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Europe: Dutch to Extend Medical Marijuana Program for Another Five Years

The Dutch Health Ministry announced Wednesday it would extend Holland's experimental medical marijuana program for another five years. Under the program, which began in 2003, marijuana grown by government-licensed growers is sold by prescription in pharmacies.

But the prescription weed got few buyers. In Holland, where cannabis possession and limited sales are illegal but tolerated, patients found they could buy marijuana at coffee shops for one-third the price of prescription pot. As a result, the Bureau for Medical Cannabis is running a $200,000 budget deficit this year because it is overstocked with unsold medical marijuana.

Still, the Health Ministry said the program should continue because of the possibility of research advances in cannabis-based medications. In a letter to parliament, Health Minister Ab Klink said one Dutch company, Echo Pharmaceuticals, was making progress in getting a cannabis-based drug approved and needed more time to succeed.

"This development track will take years, but it can yield scientific evidence and give insight into the balance between safety and effectiveness of medical cannabis," he wrote. "By making medical marijuana available as a raw material for five years, I want to give this track a serious chance."

A spokesman for Echo, Geert Woerlee, told the Associated Press that his company will be starting trials next year on a pill that contains THC, the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana. The Health Ministry hopes the drug being developed by Echo will eventually replace marijuana in pharmacies.

Marijuana: Three of Four Reform Initiatives Pass in Hailey, Idaho

Voters in small-town Hailey, Idaho, Tuesday approved three out four marijuana initiatives placed on the ballot over the objections of town officials. Initiatives to legalize the medical use of marijuana, make marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority, and legalize industrial hemp all passed. A fourth measure, which would have mandated the city to tax and regulate marijuana sales, failed.

Some 1,288 eligible voters went to the polls in Hailey, with medical marijuana gaining the most votes (687), followed by hemp (683) and lowest priority (637). Taxation and regulation lost by a margin of 573-674.

The initiatives were the brainchild of Ryan Davidson, chairman of the Idaho Liberty Lobby, who three years ago began efforts to put marijuana on the ballot in the Wood River Valley towns of Hailey, Sun Valley, and Ketchum. Local authorities in all three communities denied his petitions, and a series of court battles ensued, out of which Davidson emerged victorious. Davidson is working on initiatives for Sun Valley and Ketchum.

The initiatives require the city of Hailey to create a Community Oversight Committee to oversee implementation. They also require the city of Hailey to lobby other branches of government for reform of the marijuana laws.

State and local officials are likely not happy. The Idaho Attorney General's Office issued a statement last week reminding voters that marijuana possession is a crime under both state and federal law, and Hailey City Attorney Ned Williamson predicted before the vote that the city could be the subject of expensive litigation at taxpayer expense if voters approved the measures.

But now the voters have spoken, and it is up to city officials to heed their will.

Feature: Denver Votes to Make Marijuana Offenses Lowest Law Enforcement Priority

For the third time in as many years, voters in Denver told local officials to quit arresting people for marijuana offenses. An initiative that would direct the city to make adult marijuana possession offenses the lowest law enforcement priority won Tuesday with 57% of the vote.

http://stopthedrugwar.com/files/saferrally.jpg
SAFER rally, August 27, 2007
The vote came two years after the marijuana reform group SAFER (Safer Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation) pulled off a successful initiative to legalize the possession of up to an ounce in Denver -- a win city officials have ignored by continuing to arrest people under state law -- and one year after Denver voters gave majority support to marijuana legalization in a failed statewide initiative.

The measure rolled to easy victory despite the opposition of Mayor John Hickenlooper and other city officials who said it was meaningless and would not be enforced. It was also opposed by the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News, both of which editorialized against it.

Denver now joins cities like Seattle; Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood, California; Missoula, Montana; Eureka Springs, Arkansas; and -- also on Tuesday -- Hailey, Idaho; that have embraced the lowest priority movement.

