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The Fifth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics: Re-Entering Mainstream Medicine

Patients Out of Time is pleased to announce, and invite you to, this amazing conference. Please join us for international experts representing the latest research and exciting developments in the knowledge and understanding of the unique properties of medical cannabis/marijuana. This cutting edge, accredited conference will bring replicated, science based research to clinicians, patients, legislators, the press and the public. Plan on being part of this important event. Located along the Pacific Coast within minutes of Monterey, Carmel, and Pebble Beach, Asilomar Conference Center is a unique and inspiring facility that will make this conference a memorable event. CME credits issued by the Medical School of the University of California, San Francisco. CEUs will be provided as well. For the conference agenda, see: For the conference registration, see: For the faculty list, see: For media credentials info, see: For more about Patients Out of Time and even more details about the conference, see:
Thu, 04/03/2008 - 8:00pm - Sat, 04/05/2008 - 5:30pm
800 Asilomar Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
United States

Urge Your Legislator to Oppose DEA Medical Marijuana Raids -- Support SJR 20

[Courtesy of CA NORML] CAL: URGE YOUR LEGISLATOR TO OPPOSE DEA MEDICAL MARIJUANA RAIDS - SUPPORT SJR 20 See: California Senate Asks Feds to Cease Harassing Law Abiding Dispensaries! Urge Your Senator to Vote YES on SJR 20! NORML is pleased to announce that SJR 20, a resolution stating the Senate's opposition to the federal government's crackdown on local medical cannabis providers, has been introduced in the California State Senate and referred to the Senate Committee on Health. This resolution would reinforce the Senate's opposition to the Drug Enforcement Administration's raids on medical marijuana facilities that pay sales tax and comply with California law. If passed, the California State Senate will forward copies of this resolution to the President, Vice-President, Speaker of the House, and all California representatives and senators, urging them to respect California law. Please take a moment and write your state senator today asking him or her to support SJR 20. If your senator sits on the Senate Committee on Health, then it is even more imperative that he or she hears from you. For your convenience, a prewritten letter will be sent to your state senator when you enter your zip code below. Click on: -- California NORML, 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114 -(415) 563- 5858 -,
United States

Europe: Poll Finds Britons Prefer Status Quo on Marijuana, But One Quarter Would Support No Penalties At All

A poll conducted last month by the Angus Reid Global Monitor found that a plurality of Britons -- 41%--believe people caught possessing marijuana for their personal use should face the penalties associated with Class C drugs. Another 27% said marijuana possessors should face no penalty at all.

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, possession of Class C drugs (marijuana, tranquilizers) is punishable by up to two years in prison, possession of Class B drugs (amphetamines, barbiturates) garners up to five years, and possession of Class A drugs (heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine) is worth up to seven years. Marijuana was down-scheduled to Class C in 2005, but the Labor government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown is hinting broadly that it will reschedule it back to the more serious Class B in the near future.

But according to the Angus Reid poll, while 68% of respondents favored either the status quo or some form of decriminalization or legalization, only 13% supported treating marijuana possession as a Class B drug offense, and only 11% supported subjecting pot smokers to the seven years in prison associated with Class A drugs. Nine percent of respondents had no clue.

Oddly enough, Angus Reid itself spun the poll results as suggesting support for a tougher line on marijuana. "Most Britons Want Jail for Marijuana," read the headline of its release. While that headline is factually accurate -- 65% think marijuana possession should be punished as a Class A, B, or C drug offense -- it is misleading because a plurality supports the status quo -- not an increase in penalties -- and a sizeable minority supports having no penalties at all.

Europe: Grow Ops Pop Up in Southern Norway

Norwegian police have made a number of marijuana grow operation arrests this year, according to the Oslo newspaper Aftenposten. Gardens busted on Kråkerøy Island, near Fredrikstad, and Kongsberg in Buskerud over the weekend were just the latest indications that cannabis cultivation is taking off in the land of the Norse.

