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Council secretly snuffs pot club

Hayward, CA
United States
The Oakland Tribune (CA)

Pot grower can't meet need

Vancouver, BC
Victoria Times Colonist (Canada)

Plan to limit new medical marijuana dispensaries OK'd by council

Los Angeles, CA
United States
Los Angeles Daily News (CA)

New Study: Marijuana Does Not Cause Psychosis, Lung Damage, or Skin Cancer

I've performed a meta-analysis of various scare stories about marijuana appearing in major papers this week. The results of my research are as follows:


Alarmist reports about marijuana will turn out to be wildly exaggerated and in some cases completely fictitious. Obvious inconsistencies will be overlooked by the press and widely available contrary evidence will be ignored.


I read various stories about marijuana and used basic logic and reasoning to determine whether their conclusions made any sense. In some cases, I used Google and other sources to search for other information that contradicted seemingly dubious claims.


Marijuana Increases the Risk of Psychosis by 40%
: This one turned out to be totally wrong. Apparently a correlation between marijuana use and psychosis doesn't necessarily mean that marijuana caused the psychosis. Many of the researchers made this clear in their findings, but reporters left it out. Furthermore, none of the stories on this topic explained that the risk of psychosis is small, so a 40% increase isn't that significant to begin with. Reporters also failed to observe that massive increases in marijuana use over the past century have not corresponded with increased rates of psychosis.

Smoking a Joint is as Bad For Your Lungs as 5 Cigarettes: This report also turned out to be almost entirely bogus. Shockingly, "air flow" was the only category (of several) in which marijuana was determined to be more harmful. Researchers stated that marijuana was 2.5 to 5 times more harmful than tobacco in this category, which reporters simply rounded up to 5 for the headline (behold the lofty journalistic standards of Reuters). Reporters also failed to mention conclusive research proving that marijuana does not cause lung cancer; a notable omission since "bad for your lungs" likely implies cancer for many readers. Finally, media reports failed to explain that marijuana users consume far less per day, and do not continue using for nearly as many years as tobacco smokers.

Marijuana May Cause Skin Cancer: I don't know anything about skin cancer, so I won't attempt to refute the findings of this Harvard study. The manner in which it was reported, however, leaves much to be desired. The FOX News headline reads "Study: Marijuana Use May Cause Skin Cancer." Only upon reading the article does the reader discover that only one extremely rare form of skin cancer has been associated with marijuana, and that the researchers claim that more research is needed. Furthermore, only people with weakened immune systems are even susceptible to this infection. A more appropriate headline would have been "Study: Marijuana May Cause Skin Cancer Under Very Rare Circumstances."


Reading coverage of marijuana research in the mainstream press increases the risk of becoming misinformed by 50-300%. More research is clearly needed to identify further sources of flawed marijuana reporting. The risk of bad reporting remains stable despite concerted efforts to inform the media that hysterical claims about marijuana frequently lack scientific merit. Exposure to poorly researched news about marijuana is correlated with support for costly, ineffective, highly punitive marijuana laws.

