Medical Marijuana

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Drew Carey Cares About Medical Marijuana

You might remember Drew Carey from his hit sitcom The Drew Carey Show. Now he's hosting, which has a great new episode about medical marijuana:

This program totally confirms my pre-existing belief that we must defend patient access to medical marijuana, and that the spineless bureaucrats who want to take it from them should be tossed into the Potomac.

Interestingly, the DEA refused to be interviewed by Drew Carey for the episode. If they are tired of discussing this issue, perhaps they should stop raiding dispensaries and terrorizing patients and caregivers.
United States

ASA's Medical Marijuana in the News: Week of 10/26/07

RESEARCH: Federal Research Project Findings Withheld

Despite the insistence of federal agencies that there is no medical use for marijuana, for decades a handful of seriously ill Americans have been receiving marijuana grown and paid for by the U.S. Government. The Investigational New Drug program includes only a handful of people now, since the program was closed to new applicants during the HIV epidemic of the 1980s. While each of the participating patients has been certified by physicians who report regularly to the federal government on the effectiveness of the treatment, those in charge of the program have yet to release any data.

A few people get Uncle Sam's weed
by Bryan Denson, The Oregonian
The U.S. government's official policy on marijuana is that it's dangerous and illegal, even in states such as Oregon and California that have approved its medical use. Yet Uncle Sam prescribes pot for 68-year-old Elvy Musikka of Eugene, one of seven test subjects in a little-known federal medical marijuana program.

RESEARCH: Pain and Depression Helped by Low-Dose Cannabis

Prohibition and the attendant reluctance of the federal government to fund or even allow research studies on medical marijuana have slowed scientific advances -- as the AMA predicted in 1937, when Congress passed the first law restricting marijuana. But researchers in other countries are active, and the state of California is now funding research that is starting to be published. Recent findings show that relatively low doses of cannabis can be highly effective in treating pain and depression.

Smoked Cannabis Proven Effective In Treating Neuropathic Pain
Science Daily
Smoked cannabis eased pain induced in healthy volunteers, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR.) However, the researchers found that less may be more.

Cannabis shows anti-depression benefits, but too much has reverse effect
Canadian Press
Cannabis in small doses has some beneficial effects for curbing depression, but too much of the drug can cause the polar opposite effect, a new study suggests.

A Little Marijuana Helps, but Lots May Hurt
by Brandon Keim, Wired
A moderate dose of medical marijuana can soothe your hurts, both mental and physical -- but getting flat-out toasted may actually make the pain worse.

Too much cannabis 'worsens pain'
BBC News (UK)
Smoking large amounts of cannabis for therapeutic reasons may increase rather than reduce pain, a US study suggests.

COLORADO: Test Case Yields Return of Marijuana

Another court case has helped clarify the rules around medical marijuana in Colorado, and the outcome is again largely thanks to attorney Brian Vicente, director of the Colorado Campaign for Safe Access, a joint project of Sensible Colorado and Americans for Safe Access. In this case, police returned the property of a qualified caregiver.

Marijuana returned to caregiver
by Howard Pankratz, Denver Post (CO)
A small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia was returned by Jefferson County authorities today to a medical marijuana caregiver who was issued a summons at Mount Falcon Park earlier this year.

INDIANA: Couple Claims Medical Exception

Just because a state has yet to remove criminal penalties for medical use of marijuana does not prevent patients from using it. Indeed, the chief argument for state medical marijuana laws is not that it will make it available to people who otherwise wouldn’t use it – though that’s true enough – but rather that it removes the threat of prison for the seriously ill and injured who will risk using it regardless of the consequences. If this couple can convince a judge to let the jury hear the facts about their medical conditions and the efficacy of medical marijuana, they may have a chance at acquittal, even though state law does not make the exception.

Couple says their pot is for medicinal use
Associated Press
A couple charged with growing and possessing marijuana say they will plead not guilty because they were growing the illegal drug for medicinal purposes.

Couple say marijuana was for medicinal purposes
by Keith Roysdon, The Star Press (IN)
The owners of a Muncie business, arrested and charged with marijuana possession, said Wednesday that they grew the plant in their rural Henry County home for medicinal purposes.

Muncie couple arrested for growing "medical" marijuana
by David MacAnally, WTHR Eyewitness New (IN)
Owners of a Muncie beer and wine making shop are in jail for growing pot and drug possession. They reportedly admit it's pot, but deny it's wrong. But their defense may not play in an Indiana courtroom.