Those two raids were the fourth in a week, and the 14th and 15th in recent months in southern Norway. Other garden busts have occurred in Telemark, Buskerud, Hedmark, and Østfold counties. Many of the busts have involved Vietnamese growers, according to police.

Police believe many of the grow ops are linked, and the national crime unit, Kripos, has been called in to aid local investigators. "We've noticed that many of these cases bear similarities," said Kripos spokesman Atle Roll-Mathiesen. "We've gotten involved, to look at the links between them."

Scandinavian countries generally have tough drug policies, and Norway's drug laws are no exception. While small-time drug possession, including marijuana possession, is charged under a relatively lenient section of the Norwegian criminal code, drug cultivation or trafficking offenses, including those involving marijuana, are serious crimes punishable by up to 21 years in prison.

Top Doctors Association Says "YES" to Medical Marijuana in Historic Endorsement

In a position paper, a leading American medical association has endorsed the medicinal use of marijuana, called for more studies of its medical uses, and urged the US government to get out of the way. The position paper from the American College of Physicians was released last Friday after being approved by the group's governing body.
protest in CA against medical marijuana raids (photo courtesy ASA)
The American College of Physicians (ACP) is the nation's second largest doctors' organization, behind only the American Medical Association. It is made up of some 124,000 internal medicine specialists dealing primarily with adults.

The college pointed to strong evidence that marijuana has proven useful in treating AIDS wasting syndrome, glaucoma, and the nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy treatments. The college also noted that there is anecdotal evidence for many other medical uses of marijuana, but that research had been stymied by "a complicated federal approval process, limited availability of research grade marijuana, and the debate over legalization." The science of medical marijuana should not be "hindered or obscured" by the controversy over legalizing the plant for personal, non-medical use, the group said.

"This is a historic statement by one of the world's most respected physician groups, and shows the growing scientific consensus that marijuana is a safe, effective medicine for some patients, including many battling life-threatening illnesses like cancer and AIDS," said former US Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders in a press release from the Marijuana Policy Project. "Large medical associations move cautiously, and for the American College of Physicians to note 'a clear discord' between scientific opinion and government policy on medical marijuana is a stinging rebuke to our government. It's time for politicians and bureaucrats to get out of the way of good medicine and solid research."

"This statement by the American College of Physicians recognizes what clinicians and researchers have been seeing for years, that for some patients medical marijuana works when conventional drugs fail," said Dr. Michael Saag, director of the Center for AIDS Research at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. "One of the challenges in HIV/AIDS treatment is helping patients to adhere to drug regimens that may cause nausea and other noxious side effects. The relief of these side effects that marijuana provides can help patients stay on life-extending therapies."

"This statement by America's second largest doctors' group demolishes the myth that the medical community doesn't support medical marijuana," said Marijuana Policy Project executive director Rob Kampia. "The ACP's statement smashes a number of other myths, including the claims that adequate substitutes are available or that marijuana is unsafe for medical use. 124,000 doctors have just said what our government refuses to hear, that it makes no medical or moral sense to arrest the sick and suffering for using medical marijuana."

While the ACP position paper consists of 13 closely reasoned pages, the group summarizes its medical marijuana positions thusly:

Position 1: ACP supports programs and funding for rigorous scientific evaluation of the potential therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana and the publication of such findings.

Position 1a: ACP supports increased research for conditions where the efficacy of marijuana has been established to determine optimal dosage and route of delivery.

Position 1b: Medical marijuana research should not only focus on determining drug efficacy and safety but also on determining efficacy in comparison with other available treatments.

Position 2: ACP encourages the use of non-smoked forms of THC that have proven therapeutic value.

Position 3: ACP supports the current process for obtaining federal research-grade cannabis.

Position 4: ACP urges review of marijuana's status as a schedule I controlled substance and its reclassification into a more appropriate schedule, given the scientific evidence regarding marijuana's safety and efficacy in some clinical conditions.

