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Medical Marijuana Research Has Taken a New Direction This Century

Paul Armentano and NORML came out last month with a report, "Emerging Clinical Applications For Cannabis & Cannabinoids: A Review of the Recent Scientific Literature, 2000 — 2009," detailing the findings of scientific research on marijuana and its derivatives for treating a wide range of diseases and conditions -- ALS, Alzheimer's and Fibromyalgia, to name just a few. Paul made a significant observation in the foreword to the report:
Whereas researchers in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s primarily assessed cannabis' ability to temporarily alleviate various disease symptoms — such as the nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy — scientists today are exploring the potential role of cannabinoids to modify disease.
Most of the public has already woken up to the lie that's been told by drug warriors to justify medical prohibition of marijuana, the false claim that it has no medical uses. What may never be fully understood is the opportunities tragically lost, the good that could have been done if promising lines of research had been pursued decades earlier instead of decades later, but for our government's bizarre antagonism against a plant...

Press Advisory: Decision in Charter Challenge to Federal Medical Marijuana Program to be Issued February 2nd in B.C. Supreme Court

Contact: Kirk Tousaw at 604-836-1420 or, or Philippe Lucas at 250-884-9821 or The most comprehensive constitutional challenge to Health Canada's medical marijuana policy and practice will conclude next week in the B.C. Supreme Court. A decision will be heard in BC Supreme Court (800 Hornby Street Vancouver BC Canada) on the 2nd of February at 9 a.m., marking the final chapter of this nearly five year charter challenge. The decision is open to the public. This court case is the most extensive legal challenge ever mounted against Canada's much-maligned federal medical cannabis program. It stems from a May 2004 RCMP raid of a medical cannabis research and production facility near Sooke, B.C. overseen by the Vancouver Island Compassion Society (VICS), a non-profit medical cannabis organization located in Victoria, B.C. The raid resulted in the destruction of over 900 cannabis plants being cultivated for the 400+ members of the VICS, all of whom use medical cannabis with the support of their physicians, and to the arrest of Mr. Mat Beren, who was the VICS employee responsible for the facility at the time of the raid. "Our hope is that the courts will come to the aid of Canada's critically and chronically ill by defending their constitutional right to access and use medical cannabis from a safe source without unnecessary bureaucratic delays or obstacles," said Philippe Lucas, the founder and director of the VICS and a newly elected municipal councillor in the city of Victoria. "Canadians have a well-established legal right to access medical cannabis," added Kirk Tousaw, counsel to Mr. Beren. "It is tragic that Health Canada has not put in place a system to effectively allow patients to exercise that right. Because of their failure, the arrest and prosecution of both patients and caregivers continue to this day." The VICS is a medical cannabis non-profit society founded in 1999 that currently supplies a safe source of cannabis-based medicines to over 850 critically or chronically ill Canadians with a doctors¹ recommendation for its use. Where/When: Vancouver's Provincial Court (800 Hornby St.) on the 2nd of Feb. at 9:00 a.m. What: Final decision in Regina v. Beren Charter challenge Press: Press conference to follow decision (10:15 a.m. EST)
Vancouver, BC

Feature: New Mexico Issues Regulations for Nonprofit Medical Marijuana Grows

Earlier this month, the New Mexico Department of Health issued its long overdue regulations for state-licensed, nonprofit medical marijuana providers, making it the first state to do so. Advocates say the new rules will allow for expanded access to medical marijuana for qualified patients. Not everyone is happy.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signing a bill into law
The process was long and involved, with numerous state agencies and law enforcement entities, as well as patients and advocates all trying to ensure that their interests and concerns were met. Originally mandated to be done by October 2007, the regulations were only finalized this month, with the Department of Health making late revisions based on public comments to earlier versions.

Under the newly promulgated regulations, nonprofit providers can grow no more than 95 plants, including both mature plants and seedlings, and can possess an amount of medical marijuana "that reflects current qualified patient needs." The nonprofits must sell medicine at constant unit prices and without volume discounts.

