tagged w/ 420
NORML - Next week’s Patients Out of Time (P.O.T.) conference in Rhode Island features numerous speakers and interesting topics, but the announcement by Harborside Health Center of the development a new Cannabidol-centric strain of cannabis I suspect will be of great interest to patients, medical providers and cultivators.
I think it also a shining example of why the Drug Enforcement Administration should not bust and harass laboratories contracted or operated by cannabis wellness centers that test and analyze cannabis that is sold into the medical collective for the very reason that these forensic labs provide necessary patient information regarding potency, purity and medicinal effects based on plant strain.
The availability of a new type of medical cannabis strain will be presented for the first time by Steve DeAngelo, who has been featured on CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, and The New York Times as Executive Director of one of the nation’s top model and non-profit medical cannabis dispensaries, Harborside Health Center in Oakland, California.
DeAngelo will announce the availability of this type of non-psychoactive cannabis that has been lab tested with California strains with CBD (Cannabidol) at the 6th Annual National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics on Friday, April 16th at 12PM Noon at The Crown Plaza Hotel, 801 Greenwich Avenue, Warwick, Rhode Island.
Conference information can be found at: www.medicalcannabis.com
For three decades, DeAngelo has been an engaging speaker as he cuts through the stigma, and delivers the true facts about cannabis. His exciting and important presentation will include results of the first large scale analytical study of California’s medical cannabis supply, which revealed that one of the most medically efficacious cannabinoids—CBD—has been bred out of plants grown primarily for psychoactive effect. Only within the past year have CBD-rich cannabis varieties been identified, thanks to an analytical chemistry lab that DeAngelo helped launch.
Recent research has demonstrated that CBD is effective in slowing or reversing a number of different types of cancer; as well as other serious illnesses. In response to the shortage of CBD rich cannabis varieties, Harborside has initiated a program to identify such strains, and encourage growers to propagate them. Because CBD modulates the psycho activity of THC, some patients respond better to varieties of cannabis which couple low THC levels with high CBD levels, because they enhance medical efficacy while reducing or eliminating psycho activity. This is particularly true for cannabis-naïve patients, who have no prior experience with it, prior to receiving a recommendation from their doctor. “Ultimately, there will be greater demand for CBD-rich cannabis, than there is for cannabis that just gets you high” predicts DeAngelo. “Only a small percentage of people enjoy the psycho activity of cannabis, but almost everybody can benefit from its medical properties”.
The 6th Annual Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics is the only one of its kind in the United States for health professional to learn about the many benefits of cannabis therapeutics. Medical professionals can receive their CME (Continuing Education) credits for attending this forum through the University of California, San Francisco.
http://blog.norml.org/2010/04/09/new-strain-of-medicinal-marijuana-announced/NORML - Next week’s Patients Out of Time (P.O.T.) conference in Rhode Island... more
CANNABIS CULTURE - Toronto police say the aggressive raid against the city's largest provider of marijuana to medical patients, the C.A.L.M. Compassion Club, was due to "community complaints."
Division 51 of the Toronto Police issued the following statement regarding last week's raid.
Nine people face 27 charges in drug investigation, $210,000 of drugs seized
Broadcast time: 17:19 Tuesday, April 6, 2010
51 Division 416-808-5100
On Wednesday, March 31, 2010, at 3:39 p.m., as a result of community complaints, officers from 51 Division executed a search warrant at 106 Queen Street East, Cannabis As Living Medicine, also known as C.A.L.M.
It is alleged that:
- employees were involved in the sale of marijuana and hashish, - police located 16,589 grams of marijuana, 1940 grams of hashish, 207 grams of hash oil, a large quantity of hash cookies, hash lollipops and hash butter and $31,000 in proceeds of crime ? the total value of the drugs seized was $210,000.
Neev Tapiero, 38, of Toronto, has been charged with:
1) two counts of Possession of Marijuana for the Purpose of Trafficking, 2) two counts of Possession of Hashish for the Purpose of Trafficking, 3) five counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance Schedule II for the purpose of Trafficking, 4) Possession of Marijuana for the Purpose of Trafficking, 5) Possession of Proceeds of Crime.
Sean Mullings, 33; David Grech, 31; Kareem Bruzual, 28; Sandra Petite, 54; Gloria Cantwell, 57; Angela Sawula, 41; Amy Brown, 28; Brendan Moffit, 26; all of Toronto, have each been charged with:
1) Possession of Marijuana for the Purpose of Trafficking, 2) Possession of Hashish for the Purpose of Trafficking.