Position 5: ACP strongly supports exemption from federal criminal prosecution; civil liability; or professional sanctioning, such as loss of licensure or credentialing, for physicians who prescribe or dispense medical marijuana in accordance with state law.

Similarly, ACP strongly urges protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients who use medical marijuana as permitted under state laws.

"The richness of modern medicine is to carefully evaluate new treatments. Marijuana has been in a special category because of, I suppose, its abuses and other concerns," Dr. David Dale, the group's president and a University of Washington professor of medicine, told Reuters in a phone interview.

An uncharacteristically terse David Murray, chief scientist for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, could only appeal to science in an interview with Reuters. "The science should be kept open. There should be more research. We should continue to investigate," he said.

Dale Gieringer, executive director of California NORML had a few nits to pick with the ACP's statement, but approved overall. "This is an important step," he said. "But when they say they support the existing federal supply system, it suggests they are unaware of all the systematic blockage of independent research caused by the NIDA monopoly and DEA interference."

Similarly, said Gieringer, while government licensing and regulation of medical marijuana makes sense, that doesn't mean we have to maintain the existing NIDA monopoly. "It just doesn't make sense to do that," he said.

Where Gieringer was pleasantly surprised was with the ACP's call to end the criminal persecution of medical marijuana patients, providers, and doctors. "They came out really forcefully against criminalization," he noted. "That's very impressive. No one else has been willing to address that. All of these apologists for the government run around saying you can't have unregulated medical marijuana, but that doesn't mean you need to throw patients and doctors in jail."

The medical community's embrace of medical marijuana has been timid and hesitant, with a number of important organizations, including the American Medical Association, lagging behind. This policy statement by the nation's second largest medical association should give that process an important boost.

Marijuana: New Hampshire Decriminalization Bill Hits Bump

A New Hampshire bill that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana hit a bump Tuesday when the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee gave it a thumbs down. But despite the committee vote, the bill is not dead and will be the subject of an expected roll-call vote on the House floor.

The move was especially disappointing coming after a subcommittee of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee approved it on a 3-1 vote last week. But even that vote had resulted in a scaling back of the original proposal. Instead of the original one ounce cut-off point, the subcommittee voted to make it one-fourth of an ounce.

HB 1623 would reduce the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana from a Class A misdemeanor with possible jail time to a violation punishable by a maximum fine of $200. Sponsored by Reps. Jeffrey Fontas (D-Nashua), Andrew Edwards (D-Nashua), and Charles Weed (D-Keene), the bill has garnered strong public support, but also loud law enforcement opposition.

While proponents were disappointed with the committee's decision not to recommend the bill for further action, they expect a lively floor debate. "We're looking forward to taking the conversation to the floor of the House," Fontas said following the session.

"It's clear that legislators are becoming increasingly concerned about the unintended consequences of marijuana prohibition," explained Matt Simon, executive director of the New Hampshire Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana Policy, the Marijuana Policy Project-affiliated group that is leading the campaign. "Based on this vote, it seems discussing sensible marijuana policy still makes some people uncomfortable. But people sure are talking, and they're realizing the consequences of penalties that far exceed the offense they're supposed to correct."

Eleven states have decriminalized marijuana possession, including New Hampshire neighbors Maine and New York. The Vermont Senate passed a similar measure last week.

