Medical Marijuana

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ASA’s Media Summary for the Week Ending 8/03/07

ASA ACTION: Pursuing the Truth about Medical Marijuana FEDERAL: DEA Interfering with Medical Marijuana Dispensaries OREGON: Feds Escalating Investigation of Patients CALIFORNIA: Merced Patient Wants Seized Property Back CALIFORNIA: Implementation Around the State CALIFORNIA: Dispensary Debates Continue RESEARCH: Biased Reporting Skews Findings -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ASA ACTION: Pursuing the Truth about Medical Marijuana When ASA petitioned to correct misinformation about medical marijuana spread by the federal Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration, the agencies stalled for two years and then refused to respond. So ASA filed suit to force the issue. The judge hearing the case has indicated that ASA may be able to make the government respond, but may have no legal recourse to correct the false information. Yet the law says federal agencies must rely on sound science in the information they disseminate, so ASA will first try to get an answer. And if that answer does not acknowledge the consensus of doctors and scientists about the medical efficacy of marijuana, there will be an appeal. Suit Over Pot's 'Benefit' Stumbles by Matthew Hirsch, The Recorder (CA) An Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit can't put the federal government on trial for saying that marijuana has no medical use -- but it might get to challenge the government for blowing deadlines, a federal judge in California ruled last week. Americans for Safe Access sued in February after two federal agencies refused to alter government-published statements saying marijuana has "no currently accepted medical use in the United States." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- FEDERAL: DEA Interfering with Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In the week after the coordinated raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, editorial pages and patient protests around the state have denounced the interference with state and local handling of public health matters. Collusion between the DEA and rogue elements of the LAPD is being investigated, and local officials are calling for changes in the law. Feds, LAPD freeze Berkeley pot club's assets by Paul T. Rosynsky, Oakland Tribune A city-sanctioned medical marijuana dispensary had its assets frozen this week, prompting some city council members to call for new city laws protecting such businesses. Berkeley medical pot club raided by Carolyn Jones, San Francisco Chronicle The Los Angeles Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency seized the assets of a Berkeley marijuana club Tuesday, following a raid of its sister club in Los Angeles. Backers of medical marijuana protest raids by John Asbury, Press-Enterprise (CA) Medical-marijuana advocates staged a protest in front of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration building in Riverside on Friday to oppose recent raids on Southern California distributors. DEA's Scarlet Letter by Celeste Fremon, LA Weekly The DEA and the City of Los Angeles are at war over medical marijuana. On one side of the fight is the Drug Enforcement Administration, which seems to be doing all within its power to shut down the 180 or so medical-marijuana collectives (as dispensaries are called) in Los Angeles County. COMMENT Only Congress can resolve pot battle EDITORIAL, Daily Breeze (CA) In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana users could be federally prosecuted, though the court did suggest that supporters of medical marijuana could lobby Congress to change the law. That's where municipal leaders who support regulating medical marijuana at the local level should place their energies. 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. Why Don't More Republicans Oppose the DEA's Medical Marijuana Raids? by Jacob Sullum, TownHall.com Last week, the Los Angeles City Council voted for a measure that asked the federal government to stop harassing medical marijuana users in California. Minutes later, the Drug Enforcement Administration raided 10 medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles County. Fed's medipot raid priorities are out of whack by Thomas Elias, Columnist, San Gabriel Valley Tribune (CA) There's something almost idiotic about the obviously confused and misguided way in which federal authorities are trying to enforce anti-marijuana laws in California today. DEAsy Pickings by Dan Bernstein, Columnist, Press-Enterprise (CA) I never realized the Drug Enforcement Agency gets the summer blahs, just like everybody else. But I happened to be talking with a friend who knows all about this stuff. DEA thwarts Montana's medical marijuana law by Robin C. Prosser, OpEd, Billings Gazette (MT) Five years ago, I starved myself to bring attention to the plight of the sick in Montana that need medical marijuana. Two years later, I worked hard on the campaign for our state medical marijuana initiative, which passed with more support than any other. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- OREGON: Feds Escalating Investigation of Patients When the US Supreme Court told the federal government that the Constitution does not prevent them from prosecuting medical marijuana patients, government officials said that they would not be going after sick people, just “drug dealers.” Yet they have systematically targeted those who help patients in California obtain their medicine, and now they appear to be secretly preparing for attacks on patients in Oregon. Feds strike medical pot growers by Nick Budnick, Portland Tribune (OR) A secret federal grand jury is duking it out with the state of Oregon to obtain the confidential records of some medical marijuana patients, the Portland Tribune has learned. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CALIFORNIA: Merced Patient Wants Seized Property Back Since ASA began its Return of Property Campaign, patients in California have had fewer problems getting back medical marijuana wrongfully seized in law enforcement encounters. And when there is a problem, patients understand better that they have rights they can insist be respected, as in the case of a Merced man. Medical pot user challenging city by Scott Jason, Merced Sun-Star (CA) Sam Matthews doesn't mind blowing a sweet, thick cloud of marijuana smoke in the city's face. The 25-year-old resident has challenged just about every city official to get the police to return two handfuls of medical marijuana. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CALIFORNIA: Implementation Around the State While state law does not set limits on how much marijuana a patient can possess, leaving that to doctors and patients to decide, the state has set minimum amounts that local authorities must accept without question. Some counties and cities are setting guidelines that allow patients to grow and possess more, without it being specified by a doctor, and one local sheriff has created an ID system for the plants to ensure none will be wrongfully destroyed. Doctors are also developing procedures and standards for the writing of recommendations. Counties, cities set their own marijuana limits by Paul Boerger, Mt. Shasta News (CA) It hasn't happened in Siskiyou County yet, but elected officials in other California counties and cities have passed ordinances governing how many marijuana plants and how much processed plant a legitimate user of medical marijuana may possess at one time. Allman: Zip-ties are in by Mike A'Dair, Willits News The zip-ties are in. So says Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman. The zip-ties are an effort by Allman to reduce the element of fraud in the medical marijuana industry. Goleta Doctor Cracks Down on Pot-Seeking Patients by Barney Brantingham, Santa Barbara Independent You can amble down to one of Santa Barbara’s eight medical marijuana shops, letter from a doctor in hand, and score pot to ease your physical woes. But getting that letter might be a lot harder than some people seem to think, especially if you try to make an appointment with Dr. David Bearman, a well-known Goleta physician. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CALIFORNIA: Dispensary Debates Continue The federal government is trying to intimidate Californians into abandoning its medical marijuana program, but many local officials have recognized that dispensaries not only provide an irreplaceable service for their most seriously ill citizens but allow for closer monitoring. The benefits are outlined in ASA’s statewide study, which is at www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/DispensaryReport. Those who have refused to permit regulated dispensary operations are facing legal challenges from patients. Pleasanton takes lid off medical pot issue by Meera Pal, Contra Costa Times Dressed in a suit and tie, Pleasanton resident Kirk Warren is the last person one would point to as a medical marijuana user. Warren, an executive for a Fortune 500 company, recently went public when he attended a Pleasanton City Council meeting to put a face to the medical marijuana issue. Heated prescription pot users to sue county over canni-ban KGET NBC TV Bakersfield Medical marijuana users said they will sue the county over the closure of local pot shops. They’re angry because Sheriff Donny Youngblood, with the blessing of Board of Supervisors, has stopped issuing permits for the medical pot clinics. Plan to limit new medical marijuana dispensaries OK'd by council by Rick Orlov, Los Angeles Daily News Ban will last a year, while a more detailed ordinance regulating medical marijuana dispensaries is drafted. Pot store moratorium extended by Tania Chatila, San Gabriel Valley Tribune (CA) The city continued a temporary ban on medical marijuana dispensaries but could make it permanent in the next few months. Hayward City Council secretly snuffs pot club by Rachel Cohen, ANG Newspapers More than a dozen patients from the Hayward Patients Resources Center pleaded with council members at the meeting to keep the city's last medical marijuana dispensary open. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- RESEARCH: Biased Reporting Skews Findings When another research study is released showing that smoking marijuana is not only far less harmful than smoking tobacco but actually has an apparent protective quality for those who smoke both, one might expect the news reports to tout marijuana’s healthful benefits. But instead, reporters have mischaracterized questionable findings on a single measure of lung function not associated with disease. Such sensationalism serves the government's agenda but not the public interest. Study: 1 joint is as bad as 5 cigarettes Associated Press A single joint of marijuana obstructs the flow of air as much as smoking up to five tobacco cigarettes, but long-term pot use does not increase the risk of developing emphysema, new research suggests. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MORE ABOUT AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS Find out more about ASA at our website AmericansForSafeAccess.org.
Location: 
United States

