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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
Date: 
Tue, 07/31/2007 - 5:30pm
Location: 
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…"
Location: 
United States

DPA Press Release: As Feds Raid Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in CA, Congress Rejects Proposal to Protect Ill Patients

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 26, 2007 CONTACT: Bill Piper at (202) 669-6430 or Tony Newman at (646) 335-5384 On Day That Feds Raid and Shut down Ten Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in California, Congress Rejects Proposal to Protect Seriously Ill Patients and Their Caregivers from Federal Arrest House Rejects Amendment to Cut Off Funding to the Raids, 262 to 165 Majority of Democrats Vote for States’ Rights and Compassion, While Republicans Betray Both Their Principles and Their Grassroots Base As the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration raided and shut down ten medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives considered and rejected an amendment that would have prohibited federal law enforcement agencies from arresting and prosecuting terminally ill patients and their caregivers in states that have legalized marijuana for medical use. The amendment was voted down, 262-165. Offered by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), the amendment received 150 votes from Democrats and 15 votes from Republicans. “It is outrageous that members of Congress rejected a sensible amendment to protect sick people and their families ," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. "We will make sure that voters in their districts know that they voted to send cancer and AIDS patients to federal prison for following their doctor’s recommendation." "With soldiers dying in Iraq, new terrorism threats emerging, and the federal defecit so large, both Congress and the Bush Administration need to get their priorities straight," Piper continued. "America can not afford these raids on medical marijuana patients and their caregivers, not on fiscal terms, not on law enforcement and national security terms, and not on human terms. This ongoing assault on the will of California voters is an utter waste of federal resources, and it's causing great suffering to sick people and their families. If we don't stop this federal interference now, the feds could start interfering with the laws of Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and other medical marijuana states." Background and Key Facts: Twelve states passed laws allowing terminally ill patients to use marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation (Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington). More than 70 percent of voters support the right of patients to use marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation – including substantial majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents (Gallup, Time/CNN, Pew Research Center, other polls). In 1997, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) commissioned the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to assess marijuana’s medical value. After two years of reviewing the scientific data available “the study team found substantial consensus among experts in the relevant disciplines on the scientific evidence about potential medical uses of marijuana.” The study team concluded, “nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety…all can be mitigated by marijuana.” The esteemed medical journal, The Lancet Neurology, reported that marijuana’s active components “inhibit pain in virtually every experimental pain paradigm.” Health organizations supporting legal access to medical marijuana include: American Academy of HIV Medicine, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Nurses Association, American Preventive Medical Association, American Public Health Association, California Academy of Family Physicians, California Medical Association, Florida Medical Association, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Lymphoma Foundation of America, New England Journal of Medicine, New York State Association of County Health Officials, New York State Hospice and Palliative Care Association, New York State Medical Society, and the Whitman-Walker Clinic. Faith-based organizations supporting legal access to medical marijuana or state discretion on the issue include: Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church, National Council of Churches, Progressive National Baptist Convention, Presbyterian Church (USA), Religious Society of Friends (Philadelphia Yearly Meeting), Union for Reform Judaism, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist Association, and the United Methodist Church. No religious denomination opposes medical marijuana.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Hinchey “encouraged” by House support for failed medical marijuana bill

Location: 
Washington, DC
United States
Publication/Source: 
Mid-Hudson News (NY)
URL: 
http://www.midhudsonnews.com/News/med_mar_Hinchey-30Jul07.html

Deputies employ new tactic to weed out illegal pot growers

Location: 
CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)
URL: 
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2007/July/29/local/stories/02local.htm