MISSOURI: Mayor Uses Marijuana Medicinally

Like the couple in Indiana, the mayor of this St. Louis suburb will be fighting an uphill battle in trying to get an exception to state criminal laws. The serious gastro-intestinal condition he has, which can be life-threatening, is notoriously difficult to treat, but marijuana has a long, proven history of helping regulate such problems: relaxing cramping, easing pain, and stimulating appetite. More about how and why medical marijuana helps GI conditions can be seen at

St. George Mayor Admits To Marijuana Use
by Chris Regnier, KTVI - MyFox St. Louis (MO)
St. George Mayor Harold Goodman admits to Fox 2 that there was marijuana in his apartment when cops arrested him there Monday. The 64-year-old former police officer says he suffers from Crohn's disease and at times smoked the marijuana to relieve his nausea and help him eat.

Arrested mayor of St. George, Mo. says marijuana was medical
Associated Press
The mayor of the St. Louis suburb of St. George says marijuana found at his home was for medical use.

OREGON: Case May Clarify Cannabis Processing Rules

A registered Oregon patient has been arrested for processing marijuana into a more concentrated form. Though the process he used was simple one designed merely to separate the active ingredients of the marijuana plant from the leafy and fibrous byproducts, local authorities have charged him with drug crimes. Advocates point out that there is no chemical difference between the extracted product and the raw plant, and predict that the courts will exonerate the man.

Hashing out medical pot law
by Jason Cox, Keizer Times (OR)
Keizer Police recently arrested a medical marijuana grower and patient for manufacturing a controlled substance – hashish oil. Pro-medicinal marijuana advocates have criticized the arrest, saying that creating hash oil – essentially separating the active ingredients of the drug from the plant material, using dry methods, water or a chemical solvent – is legal for medical marijuana patients.

Medical pot provider arrested
by Ruth Liao, Salem Statesman-Journal
A Keizer medical marijuana provider living next to a school was arrested Friday after police found evidence that he was manufacturing hashish, or hash oil, an illegal substance, police said.

A smokescreen for criminals
by Bryan Denson, The Oregonian
Oregon's medical marijuana program has grown colossally in recent years, with autumn harvests so robust it scarcely resembles the modest enterprise approved by voters in 1998.

MONTANA: Medical Marijuana Eased Woman’s Suffering

Since a 60-day hunger strike on behalf of medical marijuana patients first brought her public attention, Robin Prosser was at the forefront of the fight for patient protections in Montana. Those efforts helped persuade voters to approve a medical marijuana law in 2004. But when federal agents intercepted a state-legal shipment of marijuana to her this spring, she lost the supply of the one drug that helped her pain. “Give me liberty or give me death,” she wrote in an OpEd following the incident. Unfortunately, none of her elected officials could guarantee her liberty.

Medical marijuana advocate commits suicide
by Jessie McQuillan , Missoula News (MT)
Robin Prosser didn’t look or sound much like a fighter, but she was. A mother and a musician, the Missoula woman also acted as Montana’s most outspoken advocate for medical marijuana, the only remedy that could ease the ravaging pain of the lupus-like immunosuppressive disease she endured for 23 years. Prosser’s fight ended Oct. 18 when she took her own life.

WASHINGTON: Patient Story Illustrates Problems

Removing criminal penalties for medical marijuana patients is just the first step in a compassionate solution. Devising ways to ensure that they can safely get the medicine they need is the next, and that is one that poses complex situations for law enforcement and policy makers. Washington state is working on addressing the problem by holding community meetings to gather information.

Marijuana patients caught in a cloud of confusion
by Edie Lau and Josh Farley, Kitsap Sun (WA)
Steve Sarich had just finished watering hundreds of marijuana cuttings and stepped into the shower in January when he heard a commotion downstairs. He managed to slip on a bathrobe before a cop walked through the door.

CAMPAIGN 08: Candidates’ Position on Medical Marijuana Shows Character

Medical marijuana may not be the litmus-test issue that most voters in America use to decide whom to support, but attitudes toward the issue reveal much about candidates’ sense of compassion, as well as their attitudes toward federalism, or states’ rights.

Romney hounded by marijuana advocate
by Faith Swymer, The Union Leader (NH)
Clayton Holdon said Mitt Romney's stance on medicinal marijuana is unclear, and the wheelchair-bound Dover resident said he will continue to bird dog the candidate across the state until he receives a sufficient answer.

Politicians continually fail to recognize marijuana's value
by Tim Strube, Daily Trojan (USC)
"I am not in favor of medical marijuana being legal in the country," Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said recently. Like Romney, a large number of Americans don't take marijuana seriously. What most people don't know is the current American view of marijuana is a misconception that denies thousands of years of history.

