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OfflineSpaceMonkey
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-=- News Thread -=-
    #401693 - 04/15/10 03:29 AM (6 years, 7 months ago)

Ok,  so i do alot of reading on the cannabis news network and would like to start a thread with any and all CURRENT cannabis events. Any entries should be cannabis related and be of relevant information.

Entries are always welcome by any of you members/ mods/ and of course you Admins.
Off topic discussion will not be tolerated in this thread so please keep to the topic.
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Does Marijuana Have Healing Properties?



DU Pot Debates Spark Up Yesterday

The University of Denver yesterday kicked off a series of debates on marijuana with a discussion of the potential medical benefits N and harms N of the drug.

Alice P.  Mead, a spokeswoman for a British research company that develops a medical spray from marijuana, argued that the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) should regulate marijuana if doctors are recommending it to patients.  She said the FDA process has been carefully crafted for more than 100 years, and while not foolproof, gives medical professionals the information on the purity, potency and identity of a product.

“I’m pro the proper testing and standardization of medical products before they’re widely distributed to seriously ill patients,” she said.

In yesterday’s discussion, Mead squared off against Sunil Aggarwal, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Washington.  Aggarwal argued that the medical community has extensive knowledge about the 400-plus chemicals in marijuana.  More than 17,500 research papers and articles on marijuana or its properties came out in 2008 alone, he said.

He added that because marijuana is federally classified as a schedule I drug N meaning it has a high potential for abuse and no legitimate medical use N it’s unlikely that the FDA would regulate the drug.

But Mead said there is a precedent for the FDA approving a formulated product derived from a scheduled I drug; Marinol, which is primarily comprised of THC and helps stimulate HIV/AIDS patients’ appetites, is a scheduled III drug even though it has the major psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Healing properties

Aggarwal is convinced of the healing properties of marijuana.  There is no evidence linking smoked marijuana to cancer, and a published study in peer-review literature found that cannabinoids N the active ingredients in marijuana N reduced the size of brain tumors, he said.

Mead believes there are certain non-psychoactive cannabinoids in marijuana that have healing properties, though most of them have been phased out as marijuana has become a recreational drug.  Sativex, the drug her company N GW Pharmaceuticals N makes is a cannabis extract containing THC and Cannabidiol, a part of marijuana that allegedly carries medicinal benefits without the possible psychoactive properties of THC.  The clinical spray is approved in Canada to treat pain and multiple sclerosis.

Because the THC content varies wildly for each marijuana plant and there are multiple ways to ingest the drug, Mead believes the cannabinoids would need to be extracted from the marijuana in order to be regulated by the FDA.  But she sees tremendous potential benefits if the FDA regulated marijuana.

For one, the FDA process would garner the data necessary for marijuana products to become broadly accepted as true modern medications.  Additionally, the current system in place in states like Colorado and California in which patients are ingesting non-FDA-approved marijuana is possibly leading to sick patients ingesting a high amount of undetected pesticides, fungi and bacteria.  Marijuana samples taken from select California dispensaries found the drug had a level of pesticides that was 170 times higher than herbal products, she said.

Without the FDA process, untrained dispensary owners who are not required to have a background in medicine end up making a variety of claims for their products that may or may not be true, Mead said.  Mead’s experiences in California have led her to believe that many of the doctors recommending medical marijuana to patients do not always have the patient’s health in mind.

But Aggarwal argued that doctors have historically recommended drugs on a see-if-it-works basis.  And with many seriously ill patients reporting a positive reaction to medicinal marijuana, he sees validity in having doctors recommend the drug to patients.

Aggarwal agreed with Mead that more research is needed on marijuana, saying the last time a major scientist got access to marijuana was in the early 1940s.  The resulting report from the New York Academy of Medicine contradicted claims that marijuana results in insanity, assists in criminal behavior, is physically addictive and is a “gateway drug” to harder drugs.  The report was blasted and discredited by anti-marijuana lawmakers.

Mead said the DEA has become increasingly receptive towards allowing legitimate researchers to study marijuana in recent years.  She added that there is research currently being done in Europe on marijuana that could prove beneficial.

“Doing evidence-based research takes time,” she said.  “It is happening, it’s just that it’s not happening as quickly as we’d all like.”

The “Objective Discussion on Medical Marijuana” continues today at noon at the DU Strum College of Law.  The final debate is being held tomorrow and will pit prominent medical marijuana attorney Rob Corry against Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.

Source: Denver Daily News (CO)
Copyright: 2010 Denver Daily News
Contact: letters@thedenverdailynews.com
Website: http://www.thedenverdailynews.com
Author: Gene Davis


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OfflineSpaceMonkey
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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: SpaceMonkey]
    #401694 - 04/15/10 03:35 AM (6 years, 7 months ago)

Colo. judge: Man’s pot use not religious



GEORGETOWN, Colo., March 10 (UPI) — A Colorado man was found guilty of possessing marijuana as he tried to make his case that his religious beliefs necessitate cannabis use, records showed.

