Cannabis/Marijuana

Do You Know What’s on Your Weed?

Posted on April 28, 2015. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Farming, LATEST NEWS, Marijuana, Medical Marijuana | Tags: , , , , , , , |


If You Care About Ingesting Weed Free of Harmful Pesticides, You Need to Know a Crucial Difference Between Medical and Recreational Marijuana

by Tobias Coughlin-Bogue

 

Before looking into it, I naively assumed Washington State’s groundbreaking marijuana legalization law had given us a unique opportunity to do things "right," which meant, to my mind, a crop that’s not only legal but pesticide-free, organic, and eco-friendly. Maybe we’ve all already given up hope when it comes to fruit and vegetables grown by giant agribusinesses, but weed, given all the tree-hugging, organic-food-eating, GMO-avoiding hippies who love it, must be different. Right?

Wrong. What I discovered was that legal weed is most certainly not pesticide-free, although to be fair, there are severe restrictions on the kinds of pesticides recreational marijuana growers are allowed to use. Pesticide use is so commonplace in agriculture that the question becomes one of degrees rather than absolutes. In a storybook version of reality, we would be smoking pesticide-free fatties with the Lorax and satisfying our munchies with unsprayed apples 100 percent of the time. But as glorious as that would be, that doesn’t reflect the economic or ecological reality of agriculture.

When the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) was inventing rules for pesticide use on recreational marijuana plants, they turned to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) for some expert advice. The WSDA studied pesticides typically allowed on hops (a close cousin of cannabis), tobacco, and food products. The rules in place are a result of that work.

The state appears to have done a good job at regulating a previously unregulated and unstudied area of agriculture—a plant the federal government still classifies as a Schedule I drug. All pesticides used on any crop in the state of Washington must be registered with the Department of Agriculture, and the list of approved pesticides is available via the Pesticide Information Center Online (PICOL), a database operated by Washington State University. There are, by my highly scientific estimate, a metric shit ton of allowed pesticides in our state. How many of those pesticides are recreational pot growers allowed to use on pot that ends up in your body? Two hundred and seventy-one.

That number is not nearly as upsetting as it may sound, given a little context. At a recent meeting of state and local officials working with the recreational cannabis industry, one attendee voiced concern that 271 legally allowed pesticides seemed like a large number. In response, Erik Johanson, the WSDA’s special pesticide registration program coordinator, offered this sobering bit of information: "If we were talking apples, the number would be 1,000."

When it comes to regulating recreational marijuana pesticides, the WSDA did what government agencies do best when faced with uncertainty: They played it safe. They chose to only allow pesticides that were exempt from any tolerance level requirements—thresholds established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that dictate the amounts at which pesticides become harmful when consumed, inhaled, or otherwise encountered. Being exempt from those requirements is the EPA’s way of saying a substance is so benign, they didn’t feel it necessary to study it further. Also, thanks to the popularity of edibles, the WSDA chose to consider the harvested buds as a food product—though they are not technically classified as such by the legislature—disqualifying a bunch of nasty stuff intended for use only on ornamental plants or otherwise inedible crops. This led to that relatively small list of 271 pesticides. It is primarily composed of the type of essential oils that might lead you to overpay for a bottle of shampoo.

Many of the allowed pesticides with scary names aren’t even that scary: azadirachtin is an extract of neem oil, potassium laurate is just soap, and bacillus subtilis is a bacteria with antifungal and probiotic properties that occurs naturally in our gastrointestinal tract. None of them are listed on the Pesticide Action Network’s list of "bad actors." Is each and every one of the 271 legally allowed pesticides something you would feel comfortable gently misting over a field of adorable puppies? No. I found two somewhat troubling substances on the list: pyrethrins and their trusty sidekick piperonyl butoxide (PBO). Pyrethrin is listed on PAN’s "bad actors" list, and while PBO is not, it is a chemical synergist for pyrethrin, working to enhance its effects. The duo is most commonly found in fogger-style bug bombs with brand names like Doktor Doom and X-clude.

Those two ominously named brands are not on the PICOL list, though they are still available for purchase at your average gardening supply store, a clear indication of their popularity. Doktor Doom and X-clude may not be on the PICOL list, but other fogger bombs with the same active ingredients are. (The PICOL list is organized by brand name, not active ingredients.) Pyrethrins are classified by the EPA as a botanical insecticide, being the active chemical ingredients of pyrethrum, an extract of chrysanthemum flowers. Pyrethrins and PBO are, given their inclusion on the PICOL list, exempt from residual tolerance requirements and thus safe for human consumption in any amount, according to the EPA.

But if you’ve ever used one of these foggers, you know they’re some pretty heavy shit. Before you use one in your house, you have to cover all exposed food products and remove yourself and your pets from the area for at least several hours. In the context of growing marijuana, they cannot be sprayed directly onto a plant or the plant will die. Most growers agree they should not be sprayed onto plants at all. "It leaves a lot of residue on plants," said Dustin Hurst, head grower at Monkey Grass Farms in Wenatchee, explaining that it’s especially risky to use these products late in the plant’s flowering stage when the flowers begin to enclose into buds, potentially trapping pyrethrin residue within. Daniel Curylo, "lead instigator" at Cascade Crops in Shelton, concurs: "You don’t want to be spraying all sorts of crap on your product, because the residue—I don’t care what anybody says—that stays on there."

Indeed, a 2002 fact sheet from the Journal of Pesticide Reform cites a study in which pyrethrin residues were found in carpet dust more than two months after application, which is a bit unnerving when one considers the crystal-encrusted tendrils of a flowering pot plant. A later study, published in 2013 in the Journal of Toxicology, found that up to 69.5 percent of pesticide residues can end up in flowers at the point of inhalation. So, if pyrethrin/PBO foggers are being used at any point during the flowering stage of the plant’s growth—which would not explicitly violate any of the WSLCB’s rules—you’re likely smoking some of it.

How big a problem is that, health-wise? The Journal of Pesticide Reform cites concerns about pyrethrin ranging from disruption of hormonal systems to the chemical’s EPA-granted status as "likely to be a carcinogen by the oral route." The EPA’s own human health risk assessment of pyrethrin suggests that long-term inhalation of pyrethrin in significant amounts can cause "respiratory tract lesions" in rodents. Scarier still, the JPR factsheet notes that pyrethrins are absorbed by humans most rapidly via the lungs.

If you’re curious about what may be on the marijuana you get in a recreational store, ask. Every pot grow operates differently, but under WAC statute 314-55-087, growers are required to keep accurate records of all pesticides applied—when, how much, by whom, etc. The WSLCB’s team of inspectors can check these records to ensure proper use at any time. And every grower is required to make this information available to recreational stores that carry their products.

What Kinds of Pesticides Are Recreational Marijuana Growers Using?

So why would any pot farmer worth a damn want to use the stuff on their plants? Because weed farmers have to deal with pests like any other farmers do. "I think you could bleach everyone and everything, and [spider mites] would still get in," Hurst, the Monkey Grass Farms grower, told me.

"Everybody gets it—spider mites, stuff like powdery mildew, it’s everywhere," said Curylo from Cascade Crops. Spider mites, which appear as little black dots on the bottom of a marijuana plant’s fan leaves (the part of the pot plant most likely to be superimposed over Bob Marley’s face on a T-shirt), are the bane of growers, along with mold and bacteria. Left unchecked, these infiltrators can ruin an entire harvest. Getting rid of them is a constant battle, and growers have typically employed a wide variety of weapons, most benign but some less so, like pyrethrin.

But pyrethrin does have legitimate uses. According to various gardening supply store managers I interviewed, if growers are using it right, it’s primarily as a "reset button" between grow cycles when all the plants have been removed from the grow room. Given the surfaces available for pyrethrin to cling to in the absence of fuzzy budding plants, it’s not likely to linger. Regardless, most of the growers I spoke with—both licensed and unlicensed—indicated that they preferred to use lower-impact pest solutions anyway, for both economic and ethical reasons. Most relied heavily on AzaMax, a brand name of azadirachtin. Azadirachtin, as I mentioned previously, is just an extract of neem oil, an age-old Indian cure-all and a very hot seller during scabies outbreaks at Evergreen. Curylo said he planned to stop using even AzaMax, because he has found it cheaper and just as effective to mist using a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution.

To keep growers from using products even nastier than a fogger bomb, the WSLCB maintains the authority to pull, at random, a sample of any grower’s weed to run a comprehensive pesticide residue panel on it. If any unapproved pesticides show up, growers face a $2,500 fine and 10-day license suspension to start. The penalties for repeat offenders escalate rapidly, culminating in a permanent loss of license.

There are, of course, recreational marijuana consumers who will argue that all weed should be subject to pesticide residue testing before sale. That was certainly my first reaction when I discovered that the residue test was not part of the required panel of tests that all pot goes through on its way to market. But the system of randomized testing seems to provide a significant enough disincentive for growers to ensure compliance. Given the amount of time and money most people have invested in their operations, a 10-day suspension is a pretty serious deterrent.

I asked Phil Tobias, who runs Sea of Green Farms in Seattle, whether randomized testing motivated him to stick to the approved list, and he replied, "Yes. One hundred percent. We would get fined if we were to use something else, and we can’t risk that." His primary methods of pest control? Ladybugs and ionized water. (Ladybugs think spider mites are delicious.)

Hurst, from Monkey Grass, concurred: "If there’s someone there watching over your shoulder, you’re gonna make sure everything is perfect."

Nick Mosely and Bobby Hines, from pot-testing lab Confidence Analytics in Redmond, were also quick to praise the PICOL list. Hines said the existence of the PICOL list "absolutely" put weed grown under I-502 a cut above everything else. "It’s not just the penalty," added Mosely, "but also that there’s a resource they can look to that guides them toward healthy alternatives." And indeed, a booklet distributed to regulators and enforcement personnel from various state and local agencies includes a section on encouraging integrated pest management, a holistic method of pest control that attempts to avoid the use of any pesticides at all. Mosely also suggested that many of the bad practices being employed were not due to maliciousness so much as an absence of education. "A lot of [underground growers] just don’t know that Avid is so poisonous. They just know their buddy told them it works," said Mosely. "If they know that Avid is dangerous—it’s not on the list, but here’s a list of things that do work—then they’ll go to that."

Mikhail Carpenter, a spokesperson for the WSLCB, says the agency’s inspectors have the power to decide what constitutes improper use of a pesticide, and can immediately shut down and quarantine any grow operation that they feel to be unsafe, pending appeal. He also stressed that the WSLCB’s enforcement officers, when checking grow facilities, will be examining these records closely to ensure accurate record-keeping and responsible usage. He assured me that if they were to find a grower using pyrethrin bombs dangerously close to harvest, they would put the kibosh on it. So while responsible use of foggers may not be specifically codified into the WSLCB’s myriad of regulations regarding legal weed, it is subject to the (hopefully) expert oversight of the WSLCB’s inspectors.

If the thought of any pesticides of any sort, no matter how benign, freaks you out, simply avoid growers who use them. There are plenty out there who don’t, and there is even a third-party organization—Certified Kind—that certifies weed as organic in the absence of USDA certification.

As far as pesticide disclosure goes at our local shops, Uncle Ike’s is ahead of the game, offering a small printed card listing all their suppliers and the substances applied to their products. Ganja Goddess isn’t far behind. I spoke with someone there identifying himself as Al Green, who did not serenade me with his rendition of "Can’t Get Next to You" but did assure me that, while they did not have a list printed up, they would be able to provide the required information to customers upon request. The gentlemen I spoke with at Cannabis City and Ocean Greens were both "not really sure," though I have no doubt they’ll amend that uncertainty once their bosses remind them it’s required.

The liquor control board hasn’t performed any pesticide audits yet, but Steve McNalley, senior microbiologist at cannabis testing lab Analytical 360 in Sodo, confirmed that his lab was setting up to perform the audits and expects to do so in the "next couple of months." He suspected that the WSLCB likely hadn’t performed any audits yet because they wanted to let growers get up and running before introducing any potential fines. Hines and Mosely told me that calibration for pesticide residual tests was also quite expensive and that screening for all the disallowed pesticides that might be out there was an arduous process, something like looking for a "needle in a haystack of needles." Arduous but worthwhile, according to the WSLCB. Carpenter indicated that the agency intended to scan for as broad a range of pesticides as possible, and will be shouldering the expense of the tests, at least initially.

What Kinds of Pesticides Are Medical Marijuana Growers Using?

You might be wondering: Why make all this fuss about the finer points of pesticides under I-502 if most growers play it safe? Well, because legal growers are facing extremely stiff competition from the unregulated medical and underground markets. The fact that legal recreational weed is verifiably free of mold, bacteria, and harmful pesticides is perhaps recreational stores’ most serious competitive advantage over the black market and the medical marijuana market. This distinction is a pretty important one, given the stakes, and I’m a bit surprised legal growers and retailers haven’t publicized it more aggressively.

A couple months back, I interviewed a few black-market marijuana growers about their take on the cannabis landscape in the wake of legalization, and one of them, Darryl, said something that stuck with me. I asked him why, if legal weed was tested to ensure it was free of mold and harmful pesticides, he nevertheless insisted that black-market weed was better. He replied, "Well, the black-market growers are much more boutique. It’s more of a craft market. They’ve been doing it longer, they’ve got more experience, and they don’t have the same restrictions the legal growers do as far as overhead and regulation."

Now, I believed Darryl when he told me he is personally dedicated to organic, additive-free growing. But something about his answer didn’t sit right with me. He was essentially claiming that the black market didn’t need testing or any governmental oversight whatsoever because consumers could just trust the experience of seasoned growers. That would be a great argument if the black market (and the medical market, which was not affected by the passage of I-502) were entirely composed of responsible, experienced growers. But…

I’ve witnessed questionable practices firsthand. I’ve heard countless tales of growers who are just in it for a buck, turning to harsh chemical pesticides for the quickest, easiest solution. Ian Eisenberg, the Ike of recreational marijuana store Uncle Ike’s, told me of buying weed at medical shops and listening to the budtenders extol the organic, locally grown pot they were selling, only to see those same budtenders buy pot from a guy who just pulled a black duffel bag out of a car with California plates.

When I asked another black-market grower, Josh, if he’d ever seen questionable growing practices, he replied: "Definitely. People using household pesticides out of Lowe’s or Home Depot. I’ve heard some wild stories."

And Chase, an all-natural home grower who also works at a larger medical grow, had a similar tale to tell. "It’s more common than you think, unfortunately," he told me, in regards to usage of sketchy pesticides in the black and medical markets. "You can go into a [medical] shop and they’re not going to tell you, ‘Oh, we had to spray that one last week.’" He also added that in certain urgent pest situations, his boss at the medical grow had instructed them to use stronger pesticides that would definitely not pass muster under I-502, though Chase did not specify which ones.

Not knowing where your weed came from or what’s on it is pretty scary when you start to delve into what’s out there. The worst pesticides that I’ve heard of being used on weed are all still available for purchase, as many of them have legitimate uses on the type of plants you look at but don’t eat or smoke. Aqua Serene, a gardening supply store in Fremont, sells both Forbid, an insecticide that was instantly described to me as "horrible," and Eagle 20, a fungicide that received a rating of "gross" from Markia Gwara, the store’s manager. I wanted to know why, exactly, they would still sell these if they wouldn’t use them in their own garden. She told me that there is still a market for them—albeit a shrinking one—and their store is, after all, a business. She was quick to emphasize that she does her best to steer people away from harsh pesticides in favor of natural methods, but regardless, they’re for sale. Most of the people asking for them were, according to her, "not as savvy of gardeners or old-timers who have stuck to their ways."

Would banning these products from stores help? Probably not. All of the worst culprits—Avid, Floramite, Forbid, Eagle 20, and their ilk—are available online for those who really want them.

Rick, who was working the counter at Hydro 4 Less in Tukwila when I stopped by to ask about the pesticides they stock, said that he occasionally gets customers in the store asking for the heavy hitters, which they don’t carry. He noted that often the same customers come back but don’t ask again, which he reads as a sure sign they’re getting it elsewhere—either online or from other shops.

And, harsh chemicals aside, there is always the possibility of mold when buying from untested sources. Much of the weed not legally sanctioned by I-502 is grown in dank basements, hung up to dry in dank basements, and trimmed in dank basements. "The stuff that comes out of people’s basements is often riddled with mold. Basements are moldy and it’s Seattle and it’s wet," McNalley, the microbiologist from Analytical 360, told me. "Basement molds are stuff that you really don’t want in your lungs." He continued, "I would recommend smoking the legal stuff as opposed to anything that’s unregulated. I’m for regulation. Having that limit [on microorganisms] is going to keep things safer overall. You could go to a dispensary, you could buy a nug, and it could test in at only 120 colony-forming units, but that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t get the test done. And no one’s getting the test done." This could change—in Seattle at least—under the mayor’s proposed rules for medical shops, but until then it’s still the Wild West.

If You Aren’t Sure, Get It Tested

Getting weed from a medical shop or "the guy" will almost undoubtedly be cheaper than going to a recreational store, because unlicensed growers operate without the burdensome expenses and taxes involved in I-502 compliance. Testing is expensive. Rachel Cooper, from Monkey Grass Farms, estimated that the tests they run on their marijuana cost around $3,000 per month.

Of course, weed that’s been tested is much safer to consume. This quote, from a paper entitled "Testing Cannabis for Contaminants" by the BOTEC Corp., a California lab testing company that advised the WSLCB on its pesticide rules, sums up the situation in the unregulated market nicely: "As a high value crop, cannabis will no doubt prompt some growers to use any and all measures to maximize yields, regardless of burdens or risks placed upon employees, customers, or their surroundings."

It is an unfortunate truth that, in the absence of regulation, some people are going to cheat in pursuit of wealth. For every 10 medical growers who are dedicated to growing beautiful, organic weed and are willing to send their product in to the lab on their own dime, there’s one guy with dollar signs in his eyes spraying his plants down with Avid because it’s easier and passing it off as "all-natural." Provided he’s got his medical authorizations in order, there’s currently no way to stop that guy from using any pesticide legally available.

Beyond the fact that it still feels weird and amazing to be able to walk into a clean, brightly lit store and purchase weed, it feels even cooler to know that the weed you get from that store is pretty much guaranteed to be free of harmful pesticides and mold. People have made much of all the things that I-502 screwed up—and that list is not a short one—but it’s heartening to discover something it got right.

So unless your medical shop or your "dude" is willing to require suppliers to run testing through a certified lab, like Confidence or Analytical 360, and provide you with a list of pesticides used on their product, it’s probably worth paying the premium at the recreational store if you’re at all concerned about the purity of your pot. A sandwich board with a green cross and the word "organic" painted on it guarantees you nothing. A dude weighing out a sack on a cluttered coffee table while Phish videos play in the background is not a safe source. When it comes to weed safety, I think Uncle Ike put it best: "I don’t want to take someone’s word of honor, I want my shit tested." recommended

CONTINUE READING…

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"WRITE” Obama a real letter to DECRIMINALIZE marijuana NOW

Posted on April 3, 2015. Filed under: Activists, Attention, Cannabis/Marijuana, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , |


 

Image result for obama marijuana

 

WANT it over?

Write Obama a real letter to DECRIMINALIZE marijuana NOW This month will do it. 30 DAYS IS WHAT IT WILL TAKE FOR OBAMA TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA.

Details below — but ask him to DECRIMINALIZE CANNABIS instead! Start writing!

President Obama today at a fundraiser in Springfield was asked "What would it take for you to legalize marijuana before you leave office?"

The President responded at length "Legalizing marijuana is definitely an issue that many Americans feel strongly about today especially younger Americans. But I have a job to do. I need to look out for the nation as a whole. Let’s face it, smoking pot makes you lazy. Pot smokers have no problem going on a computer or smartphone and sending an email or clicking on a petition while they play those video games. They’re what we call in Washington "couch activists" who will stand up for anything as long as they can do it from their couch. I get emails about legalizing marijuana but in all my time in office as President I don’t think my administration has received more than a few hundred old fashioned letters sent through the mail to me at the White House. Like people used to do.

In fact I’ll make this challenge. If I receive over one million old fashioned letters in the next thirty days, before the end of April, mailed to me at the White House before the end of 2015 I will go to congress and tell them that we must change the laws. I promise you this"

A White House staffer said that the letters must be hand addressed with a postage stamp, no metered mail will count. Citizens can send their letters asking for marijuana to be legalized to:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC

SOURCE

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American Green Signs Five Leases in Kentucky for CBD-Only Shops; Ordering an Additional Twenty ZaZZZ Age-Verifying Medical Marijuana Machines

Posted on March 3, 2015. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, HEMP, KENTUCKY WEED, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , |


ZaZZZ is the world’s First Consumer Automated Medical Marijuana Vending Machine. Improved second generation 3D touch screen machines will be delivered to Michigan and Arizona. American Green’s ZaZZZ machines in Kentucky will be the first of it’s kind to vend Hemp products directly to the consumer. American Green will also be ordering an additional 20 ZaZZZ from VE Global for distribution throughout the country.

Tempe, AZ, March 02, 2015 –(PR.com)– American Green (OTC: ERBB) — With the signing last week of an additional five ZaZZZ leases, American Green is ordering the next twenty machines built by VE GLOBAL. These new 3D touch screen ZaZZZ vending machines will join the other eighteen machines currently under various stages of public release into Medical Marijuana approved states. The two machines carrying Hemp products will be brought online in Arizona at Hempful Farms and the other in Michigan with the Michigan Hemp Company. All 28 machines represent a multi-state effort that meet regulatory compliance while creating a process for broader expansion with the forward-thinking companies who have, or expect to be ordering, the new Consumer operated ZaZZZ Medical Marijuana Vending Machines.
Annual sales for the United States vending industry are estimated between $19 Billion and $29 Billion. The income produced by a single Zazzz vending machine can vary depending on the kind of products being dispensed and the location of the machine.
“We are very happy to bring a new technology to Kentucky so we can offer exceptional hemp products to our consumers and are excited to build long term relationship,” says Chris Smith of Vice President of Green Remedy whose home office is in Bardstown, KY. “We share American Green’s vision to deliver quality products in the safest possible way using 21st century capabilities. Green Remedy is proud to be the first company in Kentucky to embrace this technology.”
American Green is expanding national operations of the second generation ZaZZZ into its 6th state. The Kentucky machines are the first machines to carry Hemp products along with products from American Green including it’s vape pen, ogtea, and clothing line. Further distribution of ZaZZZ into Medical Marijuana approved states will continue throughout the year.
"We are constantly improving ZaZZZ with our own in house R&D. We are also using real life data from our from our existing machines in Colorado and Washington State to help improve ZaZZZ. We have recently integrated our proprietary Tomassi patent into ZaZZZ and have added a 3D touchscreen for ease of use,” say Carl Kaiser, Director of ZaZZZ Logistics.
“ZaZZZ will always be improving with every day bringing more requests, opportunities, accomplishments and, most of all, a one day closer to our goal of creating the safest, consumer automated, verified vending system in America. I’m extremely excited to be part of making this happen,” Kaiser concludes.
Company and Contacts:
Americangreen.com
American Green, Inc.
Mr. Stephen Shearin
President
1221 W Warner Rd Suite 103
Tempe, AZ 85284
(480) 443-1600
Investor Relations
Has Uyar
1221 W Warner Rd Suite 103
Tempe AZ 85284
(480) 443-1600
More About American Green, Inc.
Founded back in 2009 as one of the first publicly-traded medical marijuana-related companies in the world, American Green is proud to have the largest certified shareholder base which now numbers well over 50,000. The Company is keenly focused on developing, retailing, branding, and establishing commercial cultivation solutions under its proprietary American Green name along with our partners who are licensed retail medical marijuana dispensaries. American Green believes that the renewal of the legalized cannabis industry in the United States will aid in getting our economy back on its feet through increased employment in all related sectors — retail, real estate, contracting, farming and more. Additional revenues, fueled by taxing cannabis sales, and the decreased cost of housing prisoners who are no longer in prison for possession of cannabis should contribute to the renewal. Hard work and a clear vision propel American Green into the future. The centerpiece of our company is ZaZZZ, our unique automated vending solution designed specifically around American Green’s licensed proprietary patent technology.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements. The words or phrases "would be," "will allow," "intends to," "will likely result," "are expected to," "will continue," "is anticipated," "estimate," "project," or similar expressions are intended to identify "forward-looking statements." Actual results could differ materially from those projected in American Green’s and/or Greenhouse Solutions’ ("the Company" or “the Companies”) business plan(s). The joint venture for the use of CBDs should not be construed as an indication in any way whatsoever of the future value of the Company’s common stock or its present or future financial condition. The Company’s filings may be accessed at the SEC’s Edgar system. Statements made herein are as of the date of this press release and should not be relied upon as of any subsequent date. The Company cautions readers not to place reliance on such statements. Unless otherwise required by applicable law, we do not undertake, and we specifically disclaim any obligation, to update any forward-looking statements to reflect occurrences, developments, unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statement.