ASA’s Media Summary for the Week Ending 7/27/07

FEDERAL: More Intimidation Aimed at LA’s Politicians and Patients FEDERAL: Congress Gets Two Votes Closer to Stopping DEA Raids CALIFORNIA: Kern County Patients Struggle with Access CALIFORNIA: Claremont Endorses Dispensaries NEW MEXICO: Medical Marijuana Program Gets Started CANADA: Patients Still Insist on Growing Their Own IN MEMORIAM: Reform Advocate Virginia Resner Dies ____________________________________________ FEDERAL: More Intimidation Aimed at LA’s Politicians and Patients Another set of coordinated DEA raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles proved again that federal action on the issue is less about law enforcement than it is politics. And it wasn’t just that the ten simultaneous raids came close on the heels of intimidating letters sent to at least 150 landlords renting to patient cooperatives, it was the day chosen. At the very moment federal agents were kicking down doors and detaining patients, two important political actions were in progress. The Los Angeles City Council was taking action on establishing regulatory ordinances for the operation of the dispensaries, and the US House was considering for the fifth year an amendment to stop funding for DEA raids on patients. Not only did LA -- under the leadership of councilman Dennis Zine, a former LAPD officer -- take a step toward regulation, it added a resolution urging Congress to stop federal interference in this local public health issue. Unfortunately, Congressional leadership failed to put their weight behind the bipartisan Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment, but it came two votes closer to passage than it did last year. ASA emergency response to the raids turned out hundreds of protesters within two hours, helping generate intense media coverage and, more importantly, secure the release of dispensary employees being held by the DEA. DEA raids 10 pot shops by Steve Hymon, Los Angeles Times The gap between state and federal drug laws became apparent again Wednesday when federal agents raided 10 local medical marijuana facilities only minutes after the Los Angeles City Council placed a moratorium on new facilities so rules could be drafted to better regulate them. DEA raids LA medical marijuana clinics by Andrew Glazer, Associated Press Federal agents raided 10 marijuana clinics Wednesday, the same day city leaders introduced a measure calling for an end to the crackdown on the dispensaries allowed under state law. DEA serves 10 warrants in LA medical marijuana crackdown Associated Press The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration served search warrants at 10 different locations throughout Los Angeles County in connection with its crackdown on medical marijuana facilities. DEA targets landlords in pot battle by William M. Welch, USA Today The U.S. Justice Department is unleashing a potent new weapon in its battle against California’s hundreds of medical pot clinics, threatening landlords with arrest and property seizures for renting to tenants who flout federal drug laws. Humboldt County ASA to hold protest Eureka reporter (CA) The Humboldt County chapter of Americans for Safe Access will hold a protest on the front lawn of Arcata City Hall tonight at 5, according to a news release from ASA. The demonstration will be held in response to raids conducted Wednesday by the Drug Enforcement Administration against medical marijuana dispensaries in the Los Angeles area. Medical pot stores' profits questioned by Dan Abendschein, Whittier Daily News (CA) The recent busts of medical marijuana dispensaries have raised questions about the revenue the operations collect. "A business grossing the kind of numbers released by the DEA is not making that much money," said Chris Fusco of the Americans for Safe Access organization. "Both the federal and state governments need to give clear guidelines so there is no confusion for dispensary operators." OPINION Drug warriors on the hunt EDITORIAL, Orange County Register The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has started playing hardball with medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, but it's unclear how far it will move beyond symbolic intimidation. The DEA, which has discretion when it comes to setting priorities, would do well to abandon this effort to deprive seriously ill people of medicine to which they are entitled under state law. Such efforts are unworthy of it. Federal intervention EDITORIAL, Los Angeles Daily News Feds, back off. That's what the Los Angeles City Council and medical marijuana advocates hope will happen by adopting a moratorium on new dispensaries and bringing current ones into compliance while stricter rules are written. ____________________________________________ FEDERAL: Congress Gets Two Votes Closer to Stopping DEA Raids For five years, an amendment has been put before Congress that would cut off the DEA’s funding for raids on medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal. The bipartisan effort, lead by Democrat Maurice Hinchey of New York and Republican Dana Rohrabacher of California, gains more votes each year. But without the full support of the House leadership, it may be a few more before this way of stopping federal