They were scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall, on Thursday, April 1, 2010, room 103, at 10 a.m.
C.A.L.M.'s owner Neev Tapiero told Cannabis Culture shortly after the raid that in the past, police had always dealt with complaints in a civil manner.
"There are many ways to respond to complaints that don't involve criminal charges," Neev said. "This was a pretty poor way of dealing with it. We had kind of an unspoken truce before this with police, where they could contact us directly or indirectly about complaints."
http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2010/04/09/Toronto-Cops-Raided-Compassion-Club-Over-Community-ComplaintsCANNABIS CULTURE - Toronto police say the aggressive raid against the city's... more
Legislation to legalize dispensing, growing and using marijuana for medical purposes has been introduced in the Ohio House.
Passage is unlikely, but if that happens, Ohio would become the 15th state to make medical marijuana legal.
The primary sponsor is Rep. Kenny Yuko, D-Richmond Heights, but there are five other sponsors. The Drug Policy Alliance in Ohio worked with Yuko in drafting the bill, which is similar to Senate Bill 343 from the last session but has significant changes, backers said.
Edward J. Orlett, a former state lawmaker who is Ohio representative for the California-based Drug Policy Alliance, said if the state doesn't pass the legislation, voters could take matters into their own hands. Michigan residents did that in passing a similar medical marijuana ballot issue in 2008.
Among other things, the bill would allow certified cardholders who verify they have debilitating medical conditions to grow marijuana plants. However, it would require them, when they are not at home, to keep the plants in a locked "room, greenhouse, garden or other enclosed area that is out of public view."
- Article from The Columbus Dispatch.
http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2010/04/06/Ohio-Bill-Proposes-Legalizing-Medical-MarijuanaLegislation to legalize dispensing, growing and using marijuana for medical purposes... more
With California ready to vote on legalizing marijuana this November, pot lobbyists in Washington, D.C. say Colorado will be a legal weed battleground come 2012.
"Colorado is a state that looks intriguing for 2012," said Steve Fox, Director of State Campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group that has pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into Colorado's pro-pot fight over the past several years.
The cash -- from both side of the issue -- will likely increase dramatically, especially if California voters pass the marijuana initiative this year.
"There is a short list of states that have the (ballot) initiative process and look ripe for an initiative to tax and regulate marijuana," Fox said.
Colorado is a good testing ground for pot. The state has a ballot initiative process. Colorado also allows people to obtain marijuana for medial needs. In 2000, Colorado voters approved Amendment 20, a ballot measure that let people with certain illnesses and pain to obtain and consume medical marijuana. There are currently 60,000 people on the state's medical marijuana rolls -- a list of those who have received a doctor's recommendation to obtain marijuana for medical needs. The numbers are likely to increase, which could create an insurmountable voting block by 2012.
"The Denver City Council has approved regulating medical marijuana dispensaries," Fox said. "So the concept of taxing and regulating marijuana is not foreign."
Though polling indicates Californians support legalizing pot, no one can say how the vote will fall in November.
"I think the vote in California will be close," Fox said. "But the momentum in the country is showing increased levels of support. We are nearing a tipping point and the consensus is that it does not make sense to keep marijuana illegal."
Fox said his organization is busy gathering pro-pot signatures for a legalization ballot test in Nevada. After that, Colorado is the next likely target.
While many law enforcement agencies, parent groups and Colorado's attorney general oppose all things marijuana; those savvy in the ways of sativa see good things on the horizon.
"I hear that 2012 is the time for Colorado," said Kayvon Khalatbari, owner of Direct Relief, a Denver-based medical marijuana dispensary that handles about 200 patients. "California has always been a few steps ahead of the Colorado (medical marijuana industry). They have been at the forefront in changing on how people think about it."
California voters approved a medical marijuana ballot issue in 1996, and as Khalatbari points out, the Golden State remains intact.
"People now realize that the sky will not fall, and there is a huge amount of taxes to be gained from taxing marijuana similar to alcohol and tobacco."
Though Khalatbari has an established dispensary, he welcomes full legalization.
"If you could legalize it, you would open the market to more people and they could try it and see it is safer than alcohol," he said. "In time, there would be more acceptance of marijuana and that would lead to more medical testing to learn what the potential is for medical marijuana."
