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The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime

"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]
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth on Mar 27, 2014 - 22 comments

Free My Babies

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.
posted by mrgrimm on Jun 11, 2012 - 92 comments

Pot police target political dissidents

"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."
posted by mrgrimm on Apr 3, 2012 - 149 comments

Progress Stalled

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]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Feb 19, 2012 - 128 comments

Traffic deaths: leading cause of death among Americans ages 5 to 34.

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]
posted by VikingSword on Dec 1, 2011 - 74 comments

Take That, Hippies

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]
posted by waraw on Oct 7, 2011 - 250 comments

States' Rights Meet Gun Rights

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]
posted by vorfeed on Oct 5, 2011 - 145 comments

Hopes for prohibition's end - up in smoke.

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]
posted by FatherDagon on Jul 1, 2011 - 151 comments

Montel Williams Wants to Sell You Weed

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.
posted by saulgoodman on Jun 17, 2011 - 52 comments

Don't you let that deal go down.

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.
posted by clarknova on May 9, 2011 - 35 comments

All Cannabis Use Is Medical

A 35 minute conversation on medical marijuana with Michael Backes.
posted by gman on May 3, 2011 - 19 comments

When drugs are illegal, only medically supervised outlaws will use drugs

History repeats itself and medical pot clubs have a historical precedence. [more inside]
posted by serazin on May 1, 2011 - 28 comments

Hardly Ever--Okay, Always

Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci take a closer look at issues regarding the availability of medical marijuana. [more inside]
posted by KChasm on Apr 20, 2011 - 41 comments

The 411 on 420.

Check Out This Joint: How WeedMaps turned marijuana reviews into big business.
posted by GrammarMoses on Nov 7, 2010 - 30 comments

They gave me a way to live.

"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.
posted by hippybear on Sep 2, 2010 - 20 comments

Wal-Mart fires Associate of the Year for using (state legal) medical marijuana

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.
posted by mrgrimm on Mar 18, 2010 - 83 comments

Only the rich can safely get high

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.
posted by mrgrimm on Dec 17, 2009 - 36 comments

Harvest Time.

A Mendocino mid-fall marijuana harvest as documented by photographer Mathieu Young. (via - with some info)
posted by gman on Nov 3, 2009 - 94 comments

Obamaryjane

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)
posted by gerryblog on Oct 19, 2009 - 94 comments

Green Grow the Rushes Go

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]
posted by saulgoodman on Feb 27, 2009 - 124 comments

The White House Knows Best

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.
posted by Mr_Zero on May 11, 2008 - 41 comments

Super High Me.

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.
posted by gman on Apr 13, 2008 - 86 comments

Now if only there were some way to get snacks out of a machine...

Marijuana vending machines. [more inside]
posted by Mister_A on Jan 30, 2008 - 90 comments

Come on Down

Drew Carey defends medical marijuana.
posted by Curry on Nov 5, 2007 - 61 comments

RIP Robin Prosser

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.]
posted by homunculus on Oct 29, 2007 - 68 comments

"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.
posted by ZenMasterThis on Mar 2, 2007 - 80 comments

Liquid cannabis

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)
posted by mrgrimm on Apr 22, 2005 - 50 comments

Is there anything it can't do

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?
posted by Mr_Zero on Feb 23, 2005 - 38 comments

War on (Some) Drugs?

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.)
posted by Enron Hubbard on Dec 19, 2004 - 21 comments

The AARP says, toke up!

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]
posted by enrevanche on Dec 18, 2004 - 23 comments

Heroin, PCP, ketamine, marijuana?

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.
posted by mrgrimm on Dec 2, 2004 - 42 comments

...to the highest court in the land...

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?
posted by Dantien on Jun 30, 2004 - 32 comments

Medical marijuana win in federal court.

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.
posted by skallas on Dec 17, 2003 - 31 comments

Medical Marijuana in MD

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!
posted by cpfeifer on Mar 27, 2003 - 11 comments

City officials to give away weed.

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?
posted by FiveFrozenFish on Sep 17, 2002 - 20 comments

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.
posted by raaka on May 19, 2002 - 16 comments

Utah Judge Rules Medical Pot is In

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?"
posted by massless on Apr 5, 2002 - 2 comments

Bob Barr keeping Washington D.C. from announcing medical marijuana election results.

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.
posted by magullo on Feb 6, 2002 - 15 comments

"Next week, MPP is suing the government in federal court,

"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."
posted by wfrgms on Dec 15, 2001 - 6 comments

DEA nominee leaves the door open for medical marijuana

DEA nominee leaves the door open for medical marijuana
He's probably just getting my hopes up.
posted by snakey on Jul 18, 2001 - 2 comments

What your government isn't telling you:
Pot Cures Cancer
posted by lagado on Jun 13, 2001 - 16 comments

supreme court rejects medical use of marijuana


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?
posted by bliss322 on Mar 26, 2001 - 35 comments

Nevada, Colorado approve medical marijuana

Nevada, Colorado approve medical marijuana but Alaska's decrim measure goes down in flames.
posted by snakey on Nov 8, 2000 - 2 comments

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