Contact Information

American Green
Has Uyar
480-443-1600
Contact
americangreen.com
American Green, Inc.
Mr. Stephen Shearin
President
1221 W Warner Rd Suite 103
Tempe, AZ 85284
(480) 443-1600

Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from American Green

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Southern Oregon medical marijuana growers fear industrial hemp could ruin their crops

Posted on February 21, 2015. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Farming, Industrial HEMP, LATEST NEWS, Medical Marijuana | Tags: , , , , , |


 

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Southern Oregon marijuana growers want to ban industrial hemp production from the region out of fear that hemp may pollinate their crops and render them worthless.

Some outdoor marijuana growers want industrial hemp cultivation to be limited to eastern Oregon – far from their lucrative marijuana crops. At the very least, they don’t want hemp in Josephine, Jackson and Douglas counties.

Compared to Oregon’s marijuana legalization movement, the effort to launch an industrial hemp industry in Oregon has been an understated one propelled by a small but passionate group of advocates. When one of them, Edgar Winters, of Eagle Point, got a permit this month to grow industrial hemp on 25 acres in the heart of the state’s outdoor marijuana growing region, his neighbors were alarmed.

Allowing industrial hemp in an area known for churning out high-grade marijuana could undermine the industry, growers argue.

"You don’t come into the middle of cannabis growing country and try to put up a hemp farm unless you don’t know about it, unless you really don’t know how far hemp pollen can travel," said Casey Branham, a Jackson County medical marijuana grower who supports industrial hemp but wants it grown elsewhere in the state.

"It basically makes the medicine worthless," he said.

Branham and his neighbors worry hemp pollen will find its way to their unpollinated female cannabis flowers, known as sensimilla, slowing their growth and leading to seeds. The result: weak, seedy marijuana.

"No one will buy seeded flowers, period," said Cedar Grey, a Williams medical marijuana grower. "The flower market is so competitive these days. You have to have world-class flowers. Anything that is seeded is reminiscent of the 1960s or pot from Mexico. No one is interested in that at all."

And it’s not just southern Oregon’s outdoor marijuana growers who are worried about hemp’s implications. Portland’s indoor marijuana growers worry about hemp pollen drifting into their warehouses through ventilation systems or being tracked into their operations on workers’ shoes.

Shane McKee, a medical marijuana grower who owns two Portland dispensaries, said the potential complications posed by industrial hemp have caught cannabis growers by surprise.

"Nobody really saw the repercussions," said McKee.

Hemp and marijuana are different types of the same species, Cannabis sativa. But hemp lacks marijuana’s most coveted component: THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. In hemp’s case, the gene that fires up marijuana’s high THC production is essentially turned off. So while hemp’s sturdy stalks provide fiber for textiles and its seeds can be added to yogurt and smoothies, the plant is a lousy choice for people seeking marijuana’s high.

Anndrea Hermann, a hemp advocate who lives in Canada and teaches a course on the crop at Oregon State University, said marijuana growers’ concerns are legitimate.

"Is there a risk? Yes, there is a risk to the marijuana growers," said Hermann, who also serves as president of the Hemp Industries Association and owns a hemp products company. "And I will tell you it’s a hard pill to swallow."

Winters is the first to obtain a license to grow industrial hemp from the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Another three people have applied, said Ron Pence, operations manager for commodity inspection for the agency, which oversees the state’s new industrial hemp program.

Pence said the agency has authority to limit where some agricultural crops, such as rapeseed, are cultivated. But it does not have that authority when it comes to industrial hemp.

"It would need a legislative fix," he said.

Oregon lawmakers have taken note of marijuana growers’ objections. Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland, said growers peppered his office with emails once Winters’ plans became public. He said lawmakers are exploring potential solutions to protect both crops.

"Nobody wants one crop to endanger another crop," he said.

Oregon’s robust outdoor marijuana growing culture sets it apart from places like Kentucky, which also has a state hemp program. Oregon’s outdoor growers are organized, have an attorney and even a lobbyist. While Kentucky’s agriculture officials are enthusiastic boosters of industrial hemp, marijuana remains illegal.

"Marijuana growers are not so vocal" in Kentucky, said Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, a national hemp advocacy group. "They are not in a position to be able to call up their legislators to ask for a bill protecting their crops."

Winters, for his part, doesn’t see a major problem cultivating hemp near marijuana crops. He said the growing cycle for hemp is shorter than the one for outdoor marijuana and that an earlier harvest means it would not pose a threat to cannabis.

"It’s been doable all over the world," said Winters, who’s also a medical marijuana grower. "People have misconceptions about industrial hemp."

He said marijuana growers need more "education and training and knowledge" about hemp and that he plans to meet with outdoor growers to address their concerns.

He said he’s received strong criticism from marijuana growers and even personal threats since word of his plan spread.

"It’s a viable crop," he said. "There is no way we are going to be forced out of the county. I can tell you that. We are here to stay."

— Noelle Crombie

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(FEDERAL PETITION) KENTUCKY CANNABIS HEMP HEALTH INITIATIVE (KCHHI)

Posted on January 27, 2015. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, CIVIL RIGHTS, Healthcare, HEMP, Human Rights, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |


repeal.prohibition.poster

I am taking this petition to the top!  It has now been listed on “We the People” petitions to the Whitehouse at Whitehouse.gov.

Please follow thru and sign the FEDERAL Petition which I have posted today.

I am still supporting this Initiative as the right way to proceed with REPEAL of prohibition!

Anything less and they are just running us around in circles to end up on their agenda of continued Prohibition thru regulation and the prison system.

Join me in the fight for REPEAL!

Kentucky HEMP/HEALTH INITIATIVE:

WILL REPEAL ALL STATUTES REGARDING CANNABIS/HEMP IN THE U.S.

THIS IS A REQUEST TO REDEFINE THE CANNABIS/HEMP STATUTES IN THEIR ENTIRETY.

THRU REPEAL OF ALL STATUTES AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL THE GARDENING OF CANNABIS/MARIJIUANA/HEMP WILL RETURN TO THE PEOPLE THEIR GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO GARDEN AND TO GROW THE CANNABIS/MARIJUANA/HEMP PLANT FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL USE WITHOUT TAXATION NOR INTERFERENCE FROM FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL LAW WHEN NOT IN A SALES ENVIRONMENT.

THIS PETITION ALSO ASKS FOR GOVERNMENT ASSURANCE OF OUR “RIGHT TO GARDEN” THIS PLANT AND NOT BE INUNDATED WITH REGULATIONS UPON THE SEEDS USED FOR SUCH GARDENING.

THE FULL TEXT OF THIS INITIATIVE IS LOCATED AT:

http://www.constitutionalcannabis.com/kchhi.html

WRITTEN BY: MARY THOMAS-SPEARS OF BOWLING GREEN, KY.

PROMOTED BY: SHEREE KRIDER OF CAVE CITY, KY.

This initiative is a re-write of CCHI (California Hemp Health Initiative, which was introduced in California in 2012)

We believe it to be the best model of action for the Country at large, as it allows Cannabis/Marijuana/Hemp to be utilized at all levels of Society and the fear of prosecution for such to be REPEALED in its entirety.

Please take the time to review this initiative in its entirety as “We the People” need you to once and for all end the war on this plant and the costs associated with it that are being funded by the taxpayers of this Country for no justifiable reason.

THIS LINK IS TO THE F E D E R A L PETITION AT WHITEHOUSE.GOV

WETHEPEOPLE1

Kentucky Cannabis Hemp Health Initiative

http://www.constitutionalcannabis.com/kchhi.html

Framework taken from the Jack Herer Initiative aka CCHI1013. An initiative I had the honor of having a personal hand helping to word, redefining the cannabis/marijuana/hemp movement through selective wording. While attempting to protect and free the plant, the farmers, the prisoners, and the people from validating and mandating over regulation and enslavement through the legal lies = legalize = “common words used”  commonly leading us to Corporate G.M.O.’s = {genetic mutated organisms} which “equal genetically modified crops”, seed ownership through patent, small farmers being sued or enslaved,… While they continue to build their Military Industrial Complex with our tax dollars, lives…  So it seems only appropriate I use it as a base to follow and put it forth here within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

AN ACT TO AMEND THE HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY:

I. Add Section ________ to the Health and Safety Code of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, to amend, nullify, restore through repeal of any and all unconstitutional laws or policies to the contrary, including those on the Federal and U.N. Levels, notwithstanding,:

1. No person, individual, or corporate entity shall be arrested or prosecuted, be denied any right or privilege, nor be subject to any criminal or civil penalties for the possession, cultivation, transportation, distribution, or consumption of cannabis hemp marijuana, including:

(a) Cannabis hemp industrial products.
(b) Cannabis hemp medicinal preparations.
(c) Cannabis hemp nutritional products.
(d) Cannabis hemp religious and spiritual products.
(e) Cannabis hemp recreational and euphoric use and products.

2. Definition of terms:

(a) The terms “cannabis hemp” and “cannabis hemp marijuana” mean the natural, non-genetically modified plant hemp, cannabis, marihuana, marijuana, cannabis sativa L, cannabis Americana, cannabis chinensis, cannabis indica, cannabis ruderalis, cannabis sativa, or any variety of cannabis, including any derivative, concentrate, extract, flower, leaf, particle, preparation, resin, root, salt, seed, stalk, stem, or any product thereof.

(b) The term “cannabis hemp industrial products” means all products made from cannabis hemp that are not designed or intended for human consumption, including, but not limited to: clothing, building materials, paper, fiber, fuel, lubricants, plastics, paint, seed for cultivation, animal feed, veterinary medicine, oil, or any other product that is not designed for internal human consumption; as well as cannabis hemp plants used for crop rotation, erosion control, pest control, weed control, or any other horticultural or environmental purposes, for example, the reversal of the Greenhouse Effect and toxic soil reclamation.

(c) The term “cannabis hemp medicinal preparations” means all products made from cannabis hemp that are designed, intended, or used for human consumption for the treatment of any human disease or condition, for pain relief, or for any healing purpose, including but not limited to the treatment or relief of: Alzheimer’s and pre-Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, arthritis, asthma, cramps, epilepsy, glaucoma, migraine, multiple sclerosis, nausea, premenstrual syndrome, side effects of cancer chemotherapy, fibromyalgia, sickle cell anemia, spasticity, spinal injury, stress, easement of post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette syndrome, attention deficit disorder, immunodeficiency, wasting syndrome from AIDS or anorexia; use as an antibiotic, antibacterial, anti-viral, or anti-emetic; as a healing agent, or as an adjunct to any medical or herbal treatment. Mental conditions not limited to bipolar, depression, attention deficit disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, shall be conditions considered for medical use.

(d) The term “cannabis hemp nutritional products” means cannabis hemp for consumption by humans and animals as food, including but not limited to: seed, seed protein, seed oil, essential fatty acids, seed cake, dietary fiber, or any preparation or extract thereof. Not Taxable

(e) The term “cannabis hemp euphoric products” means cannabis hemp intended for personal recreational or religious use, other than cannabis hemp industrial products, cannabis hemp medicinal preparations, or cannabis hemp nutritional products.

(f) The term “personal use” means the internal consumption of cannabis hemp by people 18 years of age or older for any relaxational, meditative, religious, spiritual, recreational, or other purpose other than sale.

(g) The term “commercial production” means the production of cannabis hemp products for sale or profit under the conditions of these provisions.

(h) The term “non-genetically modified ” is used to define or establish the Prohibition of any and all Unnatural “genetically modified organism (GMO)” is used to refer to any microorganism, plant, or animal in which genetic engineering techniques have been used to introduce, remove, or modify specific parts of its genome of any and all cannabis, cannabis sativa L, marijuana, hemp,…. Examples include plants being modified for pest resistance; lab animals being manipulated to exhibit human diseases, such as sickle cell anemia; and even glowing jellyfish genes inserted in a rabbit for an art piece.
Ref: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Genetically-modified+organism
As Apposed To =  To Clarify that there is a Recognized Difference between G.M.O. and Genetically Engineered

(i) The term “genetic engineering” involves isolating individual DNA fragments, coupling them with other genetic material, and causing the genes to replicate themselves. Introducing this created complex to a host cell causes it to multiply and produce clones that can later be harvested and used for a variety of purposes. Current applications of the technology include medical investigations of gene structure for the control of genetic disease, particularly through antenatal diagnosis. The synthesis of hormones and other proteins (e.g., growth hormone and insulin), which are otherwise obtainable only in their natural state, is also of interest to scientists. Applications for genetic engineering include disease control, hormone and protein synthesis, and animal research.
Ref: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Genetically-modified

3. Industrial cannabis hemp farmers, manufacturers, processors, and distributors shall not be subject to any special zoning requirement, licensing fee, tax that is excessive, discriminatory, double taxation or prohibitive.

4. Cannabis hemp medicinal preparations are hereby restored to the list of available medicines in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Licensed physicians shall not be penalized for, nor restricted from, prescribing or recommending cannabis hemp for medical purposes to any patient, regardless of age. No tax shall be applied to prescribed cannabis hemp medicinal preparations. Medical research shall be encouraged. No recommending physician shall be subject to any professional licensing review or hearing as a result of recommending or approving medical use of cannabis hemp marijuana. Cannabis hemp nutritious foods are medicine and therefore are subject to current Commonwealth Food & Drug Tax Code Exemptions

5. Personal use of cannabis hemp euphoric products.

(a) No permit, license, or tax shall be required for the non-commercial cultivation, transportation, distribution, or consumption of cannabis hemp.

(b) No unconstitutional Testing for inactive and/or inert residual cannabis metabolites shall not be allowed for employment or insurance, nor be considered in determining employment, other impairment, or intoxication, or qualifications for benefits, programs or education,…  Including Protections of Families, against Unconstitutional Testing for Cannabis residual,… and/or Cannabis Use shall not/can not be used to take Custody of children from their families, parents or legal guardians.

(c) When a person falls within the conditions of these exceptions, the offense laws do not apply and only the exception laws apply.

6. Use of cannabis hemp products for religious or spiritual purposes shall be considered an inalienable right; and shall be protected by the full force of the State and Federal Constitutions.

7. Commerce in cannabis hemp euphoric products shall be limited to adults, 18 years of age and older, and shall be regulated in a manner analogous to the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s tobacco industry model. For the purpose of distinguishing personal from commercial production, 99 flowering female plants and 12 pounds of dried, cured cannabis hemp flowers, bud, not leaf, produced per adult, 18 years of age and older, per year shall be considered as being for personal use.

8. The manufacture, marketing, distribution, or sales between adults of equipment or accessories designed to assist in the planting, cultivation, harvesting, curing, processing, packaging, storage, analysis, consumption, or transportation of cannabis hemp plants, industrial cannabis hemp products, cannabis hemp medicinal preparations, cannabis hemp nutritional products, cannabis hemp euphoric products, or any cannabis hemp product shall not be prohibited.

9. No Commonwealth of Kentucky law enforcement personnel or funds shall be used to assist or aid and abet in the enforcement of Federal cannabis hemp marijuana laws involving acts which are hereby declared unconstitutional, therefore no longer illegal, as they are considered repealed and nullified in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

10. Any person who threatens the enjoyment of these provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor. The maximum penalties and fines of a misdemeanor may be imposed.

II. Nullify, Repeal, delete, and expunge any and all existing statutory laws that conflict with the provisions of this initiative.

1. Enactment of this initiative shall include: amnesty, immediate release of custody from prison, jail, parole, and probation, and clearing, expungement, and deletion of all criminal records and/or all social/family service records/cases for all persons currently charged with, or convicted of any non-violent cannabis hemp marijuana offenses included in this initiative which are hereby no longer illegal in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. People who fall within this category that triggered an original sentence are included within this provision.

2. Within 60 days of the passage of this Act, the Commonwealth Attorney General shall develop and distribute a one-page application, providing for the destruction of all cannabis hemp marijuana criminal records in the Commonwealth of Kentucky for any such offense covered by this Act. Such forms shall be distributed to district and city commonwealth attorneys and made available at all police departments in the Commonwealth to persons hereby affected. Upon filing such form with any Superior Court and a payment of a fee of $10.00, the Court shall liberally construe these provisions to benefit the defendant in furtherance of the amnesty and dismissal provision of this section. Upon the Court’s ruling under this provision the arrest record shall be set aside and be destroyed. Such persons may then truthfully state that they have never been arrested or convicted of any cannabis hemp marijuana related offense which is hereby no longer illegal in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. This shall be deemed to be a finding of factual innocence under Kentucky Penal Code Section 218A.010, et seq.

3. Law abiding Cannabis Growers and Consumers retain the Right to possess Firearms as granted to them by the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution. For the use of their protection and prosperity which includes hunting.

III. The legislature is authorized upon thorough investigation, to enact legislation using reasonable standards to:

1. License concessionary establishments to distribute cannabis hemp euphoric products in a manner analogous to the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s tobacco industry model. Sufficient community outlets shall be licensed to provide reasonable commercial access to persons of legal age, so as to discourage and prevent the misuse of, and illicit traffic in, such products. Any license or permit fee required by the Commonwealth for commercial production, distribution or use shall not exceed $1,000.00 and not more than $500.00 per small farmer or small business.

2. Place an excise tax on commercial and corporate sale of cannabis hemp euphoric products, analogous to the Commonwealth’s tobacco industry model, so long as no excise tax or combination of excise taxes shall exceed $10.00 per ounce.

3. Regulate the personal use of cannabis hemp euphoric products in enclosed and/or restricted public places.

4. Exempt cannabis marijuana hemp from any and all farming tobacco “Base” laws, regulations, codes, statutes, which “restricted” or “limit” number of licenses,… based on science that “does not apply” to the agricultural cultivation, propagation, growth or farming of cannabis marijuana hemp which has been scientifically proven to reclaim, remove toxins and restore soil, ground water and our ozone.

IV. Pursuant to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky hereby nullify, repudiate and challenge Federal cannabis hemp marijuana prohibitions that are in conflict with this Act and our Constitutions, both Federal and our Commonwealth’s.

V. Severability: If any provision of this Act, or the application of any such provision to any person or circumstance, shall be held invalid by any court, the remainder of this Act, to the extent it can be given effect, or the application of such provisions to persons or circumstances other than those as to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

VI. Construction: If any rival or conflicting initiative regulating any matter addressed by this act receives the higher affirmative vote, then all non-conflicting parts shall become operative.

VII. Purpose of Act: This Act is an exercise of the police powers of the Commonwealth for the protection of the safety, welfare, health, and peace of the people and the environment of the Commonwealth, to protect the industrial and medicinal uses of cannabis hemp, to eliminate the unlicensed and unlawful cultivation, selling, and dispensing of cannabis hemp; and to encourage temperance in the consumption of cannabis hemp euphoric products. It is hereby declared that the subject matter of this Act involves, in the highest degree, the ecological, economic, social, and moral well-being and safety of the Commonwealth and of all its people. All provisions of this Act shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of these purposes: to respect human rights, to promote tolerance, to uphold the Constitutions both Federal and the Commonwealth’s and to end cannabis hemp prohibition. To nullify, repeal and challenge the U.N. to end cannabis marijuana hemp prohibition which is half of the worldwide so-called “War on Drugs”created to uphold the interest of Big Chema, Big Pharma, Big Corps and their Synthetic Military Industrial Prison Complex and to uphold the interest of the people and it’s own Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the reasons already stated with-in it.

***************
Due to the fact that the Commonwealth of Kentucky doesn’t allow you to simply petition your State Government as in most states. We ask that you Please print or copy, Sign, and forward copies to your local Representative in Congress and our State Senators here with-in the Commonwealth with a note attached reminding them they are paid to represent your interest regardless of whether they agree with them or not. Thank You!
Written in Honor of the Great Spirit, the universe, the planet and good friends, colleagues, mentors, leaders,… Jack Herer, Gatewood Galbraith, and all who have gone before me and those who will come after us.
Sincerely,
Mary Thomas-Spears aka Rev. Mary

THIS LINK IS TO CONGRESSIONAL PETITION:

Petition2Congress Logo

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JIM HIGHTOWER: Cannabis Americas common sense

Posted on January 15, 2015. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana | Tags: , , , , , , |


 

Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 11:00 am

In 1914, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst mounted a yellow-journalism crusade to demonize the entire genus of cannabis plants. Why? To sell newspapers, of course, but also because he was heavily invested in wood-pulp newsprint, and he wanted to shut down competition from paper made from hemp – a species of cannabis that is a distant cousin to marijuana but produces no high.

Hearst simply lumped hemp and marijuana together as the devil’s own product, and he was not subtle about generating public fear of all things cannabis. As Mother Jones reported in 2009, Hearst’s papers ran articles about “reefer-crazed blacks raping white women and playing ‘voodoo satanic’ jazz music.”

Actually, while hemp had been a popular and necessary crop for decades before the crackdown on all cannabis plants, marijuana was largely unknown in America at the time and little used, but its exotic name and unfamiliarity made it an easy target for fear mongers. The next wave of demonization came in 1936 with the release of an exploitation film classic, “Reefer Madness.” It was originally produced by a church group to warn parents to keep their children in check, lest they smoke pot – a horror that, as the film showed, would drive kids to rape, manslaughter, insanity and suicide.

Then Congress enthusiastically climbed aboard the anti-pot political bandwagon, passing a law that effectively banned the production, sale and consumption of marijuana and by default hemp. Hearst finally got his way, and the production of cannabis in the U.S. was outlawed. Signed by FDR on Aug. 2, 1937, this federal prohibition remains in effect today. Although it has been as ineffectual as Prohibition, the 1919-1933 experiment to stop people from consuming “intoxicating liquors,” this ban, for the most part, continues despite its staggering costs.

Until recent years, prohibitionists had been able to intimidate most reform-minded politicians with the simple threat to brand them as soft on drugs. But finally, with the help of some reform-minded activists and the general public, our politicians are starting to come to their senses on cannabis.

At the state level, 32 states have legalized medical marijuana in some form or another. And Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon have legalized recreational uses of marijuana. While these are huge steps, what is truly remarkable is what has taken place in Congress just in the last year.

Tucked deep in the 2013 Farm Bill was a little amendment introduced by Representatives Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, and Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky. The amendment allows universities, colleges and State Agriculture Departments to grow industrial hemp for research in states that have made it legal to do so. California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia already have laws on their books to allow for this.

The most recent step forward to come out of Congress was in the last-minute federal spending bill in December. Democratic Rep. Sam Farr and Republican Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, both from California, included a provision in the bill to stop the DEA and DOJ from going after states that legalize medical marijuana. They can no longer conduct raids on licensed marijuana outlets that service patients who use marijuana to treat everything from the side effects of cancer treatments to epileptic seizures. The marijuana farmers are now safe to cultivate the plant, and the patients themselves are now safe from prosecution for possessing it.

Marijuana Policy Project and Vote Hemp are two organizations that are working tirelessly with the public and our lawmakers to change the laws and regulations surrounding cannabis. To learn more about how these groups are making a difference and to help get involved, connect with them at www.mpp.org and www.VoteHemp.com.

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Lexology Report: Congress temporarily de-funds US-DOJ medical marijuana prosecution but does not legalize medical marijuana

Posted on January 2, 2015. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Industrial HEMP, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


  • Littler Mendelson
  • Dale L. Deitchler
  •  

    • USA
    • December 30 2014

     

    Dale L. Deitchler Author page »

    In a few short paragraphs within the 1,603-page congressional spending bill signed into law on December 16, 2014, Congress prohibited the U.S. Department of Justice from using federal funds to prosecute users, growers and distributors of medical marijuana in states that have enacted medical marijuana statutes.  The full text of the de-funding rider barring the DOJ from the use of funds to “prevent. . . implementation” of state and local laws legalizing medical marijuana states:

    Sec. 538. None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

    Sec. 539. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used in contravention of section 7606 (“Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research”) of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-79) by the Department of Justice or the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    Several U.S. Supreme Court decisions have upheld prosecution of medical marijuana growers and users under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA).  Nevertheless, the Obama Administration, as a matter of policy, has directed the DOJ to take a relaxed approach to prosecution and the DOJ has done so, except for use that impacts the DOJ’s “enforcement priorities” (e.g., preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors, preventing the revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels).  This new de-funding measure now codifies that policy approach as law.  (Notably, the rider does not affect IRS or Treasury Department actions relating to payment of taxes by marijuana suppliers and online banking).