But don't expect the law and order types to line up behind the pro-pot movement. Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is chief among marijuana critics -- medical or otherwise. He has called marijuana a gateway drug. He has warned that easy access to marijuana has played a major role in the state's high school dropout rates.
"A lot of people say, 'He's just a dinosaur drug warrior,'" Suthers told Denver's Westword newspaper recently. "But I care about future generations, and somebody's got to have their eye on the ball ... has anybody stopped to think the problem is too many kids are coming to school high? That's why we have the dropout rates we do."
But even Suthers knows this matter will come down to a ballot vote in the near future.
"The Attorney General has said that the issue of legalization is an appropriate issue for Colorado to address," said Suthers's spokesperson, Mike Saccone. "But he won't be voting in favor of any legalization."
- Article from The Huffington Post.
http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2010/03/29/Will-California-Lead-Rocky-Mountain-HighWith California ready to vote on legalizing marijuana this November, pot lobbyists in... more
Medical marijuana comes to South Park in a new episode of the popular Comedy Central cartoon premiering Wednesday, March 31 at 10:00pm.
In "Medicinal Fried Chicken", a store that sells medicinal marijuana moves into the quiet mountain town of South Park, Colorado, according to a press release issued by creators of the show. The boys are surprised to find the only Kentucky Fried Chicken location in South Park converted to a medical marijuana dispensary.
According to the release, "State Law in Colorado says it's legal to smoke pot if you have a physician's reference. Randy is the first-in-line to buy some, but he's turned away because there's absolutely nothing wrong with him. Randy is desperate to get a medical excuse to smoke some weed but, meanwhile, Cartman will do anything to get his beloved fried chicken restaurant back."
Colorado has seen an explosion of medical marijuana dispensary openings in recent months, with records showing more med-pot locations than liquor stores, Starbucks or public schools. The converted KFC location in the show is a undoubtedly a reference to the real-life "Kind For Cures" dispensary in Southern California housed in an old KFC building.
For those not familiar with South Park, the controversial cartoon started in 1997 and is now in its 14th season, remaining the highest-rated series on Comedy Central. Co-creators and executive producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone have poked fun at the marijuana issue in several past episodes, including with a reoccurring pot-smoking bath-towel named Towelie, who is constantly reddening his huge eyes by puffing joints.
Marijuana culture has been featured on a number of other cartoons and comedy shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy in recent months, provoking cries of "sending the wrong message" from groups like the Parents Television Council, and leading to debates in the news media.
http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2010/03/29/Medical-Marijuana-Sale-South-ParkMedical marijuana comes to South Park in a new episode of the popular Comedy Central... more
Well, the ex-Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey that is. (As a rule, acting Drug Czar’s do not debate marijuana law reformers in public forums.)
Below(Above) is the clip from this afternoon’s edition of the Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC.
Before anyone comments, yes I am well aware that the host — who was clearly favorable to NORML’s position — did not give us equal time. Then again, former General McCaffrey is a regular consultant to MSNBC (and a guest) so the deference was to be expected. That said, Ratigan, to his credit, did allow me the first and the last word on the subject.
Anyone who wants to read all of what I would have liked to have said, given the proper time, can see my recent commentary — Are U.S. Pot Laws the Root Cause of Mexican Drug Violence? — from last week’s online edition of The Hill, or you can listen to my recent appearance on FoxNews.com. I think they say it all.
http://blog.norml.org/2010/03/26/normls-deputy-director-debates-the-drug-czar/Well, the ex-Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey that is. (As a rule, acting Drug Czar’s... more
WASHINGTON -- Mexican criminal organizations have more than doubled heroin production in a year and have cemented their grip as the predominant wholesale suppliers of illicit drugs in the United States, a government report concluded Thursday.
The National Drug Threat Assessment found that Mexican groups were the only drug trafficking enterprises operating in every region of the United States.
The study by a unit of the Justice Department says Mexican traffickers increased the flow of heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States, while they increased production of those drugs in Mexico.
The reach of Mexican drug operations comes with the availability of illicit drugs in the United States on the rise, the report said.
In 2009, the prevalence was increasing in some areas of the United States for four of the five major drugs: heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and MDMA.
Cocaine shortages persisted in many markets as they have since 2007 due to decreased cocaine production in Colombia, increased worldwide demand for cocaine in Europe and elsewhere, and enhanced counterdrug efforts by the Mexican government.