Trevor Douglas, 25, Tuesday told a Georgetown court a conviction would violate his First Amendment rights to freedom of religion, the Denver Post reported.

Douglas said he is a member of two churches that share his beliefs about cannabis use, and that his parents taught him to use marijuana for religious ceremonies.

“I hold the plant very sacred to myself. Obviously it is very sacred to my church. It is a way of communicating with God,” Douglas said. “I truly believe that (cannabis) is the botanical messiah.”

Police stopped Douglas in August for driving on an expired vehicle registration. The officer smelled marijuana, and Douglas relinquished it, explaining its religious purpose.

Clear Creek County Judge Rachel Olguin-Fresquez said she found Douglas to be sincere in his beliefs, but the issue was whether his spiritual practices amount to a religion under freedom-of-religion constitutional case law.

Douglas was sentenced to 30 hours of community service and a fine of several hundred dollars.

Douglas said he intends to appeal.

Link: http://tiny.cc/k3d3i
Source: United Press International, Inc


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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: SpaceMonkey]
    #401696 - 04/15/10 04:06 AM (6 years, 7 months ago)

MMJ Garden Proposed for Dunsmuir Business District
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California -- Dunsmuir’s mayor and a medicinal marijuana collective owner want to plant a marijuana garden smack-dab in the middle of the city’s historical business district. “We’re trying to bring the growing of medical cannabis out of the darkness of an underground market and into the legal light,” said Mayor Peter Arth.

Arth, himself a medical marijuana patient, wants to lease three commercial lots he owns at Dunsmuir Avenue and Cedar Street to Green-Collar Compassionate Collective owner Leslie Wilde. The property is across the street from the Siskiyou County sheriff’s substation.

The Dunsmuir City Council will hear public comment on their proposal Thursday.

Arth said three professionally-engineered greenhouses would provide a place to grow high-quality medical marijuana for members of the collective.

Arth said it’s hard to know where the medicine is grown and how safe it is. It could be grown in Mexico, a national forest, or it could be contaminated with pesticides and other chemicals, he said. There is also a criminal element to the marijuana business that sometimes overlaps with the medical marijuana sector, he said.

But fellow council member Mario Rubino has raised objections he said were brought to him by community members, he said.

Rubino sent a memo to the council as part of the agenda packet outlining the concerns.

Since the city contracts with the Siskiyou County sheriff for only 20 hours of protection per day and has no police force of its own, security concerns are paramount, he said.

“It’d be like putting $50,000 in an empty lot with a wooden fence around it,” Rubino said of the project. “That’s going to draw a lot of attention.”

Though the sheriff’s substation is across the street, the expectation that the deputies patrol and secure a medical marijuana grow operation is unrealistic, he said.

“Not having a full-time sheriff, it is unreasonable to recommend such a high-risk potential business, or that the town could provide it a reasonably secure site,” Rubino wrote in the memo.

Arth and Wilde must apply for a historical site alteration permit for the facility by April 23 to get their proposal onto the planning commission’s May 5 agenda, Acting City Manager Alan Harvey said.

“In terms of the proposal, the kind of criteria the planning commission will be applying are: Is this a suitable use? Is this a suitable kind of structure? Does it fit within the context of the historic district? Is it going to significantly modify the features of the historic district?” Harvey said.

Arth said right now the lot is empty aside from some trees.

“So why not move in the direction that we have tried to move in as a city in terms of economic prosperity, toward sustainable agriculture, toward renewable sources of energy, to finding ways to create jobs and more economic stability for our area?” he asked.

Source: Redding Record Searchlight (CA)
Author: Amanda Winters
Published: April 13, 2010
Copyright: 2010 Record Searchlight - The E.W. Scripps Co.
Contact: letters@redding.com
Website: http://www.redding.com/
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/988rJqfo


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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: SpaceMonkey]
    #401697 - 04/15/10 04:10 AM (6 years, 7 months ago)

White House Vows Drug Policy Shift
________________________________________


Posted by CN Staff on April 14, 2010 at 09:39:18 PT
By David Corn
Source: Mother Jones

justice Washington, D.C. -- The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy zapped out a press release on Wednesday morning noting that its director, Gil Kerlikowske (aka the Drug Czar) was testifying before a House subcommittee that the Obama administration is implementing a "new direction in drug policy."

From the release: With drug use accounting for tens of billions of dollars per year in healthcare costs, and drug overdoses ranking second only to motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death, the Nation “needs to discard the idea that enforcement alone can eliminate our Nation’s drug problem,” Director Kerlikowske said.