interference in state efforts to protect the health of their citizens succeeds. Medical marijuana backers say they'll fight on by Will Dunham, Reuters Backers of a measure to stop the U.S. government from blocking the use of medical marijuana in states that allow it vowed on Thursday to press on with their fight despite losing another congressional vote. U.S. House votes down change to end federal raids on medical marijuana by Jewels Phraner, Columbia Missourian The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday night voted down the latest medicinal marijuana bill, which sought to keep residents of states that allow marijuana for medicinal purposes safe from federal raids. House nixes medical pot amendment by Josh Richman, ANG Newspapers The House again has rejected an amendment to protect medical marijuana patients from federal prosecution, the fifth such vote in as many years. ____________________________________________ CALIFORNIA: Kern County Patients Struggle with Access A crisis of access is developing in Kern County, as two of the three dispensaries there have elected to close their doors out of concern for federal raids and the county’s inability to protect them from DEA interference. By eliminating regulated access that can be monitored by local authorities, the DEA actually bolsters the illegal, underground market in drugs, as more patients are forced to use street dealers to get the medicine their doctors’ recommend. Medical marijuana users testify of pot's importance by Brynn Galindo, KGET TV 17 (Bakersfield) The owners of two of three marijuana dispensaries in Kern County decided to close their stores, after the Board of Supervisors announced it wouldn't protect the pot shops from federal raids. Pot-dispensary crackdown activates search for options by David Olson, Press-Enterprise (CA) As the number of medical-marijuana dispensaries in the Inland area dwindles, patients are looking for other options while their advocates try to shield them from arrest. ____________________________________________ CALIFORNIA: Claremont Endorses Dispensaries With a medical marijuana dispensary already serving patients in the community, the city council decided it was time to act on adopting appropriate regulations. They put a hold on the opening of new ones while they work out procedures. Medical marijuana dispensary opens in Claremont Claremont Courier (CA) Tuesday night’s council discussion on placing a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries was expected to be fairly routine. Several people had approached the city about opening such a business, according to the city staff report, and the city needed a moratorium in place to give time to craft appropriate regulations. ____________________________________________ NEW MEXICO: Medical Marijuana Program Gets Started Getting medical marijuana legislation passed was a big step in New Mexico, and a testament to Governor Bill Richardson’s commonsense leadership, but once passed, the hard work of figuring out the details of implementation begins. New Mexico’s program is an ambitious one, as it directs the state to set up a cultivation and distribution system of its own, similar to Canada’s. NM medical marijuana applications roll in Associated Press Nearly two dozen New Mexicans have applied to use medical marijuana since the state this month began allowing people with certain debilitating conditions to use the drug for nausea. Local doctors to have say in medical marijuana program The New Mexican Two Santa Fe physicians have been appointed to an eight-member medical-advisory committee that will help guide the New Mexico Health Department’s new Medical Cannabis Program. ____________________________________________ CANADA: Patients Still Insist on Growing Their Own Not all patients can grow their own medical marijuana, but many who can prefer to have that control over their medicine, not to mention avoiding the cost of having to buy it. In Canada, the health department has responsibility for providing medical cannabis to patients, but many have challenged that monopoly, complaining about the quality of the cannabis or other problems with the system. Those challenges are working their way through the Canadian courts. RCMP Seizes Medical Pot User's Plants by Glenn Kauth, Edmonton Sun An Evansburg man who takes pot for his pain fears he's about to get sicker after police seized his weed yesterday. ____________________________________________ IN MEMORIAM: Reform Advocate Virginia Resner Dies A great friend and colleague who was one of the champions of the drug law reform movement has passed away. Virginia Resner was an author and advocate who worked tirelessly on behalf of sentencing reform and medical marijuana. She will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her. Virginia Resner -- strong advocate for reform of national drug policy San Francisco Chronicle Virginia Resner, a longtime advocate for drug policy reform and the families of imprisoned drug offenders, died July 18 after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. She was 60. ___________________________________ MORE ABOUT AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS Find out more about ASA at More medical marijuana news summaries can be seen at
United States