In order to apply for provider status, the nonprofits must provide copies of their articles of incorporation and bylaws, a list of all people involved in operating the facility, a list of all people who have a 5% or greater ownership in the facility, and have a board of directors that includes at least one health care professional and three qualified New Mexico medical marijuana patients. All of these people must also undergo a criminal background check.

But wait, there's more. As the regulations state:

All applicants must develop, implement and maintain on the premises policies and procedures relating to the medical cannabis program. At a minimum, the policies and procedures will include the following criteria:

  • Distribution criteria for qualified patients or caregivers appropriate for medical cannabis services.
  • Distribution criteria must include a clear identifiable photocopy of each registry identification card of a qualified patient and the patient's caregiver (if applicable) who are served by the nonprofit.
  • Policies and procedures relating to an alcohol and drug free workplace program.
  • A job description or employment contract developed for all employees, which includes duties, authority, responsibilities, qualifications and supervision.
  • A personnel record for each employee that includes an application for employment and a record of any disciplinary action taken.
  • On-site training curriculum, or enter into contractual relationships with outside resources capable of meeting employee training needs, which includes but is not limited to:
    a) Professional conduct, ethics and patient confidentiality.
    b) Informational developments in the field of medical cannabis.
  • Training in security measures and specific instructions on how to respond to an emergency, including robbery or a violent accident.
  • All nonprofits will prepare training documentation for each employee and have employees sign a statement indicating the date, time and place the employee received training and topics discussed, to include the name and title of presenters. The nonprofit will maintain documentation of an employee's training for at least six (6) months after termination of employment.

The new regulations also require patients who are growing their own to submit an application. Patients can grow up to four flowering plants and 12 seedlings. They can also possess up to six ounces of usable marijuana.

"We have worked hard to create a medical cannabis program that will be viable and meet the needs of patients in New Mexico," said Health Secretary Dr. Alfredo Vigil when the regulations were announced. "Now patients can get medical cannabis for their chronic health conditions in a way that is safe and legal under state law."

"I think the regulations will serve the patients of New Mexico well," said Melissa Milam, administrator of the Medical Cannabis Program in the state Department of Health. "I'm really happy that we are moving forward; I think that's better than to continue having this drawn-out debate over the regulations."

The first application by a nonprofit organization was accepted last week, said Milam. "We expect several more soon," she added. One hold-up, she said, was the requirement that all members of the nonprofit's board of directors pass a background check. "We're asking them to do that through the state Department of Public Safety, and those take about two weeks to process," Milam said.

Advocates are hoping the new regulations are a first step only. "We were able to get a lot of the changes we wanted into the regulations, so we're glad that the governor's office was receptive, but we didn't get everything we wanted," said Reena Szczepanski, head of the Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico office, which worked closely with Gov. Richardson for years to push medical marijuana through the legislature. "There will be room in the future to look at things like the regulations on nonprofits and plant limits."

That's because the regulations call for an annual evaluation report, Szczepanski said. "We were able to get that yearly evaluation in there, and that will give us a chance to look at revisions in the future in light of how well the program is meeting the needs of patients. We also wanted state-run providers and didn't get that. That's another thing we can look at in coming years," she said.

Some advocates wish the department had gotten it right the first time around. Bernie Ellis, MA, MPH, an epidemiologist with more than 20 years experience in substance abuse-related research and administration, is one of them. Ellis has worked for medical marijuana in New Mexico for years, dating back to the days of Gov. Gary Johnson. Ellis also brings with him the bitter experience of a federal medical marijuana prosecution in Tennessee where he currently resides. He submitted detailed recommendations on the regulations during the public comment period last year, which interested readers can obtain by contacting him via the link above.

"The biggest frustration that I share with other medical marijuana activists nationally is that the New Mexico legislation could have been the gold standard for administering medical cannabis programs, but instead it has turned out to be just one more 'same old-same old' program with unrealistically low limits on the amount of cannabis patients can possess and providers can grow," said Ellis. "Limiting patients to no more than six ounces of medicine means that patients who grow outdoors will face arrest for possessing any more cannabis than their first six weeks supply. Limiting providers to 95 plants, including those in vegetative growth, means the producers will be able to produce medicine for no more than six patients apiece."