DISPENSARIES: Patient Need Prompts Proliferation

California has more medical marijuana dispensaries all the time. With a largely urban population and many patients who lack the space or ability to grow their own medicine, patient collectives have sprung up in many communities to ensure that patients have consistent, safe access to the medicine their doctors have recommended. Local officials report that a regulatory approach to dispensaries helps meet the needs of patients while answering the concerns of law enforcement. See more about this at

City Hall accused of dragging feet on medicinal marijuana
by Kevin Herrera, Santa Monica Daily Press
Word spread quickly about the Herb King on Main Street and the owner’s recent decision to dispense medical marijuana. So quickly, in fact, that the midnight tokers barely had enough time to exhale before City Hall put a chokehold on the herbalist, effectively chasing it out of town.

Watsonville council rejects bid for medical pot dispensary
by Donna Jones, Mercury News (San Jose)
The Watsonville City Council banned the sale of medical marijuana in a 5-1 vote Tuesday, noting that patients have relatively close access to pot dispensaries in Santa Cruz.

Watsonville eyes ban on prescription marijuana sales
by Donna Jones, Santa Cruz Sentinel
After narrowly permitting body artists to set up shop last month, the City Council today will consider another potentially controversial business — medical marijuana dispensaries.

ASA BLOG: Comments from ASA Staff and Guests

ASA's blog is helping keep activists informed on the issues and events affecting medical marijuana patients and providers.

ASA’s Trip to LA: Protest, DEA Raid & Interviews
by Rebecca Saltzman
ASA’s trip to LA two weeks ago for the rally calling on Governor Schwarzenegger to Stand Up for Patients’ Rights was apparently well documented.

News From Dallas: ASA on the Road
by Sonnet Seeborg Gabbard
This week, ASA Executive Director, Steph Sherer, Government Affairs Director, Caren Woodson, and I traveled to Dallas, Texas to attend the annual National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s 2007 National Conference in an effort to continue to build a coalition of condition-based groups and expand ASA MS Patients’ Union.

Stop the DEA from Breaking Up Two Happy Families
by Rebecca Saltzman
DEA raids consistently disrupt the lives of innocent patients and providers, but two recent raids have threatened to break up these two happy families: The Naulls and the Martins.


Find out more about ASA at More medical marijuana news summaries can be seen at

United States

Press Release: U.S. Crackdown on Medical Marijuana in Eastern District of California Modest Caregiver Growers Face Federal Prison, Forfeiture

California NORML Release - Oct 24th, 2007 U.S. Crackdown on Medical Marijuana in Eastern District of California Modest Caregiver Growers Face Federal Prison, Forfeiture SACRAMENTO -- The U.S. Attorney's office in the Eastern District of California is waging an aggressive crackdown on medical marijuana, taking up modest cases that would normally be tried in state court and pursuing them with federal charges involving heavy penalties. Recent cases include Michael Lombardo, 49, who has been federally charged for a five-patient medical garden in Nevada County involving 65 to 100 plants, far below the typical 1,000-plant threshold for federal prosecution. While Lombardo's garden was arguably legal under California's medical marijuana law, no medical defense is available to him under federal law. In addition, the federal government has filed to forfeit Lombardo's home. Under federal law, any property used to grow marijuana is subject to forfeiture, regardless of whether it was lawfully acquired. Lombardo, an electrician with no prior offenses, has owned his home for seven years. Other Eastern District Prop 215 caregiver growers facing federal forfeiture of their homes include a Plumas County couple, Jeff Sanderson and Alice Wiegand (also facing criminal charges), Ron Hennig of Siskiyou County, James Robertson of Butte County, and Patricia Hatton, also of Butte County. Hatton's attorney, Jodea Foster, denounced the federal charges as "legal extortion." The crackdown is being led by U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott, who has been soliciting local law enforcement to turn over medical marijuana cases. Many DA's and sheriffs have been happy to do so in order to avoid the difficulties of state prosecution. California NORML denounced both Scott and local law enforcement officials for conspiring to circumvent Prop. 215. "Federal laws against medical marijuana laws are inherently bankrupt and unjust," said California NORML director Dale Gieringer. Under federal law, defendants are denied the right to even mention medical marijuana or Prop. 215 at their trials. Medical marijuana defendants who are prosecuted in federal court typically receive tougher penalties than non-medical offenders in state court. In some cases, Prop. 215 defendants in the Eastern District have been snatched up from state court and hauled off to jail on federal charges after having state charges dismissed. Recent examples include Gordon Rasmussen, charged with a 210- plant caregiver garden in Chico, and Donato Canceleno, a 63-year old disabled patient with a similar garden in Madera County. While each might have been found innocent under state law, they face a potential five-year mandatory minimum under federal law for growing over 100 plants. The Eastern District is particularly notorious for harsh sentences against medical marijuana defendants. Examples include Dustin "DC" Costa, currently serving 13 years - the longest known sentence for any Prop 215 defendant - for a cultivation coop in Merced; Vern Rylee, a severely disabled patient from Trinity County who is serving 71 months in federal prison for cultivation, and David Harde, sentenced to 30 months for a caregiver garden in El Dorado County. Another severely ill defendant, Joe Fortt in Kern County, served 21 months in prison before being deported to Canada. Eastern District prosecutors are currently seeking a five year mandatory minimum against Dr. Mollie Fry and Dale Schafer for growing for patients of their medical clinic in El Dorado County. Another Eastern District defendant, Bryan Epis, is currently appealing a 10-year sentence for a Prop 215 garden that he had wanted to organize as a legal co-op. The Eastern District has also been aggressive in moving against medical cannabis dispensaries. In 2005, Scott circulated a memo to all DA's, sheriffs and police chiefs inviting them to hand over dispensary cases. Earlier this year, the DEA raided a major dispensary near Bakersfield, Nature's Medicinal, even though it had been licensed by the sheriff and was paying sales and payroll taxes. In another case, the feds moved to prosecute the proprietors of the California Healthcare Collective in Modesto even after they had paid some $1 million of sales taxes to the state. California NORML denounced the federal government for wasting resources on imprisoning and prosecuting medical marijuana defendants rather than changing federal law. So far, more than 100 Californians have been federally charged for medical marijuana offenses. "The Department of Justice has prosecuted more California cases for medical marijuana than for terrorism," says Cal NORML director Dale Gieringer. For more info contact Cal NORML: (415) 563-5858 -
Sacramento, CA
United States