Just Say Know Weekly News: 2/15/08

[Courtesy of Just Say Know] Visit Our Web Site: If you’re using internet explorer web browser click this link: If you’re using any other web browser click this link: Please pass this message on to ALL your contacts in the USA and ask them to join our mailing list using the form on our web site. THANK YOU! We never share email addresses from our mailing list with anyone. Just Say Know works on your behalf toward drug policy reform, preserving and re-instating your legal rights. Drug policy and enforcement tactics are out of control and removing your rights at an alarming rate. Your financial contributions are greatly appreciated. To make a donation reply to this message with “donation” in the subject line and an associate will contact you. Thank you for your consideration. Don’t hesitate to contact us by replying to this message; we appreciate your comments, questions and concerns. Together we will make a difference! You are invited to attend the Marijuana Policy Project meeting, Saturday, February 16th, from 1:30 to 3 pm at 7405 Arlington Expressway, Jacksonville, Florida. More details are at the bottom of this message. No matter where you stand on drug policy we can all agree that there are better ways to deal with drugs without anyone having to die or be hurt. Our current drug policy, after over 70 years and over a trillion tax dollars spent has proven to be a failure and is doing far more harm than good. There has only been one successful anti-drug campaign, it targeted tobacco. Almost half of all smokers stopped using this highly addictive drug and no one went to jail or got hurt or killed. IT CAME ABOUT THROUGH EDUCATION NOT A WAR ON TOBACCO USERS. Tell your friends about the "Enough is Enough" petition to stop the reckless overuse of SWAT tactics and save the lives of civilians and police alike. This petition is sponsored by: -- see Feature Story: Can you believe we have to argue with our government about making it legal for licensed physicians to recommend marijuana to seriously ill and in some cases dying patients? Our government is arresting, harming and sometimes killing people over using a drug that thousands of doctors and patients have testified is safe and effective. In some cases marijuana can take the place of FDA approved drugs that have serious side effects. Sometimes the FDA approved drugs even cause death. There has never been a death caused by a marijuana overdose, not one in all of history. It is one of the safest drugs known. It’s time to take action. You can begin by attending MPP’s medical marijuana meeting tomorrow 2-16-2008. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR OUR GOVERNMENT OUTLAWING MEDICINE RECOMMENDED TO PATIENTS BY A LICENSED PHYSICIAN. Why is the government so adamant about outlawing marijuana? It’s well known that marijuana was originally outlawed without a shred of evidence proving it harmed anyone or society. What’s the real story? Why all the hubbub? The research we’ve done points to corruption and greed. Be sure to read this article . This amazing plant can produce over 50,000 products, reduce pollution, reduce deforestation, is more efficient as pulp for paper than trees, can be used to efficiently produce cleaner fuel than petroleum, natural gas or coal, can be used as food in a variety of ways that have no intoxicating effects, can produce almost anything made from cotton using significantly less toxic chemicals and producing superior product quality, the list goes on and on. We believe its illegal and being kept illegal to protect special interest groups that marijuana will compete with once its legal. Be sure to visit our web site and read “Marijuana Facts The Government Does Not Want You To Know” on the home page. If you’re using internet explorer web browser use this link: If you’re using any other web browser use this link: This country is still run by the people but if you sit around waiting on someone else, it may be your door that gets kicked in, it may be you that’s sick and gets shot by the government for using marijuana to relieve your pain, chemo reactions or other illness, it may be your children, money, livelihood or property that get taken away. Property is sometimes confiscated with no evidence and no legal recourse. Think this is a fairytale? Click here . The truth is, the drug war is being used as an excuse to remove your rights and steal your property. We are by no means saying all politicians or police officers are guilty of this but there is a mountain of evidence supporting the need for policy reform that makes citizens, their family and their property more secure. One very good first step will be to take away the ability of criminals to profit from marijuana. How? Just like it was done with alcohol, remove the prohibition and regulate legal adult use. The drug war and its devastating effects on society must be stopped. Stand up, call, email, write letters or go see your elected representatives. Click here to locate and contact your congressional representatives . The life you save may be your own or a loved one’s. Consider this, what would you do if you or someone you