The question now is how city officials will respond to a third rebuke from voters. The mayor's office did not respond Wednesday to inquiries from Drug War Chronicle. SAFER executive director Mason Tvert said officials were huddled Wednesday afternoon trying to draft a response.

But Tvert wasn't waiting to celebrate. "The people of Denver have made it unmistakably clear they do not want their city wasting its limited law enforcement resources arresting and prosecuting adults for possessing a drug less harmful than alcohol," he said. "Whereas marijuana users were once the law-breakers in the Mile High City, city officials will now be the ones violating the law if they do not respect the will of the voters."

In Seattle, arrests for adult marijuana possession plummeted following passage of the initiative, and in Missoula city officials recently adopted an official policy directing police to stop citing adults for possession and encouraging prosecutors to treat any cases as their lowest priority. That shows it can work in Denver if officials cooperate, Tvert said.

"The experiences of these other cities proves that Denver can make changes in how they handle adult marijuana possession," Tvert said. "We hope city officials will respect the will of the voters who elected them and direct police to stop arresting adults for simply possessing small amounts of marijuana. It's not a matter of whether they can do this, but a matter of whether they will. If they do not, they are officially breaking more Denver laws than any adult marijuana user."

Tvert wasn't the only one crowing, nor was he the only one warning elected officials to take heed. Spokesmen for leading national marijuana reform organizations used almost identical language when contacted by the Chronicle.

"This is good news, but not unexpected," said Keith Stroup, founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "The mayor should be looking at who he represents. In three election cycles now, Denver voters have clearly said don't arrest pot smokers."

"We're very, very pleased," said Bruce Mirken, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "Hopefully, this time Denver city officials will listen to the message the voters have so clearly sent them."

That hasn't happened so far. Tvert and SAFER are waiting to see if it will. "At this point we're just wondering what they're going to do," he said. "The big tough city officials who were willing to say how they were going to ignore this have been mum all day, waiting for the mayor to take the lead. Will they challenge this in the courts, or will they announce they will follow the will of the voters?"

Stay tuned. All the dust hasn't settled yet in Denver. But the voters have spoken loud and clear for the third time. Perhaps it will take a city official getting defeated in the next election, but perhaps city officials won't want to take that chance now.

Cannabis and Cannabinoids in 21st Century Medicine: Medical Marijuana in the Clinic

Dr. David Bearman, a Santa Barbara, California physician and surgeon with Wisconsin roots, will be presenting at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Bearman is one of the most clinically knowledgeable physicians in the U.S. in the field of medical marijuana. He has spent 40 years working in substance and drug abuse treatment and prevention programs. Dr. Bearman was a pioneer in the free and community clinic movement. His career includes public health, administrative medicine, primary care, pain management and cannabinology. He is on the Board of Advisors for the group Patients Out of Time [http://www.medicalcannabis.com/] and worked closely with them to present the Fourth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics in Santa Barbara, CA in April 2006. Contact Information: David Bearman, M.D. 805-961-9988, 7394 Calle Real, Suite C Goleta, CA 93117, http://www.davidbearmanmd.com/.
Date: 
Tue, 11/13/2007 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: 
750 Highland Avenue Room 1335 of the Health Sciences Learning Center
Madison, WI 53705
United States

Medical Marijuana Panel Discussion at Saint Joseph's University

Medicinal Use of Marijuana: A Panel Discussion Pro's and Con's Whether marijuana will relieve your side effects or symptoms is questionable. But the risks of smoking pot are clear. Examine the facts about marijuana before making your decision. Since 1996, twelve states have legalized medical marijuana use: AK, CA, CO, HI, ME, MT, NV, NM, OR, RI, VT, and WA. Eight of the twelve did so through the initiative process. The Institute of Medicine's 1999 report on medical marijuana stated, "The accumulated data indicate a potential therapeutic value for cannabinoid drugs, particularly for symptoms such as pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation." British Medical Journal: "The US Supreme Court has ruled unanimously against the medical use of marijuana, finding, by eight to nil, that because it is an illegal substance in federal law, no exceptions can be made, even for its medicinal use." Speakers include: *Rosanne Scotti, Esquire, Director, Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey *Sr. Patricia Talone, RSM, Ph.D, Vice President, Mission Services, Catholic Health Association *Kenneth R. Wolski, RN, MPA, Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-New Jersey State Nurses Association
Date: 
Wed, 11/14/2007 - 4:30pm
Location: 
5600 City Avenue Mandeville Hall - Teletorium
Philadelphia, PA 19131
United States

