unrelated,” or “unclassifiable.”

In 2013, the WHO’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety discarded the prior tool, ostensibly because users “sometimes [found it] difficult to differentiate between ‘probable,’ ‘possible,’ and ‘unlikely’ categories.” The WHO enlisted vaccine experts to develop a “simpler” algorithm that would be more readily “applicable” to vaccines. The resulting four-category system now invites public health teams to classify an AEFI as either “consistent,” “inconsistent,” or “indeterminate” with a vaccine-related causal association or as “unclassifiable.”

Despite the patina of logic suggested by the use of an algorithm, “the final outcome of the case investigation depends on the personal judgment of the assessor” [emphasis added], especially (according to the tool’s proponents) when the process “yields answers that are both consistent and inconsistent with a causal association to immunization.”

In a 2017 letter in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, Drs. Jacob Puliyel (an India-based pediatrician and member of India’s National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization) and Anant Phadke (an executive member of the All India Drug Action Network) raise important questions about the revised tool.

They describe an Orwellian Catch-22 situation wherein it is nearly impossible to categorize post-vaccine deaths as vaccine-related. This is because the revised algorithm does not allow users to classify an AEFI as “consistent with causal association with vaccine” unless there is evidence showing that the vaccine caused a statistically significant increase in deaths during Phase III clinical trials.

By definition, however, any vaccine not found to “retain safety” in Phase III trials cannot proceed to Phase IV (licensure and post-marketing surveillance). The result of the algorithm’s convoluted requirements is that any deaths that occur post-licensure become “coincidental” or “unclassifiable.”

Drs. Puliyel and Phadke describe what happened in India when the country’s National AEFI committee assessed 132 serious AEFI cases reported between 2012 and 2016, including 54 infant deaths that followed administration of a pentavalent all-in-one vaccine intended to protect recipients against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type b infections. For babies who survived hospitalization, the committee classified three-fifths (47/78) of the AEFI as causally related to vaccines (with 47% of the incidents viewed as “product-related” and 13% as “error-related”), but they rated nearly all (52/54) of the deaths as either coincidental (54%) or unclassifiable (43%) despite mounting evidence that pentavalent and hexavalent vaccines are increasing the risk of sudden unexpected death in infants.

…doctors who “naïvely” accept biased reports on vaccine safety “are losing the trust of the public and in the process…endangering public health.”
The absurdity and negligence inherent in the ultimately subjective WHO checklist have not escaped the attention of others in India and beyond. In a series of comments published in the journal Vaccine in response to the 2013 publication of the revised tool, commenters issued the following scathing remarks:

  • “Even if a healthy child dies within minutes following vaccination and there is no alternate explanation for the AEFI, even then the powers that be could easily declare that death as coincidental and not due to the vaccine, thanks to the new AEFI. This is dangerous ‘science’.”
  • “Amongst the 20 items of their checklist, no less than 15 (75%) are devoted to refute a vaccine-induced causality [emphasis in original]…. After all and as the authors confess with an astonishing ingenuousness, the main point is to ‘maintain public confidence in immunization programs.’”
  • “People understand that there are no true coincidences—only events that have been made to appear to be coincidental by either a genuine lack of understand[ing] of the overall facts leading to the ‘coincidence’ reported or by the deliberate suppression of the facts, including when…AEFIs that result in death are made to ‘disappear.’”
  • “It seems that huge business in [the] vaccine industry is affecting [the] science of vaccines and we are developing various ways to promote the business at the cost of human lives. …Going for a less sensitive tool for safety concerns is not only illogical but risky for the children of the world.”

Unfortunately, many vaccine proponents appear to be more concerned with forestalling “misconceptions” and “erroneous conclusions about cause and effect” than they are about preventing and identifying adverse events following vaccination. The result, as Dr. Puliyel argues, is that doctors who “naïvely” accept biased reports on vaccine safety “are losing the trust of the public and in the process…endangering public health.”

Source: NewsPunch

Dr Peter Gøtzsche Exposes Big Pharma as Organized Crime | Health Impact News

Peter C Gøtzsche, MD exposes the pharmaceutical industries and their charade of fraudulent behavior, both in research and marketing where the morally repugnant disregard for human lives is the norm.

The main reason we take so many drugs is that drug companies don t sell drugs, they sell lies about drugs. This is what makes drugs so different from anything else in life… Virtually everything we know about drugs is what the companies have chosen to tell us and our doctors… the reason patients trust their medicine is that they extrapolate the trust they have in their doctors into the medicines they prescribe.

The patients don’t realize that, although their doctors may know a lot about diseases and human physiology and psychology, they know very, very little about drugs that hasn’t been carefully concocted and dressed up by the drug industry… If you don t think the system is out of control, please email me and explain why drugs are the third leading cause of death… If such a hugely lethal epidemic had been caused by a new bacterium or a virus,or even one-hundredth of it, we would have done everything we could to get it under control.