loved was sick or dying and a licensed physician said marijuana could help heal the condition or relieve the suffering? TELL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND POLICY REFORM. You can get a wealth of information about medical marijuana by visiting our web site and clicking “Web Links” in the site map. Learn what doctors are saying. Learn what conditions marijuana has shown to be beneficial in treating. If you’re using internet explorer web browser use this link: If you’re using any other web browser use this link: One of the most eye opening sources of information about why the drug war needs to end is a video produced by “LEAP” Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. If you haven’t seen it yet please take a few minutes and view it now. Here’s a link to the video: Please give us your feedback, just reply to this message any type your answers in the spaces between the questions below: Why do you think marijuana is illegal? Should marijuana be illegal? (why) Do you feel threatened by marijuana smokers? Do you believe marijuana smokers are hurting society? If you were given the chance to make it legal for adults to grow and smoke marijuana in the privacy of their own home how would you vote? (why?) How do you feel about our government declaring war on responsible adult marijuana users? Should the government continue to take away the children of responsible adults that smoke marijuana even when these parents keep it away from their children? Does the war on drugs make you feel more or less secure? Do you believe some police dogs are trained to “false alarm” in order to give police an excuse to search without a warrant and confiscate property? How do you feel about your constitutional right to face your accuser being taken away because a “confidential informant” allegedly said you were involved with drugs? Do you believe legalizing and regulating adult drug use would end the drug war related crime and violence because it would take the profit out of drug dealing the same way ending alcohol prohibition took the crime and violence out of the illicit sale of alcohol? How do you feel about military style invasions by police performing “no knock” searches of private homes in the middle of the night and tossing “stun” grenades into these private homes, which often house children? Did you know thousands of these type searches occur every year in low level drug cases? ---------------------------- Thank you for providing your feedback to the questions above! ----------------------------- Several large religious organizations support medical marijuana? Here are details on a few: Presbyterian Church (USA) On June 21, 2006, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) became the latest religious body to endorse legal access to medical marijuana for seriously ill patients. By consensus, the denomination passed a resolution “urging Federal legislation that allows for its use and that provides for the production and distribution of the plant for those purposes.” United Methodist Church The United Methodist Church adopted the following position at their General Conference in 2004 by a vote of 877-19: “Some countries permit the use of marijuana in medicines. Recently, some states in the United States have passed legislation permitting the medical use of marijuana. The medical use of any drug should not be seen as encouraging recreational use of the drug. We urge all persons to abstain from all use of marijuana, unless it has been legally prescribed in a form appropriate for treating a particular medical condition.” Subsequently, the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society signed on to the following statement: “Licensed medical doctors should not be punished for recommending the medical use of marijuana to seriously ill people, and seriously ill people should not be subject to criminal sanctions for using marijuana if the patient’s physician has told the patient that such use is likely to be beneficial.” Episcopal Church In 1982, the Episcopal Church passed a resolution in support of prescriptive access. [67th Convention of the Episcopal Church (B-004)a] The statement says that, “the Episcopal Church urges the adoption by Congress and all states of statutes providing that the use of marijuana be permitted when deemed medically appropriate by duly licensed medical practitioners.” ------------------------------------- We would appreciate you informing your associates about this upcoming meeting by posting or distributing the flyer below. ------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana in Florida: Who Why and How? Want to learn more about medical marijuana in Florida? Then please plan to attend the following meeting in Jacksonville being sponsored by the Marijuana Policy Project. MEETING DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16 – 1:30 to 3 p.m. LOCATION: Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville (7405 Arlington Expressway) Jacksonville, FL Please spread the word and join the conversation! Contact: Noelle Davis -- Federal Policies Consultant -- Marijuana Policy Project (512) 659-1108 –
United States