“Only through a comprehensive and balanced approach – combining tough, but fair, enforcement with robust prevention and treatment efforts – will we be successful in stemming both the demand for and supply of illegal drugs in our country.

“The forthcoming National Drug Control Strategy calls for addressing our Nation’s enormous demand for drugs by scaling up our public health policy response, integrating treatment programs into mainstream medicine, and recognizing that effective drug policy requires engagement at the community level,” Director Kerlikowske said.

He also noted that ONDCP would continue to work to “break down the silos between the prevention, treatment, and law enforcement communities– and the greatest use must be made of the finite resources at our disposal.”

The statement also pointed out that Obama's 2011 budget request seeks a 6.5 percent boost in funding for drug prevention and treatment programs.

But this new direction will not be heading toward legalization. As its director was testifying, ONDCP's website featured an article by Harvard grad student Viridiana Rios that argues against legalization:

As the situation in Mexico and along U.S. border towns has become desperate, calls for legalization are intensifying. The city of El Paso, Texas, passed a resolution calling for studying the merits of legalization as a means to curb violence, and the Arizona Attorney General has also discussed the option of legalization in front of the US Congress. California is considering a measure in November's election.

Might legalization help the situation? My view is likely no. Any legalization attempt focuses on the marijuana markets which are not the core of the violence problem. It is highly valued drugs such as cocaine or heroin the ones which organized criminals are fighting for, it is these drugs that fund terrorist and criminal groups around the world.

Even in the unlikely scenario of an all-drugs liberalization, it is unrealistic to expect a significant diminishing of the influence of Mexican cartels.

The Obama administration is heeding the calls for drug reform when it comes to prevention, treatment, and harsh criminal enforcement. But with moves to legalize marijuana in California and elsewhere seemingly gaining momentum, the administration's reformers are not in sync with the reformers outside the government.

David Corn is Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief.

Source: Mother Jones (US)
Author: David Corn
Published: April 14, 2010
Copyright: 2010 Foundation for National Progress
Website: http://motherjones.com/
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/Hur27ibu
Contact: http://drugsense.org/url/csHMmVtA


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OfflineDungenessDank
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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: SpaceMonkey]
    #401710 - 04/15/10 08:32 AM (6 years, 7 months ago)

:billymaythumbup:

That last article is good to see, but we got a long way to go on drug reform.


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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: DungenessDank]
    #401720 - 04/15/10 10:00 AM (6 years, 7 months ago)

im posting so ill put some stuff in here as the day goes along


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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: mhbound]
    #401998 - 04/15/10 02:56 PM (6 years, 7 months ago)

Colo. Pot Case Highlights Growers' Worries
______________________________________________
Posted by CN Staff on April 15, 2010 at 10:48:42 PT
By Kristen Wyatt, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press

medical Denver -- Pot smoker Chris Bartkowicz thought he had hit pay dirt, bragging to a local television station he would make $400,000 off a basement medical marijuana operation in a well-heeled Denver suburb where neighbors had no idea what he was growing.

A day after KUSA-TV aired his story in February, the Drug Enforcement Administration paid a visit, seizing more than 200 plants and charging Bartkowicz with cultivating marijuana, a federal crime punishable by five to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine.

The first-of-its-kind case since Colorado voters approved medical marijuana in 2000 has alarmed growers across Colorado, prompted a U.S. congressman to decry federal drug enforcement and put Denver's DEA chief on the defensive.

The case underscores the ongoing pressure points over the use of medical marijuana. Bartkowicz had state medical clearance to smoke pot and was a designated grower for other patients. But U.S. prosecutors say even if he was following state guidelines, the drug remains illegal under federal law, despite the Obama administration's decision to relax prosecution guidelines for medical marijuana last year.

Bartkowicz's lawyer, Joseph Saint-Veltri, has declined comment but submitted a legal brief saying Colorado law should be respected. He even quoted a Federalist Paper penned by James Madison extolling states' right to legislate "lives, liberties and properties of the people."

Jeff Sweetin, special agent in charge of the DEA's Rocky Mountain Region, said state and local police hesitate to go after pot growers because of the conflict between state and federal law.

Federal authorities are the only ones left to enforce marijuana laws, he said.

"I'm not here to be the regulator of medical marijuana," Sweetin said, adding he'd prefer to "work the highest-level drug-trafficking organizations."

Instead, he fields daily phone calls and e-mails about medical marijuana growers. Half want the DEA to ignore them; half want the DEA to bust neighborhood dispensaries, he said.

A brief filed in Bartkowicz's case by U.S. Attorney David Gaouette argues that no matter what Coloradans voted for, no grow operation gets a federal pass.