    The legislation, however, does not legalize medical marijuana.  Rather, the federal ban on marijuana continues – i.e., both medical and recreational marijuana continue to be illegal under CSA Schedule I.  And, though de-funding may affect enforcement of criminal laws in states with medical marijuana statutes, it has no effect in states that have not legalized marijuana, nor does it express any limitations on employer action on the basis of a positive marijuana test result administered under a workplace drug testing policy.  Finally, the rider expires on September 30, 2015, and may or may not be renewed heading into the heart of the presidential election campaign in the fall of 2015.  For all of these reasons, though significant in reflecting current legislators’ thinking at the national level regarding CSA enforcement, the mere enactment of the spending bill with this provision does not warrant adjustment to drug testing policies of employers choosing to continue to treat confirmed positive marijuana test results as positive even when the result was caused by medicinal use that is lawful under state or local law.

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    Dr. Bronner’s Year-End Report from the Front Lines of the Fight for Cannabis Reform and GMO Labeling

    Posted on December 24, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, GMO, Industrial HEMP, KENTUCKY | Tags: , , , , , |


    Both cannabis policy reform and the movement to label genetically engineered foods in the United States made huge strides in 2014. Major battles were won, some narrowly lost, but ultimately victory is inevitable. Our company Dr. Bronner’s has devoted significant financial, staff and other organizational resources to both movements, and it is instructive to analyze them side by side.

    First on the cannabis front, 2014 saw victories in DC (Measure 71: 70 to 30), Oregon (Measure 91: 56 to 44) and Alaska (Measure 2: 53 to 47), continuing the incredible momentum from victories in Washington (Initiative 502: 55 to 45) and Colorado (Amendment 64: 55 to 45) in 2012, themselves set up by the narrow loss in California in 2010 (Prop 19: 47 to 53) that triggered the first serious national and international debate on ending cannabis prohibition. Only Florida "lost" with 58% of votes in favor of medical marijuana, 2% short of the needed 60% (Measure 2). As most Huffington Post readers understand, by any rational measure of analysis marijuana use is much less problematic than alcohol, while its prohibition has caused untold harm to otherwise productive nonviolent citizens and their families, wasting taxpayer dollars and law enforcement resources.

    Dr. Bronner’s Director of Social Action, Adam Eidinger, was campaign manager for the successful Yes on 71 campaign in DC. Adam and Dr. Malik Burnett of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) alongside other stellar staff, ran an incredible campaign educating local voters as well as the country’s political elites nationally that prohibition is an unjust racist policy that disproportionately impacts communities of color. Despite blacks and whites using cannabis at similar rates, DC arrests over 8 times more black people than white people for cannabis possession. Saddling a young man with jail time and a record obviously compromises one’s future as well as tears families apart. Dr. Bronner’s contributed $100,000 directly to the campaign and $100,000 to Drug Policy Alliance, earmarked to help power Dr. Burnett’s crucial work there.

    Dr. Bronner’s also contributed $100,000 each to Oregon’s effort led by the New Approach team, as well as the Marijuana Policy Project’s (MPP) effort in Alaska. The contribution to MPP for Alaska was arguably much more crucial given the relatively small overall budget and closeness of the race in a traditionally red state. However, we also gave $2 million to the Oregon Yes on 92 GMO labeling campaign, that coordinated closely with the marijuana campaign in registering and driving the youth vote, that benefitted both campaigns tremendously.

    The Nation published a great article the week prior to the election that nails competing dynamics in play in the cannabis legalization movement. DC was the first legalization campaign to run primarily on a racial justice platform, and absolutely crushed it. Alaska’s campaign was based on the MPP "safer than alcohol" playbook that won in Colorado, while Oregon was run on the similar "New Approach" strategy that won in Washington state. Clearly there’s more than one way to win the fight for legalization. Looking forward to California and the four to five other states in play in 2016 we can draw from the best of all these efforts. California in particular will be important to write the model regulations that we want reflected at the national level, which will happen soon after the wins in 2016.

    While the Oregon and Alaska victories are sweet indeed, victory in DC for us was the sweetest. In the recent Congressional "cromnibus" spending bill debate, the crushing DC victory helped open room for riders to pass into law that prohibit the DEA from interfering with state medical marijuana programs as well as state industrial hemp programs. These are huge long-sought victories for the movement, and Americans for Safe Access (ASA) deserves most of the credit for successfully passing the medical marijuana rider via majority vote in the Republican house over the summer. Dr. Bronner’s has been a longtime supporter of ASA, having given close to $700,000 over the past ten years. Dr. Bronner’s has also been closely involved in efforts to re-commercialize industrial hemp farming, being a longtime supporter of Vote Hemp as well as recently being a crucial partner to the amazing efforts in Kentucky that have inspired the entire Kentucky federal delegation, including Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul, to publicly support and help make hemp farming a reality in the United States again.

    Unfortunately though, DC legalization itself seemed to be the sacrificial lamb in the spending bill debate, with Congress attempting to block implementation of DC’s legalization initiative. However, DC has been so galvanized by the overwhelming mandate and outraged by Congressional meddling, that they are challenging Congress to a showdown that Congress is highly unlikely to win, and legalization will be the law of the land in DC come January. The Guardian provided a great overview of this latest struggle in their "Capital v Capitol" story. The high profile national and international political theatre of DC standing up to Congress for its right to determine its own cannabis policy is incredible.

    What also makes the victory in DC extra special for Dr. Bronner’s, is that Washington Post Magazine ran a frustrating cover story on our own Adam Eidinger in January, and editorialized against Yes on 71 with weak, out of touch drug war hysteria in September. Back in January, I wrote an unpublished letter to the editor standing up for Adam and our advocacy work, which the 2014 election has now vindicated.

    My January 2014 Washington Post Magazine letter to the editor:

    Your cover story on local DC activist Adam Eidinger chose to inaccurately portray him as an ineffective Don Quixote figure, belittling the causes he fights for as well as our company. As explained to the reporter, we cap executive compensation at five times that of the lowest paid warehouse worker, and no profits are distributed to owners for personal use. Profits not needed for business development are dedicated to the causes we support.

    Adam is closely involved in how we strategically deploy resources to reform draconian drug laws that disproportionately target people of color; notably Washington, D.C. has the highest arrest rate for low level marijuana violations. Adam has also effectively helped build the national movement to label genetically engineered food crops. We are fighting the chemical industry machine that has enthralled much of our country’s elites, to expose their agenda to engineer resistance to the toxic chemical herbicides they sell (Google "Agent Orange Corn" to see what’s coming next).

    There were moments when Adam’s true stature was portrayed, but ultimately was undermined by a shallow and frivolous anti-activist caricature.

    As a sign of the political and cultural turning of the tide, it’s also worth noting that the New York Times called for ending cannabis prohibition nationally in a series of well-written editorials over the summer.

    Pivoting to the fight for GMO labeling, the movement in its modern resurgent form is only a few years old, driven largely by widespread and growing alarm at ever-increasing amounts of toxic pesticides applied to genetically engineered crops. See for example Tom Philpott’s article "How GMOs Unleashed a Pesticide Gusher" in Mother Jones. Over 99% of GMO crops in US soil are engineered to produce insecticide and/or tolerate heavy herbicide use, which like overdosing antibiotics in factory farms has rapidly created resistance in target weed and insect populations. GMO crops are being saturated with ever more toxic pesticides, including neonicotinoid insecticides banned in the EU due to suspected link to massive bee die-offs and Colony Collapse Disorder. While this is great for the chemical industry that both sells the GMOs and the pesticides used on them, our environment and collective health are paying the price. 64 other countries have the right to know if their food is genetically engineered, but the chemical and junk food industry have spent tens of millions of dollars to make sure Americans are kept in the dark.

    In the face of record spending by pesticide and junk food companies, the GMO labeling movement gained huge momentum and strength from narrow losses to enact mandatory GMO labeling in California in 2012 (Prop 37: 49 to 51) and Washington in 2013 (Initiative 522: 49 to 51), and set up major victories in 2014. In May, Vermont became the first state to enact mandatory labeling, and Jackson county in Oregon banned planting of GMO crops due to GMO sugarbeet pollen contaminating and ruining neighboring fields (Measure 15-119: 66 to 34). Maui also banned genetically engineered crops because of massive pesticide spraying (See Maui County Genetically Modified Organism Moratorium Initiative: 51 to 49). And statewide in Oregon, the Yes on 92 campaign came within five hundredths of one percent of winning (Measure 92: 49.97 to 50.03), showing friend and foe alike how easily we can win in a bigger 2016 presidential electorate. An underfunded effort in Colorado did not fare well, unfortunately, but it serves as an important movement lesson for 2016.

    Dr. Bronner’s was a leading financial contributor to all these efforts, and also devoted significant staff time and other organizational resources, especially to the Oregon effort. Two great articles to review in particular are Katie Ayers’ "Oregon Poised to Mandate GMO Labeling" in Reader Supported News that really dives into the heart of the matter; and also this thorough piece in the Register Guard "Even If Defeated GMO Issue Is Not Going Away."

    Vermont, Jackson county and Maui are all currently being sued by the pesticide and junk food industries, and these industries are frantically lobbying Congress to pre-empt states’ rights to enact mandatory labeling of GMOs. They know that the nationwide movement to label GMOs continues to surge and grow in strength even as their major GMO traits continue to fail and pesticide use goes through the roof. The USDA audits chemical inputs every five years for major crops, and in spring of 2015 will publish updated data on herbicide and insecticide use on GMO corn that will force even the most biased journalists and scientists to confront the truth that GMOs amount to a massive pesticide industry boondoggle that is not boosting yields.

    I published a popular Huffington Post blog article about major mainstream media publications running interference and covering for the pesticide industry even as EPA and USDA rubber-stamped approval for their next generation 2,4 D herbicide tolerant crops. We expect, as with the movement arc of ending cannabis prohibition, that more and more major media will wake up and get a clue; but those that don’t are just another obstacle on the way to inevitable victory.

    The bottom line is, the GMO labeling movement is on fire and surging. We will likely prevail in one to two New England states legislatively in 2015, and as necessary in a major state in 2016 via the initiative process, as we keep bringing a bigger, better and more strategic fight. Like the narrow loss on the cannabis front with Prop 19 in 2010 in California, which educated and moved the debate forward setting up subsequent victories in 2012, the GMO labeling movement is poised to rack up major wins in 2016. But we are as likely to achieve victory through the market by 2016, as we are unleashing and fueling major cultural and market drivers and expect more and more food companies to flip and accept mandatory labeling just as they did in Europe. Chipotle is already disclosing and moving away from GMOs, as is Cheerios, Grape Nuts and other high profile brands. Whole Foods is mandating GMO labeling of all products by 2018 in its stores and many major mainstream retailers have refused to carry GMO salmon if or when approved.

    Our experience with the movement to end cannabis prohibition over the past 15 years shows how much faster and stronger the modern movement to label GMOs is growing in a much shorter time. People are waking up that we have to transform our agricultural policies and dietary choices and eat more sustainably if we want to feed future generations, which requires as a first step that citizens are properly informed and empowered to make wise choices.

    More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-bronner/dr-bronners-yearend-repor_b_6357178.html

    Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Marijuana GMO GMO Labeling Marijuana Marijuana Pesticides Hemp Genetically Modified Food Justice

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    Why 2014 was the year of pot

    Posted on December 23, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , |


     

    1407508223765

     

    Support it or not, there’s no denying that this was a watershed year for marijuana.

    Within hours of the new year, the nation saw the first legally sanctioned sales of marijuana for recreational use in modern history. Throughout, states considered and often passed expanding access to the drug and, as recently as last weekend, Congress was interfering in D.C.’s pot policies and promising to stay out of the states.

    Based on exchanges with pot advocates, we rounded up 22 of the most significant moments for marijuana in 2014, most of them advancing the cause though the list includes a few notable setbacks. Click the links below to jump to each moment or keep scrolling to read them from start to finish.

    1. Legal sales begin in Colorado
    2. Obama: ‘I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol’
    3. Congress allows hemp cultivation
    4. CNN chief medical correspondent backs medical marijuana
    5. Poll finds more Americans identify tobacco, alcohol and sugar as “most harmful”
    6. Utah passes limited medical marijuana law
    7. D.C. decriminalizes
    8. Maryland approves medical marijuana and decriminalizes possession
    9. Minnesota approves medical marijuana
    10. New York approves medical marijuana
    11. Legal pot sales begin in Washington
    12. New York Times editorial board calls for an end to prohibition
    13. Study: Medical marijuana laws associated with 25 percent fewer prescription overdose deaths
    14. Philadelphia becomes largest U.S. city to decriminalize marijuana possession
    15. Federal court considers whether marijuana should be classified as a Schedule I controlled substance
    16. Two more states and D.C. vote to legalize
    17. Florida medical marijuana loses, with 58 percent of the vote
    18. Native Americans reservations allowed to legalize marijuana
    19. Congress blocks D.C. legalization
    20. Congress ends the ban on medical marijuana
    21. Colorado approves $8 million for marijuana research
    22. Oklahoma and Nebraska are suing Colorado over marijuana legalization

    CONTINUE READING THIS “LONG” STORY!

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    Marijuana tincture

    Posted on November 20, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana |


    Marijuana tincture.

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    E-cigarette firm eyes emerging cannabis oil market

    Posted on November 10, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Commerce, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , , |


    By TIM TALLEY

    Associated Press November 9, 2014

    OKLAHOMA CITY — As more states approve the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana, an Oklahoma-based electronic cigarette retailer is looking to build a national franchise.

    Marijuana is illegal under federal drug laws. But voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., approved ballot measures Tuesday to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, joining Washington state and Colorado. And in more than a dozen other states, medical marijuana is available.

    The growing availability of legal pot opens the door for Tulsa-based Palm Beach Vapors to market a method for producing a cannabis oil product that can be inhaled through a common e-cigarette, according to CEO and co-founder Chip Paul.

    "This is a wave that’s kind of sweeping the nation," said Paul, whose company is looking to patent the method and has already signed licensing deals in California and Colorado for what it calls the M-System. He said he intends to set up franchise locations in other states.

    The use of marijuana is currently illegal in Oklahoma, but the market for cannabis products is projected to grow as more states move to legalize it. Advocates plan a big push for legalization initiatives on 2016 ballots in California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada, according to Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

    Paul was one of the organizers of an Oklahoma initiative petition calling for the legalization of medical marijuana, an effort that ended in August when volunteers failed to gather the needed signatures of more than 155,000 registered voters. The failed petition sought voter approval of classifying marijuana as an herbal drug that would be regulated by the Oklahoma Department of Health. Doctors would have been authorized to prescribe it for a variety of medical conditions.

    Cannabis has a history of medicinal use to treat pain or alleviate symptoms such as nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients and people with AIDS. Paul plans to launch another petition drive in August 2015.

    But Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, says the agency is concerned about the inhalation of cannabis oils via e-cigarettes.

    E-cigarettes work by heating liquid nicotine into an inhalable mist; cannabis oils and waxes work much the same. Palm Beach Vapors does not buy, sell or ship marijuana but licenses the preparation method and additive that produces a vegetable glycerin base in which cannabis oils remain evenly distributed, which is key to labeling concentrations, similar to the nicotine measurements in e-cigarettes, Paul said.

    The company has applied for a patent, and expects the M-System to account for 30-40 percent of its annual revenue by 2018, provided the country continues its march toward wider legalization, Paul said.

    Marijuana is still illegal in Indiana, but Nate Renschler, who has a Palm Beach Vapors franchise in Newburgh, Indiana, said that sentiment could change when state officials realize the tax benefits of legalization.

    "The whole country is going one way and Indiana is taking two steps back. We’ll be one of the last steps to legalize marijuana," Renschler said, noting that the e-cigarette product is still viable regardless of what state it is sold in. He uses the Palm Beach Vapors method to sell hemp oil, which he claims is good for a person’s general well-being.

    Even though marijuana is not legal in the majority of the United States, Woodward said teens are obtaining e-cigarettes and cannabis oils. "It’s an easier way for people, especially our youth, to disguise their marijuana use," Woodward said.

    He said investigators for the agency have already intercepted couriers traveling across Oklahoma who have purchased cannabis oils legally in one state with plans to sell it where it’s illegal.

    "It can be hard to detect," Woodward said.

    Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/11/09/3529336_e-cigarette-firm-eyes-emerging.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

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    141 House Members Flunk Drug Policy Report Card But conservative Republicans are among the 49 who earned an A+.

    Posted on October 30, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Federal Government, KENTUCKY, LATEST NEWS, Marijuana |


    Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., left, earned an A+ in a report on House drug policy votes. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., earned an F. The report looked at House votes on hemp, medical marijuana, DEA funding and banking rules.

    Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., left, earned an A+ in a report on House drug policy votes. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., earned an F. The report looked at House votes on hemp, medical marijuana, DEA funding and banking rules.

    By Steven Nelson Oct. 29, 2014 | 2:37 p.m. EDT

    Each seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is up for grabs when Americans go to the polls Tuesday, and the Drug Policy Alliance wants voters who care about drug policy to check out a new report card for incumbent members.

    The pro-reform organization’s advocacy arm, Drug Policy Action, issued the report card Wednesday, and scores don’t neatly match partisan affiliations.

    Hard-line conservatives such as Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, are among the 49 House members who earned an A+, while Democratic National Committee head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., is among the 141 members who earned an F.

    [READ: Va. Congressman Pushes ‘Conservative’ Plan for Pot at Pharmacies]

    The grades are based on an analysis of seven House votes – one in 2013, six in 2014 – including three votes on hemp, two on banking rights for marijuana businesses, one that would have cut Drug Enforcement Administration funding and another to protect medical marijuana in states that allow it.

    Members who voted consistently for more liberal policies received an A+. The 116 representatives who voted in favor of reform in six votes earned an A. Those who voted for reforms in either one or none of the votes earned an F.

    In a press release, the Drug Policy Action noted 56 percent of House members – 179 Democrats and 64 Republicans – earned a C or better, meaning they voted for reform in at least three of the votes.

    [WATCH: McCain Says ‘Maybe We Should Legalize’ Marijuana]

    "Unprecedented support now exists on both sides of the aisle in Congress for ending the federal war on drugs and letting states set their own drug policies,” Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs for Drug Policy Action, said in a statement. “Drug policy reform is a winning issue for elected officials.”

    The highest-profile vote tabulated in the report was on an amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., that would have blocked the Department of Justice –  including federal prosecutors and DEA agents – from spending funds to go after medical marijuana in states where it’s permitted.

    Editorial cartoon on pot

    See Photos

    Editorial Cartoons on Pot Legalization

    The Rohrabacher amendment sailed through the House in a 219-189 vote in May that blurred party lines, but the Senate didn’t consider a companion amendment from Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., and it wasn’t enacted into law.

    The drug policy organization didn’t grade senators, citing a paucity of drug policy votes in the chamber.

    Read the full report card:

    TAGS:
    drugs
    politics
    medical marijuana

    CONTINUE READING…

    LINK TO FULL REPORT IN PDF HERE…

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    Mummy Proves America Is 2,400 Years Behind On Medical Marijuana

    Posted on October 27, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, EDUCATIONAL, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


    mummyemebed

    Photo: Via Wikimedia Commons.

    A 2,400-year-old "Siberian Ice Maiden" apparently knew something that not all US lawmakers do: Cannabis is a perfect palliative for cancer.
    Discovered in 1993 by archaeologist Natalia Polosmak, the mummified remains of this woman, also known as the "Princess of Ukok," were recently examined by a team of Russian scientists. They found that the woman, who was heavily tattooed and died when she was between 20 and 30 years old, suffered from and ultimately succumbed to breast cancer.
    "’I am quite sure of the diagnosis — she had cancer," one of the scientists told the Siberian Times. "She was extremely emaciated. Given her rather high rank in society and the information scientists obtained studying mummies of elite Pazyryks, I do not have any other explanation of her state. Only cancer could have such an impact."
    The researchers also believe that the woman used cannabis to treat herself. A container of the herb was found in her burial chamber, along with a "cosmetics bag."
    "Probably for this sick woman, sniffing cannabis was a forced necessity," another scientist said, noting that wine, hashish, opium, henbane, mandrake, aconite, and Indian hemp were all used at the time as painkillers. "And she was often in altered state of mind. We can suggest that through her could speak the ancestral spirits and gods. Her ecstatic visions in all likelihood allowed her to be considered as some chosen being, necessary and crucial for the benefit of society. She can be seen as the darling of spirits and cherished until her last breath."
    Hey, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania: Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. (Siberian Times)

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    The CBD Cannabis Root Experience

    Posted on October 9, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, LATEST NEWS |


    Originally posted on twicebaked in washington:

    IMG_1020

    This week I was given a totally different way to try cannabis. Dried, activated, aeroponically grown cannabis root. I’d never heard of such a thing either. I was told it was super high in CBDs (cannabidiol): the anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, antibacterial, antispasmodic (among other things) part of cannabis that makes it such a valuable medicine. I was also told that I would not be getting high from this and that it would counteract the effects of  any medicine that had THC in it. I was ready to try it.

    IMG_1009

    There were two things that I wanted to experiment with. First, I wanted to see how it affected me and if it was good for pain and discomfort. Second, I wanted to see if the CBD root would actually counteract a dose of THC.

    I will be honest and tell you that I kind of did my experimenting a little backward. I…

    View original 338 more words

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    What 20 Years Of Research Has Taught Us About The Chronic Effects Of Marijuana

    Posted on October 7, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Healthcare, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , |


    A new study in the journal Addiction lays out what the vast research on marijuana has revealed over the last 20 years, highlighting the drug’s adverse effects, both acute and chronic. Though researchers have been studying the effects of marijuana for decades, the science has really exploded just in the last 20 years, due in part to better study methods, and also spurred by the growing interest in legalization. The new study maps out exactly what marijuana does and does not do to the body and brain, both in the short and long terms. What’s clear is that marijuana has a number of adverse effects over years of use – in certain people, anyway. What’s not so clear is how policy should be informed by the science. But the researchers suggest that with increasing legalization should come increasing public awareness of the sometimes-serious effects of chronic use.

    Acute Effects

    The acute effects aren’t so bad: No one has ever died from a natural marijuana overdose, the study found. (N.B. This is not true for synthetic marijuana, which can be very dangerous.) Driving while high on marijuana does seem to double the risk of a car crash, which is of course heightened if there is also alcohol in the system. Marijuana has been linked to low birth weight when it is used during pregnancy. Otherwise, acute effects mainly include anxiety, paranoia (especially among new users), dysphoria, cognitive impairment, and psychotic symptoms (especially in people with a family history of psychosis). These particular side effects seem to have risen over the last 20 years, which may be due to the fact that the THC content in marijuana has also risen over that time.

    Dried marijuana bud.