Heroin production in Mexico rose from 17 pure metric tons in 2007 to 38 pure metric tons in 2008, with the increase translating to lower heroin prices and more heroin-related overdoses and more overdose deaths, according to government estimates in the report by the National Drug Intelligence Center.
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/03/25/1547256/report-mexican-traffickers-cement.htmlWASHINGTON -- Mexican criminal organizations have more than doubled heroin production... more
New York's medical marijuana bill has already passed the State House and now has favorably cleared a key Senate Committee as part of the state budget.
Millions in license fees are at stake, but proponents say that's not the reason it should be approved.
This is coming only months after New Jersey passed a similar law. Patients suffering from neurological and muscular diseases report tremendous relief from smoking pot and as a muscular dystrophy patient, Rich Morosky told lawmakers it's a godsend.
Morosky was in Albany Tuesday describing life before marijuana. "I would literally have to straighten my arms out, untangle my fingers," he said. "Once I got up to therapeutic dosage in my bloodstream, it's not like I'm getting all wacky and having a good time. I'm medicated, and this medicine works."
With medical marijuana already legal in 14 states, opposition to the bill is weakening, but it still makes a lot of people nervous. "We've seen it in California. It doesn't work in California. We believe, I believe personally that it's a gateway drug and it will open up for more usage of marijuana amongst kids, and lead to further drug use across our state," said Sen Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn).
The New York law would limit prescriptions to seriously ill patients and there be no home grown weed. Licensed growers and distributors would generate $15 million annually for the state, according to the bill's sponsors who said the time has come.
"The New York Law would be the most restrictive of any medical marijuana law in the country," said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan).
Advocate Jim Miller said New York could learn from New Jersey's legislative experience. "How dare we ask sick and dying people to come and beg their legislators for relief they know could be had" he said.
The law, as written, would put the State Health Department in charge of the New York medical marijuana program. Opponents point out the Health Department has a hard enough time preventing Medicaid fraud without taking on a controlled substance.
- Article from CBS News.
http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2010/03/24/NY-Lawmakers-Mull-Medical-Marijuana-LegislationNew York's medical marijuana bill has already passed the State House and now has... more
MPP's Aaron Smith appears on CNBC debating prohibitionist spokeswoman Calvina Fay about the merits of TaxCannabis 2010, the initiative to tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Cjkyg45j64MPP's Aaron Smith appears on CNBC debating prohibitionist spokeswoman Calvina Fay... more
MPP's Sarah Lovering appears on KTTV Fox in LA to discuss the reasons to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol. Today a ballot initiative, TaxCannabis 2010, was approved that will give California voters the chance to allow adult possession and cultivation of marijuana for recreational purposes. 03/24/2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97ajGkHgqOoMPP's Sarah Lovering appears on KTTV Fox in LA to discuss the reasons to tax and... more
Perhaps only in California could a group of marijuana smokers call themselves fiscal realists.
And yet, faced with a $20 billion deficit, strained state services and regular legislative paralysis, voters in California are now set to consider a single-word solution to help ease some of the state’s money troubles: legalize.
On Wednesday, the California secretary of state certified a November vote on a ballot measure that would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana, a plan that advocates say could raise $1.4 billion and save precious law enforcement and prison resources.
Indeed, unlike previous efforts at legalization — including a failed 1972 measure in California — the 2010 campaign will not dwell on assertions of marijuana’s harmlessness or its social acceptance, but rather on cold cash.
“We need the tax money,” said Richard Lee, founder of Oaksterdam University, a trade school for marijuana growers, in Oakland, who backed the ballot measure’s successful petition drive. “Second, we need the tax savings on police and law enforcement, and have that law enforcement directed towards real crime.”
Supporters are hoping to raise $10 million to $20 million for the campaign, primarily on the Internet, with national groups planning to urge marijuana fans to contribute $4.20 at a time, a nod to 420, a popular shorthand for the drug.
The law would permit licensed retailers to sell up to one ounce at a time. Those sales would be a new source of sales tax revenue for the state.
Opponents, however, scoff at the notion that legalizing marijuana could somehow help with the state’s woes. They tick off a list of social ills — including tardiness and absenteeism in the workplace — that such an act would contribute to.
“We just don’t think any good is going to come from this,” said John Standish, president of the California Peace Officers Association, whose 3,800 members include police chiefs and sheriffs. “It’s not going to better society. It’s going to denigrate it.”