"Colorado's state drug law does not, and cannot, abrogate federal drug laws," Gaouette wrote.

Last year, Deputy U.S. Attorney General David Ogden released a memo saying federal prosecutors wouldn't pursue marijuana dispensaries following state law. Many activists credit Ogden's memo with the recent explosion in marijuana dispensaries in states that allow medical marijuana.

"Because of the Ogden Memorandum, the federal government has induced the citizens of Colorado to believe and conclude that they will not be prosecuted or their property seized," Saint-Veltri wrote in his brief.

Bartkowicz was expected to attend a plea hearing Friday, but Saint-Veltri sought a delay Wednesday, saying he'd lost touch with his client, who couldn't be reached for this story.

Democratic Rep. Jared Polis decried Bartkowicz's arrest in a Feb. 23 letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Polis called Colorado's marijuana approach "both practical and compassionate" and asked Holder to clarify how federal drug authorities plan to address marijuana growers. Polis hasn't gotten a reply, an aide said this week.

Fear of federal prosecution is choking a growing business, marijuana advocates say.

"It has been an intentional tactic from the DEA to show some muscle and show who's boss by busting marijuana growers," said Brian Vicente, head of Sensible Colorado, a marijuana legalization group.

He hopes Bartkowicz's arrest prompts a backlash against the DEA.

"They may have ended up just making a martyr of him and turned the public more in favor of legalization," Vicente said.

In rural Walsenburg, about 150 miles south of Denver, farmer Mike Stetler turned to marijuana after a career growing lettuce and tomatoes. When one of his greenhouses was raided by local authorities in 2008, Stetler set out to persuade officials he's no criminal. He even hosted county commissioners on a greenhouse tour last fall.

"They think we're like a Mexican drug cartel, selling on the streets," said Stetler, 54, who said he started growing marijuana because his daughter uses it for multiple sclerosis.

"We're constantly trying to educate law enforcement, and it's getting better. I think they realize this business is inevitable," Stetler added. "But the fear of federal agents coming down, taking your plants, that's always there."

Stetler wasn't charged with a crime, but 44 plants seized in the raid weren't returned.

Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Author: Kristen Wyatt, The Associated Press
Published: April 15, 2010
Copyright: 2010 The Associated Press


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OfflineSpaceMonkey
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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: SpaceMonkey]
    #402005 - 04/15/10 02:59 PM (6 years, 7 months ago)

Attorney Who Forced Marijuana Issue Dies

__________________________________________________


Posted by CN Staff on April 13, 2010 at 05:20:43 PT
By James Halpin 
Source: Anchorage Daily News

cannabis Alaska -- A Homer lawyer and vocal marijuana proponent responsible for shaping Alaska's pot laws has died in Anchorage. Irwin Ravin died at Providence Alaska Medical Center of undisclosed causes, according to a hospital spokeswoman. He was 70 years old.

Back in 1973, Ravin set into motion more than 35 years of legal tumult in Alaska when he arranged to have himself arrested with a stash of marijuana in his pocket so he could challenge the marijuana laws.

His case went to the Alaska Supreme Court, which ruled in the landmark 1975 case, Ravin v. Alaska, that the law banning home use and possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults violated a constitutional right to privacy.

Ever since, lawmakers, activists and others have waged battled in court over the law and its conflicting implications.

"Supposedly you can possess it in your house," said Sgt. Denny Allen, supervisor of the Anchorage police Community Action Policing team. "But then the question becomes: how do you get it there?"

The Ravin decision did not mention a specific amount one could possess, but in 1982 the Alaska Legislature determined less than four ounces was a personal stash unless there was evidence of sales or distribution. That amount was later reduced to one ounce.

Snipped

Complete Article: http://drugsense.org/url/EwHKOOMA

Source: Anchorage Daily News (AK)
Author: James Halpin
Published: April 12, 2010
Copyright: 2010 The Anchorage Daily News
Contact: letters@adn.com
Website: http://www.adn.com/


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Invisiblemhbound
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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: SpaceMonkey]
    #402014 - 04/15/10 03:05 PM (6 years, 7 months ago)

lol that dude went and ran his mouth about the money he was making...serves him right IMO


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OfflineSpaceMonkey
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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: SpaceMonkey]
    #402015 - 04/15/10 03:06 PM (6 years, 7 months ago)

San Francisco gears up for the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo

______________________________________________________________

Catch the International Cannabis & Hemp Expo this weekend at Cow Palace

The Cow Palace is notorious in these parts.  It's been the site of many events over the years, hosting everything from roller derbies to Dicken's fairs and even last years gun show. 

This weekend,  the Cow Palace in Daly City is about to put on its most controversial trade show up to date;  The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo is coming to the Cow Palace for the first time ever on April 17 and April 18. (Yes, the weekend before 4:20) from 10am to 6pm.