Why Don't More Republicans Oppose the DEA's Medical Marijuana Raids?

United States
Town Hall (DC)

... and Another Letter from a Medical Marijuana Patient

Another patient story posted on the comment boards:
Six years ago I was literally struck down with Fibromyalgia. I simply couldn't get out of bed one morning. I crawled versus walking most of the time as it was less painful. My husband had to lift me onto the toilet, give me baths, cook, etc., because I was of no use to anyone, including myself. I also had no appetite whatsoever. I lost 20 pounds in a matter of weeks, leaving me a frail 100 lb 50 year old. My husband thought maybe marijuana might help with my appetite, so he "scored" some for me. It not only restored my appetite, it also took a lot of my pain away. It makes me sick to think we both could have been arrested. When is this country going to wake up?!!
As before, good question.
United States

Opposition to Medical Marijuana is a Conspiracy to Prevent Broader Legalization

An important fact to understand about the medical marijuana debate is that the federal government knows perfectly well that marijuana is an effective medicine:

*They've been providing it for decades to a select group of seriously ill patients, and continue to do so.
*They've approved a synthetic drug with the same active ingredient (THC).
*They commissioned a huge study in 1999, which explicitly said it works.
*They've been blocking research, which makes no sense if they think the results will favor them.

So the debate over medical marijuana isn't even about whether it has medical properties. It is about something else entirely, stated perfectly by ONDCP's Tom Riley just the other day:
"…a lot of the people who are behind this aren't really interested in sick people who need medicine, they're interested in marijuana legalization and they're playing on the suffering of genuinely sick people to get it." [Reuters]
As silly as it is, this argument explains everything there is to know about why the government actually opposes medical marijuana. Though countless mainstream medical, legal,  and religious organizations support medical marijuana, the federal government remains fixated on drug policy reformers and our role in defending the rights of patients.

The simple truth is that they are afraid that medical marijuana could lead to full-blown legalization of marijuana for recreational use. And it's not an irrational concern. If you're struggling to prevent accurate information about marijuana's effects from reaching the scientific community and the public, the last thing you want is a huge user population that can speak openly about their experiences with the drug.

Ironically, it is ONDCP's obsession with legalization that has turned medical marijuana into a great controversy, not ours. Similarly, it is ONDCP that exploits patients for political purposes, not us. Opposition to medical marijuana is not championed by doctors or scientists. It is funded and carried out by political operatives who want to keep marijuana illegal for everyone. That's the real medical marijuana conspiracy.

United States

Medical Cannabis Rally in Berkeley

Please join us for an emergency response rally to get our resources back and to ask for safe haven for medical cannabis in the city of Berkeley. Please bring as many people and signs as possible to help us rally the city and show local support. Call 510-540-6013 for more info. Spread this far and wide y'all! We need your help NOW! - Debby Goldsberry, Berkeley Patients Group
Tue, 07/31/2007 - 5:30pm
2134 Martin Luther Kink Jr. Way
Berkeley, CA
United States

San Francisco Orders Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to Sell Fatter Bags

Regulation of medical marijuana distribution can have some interesting side effects. The following email, sent to a dispensary operator by an employee of the San Francisco Department of Health, shows that the city is requiring clubs to be more careful in their measurements:
Dear MCD Applicant;

It has come to my attention that some MCD's [medical cannabis dispensaries] are using the incorrect equivalent conversion between grams and ounces. You must use 28.35 grams/ounce, not 28 grams/ounce for all cannabis sold by weight. The law behind this is in the State Business and Professions Code, which is typically enforced by Weights and Measures (State Dept of Agriculture). As they currently are not addressing weights and measures issues regarding cannabis clubs, the City's MCD Inspection Program will enforce this requirement.

Please feel free to share this with any club operator (I do not have email
for most operators).

Thank you for your cooperation.
In other words, San Francisco is ordering dispensaries to give patients more bud for their buck. The extra 3rd of a gram per ounce isn’t going to put any providers out of business, but it's amusing to see the city intervene on behalf of medical marijuana consumers.

This is the kind of regulation the marijuana industry actually needs. Hopefully someday, when the DEA shows up at your dispensary, it won’t be to confiscate your proceeds and product, it will be to warn you: "It's come to our attention that you're selling skimpy sacks…"
United States

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