My Representative Explains Why She Voted Against Hinchey-Rohrabacher

Although I'm sitting in British Columbia this month and will be in Northern California next month, I am registered to vote in South Dakota. My representative in Congress--South Dakota only has one congressperson--is Democrat Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. Elected in 2004 in an extremely tight race, she has consistently voted against Hinchey-Rohrabacher, which would stop the feds from arresting and prosecuting medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal. I emailed and telephoned her office prior to the vote urging her to vote for Hinchey. Again this year, she voted against it. Here's her reason why:
July 27, 2007 Mr. Phillip Smith XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Huron, SD 57350 Dear Phillip: Thank you for contacting me regarding the issue of medical marijuana. I appreciate hearing from you. As you may be aware, on July 25th, the House of Representatives again defeated an amendment that would have prevented federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act against medical marijuana users and providers in the states that have approved such use. I opposed the amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has addressed the scope of federal authority to make and enforce laws regarding medical marijuana. The Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Department of Justice can continue to enforce the federal Controlled Substances Act against medical marijuana use in states whose laws authorize medical marijuana use. The ruling does not strike down state laws approving such use, but permits the Department of Justice to continue enforcing federal laws regarding such use. Thank you again for contacting me. I will keep your thoughts in mind as issues related to medical marijuana use are discussed in Congress. Sincerely, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
Basically, Herseth Sandlin is saying that illegal (under federal law) is illegal, and she's not about to get in the way of the DEA--even if it means allowing the agency to disrupt the lives of seriously ill people (whom she never even mentions). She does not bother to say where she stands on the issue of medical marijuana, only that the feds are allowed to enforce the law. As much as I disliker her reasoning and her vote, she has something of a point: If we don't like a law, we should get rid of it, not allow it to remain on the books but with no funding to enforce it. Now, I understand the political realities that lead to efforts like Hinchey-Rohrabacher: A bill to legalize medical marijuana at the federal level will go nowhere any time in the foreseeable future, and we want to do something NOW to stop these raids. But as my Blue Dog Democrat representative and her fellow "no" voters demonstrate, Hinchey-Rohrabacher doesn't seem to be going anywhere, either. Maybe it's time to drop the Hinchey effort and retarget. Is it better to push for the currently unobtainable--a federal medical marijuana law--or try to seek interim fixes like Hinchey? I don't have a good answer. All I know is I'm getting very frustrated playing this political game. Where's my "Don't Tread On Me" flag? I'll have some more suggestions tomorrow about where we can go from here, and they don't involve begging our political leaders to do it for us. Stay tuned.
Location: 
United States

Another Letter from a Medical Marijuana Patient

This one is excerpted from a post made anonymously on our comment boards by a reader from Ohio:
I have had multiple sclerosis and a seizure disorder for 13 years now. I tried it the legal way and just got sicker and sicker, to the point of staying in bed all day. Then I tried marijuana, and it's like a wonder drug for me! I do not get high from the marijuana, it helps relax my muscles and takes the spasms away. Not to mention it's the only way I have an appetite to eat anything. How could someone tell me, no medical marijuana for you?
Good question.
Location: 
OH
United States

The People Support Medical Marijuana, Even If Congress Does Not

After retaining the right to arrest medical marijuana patients and caregivers, ONDCP's Tom Riley was unable to contain his glee:
Riley called the vote "a really tough day" for backers of the medical marijuana legislation.


"More and more people are realizing there is a con going on…" [Reuters]
This is just false on so many levels. For starters, we're gaining votes every year and we know more or less what to expect. Yesterday's result is not some sort of shocking rebuke of our position. If anything, Riley should be a bit concerned that 165 members of Congress think his whole team has its head up its collective posterior.

Similarly, Riley's assertion that "more and more people" are turning against medical marijuana is utter nonsense. We would have liked to get more votes, of course, but this is still the most support medical marijuana has seen in Congress. Public support for medical marijuana is far greater, hovering between 70% and 80%. Riley knows perfectly well that this issue is a full-blown public relations nightmare for his office, and he should be supremely grateful that idiocy about medical marijuana is better represented in Congress than the general population.
Location: 
United States

photos from LA raid aftermath on LAist web site

Photos from the aftermath of the raid on LA's Cannabis Patients Group coop, including the civil disobedience action, can be found online here.
Location: 
Los Angeles, CA
United States

Photo Essay: Hollywood Medical Marijuana DEA Raid

Location: 
Los Angeles, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
LAist (CA)
URL: 
http://laist.com/2007/07/27/medical_marijuana_dea_raids.php

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