This Man Receives 300 Marijuana Joints a Month From the Federal Government

Everyone knows the U.S. government hates medical marijuana. Still, most people understand that, illegal or not, marijuana is a very beneficial treatment for patients with certain conditions. But few people are aware that the federal government actually supplies marijuana to a small group of patients, while still claiming that it isn't medicine. These patients receive 300 joints every 25 days and cannot be arrested for possession anywhere in the country.

This video from last week's NORML Conference features Irv Rosenfeld explaining why the government grows marijuana for him:

Needless to say, words can scarcely describe the hypocrisy of growing marijuana for a select few, while arresting patients and caregivers for the same behavior. I've explained previously how the government knows perfectly well that marijuana is medicine, but if there's one single argument that illustrates this fact, it is that the government actually grows and distributes medical marijuana.

And while we're on this topic, it might interest some folks to know that the government's marijuana is terribly bad. Contrary to the popular urban myth, government pot has very low potency and it's full of seeds and stems. So don't be jealous of Irv Rosenfeld. He may receive huge amounts of free government-grown marijuana that he can smoke wherever he wants. But he also has painful bone tumors, and his free weed sucks.
United States

Only one month to collect 100,000 signatures in Michigan — please help!

[Courtesy of MPP] 

As I wrote you at the end of last month, the Marijuana Policy Project needs your help to place a landmark medical marijuana initiative on the Michigan ballot.

Landmark? Yes, because if Michigan voters are given the opportunity to pass the initiative in November of next year, Michigan will become the first state in the Midwest where patients will be able to use, possess, and grow marijuana legally for medical purposes.

And we can pass the initiative, because the only two public opinion polls that have been conducted in recent years show that between 59% and 61% of Michigan voters support the initiative. And this polling is accurate, because five out of five Michigan cities have passed local medical marijuana initiatives with an average of 64% of the vote since 2004.

I want to thank the 44 generous supporters who made a financial donation after my last message about this campaign. But now I need your help, too.

Would you please donate $10 or more today, so that we can afford to pay our hard-working petitioners who are working furiously to collect the remaining signatures that are needed to place the initiative on the November 2008 ballot?

Our petitioners have done a great job since we kicked off the drive on May 23. But, we still have work ahead of us: In the next month, we need to collect the final 100,000 signatures that are needed to place the initiative on the ballot.

Please donate $10 or more today, so that Michigan voters will have the chance to protect marijuana-using patients who have cancer, multiple sclerosis, and other medical conditions from arrest.

Fully 10.1 million people live in Michigan, so making Michigan the 13th medical marijuana state would provide a huge boost to change federal law to end our government’s persecution of medical marijuana patients nationwide.

If our hard-working petitioners fail to collect 100,000 signatures over the next month, the initiative will not appear on the ballot, and all the work we’ve done — and all the money we’ve spent — in Michigan will have been in vain.

If you live in Michigan, please volunteer to collect 100, 500, or even 1,000 signatures from registered voters over the course of the next month. Or, if you’re unable to do so, please donate $10 or more so that we can pay others to do so.

If you do not live in Michigan, please reach out across state lines to help make medical marijuana legal in the first Midwestern state by donating $10 or more today.

Please lend your support today — and do not delay. I’ll be grateful for anything you can do to help. Thank you for considering this request ...


Rob Kampia
Executive Director
Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C.

P.S. As I've mentioned in previous alerts, a major philanthropist has committed to match the first $3.0 million that MPP can raise from the rest of the planet in 2007. This means that your donation today will be doubled.