Peter C. Gøtzsche, MD is a Danish medical researcher, and leader of the Nordic Cochrane Center at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has written numerous reviews within the Cochrane collaboration.

Source: Health Impact News

Why Last Night Was Not Just Huge For Pot, But The Entire Criminal Justice System | Think Progress

ProportionalPunishmentBy

Last night wasn’t a good night for Democrats. But when asked instead to vote on issues that many Democrats care about, voters backed progressive ballot initiatives around the country. This is particularly true in the area of criminal justice, which has become a rare point of bipartisanship among some Democrats and Republicans. In a spate of ballot initiatives around the country, voters sent a signal that they are ready to reform a system that has sent more people in the United States to jail than in any other country in the world.

Each of these initiatives embraces a notion known as “Smart on Crime.” The phrase is a replacement for the old adage of “tough-on-crime” and means that, rather than threatening heavy punishments for a long list of so-called crimes, jurisdictions focus instead on doing what actually, empirically, makes communities safer. In reducing or eliminating penalties for some actions that would be better addressed through public health or rehabilitative policies, jurisdictions can focus more resources on serious, violent crimes. Or, as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder put it last year, “Too many people go to too many prisons for far too long for no good law enforcement reason.”

Marijuana

Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. put pot legalization on the ballot, and all three passed it. As of last night, there are now more than double the number of jurisdictions that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, even as it remains federally prohibited. In Washington, D.C., where African Americans make up almost half the population, the margin of victory was staggering, with voters supporting the measure by a ratio of 7 to 3.

Alaska and Oregon were not as certain to pass the initiatives. But both passed by margins of several points ballot initiatives that don’t just legalize possession and growth of pot, but also its sale and taxation. (Washington, D.C. is not permitted to tax and regulate by ballot initiative, and lawmakers plan to follow up with a bill to achieve this).

In each of these jurisdictions, different messages dominated. In libertarian-heavy Alaska, where pot policy was already liberalized, the focus of the campaign was that marijuana is no less safe than alcohol, and those who use it shouldn’t be penalized differently. In Washington, D.C., by contrast, a significant population of very liberal gentrifiers mixed with longtime African American residents who are sick and tired of criminal justice policies that arrest African Americans for pot at eight times the rate of whites.

Majorities also voted in favor of medical marijuana. In Guam, a measure to pass medical marijuana passed early in the day. And in Florida, a medical marijuana ballot initiative that became heavily politicized with a well-funded opposition movement failed, but only because it required a 60 percent vote to amend the Constitution. Despite the initiative’s failure, a solid majority — 58 percent — voted in favor of the measure. The initiative’s loss is still a bit of a surprise, because polls have shown that support among Florida residents for the idea of medical marijuana is as high as 90 percent. In fact, lawmakers passed a much narrower medical marijuana provision last year that, remarkably, had the support of almost every state lawmaker. If their goal in passing it was to pick off support for the more expansive measure on the ballot, they succeeded.

Rounding off the evening, two cities in New Mexico — Santa Fe and Bernalillo — voted to decriminalize pot.

The statewide initiatives won’t go into effect today. There will be months of policy-making, political wrangling, and pushback from Congress. But majorities in every jurisdiction where the question was posed voted to reduce the penalties for marijuana.

Proportional Penalties

In California, voters passed an initiative that embraces that Smart on Crime notion in a more comprehensive way. Proposition 47 reduces the penalties for low-level nonviolent offenses including many drug and property crimes, on the notion that locking people up who haven’t done anything dangerous doesn’t do anybody any good. The initiative changes a number of offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, meaning the sentence for conviction is much lower, and that the impact on an individual’s criminal record won’t be as significant. Many job and voting restrictions, for example, only apply to felonies. Offenses that will be affected by the measure include drug possession offenses, as well as shoplifting, credit card fraud, and forgery.

The initiative also means that some 10,000 individuals already behind bars will be eligible for re-sentencing. This is particularly relevant for California, which has been struggling to reduce its prison population since the U.S. Supreme Court declared its prisons so overcrowded that they violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

With a passage rate of 58 percent, the initiative may serve as a model for other states. The state already decriminalized marijuana possession several years ago, and has seen arrests go down without significant adverse consequences.

Bail Reform

In New Jersey, Democrats and Republicans have joined forces over the past year to pass a package of measures that ensure those behind bars are those who pose a greater danger to society, not the ones who can’t afford to pay bail. Lawmakers took up the issue after a study found that some 40 percent of those who are jailed after they are arrested but before their trial or conviction are there simply because they were poor.