    Dried marijuana bud. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Chronic Effects

    Over the long term, things get a little worse. It’s important to point out that in epidemiological studies, it can be very difficult to tease out whether cause and effect is actually at play, or whether there’s something else going on. But the authors have gone to great lengths to separate causation from correlation, combing the data for studies that point strongly to cause and effect. Here’s what they found:

    • Marijuana can be addictive. But only for some people. About 10% of all users seem to develop dependence syndrome, and for those who start in adolescence, the number is more like 1 in 6. Withdrawal syndrome is also a real phenomenon, with depression, anxiety, insomnia, and appetite disturbance being the main symptoms, which can often be severe enough to have an effect on daily life.
    • Marijuana use is linked to adverse cognitive effects. In particular, the drug is linked to reduced learning, memory, and attention. It hasn’t been entirely clear whether these effects persist after a person stops using the drug, but there’s some evidence that it does. One study found a reduction in IQ of 8 points in long-time users, the greatest decline being in people who’d started using as teenagers and continued daily into adulthood. For people who began in adulthood and eventually stopped using, a reduction in IQ was not seen a year later.
    • Marijuana may change brain structure and function.  There’s been an ongoing debate about whether marijuana actually changes the brain, but recent evidence has suggested that it is linked to changes in the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex. It’s unclear, however, how long these effects last, whether they’re linked to behavioral changes, and whether they reverse after a person stops using the drug.
    • Regular use is linked to an increased risk of psychotic symptoms. That marijuana is linked to increased psychotic symptoms (e.g., delusions, hallucinations, disordered thinking) is fairly clear. But again, it’s been a chicken-and-egg problem, since it’s hard to show whether causation is at play, and which way the connection goes. However, it’s likely that the relationship actually goes both ways: Marijuana may lead to  psychotic symptoms, and early psychotic symptoms may  increase the likelihood that a person will smoke marijuana (particularly if there’s a family history of psychotic disorders).
    • Marijuana is linked to lower educational attainment. When pot smoking begins in adolescence, people tend to go less far in school – but again, a causal relationship hasn’t been demonstrated.
    • Marijuana may (or may not be) be a gateway drug. Regular teenage marijuana users are more likely to use other drugs in the future – but again, researchers don’t know whether the link is causal.
    • Marijuana is probably – but modestly – linked to schizophrenia. The study found that marijuana is connected to a doubled risk of a schizophrenia diagnosis in the future. Many previous studies have suggested this connection, but, as always, showing causality is hard. The new study cites a number of well-executed studies that suggest a causal relationship between marijuana and schizophrenia. The authors estimate that marijuana use may double the risk of schizophrenia from 7 in 1000 non-users to 14 in 1000 marijuana users. On the upside, they point out that users who quit using the drug after a first psychotic episode have fewer psychotic symptoms and better social functioning moving forward, compared to people who have a psychotic episode but continue using.
    • Marijuana may be linked to testicular cancer. Its connection to other forms of cancer is not very consistent, but there’s some evidence of an increased risk of testicular cancer in long-term marijuana users.
    • Regular users may have cardiopulmonary issues. Regular marijuana users have a higher risk of developing chronic bronchitis. Marijuana “probably” increases the risk of heart attack in middle age, but it’s hard to know for sure, since many users also smoke cigarettes.

    So the chronic effects of marijuana are becoming clearer, though some areas need more work. As the authors point out, none of this is to argue for or against the legalization of marijuana, which is gaining so much speed (and, of course, criticism) across the country. The authors are careful not to weigh in, except to say that if marijuana is legalized or decriminalized, it should be done with a number of safeties in place. As study author Wayne Hall, Director and Inaugural Chair at the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research at The University of Queensland, tells me, “Given that Colorado and Washington State have decided to legalise, the governments in these states should aim to regulate sales in ways that minimise the harms arising from use. This should certainly include informing users about the risks of use and doing what is possible to discourage uptake by adolescents.”

    He stresses that methods to discourage new users, especially young ones, should be implemented by the government in as many ways as possible. “Regulation of cannabis,” says Hall, “should learn from experiences with alcohol and tobacco and use in limiting the number of heavy users by using taxation, limiting promotion of cannabis use and restricting where cannabis can be sold and by whom.” As more states debate the prospect of legalization, looking to the science may help them make some of the hard decisions. Or, of course, it could make the conversations that much more complex.

    Follow me @alicewalton or find me on Facebook.

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    U.S. Representative Yarmuth co-sponsors bill to decriminalize cannabis oil

    Posted on September 29, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, LATEST NEWS, Medical Marijuana, Patients, Political | Tags: , , , |


    Posted: Sep 22, 2014 4:54 PM CST Updated: Sep 22, 2014 5:37 PM CST

    By Lawrence Smith – email

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Right now, it’s against federal law to use cannabis oil – a marijuana extract – even for medical purpose, but Louisville Congressman John Yarmuth is co-sponsoring a bill that would change that.

    If the bill passes, using cannabis oil for medical purposes would no longer put you in danger of landing at the federal courthouse facing drug charges.

    Suzanne De Gregorio’s son, Alex, suffers from autism and epilepsy.

    She believes cannabis oil can help control the seizures that have hindered his development.

    "Children with epilepsy, they’re finding that it can calm the seizures," she said.

    Suzanne is using cannabis oil – or CBD oil – right now to help control the after-effects of chemotherapy for breast cancer.

    It’s legal because the oil imported from overseas, but Suzanne wants to see more research before trying it on her son.

    "This is for me. I don’t give it to him because you really need a neurologists involvement," she said.

    Kentucky has approved research into CBD oil for treatment of seizures, but the trials have stalled because the federal government still considers it a controlled substance.

    For her son’s sake, De Gregorio is trying to change that.

    "He’s suffered tremendously in his life. I mean the pain, the screams. You wouldn’t believe it. And I promised him when he was very little I’m going to find am answer. I’m going to make this better for you somehow, some way," she said.

    Now Rep. John Yarmuth (D-3rd Dist.) has signed onto a bill being pushed by De Gregorio that would decriminalize CBD oil and hemp for medical use.

    "The idea that we as a federal government have classified hemp in the same category that we classify heroin makes absolutely no sense, and it’s preventing some very, very important therapies from reaching many of our needy citizens," said Yarmuth.

    The bill is called the Charlotte’s Web Act; named after a Colorado girl, Charlotte Figi, whose seizures led to development of a non-intoxicating marijuana extract.

    "I believe this could be that answer. I hope it is. I want at least have the right to find out," said De Gregorio.

    Yarmuth says the bill will not likely be considered until the next session of Congress. Supporters say they’ll keep pushing.

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    A Crucial Election Season for Legalizing Marijuana and Ending the Drug War

    Posted on September 19, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, LATEST NEWS, Political | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |


    FLORIDA MEDICAL MARIJUANA

     

    It may be an off-year election, but it’s a big one for drug policy reform. In seven weeks, voters across the country will have a chance to accelerate the unprecedented momentum to legalize marijuana and end the wider drug war. In fact, there are more drug policy reform questions on the ballot this November than ever in American history. Voter initiatives — primarily reforming or repealing marijuana laws — appear on the ballots in seven states, at least 17 municipalities and one U.S. territory. To help you keep score at home, here’s an overview, starting with the highest-profile measures.

    Oregon: Passage of Measure 91 will make the Beaver State the third to legalize marijuana for adults outright. Like the historic laws adopted in Colorado and neighboring Washington two short years ago, this initiative would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and older and create a statewide system to regulate production and sales. And similar to Colorado’s law, Measure 91 would allow adults to cultivate small amounts of marijuana under controlled circumstances. In this entirely vote-by-mail election, the initiative has already been endorsed by the Pacific Northwest’s largest daily paper and would likely boost efforts across its southern border to end marijuana prohibition in California two years from now.

    Alaska: The other statewide marijuana legalization initiative, Measure 2, is closely modeled on Colorado’s Amendment 64 and tracks many of the elements in Oregon’s prospective law. Alaska was something of a marijuana reform pioneer as possession and cultivation of small amounts for personal use in a private residence has been protected under the Alaska Constitution since the 1970s. Alongside Oregon in 1998, Alaska was among the first states to legalize medical marijuana. With a deep-rooted respect for personal freedom, Alaska would become the first red state to legalize marijuana for adult use, no doubt raising eyebrows across the political spectrum.

    Florida: Amendment 2 is the only statewide medical marijuana initiative on the ballot this year, and it’s one to watch. Victory would make Florida, with its huge population and bell weather status in American politics, the very first southern state to adopt a medical marijuana law. With 23 other medical marijuana states and super-majority support nationally, passage of Amendment 2 would effectively settle any lingering questions on public acceptance of marijuana as medicine. It’s going to be a challenge, though, since Florida law requires 60% to pass a voter initiative. While polls indicate enormous support, casino mogul Sheldon Adelsoncontributed a few million dollars to stop it as Amendment 2 is associated with Charlie Crist’s comeback gubernatorial campaign. Adelson’s intervention has created the first well-funded opposition to a statewide marijuana reform campaign ever.

    California: On the heels of reforming its harshest-in-the-nation Three Strikes law in 2012, Californians are now poised to refine six low-level, nonviolent offenses, including simple drug possession, from felonies to misdemeanors. Proposition 47 would then dedicate the savings — likely more than $1 billion a year — to schools, victim services, and mental health treatment. With retroactive sentencing and expungement provisions, the impact of Prop 47 in California on wasteful corrections spending and individual lives would be profound and surely resonate across the country.

    District of Columbia: Earlier this year, the D.C. Council adopted the nation’s most far-reaching marijuana decriminalization law. In November, voters in the nation’s capital will decide whether to go even further. Initiative 71 makes it legal for adults over the age of 21 to possess and cultivate small amounts of marijuana. While District law prevents the ballot initiative from addressing the sale of marijuana, the D.C. Council is considering a bill that would tax and regulate marijuana within the District. D.C. has the highest per capita marijuana arrest rates in the U.S. with enormous racial disparities as police target African Americans for 91 percent of these arrests. Initiative 71 will be the first marijuana reform campaign fought primarily on the issue of the drug war’s ongoing toxic impact on black communities.

    Other races: Voters in municipal elections from the Northeast to Micronesia will weigh in November 4 on a range of marijuana focused issues.

    · Guam: Voters could make this U.S. territory the first to adopt medical marijuana. Thebinding referendum would allow for dispensaries regulated by the Department of Public Health and Social Services.

    · Maine: By a wide margin in 2013, Portlanders chose to eliminate criminal penalties for adult possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. In seven weeks, voters in York, South Portland, and Lewiston will tackle the same question.

    · Michigan: In the last two years, residents of seven cities have voted to remove local penalties for adult possession of small amounts of marijuana in a private residence. As of now, a whopping 11 other cities (with apparently more to come) will have the chance to follow suit this year.

    · New Mexico: Last month, the City of Santa Fe became the first in the state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. On the ballot in November, voters in Bernalillo (Albuquerque) and Santa Fe Counties will decide if their county should affirm decriminalization efforts.

    Public opinion has shifted dramatically over the last decade in favor of reforming marijuana laws and dismantling the egregious excesses of the drug war. And elected officials have begun to take notice. The U.S. House has voted five times in recent months to let states set their own marijuana policies while Senators Rand Paul and Cory Booker have introduced similar bi-partisan legislation in the U.S. Senate in addition to a cluster of other long-overdue criminal justice reforms. When the dust settles on November 5, the momentum for change in this country will only have accelerated.

    Stephen Gutwillig is the Deputy Executive Director for Programs of the Drug Policy Alliance, the nation’s leading organization working to promote alternatives to the failed war on drugs.

    Follow Stephen Gutwillig on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SWGinLA

    More:

    Drug Reform 2014 Marijuana Ballot Questions Alaska Marijuana Oregon Marijuana Drug Legalization 2014 Election Medical Marijuana Marijuana War on Drugs 2014 Elections Drug Policy Reform

     

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    Sponsors cancel drug summit in Madras after facing criticism from marijuana legalization advocates

    Posted on August 22, 2014. Filed under: Absolute Assinine Law, Cannabis/Marijuana, LATEST NEWS, Political | Tags: , , , , |


    By Jeff Mapes | jmapes@oregonian.com
    Email the author | Follow on Twitter
    on August 21, 2014 at 7:25 PM, updated August 21, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    A nonprofit group has canceled an October anti-drug summit in Madras — which was to feature a prominent opponent of marijuana legalization — after complaints were raised by sponsors of the ballot measure that would permit recreational use of the drug.

    The sponsors of the legalization initiative, Measure 91, charged this week that it was wrong for summit organizers to use federal funds to help pay for an appearance by Kevin Sabet, a former White House drug adviser who has formed an organization opposing marijuana legalization.

    Sabet was also scheduled to appear in 12 other Oregon cities as part of an "Oregon Marijuana Education Tour" following the summit.  Sabet had said that, at the request of organizers, he would not talk about the ballot measure at either the Madras event or on the tour.

    Rick Treleaven, the executive director of BestCare Treatment Practices and the organizer of the Madras summit, said he decided to cancel the summit because he "could see from an outside perspective that it could look like a conflict."

    Treleaven, whose nonprofit that runs community mental health programs for Jefferson County, said he did not know if the 12-city tour featuring Sabet would still take place.  "It depends on what the other folks do," he said, referring to the local sponsors, some of whom were also using federal anti-drug grants to help pay for the events.

    Treleaven said he hoped to reschedule the Madras summit for some time after the election.  He has noted that the summit has been held for several years in October and that this year’s event was not intended to influence the marijuana vote.

    However, Anthony Johnson, chief sponsor of the marijuana legalization measure, said Wednesday that the heavy focus on marijuana during the summit and on the tour smacked of electioneering using federal money — even if participants did not  specifically discuss the initiative.

    Johnson could not be reached Thursday evening, but Peter Zuckerman, a spokesman for the campaign said sponsors did the right thing in canceling the summit and should do the same for the 12-city tour.

    "Federal taxpayer dollars should not be used to influence an election," he said.  "Calling this an educational campaign is ridiculous."

    — Jeff Mapes

    CONTINUE READING…

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    Hemp Crops Are Flourishing in Kentucky

    Posted on August 5, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, CBD/Cannabidiol, Industrial HEMP, KENTUCKY WEED, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , |


     

     

     

    Posted by: admin Posted date: August 04, 2014 In: News

    After a nonsensical battle simply to get the seeds into the arms of farmers in the Bluegrass State, hemp crops are lastly on the develop.

    Kentucky’s first crop of hemp in many years is claimed to be flourishing simply two months after the state formally legalized the plant genus for cultivation and analysis functions.

    College of Kentucky’s plant researcher David Williams says the cultivation course of is “thrilling” and that the expertise is “very enjoyable”. “It’s numerous enjoyable to be concerned in one thing that’s new and probably potential for Kentucky farmers,” Williams avowed.

    Williams says that he’ll harvest the primary crops at his faculty’s plots this September and examine the expansion price to that of 12 different varieties they’re at present rising out.

    He additionally was fast to level out that the wrestle to get the seeds the place they wanted to be value them roughly a month of rising time.

    “I feel we will develop bigger crops with a full rising season,” Williams defined. “We misplaced a few month.”

    Researchers on the school of Murray State declare they’ve crops reaching heights of roughly 14 ft.

    Whereas in Japanese Kentucky’s Rockcastle County, the Rising Warriors Undertaking planted hemp on an previous tobacco farm and has reported crops which have reached the sixteen-foot mark.

    Ah sure. Hemp is on the develop as soon as once more in the South! How candy it’s!

    Source

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    UK hemp crop growing well without fertilizer, pesticide

    Posted on July 31, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Farming, HEMP, KENTUCKY WEED, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , , |


    By Janet Patton

    jpatton1@herald-leader.comJuly 30, 2014

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    _ER14549.JPG

    UK agronomist Dave Williams stood next to a plot of 7-foot hemp plants at the University of Kentucky Spindletop Research Farm in Lexington last Thursday. This hemp was planted in late May after the seeds were released by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    Hemp’s comeback in Kentucky is going strong, tall and green.

    A patch of hemp seeded at the University of Kentucky’s Spindletop research farm in Lexington in late May has climbed well over 6 feet in some places and is still going, without neither fertilizer nor pesticides.

    "It’s doing just fine so far," said Dave Williams, a UK agronomist who, with Rich Mundell, is in charge of the test plots.

    "We’ve had enough rain to keep it growing and enough heat to make it grow."

    The first legal hemp planted in Central Kentucky appears to be off to a good start despite being planted later than originally hoped.

    The seeds, imported from Italy, were seized by U.S. Customs officials in Louisville because the Kentucky Department of Agriculture did not have an import permit. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer sued the federal government to have them released.

    The DEA agreed to expedite permits for the state and agreed that private growers also can be permitted by the department to grow cannabis sativa, which is almost identical to marijuana but with minuscule amounts of high-inducing chemicals.

    The federal suit will be officially dismissed soon, said Holly VonLuehrte, Comer’s chief of staff.

    Further shipments have come in without difficulty, and now about 15 Kentucky farmers have planted test plots for the department, she said.

    Williams said his hemp, which includes a larger plot with 13 strains, all thought to be fiber varieties, will be harvested in late September or early October.

    The variety in the test plot that has become the poster child for Kentucky hemp is called red petiole and will be evaluated for how much fiber it yields.

    This planting is just a first step for what many farmers across the state hope will become a lucrative crop.

    The KDA anticipates having at least 30 farmers growing hemp next year, VonLuehrte said.

    Williams plans to plant much more as well.

    "We’d like to test more varieties than what were available this year," he said. "There are lots of different fertility regimes we’d like to look at, planting densities we’d like to look at. Lots of research yet to do."

    Other Kentucky universities also planted hemp this year — the first time it has been legally planted in the United States in decades. Murray State got seeds in the ground first, in mid-May.

    The same varieties at Spindletop also have been planted at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond and at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. Data from all the locations will be compared with the Fayette County trials.

    Next comes finding a processor and a buyer. Some processors have expressed interest, Williams said.

    "We’re very excited about that," he said. "If farmers can’t sell it, can’t pack it up in a truck, drive it somewhere and sell it … And if it’s not worth more than whatever their lowest value crop is …" Williams shrugged.

    "Really, establishing that market is key."

    Decades ago, when hemp was a major crop in Kentucky, it was grown primarily for fiber, as it is today in Europe. But Canada’s hemp industry is built on seed, mainly processed for oil.

    Williams and Mundell hope next year to grow some varieties for seed, rather than fiber.

    "This is just a baby step in the research that needs to be conducted before we can make great recommendations to farmers in Kentucky," Williams said. "This is just the first step in the right direction."

    Janet Patton: (859) 231-3264. Twitter: @janetpattonhl.

    Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/07/30/3358896/uk-hemp-crop-growing-well-without.html#storylink=cpy

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    The Required White House Response on Marijuana

    Posted on July 30, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Federal Government, LATEST NEWS, Marijuana & the Law | Tags: , , , |


     

     

     

    By David Firestone, New York Times – Tuesday, July 29 2014

    When the White House issued a statement last night saying that marijuana should remain illegal — responding to our pro-legalization editorial series — officials there weren’t just expressing an opinion. They were following the law. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is required by statute to oppose all efforts to legalize any banned drug.

    It’s one of the most anti-scientific, know-nothing provisions in any federal law, but it remains an active imposition on every White House. The “drug czar,” as the director of the drug control policy office is informally known, must “take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance” that’s listed on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and has no “approved” medical use.

    Marijuana fits that description, as do heroin and LSD. But unlike those far more dangerous drugs, marijuana has medical benefits that are widely known and are now officially recognized in 35 states. The drug czar, though, isn’t allowed to recognize them, and whenever any member of Congress tries to change that, the White House office is required to stand up and block the effort. It cannot allow any federal study that might demonstrate the rapidly changing medical consensus on marijuana’s benefits and its relative lack of harm compared to alcohol and tobacco.

    “It’s a complete Catch-22,” said Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, who has introduced legislation to change the requirement. “They should be giving Congress and the American people the benefit of the latest research, and yet by statute, they’re prohibited from doing so. They have no choice but to say they’re against it. Joseph Heller should be working there.”

    – Read the entire article at New York Times.

    SOURCE: Cannabis Culture

     

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    NYT: REPEAL PROHIBITION, AGAIN…

    Posted on July 27, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Constitution, Drug War, LATEST NEWS, Marijuana & the Law | Tags: , , , , , , |


     

    By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

    It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.

    The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.

    We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times’s Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws.

    There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level.

    We considered whether it would be best for Washington to hold back while the states continued experimenting with legalizing medicinal uses of marijuana, reducing penalties, or even simply legalizing all use. Nearly three-quarters of the states have done one of these.

    But that would leave their citizens vulnerable to the whims of whoever happens to be in the White House and chooses to enforce or not enforce the federal law.

    The social costs of the marijuana laws are vast. There were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I. figures, compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives. Even worse, the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals.

    There is honest debate among scientists about the health effects of marijuana, but we believe that the evidence is overwhelming that addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco. Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the “Reefer Madness” images of murder, rape and suicide.

    There are legitimate concerns about marijuana on the development of adolescent brains. For that reason, we advocate the prohibition of sales to people under 21.

    Creating systems for regulating manufacture, sale and marketing will be complex. But those problems are solvable, and would have long been dealt with had we as a nation not clung to the decision to make marijuana production and use a federal crime.

    In coming days, we will publish articles by members of the Editorial Board and supplementary material that will examine these questions. We invite readers to offer their ideas, and we will report back on their responses, pro and con.

    We recognize that this Congress is as unlikely to take action on marijuana as it has been on other big issues. But it is long past time to repeal this version of Prohibition.

    CONTINUE READING…

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    The Number of Marijuana Dealers in the United States | FiveThirtyEight

    Posted on July 17, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Commerce, Drug Addiction, Drug War, LATEST NEWS |


    The Number of Marijuana Dealers in the United States | FiveThirtyEight.

    How many full-time pot dealers are there in the United States?

    I looked at the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to get a headcount of people who smoke marijuana. According to the survey, 18.1 million Americans 12 or older smoked pot within the past year. Of those 18 million, 64.3 percent had smoked within the past month. For our purposes, let’s assume the people who smoked within the past month are regular users, and the rest are occasional users. This means that in 2011, about 11.6 million smoked at least once a month, and 6.5 million people had used marijuana less than once a month. The report also estimated that 7.1 million people 12 or older used marijuana more than 20 times per month.

    So this is what our demand for marijuana looks like: CONTINUE READING THRU LINK ABOVE!

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    3 Months Later, Here’s What Denver Looks Like Since Legalizing Marijuana – PolicyMic

    Posted on April 13, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Civil law and order | Tags: , , , , |


     

    Three months following Colorado’s decision to legalize the production, sale, possession and use of recreational marijuana — a vote that Denver city officials including Mayor Michael Hancock, among others, fought kicking and screaming — guess what’s happened to Denver crime rates in 2014?

     

    According to new data, they’ve fallen across the board. Property crime is down 14.6% compared to the same period in 2013. Violent crimes are down 2.4%. (Arson is up 109% from the same period, but represents just 23 of 3,757 crimes — so if you want to blame every count on smouldering doobies, whatever.)

     

    As the Huffington Post notes, this is a far cry from wild-eyed claims of Amendment 64 opponents that legal weed was the devil’s work and Colorado would see a surge in crime and drug use.

     

    “Expect more crime, more kids using marijuana and pot for sale everywhere,” said Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver in 2012. “I think our entire state will pay the price.” Gov. John Hickenlooper said “Colorado is known for many great things — marijuana should not be one of them” and that “It sends the wrong message to kids that drugs are OK.” Dr. Kevin A. Sabet, former Obama drug policy advisor, warned that the feds would crack down on legal-weed states, increased teenage use and “stoned driving.” Mayor Hancock tried to dodge the constitution by banning the smell of weed, however that works. The now-defunct Vote No On 64 issued fliers claiming it would damage children’s minds and kill people.

     

    And finally, one California sheriff went on Denver television to warn that after marijuana was decriminalized in his county, “thugs put on masks, they come to your house, they kick in your door. They point guns at you and say, ‘Give me your marijuana, give me your money.'” (Of course, this completely disregards the simple logic that when weed is legal, you really don’t have to steal it.)

    In reality, things look pretty much the same as they did before in Colorado, except for $6 million in new tax revenue already in state coffers through February alone. And while it would certainly be premature to credit weed for Denver’s falling crime rate, the sky’s not falling, either. In fact, a recent study in PLOS One suggested that not only is there no evidence medical marijuana increases crime, and in fact it’s associated with slightly lower rates of violent crime.

     

     

    3 Months Later, Here’s What Denver Looks Like Since Legalizing Marijuana – PolicyMic.

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    Here Are All The U.S. Senators And Governors Who Support Legalizing Marijuana

    Posted on April 12, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Political |


     

    Marijuana is now legal in two states, and local politicians across the nation seem eager to expand that number, so let’s take a look at the kind of support these lawmakers are getting from their governors and U.S. senators. Here’s a GIF showing every governor and senator who has come out publicly in favor of legalizing weed, a stance now shared by over half the nation, according to some polls:

    That’s right — out of 50 governors and 100 U.S. senators, not a single one has announced support for full legalization, even in Colorado and Washington, which have already passed laws legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana.

    Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) has repeatedly said he respects the will of his state’s voters, who approved Amendment 64 by a 10-point margin in 2012. But he’s also maintained that he “hates” the “experiment” and believes it will ultimately be detrimental to Colorado. In Washington, which will begin legal marijuana sales later this spring, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) told The New York Times that while he understands some of the reasons for ending marijuana prohibition, he has concerns about the law’s possible effects on children. Nationwide, only Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) has said he’s willing to discuss the prospect of legalizing pot, though Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) did tell HuffPost Live that the potential revenue stream was “enticing” and that he wouldn’t rule out the idea.

