Why do you support the legalization of marijuana

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Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Montana Newspaper Helps Arsons Find Suitable Targets

Ok I am not one for censorship, my faithful readers (both of you) know this. That being said The Billings Gazette should be ashamed, and should face prosecution for reckless endangerment. On May 10th it was reported that two building which housed medical marijuana dispensaries were firebombed by arsonists and "Not in our town" was spray painted on the windows and doors. So what does the local rag say about the incident, oh sure they report it with the integrity of any other newspaper, but then they go and post a detailed map of every medical dispensary in the region, and worse still they include anyone who has applied for a license to become a dispensary.

I came across this article at our THE Weed Blog, and at first I assumed they were exaggerating, I assure you they were not. Two days after reporting the firebombing the Billings Gazette posted the map knowing full well that someone was targeting these businesses. Sure it can be argued that everything is public domain anyways and the arsonists probably have the list anyways, but seriously, why make it easier?

Did they do anything outright illegal, well depends how you look at it. Did they violate any laws that normally govern newspapers such as publishing private information, copyright infringement, libel, or defamation? No, they didn't however they did put every single person who owned, or applied for a license to run a medical marijuana dispensary, and every employee of a dispensary directly in harms way. This clearly falls under Reckless Endangerment, which in the United states can be a misdemeanor or a felony. In my opinion the paper should be charged with the crime and forced to face the consequences.

Now I am sure the paper will claim (and it would probably be true) that the map had been planned and in the works BEFORE the firebombing. This does not excuse the paper for the crime however, because instead of considering the harm that the map could cause based on the fact that someone was targeting these businesses and stopping the publication of the map they went ahead with it. In reckless endangerment cases intent is not needed, in face the reckless pretty much says "Ok we know you didn't intend to harm anyone, you just didn't care". The fact that no new firebombings have happened since doesn't let them off the hook either, at least not in my books. Just because the terrorists responsible for the firebombings haven't used the information yet doesn't mean they won't, and even if they get caught or if they never bomb another building, the information was still provided for them.

For point of reference I did not link to the Billings Gazette for the simple reason I don't want to drive traffic to their criminal organization. If you feel the need to verify, it is easy enough to do, it took me less then five minutes to verify THE weed blogs' claims.

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What is your prefered method of using pot? (assuming price is no issue)

If marijuana were legal would you grow your own or buy from a store?

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