United States

ASA’s Media Summary for the Week Ending 10/19/07

ASA IN THE NEWS: PBS Examines the California Quandary

The award-winning Public Broadcasting Service news program, the News Hour, did a segment looking at the policy contradictions around marijuana law enforcement in California. In addition to law enforcement officers, the program interviewed the acting Southern California Coordinator for Americans for Safe Access, Don Duncan, who highlighted the problems created for patients by the refusal of federal officials to work with California on protecting the health and safety of some of the state’s most seriously ill and injured citizens.

California Grapples with Polices on Marijuana
by Jeffrey Kaye, PBS NewsHour
Don Duncan, Americans for Safe Access: Right now, we have a situation in California and in Los Angeles where medical cannabis is legal. Collectives like this one are legal and tolerated. And yet, under federal law, all of that conduct is illegal. And it's very, very important that we harmonize the federal laws with the laws in the states that allow for medical marijuana so patients and providers and facilities like this can be safe.

VERMONT: Program a Success Despite Scare Tactics

As happened in California when the initiative came before voters, many in Vermont’s law enforcement community predicted disaster if medical marijuana were made legal. But in practice, the state has discovered that medical marijuana is in many respects no different from any number of other drugs available with a doctor’s prescription: diversion is not a substantial problem and police have little difficulty distinguishing between qualified patients and drug abusers.

Pot Fears Unfounded
by Brian Joyce, WCAX TV (Burlington, VT)
A little more than three years ago Vermont became the thirteenth state to enact a medical marijuana law despite strong opposition from law enforcement. The police predicted the law that permits physicians to prescribe pot as a pain-killer was just a pretext to legalize marijuana for everyone. Today a top cop acknowledged those predictions have been wrong.

CALIFORNIA: Implementation a Local Matter

The voters had their say on medical marijuana in 1996, telling officials to find ways to make it safely and legally accessible to everyone whose doctor recommends it. The legislature add its two cents in 2003, directing counties to help protect patients and caregivers from arrest by accepting minimum amounts they can grow and possess. Now it’s up to local communities to work out the land use rules for cultivation and distribution.

Council fine-tunes role of marijuana task force
by Cerena Johnson, Eureka Reporter
The Arcata City Council approved the creation of a working group Tuesday to identify guidelines for land-use regulations of marijuana grow houses and clinics.

OREGON: Bad Alternatives Drive Many Advocates

As much as opponents of medical marijuana try to dismiss it as people looking for an excuse to get high, the reality of patients who have undergone extensive drug therapies before turning to medical marijuana as an alternative is compelling. Not only does cannabis lack the unpleasant and often debilitating side effects of many prescription drugs, but its broad-spectrum therapeutic potential means many patients who turn to it can replace or reduce their use of multiple prescriptions. And the unique chemical profile of cannabis makes it far less likely to produce dangerous interactions with other drugs.

Group lights up in favor of medical marijuana
by Katie Wilson, Oregon Daily Emerald
Everyday people are destroying their bodies with perfectly legal and easily accessible drugs, says Sandee Burbank, executive director for Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse. MAMA advocates the Medical Marijuana Program primarily because it has seen people destroyed by pain when the medicine prescribed by doctors didn't work. Often, it made things worse.

OREGON: Medical Marijuana Cultivation Rules Under Discussion

How patients are to get the medical marijuana to which they are legally entitled is a problem for states that have passed laws removing criminal penalties. Oregon is not only trying to set cultivation and possession limits, but now the case of a theft from a backyard medical marijuana garden is raising questions about proximity to schools. One advantage of moving toward a system like California’s is that regulation and security for community dispensaries are more manageable than for widespread home growing.

Theft from medical marijuana grow near McNary High raises questions
by Jason Cox, Keizer Times (OR)
While still prohibited under U.S. law, an Oregon state ballot measure passed in 1998 allows people suffering from certain medical conditions to grow and smoke marijuana legally. Likewise, state law provides enhanced penalties for cultivating, distributing or possessing illegal drugs within 1,000 feet of a school. So what happens when statutes seemingly collide, such as a recent case where a certified marijuana patient was growing his crop mere yards from McNary High School?

Marijuana near school stirs former Keizer councilor action
by Ruth Liao, Salem Statesman-Journal
Former Keizer city councilor Chuck Lee has requested that city officials look into creating an ordinance that would ban Oregon medical marijuana providers from growing near schools.


Keizer May Intervene With Oregon Voter Passed Law
by Neal Feldman, OpEd, Salem News (OR)
Chuck Lee of Keizer, Oregon needs to mind his own business! This ex Keizer city councilman is all up in arms because a homeowner with a fence that borders McNary High School property is a fully legal grower for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) and was victimized by a burglar who stole some of his entirely legal property... harvest from the marijuana plants he grows for four program participants.