Denver Poised to Make Marijuana a Lowest Priority

Location: 
Denver, CO
United States
Publication/Source: 
Denver Post
URL: 
http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_7388701

Oregon Green Free Meeting

Patients, caregivers, growers, please join us. Everyone is invited -- this is open to the public! Get there early and have some pizza and refreshments. Door prizes, info, & more!
Date: 
Wed, 11/07/2007 - 7:00pm
Location: 
9234 SE Stark St.
Portland, OR 97216
United States

Oregon Medical Marijuana Program Meeting

Please join us at our next meeting! Some Agenda Items: - Latest Patient and DPC (Caregivers) related News and Announcements - Current Happenings – within the Program, with the Legislature, with Advocates - How to? Forms and etc. - FAQS, Facts and the Issues - Helping people who (1) need a Doctor, (2) need Medicine, (3) Grow Classes, (4) Cooking Classes and such. - Establishing tools for Networking: on-line and off – places to "bulletin board"? - Also, GlassWare Parties combined with Voter Registration and L-T-E (Letters To the Editor) action item ideas - and more! For more information contact MERCY – the Medical Cannabis Resource Center - by calling 503.363-4588 or visiting: www.MercyCenters.org. One of the missions of MERCY is to help establish regular get-togethers in each community where there are (or will be!) medical cannabis patients. The purpose is to get patients networking and self-sufficient within their neighborhoods, assist those seeking information about the OMMP - but - especially to enable consistent, independent and free lines of communication for patients, caregivers and activists. The goal is to get reps from other meeting groups coming to exchange action items of interest to individuals, the group or other visiting reps, as well as sending our rep to their meetings. A network - a chain - of meetings up and down I-5 and across the state working in conjunction with e-mail lists and bulliten boards.
Date: 
Mon, 12/03/2007 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: 
1127 Long Street
Sweet Home, OR 97386
United States

ASA’s Media Summary for the Week Ending 11/2/07

ASA IN THE NEWS: Drew Carey Video Features ASA Executive Director

In addition to speaking with a Los Angeles police officer and a Vietnam veteran who uses medical cannabis, comedian, actor and now game-show-host Drew Carey interviews ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer, who tells Carey how federal raids on medical cannabis collectives in the San Francisco Bay Area led to the founding of Americans for Safe Access. To view this episode of the Drew Carey Project, please visit www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/DrewCarey.

Drew Carey defends medical marijuana in new online video
by Sandy Cohen, Associated Press
Bob Barker famously closed each episode of "The Price Is Right" with a pitch to spay and neuter pets. His successor is taking a stand on a more controversial subject: marijuana. Drew Carey won't tout toking up on "Price," but he defends the use of medical marijuana in a video posted online Thursday on Reason.tv.

Drew Carey Defends Medical Marijuana
eMax Health
"I think it's clear by now that the federal government needs to reclassify marijuana. People who need it should be able to get it -- safely and easily," says The Price Is Right and Power of 10 host Drew Carey in a new Reason.tv video examining medical marijuana and the war on drugs.

FEDERAL: Hayward DEA Raid Leads to Arrests

DEA spokespeople have made much of the revenues they claim a Hayward medical cannabis collective enjoyed. They fail to note that the reason for an increase in revenue has been the systematic closing of the other dispensaries in the area, forcing the county’s many patients to one location. The increased revenue reflects an increased volume of patients more than profiteering. ASA's rapid response program again meant that the media was alerted immediately, helping ensure full coverage, and patients and activists were notified by text messages and emails so they could protest at the main dispensary location.