     

     

    Here Are All The U.S. Senators And Governors Who Support Legalizing Marijuana.

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    The Weather Channel Has Crazy Theories About Marijuana | Alternet

    Posted on April 11, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Ecology |


     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     Cable television’s Weather Channel has joined the polarizing debate over marijuana on its website on this week, claiming that growing cannabis is a contributor to California’s current drought.

    “Marijuana growing is a budding business in America as laws are relaxed on pot use in several states, but as California’s drought continues to worsen, these thirsty plants, whether grown lawfully or illegally, aren’t helping the problem,” says writer Sean Breslin.

    Breslin claims that along California’s North Coast, thousands of marijuana plants require six gallons of water apiece every day, and it’s stressing the local water source.

    And, according to Breslin, “as an already extensive drought likely gets even more dire this summer, marijuana farms are going to guzzle up a lot of the state’s water if dry, sunny conditions persist.”

    Breslin also cites authorities, who say some who grow marijuana without following the rules and regulation have been caught stealing water from other farmers.

    Breslin also cites claims by the fishing industry, which says that pesticides, fertilizers, and sediments from marijuana farms are leaking into waterways where they can affect salmon and other fish. In Humboldt County, fish farmers point out pot farmers for disrupting the local ecosystem and endangering the fish population.

    However, readers of the Weather Channel’s Internet site Weather.com, aren’t buying Breslin’s arguments.

    One reader retorts:

    The Weather Channel Has Crazy Theories About Marijuana | Alternet.

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    Self-proclaimed medical marijuana caregiver pleads not guilty to marijuana, weapons charges – Berkshire Eagle Online

    Posted on March 14, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Marijuana & the Law, Medical Marijuana |


    Self-proclaimed medical marijuana caregiver pleads not guilty to marijuana, weapons charges – Berkshire Eagle Online.

     

    PITTSFIELD — A self-described medical marijuana caregiver pleaded not guilty on Thursday to 12 drug and weapons charges stemming from a 2013 raid of his home.

    Members of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force raided the home of 39-year-old Shaun P. Kelly, located at 374 Maple Street in Hinsdale, on June 21 and discovered an “extensive and complex indoor marijuana growing operation.”

    The investigation began in January 2013 after police received information from a “concerned citizen” and began surveillance on the home, according to a police report.

    Police say they turned up 125 marijuana plants and eight large capacity feeding devices for a machine gun, along with grow lamps and other paraphernalia.

    After police announced their presence and breached the home’s back door after receiving no response, they found Kelly and his 25-year-old girlfriend in bed. Kelly handed one of the investigators a medical marijuana certificate from a Dr. Joseph L. Andrews Jr., of Cannamed of Boston.

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    Legalized Marijuana: Companies Moving Now To Cash In On Cannabis

    Posted on February 20, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Corporate Cannabis, Taxation Issues | Tags: , , , , , |


    Largely illegal in the U.S. for a century, weed became legal in Washington and Colorado at the start of the year after voters in those states gave the go-ahead in 2012. Further north, voters could decide in August whether Alaska will become the third state to remove prohibitions on the recreational use of pot. A poll released Monday by Quinnipiac University suggests residents of New York, a state notorious for its strict drug laws, are in favor of legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use by a comfortable margin of 18 percentage points.

    Estimates of the total value of a legal pot industry in the U.S. are hard to establish in part because the current price of marijuana is artificially high; illegal substances, after all, are a significant risk to black market dealers and buyers, and with that comes a premium. A 2011 report by See Change Strategy, which focuses on growth in new markets, estimated that the value of medical marijuana alone would grow from $1.7 billion to about $9 billion by 2016.

    Here are some companies that have begun positioning themselves to cash in on this cash crop: CONTINUE THRU THIS LINK!

    By Angelo Young on February 20 2014 10:59 AM

    Marijuana Retailer

    Above:  Nate Johnson, managing owner of the Queen Anne Cannabis Club, sells a marijuana strain called "Beast Mode OG", named after NFL player Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks, in Seattle, Washington January 28, 2014. Reuters

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    Can Legalizing Marijuana Help Appalachia?

    Posted on February 5, 2014. Filed under: APPALACHIA, Cannabis/Marijuana, Commerce, Marijuana & the Law | Tags: , , , , , , , , |


    By Michael P. Tremoglie

     

    NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Will legalizing marijuana help or hinder some of the poorest of Americans? Appalachia has long been known for intractable poverty, coal and moonshine. But what many do not know is that marijuana is an Appalachian cash crop.

    Some say it will only help; after all, Appalachians make quite a bit of dough from grass. "Outdoor cannabis cultivation is common throughout the Appalachia…region," reads a June 2007 report by the Department of Justice (DOJ). "The number of outdoor plants eradicated from grow operations in Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia increased from 1,004,329 in 2005 to 1,252,524 in 2006. Cannabis cultivators deliberately locate outdoor grow sites in remote areas of public and private lands to reduce the chance of discovery by passersby or law enforcement and, more commonly, to protect their crops from theft. Cannabis is cultivated in Kentucky on broad areas of privately owned land, in the Daniel Boone National Forest, and on the Cumberland Plateau."

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    What coca leaves are to the mountain people of Peru, marijuana is to the mountain people of America. These growers take their their marijuana cultivation seriously, too. They are not shy about using lethal force to protect it. The DOJ describes some of the efforts to protect crops, "Cannabis cultivators frequently use camouflage, counter surveillance techniques, and booby traps to protect their outdoor grow sites. …These sites are often protected by armed guards who conduct counter surveillance. Moreover, the use of booby traps significantly increased in 2006….some cannabis cultivators used punji sticks, which may be camouflaged by leaves and brush or incorporated into pits and explosive devices, to reduce the risk of crop theft."

    CONTINUE READING…

    Next » Last

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    One night in 1839….

    Posted on January 28, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, US Health Care | Tags: , , , |


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    One night in 1839, a woman knocked at the door of a British Army doctor named William O’Shaughnessy who was stationed in India.

    The woman’s infant was having seizures and needed help. The doctor tried several 19th-century remedies, including opium and leeches, but the convulsions grew worse over several days until the baby stopped eating and was convulsing almost constantly.

    Not knowing what else to do, the doctor tried hemp, which the locals used as medicine.
    A few drops of a cannabis tincture under the child’s tongue stopped the seizures almost immediately. Regular doses over the next few weeks brought the convulsions to an end.
    "The child is now in enjoyment of robust health and regained her natural plump and happy appearance," O’Shaughnessy later wrote in a medical journal article, titled "On the preparation of Indian Hemp or Gunjah."
    He concluded that, "In Hemp the profession has gained an anti-convulsive remedy of the greatest value."
    When a few Colorado Springs families started treating their epileptic children with marijuana oil in 2012, the treatment was unknown to the modern medical establishment and the parents thought they were making the discovery for the first time. In fact, they were uncovering once widespread knowledge that had been lost or ignored during the decades-long nearly global prohibition against using marijuana as medicine.

    Historical documents show that people have known for centuries that cannabis could quell seizures. In modern times, scientific studies have repeatedly shown its potential as treatment for epilepsy. But a combination of restrictive drug laws, stigma in the medical establishment and lack of funding for research caused findings to be stifled or dismissed for decades, cannabis researchers say.
    The potential human cost of ignoring the evidence for so long is hard to overstate. Of the 3 million people in the United States with epilepsy, an estimated 500,000 are not helped by current medications, according to The American Epilepsy Society. About 50,000 die each year from seizures.
    "Imagine if people could have had access to this in the ’50s, or the ’70s, when studies suggested it worked. Imagine how many people could have been helped," said Paige Figi, the first mother in Colorado Springs to treat her epileptic daughter with locally grown strain of marijuana. Five-year-old Charlotte had hundreds of seizures per day and had tried every available seizure drug without success. She was not expected to live long. The Figis had read some decades-old studies suggesting a compound in cannabis called cannabidiol could help. Desperate, they started giving Charlotte a local marijuana strain high in the compound. It reduced her seizures by 99.9 percent. She is now thriving.

    Charlotte’s success sparked a small movement, with dozens of families who have not been helped by trying traditional treatments moving to Colorado, where the oil is produced.
    Media reports featuring the Figis were the first most of these families had heard of treating seizures with cannabis, but, in fact, reports of treating seizures with cannabis stretch back more than 500 years.
    "I’m a mom, I don’t have a Ph.D. Why did we have to stumble onto this?" Paige Figi said. "We feel like science has failed us. I think it’s unfortunate it has to be parents figuring this out, and science has to catch up."

    Cannabis is very useful
    The first known reference to the anti-seizure potential of cannabis, according to a number of academic papers, comes from an Arabic treatise from 1464 that describes how the epileptic son of a high-ranking official in Baghdad was cured by regular administration of hashish.

    After returning from India, Dr. O’Shaughnassy lectured extensively in Great Britain in the 1840s on the properties of hemp and its use as a medicine in Europe became widespread.
    Sir John Russell Reynolds, the personal physician to Queen Victoria, wrote in The Lancet in 1890 on the many therapeutic uses of cannabis, saying "I have found hemp very useful" for treating epilepsy.
    In America, a publication called the Philadelphia Medical Times ran an article titled "Cannabis indica in the treatment of epilepsy" in 1878.
    By 1900, cannabis extracts were commonly found in American pharmacies.

    But, as the 20th century progressed, cannabis fell out of favor, according to the book "Cannabis in Medical Practice." Unlike opium and cocaine, the active ingredients in cannabis were harder to parse, and were not isolated until the middle of the 20th century. Pharmacists were left with a whole plant extract that could vary greatly in makeup and potency. At the same time, states were increasingly passing laws tightening control on recreational use of the plant. It was effectively banned federally by the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act.

    That year, during hearings in front of the House Committee on Ways and Means, the American Medical Association spoke against criminalizing cannabis, saying many of its members prescribed it. But the committee was swayed by the testimony of the assistant commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Harry Anslinger, who said, "Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind. Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes."

    Medical advances stunted
    The passage of the act ended the use of medical cannabis and led to a decades-long suppression of medical marijuana research that only started to lift with California’s first-in-the-nation medical marijuana law in 1996.

    "Looking back, a lot of this reefer madness stuff seems ridiculous but it is also one of the great tragedies of modern medicine," said Martin Lee, author of the book "Smoke Signals, a social history of marijuana." "It impeded all kinds of medical advances. Think of all the knowledge we lost. Think of all the time we lost. We have been forced to rediscover things that were there all along. And in the meantime, these poor kids."
    Even in the most restrictive years of marijuana laws, scientific studies continued to show cannabis could treat epilepsy – especially cannabidiol.
    In 1949, two doctors tested marijuana compounds with six severely epileptic children. The substance controlled seizures as well as traditional drugs with three of the children, and stopped or nearly stopped all seizures in two.

    "The Future for epileptics appears very bright," an article about the findings in the Salt Lake City Telegram said. "Because of not only one new drug, but a whole field of new compounds to combat epileptic seizures."

    But the research went nowhere.
    Similar studies in 1974, ’79, ’80, ’81, ’82 and several times since showed cannabidiol’s promising properties for regulating seizures, but each time they failed to bridge the gap from laboratory to medicine cabinet.
    "There are a number of barriers to research," said Jeffrey Hergenrather, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, who studies the anti-cancer properties of cannabis.
    First, he said, money is lacking because most research is funded by pharmaceutical companies, which have little to gain from a plant that can’t be patented.
    Second, because cannabis is a tightly controlled substance, he said, research involves extra regulatory steps, including having the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency inspections that discourage many researchers.
    Third, the medical establishment long had a dismissive attitude toward the research, he said.
    "It is seen by some as not serious. There is a stigma. It is difficult to get your findings published," he said.
    In addition, he said, doctors are hesitant to recommend cannabis because many have little knowledge of how it interacts with the human body.
    "There is a whole system of chemical receptors in the human body that interacts with cannabis, and they are not taught it in medical school at all," Hergenrather said. "That shows the profound effect prohibition has had."

    Cannabis now drawing attention
    Now that 20 states have some kind of legalized medical marijuana, anecdotal evidence of people using cannabis to treat a number of ailments is getting the attention of mainstream medicine, and attitudes toward cannabis are starting to change, he said.

    Orrin Devinsky, a New York University neurologist who specializes in epilepsy, illustrates that.
    In his 2012 book "Alternative therapies for epilepsy," he wrote marijuana was "not recommended to treat epilepsy." But in late 2013, after increasing anecdotal evidence of the therapeutic potential of cannabis coming out of Colorado Springs, he held a symposium in New York on the potential of cannabidiol and began a Food and Drug Administration-approved study of the treatment of epilepsy in children with the cannabis compound cannabidiol.

    "At this time, medical marijuana products show great potential for helping patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy," Devinsky told The Gazette. "However, at the current time, we lack either good safety or effectiveness data on any product. Our focus should be to obtain scientifically valid data and to remain very humble about what we do and do not know."

    Follow Dave Philipps on Twitter: @David_Philipps

    1464: Arab historian Ibn al-Badri writes that when "the epileptic son of the caliph’s chamberlain" in Baghdad was treated with cannabis "it cured him completely."
    1839: British doctor Dr. William O’Shaughnessy, left, says experiments with cannabis in India "led me to the belief that in Hemp the profession has gained an anti-convulsive remedy of the greatest value."
    1890: The personal physician to Queen Victoria, writes in The Lancet in 1890 on the medical uses of cannabis, saying "I have found hemp very useful" for treating epilepsy.
    1900: Tincture of cannabis becomes a common medicine in American pharmacies.
    1937: Medical cannabis effectively outlawed by Marihuana Tax Act.

    1949: Two doctors give cannabis to five epileptic children. Three did as well as on other drugs. One had significant improvement, and one had seizures disappear entirely.
    1977: Study of rats shows cannabidiol works as well as other anti-seizure drugs.
    1980: Double blind study shows seven of eight human epileptics helped by cannibidiol, with seizures stopping entirely in half.
    2003: British company GW Pharamaceuticals announces it plans to market a marijuana-based cannabidiol drug for epilepsy, with hopes of quick approval by the FDA. It has yet to be approved.
    2012: Colorado Springs mom Paige Figi begins treating her 5-year-old daughter, Charlotte, with a marijuana oil rich in cannadidiol, sparking a small movement to make the treatment available to all epileptics.

    – Colorado Springs-area mom Paige Figi on mission for medical marijuana

    – ‘Face of Cannabis’ project aims to raise awareness, facilitate change

    Read more at http://gazette.com/now-popular-in-colorado-marijuana-oil-has-long-success-history-thats-often-been-ignored/article/1513431#toEswLSou20ppmPH.99

     

     

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    As The Assembly Considers The Medical Marijuana Act

    Posted on January 15, 2014. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Drug War, legislation | Tags: , , , , , |


    (An opinion from an activist/patient published in the State-Journal.com.)

     

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    Published: January 14, 2014 10:12AM

    I have been writing the members of the Assembly trying to inform and educate them about marijuana and the benefits of ending marijuana prohibition and allowing Kentucky to jump into the marijuana industry as many of the States are now doing.   I realize that I have to overcome 77 years of propaganda and outright lies so ingrained in some people that they get angry when presented with facts that contradict what they’ve been told these last 77 years.
    I have just watched what is probably the most informative and factual documentary on the marijuana issue I have ever seen. It was published on YouTube last July. I have asked our legislators, in the name of all Kentuckians who need this plant for medical reasons and, as they consider the medical marijuana law, to please watch this documentary before they make any decision regarding the bill.  Either way they choose to vote on this issue, they should have the information to help them make a fair and proper decision.  It’s informative and entertaining, and I suggested they grab a bourbon whiskey and a cigar and watch it with their fellow legislators.   Here’s the link—

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeC8y19UBt4

    If, after watching the video they still think we should continue the failed policy of marijuana prohibition in Kentucky then I have a few questions for them to think about.
    After more than 77 years of arresting and incarcerating hundreds of thousands of Americans, more than 750,000 a year for the last 15 years at least, can they document one year when the prohibition of marijuana has been successful?   
    How much longer should we continue the current policy, and when and on what basis will we decide whether the policy was successful or not?   If marijuana prohibition was a children’s poverty program and after five years there were MORE children in poverty, we would either shut down the program or modify it to make it work.   Prohibition has not worked.  Even the Drug Czar said we could NOT arrest ourselves out of the drug problem, so why are we keeping it up?
    Allowing the passage of the medical bill is the right thing to do.  It will free up law enforcement from wasting their time and money on a failed policy and bring needed relief to the thousands of Kentuckians who will benefit from this medicine being legally available to them and will increase revenues to the state that are sorely needed.
    It’s a win – win, Medical marijuana is supported by more than half of the citizens and unlike Gambling does not need a constitutional amendment. This same legislation is being passed in all the states around us. How bout we pass it first this time and you guys in the Assembly let us win one for a change!

    CONTINUE READING…

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    Pot Block! Trapped in the Marijuana Rescheduling Maze

    Posted on November 1, 2013. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Drug War | Tags: , , , , , , |


    One citizen-journalist’s journey into the drug war bureaucracy shows why previous efforts to reschedule pot have been DEA’d on arrival.

    Harmon Leon

    October 30, 2013

     

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    Under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug in America. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Cannabis sativa is as dangerous as heroin. (You know… as in heroin!) To justify this ranking, the DEA has declared that the plant has absolutely no medical value. Zero. Nada. Zip. The federal government has determined that this position is backed by science.

    Marijuana’s current status as one of the most dangerous drugs in America became official in 1970, during the Nixon administration. (Putting matters in ludicrous perspective, cocaine and even Breaking Bad meth are Schedule II.) Every administration since then has treated marijuana as mad, bad and dangerous to know, with virtually no attempt made to reclassify it. And that list includes the current one.

    About the Author
    Harmon Leon

    Harmon Leon is the author of six books, including The American Dream, The Harmon Chronicles and Republican Like Me. His…

    “It’s a bit of an Alice in Wonderland scenario with the Obama administration,” explains Kris Hermes of American for Safe Access (ASA). “He made statements prior to being elected about changing the policy on marijuana, but in reality the opposite has happened.”

    Not only have there been more medical marijuana arrests during Obama’s administration than the entire Bush regime, but even in states like California and Washington, there’s been a steady rise in the number of people being raided even though they’re in full compliance with state law. The federal government has threatened landlords and financial institutions working with medical marijuana businesses; the IRS has been involved with audits; pro-pot lawmakers have been bullied; and veterans using marijuana for conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder have been denied medical benefits by the Veterans Administration—all because of marijuana’s Schedule I status.

    On the other hand, dropping pot down a notch to Schedule II (let alone III, IV or V, or removing it from the Controlled Substances Act completely) would be a big step in resolving the clash between state and federal law, since such a move would at least acknowledge marijuana’s medical utility and allow doctors to legally prescribe it.

    So what can be done to reschedule marijuana in a country where the “drug czar” is required by law to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a Schedule I substance—in any form?

    Time to put on our citizen-journalist’s hat and go through the looking glass into the bizarre legal labyrinth of the rescheduling process. Kris Hermes warned that it wouldn’t be easy: “Bureaucrats shut down and refuse to talk when it’s convenient for them not to talk… when it suits their purpose!”

    I Contact the DEA

    Phoning the DEA is an unnerving experience—a sensation similar to being in high school and calling your dad at 2 am to inform him that you’ve crashed the family car (though now safe in the knowledge that the NSA will keep tabs on me).

    I get a DEA representative on the phone. He goes by the name Rusty. (Perhaps because of his employer’s corroded views on ending the drug war?)

    “Could I get any information regarding the rescheduling of medical marijuana?”

    “I don’t want to spark a debate,” Rusty from the DEA replies. “I don’t know if that’s something we’d weigh in on. I don’t know what the point would be—our stance is pretty much on our website.”

    Rusty from the DEA informs me that the agency’s position on medical marijuana can be found under the tab astutely labeled “The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse.” (The thirty-page PDF reads like some bureaucrat’s idea for a remake of Reefer Madness.)

    The key words in this manifesto: dangers, consequences, abuse. That doesn’t seem to indicate much willingness to consider pot’s medical value. Apparently, the DEA is still convinced that cancer victims are merely “abusing” marijuana to alleviate their chemotherapy-induced vomiting and nausea.

    Rusty from the DEA adds: “You know, Congress can change this at any point—which people seem to forget.”

    Perfect. That would be the same body that recently shut down the federal government and threatened the United States with default. But while the DEA might say that rescheduling is up to Congress, according to the ASA, that’s not exactly the case. The DEA actually delays the process—with no time limit imposed for answering rescheduling petitions, the agency takes the longest possible time before reaching a decision. (And then it says no.) To get around to denying the ASA’s rescheduling petition, it took the federal government a whopping nine years.

    I Contact the FDA

    According to a memorandum of understanding between the DEA and the Food and Drug Administration, a rescheduling petition has to go through the FDA. (Despite the fact that the DEA is under no obligation to recognize the conclusions of that agency.) Meanwhile, roughly every nineteen minutes, an American dies of accidental prescription-drug overdose—and these are pills approved by the FDA. (“Approved!”) Since the big pharmaceutical companies can’t make money off homegrown medical marijuana, might that be swaying the FDA’s recommendation?

    “Can I ask a few questions about the rescheduling of medical marijuana?” I ask an unnamed FDA representative.

    “I’m looking into this for you,” she replies.

    Moments later…

    “We cannot comment on this topic due to pending citizen petitions, other than to say our analyses and decision-making processes are ongoing.”

    Not much to work with there, though I’m intrigued by the mention of “pending citizen petitions.” I press on: “What would be the process needed for medical marijuana to be approved by the FDA?”

    “As you are aware, Schedule 1 drugs have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and as I indicated before, we cannot comment on this topic of rescheduling due to pending citizen petitions.”

    My information parade has been rained out. Why so cagey? After all, the FDA approved Marinol, whose active ingredient is 100 percent synthetic THC (i.e., the stuff that makes pot so dangerous and addictive that it has to be classified as Schedule I). And Marinol, strangely enough, is Schedule III—even though no pot plant in the history of marijuana has tested at 100 percent THC. (Even the strongest pot these days clocks in at under 40 percent.)

    So my basic question goes unanswered, though the FDA representative does grant me an open invitation to check out the agency’s website—anytime I please!

    My inquiry at the Justice Department yields similar results: “Hi Harmon—DOJ’s enforcement policy on marijuana is in the attached. Thanks.”

    My attempt at securing a comment from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals—which threw out the ASA’s appeal on its rescheduling petition—doesn’t go much better: “I’m sorry. I don’t know the answer to your question. I am sure there must be subject matter experts out there who would know.… Good luck!”

    Down and Down the Rabbit Hole…

    At the heart of the approval process is the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Ironically—or maybe not—the organization is funded by the federal government. Catch-22: for the DEA to reschedule marijuana, scientific studies authorized by NIDA have to prove its medical benefits. This is basically like putting the mice in charge of the mousey snacks. In his now-famous about-face on medical marijuana, Dr. Sanjay Gupta pointed out how many of NIDA’s studies are actually designed to find detrimental effects—with only about 6 percent, he estimates, looking into medical benefits. The end result of NIDA’s efforts: the almost-complete suppression of research into the therapeutic value of marijuana.

    “Will Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s statement have any impact on rescheduling medical marijuana?” I ask the NIDA rep.

    NIDA’s response: “The best resource for questions about rescheduling is the Drug Enforcement Administration.” (A phone number is provided.)

    Reaching deep into my citizen-journalist’s bag of tricks, I try a more straightforward approach: “What would it take to have medical marijuana rescheduled? Clearly we’re at a crossroads where public opinion is changing, yet the federal government doesn’t want to change its stance. Is it left to further scientific studies or any other factors?”

    The Nation is facing a crippling postal rate hike—donate by October 31 to help us foot this $120,272 bill.

    “You’ll need to contact the DEA for questions about rescheduling.”

    And so I’m back at square one. It turns out that getting an answer from the federal government on rescheduling marijuana is a lot like contacting the local Scientology center and asking them to go on record about the planet Xenu. In the meantime, the Supreme Court recently declined to hear ASA’s appeal on its rescheduling petition—the one that the DEA waited nine years to reject, and that the DC Circuit Court turned down on appeal, declaring that only Congress has the power to amend the Controlled Substances Act.