The idea behind bail is that individuals who are charged with a crime put up a bond of significant value to increase the likelihood that they will return for future court dates. But the system creates a class divide. Many are charged with bail under $2,500 — a sum that many wealthier individuals can pay, but is completely out of reach for low-income defendants. Those who end up stuck behind bars pending their trial do not have the same capacity to defend their case. They are more likely to eventually plead guilty, and many have called pretrial detention “ransom” intended to extract such guilty pleas.

Two companion bills were passed by the New Jersey legislature to make the bail system less about how much money defendants have, and more about whether they pose a danger to the public. One bill passed by the legislature took income out of the equation for less dangerous offenders by conducting risk assessments of defendants, and allow those not deemed dangerous to participate in a monitoring program until their trail, rather than to sit in jail. A second bill put Tuesday’s ballot initiative before the voters. That ballot initiative asked voters to give judges power to hold the most dangerous offenders behind bars before their trial — even if they could afford bail. By passing this measure Tuesday, the bail reform package is now fully in effect.

Gun Violence

The idea of “Smart on Crime” initiatives is to eliminate the counterproductive criminal policies and re-allocate resources toward those policies that actually reduce violent crime. To that end, some might also consider it a win that in Washington State (where pot is already legal), voters both approved a measure to close a loophole in firearms background checks, and rejected a competing ballot initiative that would have narrowed the state’s gun laws. The measure means that gun sellers and buyers can’t get around limitations on who can own a guy by selling them in private online sales or at gun shows.

Source:  Think Progress

World’s first legal recreational marijuana sales begin in Colorado Read more: World’s first legal recreational marijuana sales begin in Colorado | The Denver Post

First Legal Marijuana Sales in ColoradoIn a historic swirl of commerce and cannabis, the world’s first stores licensed to sell marijuana legally to anyone 21 or older opened in Colorado on Wednesday.

From Telluride to Denver, thousands of people cheerfully stood in lines for hours to buy legal marijuana after presenting nothing more than identification.

Marijuana activists hailed the day as a watershed in their effort to overturn anti-cannabis laws. Store owners — several of whom said the turnout exceeded even their own ambitious expectations — feared running out of supply.

Police reported no problems with the crowds, and government officials marveled at the calm.

Overall, the day went as marijuana activists had hoped it would: In the most extraordinary way possible, it was ordinary.

“I’ve been waiting 34 years for this moment,” enthused Chrissy Robinson, who arrived at one store, Evergreen Apothecary in Denver, at 2 a.m. to be among the first in line. “I’ve been smoking since I was 14. No more sneaking around.”

At least 37 stores across the state were fully licensed and opened to sell marijuana to anyone 21 or over for any purpose, according to official lists and Denver Post research. Sales could commence at 8 a.m., and activists — who campaigned for the marijuana-legalization measure whose passage in November 2012 made the sales possible — arranged a ceremonial “first purchase” at the Denver store 3D Cannabis Center.

The store used to be called “Denver’s Discreet Dispensary,” so the name change speaks to the rapid evolution of Colorado’s marijuana industry, which began in earnest only about four years ago. 3D Cannabis Center owner Toni Fox watched the clock carefully as the hour approached and dozens of reporters and photographers crowded into one of her store’s tiny purchasing areas.

“It’s 8 a.m.,” she said. “I’m going to do it.”

The first customer was 32-year-old Sean Azzariti, an Iraq war veteran who campaigned for marijuana legalization and said he uses cannabis to alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Under a canopy of cameras, Azzariti bought an eighth of an ounce of the marijuana strain Bubba Kush and a package of marijuana-infused candy truffles.

“We did it!” a beaming Azzariti said at the end of the purchase.

The cost was $59.74, including $10.46 in tax. At the bottom of the receipt was the message “Thank you for your purchase!”

“I’m confident these businesses will perform and be a good example of how states can regulate marijuana,” activist Mason Tvert said just prior to the store’s first purchase. “Today, there will be people around the country buying marijuana. But only in Colorado will they be buying it in stores like this one.”

Source: Denver Post

 

State Marijuana Laws Map | Governing

Twenty states and the District of Columbia now have laws legalizing marijuana in some form.

So far, only Colorado and Washington state have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while other states permit medical marijuana.

A limited medical marijuana law most recently went into effect Oct. 1 in Maryland, allowing authorized academic medical centers and research centers to distribute it. However, patients are not expected to be able to sign up for the program until 2015.

Illinois legalized medical marijuana with a law establishing a pilot program set to be implemented in January.

The map below show states permitting marijuana use for medical and recreational purposes.

Information below is current as of December 2013 and includes ballot measures approved in the 2012 elections that have yet to take effect:

MarihuanaMap

Source: Governing