It's a chance for the public to learn about the medical marijuana trade from vendors and speakers and see 100,000-square feet of displays showing off products to grow and ingest marijuana.  The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo will also feature a patient area with the 1st ever approved on-site consumption space (for medical marijuana card carrying patients only), and feature The Connoisseurs Cup 2010 featuring Celebrity Judge, Ed Rosenthal (Cup tickets are available at the  HopeNet, Sonoma Patients Groups and others.)  All proceeds benefit the hemp industry and medical cannabis community.

Last July, Oakland law passed to tax all cannabis plants. Oakland's auditor estimates that based on annual sales of $17.5 million for the four legal cuts in the city, it will generate an estimated $294,000 for Oakland city revenue in its first year.

Be sure to visit the Oaksterdam University Booth to learn more about taxing cannabis.


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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: SpaceMonkey]
    #402206 - 04/15/10 09:27 PM (6 years, 7 months ago)

That last one is an hour away from where I am now.  Too bad i have shit to do during the time that that is going on.  I would really like to go to that too.  damn damn damn.  what was the source of that?  I want to send it to someone.


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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: FurrowedBrow]
    #402333 - 04/16/10 12:48 AM (6 years, 7 months ago)



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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: SpaceMonkey]
    #402335 - 04/16/10 01:00 AM (6 years, 7 months ago)

Jack Herer, father of marijuana legalization movement, dies at age 70 in Eugene

_____________________________________________________________________





Writer and activist Jack Herer, whose 1985 book "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" ignited the modern marijuana legalization movement, died Thursday from complications from a September heart attack that felled him moments after speaking at a Portland rally. He was 70.

Herer had been recuperating since March in Eugene. His wife, Jeannie, was at his side at the house the couple had rented when he died.

"I never accepted that he was really going to go," Jeannie Herer said. "I'm sad that it happened, but I'm glad that it happened in Eugene. Everyone has been wonderful to us here."

Fellow activists expressed sorrow at losing the man who racked up hundreds of thousands of miles crossing the country for nearly 40 years campaigning to restore the hemp plant to American agriculture.

"He was one of my personal heroes," said Madeline Martinez of Portland, executive director of the Oregon chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Herer died just as the movement is gaining momentum. Oregon and 13 other states plus the District of Columbia now permit medical marijuana. Last fall, the Obama administration said it will not prosecute for possession in medical marijuana states. In November, California residents will vote on a legalization initiative; activists in Oregon and Washington are gathering signatures now for similar initiatives.

That political advance grew from Jack Herer's crusade.

He was living in Portland in the early 1980s when he wrote "Emperor," now in its 11th printing.

The book says the government banned hemp in 1939 as part of a campaign to eliminate the scourge that went by the Mexican slang marijuana. But few people, Herer wrote, realized that marijuana was the dried flower of the female hemp plant, which humans had used as medicine for thousands of years.

The rest of the hemp plant, Herer argued, could do nothing less than save the world. For millennia, he said, people made fiber, clothing, rope, fuel, high-protein food from the fast-growing, easily cultivated plant, and they could again.

And Herer loudly proclaimed the right to get high, arguing that in fact, people ought to get high, morning, noon and night. He found medical research showing that marijuana can protect the body against cancer.

Born in New York City, Herer grew up in Buffalo, N.Y, the youngest of three children. He dropped out of high school and joined the Army, serving in Korea. After his hitch, he picked up work as a sign painter.

In the early 1960s, he moved his wife and family to Los Angeles. A short time later, he divorced but stayed close with his children. He married and divorced twice more before marrying Jeannie Hawkins in 2000.

Herer came to marijuana relatively late in life, smoking his first joint at 30. He chucked the sign business and opened a head shop on Venice Beach, then made a lifelong friend in "Capt." Ed Adair, another head shop owner and a longtime marijuana advocate in Los Angeles.

In 1973, the men pledged to campaign until marijuana was legal, everyone imprisoned for possession was freed or they turned 84. Adair died in 1991 and Herer fought on.

Herer was arrested in 1981 for trespassing on federal property while collecting signatures for a California ballot initiative. He served 14 days in prison and started writing, "The Emperor Wears No Clothes."

After his release, Herer moved to Portland to open a head shop called The Third Eye, now a fixture on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard. He completed the book in Portland, got it printed on hemp paper and began his years-long travels across the country.

In 2000, at a hemp festival near Eugene, Herer suffered a stroke and endured a long, agonizing recovery. He had improved in recent years and resumed his speaking schedule. He attributed his better health to daily use of a highly concentrated marijuana oil.

He resumed his heavy travel schedule, which included a Sept. 12 speech at Portland's Hempstalk at Kelley Point Park. He delivered a tub-thumbing speech, walked offstage and fell over from a heart attack.