The question of legalization, which a 2009 Field Poll showed 56 percent of Californians supporting, will undoubtedly color the state race for governor. The two major Republican candidates — the former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman and the insurance commissioner, Steve Poizner — have said they oppose the bill.
Jerry Brown, the Democratic attorney general who is also running for governor, opposes the idea as well, saying it violates federal law.
And while the Obama administration has signaled that it will tolerate medical marijuana users who abide the law in the 14 states where it is legal, a law authorizing personal use would conflict with federal law.
Supporters of the bill say the proposal’s language would allow cities or local governments to opt out, likely creating “dry counties” in some parts of the state. The proposed law would allow only those over 21 to buy, and would ban smoking marijuana in public or around minors.
Stephen Gutwillig, the California state director for the Drug Policy Alliance, a New York-based group that plans to raise money in favor of the measure, said he expected “a conservative implementation,” if passed.
“I think most local jurisdictions are not going to authorize sales,” Mr. Gutwillig said.
Local opt-out provisions are part of a strategy to allay people’s fears about adding another legal vice and to help capture a group considered key to passing the bill: non-pot-smoking swing voters.
“There’s going to be a large sector of the electorate that would never do this themselves that’s going to sort out what the harm would be versus what the supposed good would be,” said Frank Schubert, a longtime California political strategist who opposes the bill. “That’s where the election is going to be won.”
But Dan Newman, a San Francisco-based strategist for the ballot measure, said he expected broad, bipartisan support for the bill, especially among those Californians worried about the recession.
“Voters’ No. 1 concern right now is the budget and the economy,” Mr. Newman said, “which makes them look particularly favorable at something that will bring in more than $1 billion a year.” Opponents, however, question that figure — which is based on a 2009 report from the Board of Equalization, which oversees taxes in the state — and argue that whatever income is brought in will be spent dealing with more marijuana-related crimes.
Mr. Standish said: “We have a hard enough time now with drunk drivers on the road. This is just going to add to the problems.”
He added: “I cannot think of one crime scene I’ve been to where people said, ‘Thank God the person was just under the influence of marijuana.’ ”
Advocates of the measure plan to counter what is expected to be a strong law enforcement opposition with advertisements like one scheduled to be broadcast on radio in San Francisco and Los Angeles starting on Monday. The advertisements will feature a former deputy sheriff saying the war on marijuana has failed.
“It’s time to control it,” he concludes, “and tax it.”
Not everyone in the community is supportive. Don Duncan, a co-founder of Americans for Safe Access, which lobbies for medical marijuana, said he had reservations about the prospect of casual users joining the ranks of those with prescriptions.
“The taxation and regulation of cannabis at the local or state level may or may not improve conditions for medical cannabis patients,” Mr. Duncan said in an e-mail message. He added that issues like “police harassment and the price and quality of medicine might arise if legalization for recreational users occurs.”
Still, the idea of legal marijuana does not seem too far-fetched to people like Shelley Kutilek, a San Francisco resident, loyal church employee and registered California voter, who said she would vote “yes” in November.
“It’s no worse than alcohol,” said Ms. Kutilek, 30, an administrator at Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco. “Drunk people get really belligerent. I don’t know anybody who gets belligerent on marijuana. They just get chill.”
- Article from The New York Times.
http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2010/03/25/Legal-Marijuana-Advocates-Focus-New-GreenPerhaps only in California could a group of marijuana smokers call themselves fiscal... more
Two Los Angeles City Council committees approved nearly $1,600 in fees for medical marijuana dispensaries, marking the beginning of the end for hundreds of pop shops that will be wiped out by a city ordinance that severely limits where they can operate.
The fees will fund criminal background checks for the shops' managers, but they're also the last component of the ordinance, with one councilman predicting that noncompliant shops will start being shut down in May. The fees still need to be approved by the ever-slow-moving city council, which has been facing an anarchic, blossoming medical marijuana scene in L.A.
City officials warned would-be pot-shop runners to register with the city now so the background checks can begin.
The City Council's Planning and Land Use Management and Budget and Finance committees on Tuesday approved about $1,595 in registration fees. Councilman Ed Reyes said the city would hopefully begin enforcing its new medical marijuana dispensary rules in May.