Feds raid seven East Bay medical pot sites
Bay Area News Group
Federal officials raided seven locations in the East Bay this morning that were connected to a medical marijuana dispensary in Hayward, officials said.

Medical-pot brothers held on drug charges
by Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle
Two East Bay brothers were arrested Tuesday after being indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that they ran a large-scale drug operation from a Hayward medical marijuana club from which proceeds were delivered to a bank by armored car, authorities said.

Two brothers arrested, accused of drug dealing
by Jason Sweeney, Paul Thissen and Scott Marshall, Mercury News (San Jose)
Federal agents arrested two brothers early Tuesday and seized a Lafayette house after they were indicted on charges that they ran a multimillion-dollar drug operation out of a Hayward-area medical-marijuana collective.

DOCTORS: Cannabis Specialists Provide Insights

While doctors generally acknowledge that there are conditions and patients for whom cannabis can be effective, many prefer to refer their patients to cannabis specialists who have the education to counsel patients properly on the indications for appropriate treatment. Critics attempt to characterize those specialists as capitalizing on legal loopholes, but the reality of doctors such as those profiled here is that they provide a crucial service to patients who would otherwise be vulnerable to arrest for using cannabis therapeutically.

Doctor calls pot good medicine
by Jason Kotowski, Bakersfield Californian
Doctors who recommend medical marijuana say it helps treat everything from nausea caused by cancer treatment to spinal pain. Multiple sclerosis. Anorexia. Anxiety. Muscle spasms. Insomnia.

I-Team Investigation: Who Is Doc 420?
by Dan Noyes, KGO TV - ABC News (San Francisco)
California voters approved medical marijuana in 1996. It was meant for patients with serious illnesses, such as AIDS, cancer or glaucoma. However, there are new questions whether medical marijuana is too easily available, especially for people who aren't even sick.

MONTANA: Suicide of Patient-Activist Draws Recriminations

The tragic death of a Montana medical marijuana patient has been the subject of heartache and anger for many: heartache over the suffering that led her to take her own life, anger at the federal authorities who effectively cut off her supply to the one pain-control medication that worked.

Protected to Death
by Jacob Sullum, Reason Online
Last March, when the Drug Enforcement Administration seized less than half an ounce of cannabis that Robin Prosser, a Missoula lupus patient and medical marijuana activist, had been sent by her caregiver, the special agent in charge of the DEA's Rocky Mountain Field Division said it was "protecting people from their own state laws." Last week, unable to find a reliable supply of the only drug that relieved her pain without causing unacceptable side effects, Prosser killed herself. Although the use of medical marijuana is legal in Montana, friends say suppliers were spooked by the DEA. Writing in the Helena Independent Record, activist Tom Daubert calls Prosser's death "a direct result of DEA actions."

A tragic casualty in federal war on medical marijuana
by Tom Daubert, OpEd, Helena Independent Record (MT)
The nation's Drug Enforcement Administration agents can sleep a little easier tonight. They now have one less medical-marijuana patient to worry about policing. That's because Montana's leading medical marijuana patient-activist took her own life two weeks ago, a direct result of DEA actions earlier this year.

OREGON: Patient’s Case to Test Law’s Limits

Two factors have made the case of an Oregon patient a lightening rod for the state’s medical marijuana law: the proximity of the patient’s home garden to a high school and his processing of the cannabis to make a more potent extract. At least the second issue should be easily dealt with. Extracts of the cannabis plant such as hash and tinctures entail no chemical alterations, merely a concentration of the active ingredients, meaning it’s no different than growing strains that have more or less THC content.

Keizer Medical Marijuana Case Ignores Oregon Law
by Neal Feldman, Salem News (OR)
Anthony Wyatt Beasley probably did not wake up Friday, October 19th 2007 thinking he would be a lightning rod and a focal point in a legal dispute, but that is what he has become. A standard bearer, willing or not, for the medical marijuana law of Oregon and the thousands of card holders in the state.