    If the federal government is determined to maintain marijuana as a highly illegal Schedule 1 substance—despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary and an ongoing sea change in public opinion—then perhaps its best ploy at this point would be to sit on its hands and do absolutely nothing.

    Mission accomplished.

    Also In This Issue

    Katrina vanden Heuvel: “Why Its Always Been Time to Legalize Marijuana

    Mike Riggs: “Obama’s War on Pot

    Carl L. Hart: “Pot Reform’s Race Problem

    Harry Levine: “The Scandal of Racist Marijuana Possession Arrests—and Why We Must Stop Them

    Martin A. Lee: “Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom: The Populist Politics of Cannabis Reform

    Martin A. Lee: “The Marijuana Miracle: Why a Single Compound in Cannabis May Revolutionize Modern Medicine

    Kristen Gwynne: “Can Medical Marijuana Survive in Washington State?

    Atossa Araxia Abrahamian: “Baking Bad: A Potted History of High Times

    Various Contributors: “The Drug War Touched My Life: Why I’m Fighting Back

    And only online…

    J. Hoberman: “The Cineaste’s Guide to Watching Movies While Stoned

    Seth Zuckerman: “Is Pot-Growing Bad for the Environment?

    Harmon Leon

    October 30, 2013

    CONTINUE READING…

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    8 Things We Won’t Miss When Pot is Legal Everywhere

    Posted on October 28, 2013. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Corporate Cannabis, Drug War |


    Originally posted on Ideas:

    Last year, residents of Colorado and the state of Washington voted overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Now, according to a new Gallup Poll, fully 58 percent of Americans believe that pot should be available in a way that’s similar to tobacco, beer, wine, and alcohol, which arguably cause more harm than marijuana. That’s a 10-point increase over last year and the latest indicator that the federal war on weed, which officially began in 1937, is finally drawing to a close. Given the directions things are headed in this country, here are eight things nobody will miss when pot is finally legal everywhere in the U.S.

    1. Vapid anti-drug commercials like the famous “I learned it by watching you!” public-service announcement, in which a son tells an outraged father how he became familiar with pot. The dad seems to be successful and they’re in a nice house so….what’s the problem…

    View original 476 more words

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    5 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Marijuana

    Posted on October 18, 2013. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana | Tags: , , , , , |


    By Jack Grinspoon, Thursday at 6:51 pm

    It’s no coincidence that marijuana legalization support has surged with the growth of social media. The voices of the Reefer Madness era are silenced daily as studies and testimonials continue pouring in about this often misunderstood plant. Ignorance still remains, however, and this fight won’t be won without continued education of the masses.

    It takes one fact that hits home to sway someone’s opinion. Maybe one of the following will do that for you. Here are five things about marijuana you may not have known:

    1.  THC and CBD, marijuana’s primary cannabinoids, are both cancer killers.

    No, I’m not talking about using marijuana to help manage cancer’s effects. It’s actually anti-cancer.

    Recent research out of Spain suggests that THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, kills brain cancer cells. Study co-author Guillermo Velasco claims that when THC was applied to cancerous brain tissue, the cancer cells were killed while healthy cells were left alone.

    CBD apparently does the same; a pair of scientists from California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco demonstrated the cannabinoid’s ability to stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer.

    Imagine if this plant were discovered in a jungle two weeks ago. What would the news be saying? The CBD article goes as far as to say the breakthrough could "potentially alter the fatality of the disease forever." The lack of media coverage for this is astounding, but that doesn’t diminish the research.

    2. Marijuana triggers neurogenesis. Layman’s terms: It leads to brain cell growth.

    Wait….marijuana is supposed to kill brain cells, right?

    Wrong.

    The roots of the marijuana-kills-brain-cells myth are deep despite the lack of credible evidence. The original study supporting this notion is questionable at best and recent research suggests exactly the opposite.

    In 2005, a study showed cannabinoids’ ability to promote neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus, the brain region responsible for many important brain functions including mood and memory. The authors also cited anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effects that accompany the neurogenesis. This explains why people across California, Colorado, Washington and other marijuana-friendly states often turn to the herb for a mood-boost instead of pharmaceutical drugs. It also supports research that marijuana helps improve cognitive function in bipolar disorder patients. This brings us to our next fact….

    3. Suicide rates are lower in areas where medical marijuana is available

    .

    A Denver state-level study analyzed the statistical trend of suicide after introduction of medical marijuana.

    From the study:

    "Our results suggest that the passage of a medical marijuana law is associated with an almost 5% reduction in total suicide rate, an 11% reduction in the suicide rate of age 20-29 males, and a 9% reduction in the suicide rate of 30-39 males."

    It’s interesting this hasn’t become mainstream data in a country so focused on suicide prevention. Not surprisingly, one of the main reasons cited by the study’s authors for the decrease was connected to the at-risk population (20 and 30-something males) replacing alcohol with marijuana. This data makes the strictness of Illinois’ new medical marijuana policy even more laughable.

    "Don’t let usage get out of control! Less people might commit suicide!"

    Speaking of marijuana’s effects on well-being, I highly recommend this very personal, heart-wrenching article.

    But what about the physical effects?

    4. There is zero evidence that marijuana causes significant lung damage.

    While vaporization is always touted as the safest method of marijuana ingestion, the largest study of its kind suggested marijuana-only smoking is harmless as well:

    "We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use. What we found instead was no association at all, and even some suggestion of a protective effect."

    The above words come from UCLA Medical Doctor Donald Tashkin, author of the study and marijuana researcher of more than 30 years.

    Considering the tar in marijuana smoke was found to contain as many harmful carcinogens as cigarette smoke, this study actually strengthens the notion that marijuana is anti-cancer. The plant itself seems to have an offsetting effect for the harmful properties of smoke.

    5. There are two completely different types of marijuana, both with different effects on the user.

    One of the biggest mistakes made by people who first try marijuana is immediately thinking that it’s "not for them." It certainly isn’t for everyone, but what if they  just tried the wrong kind?

    There are hundreds of different strains of marijuana, tagged with names like Blue Dream, OG Kush, Trainwreck or Pineapple. All of these are categorized as "Sativa" or "Indica." Here’s a simple-as-possible explanation on the difference:

    Sativas

    are usually day-time strains, used to enhance the experience of social events, time in nature or listening to new music. Caregivers often recommend sativa strains for patients seeking relief from depression, PTSD, fatigue and some types of anxiety and pain. Some patients even report positive effects on ADHD while medicating with sativa strains. Although sativas produce an enjoyable effect, they usually are the culprit for an inexperienced user "tweaking out" during one of their first times smoking.

    Indicas

    are often smoked at night due to their narcotic effect on the user. Indica strains are perfect for users suffering from any type of pain, nausea or anxiety. They’re also preferable for novice users as they acclimate themselves to the herb. This variety is popular for meditation or yoga due to its mind-calming qualities.

    Here is a more extensive explanation on the two categories if you’re interested.

    Marijuana isn’t for everyone. Nothing is for everyone.

    But should we be throwing those it is for in cages?

    I dare you to say yes.

    Email me at Jack.Grinspoon@gmail.com if there’s anything in particular you’d like covered in this blog

    .

    Filed under: Uncategorized

    Tags: brain cells, cancer, cannabis, CBD, indica, Legalization, marijuana, sativa, strain, suicide, THC, UCLA, weed

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    (OHIO) DeWine rejects proposed amendment to legalize marijuana

    Posted on August 13, 2013. Filed under: Activists, Cannabis/Marijuana | Tags: , , |


    By  Alan Johnson

    The Columbus Dispatch Tuesday August 13, 2013 5:23 AM

    A proposed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana in Ohio was rejected yesterday by Attorney General Mike DeWine.

    DeWine turned down petitioners for the End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012, citing four reasons that the submitted summary was not “fair and truthful” as required by state law.

    The petition was submitted on Aug. 2 by three Ohio residents, including Tonya Davis, of Kettering, a suburb of Dayton, who has been involved in several previous marijuana issues. Proponents submitted 2,304 signatures of registered Ohio voters, more than double the 1,000 required.

    DeWine said the submitted ballot summary omits references to amendment language which repudiates federal cannabis prohibitions and language saying “persons cannot be considered to be under the influence of cannabis ‘solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of cannabis in his or her body.’"

    He also faulted the summary because it says education will be provided about the “medical harms or benefits from the personal use of cannabis products,” although the full amendment includes no such provision.

    Finally, DeWine said the summary did not refer to language in the body of the amendment saying that the departments of Agriculture and Commerce would be responsible for overseeing the program.

    Three other marijuana issues, including one proposing legalization of growing hemp, have been approved by state officials, but they are not likely to appear before Ohio voters at an election in the near future. The deadline for this November’s election already has passed.

    DeWine’s letter and the summary text can be found at http://www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/BallotInitiatives.

    ajohnson@dispatch.com

    @ohioaj

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    Ending Marijuana Prohibition in 2013

    Posted on January 30, 2013. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


    Rob Kampia

    Executive director, Marijuana Policy Project

     

    Unless people have been hiding under a rock this past couple months, they know that more than 55 percent of voters in Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana on November 6. As a result, many people have grand expectations of how we’re going to get closer to ending marijuana prohibition in the U.S. this year.

    Here is what I think we can reasonably accomplish by the end of 2013:

    1. Decriminalize Marijuana in Vermont: Gov. Pete Shumlin (D), a strong supporter of decriminalizing marijuana, partially campaigned on the issue and easily won re-election on November 6 with 58% of the vote. The Vermont Llegislature is poised to pass the bill he wants, so this legislation could become law by this summer.

    2. Legalize Medical Marijuana in New Hampshire: Incoming Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) is a strong supporter of medical marijuana, so we expect her to sign a medical marijuana bill similar to those vetoed by former Gov. John Lynch (D) in 2009 and 2012.

    3. Build Support for Legalization in the Rhode Island Legislature:
    We successfully legalized medical marijuana and decriminalized marijuana possession in Rhode Island in 2009 and 2012, respectively. There is now considerable momentum to tax and regulate (T&R) marijuana like alcohol, so we need to ensure that Rhode Island’s state legislature becomes the first to do so.

    4. Increase Support for Legalization in California, Maine, and Oregon: There will be a sincere effort to pass T&R bills through the legislatures in these three states. Should they fall short, MPP and its allies will pursue statewide ballot initiatives in November 2016, at which time all three will be expected to pass.

    5. Build Our Base of Support Online: People have said that the Internet is marijuana legalization’s best friend, and this could not have been more evident than it was last year. Campaigns mobilized their supporters, organizations raised funds, and the public was able to follow the progress in real time. Prohibitionists, who have depended on the government for its largess for years, are now at a disadvantage. Private citizens simply do not want to donate to them, and most information about marijuana is now reaching the public without being run through their filter.

    6. Continue the Steady Drumbeat in the Media:
    National and local media outlets are covering the marijuana issue more than ever before. Communicating to voters through news coverage is the most cost-efficient way to increase public support for ending marijuana prohibition, so we need to keep the issue in the spotlight.

    7. Build Support for Medical Marijuana in Congress: There are already approximately 185 members of the U.S. House who want to stop the U.S. Justice Department from spending taxpayer money on raiding medical marijuana businesses in the 18 states (and DC) where medical marijuana is legal. We want to reach 218 votes on this amendment, thereby ensuring the amendment’s transfer to the U.S. Senate for an up-or-down vote.

    8. Build Support for Ending Marijuana Prohibition in Congress: Last year, the first-ever bill to end the federal government’s prohibition of marijuana attracted 21 sponsors. Our goal is to expand the number of sponsors to more than two-dozen during the 2013-2014 election season.

    Looking outside our borders, we’re also seeing progress in Colombia, Uruguay, and Chile, which have all been steadily moving away from marijuana prohibition. Although this is good news, most members of the U.S. Congress do not care much about what South American countries think on marijuana policy, so we should temper the wonderful developments south of the U.S. border with limited expectations of what will happen in our nation’s capital.

    Ultimately, the U.S. is the primary exporter of prohibition around the world. If we can solve the problem here, the rest of the world will have far more freedom to conduct their own experiments with regulating marijuana.

    FOLLOW POLITICS

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    Medical marijuana backers lose bid for looser regulations

    Posted on January 23, 2013. Filed under: Absolute Assinine Law, Cannabis/Marijuana, Drug War, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


    By Tom Schoenberg, © 2013, Bloomberg News

     

    WASHINGTON — An appeals court rejected the bid by medical marijuana backers to ease federal controls of the drug, ruling that the government properly kept the substance in its most dangerous category.

    A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the Drug Enforcement Administration’s decision to maintain marijuana as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act because there are no adequate scientific studies finding an acceptable medical use.

    “The question before the court is not whether marijuana could have some medical benefits,” U.S. Circuit Judge Harry Edwards wrote in the opinion.

    Edwards said the court’s review was limited to whether the DEA’s decision declining to reschedule the drug was arbitrary and capricious. He said the court found there was “substantial evidence” to support the agency’s determination that such studies don’t exist.

    The case involves a 10-year-old petition from medical marijuana advocates who asked the DEA to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule III, IV or V drug, which would allow for looser regulation. On June 21, 2011, the DEA rejected the request, stating that existing clinical evidence wasn’t adequate to warrant reclassification.

    “To deny that sufficient evidence is lacking on the medical efficacy of marijuana is to ignore a mountain of well- documented studies that conclude otherwise,” Joe Elford, chief counsel with Americans for Safe Access, the medical marijuana advocacy


    hemp-300x200


    organization that brought the case, said in an e-mailed statement.

    Elford told the court during arguments in October that there were more than 200 studies that the agency refused to consider.

    The group said it will appeal the ruling, according to the statement.

    Lena Watkins, a lawyer for the Justice Department, told the court in October that the studies cited by the marijuana proponents were rejected because the research didn’t meet government standards. She said about 15 studies meet the standards, though the government doesn’t have the final results yet.

    The court also waved off claims that government blocked efforts to study the medical effects of marijuana, citing the Health and Human Services Department policy supporting the clinical research with botanical marijuana.

    “It appears that adequate and well-controlled studies are wanting not because they have been foreclosed but because they have not been completed,” Edwards said in the ruling.

    CONTINUE READING…

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    Types of Cannabis

    Posted on December 23, 2012. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, LATEST NEWS |


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    President’s pot comments prompt call for policy

    Posted on December 16, 2012. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Drug War | Tags: , , , , |


     

    FILE - This Nov. 8, 2012 file photo shows marijuana plants flourishing under the lights at a grow house in Denver. President Barack Obama says he won't go after Washington state and Colorado for legalizing marijuana. In a Barbara Walters interview airing Friday on ABC, Obama is asked whether he supports making pot legal. He says, "I wouldn't go that far." (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

     

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — President Barack Obama says he won’t go after pot users in Colorado and Washington, two states that just legalized the drug for recreational use. But advocates argue the president said the same thing about medical marijuana — and yet U.S. attorneys continue to force the closure of dispensaries across the U.S.

    Welcome to the confusing and often conflicting policy on pot in the U.S., where medical marijuana is legal in many states, but it is increasingly difficult to grow, distribute or sell it. And at the federal level, at least officially, it is still an illegal drug everywhere.

    Obama’s statement Friday provided little clarity in a world where marijuana is inching ever so carefully toward legitimacy.

    That conflict is perhaps the greatest in California, where the state’s four U.S. Attorneys criminally prosecuted large growers and launched a coordinated crackdown on the state’s medical marijuana industry last year by threatening landlords with property forfeiture actions. Hundreds of pot shops went out of business.

    Steve DeAngelo, executive director of an Oakland, Calif., dispensary that claims to be the nation’s largest, called for a federal policy that treats recreational and medical uses of the drug equally.

    "If we’re going to recognize the rights of recreational users, then we should certainly protect the rights of medical cannabis patients who legally access the medicine their doctors have recommended," he said.

    The government is planning to soon release policies for dealing with marijuana in Colorado and Washington, where federal law still prohibits pot, as elsewhere in the country.

    "It would be nice to get something concrete to follow," said William Osterhoudt, a San Francisco criminal defense attorney representing government officials in Mendocino County who recently received a demand from federal investigators for detailed information about a local system for licensing growers of medical marijuana.

    Assemblyman Tom Ammiano said he was frustrated by Obama’s comments because the federal government continues to shutter dispensaries in states with medical marijuana laws, including California.

    "A good step here would be to stop raiding those legal dispensaries who are doing what they are allowed to do by law," said the San Francisco Democrat. "There’s a feeling that the federal government has gone rogue on hundreds of legal, transparent medical marijuana dispensaries, so there’s this feeling of them being in limbo. And it puts the patients, the businesses and the advocates in a very untenable place."

    Obama, in an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters, said Friday that federal authorities have "bigger fish to fry" when it comes to targeting recreational pot smokers in Colorado and Washington.

    Some advocates said the statement showed the president’s willingness to allow residents of states with marijuana laws to use the drug without fear of federal prosecution.

    "It’s a tremendous step forward," said Joe Elford, general counsel for Americans for Safe Access. "It suggests the feds are taking seriously enough the idea that there should be a carve-out for states with marijuana laws."

    Obama’s statements on recreational use mirror the federal policy toward states that allow marijuana use for medical purposes.

    "We are not focusing on backyard grows with small amounts of marijuana for use by seriously ill people," said Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner in Sacramento. "We are targeting money-making commercial growers and distributors who use the trappings of state law as cover, but they are actually abusing state law."

    Alison Holcomb, who led the legalization drive in Washington state, said she doesn’t expect Obama’s comment to prompt the federal government to treat recreational marijuana and medical marijuana differently.

    "At this point, what the president is looking at is a response to marijuana in general. The federal government has never recognized the difference between medical and non-medical marijuana," she said. "I don’t think this is the time he’d carve out separate policies. I think he’s looking for a more comprehensive response."

    Washington voters approved a medical marijuana law in 1998, and dispensaries have proliferated across the state in recent years.

    Last year, Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed legislation that would have created a state system for licensing medical dispensaries over concern that it would require state workers to violate the federal Controlled Substances Act.

    For the most part, dispensaries in western Washington have been left alone. But federal authorities did conduct raids earlier this year on dispensaries they said were acting outside the state law, such as selling marijuana to non-patients. Warning letters have been sent to dispensaries that operate too close to schools.

    "What we’ve seen is enforcement of civil laws and warnings, with a handful of arrests of people who were operating outside state law," Holcomb said.

    Eastern Washington has seen more raids because the U.S. attorney there is more active, Holcomb added.

    Colorado’s marijuana measure requires lawmakers to allow commercial pot sales, and a state task force that will begin writing those regulations meets Monday.

    State officials have reached out to the Justice Department seeking help on regulating a new legal marijuana industry but haven’t heard back.

    DeAngelo said Friday that the Justice Department should freeze all pending enforcement actions against legal medical cannabis providers and review its policies to make sure they’re consistent with the president’s position. He estimated federal officials have shuttered 600 dispensaries in the state and 1,000 nationwide.

    DeAngelo’s Harborside Health Center is facing eviction after the U.S. attorney in San Francisco pressured his landlord to stop harboring what the government considers an illegal business.

    "While it’s nice to hear these sorts of positive words from the president, we are facing efforts by the Justice Department to shut us down, so it’s hard for me to take them seriously," DeAngelo said.

    The dispensary has a hearing Thursday in federal court on the matter.

    __

    Associated Press writers Terry Collins in San Francisco and Manuel Valdes in Seattle contributed to this report.

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    Senate to hold hearing on marijuana policy

    Posted on December 13, 2012. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Marijuana & the Law | Tags: , , , , |


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    By Steve Goldstein

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing early next year on federal marijuana policy, the head of the committee said Thursday. Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy said he intends to hold a hearing in light of recently passed state laws legalizing personal marijuana use. Given the fiscal constraints of federal law enforcement, Leahy asked in a letter to Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske how the administration plans to use federal resources in light of new laws in Colorado and Washington State, as well as what recommendations the agency is making to the Department of Justice. He also asked the ONDCP director what assurances the administration can give to state officials to ensure they will face no criminal penalties for carrying out their duties under those state laws.

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    Prohibitionists are Overstating Feds vs. State Marijuana Legalization Case to Media

    Posted on December 11, 2012. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, CIVIL RIGHTS, Union vs. State (or Federal vs. State) | Tags: , , , , , |


    by David Borden, December 10, 2012, 02:54pm

    Posted in:

    A mostly great piece in Rolling Stone this weekend, "Obama’s Pot Problem," missed the mark on the federal preemption question — can the feds shut down Washington and Colorado’s legalized regulation systems? Tim Dickinson wrote the following on that subject:

    [T]he administration appears to have an open-and-shut case: Federal law trumps state law when the two contradict. What’s more, the Supreme Court has spoken on marijuana law: In the 2005 case Gonzales v. Raich contesting medical marijuana in California, the court ruled that the federal government can regulate even tiny quantities of pot – including those grown and sold purely within state borders – because the drug is ultimately connected to interstate commerce. If the courts side with the administration, a judge could issue an immediate injunction blocking Washington and Colorado from regulating or taxing the growing and selling of pot – actions that would be considered trafficking under the Controlled Substances Act.

    But a former Bush administration official quoted in the New York Times on Thursday, former DOJ civil division head Gregory Katsas, made the opposite prediction. Katsas was "skeptical" that a preemption lawsuit would succeed, according to the Times. Why? Perhaps because it’s not just that the feds can’t force states to criminalize drug possession, as Kevin Sabet selectively pointed out to Dickinson. It’s also the case that they probably can’t directly force the states to criminalize sales either. The Controlled Substances Act in fact leans against federal preemption of state drug policy, as pointed out in a law professors brief on preemption submitted in a California case this year.

    Dickinson also pointed out that federal officials had used threats to prosecute state employees involved in implementing regulations for medical marijuana. In my opinion the US Attorney letters were deliberately vague — scary enough to influence state officials, but in most if not all cases stopping short of explicitly making that threat. A better piece of evidence, I think, is that in 16 years of state medical marijuana laws, no federal prosecutor has ever tried to actually invalidate such a law in court, not even after the Raich ruling. Why not? They must not think they have a slam dunk case. And if preemption is not a slam dunk for medical marijuana, then it’s not a slam dunk when it comes to legalization either, although there are additional arguments to throw against full legalization.

    The reality is that no one knows how this will turn out if it goes to court. Raich established that federal police agencies can use their powers in medical marijuana states to continue to criminalize marijuana federally, justified by the Interstate Commerce Clause. But that is not the same as having the power to forbid states from granting exceptions to the states’ own anti-marijuana sales laws, which in legal terms is what the regulatory frameworks do, and plenty of smart lawyers are skeptical that they can do that. This is not a slam dunk either way.

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    As pot goes proper, a history of weed

    Posted on December 8, 2012. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana |


     

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    CANNABIS IN THE COLONIES

    George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp and puzzled over the best ways to process it for clothing and rope.

    Indeed, cannabis has been grown in America since soon after the British arrived. In 1619 the Crown ordered the colonists at Jamestown to grow hemp to satisfy England’s incessant demand for maritime ropes, Wayne State University professor Ernest Abel wrote in "Marihuana: The First Twelve Thousand Years."

    Hemp became more important to the colonies as New England’s own shipping industry developed, and homespun hemp helped clothe American soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Some colonies offered farmers "bounties" for growing it.

    "We have manufactured within our families the most necessary articles of cloathing," Jefferson said in "Notes on the State of Virginia." "Those of wool, flax and hemp are very coarse, unsightly, and unpleasant."

    Jefferson went on to invent a device for processing hemp in 1815.

    TASTE THE HASHISH

    Books such as "The Arabian Nights" and Alexandre Dumas’ "The Count of Monte Cristo," with its voluptuous descriptions of hashish highs in the exotic Orient, helped spark a cannabis fad among intellectuals in the mid-19th century.

    "But what changes occur!" one of Dumas’ characters tells an uninitiated acquaintance. "When you return to this mundane sphere from your visionary world, you would seem to leave a Neapolitan spring for a Lapland winter – to quit paradise for earth – heaven for hell! Taste the hashish, guest of mine – taste the hashish."

    After the Civil War, with hospitals often overprescribing opiates for pain, many soldiers returned home hooked on harder drugs. Those addictions eventually became a public health concern. In 1906, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act, requiring labeling of ingredients, and states began regulating opiates and other medicines – including cannabis.