About 545 shops are in operation in the city, according to a comprehensive count by LA Weekly (PDF). The City Council voted to reduce that to 187 and eventually 70. One way they'll be weeded out: The shops must be at least 1,000 feet away from schools, churches and other "sensitive use" sites.
The pro-medical-marijuana group Americans for Safe Access has challenged the ordinance in court and now states that it might also seek a temporary restraining order to prevent any shops from being closed down under the law.
- Article from LA Weekly.
http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2010/03/25/LA-Dispensary-Crackdown-Expected-MayTwo Los Angeles City Council committees approved nearly $1,600 in fees for medical... more
Squatch and the cute hella mella girls &intern dream jeanie bring you an hour of fun and information.Recipes for medicenal patients+ special guest .Come feel the grooveSquatch and the cute hella mella girls &intern dream jeanie bring you an hour of... more
Marijuana growers and others in Humboldt County, California where the illegal drug is grown in large quantities, worry what legalization will do to the local economy.Marijuana growers and others in Humboldt County, California where the illegal drug is... more
3 years ago
The following speech was given by NORML’s Deputy Director before nearly 500 attendees on Saturday, March 13, at the opening plenary of Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s 11th International Conference, at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. To read full coverage of the conference, please see DRCNet’s report here.
My name is Paul Armentano and I’m the Deputy Director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and I’m the co-author of the book Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? Max, Amber, Stacia and the many good folks at SSDP invited me to come here today to talk to you about how and why students have a vital role to play in ending marijuana prohibition.
First let’s talk about the “why”: self-preservation. The federal government has declared war on you.
Since 1965 law enforcement in this country have arrested over 20 million people for marijuana offenses. But when you take a closer look at who is actually arrested you find that, for the most part, it isn’t the folks sitting on this panel; it’s all of you sitting out there – it’s young people.
In short – the so-called ‘war’ on marijuana is really a war on youth.
According to a 2005 study commissioned by the NORML Foundation, 74 percent of the 800,000 or so Americans busted for pot each year are under age 30, and one out of four are age 18 or younger. That’s nearly half a million young people at risk of losing their school loans, or being saddled with a lifelong criminal record at a time when they are just entering the workforce. We’re talking about an entire generation – and that’s you out there – that has been alienated to believe that the police and their civic leaders are instruments of their oppression rather than their protection.
And the sad fact is: you’re right!
The question is: What are you going to do about it?
If we’re going to finally end this 70+ year failed public policy known as marijuana prohibition, then we need students to play a lead role. Obviously those of you in this room have already taken a critical first step in leading this charge by joining SSDP and attending this conference. But there’s a lot more to be done and there’s a lot more that you can do.
I believe that it was Ghandi who demanded that those who are oppressed be a part of there own liberation, and marijuana prohibition is no different. I want you to look around you because it’s you all who will ultimately bring about an end to prohibition.
CONTINUED>>> http://blog.norml.org/2010/03/19/why-students-hold-the-key-to-ending-marijuana-prohibition/The following speech was given by NORML’s Deputy Director before nearly 500... more
A new poll reports half of New York voters support legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
The Siena Research Institute shows 50 percent back legalization, while 41 percent are opposed and 9 percent say they don't have enough information.
Pollster Steven Greenberg pointed out demographic divisions in the results, with 72 percent support among those who consider themselves liberal, 62 percent among those 18 to 34, and 55 percent among Democrats.
“Half of New York voters support legalizing the use of medical marijuana in New York, while 41 percent oppose it,” Greenberg said.
“Democrats and independents, downstaters, young, white and Jewish voters support it. Republicans, upstaters, older voters, and African American, Catholic and Protestant voters oppose it.”
Opposition includes 61 percent of those who consider themselves conservative, 59 percent of Republicans and 48 percent of those 55 and older.
The poll released Monday surveyed 810 registered voters last Monday through Thursday. It has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.
In January, former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine signed a bill that made New Jersey the 14th state in the country to legalize marijuana for medical use.
The law does not permit people to grow marijuana privately, but allows certain patients to buy up to 2 ounces per month at state-monitored dispensaries.
- Article from The Associated Press.
http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2010/03/22/Half-New-York-Voters-Support-Medical-MarijuanaA new poll reports half of New York voters support legalizing the use of marijuana for... more
Despite surveys showing a majority of Canadians approve legalizing possession of small amounts of pot, the law isn’t changing any time soon.
In the grand scheme of things, marijuana policy isn’t likely to bring about a change of government.