According to Ellis, there are at least 46,000 New Mexicans whose medical conditions currently make them eligible for the state's program, and the state is now considering adding more qualifying conditions. "With these regulations, we are talking about the potential need to license about 7,500 producers (or more) to serve a population like that, instead of licensing a smaller number of producers who could produce at a more realistic level," he said.

Ellis had argued for much larger state-licensed medicinal grows. "I have done preliminary cost and staffing estimates for providers growing an acre of cannabis, which would serve several hundred patients," he said. "There is no state better than New Mexico to do this right. The population there has centuries of medicinal use of this substance, the cultural climate is very favorable for success, and Gov. Richardson put a considerable amount of his own political capital to work to get this passed. But now, after a fifteen month delay releasing the program regulations, we have a program with unrealistically low limits on patients and providers, which will allow patents to be 'legal' only a few months of the year."

"The federal government doesn't seem to get involved with less than 99 plants or 99 pounds; that's where that number comes from," said Milam. "It is a measure to protect providers."

More importantly, said Milam, the patients seem satisfied. "No patients have complained to me about the plant limits," she said. "If they don't have a problem with it, I don't either."

The regulations contain a safety valve for patients, Szczepanski noted. "If a need is indicated by their medical provider, patients can apply to possess amounts over the limit," she pointed out.

The limits on providers also have another negative consequence, Ellis argued. "With those sorts of limits, producers will not have the ability to reduce the price for medical cannabis below the current illicit price, which would defeat the goals of a program like New Mexico's," he said. "If you tell a nonprofit it is limited to 95 plants and it has to set up an elaborate security system and staff the effort commensurate with the security and horticultural needs, I don't see how they will be able to reduce the market price doing that. A larger, properly staffed facility could bring those prices down. Right now, the few providers I've talked to in New Mexico say they're just buying cannabis for patients from the illegal market and paying $200-$500 an ounce for it. I think if it were done right, we could get the cost down to around $50 an ounce."

"We're a very poor state, and many of the patients are on Medicaid or disability," said Milam. "California may have dispensaries everywhere, but they're charging black market prices. Our patients can't afford to pay $400 an ounce on top of their other medications. We're trying to set it up so marijuana is an affordable medication," she said, adding that she was sure licensed growers could beat black market prices.

"The state of New Mexico said it wanted to make cannabis available on demand to patients," Ellis continued, "but the way they're treating medical marijuana patients is analogous to telling a patient with a major infection that she needs penicillin immediately, and then handing her a loaf of bread and instructions on growing her own antibiotics. If a cancer patient has to undergo chemotherapy soon after diagnosis, he needs access to medical cannabis then, not five to seven months down the road when his first harvest might be ready."

Milam didn't disagree. "I've had doctors call me saying their patient needed medical marijuana on an emergency basis, and I have had to tell them to tell their patients to go find it themselves. This is a prime example of why the federal government needs to get marijuana rescheduled as Schedule II. The patients need to be able to go to the pharmacy and pick it up when they need it."

Despite his litany of criticisms of the new regulations, Ellis took pains to emphasize he supports the New Mexico medical marijuana program. "I am a proponent of the New Mexico approach as outlined in their legislation, but an opponent of the current regulations. Martin Luther King once said he would not have had the success he did in the civil rights arena without [black radical] Stokely Carmichael and others agitating for change. I'm trying to be Stokely Carmichael on this. If we don't watch out, they can incrementalize us, and too many patients, to death."

There are currently 207 patients registered with the New Mexico Department of Health. Now, they will soon have the opportunity to procure their medicine through the nonprofits -- or at least a few months after one actually gets up and running. In addition to the one application already in process, said Milam, at least two more are going through the criminal background check requirement and should be applying soon.

Whether and how well the new regulations will serve the needs of patients remains to be seen. "We will be monitoring the implementation, and we've been doing that through this whole process," said Szczepanski. "As these nonprofits are going forward, we will be watching to see if they are approved and if not, why not, and making sure the regs are being followed."

