Medical Marijuana

RSS Feed for this category

Medical Marijuana Debate to Feature Top Government Official, Pulitzer Prize Winner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 30, 2006 Medical Marijuana Debate To Feature Top Government Official, Pulitzer Prize Winner Drug Czar Special Assistant David Murray to participate; journalist Clarence Page to moderate CONTACT: Jed Riffe, producer, “Waiting to Inhale” – (510) 845-2044 WASHINGTON D.C.— Dr. David Murray, special assistant to the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, has announced that he will be participating in an exciting debate on medical marijuana on September 13, 2006. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and nationally syndicated journalist Clarence Page will be moderating the debate, which will take place following a screening of “Waiting to Inhale,” a provocative and educational medical marijuana documentary. Dr. Murray has served as the special assistant to Drug Czar John Walters since 2002. Murray earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and taught at Connecticut College, Brown University, and Brandeis University before coming to Washington, where he served as an adjunct professor in the graduate school of public policy at Georgetown University. He was formerly the executive director of the Statistical Assessment Service (a science, media, and public policy think tank), served on the U.S. Census Monitoring Board, and is coauthor of “It Ain’t Necessarily So: How Media Remake the Scientific Picture of Reality.” Clarence Page is a syndicated journalist and member of the editorial board for the Chicago Tribune. He is an occasional panelist on “The McLaughlin Group,” a regular contributor of essays to “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” host of several documentaries on the Public Broadcasting Service, and an occasional commentator on National Public Radio's “Weekend Edition Sunday.” Page often appears as a political analyst on “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” Other panelists include Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP); Steve Steiner, executive director of Dads and Mad Moms Against Drug Dealers (DAMMAD); and Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). The medical marijuana documentary “Waiting to Inhale” examines both sides of the heated debate over marijuana and its use as medicine in the United States. Twelve states have passed legislation to protect patients who use medical marijuana. However, opponents claim the medical argument is just a smokescreen for a different agenda – to legalize marijuana for recreation and profit. “Waiting to Inhale” takes viewers inside the lives of patients who have been forever changed by illness — and parents who lost their children to addiction. “Waiting to Inhale” sheds new light on this controversy and presents shocking new evidence that marijuana could hold a big stake in the future of medicine. For more information, visit www.WaitingToInhale.org.
Location: 
United States

ASA Study Looking for Medical Marijuana Patients Who Didn't Use Because the Feds Said It Had No Medical Value

FOR YOUR IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION, PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY: Dear ASA member, patients, physicians and supporters: Americans for Safe Access is conducting a nationwide research study and is looking for patients in the U.S. (any state) who for some period of time did not use cannabis because of the federal government's claim that it's not medicine. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists, and concerned citizens working to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research. ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through education, legislation, litigation, grassroots action, advocacy, and direct services for patients and caregivers. PLEASE REVIEW THE CRITERIA LIMITATIONS BELOW TO DETERMINE WHETHER YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW MEETS THE ELEGIBILTY REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICPATE IN THIS STUDY. PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE UNLESS YOU SATISFY ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA: 1. Did a patient NOT consume marijuana for some period of time within the past 5 years BECAUSE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SAID IT HAD NO MEDICAL VALUE? 2. Can patient demonstrate, THROUGH VERIFIABLE MEDICAL RECORDS, that after beginning medical marijuana use, it improved their health or relieved symptoms? 3. Patient MUST possess (or be able to obtain) DOCUMENTED EVIDENCE BY HEALTH PROFESSIONALS that shows harmful effects from their medical condition prior to using cannabis and evidence of relief or diminished effects as a result of cannabis use. 4. Their medical records must document a change in condition within the past 5 years. 5. In addition to DOCUMENTED MEDICAL EVIDENCE, it would be helpful, but not necessary, if their doctor were willing to testify to their improved health condition as a result of cannabis use. A sample scenario would look something like this: Jon Smith (who is HIV+) refused to use cannabis until two years ago because the federal government says it has no medical value. As a result, Jon suffered some physical harm (nausea, pain, weight loss, etc). Finally, Jon decides to use cannabis at the encouragement of his friend(s), doctor(s) or other individual. As a result of his NEW use of cannabis, Jon was able to demonstrate with MEDICAL RECORDS that his health has improved. It is important to understand that you will incur no financial obligations or benefits for your participation in this study. If you or someone you know meets the criteria mentioned above and would be interested in participating in this very important and timely research study, please contact Americans for Safe Access (ASA) as soon as possible. Please send all inquiries to asa-study@SafeAccessNow.org , or contact us by phone at 510-251-1856 xt.306. Thanks for your attention to this very important matter. --------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------- Caren Woodson Director, Government Affairs Americans for Safe Access http://www.safeaccessnow.org/ Help ASA Support Reasonable Medical Cannabis Policies, We Can't Do it Without You! Join ASA today! http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=2283
Location: 
United States