Despite surveys showing a majority of Canadians approve legalizing possession of small amounts of pot, the law isn’t changing any time soon.
But that hasn’t stopped advocates from pressuring the prime minister on the subject, nor has it prohibited, pardon the pun, Stephen Harper from sounding like an early-1900s social reformer trying to ban the demon drink.
Marijuana prohibition was the hottest topic among the questions submitted prior to the PM’s YouTube interview last week, and he was gracious enough to give an answer.
But instead of coming off with the intelligence he’s known for, or even as the master obfuscator he has become, Harper hilariously morphed into Mr. Mackey, the guidance counsellor from the rabble-rousing animated show South Park.
“The reason drugs are illegal is because they are bad,” he said, after a preamble about his kids, and completely negating studies that show marijuana really isn’t all that harmful.
He went on to comment on how drugs are controlled by evil foreign cartels, and even if they were legalized, they would never be a respectable business.
If respectability were such a concern, it’s a wonder he hasn’t taken a run at the tobacco industry, porn or payday loan companies.
But hey, he’s a conservative politician preaching a law and order agenda. No one can be all that surprised.
What’s galling about all this is the utter condescension shown the reasonable opinion of a majority of Canadians.
But he’s in good company.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, who as an Ivy League egghead probably saw enough trust fund babies find success while doing far worse than smoking pot, laughably told a group of high school kids they’re practically pointing a loaded gun at their heads by lighting up a “marijuana cigarette.”
The least these two supposedly smart men could try to offer, in defending their positions on the matter, is some actual intelligent debate, rather than talking to Canadians as if they were their pre-teen children.
It’s one thing to offer a kid a rote response, but adults deserve better.
- Article from Toronto Sun.
http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2010/03/22/No-High-Times-HillDespite surveys showing a majority of Canadians approve legalizing possession of small... more
OTTAWA — Marijuana is the illegal drug of choice in the Canadian Forces, according to the first random tests of the entire military.
Almost one in 20 Forces members - 4.7 per cent - "recently" used illicit drugs, says the newly released study based on random urine samples.
And the vast majority were using some form of cannabis, with cocaine, morphine and codeine far behind.
The survey results are based on 1,327 mandatory urine samples taken randomly, without prior notice, among all three services and across the country. Refusal to provide a urine sample could result in disciplinary action.
Previous illicit-drug surveys in the Canadian Forces had concentrated on smaller populations in one of the branches, or among key military professionals such as submariners or divers.
But to establish a broad baseline, the Canadian Forces carried out its widest survey yet, between Feb. 2 and April 6, 2009. Mandatory urine samples were demanded "at unpredictable times and without prior notice."
However, the samples were "blind" in that the identity of the individual tested was not recorded, and therefore no sanctions could be applied to anyone testing positive.
The anonymous samples were sent to an independent lab hired by the military, and an analysis of the results was completed in January. A copy of the analysis was obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.
Marijuana can be detected in the urine weeks after use, depending on how much is ingested and how frequently it has been taken. The tests showed that about four per cent of those tested had traces of cannabis in their samples.
In Canada, some surveys have found up to 12 per cent of the general population acknowledging use of illicit drugs, with marijuana by far the most popular.
The military has previously estimated usage in its ranks at about four per cent, and mandatory tests imposed in 2006 on soldiers headed to Afghanistan have helped hold levels in check. The Canadian Forces have a zero-tolerance policy for illicit drugs.
The new survey results found that military drug users generally are males age 39 years or younger; are in lower ranks; have not completed a university or college degree; and are in common-law relationships or have never been married.
"The BDT (blind drug testing) results indicate that for CF full-time members, gender, age, rank and highest level of education are strong predictors of illicit drug use," says the report.
The authors call for more in-depth study of the findings, and more detailed breakdowns of the demographics of illegal drug use.
"The CF are a microcosm of the Canadian population at large, and as such, it is reasonable to expect that a small percentage of CF members will, at one time or another use illegal drugs," spokeswoman Carole Brown said Wednesday.
"It is too early to comment on possible policy changes, as the research results of the pan-CF drug testing have not yet been finalized, and recommendations are still being developed."
The study identified Canadian Forces Base Borden in Ontario as a hot spot for street-drug use, with about nine per cent of individuals testing positive.
The base is the largest training facility in the Canadian Forces, with an average of 15,000 personnel passing through each year. Brown said military recruiters attempt to screen applicants for drug use, and will deem them "temporarily unsuitable" if substance abuse is recent or continuing.