    MEXICAN FOLKLORE AND JAZZ CLUBS

    By the turn of the 20th century, cannabis smoking remained little known in the United States – but that was changing, thanks largely to The Associated Press, says Isaac Campos, a Latin American history professor at the University of Cincinnati.

    In the 1890s, the first English-language newspaper opened in Mexico and, through the wire service, tales of marijuana-induced violence that were common in Mexican papers began to appear north of the border – helping to shape public perceptions that would later form the basis of pot prohibition, Campos says.

    By 1910, when the Mexican Revolution pushed immigrants north, articles in the New York Sun, Boston Daily Globe and other papers decried the "evils of ganjah smoking" and suggested that some use it "to key themselves up to the point of killing."

    Pot-smoking spread through the 1920s and became especially popular with jazz musicians. Louis Armstrong, a lifelong fan and defender of the drug he called "gage," was arrested in California in 1930 and given a six-month suspended sentence for pot possession.

    "It relaxes you, makes you forget all the bad things that happen to a Negro," he once said. In the 1950s, he urged legalization in a letter to President Dwight Eisenhower.

    REEFER MADNESS, HEMP FOR VICTORY

    After the repeal of alcohol prohibition in 1933, Harry Anslinger, who headed the federal Bureau of Narcotics, turned his attention to pot. He told of sensational crimes reportedly committed by marijuana addicts. "No one knows, when he places a marijuana cigarette to his lips, whether he will become a philosopher, a joyous reveler in a musical heaven, a mad insensate, a calm philosopher, or a murderer," he wrote in a 1937 magazine article called "Marijuana: Assassin of Youth."

    The hysteria was captured in the propaganda films of the time – most famously, "Reefer Madness," which depicted young adults descending into violence and insanity after smoking marijuana. The movie found little audience upon its release in 1936 but was rediscovered by pot fans in the 1970s.

    Congress banned marijuana with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Anslinger continued his campaign into the ’40s and ’50s, sometimes trying – without luck – to get jazz musicians to inform on each other. "Zoot suited hep cats, with their jive lingo and passion for swift, hot music, provide a fertile field for growth of the marijuana habit, narcotics agents have found here," began a 1943 Washington Post story about increasing pot use in the nation’s capital.

    The Department of Agriculture promoted a different message. After Japanese troops cut off access to Asian fiber supplies during World War II, it released "Hemp For Victory," a propaganda film urging farmers to grow hemp and extolling its use in parachutes and rope for the war effort.

    COUNTERCULTURE

    As the conformity of the postwar era took hold, getting high on marijuana and other drugs emerged as a symbol of the counterculture, with Jack Kerouac and the rest of the Beat Generation singing pot’s praises. It also continued to be popular with actors and musicians. When actor Robert Mitchum was arrested on a marijuana charge in 1948, People magazine recounted, "The press nationwide branded him a dope fiend. Preachers railed against him from pulpits. Mothers warned their daughters to shun his films."

    Congress responded to increasing drug use – especially heroin – with stiffer penalties in the ’50s. Anslinger began to hype what we now call the "gateway drug" theory: that marijuana had to be controlled because it would eventually lead its users to heroin.

    Then came Vietnam. The widespread, open use of marijuana by hippies and war protesters from San Francisco to Woodstock finally exposed the falsity of the claims so many had made about marijuana leading to violence, says University of Virginia professor Richard Bonnie, a scholar of pot’s cultural status.

    In 1972, Bonnie was the associate director of a commission appointed by President Richard Nixon to study marijuana. The commission said marijuana should be decriminalized and regulated. Nixon rejected that, but a dozen states in the ’70s went on to eliminate jail time as a punishment for pot arrests.

    "JUST SAY NO"

    The push to liberalize drug laws hit a wall by the late 1970s. Parents groups became concerned about data showing that more children were using drugs, and at a younger age. The religious right was emerging as a force in national politics. And the first "Cheech and Chong" movie, in 1978, didn’t do much to burnish pot’s image.

    When she became first lady, Nancy Reagan quickly promoted the anti-drug cause. During a visit with schoolchildren in Oakland, Calif., as Reagan later recalled, "A little girl raised her hand and said, ‘Mrs. Reagan, what do you do if somebody offers you drugs?’ And I said, ‘Well, you just say no.’ And there it was born."

    By 1988, more than 12,000 "Just Say No" clubs and school programs had been formed, according to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library. Between 1978 and 1987, the percentage of high school seniors reporting daily use of marijuana fell from 10 percent to 3 percent.

    And marijuana use was so politically toxic that when Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992, he said he "didn’t inhale."

    MEDS OF A DIFFERENT SORT

    Marijuana has been used as medicine since ancient times, as described in Chinese, Indian and Roman texts, but U.S. drug laws in the latter part of the 20th century made no room for it. In the 1970s, many states passed symbolic laws calling for studies of marijuana’s efficacy as medicine, although virtually no studies ever took place because of the federal prohibition.

    Nevertheless, doctors noted its ability to ease nausea and stimulate appetites of cancer and AIDS patients. And in 1996, California became the first state to allow the medical use of marijuana. Since then, 17 other states and the District of Columbia have followed.

    In recent years, medical marijuana dispensaries – readily identifiable by the green crosses on their storefronts – have proliferated in many states, including Washington, Colorado and California. That’s prompted a backlash from some who suggest they are fronts for illicit drug dealing and that most of the people they serve aren’t really sick. The Justice Department has shut down some it deems the worst offenders.

    LEGAL WEED AT LAST

    On Nov. 6, Washington and Colorado pleased aging hippies everywhere – and shocked straights of all ages – by voting to become the first states to legalize the fun use of marijuana. Voters handily approved measures to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce by adults over 21. Colorado’s measure also permits home-growing of up to six plants.

    Both states are working to set up a regulatory scheme with licensed growers, processors and retail stores. Eventually, activists say, grown-ups will be able to walk into a store, buy some marijuana, and walk out with ganja in hand – but not before paying the taxman. The states expect to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for schools and other government functions.

    But it’s not so simple. The regulatory schemes conflict with the federal government’s longstanding pot prohibition, according to many legal scholars. The Justice Department could sue to block those schemes from taking effect – but hasn’t said whether it will do so.

    The bizarre journey of cannabis in America continues.

    Johnson can be reached at https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle

    Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/12/06/2433411/as-pot-goes-proper-a-history-of.html#storylink=cpy

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    Law, Science, and the Coming Brawl Over Marijuana

    Posted on November 15, 2012. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana | Tags: , , , , , |


    The federal government is on the wrong side of science over medical marijuana. Until that changes, there’s no chance for legalization.

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    Colorado’s newly-passed Amendment 64 contemplates a brave new world in which adults in the state will be able to lawfully smoke small amounts of marijuana purchased from licensed (and heavily taxed) local retailers. But that world isn’t even scheduled to begin until 2014, and only then if there are significant changes in the many assorted ways in which federal law criminalizes recreational marijuana possession and use. There is the legal component to the issue. There is the political component to it. And of all the paths forward there is one that is clearest and the most fair. What are the odds that it is the one Washington now chooses?
    Since Colorado (and Washington state) legalized the use of recreational marijuana last week, the national conversation about what comes next has focused primarily on the obvious conflict between federal and state authority. On the one hand, we have the Controlled Substances Act, the venerable federal statute that for the past four decades has labelled marijuana as a "Schedule 1" substance on par with heroin. And on the other hand we have a clear policy choice made by voters in the election of 2012 that marijuana should be treated like alcohol. There’s been a rebellion out west, in other words, which the feds are destined to win.
    But there is another conflict here that’s been splayed open by the ballot initiatives, one which is more fundamental to the future of lawful marijuana use than any argument the feds will now use to stop the state initiatives. It’s the ongoing conflict over the science of marijuana, over the quality of proof of its medicinal values, which is central to the coming court fights. Until the Drug Enforcement Administration changes its marijuana classification, until lawmakers recognize its therapeutic uses, reformers like those in Colorado and Washington will be crushed in court.
    The federal policy choice on marijuana’s classification is the horse. The Justice Department’s coming use of that policy against the states is the cart. And that’s why the timing of the state initiatives is so compelling. Just last month, a few weeks before the election, a panel of three federal judges in Washington, D.C., heard oral arguments in a case on this very point called Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration. The feds say that studies of the virtues of medical marijuana are not rigorous enough to warrant a change in DEA policy. The reformers say there is enough proof, and testimony, to justify the change.
    So far, the case hasn’t gotten nearly as much coverage as it should have, and as it would have had the hearing been held this week (last Tuesday, Massachusetts also became the 18th state to legalize the use of medical marijuana). But here’s all you need to know about the institutional forces of the law which are working against the reformers. Referring to the DEA, Judge Merrick Garland asked a question a million judges before him have asked when evaluating whether to push a federal agency to do something it hasn’t before wanted to do: "Don’t we have to defer to their judgment?"
    Their judgment. The Colorado and Washington initiatives are the most forceful and populist responses yet to the antiquated judgment of DEA policy makers. The state measures also are a repudiation of Congress’ discriminatory marijuana laws and the law-and-order lobby’s priorities. And even if the new state laws stand today on poor legal ground–let’s face it, they do–the success of the initiatives out West already has sent a strong political message to Washington on marijuana policy: You can’t go back. You can no longer stay still. The only choice left is to figure out the smartest way to go forward.
    Something’s gotta give. Right now, a White House that prides itself on being on the right side of science when it comes to global warming is on the wrong side of science when it comes to medical marijuana. Right now, a Congress that praises states’ rights is hampering the ability of states to experiment with new sources of revenue. Right now, the federal government in all its forms is taking a position which may have made sense in the early 1970s but which is now directly at odds with the testimony of thousands of military veterans who say marijuana helps ease their pain.
    The faces of the movement aren’t just the young voters out West who think it’s absurd that they can drink alcohol but can’t get high. They aren’t just the entrepreneurs in Colorado who are making the marijuana industry a burgeoning, tax-revenue-generating retail industry. They aren’t the conservative figures who want to stop paying the prison costs of incarceration for marijuana offenses. They are also American war veterans like Michael Krawitz. He’s a disabled plaintiff in the ongoing DEA lawsuit in Washington. Here’s how The Guardian explains why:

    Krawitz had been receiving opiate-based pain relief from the VA until they discovered a prescription for medical marijuana he had received while abroad. They asked him to take a drug test and when he refused, they stopped his treatment. "It said right there in the contract that if they find illegal drugs in your system they they will not give you any pain treatment," he said. "I found that offensive. I’ve been getting this pain treatment for years."

    The Colorado and Washington measures aren’t likely a tipping point for marijuana legalization. But they may be a tipping point toward a federal drug policy that recognizes that marijuana is different from heroin–and even that would be a long-overdue step in the right direction. The Justice Department soon will challenge the state initiatives in court and the feds almost certainly will win. No federal judge wants to be the one to declare marijuana "legal" before Congress or the DEA does. What the White House ought to do in the meantime, however, is demand a broad new review of the federal government’s marijuana policies.
    At a minimum, such a review ought to embrace the following truths, which appear to millions of Americans, including millions of young people who came out to vote for President Obama, to be self-evident. The Controlled Substances Act didn’t come down from the mountaintop. Marijuana’s "Schedule 1" classification isn’t engraved in stone. And the DEA and its policy experts are hardly the Sanhedrin. Whatever else they mean, the Colorado and Washington laws mean the time has come for the feds to better justify a drug policy that has lost key pillars of its factual and political support.
    If the administration undertakes this sort of review–"hopefully, the historic in in Colorado will help pressure the federal government to bring a more science-based approach to drug laws," coyly says Brian Vicente, one of the attorneys behind Amendment 64–it will help insulate the White House from progressive complaints about the coming federal litigation to block the two legalization measures. And it will hardly outrage conservatives, many of whom, like the Koch brothers, support legalization efforts. Such a review, you could say, is the very least the President could do for all those people who came out to vote for him these past two cycles.
    That, anyway, is the larger view. For a closer look, I asked Professor Sam Kamin, who teaches at the University of Denver Law School, to share his thoughts on what’s likely to happen next in Colorado. Kamin has closely followed Colorado’s successful embrace of medical marijuana as well as its new dance with outright legalization. Here is a (slightly) edited transcript of our email interview:
    COHEN: The voters have spoken. Colorado’s Constitution is changed. But isn’t the next step legislation and regulation within the state to determine how it is all going to work? I’m sure you’ve thought about happens now within the state government. As specifically as you can, please walk me through the next few weeks and months.

    KAMIN: Everything now depends on what the federal government does next. We know that our governor has been in conversations with the Attorney General Holder about what the Justice Department will do next, but so far he has not been particularly forthcoming about what he has learned. If the federal government indicates a willingness to permit Washington and Colorado to proceed with legalization- and I very much doubt that it will–then the legislature and administrative agencies in these states will begin work on how the industry will be taxed and regulated. This should not be a particularly complicated task; Colorado has regulated and taxed medical marijuana since 2010. Little would need to change about this regulation except removing the requirement that those seeking to buy marijuana from a licensed retailer obtain a doctor’s recommendation first.

    COHEN: The average citizen in Colorado who voted for this Amendment is wondering when she’ll be able to buy marijuana and smoke it legally without a medical certification. Is that completely dependent upon how the coming legal fight plays out? And is the expectation that the feds will challenge the initiative at the point of sale? 

    KAMIN: I think this is the crucial question. The federal government has always had the power to shut down state experimentation with marijuana legalization. Marijuana remains a controlled substance whose sale and manufacture are prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Thus, every sale of marijuana in every state–whether it has legalized marijuana for medical purposes or otherwise–remains a federal crime. The federal government could thus arrest every person who sells marijuana in these states or at least arrest enough of them to make the others reconsider their choices.

    A less confrontational approach would be to file suit–as the federal government did in Arizona to enjoin the enforcement of SB 1070–to prevent the implementation of Amendment 64.  Interestingly, there is little the federal government could do about Colorado’s decision to legalize marijuana–the federal government lacks the power to force the states to criminalize any particular conduct. The states are under no obligation to mirror the CSA or to help the federal government enforce it. Thus, the states may presumably repeal their marijuana prohibitions without running afoul of federal law.

    However, the second part of Amendment 64–requiring the state to set up procedures for the licensing of recreational marijuana dispensaries–is more problematic. The federal government could allege that such state-level sanctioning of marijuana businesses would constitute an impermissible obstacle to the enforcement of the CSA. Where state and federal law conflict, the federal law is supreme.

    COHEN: The Justice Department has said since the election that Amendment 64 doesn’t change federal law and of course it doesn’t. Is there any way for the initiative to survive without a change to the federal classification of marijuana as a controlled substance on par with heroin? How can Colorado and Washington (state) move Washington to reevaluate that classification?

    KAMIN: A little-understood aspect of the marijuana legalization movement is that the reclassification of marijuana would likely prove fatal to the legalization movement. Currently, marijuana is a Schedule I narcotic, a drug whose manufacture and sale are strictly prohibited. If it were re-classified to a less serious category it would then be available as medicine, likely subject to a doctor’s prescription. Of course, such a rule, which the federal government would likely enforce more strictly than it has the current prohibition, would forbid the licensing of recreational dispensaries in the states. Marijuana law reform has been proceeding along parallel tracks–in the courts, Congress and in the states–and those different tracks are beginning to create tensions.

    COHEN: Look into your crystal ball. What’s the most likely outcome here? If there is to be a surprise, legally or politically, what do you figure it will be?

    KAMIN: I imagine we will see something less than the dramatic federal response described above. I imagine the federal government will offer the states a return to the status quo prior to November 6. That is, I can imagine the Justice Department telling the states that it will continue to grudgingly permit the states to continue with medical marijuana but that full legalization is a bridge too far. This was essentially the message that Attorney General Holder sent to the California voters who ultimately rejected Proposition 19 in 2010. It was a difficult message for the Obama administration to send in a presidential election year in a swing state, however. With the election now passed, we may see a repeat of 2010. Like everyone else, though, I’m simply guessing.

    CONTINUE READING…

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    The ‘Canna-bus’ rolls through Louisville in support of medical marijuana

    Posted on October 23, 2012. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , |


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    by Johnny Archer

    WHAS11.com

    Posted on October 22, 2012 at 6:43 AM

    Updated today at 1:28 PM

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) — Supporters of medical marijuana are touring the country and their unique vehicle is creating a lot of buzz along the way.
    Sunday the Canna-bus mad a stop in Louisville. It’s a school bus that has been transformed into a rolling billboard for the legalization of cannabis movement.

    Stacey Theis from Arizona is the driver and she said it is all about getting the word out about the benefits of medical marijuana.

    “I’m just out there to tell everybody I can about the truth because they deserve to know the truth. They deserve to know that there is something to better their lives to fight for,” Theis said.

    Theis and other pro-cannabis supporters argue medical marijuana is beneficial for a variety of chronic conditions like post traumatic stress disorder, cancer and multiple sclerosis.

    Erin Grossman from Louisville was diagnosed with a neuro-degenerative disease in 2001. She said she pays about $500 dollars a month for treatment out of pocket, while Medicare pays the rest. However, Grossman said her medical bills would be cut dramatically if Kentucky were to legalize marijuana.
    “Marijuana would remove about 80 percent of the prescriptions I’m currently taking,” Grossman said.

    According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the FDA has not approved marijuana as a medicine for several reasons.
    First there have not been enough clinical trials that show ‘marijuana-benefits’ outweigh its risks. Also, marijuana doesn’t have well defined and measurable ingredients. It has adverse health effects, and when smoked it can cause respiratory symptoms. Marijuana may also cause short term memory and impair motor coordination.

    Despite the FDA’s reasons, 17 states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.

    Ron Moore with the Kentucky Veterans for Medical Marijuana is campaigning to legalize marijuana in Kentucky.
    “The wave is cresting and I do believe if not this session, next session, we will at least get a hearing on it and that’s all we want,” Moore said.
    For now, this bus will keep on “rolling green” to spread the message around the country.

    The Canna-bus started its tour Wednesday in North Carolina and it will stop in several cities before completing its journey in Arizona.

    CONTINUE READING WITH VIDEO

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    Green Bus Tour for Marijuana Legalization

    Posted on October 22, 2012. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


    Green Bus Tour for Marijuana Legalization

    Green Bus Tour for Marijuana Legalization

    Facebook Page

    As we roll across America we may need the following things.

    SPONSORS and Donations for fuel and food, we could not do this without you and you and you.

    a warm place to sleep,

    your support by sharing our posts,

    Bus Drivers,

    Promoters to organize our upcoming arrivals

    Bail money!

    Media Contacts

    Bus Riders to promote

    Testimonials from the public on video

    Promo Girls

    your signature on the bus ceiling.

    It’s your bus! Let’s make it legal!

    COMING SOON to a City near YOU!
    We are touring the United States this Election Year to make marijuana legalization a true reality by spotlighting the cause on our highways and byways.
    YOU CAN BE A PART TOO! GET INVOLVED!

    HENRY FOX ON FACEBOOK!  LOUISVILLE’S PREMIER CANNABIS ACTIVIST!

    All images are the property of the Green Bus Tour for Marijuana Legalization…

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             October 22, 2012

    Press Conference:
    When: Monday October 22, 1:00pm
    Where: City Hall Steps 801 Plum St. Cincinnati, Ohio

    The CannaSense Campaign Tour to Legalize Marijuana Across the United States and End Prohibition 2, has begun with the Green Cannabus!

    It’s Mission:  The Green Cannabus is touring the United States this Election Year to spotlight Marijuana Legalization.  Stacey Theis and friends started in North Carolina   and will end up in Arizona after many city stops along the way.

    Monday, the 22nd, the Cannabus is stopping in Cincinnati for a Meet and Greet and Press Conference to talk about why ending Cannabis Prohibition makes sense.

    Speaking at the Press Conference will be CannaSense Campaign Director Stacey Theis, Jake Jones (Son of Deceased Drug War Victim, Gary Shepherd), Medical Cannabis Activist Tonya Davis with NORML Women’s Alliance, Ohio Alternative Treatment Amendment and Sponsor of the Ohio Medical Compassion ACT (HB 214).  They will be sharing their stories and vision of how President Obama can re-schedule Cannabis so Doctors and Patients can decide healthcare choices, not our Government.  They believe he can win back the voters he’s losing by keeping his 2008 campaign promise to let Medical Cannabis be a States Right issue.

    Also speaking will be Moms, Dads, Grandparents and Patients from all walks of life…all wanting       to end Prohibition 2 and to stop wasting tax payer’s dollars on wrecking the lives of families by arresting, prosecuting, caging up and creating criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens.
    No Victim, No Crime.

    From 4-5pm, the Cannabus Folks will be guests on HempRock Radio which airs on WVQC-LP 95.7 FM, http://www.wvqc.org and with the WVQC Phone App at http://www.tunein.com.  WVQC-LP broadcasts from Media Bridges studios in the Crosley Telecommunications Building on Central Parkway.

    For more information, please contact Tonya Davis 937.479.0461 and go to
    http://www.facebook.com/cannasense.campaign

    Respectfully, Tonya Davis

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    The 10 Best Politicians on Pot Reform

    Posted on October 13, 2012. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Elections 2012, Federal Government, Political | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


    From Barney Frank to Ron Paul, these elected leaders are challenging the government’s pointless war on marijuana

    Marijuana

    By Kristen Gwynne

    October 9, 2012 3:16 PM ET

    This month marks the 75th anniversary of marijuana prohibition in America – and the evidence suggests that the government ban may finally be on its way out. Last year, for the first time ever in this country, a Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans think marijuana should be legal, and several states have legalization bills on their ballots this fall.

    Nine Signs That Pot Legalization Is Coming Soon

    Despite this changing landscape, most national politicians have been slow to adapt their stances on weed. But there are a number of political power players fighting to reform the pot policies that lock up more than 800,000 Americans per year. This fall, two third-party presidential candidates – Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson – favor legalization. And while winning is a very long shot for either of them, there are a growing number of elected officials – both Republicans and Democrats – on the right side of this issue. Read on for 10 of the strongest reform advocates in office today:
    Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts)
    Frank, who plans to retire next year after three decades in Congress, has never been afraid to back marijuana reform. In response to the federal war on state medical marijuana programs, Frank recently introduced legislation to prohibit such interference. The States Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act would specify that no part of the Controlled Substances Act "shall prohibit or otherwise restrict" medical marijuana in states where it has been made legal or prescribed medically. It also calls for a review of marijuana’s Schedule I classification – which defines the plant as dangerous and not medically valuable – in favor of the less-restrictive Schedule III category. Unfortunately, since being referred to committee in May, the bill has seemingly stalled.

    In the meantime, Frank has continued to speak out for both medical and non-medical marijuana users. "If there’s an activity that I could engage in without hurting anyone else, as an adult, but other people if they engage in it may abuse it, please don’t prevent me from doing it," Frank said last month. "Whether you want to do these things or not ought to be your own choice."

    Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)
    Paul, another retiring congressman, is one of the most prominent voices for drug law reform. A sharp critic of the War on Drugs and its violations of civil liberties, Paul sees ending pot prohibition as part of his libertarian philosophy. Campaigning in the Republican presidential primary, he vowed to pardon all non-violent drug offenders if elected – a stance that made him very popular with young voters. Along with Barney Frank, Paul co-sponsored the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011, which would have amended the Controlled Substances Act to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category, leaving legalization and regulation up to the states. The bill is viewed as unlikely to pass.

    Rep. Sam Farr (D-California)
    Farr has been a leading legislative voice for medical marijuana patients’ rights at trial. "The federal government has tilted the scales of justice towards conviction by denying medical marijuana defendants the right to present all of the evidence at trial," he recently said. In 2009 and again this summer, Farr introduced the Truth in Trials Act, which would grant medical marijuana patients the ability to present courtroom evidence on their prescription-authorized use of the drug. The bill was promptly referred to the Judiciary Committee, and will likely die before making it to a vote. Nevertheless, Farr has thrown his weight behind other medical marijuana legislation, including the Rohrabacher-Hinchey-Farr-McClintock Medical Marijuana Amendment to bar federal funding for federal raids and the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011.

    Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California)
    A staunch Republican, Rohrabacher has called out President Obama for escalating the war on pot and has criticized federal pot prohibition as a drain on resources and an infringement on states rights. "I don’t believe that you protect people by throwing them in cages," Rohrabacher said last fall. "For us to be taking people for smoking a weed and putting them in prison or jail for that is a travesty. It’s against everything our founding fathers believed in and somehow we got away from that."

