Congress quietly ends federal government's ban on medical marijuana Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy. Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so.
California passed proposition 47 on election day, changing a number of crimes- including possession of hard drugs- from a felony to a misdemeanor. Meanwhile, Vermont has decided to offer treatment as an alternative to prosecution for those caught with heroin possession, and Rahm Emanuel has discussed changing Illinois law so that those caught with 1 gram or less of any controlled substance won't recieve a felony in an attempt to get support for tougher gun laws. In addition, Oregon, Alaska, and DC voted to legalize marijuana, and Florida's vote to legalize medical marijuana failed but with 58 percent in favor. Is this the beginning of the end for the War on Drugs?
"Debate has surrounded the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes for decades. Some have argued medical marijuana legalization (MML) poses a threat to public health and safety, perhaps also affecting crime rates ... we analyzed the association between state MML and state crime rates ... Results did not indicate a crime exacerbating effect of MML on any of the Part I offenses. Alternatively, state MML may be correlated with a reduction in homicide and assault rates, net of other covariates." (Press Release) [more inside]
Is breastfeeding while using marijuana child abuse? The (warning: graphic) audio recording of Daisy Bram's pleas to police taking her (15-month- and 4-week-old) children away from her likely affected Butte County, California (Chico) voters' decision to soundly reject Measure A, a proposed new law to restrict marijuana cultivation. Today, Bram faces charges of felony child abuse and misdemeanor child endangerment for breastfeeding while using cannabis.
"Dozens of federal agents on Monday raided the Oakland businesses and apartment of Richard Lee, the state's most prominent advocate for the legalization and regulation of marijuana, carting away loads of pot and belongings but not revealing the purpose of their investigation." ... Today, "[f]our of the six medical marijuana providers who are suing the U.S. government over last year's raids of pot businesses across Montana have been arrested on federal drug charges."
In the summer of 2007 on the campaign trail Barack Obama took a clear stance on the controversial subject of medical marijuana. “I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It’s not a good use of our resources.” As President in 2009 he took action to follow through on this promise by instructing federal prosecutors to “not focus federal resources in [their] States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” The memo cited the “efficient and rational use” of the U.S. Department of Justice’s “limited investigative and prosecutorial resources,” as a motivating factor in the decision." In the winter of 2012 Rolling Stone magazine takes a look back on this subject and the record is surprising. "With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush's record for medical-marijuana busts. "There's no question that Obama's the worst president on medical marijuana," says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "He's gone from first to worst." [more inside]
Study shows medical marijuana laws reduce traffic deaths. 'A groundbreaking new study shows that laws legalizing medical marijuana have resulted in a nearly nine percent drop in traffic deaths and a five percent reduction in beer sales.' 'The study is the first to examine the relationship between the legalization of medical marijuana and traffic deaths.' [more inside]
November 2007 -- Barack Obama: "[I]f the science and the doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the way to relieve pain and suffering is medical marijuana then that's something I'm open to ... But I want to do it under strict guidelines. I want it prescribed in the same way that other painkillers or palliative drugs are prescribed." [more inside]
Even as medical marijuana activists in states like Arkansas, Ohio, and Massachusetts look to legalize medical use in 2012, the ATF has sent letters to gun shops in existing medical marijuana states. The letter says that shop owners cannot sell guns or ammunition if they have "reasonable cause to believe" that the customer is a drug user, even if their use is legal under state law -- and that having or even mentioning a medical marijuana card constitutes reasonable cause. The entire text of the letter can be viewed here. [more inside]
In an apparent reversal (err, 'clarification') of the Oct. 2009 'Ogden Memo' (previously), the DEA has has issued a new memo stating that "Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law." [more inside]
Montel Williams has announced a partnership to bring a high-end, deluxe medical marijuana dispensary to Sacramento, California. This is not the first time Williams has brought the issue of medical marijuana into the media spotlight, having put in previous public appearances to discuss his own firsthand experiences using medical marijuana to treat the symptoms of his multiple sclerosis. This latest venture puts Williams at the head of a growing list of celebrity marijuana legalization adocates, including Drew Carey, Justin Timberlake and others (this last link is possibly NSFW). But does all the Sturm und Drang around the issue of marijuana legalization really signal a changing political reality? Depending upon your perspective, the polls, at least, are starting to look pretty good.