Second Largest Doctors Group Endorses Medical Marijuana

United States

Medical Marijuana: California Vending Machines Draw Ire of UN Narcs

When medical marijuana vending machines appeared at a handful of Los Angeles-area dispensaries a couple of weeks ago, the press attention they received was enormous -- so enormous that it was heard deep in the bowels of the UN anti-drug bureaucracy in Vienna. Roused from its dogmatic slumber by the clamor, the UN's International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) issued a statement last Friday saying the machines violate international drug treaties and should be shut down.
medical marijuana vending machine on CBS News
"The International Narcotics Control Board is deeply concerned about reports that computerized vending machines to dispense cannabis (marijuana) have been put into operation in Los Angeles," said INCB head Philip Emafo in the statement. "We know that the use of cannabis is illegal under federal law of the United States and we trust the authorities will stop such activities, which contravene the international drug control treaties," he added.

The federal government may not recognize medical marijuana, but it is legal under state law. So far, there is no indication that providing it via vending machines violates the state's medical marijuana laws, much less international treaties which only prohibit non-medical use. And so far, the DEA has not acted against them.

The machines have appeared in three Los Angeles dispensaries, and supporters say they are convenient for patients, secure, and could provide medical marijuana at lower prices. Qualified patients who wish to use the vending machines must provide documentation and fingerprints to the dispensary, which then issues them a card to insert in the machine.

While the INCB reiterated that marijuana is illegal under federal law, it also seemed to suggest that if marijuana was going to be used, its use should be controlled by a federal agency. "The control measures applied in California for the cultivation, production and use of cannabis do not meet the control standards set in the 1961 Convention to prevent diversion of narcotic drugs for illicit use," the INCB said. "Such standards require, inter alia, the control of cultivation and production of cannabis by a national cannabis agency, and detailed record keeping and reporting on the activities with cannabis, including reporting to INCB."

The INCB also took pains to note that it "welcomes sound scientific research on the therapeutic usefulness of cannabis," although it claimed that "so far, the results of research regarding the potential therapeutic usefulness have been limited." But in the same breath, it then complained that Canada and the Netherlands have authorized medical marijuana "without reporting conclusive research results to the WHO" and that "cannabis is used for medical purposes in some jurisdictions of the United States without having definitive proof of its efficacy."

Whether the INCB's "concerns" will spur action from either federal or state authorities remains to be seen. But with each new dispensary, each new delivery service, each entrepreneurial innovation like the vending machines, the medical marijuana industry is becoming ever more deeply entrenched in the social fabric of the Golden State. It may be too late for anybody to stop it -- even the UN.

Canada: Smell of Pot No Grounds for Arrest or Search, Says Saskatchewan Appeals Court

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal has ruled that the scent of burning marijuana emanating from a car window is not probable cause for an arrest and vehicle search. The decision came in the case of Archibald Janvier, who was pulled over for a broken headlight four years again in La Loche, Saskatechewan.

When the officer approached Janvier's truck, he said he could smell burnt marijuana. He arrested Janvier for marijuana possession based on smelling the burnt weed, then searched the vehicle and found eight grams and a list of names, which led to Janvier being charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.

At trial, the judge found that the scent of marijuana created a suspicion it had been smoked, but did not provide "reasonable and probable" grounds for either the arrest or the search. To arrest him based simply on the scent of burnt marijuana violated his right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, the judge ruled as he declared him not guilty.

The Crown appealed the verdict, but the appeals court upheld the judge's verdict. That was the correct decision, said Ronald Piche, Janvier's attorney.

"Until now, police have used the smell of marijuana as reasonable grounds to arrest someone for possession of marijuana," he told Canwest News Service after the decision. "It always struck me as a little thin, frankly. It's frankly a lazy officer's way of giving out a warrant, and getting to check a vehicle out, and oftentimes finding some evidence."

It's hard to possess something that's already been smoked, Piche continued. "The smell alone can't constitute the grounds, because the smell of burnt marijuana -- as opposed to raw marijuana -- gives an inference that the material is gone, it's dissipated into the atmosphere. So how can you say you're in possession of something that doesn't exist?" Piche said. "There may be suspicion that the person is in possession of marijuana, but that's not enough to base an arrest."

Crown prosecutors, unsurprisingly, were not happy. Crown lawyer Douglas Curliss told Canwest the court's decision was based on the lack of any additional evidence to justify an arrest and search. "The court was of the view that all he had was the smell of burnt marijuana alone; he couldn't act." Still, he said, the Crown will not appeal the decision.

Is there a continental trend here? Last March, the Utah Supreme Court held that the smell of burning marijuana is not enough evidence for a warrantless home search. And just last month, a California Appeals Court ruled that even seeing someone smoking pot inside a home was not sufficient grounds for a warrantless entry.

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