Thoughts on Keizer's Controversial Medical Marijuana Case
by Tim King, Salem News (OR)
The Keizer medical marijuana case against Anthony Beasely has been a hot topic in the local community. Salem-News.com's Neal Feldman wrote a commentary this week (Keizer Medical Marijuana Case Ignores Oregon Law) that lays blame on the city of Keizer for not upholding the rules authorized by the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program.

DISPENSARIES: Land Use Planning the Question for California

As medical cannabis dispensing collectives have proliferated around the state, more and more patients have come to rely on them for the consistency and safety of the access they provide, as well as social support services. And for patients who are unfamiliar with strains of cannabis or methods of delivery – vaporizing, edibles, tinctures, etc. – dispensaries provide information. Communities that have enacted regulatory ordinances report success in both serving those patient needs and assuaging community concerns. For more, see ASA’s report at AmericansForSafeAccess.org/DispensaryReport.

County has options on medical pot shops
KGET NBC TV (Bakersfield)
The county has a lot of options when it comes to medical marijuana dispensaries, and County Supervisors will get a chance to choose one Tuesday.

County Planning Commission debates medical marijuana dispensary in Templeton
by Stacy Daniel, KSBY - NBC TV 6 (San Luis Obispo)
The San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission weighs the pros and cons of having a medical marijuana dispensary in Templeton.

ASA BLOG: Comments from ASA Staff and Guests

ASA's blog is helping keep activists informed on the issues and events affecting medical marijuana patients and providers.

California Round Up
by Sonnet Seeborg Gabbard
ASA and Orange County Medical Marijuana Activists Achieve a Victory for Safe Access; DEA Strikes East Bay Collective and Facilities; DEA Raids Orange County Collective and Operator’s Home

DEA Raids Hayward Dispensaries, but Activists Don’t Stand Down
by Justin Alan Ryan
Beginning early in the morning, October 30, 2007, the DEA raided several locations connected to Compassionate Patients’ Cooperative of California (CPCC).

Steph Sherer Shares Her Story with Drew Carey
by Rebecca Saltzman
If you’re familiar with ASA’s work, you’ve probably heard about our executive director, Steph Sherer. What you might not know is that she is a medical marijuana patient. Drew Carey recently interviewed Steph as part of The Drew Carey Project.

A Sad Day in Montana, and across the Country - In Remembrance of Robin Prosser
by Kris Hermes
It is a sad day for the people of Montana, medical marijuana advocates, and people anywhere who are sympathetic to the plight of the sick and dying. Robin Prosser, a Missoula, Montana medical marijuana patient, and a powerful activist fighting for the rights of patients, took her life on October 18.

MORE ABOUT AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS

Find out more about ASA at AmericansForSafeAccess.org. More medical marijuana news summaries can be seen at AmericansForSafeAccess.org/News.

Location: 
United States

Pay the Printer Party for O'Shaughnessy's

This event is presented by MedicalBoardWatch & Society of Cannabis Clinicians. It is a benefit for O'Shaughnessy's, the journal of record for the clinical use of cannabis, recording both the science, and the news. Come Support O'Shaughnessy's, and honor Dr. Tod who passed away May 20, 2007. Entertainment begins at 8:30 p.m., so we suggest arriving by 8:00 p.m. Short program begins at 9:00 p.m. Entertainment will include our editor, Fred Gardner, singing "Ballad of Grinspoon and Guy." Great food, live music (additional entertainment to be announced...) RSVP to drfrank@drlucido.com so we know how many to expect and give directions to those confirmed. The event costs $100/person with a sliding scale upwards encouraged from those who can ($100 with sliding scale downwards possible for help with party). If finances are a problem and you know you belong here, email me and tell me about your service to the medical cannabis movement) If you can't attend, PLEASE send donations to: O'SHAUGHNESSY'S, P.O. Box 490 Alameda, CA, 94501
Date: 
Sat, 11/10/2007 - 7:00pm - Sun, 11/11/2007 - 12:01am
Location: 
Address and directions given on RSVP
CA
United States

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