Feds Bust Former Portland Police Detective for Medical Marijuana

Location: 
Portland, OR
United States
Publication/Source: 
Salem-News.com (OR)
URL: 
http://www.salem-news.com/articles/august072007/federal_rogues_8707.php

Women Advancing Medical Cannabis March

Please come get involved! You are cordially invited to join with Women Advancing Medical Cannabis for a symbolic march to City Hall. We will display our patriotism as citizens dedicated to the will of the people and our empathy for all patients who feel bereft of hope that safe access will remain a reality. We at WAMC are your sisters, mothers, lovers and friends. We need your support more than ever before. If you would like to RSVP, please do so to march@wamcla.org; our website is still blossoming but available at http://www.wamcla.org, as well as our MySpace, at http://www.myspace.com/wamcla. We have flyers available for you to print and distribute at our website and MySpace, and some of your favorite collectives will have them as well. We are in the process of organizing provided transportation via bus and van, so please let us know if you are interested so that we may reserve the necessary amount of seats for what will be a united, beautifully orchestrated arrival of many of us at once. (Again, some of your favorite collectives may have sign-up sheets concerning transportation.) We urge all interested parties to march alongside us - be they in wheelchairs, walkers, canes or in need of someone to lean on while we make our way up to City Hall. How you 'march' is how you feel, and it shows. WHO ARE THESE WOMEN? We are not Sondheim's Ladies Who Lunch. We have little appreciation for cocktails of Flexeril, Ambien, Oxycodone or Actiq followed by multiple Mimosas. We are concerned patients who are dedicated to the further enrichment of the Medical Cannabis community and survival of safe access for all patients. We are your mothers, sisters, daughters and partners; we seek to merge these traits into the minds of those who know not what a 'patient is'. We hope to see you there. Spread the word! The more the merrier. Thank you! Lauren Rothman Women Advancing Medical Cannabis E-mail: la@eloquentscream.com
Date: 
Wed, 08/15/2007 - 9:00am
Location: 
255 E. Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA
United States

City firm on pot lawsuit

Location: 
Claremont, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (CA)
URL: 
http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_6553044

A Peek Inside a Marijuana Dispensary

Location: 
CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
BusinessWeek
URL: 
http://images.businessweek.com/ss/07/08/0803_marijuana/index_01.htm

Medical pot user challenging city

Location: 
Merced, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
Merced Sun-Star (CA)
URL: 
http://www.mercedsunstar.com/local/story/13858427p-14429878c.html

Feds strike medical pot growers

Location: 
Portland, OR
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Portland Tribune (OR)
URL: 
http://www.localdailynews.com/news/story.php?story_id=118609925649231700#comment_section_container