He survived and eventually his wife rented a house in Eugene, where she cared for him until his death.

Herer is survived by his wife, six children, a brother and a sister. Funeral arrangements are not completed.

-- Anne Saker

Orininal Link posted by FurrowedBrow
Link : http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/04/jack_herer_fatherof_marijuana.html


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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: SpaceMonkey]
    #402336 - 04/16/10 01:05 AM (6 years, 7 months ago)

Dispensary Barred From Selling Medical Pot

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+


In a Preliminary Order Against a Venice-Area Outlet, Judge Says State Law Does Not Allow Sales by Collectives

In a second ruling against a medical marijuana dispensary, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday that bars a popular Venice-area outlet from selling or distributing the drug at its sprawling store on Washington Boulevard.

The decision by Judge James C.  Chalfant could embolden city prosecutors to seek more court orders to close dispensaries as they try to find the most efficient way to reduce the number in Los Angeles.  As he did in a previous case, Chalfant concluded that the state’s medical marijuana laws do not allow collectives to sell cannabis.

Chalfant’s decisions are preliminary orders and both cases are slated to go to trial.  But his rulings against Hemp Factory V in Eagle Rock and Organica, which straddles the Los Angeles-Culver City line, could eventually force the courts to settle the issue, which has become increasingly contentious as prosecutors in Southern California step up efforts to halt such sales.

Most, if not all, collectives sell marijuana to their members for set prices.

In the hearing, Chalfant strongly reiterated his view that the state’s laws were intended to allow medical marijuana patients and caregivers to form collectives to grow pot together and share the harvest, but not to sell it like a product in a retail store.  “Maybe I am too old, but those of us who grew up in the 1960s know what a collective is,” he said.

Asha Greenberg, the assistant Los Angeles city attorney who is handling the case, said Chalfant’s decision should make it clear to the city’s dispensaries that selling marijuana is illegal.

Los Angeles County Dist.  Atty.  Steve Cooley and Los Angeles City Atty.  Carmen Trutanich have pressed that view.  Dispensary operators and their advocates, including Americans for Safe Access, the nation’s main advocacy group for medical marijuana, have insisted that the two prosecutors are misinterpreting the law and recent court decisions.

Trutanich has sued four dispensaries: Hemp Factory V, Organica and two Holistic Caregivers stores in South Los Angeles.

David Welch, the lawyer for Organica and its operator, Jeff Joseph, argued that cash contributions for marijuana are just one way that collective members contribute.  Both said that members cultivated marijuana on site and in Topanga and Malibu.  The judge “has no idea of how we were operating,” Joseph said.  “We weren’t getting any from outside sources.”

Welch dismissed Chalfant’s conclusion as merely an opinion.  “I think we will take this through the process that, in the end, we will be successful,” he said.

Organica, which registered with the city in 2007, was targeted by federal and local narcotics agents and has been raided three times.  In two searches, about 290 pounds of marijuana were seized.  Records show the dispensary had $5.3 million in sales in a 13-month period.

The judge compared it to a Costco, which requires membership but no collective labor.  He also dismissed Joseph’s claim that he lives a modest lifestyle as “weak,” noting that the California Highway Patrol found more than $92,000 in his car.

And he said Joseph provided no evidence that Organica was nonprofit, as state law requires.

“If I was making money, I wouldn’t be broke now,” said Joseph, who also faces a criminal trial on two dozen felony drug charges.

Chalfant appeared offended by some aspects of the case, concluding in his written decision that Joseph was “simply a drug dealer.”

He noted that the collective members were accused of handing out fliers to high school students.  “I personally think that is outrageous,” Chalfant said.  Joseph has repeatedly denied the charge, saying that the successful dispensary didn’t need to recruit members.

Chalfant pointed out that the collective’s records showed 257 of its 1,772 members were 21 or younger.

“How many of the children who are members of Organica are seriously ill?” he asked Joseph’s lawyer.

Welch replied: “Your Honor, I know 16-year-olds who have died of cancer.”

Chalfant’s written decision closely resembles the one he issued for Hemp Factory V on Jan.  29.  At one point in Tuesday’s hearing, the judge said, “As you can tell, I did some cutting and pasting.”

But Chalfant denied Greenberg’s request to require Organica to comply with the state drug-labeling law.  In the Hemp Factory V case, he granted that request because evidence showed the dispensary sold pesticide-tainted pot.

Joseph said Organica has not been open since the last raid, in February.  “Of course not,” he said.  “I’m law-abiding as much as possible.”

He said he is considering whether to open a different business at the location on Washington Boulevard.  “I want to make something else there nonprofit to show that it is about the community,” he said.  “If we move out, it will fall into disrepair.”

Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles Times
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Author: John Hoeffel


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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: SpaceMonkey]
    #402338 - 04/16/10 01:18 AM (6 years, 7 months ago)

THE HIGH COST OF THE DRUG WAR

==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-==


As Quoted from 2008 News Clippings in the MAP DrugNews Archive

While the U.S. deficit approaches $1 trillion, many states and local communities also face major budgetary shortfalls. Yet, despite the economic crisis, your tax dollars continue to fund drug war costs like these:

$40 billion for the drug war.

“Despite a $40 billion-a-year ‘war on drugs’ and political speeches about a ‘drug-free society,’ our society is swimming in drugs: cigarettes, sugar, alcohol, marijuana, Prozac, Ritalin, Viagra, steroids and caffeine.” http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n913/a03.html

$700 million to build prisons in just one state; $100 Million per year to run them.

“[The state prison in Scotland County, North Carolina] is one of six that state lawmakers have approved since 2001 to address a dire need for prison space, and they are already being expanded. When complete, the construction and expansions at all six facilities will have cost more than $700 million and operating costs will top $100 million annually.” http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n702/a11.html

$400 million more to Mexico.

“This past June [2008], Bush struck a deal with Calderon to approve $400 million toward additional drug war assistance (representing a 20% increase in the Mexican anti-narcotics budget) — for still more helicopters, military training, ion scanners, canine units, and surveillance technology.” http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n940/a04.html

$225 million for regional anti-drug efforts.

“It [High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program] is one of 28 similar efforts nationwide, with the federal government spending about $225 million annually to coordinate federal, state and local law-enforcement campaigns.” http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n1082/a02.html

$702,969 to prosecute drug offenses in just one U.S. county.

“Lake County [Illinois] will spend $702,969 prosecuting drug offenses this year . Except for an estimated $30,000 in revenue from asset forfeitures, county taxpayers absorb the difference.” http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n793/a06.html

$178,290 for drug testing in just one school district.

“A $178,290 drug prevention grant means 5,900 drug tests for the Victoria [Texas] school district.” http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n712/a01.html

$615,000 for all kinds of things.

“[Sheriff] Smith Used $615,000 in Federal [forfeiture] funds for Tuition, a Lease, Private Lawyer and More .. $14,400 on employee training and associated travel . a 28-foot boat . $100,000 for a scholarship at Georgia State University . About $9,000 to help a boxing club owner pay her lease . $4,000 in retainer fees for Brunswick lawyer.” http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n654/a13.html

$60,000 for just one police force to buy drugs.

“Estimating controlled drug buys for the average local case run his task force $200, Centeno figured his officers spend at least $60,000 a year just to purchase the drugs they need to seal the average of 300 cases.” http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n526/a01.html

What if, instead of spending such shameful sums, we instead taxed and regulated illicit substances?

“By legalising drugs we can apply the same controls to their production, distribution and consumption as we apply to alcohol and tobacco. And there’s a triple bonus to society: spending on crime prevention will plunge, not just on drug-related policing but on all the criminality arising from the activities of drug-financed gangs; crime levels overall will plunge; and the government becomes a net recipient of monies from drug consumption rather than a net spender via law enforcement. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates that the United States spends $44 billion a year fighting the war on drugs. If they were legal, the US government would realise about $33 billion a year in tax revenue - a net swing of $77 billion.” http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v09/n388/a07.html

If you think that your tax dollars can be better spent, then you know it’s time to change drug policy.


clipped from here: http://marijuananews.com/blog/2009/04/the-high-cost-of-the-drug-war/


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Re: -=- News Thread -=- [Re: SpaceMonkey]
    #402362 - 04/16/10 03:30 AM (6 years, 7 months ago)

Bill To Legalize MMJ Under Review in Wisconsin

______________________________________________________________________



Posted by CN Staff on April 15, 2010 at 04:56:03 PT
By Jessica Bedore
Source: Advance Titan

medical Wisconsin -- If Assembly Bill 554 is voted into law, Wisconsin would be the 15th state to legalized medical marijuana. Area residents who support the bill, also known as the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act (JRMMA), are hoping that the state legislature will vote in favor of the bill before it ends regular business on April 22.

Among the supporters of this bill is Gary Storck, president of Wisconsin NORML and director of communications of Is My Medicine Legal Yet? Storck, who has congenital open-angle glaucoma, has been an advocate of medical marijuana for over 25 years.

He explained that a bill was passed on April 20, 1982 that authorized the establishment of therapeutic research programs to provide cannabis to patients.

Unfortunately for patients, the bill was written with the expectation that the federal government, who holds a monopoly on legal marijuana supplies, would be the provider.

This is what the new medical marijuana bill is trying to change.