The navy bases at Esquimalt, B.C., and Halifax also showed somewhat higher-than-average drug use in the study, at 5.5 per cent each. The large military facility at St-Jean, Que., had a 5.6 per cent rate.
Previous blind tests that were restricted the army and the navy found levels of illicit drug use at five per cent and 6.5 per cent respectively.
Brown said while the Canadian Forces does not tolerate illicit drug use, it also regards substance abuse as a health issue to be handled through education, treatment and rehabilitation and not solely through disciplinary measures.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5g-RjLvW7FuluWMsem4BjjCk0pQAQOTTAWA — Marijuana is the illegal drug of choice in the Canadian Forces,... more
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A local pastor is preaching the benefits of pot to his followers. But now this marijuana ministry is facing the wrath of county prosecutors.
While Los Angeles city leaders struggle to figure out how to deal with the hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries that have sprung up all over town, law enforcement is targeting alleged law-breakers. A pastor who built his ministry around marijuana is now out of business. One look at the storefront on one West Los Angeles street and you know you're looking at a marijuana dispensary. Beverly Hills Green Cross is different.
Craig Rubin conducts bible study there. The ordained minister is pastor of Temple 420, a marijuana ministry.
"What we've always tried to do, my wife and I, is present god to people who use medical marijuana," said Rubin. "[The Bible] says 'we are healed by his stripes' in Isaiah 53, and a as a Jewish person, I believe the Old Testament, and I think Christians should believe the Old Testament is valid. I teach a course in college called 'The Jewish History of the New Testament.'
"Marijuana is specifically mentioned in the Book of Exodus in a holy anointing oil. It's called 'cannabossum,'" said Rubin.
You could say he practices what he preaches. When asked if he smoked cannabis, Rubin said, "Yes, I do smoke." The last time he lit up? "Ten minutes ago."
L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley says he's cracking down on hundreds of marijuana dispensaries he says are operating illegally in Los Angeles. Cooley says religion is just another way dope dealers try to get around the law to make a profit.
"I want to reach out to people who do smoke pot and let them know that god still loves them, and they're welcome to come to church, and that it isn't a sin to smoke pot," said Rubin.
"I think they're frauds and they're corrupt," said Cooley. "And they should be pursued by people in positions of law enforcement authority."
That's what happened at Rubin's dispensary. After an undercover investigation, L.A. police raided the place on October 22 at 4:20 in the afternoon.
Rubin is in big trouble. He was already on probation after being convicted previously of marijuana possession for sale. Now he's facing those same charges again, plus a possible probation violation that could send him to prison for years.
"Hey, I'm facing jail time," said Rubin. "And really I feel I haven't done anything wrong but try and preach the word."
Rubin said he's being singled out because he's an outspoken advocate for medical marijuana who once ran for mayor of Los Angeles. He says his dispensary was licensed and that he'd consulted with the city attorney's office to make sure they were OK with it.
Rubin was arraigned on Monday. He's acting as his own attorney.
He says god and the law are both on his side, that the law under which he's being prosecuted makes an exception for ordained ministers.
One of his supporters could be seen Monday smoking a marijuana cigarette right outside the courthouse.
"The state makes an exception for duly ordained ministers to run psychological clinics, and we do provide psychological counseling and services, biblical services," said Rubin.
Rubin is due back in court in January, representing himself and his beliefs, with his freedom on the line.
Rubin says he has the documentation to prove his innocence and he's ready to go to trial. He's undeterred by the fact that the last time he acted as his own attorney, he was convicted.
video >>> http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=7137520LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A local pastor is preaching the benefits of pot to his... more
CANNABIS CULTURE - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper answered questions this evening in a YouTube-sponsored poll and interview where marijuana was the #1 issue. As expected, the PM rehashed the same old tired arguments in defense of his destructive cannabis policies.
Marijuana- and crime-related questions dominated the YouTube/Google poll, coming in #1, #2, #3, #4 and several other spots in the top 10. A similar poll of "Ideas for Change" for US President Obama on Change.org also places marijuana legalization at #1.
Below is the video and transcript of Harper's response to questions about marijuana:
TRANSCRIPT>>> http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2010/03/16/Harper-Blows-More-Hot-Air-YouTube-Marijuana-QuestionsCANNABIS CULTURE - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper answered questions this... more