Press Release: DEA Defies Obama Pledge, Raids Medical Marijuana State, Denies Marijuana FDA Research

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 29, 2009 CONTACT: Dan Bernath, MPP assistant director of communications, 202-462-5747, ext. 2030 DEA Defies Obama Pledge, Raids Medical Marijuana State, Denies Marijuana FDA Research Medical Marijuana Advocates Call on New President to Rein in Rogue Drug Enforcement Administration WASHINGTON — Officials at the Marijuana Policy Project today accused the Drug Enforcement Administration of defying President Barack Obama's stated position by raiding a California medical marijuana dispensary and called on the president to immediately replace Bush administration holdovers at the DEA. The DEA raided a medical marijuana dispensary in Lake Tahoe, Calif., Jan. 22 – only two days after President Obama's inauguration. During the presidential campaign, Obama repeatedly promised not to waste federal resources interfering in states with laws protecting medical marijuana patients from arrest, and he told Southern Oregon's Mail Tribune editorial board on March 28, 2008, "I'm not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue." MPP also urged President Obama to instruct the Bush-appointed current administrator of the DEA to delay a final ruling on a Motion to Reconsider its Jan. 12 decision to deny an application by a University of Massachusetts-Amherst researcher to grow research-grade marijuana in a secure facility, arguing that Obama's own administrator should get to make that decision once in place. The DEA's Jan. 12 denial was one among a series of unrelated 11th-hour regulatory actions the Bush administration attempted to finalize before leaving office. The DEA could rule on the motion as early as Monday unless the White House stops Bush holdover, Michele Leonhart, the DEA administrator. The DEA's Jan. 12 decision came nearly two years after the its own administrative law judge, Mary Ellen Bittner, ruled that approving the application would "be in the public's interest" and after years of delay on the part of the Bush administration. "On the first day of the new administration, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel issued a memo to departments and agencies directing them to hold off on issuing final regulations until President Obama's appointees have a chance to review them," said Aaron Houston, MPP director of government relations. "We're just asking for the same thing here. We'd like a fair hearing from new leadership at the DEA." With more than 26,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit ####

How Not to Legalize Marijuana

Via reason, I’d like to introduce you to Antoine Blalock, who may be the worst activist in the history of drug policy reform:

Blalock drove to the Seventh District Police Station on Alabama Avenue S.E. in Washington, D.C., in May 2007. He pulled a handgun from the trunk and started firing, shooting in the air outside the station. Five shots. He shouted, according to court records, "The police should leave us alone and let us sell our weed!"

Blalock complied with demands to drop his gun -- and he did not stop there. He dropped his pants, standing naked before officers wrapped him up in a towel. []

Dude, you’re not helping. Although I suppose if Antoine Blalock starts a blog, I might check it out.

Make it Safe. Make it Legal. Make it Happen in 2009!

A Call to Action
Make it Safe. Make it Legal. Make it Happen in 2009!

Hello Everyone,

Happy New Year and more importantly, happy new Administration! This is an exciting and challenging time for us. The actions we take in the next few months will help shape President Obama’s medical cannabis policies for the next four to eight years. I hope you all feel the excitement of the possibilities that are before us, and are prepared to meet the challenges that this opportunity will present.

But remember that opportunity is not the same as change…It is going to take a commitment from every one of us to make real change at the Federal level. That is why I am inviting you to renew that commitment by pledging to become an ASA Ambassador and to join ASA in our new campaign for 2009: MAKE IT SAFE. MAKE IT LEGAL. MAKE IT HAPPEN!

By becoming an ASA Ambassador, you are pledging to work with other ASA members to do your part in educating and engaging your elected officials and community. To sign up, contact ASA’s Field Coordinator George Pappas ( If we want to succeed, every one of us has a role to play. Every meeting, every call, and every conversation about medical cannabis is part of our plan; a part that you must carry out. As an Ambassador, you will be joining a network of committed activists across the country who share your commitment to our mission.