RESEARCH: Recent Findings Show Promise of Marijuana-based Therapies

The US government continues to effectively block American research efforts into the therapeutic potential of medical marijuana, but scientific advances elsewhere indicate that cannabis and drugs derived from it may have enormous potential for treating an astonishing spectrum of our most difficult and debilitating diseases.

Research Leaves No Cloud In Medical Pot Debate
by Paul Armentano, Hawaii Reporter
As the author of the recent publication, “Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids: A Review of the Scientific Literature,” I take umbrage with those politicians and law enforcement officials who argue, "Smoked marijuana is not medicine." This allegation -- most recently asserted on the DEA's new website - -- is false, plain and simple.

ASA BLOG: Comments from ASA Staff and Guests

ASA's blog is helping keep activists informed on the issues and events affecting medical marijuana patients and providers.

Patients Rally, Police Raid
by Don Duncan
On Thursday, October 11th, 300 medical cannabis patients and advocates rallied in front of the Governor’s office in downtown Los Angeles demanding that he stand up for patients’ rights and the will of California voters and lawmakers. Later that night night, the DEA and LAPD staged yet another raid on one of Los Angeles’ most respected collectives, the Arts District Healing Center (ADHC). Dozens of protesters turned out again.

California Weekly Round Up
by Sonnet Seeborg Gabbard
Arcata City Council and Local Activists Reach a Working Compromise for Safe Access. Landlord Letters Come to Orange County.


Find out more about ASA at More medical marijuana news summaries can be seen at

United States

New Study: Marijuana Might Cure Brain Tumors

One of the great ironies in the debate over marijuana's medical applications is that the drug may prove to be vastly more useful than many marijuana activists even realize. As the U.S. government continues to block medical marijuana research, scientists around the world are discovering new and exciting possibilities:
Investigators at Bar-Ilan University in Israel report that the administration of THC significantly affects the viability of GBM cells. Glioblastoma multiforme, the most aggressive form of glioma (brain cancer), strikes some 7,000 Americans annually, and generally results in death within one to two years following diagnosis.

"THC [is] an essential mediator of cannabinoid antitumoral action," investigators concluded. [NORML]
Or, in layman's terms, THC might stop tumors from killing people. Isn't that great? Now all we have to do is legalize it so people can cure their brains without fear of being raided by the DEA.

As evidence of marijuana's potential value in treating various cancers continues to grow, it becomes increasingly vital that we silence marijuana opponents who seek to prevent such discoveries from being made. The more helpful the drug turns out to be, the more deadly and foolish becomes the conspiracy to destroy its reputation and punish its users.

Is it really so difficult to conceive of the possibility that this plant, like so many others, exists for a good reason?
United States

Keizer May Intervene With Oregon Voter Passed Law

Keizer, OR
United States
Publication/Source: (OR)

Sponsor a medical marijuana patient today

John Lehman has suffered from AIDS for the last 10 years. The pain medicine he takes kept him unfocused and mainly in bed, keeping him from his work as a writer. "It was frustrating, to say the least, when vague thoughts of stories danced in my head and there was nothing I could do to put them onto a page," he says.

Luckily, John lives in Montana, where voters passed MPP's medical marijuana ballot initiative in November 2004. Since then, patients like John have been permitted to use and grow their own marijuana legally for medical purposes. However, with no income, John couldn't afford the $50 fee to register with the state's medical marijuana program and obtain the ID card that would protect him from arrest.

Fortunately, MPP was able to help. Through our medical marijuana scholarship program, we paid John's registration fee so that, now, he doesn't need to fear being arrested by state and local police.

Here are John's own words:

Fewer pain pills to pop plus using medical marijuana to alleviate my discomfort equals the opportunity to write again. Medical marijuana also stimulates my appetite when keeping my weight is threatened. In turn, this enables me to go out into the community and give back.

If anyone can help continue the phenomenal work of the Marijuana Policy Project by a kind donation, please do. Other patients like me need your help.

Won't you please help other low-income patients get the protection they need by paying a full or partial registration fee?

A donation of $50 will keep one patient out of jail in Montana or Vermont; a donation of $75 will do the same in Rhode Island; and a donation of $110 or $200 will do the same in Colorado or Nevada, respectively. If you can't afford those amounts, please give what you can.

After MPP's recent lobbying campaigns in Vermont and Rhode Island and our ballot initiative campaign in Montana, these three states now allow patients to possess and grow their own marijuana. But many seriously ill patients have little or no income and are unable to afford fees for the required state medical marijuana ID cards. In response, MPP created a financial assistance program to help pay the registry fees for patients who cannot afford it — and has since paid the registration fees for 90 financially needy patients.