    In May, Rohrabacher co-sponsored the bipartisan Rohrabacher-Hinchey-Farr-McClintock Medical Marijuana Amendment, which would have forbidden the Justice Department from using federal funding for raids on state-approved medical marijuana operations. (A week later, the House struck it down in a roll call vote.) Last year, he supported California’s unsuccessful legalization initiative, the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act; he has also co-sponsored the recent Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, the States Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act and the Truth in Trials Act.

    Rep. Barbara Lee (D-California)
    This August, Lee introduced the Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act to defend medical marijuana operators from losing their property – a tactic the federal government has used in both threats and reality. "The people of California have made it legal for patients to have safe access to medicinal marijuana, and as a result thousands of small business owners have invested millions of dollars in building their companies, creating jobs and paying their taxes," Lee said. "We should be protecting and implementing the will of voters, not undermining our democracy by prosecuting small business owners who pay taxes and comply with the laws of their states in providing medicine to patients in need." The bill has struggled to move since being referred to committee on August 14. Lee also co-sponsored the States Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, the Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 and the Truth in Trials Act.
    Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado)
    In 2010, when the feds raided a number of medical marijuana operations in Colorado, Polis spoke up in defense of his constituents. In a letter to Eric Holder, Polis urged the attorney general to enforce the Justice Department’s written guidelines, which discourage federal interference with legal medical marijuana operations at the state level. Polis also co-sponsored the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act and the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act – but it was his showdown this June with Drug Enforcement Agency head Michele Leonhart that really earned him his stripes. When Leonhart testified before a House judiciary subcommittee, Polis pressed her on whether drugs like crack and heroin are more or less dangerous than marijuana. Leonhart contended that "all illegal drugs are bad," refusing to acknowledge any distinction between pot and harder substances. "If you don’t know, you can look this up," Polis retorted. "You should know this as the chief administrator for the Drug Enforcement Agency." Video of the exchange went viral, providing a clear example of the irrational beliefs behind pot prohibition.
    Rep. Early Blumenauer (D-Oregon)
    As a speaker at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws conference in 2010, Blumenauer told attendees they had reached their "decade of decision." Despite his past statements in favor of marijuana legalization, he is one of the weaker advocates on this list after failing to back Oregon’s legalization initiative, Measure 80, which will be on the ballot in November. However, Blumenauer has continued to speak out for drug reform, and he has co-sponsored many of the recent pro-pot bills, including the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, the States Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act and the Truth in Trials Act.
    Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-Connecticut)
    Last year, Connecticut’s governor signed a marijuana decriminalization bill into law. Instead of facing a $1,000 fine and possible jail time, marijuana offenders now must pay $150 for their first offense and between $200 and $500 for subsequent violations. This spring, Malloy also signed a new law making Connecticut the country’s 17th state to legalize medical marijuana. (As his opponents often point out, Connecticut’s governor has a personal stake in marijuana policy reform: His son, now in his twenties, has had multiple legal run-ins allegedly involving marijuana.)
    Gov. Pete Shumlin (D-Vermont)
    When Vermont legalized medical marijuana in 2004, the legislation had one gaping loophole: It did not allow for dispensaries. To assist the patients who were now legally allowed to use medical marijuana but forced to grow their own or buy on the black market, Shumlin signed a bill last summer authorizing up to four medical marijuana dispensaries in Vermont. And late last year, Shumlin joined two other governors – Washington’s Christine Gregoire (a Democrat) and Rhode Island’s Lincoln Chafee (an Independent) – in petitioning the Drug Enforcement Agency to reclassify marijuana, moving it out of the highly restrictive, non-medical Schedule I category to at least Schedule II, which would recognize marijuana’s medical benefits. (Shumlin has been harder on so-called synthetic marijuana, recently signing a ban on chemicals commonly found in the substances. "We’re not talking about a plant that is grown, like marijuana," he said. "This junk will kill you.")

    Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan)
    In 2008, while serving as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Conyers slammed the Drug Enforcement Agency and its leader, Michele Leonhart, for executing pot raids on California’s regulated medical marijuana program. Pulling few punches, he made clear his opinion that dispensary-busting was an inappropriate response by the DEA and a waste of resources. "Please explain what role, if any, emerging scientific data plays in your decision-making process to conduct enforcement raids on individuals authorized to use or provide medical cannabis under state law," he wrote in a pointed letter to Leonhart. At a press conference last summer, Conyers went further, arguing for the decriminalization of marijuana for recreational use. He also co-sponsored Frank’s Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act.

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-10-best-politicians-on-pot-20121009#ixzz29Cuh4pRY

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    New Hampshire Jury Nullifies Major Felony Marijuana Case

    Posted on September 20, 2012. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, Civil law and order | Tags: , , , , , |


    Marijuana

     

    Written by  Alex Newman

    Following the adoption of a new state law on jury nullification in June, a New Hampshire jury nullified its first major felony marijuana case on September 14 when jurors decided to free Doug Darrell, a 59-year-old father of four grown children who was growing illegal plants in his backyard. Activists hailed the decision as a significant victory for the jury nullification movement, which aims to revive awareness about the power inherent in juries to protect citizens from overzealous prosecutors and bad laws by nullifying cases.  
    Darrell, a Rastafarian piano tuner and woodworker who has been married for almost four decades, was arrested after a National Guard helicopter spotted some marijuana plants on his property in Barnstead. State prosecutors charged him with cultivation, a felony that could have carried up to seven years in prison.
    It was clear that he had been growing the marijuana — nobody disputed that. Eventually Darrell was offered a deal that would have allowed him to avoid jail time and fines in exchange for a misdemeanor guilty plea. He refused, however, citing his religion and its view that marijuana is a sacrament. So the case went to trial.
    Jurors, led by liberty-minded activist Cathleen Converse of the Free State Project, decided Darrell should be set free. “Mr. Darrell is a peaceful man, he never deals with the darker elements of society and he grows for his own personal religious and medicinal use,” Converse said during an exclusive interview with Free Talk Live, a freedom-oriented talk-radio program. “I knew that my community would be poorer rather than better off had he been convicted.”
    So, to prevent that, she helped convince other jurors to do as the defense suggested: vote their conscience and declare Darrell a free man. “Many of us wondered what kind of precedent this would set,” Converse continued. “But after chewing on all of the possibilities and re-reading the definition of nullification, we all decided that the only fair thing to do was to vote with our consciences and acquit the defendant of all charges.”
    Jury nullification, of course, is a time-tested practice that goes back to before the American Declaration of Independence. Essentially, it occurs when members of a jury decide to free somebody even though prosecutors prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused did indeed violate a criminal statute.
    Juries have historically relied on nullification for various reasons including to reject unjust or unconstitutional laws, to free defendants in cases where laws have been misapplied by overzealous officials, and more. During alcohol prohibition it became commonplace as jurors refused en masse to convict their compatriots for drinking illegal substances.
    Before that, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay informed a jury in 1794 that jurors have “a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy.” Numerous other Supreme Court justices and Founding Fathers have touted the practice, too. And despite being largely overlooked today, activists across America are trying hard to build awareness about it.   
    In June, those nullification advocates secured a major victory. New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch signed HB 146 into law allowing defendants to inform jurors about the jury’s “right to judge the application of the law in relationship to the facts in controversy.” That law does not officially take effect until January, but it has already made waves throughout the state’s judiciary system.
    “It’s a really important development,” Darrell’s defense attorney Mark Sisti told the New Hampshire Union Leader, adding that most state residents have no problem with moderate marijuana use by adults and that legislatures across America are rethinking their laws on the controversial plant. “We’re moving along a path we should have been on years ago.”
    Sisti acknowledged, though, that the judge’s decision to instruct the jury about nullification was crucial to the victory. Judge James O’Neill, following the state’s model jury instruction on nullification, told jurors that "even if you find that the State has proven each and every element of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt, you may still find the defendant not guilty if you have a conscientious feeling that a not guilty verdict would be a fair result in this case."
    While warning that jury nullification is not a “get-out-of-jail-free card,” Sisti celebrated the ruling and the clearing of his client. "Cases like this shouldn’t be brought," he was quoted as saying. "And when they are brought, I think that safety valve, that nullification safety valve, is very important. Other states had better start waking up, because without it, people are going to be convicted of very serious charges through hypocrisy. The jury’s going to think they can’t do anything else, and that’s wrong."
    The prosecutor who brought charges against Darrell for his illegal plants also admitted that the judge’s decision to instruct the jury on nullification was key to the government’s defeat, but she tried to downplay its effect going forward. “I don’t see it as being that significant in changing our practice and the practice of the court,” the prosecutor told the Union Leader
    Cathleen Converse, the juror who reportedly helped push the case for nullification, however, is among a growing number of Americans who believe that there should be a victim for something to be considered a crime. “Mr. Darrell seemed to be the only victim here,” she explained after the acquittal. “Almost everyone said this just shouldn’t have happened to these peaceful people.”
    In New Hampshire — the official state motto is “Live Free or Die” — such views have become increasingly influential. That’s in part due to the birth of the Free State Project, an ongoing plan to have thousands of liberty-minded people from across America move to the Granite State to build a more libertarian society. FSP activists have already elected more than a few lawmakers, and their influence continued to grow.
    "So far, over 12,750 participants have pledged to relocate to the state, and more than 1,000 have already moved, over a dozen of which are currently elected members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives," said Free State Project President Carla Gericke in a press release touting the acquittal. "Once here, participants are free to pursue their own causes and I’m excited to see that progress is being made."
    While the Darrell case probably will not be shutting down the unconstitutional, trillion-dollar federal drug war anytime soon, analysts said it was an important milestone in several respects. For one, it illustrates the growing opposition to imprisoning people for drug use, which has been a key contributor to the fact that the United States has far more prisoners per capita than any other nation in the world. Well over a dozen states have already nullified federal marijuana laws
    More importantly, perhaps, the acquittal of Doug Darrell represents a significant revival of jury nullification. The centuries-old practice has always been a critical tool in the fight against government tyranny. So, with the victory in New Hampshire and many more anticipated in the near future, liberty-minded activists across America are hoping the trend spreads quickly to other states.
    Related articles:
    New Hampshire Passes Jury Nullification Law
    Former Drug Warrior Persecuted for Activism Uses Arrest to Push Jury Nullification
    Judge Sentences Politically Incorrect Juror to More Jury Duty
    State Lawmakers Blast Obama’s War on Medical Marijuana
    A Brilliant Exposition on the Effectiveness of Nullification
    Drug War a “Failure,” Says N.J. GOP Gov. Chris Christie
    The Other Unconstitutional War

    CONTINUE READING…

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    Eric Holder Urged To Oppose Marijuana Ballots By Ex-DEA Heads

    Posted on September 15, 2012. Filed under: Absolute Assinine Law, Cannabis/Marijuana | Tags: , , |


    Eric Holder Marijuana

    By Alex Dobuzinskis

    LOS ANGELES, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Nine former heads of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration urged Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday to take a stand against possible legalization of recreational marijuana in three western states, saying silence would convey acceptance.

    The former officials said in a letter sent on Friday that legalization would pose a direct conflict with federal law, indicating there would be a clash between the states and the federal government on the issue.
    Voters in Colorado, Washington state and Oregon are due to decide in November whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use and to regulate and tax its sale.
    "To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public and the global community a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives," they said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters. A spokeswoman for Holder declined to comment on the letter.

    The letter is similar to one they sent Holder in 2010 urging him to oppose a recreational pot legalization ballot measure in California. It was defeated with 53.5 percent of voters rejecting it.
    Holder opposed the California measure before the vote, warning that U.S. officials would enforce federal laws against marijuana in California despite any state legalization.
    Kevin Sabet, a former senior adviser on marijuana issues to President Barack Obama’s administration, said he would not be surprised if Holder took that same position again.
    "Essentially, a state vote in favor of legalization is a moot point since federal laws would be, in (Holder’s) own words (from 2010), ‘vigorously enforced,’" Sabet said. "I can’t imagine a scenario where the Feds would sit back and do nothing."

    Obama administration officials have until now said little about the upcoming ballot measures, although the federal government has cracked down on medical cannabis dispensaries in several states by raiding them and threatening legal action.

    PUBLIC SUPPORT
    In recent years polls have shown growing national support for decriminalizing marijuana. In May, an Angus Reid survey showed 52 percent of those polled expressed support for legalizing pot. The poll of 1,017 respondents had a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

    Gallup saw support hit 50 percent last year, the highest number the organization had ever measured on the question.
    In the swing state of Colorado, the marijuana measure with its potential to bring out young voters is seen as potentially influencing votes for president. Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling said earlier this year that marijuana "could be a difference maker" in the state.

    The nine signatories to Friday’s letter included John Bartels, who ran the DEA from 1973 to 1975, and Karen Tandy, who was in charge from 2003 to 2007.
    Tom Constantine, who was in charge of the DEA from 1994 to 1999 and also signed the letter, said the former administrators hoped it would send a message to voters and alter the public debate.
    He said the letter had been sent so "voters would know in all fairness that no matter what they vote on in Colorado or wherever it is, that federal law still prevails."
    In response to a 2011 petition to legalize and regulate marijuana, Obama administration drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said at that time that federal officials were concerned about the drug because it was "associated with addiction, respiratory disease and cognitive impairment."

    Legalization advocates say the decades-old drug war in the United States has failed, and they compare laws against marijuana to the prohibition of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933. They argue that society would be better served if marijuana could be taxed and regulated.

    While no U.S. state allows recreational use of marijuana, 17 states and the District of Columbia permit its use in medicine.

    "Anyone who is objective at all knows that current marijuana policy in this country is a complete disaster, with massive arrests, wasted resources, and violence in the U.S. and especially in Mexico," said Jill Harris, managing director of strategic initiatives for Drug Policy Action, which has poured money into legalization campaigns.

    (Reporting By Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and David Brunnstrom)

    CONTINUE READING…

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    Guilty verdict in case of Yippie caught with 155 pounds of pot

    Posted on September 10, 2012. Filed under: Absolute Assinine Law, Activists, Cannabis/Marijuana, Marijuana & the Law | Tags: , , , , , , , , |


    Originally posted on U.S. Marijuana Party:

    PUBLISHED FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2012 AT 6:19 PM / UPDATED AT 8:46 PM
    article photo
    CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD
    Dana Beal
    Guilty verdict in case of Yippie caught with 155 pounds of pot
    By Paul Hammel / World-Herald Bureau

    LINCOLN — One of the original members of the ‘60s revolutionary group, the Yippies, was found guilty this week of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver after being caught with 155 pounds of baled pot in a van at Ashland, Neb.

    Saunders County District Judge Mary Gilbride, in an order dated Tuesday, also rejected, for the second time the use of a “choice of evils” defense by Dana Beal, 65, of New York City, a long-time advocate for using marijuana as medicine, and the official historian of the Yippie Museum.

    Beal, at a trial last month, admitted he was a passenger three years ago in a van carrying the marijuana.

    But in court…

    View original 332 more words

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    Full cloning cannabis tutorial

    Posted on July 19, 2012. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, EDUCATIONAL |


    Originally posted on Spring_Bloom:

    View original

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        PoliticoMitch McConnell plays hardball on PATRIOT ActPoliticoRepublican divisions on Capitol Hill over the PATRIOT Act deepened Tuesday as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell privately made his case against a popular House bill that would end the National Security Agency's bulk data collection program.Mitch McConnell's One-Man ShutdownBloomberg […]
      • The Kentucky Gubernatorial primary is another blow to Mitch McConnell - Hot Air May 20, 2015
        Lexington Herald LeaderThe Kentucky Gubernatorial primary is another blow to Mitch McConnellHot AirYou probably remember Matt Bevin, who was a big Tea Party favorite in his challenge to Mitch McConnell in the 2014 Senate primary but was rather thoroughly stomped on election day. Well, he's still in the game and hoping to become Governor instead.As Matt […]
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      • Ron Paul Ads Warn of Financial Crisis - Wall Street Journal May 21, 2015
        Wall Street JournalRon Paul Ads Warn of Financial CrisisWall Street JournalFormer Rep. Ron Paul is warning in television commercials of a calamitous U.S. financial crisis that could bring civil unrest and a stock market collapse—a crash “infinitely worse than the crisis of 2008.'' He urges viewers to prepare by buying a ...Ron Paul's celebrity […]
      • Ron Paul On The Public Debt And The Collapse Of The Dollar - Forbes May 21, 2015
        Ron Paul On The Public Debt And The Collapse Of The DollarForbesOver the past few years, many experts have been warning of a crisis heading our way. More specifically, the concerns have centered on the inevitable collapse of the U.S. dollar. One of these individuals is former Congressman Ron Paul, who has stated ...
      • Ron Wyden and Rand Paul kill the Patriot Act (ish) - Boing Boing May 23, 2015
        Boing BoingRon Wyden and Rand Paul kill the Patriot Act (ish)Boing BoingAfter an all-night session, Rand Paul [R-KY] and Ron Wyden [D-OR] tag-teamed majority leader Mitch McConnell [R-KY] and beat him to the mat -- he has abandoned the current legislative effort to extend section 215 of the Patriot Act, which authorizes ...WaPo: McConnell-Paul Relationship S […]
      • ​Military spending bill 'guarantees' more US conflicts, forbids war debate ... - RT May 18, 2015
        RT​Military spending bill 'guarantees' more US conflicts, forbids war debate ...RTThe Republican-led House of Representatives used “trickery” when it passed the military spending bill, slipping in $89 billion for an emergency war fund while leaving out an amendment allowing for a debate on war, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul ...New Military Spen […]
      • Why Bernie Sanders is the Ron Paul of 2016 - The Week Magazine May 4, 2015
        The Week MagazineWhy Bernie Sanders is the Ron Paul of 2016The Week MagazineThat may come as a surprise to Ron Paul's son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is already running a serious race for the GOP nomination. But while Rand Paul is touting himself as a "different kind of Republican," he's not running as an outsider or a fringe ...and more […]
    • RSS Kentucky.Gov Press Releases

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      • Court cases in 11 more counties may now be filed electronically May 22, 2015
        Jamie Neal Public Information Specialist502-573-2350, x 50033 jamieneal@kycourts.net http://courts.ky.gov
      • Secretary Grimes to Recognize Memorial Day May 22, 2015
        Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is reminding Kentuckians that Monday, May 25, is Memorial Day, the national holiday recognizing military servicemen and women who have died while serving the United States in the armed forces. Lynn Sowards ZellenDirector of CommunicationsSecretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes(502) 330-9839Email: lynn.zellen@ky.g […]
      • Kentucky Kingdom Approved For Incentives by Tourism Development Finance Authority May 22, 2015
        The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority today approved incentives for a $15 million expansion project at Kentucky Kingdom amusement park in Louisville. Gil Lawson,502-564-4270, ext 168gil.lawson@ky.gov
      • Corrections Officers to Get Pay Raises to Retain Staff - Increase Recruiting May 22, 2015
        The Kentucky Department of Corrections will enhance its compensation for correctional officers and other hazardous duty staff under a plan announced this week to stabilize the workforce in state prisons. Jennifer Brislin502-564-7554 (office)502-753-9766 (cell)
      • Gov. Beshear to Lead Trade Mission to Canada Next Week May 22, 2015
        Gov. Steve Beshear will lead a Kentucky Export Initiative (KEI) trade mission to Canada starting Monday. The companies, which represent a variety of industries throughout the Commonwealth, will be personally matched with Canadian businesses and distribution networks. These meetings will allow the companies to form partnerships and begin selling products to K […]
    • RSS Kentucky.gov/hemp

      • Microsoft Word - 2. KSU Regional Grant Proposal.doc May 23, 2015
        Produce, hemp, tobacco, meat and other products from the area were shipped to http://cpe.ky.gov/nr/rdonlyres/19613de8-2f60-410a-9c24-599dd6863ba2/0/ksuregionalgrantproposalandstrategicplan.pdf - 1MB
      • AgendaItemD2legwrapup.PDF May 23, 2015
        Agenda Item D-2 LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP May 22, 2000 In addition to the biennial budget (discussed in Agenda Item G-3), several important pieces of legislation were passed in the last few days of the session. … http://cpe.ky.gov/nr/rdonlyres/58e375da-9ead-420f-aa48-dfd58a523d21/0/agendad_2.pdf - 43KB
      • CHE ( ) PC ( ) May 23, 2015
        Hemp can be grown; research Agriculture http://cpe.ky.gov/nr/rdonlyres/0f27c10e-9610-4d83-8fb4-dff5fbeddf16/0/agenda_d1legup.pdf - 19KB
      • D-1 Legislative Update1.PDF May 23, 2015
        Creates industrial hemp research program http://cpe.ky.gov/nr/rdonlyres/6cfb50aa-f6f8-462f-8585-60ecb97137e8/0/20010319_agendaitem1.pdf - 32KB
      • Update1.PDF May 23, 2015
        Creates industrial hemp research program http://cpe.ky.gov/nr/rdonlyres/dafa367a-f527-4b9f-a518-de28acdc560d/0/20010205_agendaitem3.pdf - 16KB
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    • RSS KENTUCKY SIERRA CLUB

      • Part-Time, Contracted Job Opening: Field Organizer, KY Sierra Club May 13, 2015
        Our Cumberland Chapter of the Sierra Club (aka the Kentucky Chapter), is looking for a part-time organizer to support our work on Mountaintop Removal in Eastern Kentucky. The position is available on a contract basis, and is grant-dependent. The contractor … Continue reading →
      • Job Opening: KY and IN – FT Sierra Club Beyond Coal Senior Campaign Rep May 12, 2015
        Sierra Club’s ground-breaking Beyond Coal Campaign is seeking a Senior Campaign Representative to work in southern Indiana and western Kentucky with a talented team to phase out aging coal plants and replace them with clean, renewable energy. The Beyond Coal Campaign … Continue reading →
      • 2015 KY General Assembly Wrap-Up March 23, 2015
        Weather and Short Session Challenge 2015 Kentucky General Assembly by Ruth Bamberger, Legislative Committee ChairCumberland Chapter, Sierra Club This year should go down as one of the most unproductive sessions of the KY General Assembly, and nature ironically had a … Continue reading →
      • ALERT HB229 Hearing Cancelled March 5, 2015
        ALERT: DUE TO WEATHER – THIS MARCH 5TH HEARING IS CANCELLED – POSTPONED The Clean Energy Opportunity Act, HB229 (see below for details on this bill), was scheduled to receive a hearing today (March 5, 2015), but due to inclement … Continue reading →
      • KY Clean Energy Opportunity Act – Help Us Get It Passed March 3, 2015
        ACTION ALERT: The Clean Energy Opportunity Act, HB229 (see below for details on this bill), is receiving a hearing this Thursday (March 5, 2015). We need your help to get this legislation passed.  Please: Call Your Representative Call the KY … Continue reading →
    • RSS Committee to Protect Journalists – Alerts

      • Brazilian blogger found decapitated in Minas Gerais state May 20, 2015
        New York, May 20, 2015--Brazilian authorities must fully investigate the murder of a Brazilian blogger, identify the motive, and bring the killers to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The decapitated body of Evany José Metzker was found on Monday in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, according to news reports.
      • In Egypt, editor accused of publishing false news May 19, 2015
        Washington, D.C. May 19, 2015--Egyptian authorities today released on bail the editor-in-chief of the privately owned weekly El-Bayan after arresting the journalist on Monday and accusing him of publishing false news, according to news reports.
      • Burkina Faso suspends live political broadcasts by media May 19, 2015
        Abuja, Nigeria, May 19, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Burkina Faso authorities to lift its suspension of live political broadcasts in the country. The three-month ban comes as Burkina Faso prepares to hold elections in October.
      • Qatar detains international journalists for the second time this year May 18, 2015
        New York, May 18, 2015--For the second time in two months, an international news crew was arrested and interrogated by Qatari security officials while they were reporting on the human rights situation in Qatar in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the detention and calls on the Qatari go […]
      • Venezuelan court bars media executives from leaving country May 15, 2015
        Bogotá, May 15, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a decision by a Venezuelan judge that prohibits 22 news executives from three independent media outlets from leaving the country due to a defamation lawsuit filed by one of Venezuela's most powerful politicians. According to news reports, the lawsuit and travel ban came after three outl […]
    • RSS Voices of the Civil War, a Library of Congress blog

    • RSS Corporate Cannabis

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