Storck says medical marijuana is a safe and effective alternative to harmful prescription drugs.

“Many people are being harmed because they are being forced to take these drugs that are bad for their bodies,” Storck said. “Many of the patients who are on these drugs say that they don’t work well, were addictive or gave them symptoms that were intolerable.”

According to Storck, the benefits of using a natural medication versus a synthetic one are great.

“Marijuana has never been proven to be harmful,” Storck said. “It has never killed any lab animals during tests, and it doesn’t mess with serotonin levels in the brain. It is a natural herb that has been used for thousands of years, so it has a long-term history of being very healthy.”

According to David Nordstrom, a professor at the UW-Whitewater who recently debated with Storck, said we should be doing more test on this drug before we legalize it.

He said that he is not an ac tivist on the issue and is not lobbying for or against the legalization of the drug.

“There are those who want to throw the FDA out the window and go through the legislative political process to choose drugs. That’s not right in my opinion,” Nordstrom said.

Nordstrom also said he doesn’t think there is much backing for the drug by health officials or medical providers.

William Stephan, student nurse’s aide at UW-Oshkosh’s Student Health Center, said marijuana has many adverse effects a lot of people are not aware of.

“Marijuana is a harmful drug that has adverse effects such as psychotic disorders, increased anxiety and depression. Research has also shown that the drug affects heart rate, coordination and memory and could cause learning difficulties,” Stephan said.

Stephan believes that if more people would take the time to research the drug’s true effects, they would no longer support the bill.

A recent poll by ABC News showed that 81 percent of Americans support legalizing medical cannabis, including 75 percent of Republicans.

“I think it has a good chance of passing, but I think that the use will be so limited that many people will not be able to obtain a prescription,” Stephan said.

Storck said the thinks most Democrats in the Wisconsin State Senate will vote to pass the bill. He is unsure about the response from the Republicans.

“No Republicans have come out and said that they will vote for the bill,” Storck said. “Many have said that they support it, but aren’t actively working to make it happen.”

Storck said he is keeping his hopes up for the bill to pass, although, many are beginning to think it won’t.

“We have until April 22 for it to pass out of both committees and have a floor vote,” Storck said. “So far, no vote has been scheduled at this time. We really aren’t seeing a lot of movement.”

Storck said if the bill fails, it will be heartbreaking to many people in Wisconsin.

“The benefits outweigh the risks,” Storck said.

Source: Advance Titan (UW @ Oshkosh, WI Edu)
Author: Jessica Bedore
Published: Thursday, April 15, 2010
Copyright: 2010 Advance Titan
Contact: atitan@uwosh.edu
Website: http://www.advancetitan.com/
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/g4Ug5uN3


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    #402737 - 04/16/10 03:22 PM (6 years, 7 months ago)

Oregon High Court: Employer Free to Fire Medical Marijuana User
___________________________________________________________

By Nathan Koppel

marijuanaFor supporters of legalizing of medical marijuana, yesterday was not a good day.

The Oregon Supreme Court ruled that a state worker who used pot to relieve pain and nausea could be fired for drug use even though he had had a state-issued medical marijuana card.

Oregon is one of a number of states that allows the use of pot for authorized medical reasons.

Here’s an article in The Oregonian on the ruling and here’s the opinion.

The Oregon high court was asked to try to square the state’s dope laws with federal employment law, which can require employers to make accommodations for workers with disabilities. In short, the court ruled that an employer’s accommodation duties did not require it to tolerate medical marijuana use.

Business groups in the state hailed the decision.

The trade group Associated Oregon Industries told the Oregonian that the ruling “could not be better” for Oregon employers. Employers, the group said, should feel free to apply “zero-tolerance” drug policies and refuse to hire applicants who fail drug tests “regardless of medical marijuana registry status.”

The case involved the 2003 firing of Anthony Scevers, a drill press operator with Emerald Steel Fabricators of Eugene. According to court records, Scevers suffered from anxiety, panic attacks, nausea and vomiting and was granted a medical marijuana registry card in 2002, the Oregonian reports. He used pot one to three times a day, but not at work.

Scevers told an Emerald Steel supervisor that he was a medical marijuana user; a week later, he was fired.

Scevers filed a claim with the Bureau of Labor and Industries, which ruled that Scevers’s medical condition qualified as a disability under state law. It ordered the company to pay Scevers $45,000 in damages. The Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the labor bureau’s decision.

The Oregon Supreme Court, however, held that Scevers was not taking marijuana under the supervision of a licensed health care professional, as required by state law, and thus was engaged in the illegal use of drugs ─ a valid basis, according to the court, for Emerald Steel to fire him.

Snipped from: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/04/16/oregon-high-court-employer-free-to-fire-medical-marijuana-user/


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