Contrary to the liberalism many read in a highly-publicized DOJ memo in 2009, federal authorities are cracking down on medical marijuana establishments that exist in the gray area between state and national statutes.
Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci take a closer look at issues regarding the availability of medical marijuana. [more inside]
"Earlier this week, Tribune's KTXL Sacramento aired what it says is the first-ever TV station ad for marijuana. The Fox affiliate aired a 30-second spot, paid for by Sacramento-based medicinal marijuana advocacy group CannaCare and produced by KTXL, advertising a medical marijuana dispensary." CannaCare Commercial.
Joseph Casias recently decided, after 10 years, to alleviate the pain of his sinus cancer with medical marijuana--which is legal with a doctor's recommendation in Michigan. A commended Wal-Mart employee for five years, Casias was promptly fired by the company after failing a drug test. Now, Wal-Mart is working to deny Casias unemployment benefits.
Medical Marijuana Apartheid -- as the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy misrepresents (PDF source) the new policy of the American Medical Association (PDF source) in regard to medical marijuana, and the U.S. Congress lifts the ban on Washington D.C.'s Initiative 59 ("the first time Congress has given its assent to a state or local law that permits medical use of marijuana") -- one writer questions whether the "back-door" decriminalization of cannabis has institutionalized class- and race-based discrimination.
A Mendocino mid-fall marijuana harvest as documented by photographer Mathieu Young. (via - with some info)
MEMORANDUM FOR SELECTED UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS: As a general matter, pursuit of these priorities should not focus federal resources in your States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana. For example, prosecution of individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law, or those caregivers in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state law who provide such individuals with marijuana, is unlikely to be an efficient use of limited federal resources. (SLUSDOJM)
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is signalling that marijuana policy will now be considered a matter of state jurisdiction. For obvious reasons, medical marijuana champions are celebrating the administration's committment to depart from the Bush and Clinton eras' previous policies of conducting frequent DEA Raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in California. But with recent signs of a U.S. economy in even more rapid decline than anyone anticipated, and with California being particularly hard hit, some California politicians are suggesting the time has finally arrived to end the prohibition and put full legalization of marijuana on the table, pointing to potential windfalls in the range of a billion dollars in new tax revenue annually. [more inside]
Last week the second largest US physicians group endorsed medical marijuana. On Friday the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy issued a report which explains why they are wrong.
In his effort to shed light on medical marijuana use, comedian Doug Benson documents not smoking pot for 30 days and then smoking pot for 30 days in a row in Super High Me.
Robin Prosser was a former concert pianist and systems analyst who suffered from an autoimmune disease similar to lupus for over 20 years. The disease left her in constant pain and made her allergic to most pharmaceutical painkillers. Only medical marijuana brought her relief, but last spring the DEA seized her medicine. Unable to cope with the chronic pain any longer, she committed suicide on October 18th. [Via Andrew Sullivan.]
"If marijuana were a new discovery rather than a well-known substance carrying cultural and political baggage, it would be hailed as a wonder drug."
Marijuana, the wonder drug. A new study in the journal Neurology is being hailed as unassailable proof that marijuana is a valuable medicine. It is a sad commentary on the state of modern medicine that we still need "proof" of something that medicine has known for 5,000 years.
The Lesson of Sativex - By approving liquid marijuana, the Canadian government has just certified that virtually everything our own (American) government has been telling us about marijuana is wrong. A little more on Sativex from GW Pharm. (via The Media Awareness Project ... and the MPP)
It seems that marijuana may have yet another medicinal purpose. A recent study has shown that cannabinoids may slow the development of Alzheimer's. With so many states voting in medicinal and/or decriminalization laws, can legalization be that far away?
