Marijuana

RSS Feed for this category

Home State Blues, or What's an Itinerant Activist To Do?

Your itinerant Drug War Chronicle has been bouncing around North America for the last few years, spending significant amounts of time in Washington state, British Columbia, Mexico, Northern California, and my home state, South Dakota. The traveling is nice, but I’ve felt politically homeless, as if my presence anywhere were too fleeting for me to be able to do local or state-level politics, and that’s a frustration. So, as much as I would rather be elsewhere, I’m thinking I need to hunker down here in Dakotaland and try to get something done. It is not friendly territory. South Dakota is the only state where voters rejected an initiative to allow the medicinal use of marijuana. Although it was a close vote, 52% to 48%, it was still a loss. Medical marijuana bills (introduced by an acquaintance of mine) early in the decade went nowhere. The state has one of the fastest growing prison populations right now, thanks largely to its approach to methamphetamine use. Marijuana possession is routinely punished by $500 fines, and there is a good chance of jail time, too. (In fact, you may be better off being convicted of drunk driving, if my local court records are any indication.) And, most hideously of all, South Dakota is the only state I know of that has an “internal possession” law. That means when the police arrest you with a joint, they make you submit to a urine test, then charge you with an additional offense if you test positive. South Dakota judges also routinely sign drug search warrants that include forced drug tests. I know one gentleman currently serving a five-year prison sentence for “internal possession” of methamphetamine metabolites, and no, it wasn’t a plea bargain. That was the only charge they had. South Dakota’s drug reform community (which can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand) seems beaten down, but I think I’m going to reach out and see if I can’t get anyone interested in a four-pronged drug reform legislative package: Hemp. Our neighbors in North Dakota have passed a bill allowing farmers to grow hemp and are currently suing the DEA to force it out of the way. South Dakota farmers would like to make profits, too. Medical marijuana. Yeah, we lost a close one last year, and it’s never been able to get any traction in the legislature. But I think we should make them deal with it again. Our neighbors in Montana seem to be surviving medical marijuana. Marijuana decriminalization. Does South Dakota really think pot possession is more serious than drunk driving? Does the legislature understand the lifelong impact of pot conviction on its constituents? Our neighbors in Nebraska decriminalized pot back in the 1970s, and the cornfields are still standing. Repeal of the internal possession laws. Criminalizing someone for the content of his blood or urine is just wrong. Winning any of these will be an uphill battle, and perhaps even linking hemp to broader drug reform issues would spell its doom here. But I think it’s every good activist’s responsibility to do what he can to slow down the drug war juggernaut, so I’m going to give it a shot. What are you doing in your state?
Location: 
United States

Medical Cannabis Lobbying at Wisconsin's Capitol

Please join Jacki Rickert, Gary Storck and other patients and supporters for medical marijuana lobbying at the Capitol. For details, attend the Madison NORML meeting on July 9 or call 241.8922.
Date: 
Tue, 07/10/2007 - 9:00am - 5:00pm
Location: 
2 E. Main Street
Madison, WI 53702
United States

Give protection to patients who need medical marijuana

Location: 
HI
United States
Publication/Source: 
Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)
URL: 
http://starbulletin.com/2007/07/07/editorial/editorial01.html

Ed Rosenthal scheduled to be sentenced this afternoon

Location: 
San Francisco, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
KGET TV 17 (CA)
URL: 
http://www.kget.com/news/state/story.aspx?content_id=702e21b1-f4c7-434e-a189-9ce1b58b4682