Would you please sponsor a low-income medical marijuana patient today? Your donation can prevent medical marijuana patients from being arrested and jailed simply because they cannot afford to pay the registration fee.

Whether it's $10 or $1,000, cancer, AIDS, and other seriously ill patients are hoping you will give the most generous gift you can to help them. Please give now, while it's fresh in your mind. Thanks so much ...


Rob Kampia
Executive Director
Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C.

P.S. As I've mentioned in previous alerts, a major philanthropist has committed to match the first $3.0 million that MPP can raise from the rest of the planet in 2007. This means that your donation today will be doubled.

United States

ASA’s Medical Marijuana in the News: 10/12/07

ASA ACTION: Patients Ask California Governor for Protection

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has expressed his support for California's medical marijuana program, but activists want him to do what he can to stop federal interference. More than 300 patients and advocates attended ASA's rally at the governor's office in LA to help educate him on the importance of this issue. Letters of support came from Republican elected officials as well as Los Angeles City Council Member Dennis Zine and Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby. Local media, which reaches more than 10 million people, covered the protest extensively.

Marijuana activists rally in downtown LA, want end to raids
Associated Press
About 200 people on Thursday protested federal raids on cannabis clinics and urged Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to compel the Bush administration to back off. Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, a pro-medical marijuana group, said Schwarzenegger should coordinate with the 12 other governors whose states have legalized medical marijuana to send a message to Washington.

Marijuana activists assemble downtown
Daily Breeze (CA)
About 200 demonstrated outside of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office in Los Angeles, demanding he do more to end federal raids on cannabis clinics.

CA Marijuana Protest
KSBY - NBC TV 6 (San Luis Obispo)
Marijuana activists rallied today in downtown Los Angeles, calling for an end to federal raids on cannabis clinics and urging Governor Schwarzenegger to compel the Bush administration to back off.

ASA ACTION: Protests of DEA Raids Drawing Attention

Last week’s protest in support of a maker of edible cannabis products for patients got more attention this week. ASA and other advocates are denouncing the rash of recent raids on medical marijuana patients and dispensaries in California.

Advocates decry medical marijuana raids
by Michael Manekin, Contra Costa Times (CA)
The raid of a large Oakland-based manufacturer of cannabis-laced candy last month was deemed by the federal government as a timely victory in the war on drugs. But medical marijuana advocates pointed to the raid as further evidence that the DEA has escalated its attack on California's marijuana laws by targeting the most vulnerable medical cannabis patients.

FEDERAL: Another Dispensary Raided in LA

DEA agents staged another paramilitary-style raid on a California medical marijuana dispensary, seizing records, cash and marijuana, but making no arrests. Alerted to the raid by a network of emails and text messages, more than 75 ASA activists, patients and other advocates protested in front of the dispensary while it happened.

DEA Agents Raid L.A. Medical Marijuana Clinic
KABC TV Los Angeles
A loud protest broke out Thursday night when agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration raided a medical marijuana clinic in downtown Los Angeles.

ELECTION: Presidential Candidates Confronted on Medical Marijuana

The Republican candidates for President have faced tough questioning from medical marijuana patients in town hall meetings throughout Vermont. Mitt Romney was the latest, confronted by a young man who asked if Romney would jail him for using the medicine five doctors had recommended. The published reactions in two student newspapers indicate more politicians may consider whether their stance on medical marijuana can reveal things about their character that matter in the voting booth. All the Democrats running for President have said they would end the federal raids on medical marijuana patients, if elected.

Romney turns back on patient who asks about medical marijuana
by David Edwards and Muriel Kane, The Raw Story
At a campaign stop in Dover, NH, Mitt Romney was asked about medical marijuana by Clayton Holton, who has muscular dystrophy. "I have the support of five of my doctors saying I am living proof that medical marijuana works," Holton told Romney.

Dear Mr. Romney, will you arrest me?
by Mike Overson, Editor, The Eagle (College of Eastern Utah)
Over the weekend I was watching Fox News Network when a story caught my eye. Various people were interviewing Mitt Romney, republican presidential hopeful, when one man’s question caught my attention. The man asked whether or not Romney would arrest him as well as his doctors because of medical marijuana usage.

Hazy stances
by Amanda Lowry, Indiana Daily student
I personally believe that there should be a requirement that every politician who runs for public office must have smoked pot at some point. Even if that experience doesn’t make the politician want to legalize it, he or she will at least realize how dangerous it isn’t. My position on this issue was only strengthened this week after watching a CNN video of Mitt Romney, in typical 2008 Republican front-runner style, dismiss a multiple sclerosis sufferer advocating that medical marijuana arrests be stopped.