We start 2009 and the 111th Congress with momentum, optimism, and hope. Since the founding of ASA in 2002, together we have created a patient-led movement with an amazing list of accomplishments under our belt. So, unlike the dark days of the second term of the Bush regime, today we begin new relationships in a very different political climate! Just take a look:

  • Today we have almost 60 ASA chapters and affiliates across the nation, all working to improve their local and state laws, educate legislators and the public, and to create a coordinated national movement for medical cannabis.
  • In just two years, ASA’s Washington, DC Office has become a powerful and influential lobbying force for federal medical cannabis laws. 
  • There are now 13 medical cannabis states, and many more considering legislation and building support and awareness throughout the US.
  • We drove numerous successful court cases in California, improving California’s law and setting the stage for the expansion of other laws across the US., including the U.S. Supreme Court upholding Garden Grove v. Superior Court, ruling that California law enforcement must follow California, not federal, law.
  • We’ve worked side by side with top government agencies to improve state medical cannabis laws and to protect access centers throughout the country that provide safe access to patients who need it.
  • We’ve built unique relationships with top Congressional and Senate leadership, including those tasked with Congressional oversight of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Justice.
  • We elicited supportive statements from President Barack Obama to end federal interference in state medical cannabis laws.
  • We’ve reframed the public discussion of access to medical cannabis as a fundamental human right.

And most importantly … WE HAVE A PLAN! Take a minute to look at the materials ASA has been sharing with the Obama administration and Congress at

I know the last six years have been hard. We saw little to no movement at the federal level while our loved ones faced lack of access to the treatment they needed, were targeted with threats and intimidation from our own DEA, and were sent to prisons and jails to serve unjust sentences, all for providing treatment to people living with serious illnesses.

But we did not sit back and wait for the tide to turn. Over the years, each action you took, each Representative you called, and each letter you wrote has created an atmosphere of hope across the nation. We’ve seen success at the state and local levels and have built more powerful alliances in Congress than ever before since ASA opened our Washington, DC office in 2006.

I am very proud of the hard work each of you has put into this shared vision. And now I hope we can all provide the leadership necessary to move the nation in the direction of compassion and scientific integrity.

Keep up the great work. I look forward to working with all of you during this exciting time… Let’s Make it safe. Make it Legal. Make it happen!


Steph Sherer
Executive Director
Americans for Safe Access

Free screening of Waiting to Inhale and panel discussion

In order to help engage the San Diego-area community in a dialogue about the medical marijuana laws and the county's ongoing challenge to them, the Marijuana Policy Project is hosting a free screening of the documentary Waiting to Inhale followed by a panel discussion. Waiting to Inhale is an award-winning, feature-length documentary that explores the movement to legalize medical marijuana. Filmmaker Jed Riffe will moderate the panel and the Q&A session which begins at 3:30 p.m. Panelists include local physician Robert Sterner, M.D.; local medical marijuana patient/advocate Rudy Reyes; and F. Aaron Smith, the California policy director for MPP. This event is taking place at a crucial time for San Diego's medical marijuana community. In the coming months, the United States Supreme Court will be deciding whether or not to hear a legal challenge initiated by San Diego and San Bernardino counties seeking to nullify parts of California's medical marijuana law. We hope that you and your friends and family will be able to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to engage in a local discussion about medical marijuana. Event organizers need of a few trustworthy volunteers to help make sure this event runs smoothly. If you are interested in helping out, please contact F. Aaron Smith at
Sun, 02/08/2009 - 2:00am
820 E Street
San Diego, CA 92101
United States

Obama and Medical Marijuana

You Can Make a Difference



Dear friends,

Less than two days. That's how long it took ex-President Bush's cronies inside the federal government to strike out at President Obama and use taxpayer money to undermine him.

Last Thursday the DEA raided a medical marijuana dispensary in California, putting the lives of cancer, HIV/AIDS and other patients at risk.

But we can show President Obama that the American people will stand with him in this fight and hold him accountable for his campaign promise to end these raids.

As you may know, President Obama promised to end the Bush administration's cruel and costly raids on medical marijuana patients and caregivers in states where marijuana is legal for medical use. He's in the process of replacing Bush officials who are the source of the problem, but that takes time.

Quite frankly, what the Bush loyalists inside the DEA did in South Lake Tahoe is the equivalent of giving President Obama the finger. 

Now is our chance to urge President Obama to protect at-risk patients. If he doesn't stand up forcefully to Bush's cronies, they will continue to undermine his presidency. And terminally ill patients will suffer.