ASA’s Medical Marijuana in the News: 6/29/07

COLORADO: Limits on Medical Marijuana Program Challenged NEW MEXICO: Medical Marijuana Law Takes Effect July 1 CONNECTICUT: Medical Marijuana Bill Vetoed But Issue Not Closed FEDERAL: Rosenthal Refuses to Accept Defeat TENNESSEE: No State Law, but Much Discussion FEDERAL: Opinion-Makers Weigh in on Medical Marijuana NEW YORK: State Lawmaker Explains Support for Bill OREGON: Doctor Discusses his Education in Medical Marijuana -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- COLORADO: Limits on Medical Marijuana Program Challenged The Colorado Campaign for Safe Access, a joint project of ASA and Sensible Colorado, is leading the legal challenge to the state’s arbitrary limit of five patients per caregiver. Campaign director Brian Vicente is representing an HIV-positive medical marijuana patient who has had difficulty finding a caregiver to provide the medicine for which he is registered with the state. The amendment passed by voters that created the program does not limit the number of patients a caregiver may server, but the state health department created the five-patient limit in a closed door meeting that Vicente says violates both state rules and the Colorado constitution. Medical pot user, 47, with AIDS sues state by Katie Kerwin McCrimmon, Rocky Mountain News An AIDS patient who says he needs to smoke marijuana every day to ease nausea from his medications is suing the state of Colorado to expand access to marijuana providers. Medical marijuana user sues over Colorado state policy KJCT Channel 8 (CO) A Denver man who is registered to use marijuana for medical reasons is challenging a limit on how many people medical marijuana providers can serve. ______________________________________ NEW MEXICO: Medical Marijuana Law Takes Effect July 1 Thanks to the intervention of Governor and Presidential hopeful Bill Richardson – who has said it was just the right thing to do -- patients in New Mexico will be able to join a state medical marijuana program beginning next week. The state is the first to mandate a government-operated production and distribution system for medical marijuana, but that system is not yet in place, so the state Health Department has just modified the rules to allow patients and caregivers to also grow their own. State to let patients grow their own pot by Diana Del Mauro, The New Mexican When lobbyists rallied this year at the Roundhouse to legalize medical marijuana, they distinctly said patients wouldn’t be growing this mind-altering herb. Rather, the state Health Department would create a secure production and distribution system — the first state to do so. But in a surprise move Thursday, the Health Department unveiled a provision that allows patients to grow a limited number of marijuana plants with protection from state prosecution. Medical marijuana to be legal next week in N.M. Associated Press New Mexicans with HIV-AIDS and certain other diseases will be able to apply for a new medical marijuana program as of July 1st. New Mexico patients may apply for medical marijuana on July 1 by Donald Jaramillo, Cibola Beacon (NM) The New Mexico Department of Health will begin accepting applications for the medical marijuana program starting July 1. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CONNECTICUT: Medical Marijuana Bill Vetoed But Issue Not Closed With a University of Connecticut poll showing 83% of voters supporting medical marijuana legislation in the state, the governor’s decision to veto has left the public sorting out what happened. In Rhode Island, where the governor also vetoed a state measure this session, lawmakers quickly voted to override. If Connecticut’s lawmakers voted in line with their constituents, the same would happen there. Legislators fall on two sides of the medical marijuana fence by Jordan Fenster, Fairfield Minuteman (CT) Last week, Gov. Jodi Rell vetoed a bill that would have legalized the use of marijuana for some medical purposes. The bill, which passed both houses of the Connecticut state legislature, was particularly divisive in Fairfield, where local legislators came down strongly on both sides of the issue. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- FEDERAL: Rosenthal Refuses to Accept Defeat The retrial of author and medical marijuana advocate Ed Rosenthal may have ended with his being found guilty again, but he is not about to go quietly. He has filed a motion for a new trial saying that the court should have allowed him to present a defense that explained that he was growing marijuana as an officer of a city of Oakland program, as well as information about the medical benefits for patients. 'Guru of Ganja' wants new trial by Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle Ed Rosenthal, the self-described "Guru of Ganja" convicted for a second time last month of violating federal drug laws by growing marijuana for medical patients, wants a new trial. ______________________________________ TENNESSEE: No State Law, but Much Discussion The case of local patients such as Bernie Ellis (see www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/crossfire for his story) has folks in Tennessee talking about medical marijuana, even if the legislature has not yet taken action. Local patients and advocates are pushing for a measure that would remove state criminal penalties. Medical Marijuana WTVF - News Channel 5 (Nashville, TN) For more than 4,000 years it was used medicinally. Then in 1942 medical marijuana was banned in the United States, but that's not the end of the story. Today, patients with illnesses like cancer, AIDs and MS say it relieves pain and reduces nausea from their meds, and is the only thing that got them through. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- FEDERAL: Opinion-Makers Weigh in on Medical Marijuana Editorial writers have been condemning the federal prohibition on the medical use of marijuana for some time. But recently many have begun to draw links to other policies, seeing the refusal to acknowledge science – or even common sense – as part of a larger problem. The War on Medical Marijuana by Paul Krassner, Huffington Post Anthropologists of the future will look back upon these times as incredibly barbaric. One such example is medical marijuana, which is already legal in a dozen states, yet prohibited -- and trumped -- by federal law. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NEW YORK: State Lawmaker Explains Support for Bill As New York continues to move toward a limited medical marijuana law that would protect the most seriously ill patients from state criminal prosecution, lawmakers are explaining why they support the bill. For the Record: Medical Marijuana in New York Brooklyn Eagle Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny, D-Coney Island, Dyker Heights, announced that the Assembly passed legislation allowing the use of marijuana to treat serious, life-threatening illnesses under a doctor’s supervision. He said that medical studies have proven that the drug can offer relief to HIV/AIDS and cancer patients as well as other patients with life-threatening conditions. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- OREGON: Doctor Discusses his Education in Medical Marijuana Even physicians frequently have to overcome the many myths that have been spread about marijuana to come to an understanding of its therapeutic potential. An Oregon doctor and toxicologist who has become an advocate for medical marijuana late in his career was recently interviewed about that by a local station. Oregon Medical Marijuana Doctor Provides Answers Part-5 by Bonnie King, Salem-News (OR) In the fifth installment of our special look at medical marijuana around Oregon and the rest of the nation, Salem-News.com's Bonnie King and Dr. Phillip Leveque talk about many of the propaganda and myths that preceded any real knowledge about Cannabis in the United States. ___________________________________ MORE ABOUT AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS Find out more about ASA at http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org. More medical marijuana news summaries can be seen at http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?list=type&type=122.
Location: 
United States

Wash. to Set Medical Marijuana Limits

Location: 
Seattle, WA
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Washington Post
URL: 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/05/AR2007070500284.html

Al Gore's son arrested on drug charges

Location: 
CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Australian (Australia)
URL: 
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,22020989-1702,00.html

Pot law on hold

Location: 
CO
United States
Publication/Source: 
Rocky Mountain News (CO)
URL: 
http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_5614822,00.html

Grandmother welcomes medical marijuana

Location: 
NM
United States
Publication/Source: 
KOB-TV 4 (NM)
URL: 
http://kob.com/article/stories/S129063.shtml?cat=504

Unpaid bills mount over Ottawa's pot

Location: 
Victoria, BC
Canada
Publication/Source: 
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
URL: 
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070703.BCPOT03/TPStory/National

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School