ASA Press Release: Seniors Take on Medical Marijuana

Dear ASA Supporters, The press release below refers to a cable network program that is the result of ASA working with Retirement Living TV over the past six months and is a part of ASA’s campaign to focus on Senior outreach, including ASA’s Seniors Union (http://www.safeaccessnow.org/modinput4.php?modin=59). It is some of the best coverage on this issue I have seen. You can see a 5 minute teaser on RLTV's website (http://rl.tv/OurShows/Viewpoint/tabid/598/Default.aspx). The Seniors Union works with ASA to distribute important research information to medical professionals, work with other senior organizations to support patients' right to cannabis in lieu of failed alternatives, and advocate for safe and legal access to cannabis for all seniors who need it. The Seniors Union is open to seniors who use medical cannabis, caregivers, family members, researchers, physicians, and other health providers who support the use of medical cannabis. The primary objective of this project is to renew relationships with key condition-based organizations like AARP and other senior communities that have traditionally kept an arms length from this issue. Specifically, we would like senior organizations to endorse our organizational goals, and engage with ASA to lobby Congress and administrative agencies to end federal raids, expand therapeutic research, and create access programs for patients across the United States. The fact that ASA shares intersecting patient populations with a variety of condition-based organizations provides us with unique opportunities for collaboration. The strategy of the Medical Cannabis Seniors Union project is to underscore the needs of medical cannabis patients: elimination of federal raids and prosecutions, expansion of therapeutic research opportunities, and immediate access to a safe and legal supply of cannabis. Creating new alliances with other senior organizations will provide a broader base of support for our goals. To get involved in this project, please follow this link: www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/RLN Sincerely, Steph Sherer Executive Director Americans for Safe Access Join us today… www.AmericansforSafeAccess.org/Donate ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Media Release Americans for Safe Access For Immediate Release: August 1, 2007 Seniors Take On Medical Marijuana Retirement Living Television segment airs today in millions of homes; Poll shows 82% support Washington, D.C. -- A Florida medical marijuana patient, Irv Rosenfeld, who receives his medicine from the federal government, was interviewed by the country’s largest television network devoted to retirement programming for a news magazine segment that aired today in millions of homes across the country. The program Viewpoint, produced by Retirement Living Television (RLTV), which boasts 29 million viewers, also interviewed Dr. Bertha Madras, the Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. And, an RLTV promotional program, Daily Café, which aired yesterday, included an interview with Caren Woodson, the Director of Government Affairs for Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy organization. According to RLTV, its program Viewpoint sought to investigate “the relationship between seniors living with chronic pain and their choice to use medical marijuana to alleviate their constant discomfort.” In addition to providing important and relevant information on medical marijuana to seniors by way of its television program, RLTV also offers additional information on-line at www.rl.tv. According to its website, RLTV considers itself “the new voice of a generation under-served by the media industry,” and “the foremost experts on aging and seniors.” RLTV is currently polling its viewers on the issue, and so far claims that 82% support medical marijuana with a physician’s recommendation. Today’s RLTV Viewpoint segment is especially timely in its focus on a Los Angeles dispensary, California Patients Group (CPG), which served more than a thousand patients over the age of fifty. After the RLTV interview was conducted, CPG was raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), had its assets seized, and was forced to close. “This action against CPG and other facilities in the Los Angeles area shows the extent to which the federal government will go to undermine California’s medical marijuana law and patients’ right to chose their medicine,” said CPG operator Don Duncan. Dr. John Benson, one of the co-investigators at the National Academy of Sciences, who issued the 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on medical marijuana, was also interviewed for the Viewpoint program. Dr. Benson and others concluded in the IOM report, a million-dollar investigative report commissioned by the Clinton Administration that, “Scientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs [medical marijuana] for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation.” The IOM report also urged further research, a recommendation that has been ignored by the federal government. This is not the first time a major retirement-focused organization has taken on the issue of medical marijuana. In December 2004, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) released a report, which found that 72% of people surveyed who were 45-years and older “agree that adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if a physician recommends it.” Nearly one-third of those surveyed admitted that they smoked marijuana. In order to educate both seniors, and the physicians caring for them, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has developed a booklet on “medical marijuana and aging” that is disseminated to literally thousands of people nationwide. This education is necessary due in part to the federal government position that “marijuana has no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” Advocates are hopeful that with the efforts of RLTV, ASA, and others, medical marijuana can be effectively used by our country’s aging population and by all who might benefit from its therapeutic properties. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- RLTV Viewpoint promotional segment (full program available tomorrow):www.rl.tv/OurShows/Viewpoint/ tabid/598/Default.aspx AARP 2004 Report: www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/AARP Institute of Medicine 1999 Report: www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/marimed / ASA booklet on Aging and Medical Marijuana: www.AmericansForSafeAccess.org/aging_ booklet
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Council secretly snuffs pot club

Location: 
Hayward, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Oakland Tribune (CA)
URL: 
http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandtribune/localnews/ci_6534380

Pot grower can't meet need

Location: 
Vancouver, BC
Canada
Publication/Source: 
Victoria Times Colonist (Canada)
URL: 
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/capital_van_isl/story.html?id=d5c2447e-5805-4260-b6bd-6e7b952b3a40

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