Bill Piper
Director, Office of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance

United States

NH Compassion Newsletter: Medical Marijuana, We've Got Your Number...

Dear friends, CONCORD, N.H. -- The NH Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy today announced its support for HB 648, a bill that would protect seriously ill patients from arrest if their doctors recommend marijuana. The group also announced the launch of, a new Web site featuring New Hampshire patients, which will serve as a home base for the effort to pass medical marijuana legislation. "HB 648 simply acknowledges the obvious fact that some seriously ill New Hampshire patients benefit from their medicinal use of marijuana," observed Matt Simon, the organization's executive director. "There is no moral justification for continuing a policy that criminalizes patients for trying to relieve their suffering." Simon said he's optimistic about the bill's chances, and noted that New Hampshire voters support medical marijuana reform by a wider margin than they supported most successful candidates in the 2008 election. Simon cited a poll conducted last April by Mason-Dixon Research, which found that of New Hampshire voters, 71 percent supported "changing the law in New Hampshire to allow seriously and terminally ill patients to use and grow medical marijuana for personal use if their doctors recommend it." Only 21 percent of voters said they opposed the reform, with 8 percent undecided. Details on the poll are available at A similar bill, HB 774, was narrowly rejected (186-177) by the House in 2007, but Simon said he believes support will be much stronger this year. "In the past two years, the consensus for allowing medical marijuana has grown. Michigan and New Mexico enacted medical marijuana laws, and now 25 percent of Americans live in medical marijuana states. In addition, the prestigious American College of Physicians issued a paper supporting marijuana's medical value. And, the new U.S. president has pledged to end the federal raids on medical marijuana providers, which had been a concern for many legislators." The bill's prime sponsor is Rep. Evalyn Merrick (D-Lancaster), joined by co-sponsors Sen. John Gallus (R-Berlin), Sen. Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth), Rep. Tom Donovan (D-Claremont), Rep. James "Doc" Pilliod (R-Belmont), Rep. Trinka Russell (D-Stratham) and Rep. Don Petterson (D-Brentwood). An initial hearing for the bill has not yet been scheduled. If the effort to pass HB 648 succeeds, New Hampshire would become the 14th state since 1996 to pass legislation protecting medical marijuana patients, joining Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. # # # Thanks, -- Matt Simon Executive Director NH Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy [4] (603) 391-7450 "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of the substance." - Francis L. Young, DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge, 1988
United States

The World's Smallest Marijuana Joint

Police don’t just get the facts wrong about the dangers of marijuana and the impact of commonsense reforms like decriminalization. Frequently, they’re wrong about marijuana itself, making wild claims about the street value of the latest bust or exaggerating plant yields to make small growers sound like major traffickers. If you think you’ve heard it all, here’s a cop from Massachusetts who says an ounce equals 200-300 joints:

According to Lt. Danny Maguire of the Weston Police Department, "The biggest challenge we have is to convince people that, just because the law has changed, marijuana has not become 'legal,' and that the problem of drug addiction is still just as severe as always. There is also the danger that people will think it’s actually OK, under the new law, to smoke a joint or two and get behind the wheel of a car."

One ounce of marijuana is the equivalent of 200 to 300 joints, according to Maguire.

This is just shockingly crazy and wrong. Researchers have estimated the average size of a joint between 0.4 and 0.9 grams, which would equal 30-70 joints per ounce. If you roll more than 70 joints from an ounce, they’ll be empty toothpick-sized joints with more paper than pot. They won’t even work and no matter who you are, I’m sure you know someone who can assure that this is true.

Claiming that you can roll up to 300 joints from an ounce is a total lie. It’s hilarious to anyone who’s ever smoked or even seen a joint. It’s like claiming a bag of skittles will serve 300 people, when there’s actually only 70 Skittles in the bag and most people don’t find an individual Skittle very satisfying anyhow.

So what the hell is this guy talking about? He’s angry that voters in Massachusetts decriminalized possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, and he’s trying to pretend that’s a huge amount of pot. It isn’t. His lie, on the other hand, is enormous.

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