COLORADO: Caregiver Case in the News Again

A Colorado couple who helped better define the state standards for qualifying as a medical marijuana caregiver was back in the news, this time because state officials have failed to return their property. The couple was defended in court by Brian Vicente, director of the Colorado Campaign for Safe Access, a join project of Sensible Colorado and ASA.

Judge in medical marijuana case scolds state agency
by Sara Reed, The Coloradoan
A District Court judge in Fort Collins issued a strongly-worded rebuke today to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for not complying with a court order related to a medical marijuana case.

OPED: Patient-Advocate Confronts Naysayers

Many medical marijuana patients find themselves having to educate their friends, families and communities about their condition and why medical marijuana helps. Some become activists, like Lanny Swerdlow, and try to educate even those who are insisting that patients should be imprisoned.

Med marijuana opponent lacks facts
by Lanny Swerdlow, OpEd, Daily Bulletin (Inland Valley, CA)
Marijuana has been used as medicine for over 5,000 years by every civilization in human history. None has ever crumbled due to its use. Over the last 70 years, however, it has morphed into a plant so dangerous that America spends up to $20 billion a year arresting over 825,000 Americans.

EDIBLES: Another Medical Edible Maker Charged

The recent raid on a maker of edible medical marijuana in Oakland, following the recent federal conviction of another, has highlighted the issue of alternatives to smoking the drug. Many patients prefer the alternative of oral ingestion, either by way of baked goods or tinctures. California state law says its legal in all its forms.

Baker's pot bust bares legal clash
by Stan Oklobdzija, Sacramento Bee (CA)
Paula Brown used to be the Betty Crocker of medical marijuana in Sacramento. But about a month ago, Brown came home to find a cavalcade of police cars hauling away her marijuana plants and carting off her cooking supplies, down to the blenders and mixing bowls.

CALIFORNIA: Dispensary Implementation

While many communities have discovered that a regulatory approach to medical marijuana dispensaries can meet both the needs of patients and the concerns of law enforcement, some officials continue to be opposed. ASA’s report on why regulations work, and how dispensaries provide a crucial service to the most seriously ill and injured, can be downloaded at

Sheriff calls for halt of revision to medical pot ordinance
by Karen Holzmeister, Alameda Times-Star (CA)
Sheriff Greg Ahern on Tuesday questioned the proposed update of Alameda County's medical marijuana dispensaries ordinance and what the regulation is trying to accomplish.

D.A. recommendation: Ban Medical Marijuana
Fox News 58 Bakersfield
Proponents of medical marijuana were dealt a major blow Tuesday when District Attorney Ed Jagels recommended banning it across the county.

Oxnard expected to ban medical marijuana center
by Charles Levin , Ventura County Star
The Oxnard City Council will likely vote to ban medical marijuana dispensaries tonight, citing an unresolved legal conflict between state and federal laws.

ASA BLOG: Comments from ASA Staff and Guests

New blog entries from ASA staff and invited guests are helping keep activists informed on the issues and events affecting medical marijuana patients and providers

California Weekly Round Up
by Sonnet Seeborg Gabbard
Hundreds Gather at the Governor’s Office Calling on Him to Stand Up for Patients’ Rights; DEA Raids Downtown Dispensary Following the Rally

Some Examples of Local Cooperation with the DEA in Arresting Medical Marijuana Patients
by Noah Mamber
So, think about this. Medical marijuana use and cultivation has been legal in California since 1996, but more than ten years later, there are still local law enforcement agents who refuse to follow state law.

ASA Files Amicus Brief in California Supreme Court
by Joe Elford
Since the passage of the Compassionate Use Act over a decade ago, California courts have struggled to determine what a person must do to establish himself as the primary caregiver for a qualified patient. In People v. Mentch, which is pending before the California Supreme Court, the Court will provide further guidance.

Obfuscation by Kern County Officials Means No Access for Hundreds of Area Medical Marijuana Patients
by Kris Hermes
In the latest saga of obfuscation by Kern County officials, District Attorney Ed Jagels has recommended the banning of dispensaries in the county.

Medical Marijuana Enters into Electoral Politics
by Rebecca Saltzman
Steve Filson, Democratic California Assembly Candidate for the 15th District, posted his candidate statement on Calitics yesterday.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Pres.) Ice Cold to wheelchair-bound medical marijuana patient
by Noah Mamber
Wow, take a look at Gov. Romney’s cold dismissal of wheelchair-bound medical marijuana patient and muscular dystrophy sufferer Clayton Holton.

New Documentary Illustrates the Need for and Benefit of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries
by Kris Hermes
In a time of increased federal raids and DEA attacks on patients and providers across California, it is important to have educational tools like the new documentary, “Dispensing Cannabis: The California Story,” to illustrate the importance of understanding and protecting dispensaries as an integral part of safe access and the successful implementation of state law.


Find out more about ASA at More medical marijuana news summaries can be seen at

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