Real Reason the Government Won't Debate Legalization of medical cannabis and industrial hemp re-legalization? Since reading the previous AARP FPP and an article about how DEA Ruling Renders Federal Approval of Medical Marijuana Impossible while the Supreme Court weighs marijuana as medicine, I found the historical perspective in "Real Reason" about how the current state of insanity quite enlightening... and not too hard to believe. (Please try to separate information herein from its location and knee-jerk accusations of Godwinism.)
AARP poll finds older Americans favor medical marijuana. With a medical marijuana case in front of the Supremes, and with a dozen states now with medical marijuana laws on the books, AARP decided to take a poll. Here's what they found: "Nearly three-fourths of older Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical use." My father (a senior citizen) takes prescribed Marinol (synthetic THC) as an appetite stimulant; my wife, a cancer survivor, got through chemotherapy largely on the strength of the weed I was able to buy on the street in New York. [MI]
Rescheduling marijuana: third time's the charm? Rather than hoping activist judges use the outdated notion of state's rights to allow Angel Raich to use marijuana medicinally (she claims she'd die without it), why not reclassify it as Schedule II? Or more appropriately, Schedule III? Don't hold your breath. They've been trying since 1972.
Medical Marijuana is finally going to be addressed by the Supreme Court. What this will come down to is federal law vs. state law. Who has the right to make the final decision?
Medical marijuana win in federal court. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 Tuesday that prosecuting these medical marijuana users under a 1970 federal law is unconstitutional if the marijuana isn't sold, transported across state lines or used for non-medicinal purposes.
Maryland voted to reduce penalities on folks who smoke marijuana for medical purposes. It's passed the house and is on it's way to becoming law!
City officials to give away weed. A Santa Cruz councilman wants to show solidarity with those arrested in a recent federal raid on a medicinal growing operation. Apparently "the whole community is up in arms about this." This, being the raid, not the medicinal use of marijuana. Is the general public's attitude finally starting to sway?
Drug War Roundup III A 70% increase in the price of cigarettes seems to have dropped the teenage smoking rate by 7%. On May 15 you heard the Drug War Czar say anti-drug ads were a flop. He announced a new campaign the next day. San Franciscan test subjects in a medical marijuana study say they're given "low-potency ditch weed." Subjects in a similiar study in Canada say the weed they're given is way too good. Lastly, Canada is debating whether to decriminalize smoking pot on the heels of a committee conclusion that it doesn't lead to hard drug use, committing more crimes or driving fast.
Utah Judge Rules Medical Pot is In via the Utahns for Compassionate Use. "During a preliminary hearing for three patients in Cedar City on Wednesday March 27, 2002 Judge Braithwaite bound patients over for trial and ruled that their medical marijuana arguments do count in a Utah Courtroom even though Utah has different laws than California." My question, of course, is: do you really spell it "Utahns?"
Bob Barr keeping Washington D.C. from announcing medical marijuana election results. The government of the nation's capital skips the U.S. Constitution. Anything goes.
"Next week, MPP is suing the government in federal court, arguing that it is our constitutional right to run a medical marijuana ballot initiative in the District of Columbia. If our lawsuit is successful, MPP will be permitted to circulate petitions on the streets of D.C. this spring, for the purpose of placing our medical marijuana measure on the November 2002 ballot."
DEA nominee leaves the door open for medical marijuana
He's probably just getting my hopes up.
He's probably just getting my hopes up.
What your government isn't telling you:
Pot Cures Cancer
Pot Cures Cancer
one, two, three. considering this is the same bunch that put our current resident in the whitehouse, why do i have a bad feeling about this?
Nevada, Colorado approve medical marijuana but Alaska's decrim measure goes down in flames.