South Dakota AG Must Rewrite Medical Marijuana Ballot Summary, Judge Says

Location: 
pierre, SD
United States
Publication/Source: 
Associated Press
URL: 
http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy_main/2006/aug/26/we_told_them_so

We Told Them So...

Two weeks ago we <?php print l('reported in Drug War Chronicle', 'chronicle/448/south_dakota_medical_marijuana_lawsuit'); ?> that South Dakota medical marijuana patient Valerie Hanna had sued state attorney general Larry Long over a misleading (dishonest?) ballot summary of the state's upcoming initiative, charging the attorney general had violated state law. Yesterday Judge Max Gors opined in favor of Hanna -- and the rule of law -- according to the Associated Press:
"The whole impression leads one to believe that the attorney general wants voters to reject the initiative. The attorney general should confine his politicking to the stump and leave his bias out of the ballot statement that is supposed to be objective," Gors wrote.
The state is not appealing the decision because doing so would prevent them from meeting their ballot printing deadline of September 1. The AP story can be read for free on the web site of the Yankton Press & Dakotan, though you have to register first to get through. Score for our side! We told them so...
Location: 
Pierre, SD
United States

Extravaganja: A Medical Marijuana Comedy Show

September 21, 8:30pm, Los Angeles, CA, "Extravaganja: A Medical Marijuana Comedy Show." Benefit at the Comedy Store, 8433 Sunset Blvd., visit http://www.greentherapy.com or e-mail howard@greentherapy.com for further information.
Date: 
Thu, 09/21/2006 - 8:30pm - 11:00pm
Location: 
8433 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
United States

Medical Marijuana: No More Prison Threat for Renee Boje After Feds Accept Symbolic Plea

One of the most prominent and poignant cases of federal prosecution of people involved in the medical marijuana movement has come to a relatively good end. Renee Boje, who fled to Canada in 1998 rather than face a 10-year to life mandatory minimum sentence for her peripheral involvement in a Los Angeles medical marijuana research grow, pleaded guilty last week to possession of ½ gram of marijuana, was sentenced to one year of probation and allowed to return to Canada. Boje's good news comes roughly four months after another well-known American medical marijuana refugee in Canada, Steve Kubby, saw his own case resolved with a relatively short amount of jail time.

http://stopthedrugwar.com/files/reneeboje.jpg
Renee Boje
Boje, who did little more than water plants, was arrested when the DEA raided a garden maintained by author and AIDS patient Peter McWilliams and cancer patient and marijuana activist Todd McCormick. McCormick served a five-year federal prison sentence for his role in the operation, but McWilliams never got the chance to. He choked to death on his own vomit after being denied the ability to use marijuana while on probation awaiting trial.

Facing the tender mercies of the US federal criminal justice system, Boje fled to the more cannabis-friendly nation of Canada, where she was embraced by that country's marijuana movement. In 2001, she married activist and author Chris Bennett, and the following year gave birth to a son in Canada. Despite the pleas of people from around the world and her growing links with Canada, the Canadian government rejected all her efforts to stay in the country, and it appeared that she would be deported to face justice American-style.

But federal prosecutors in Los Angeles apparently lost interest in persecuting the young woman and sent word they were interested in resolving the case. On August 10, Boje reentered the United States and on August 14, she pleaded guilty before Judge George King, the same judge who presided over the McWilliams and McCormick hearings. When sentencing Boje to probation, he also gave her permission to return to Canada.

While Canadian border officials had threatened not to allow her back into the country -- after all, she had now pleaded guilty to possessing ½ a gram of marijuana and was thus eligible to be denied entry under Canadian law -- they ultimately granted her a six-month visitor's permit. Boje will use that time to obtain Canadian citizenship.

Hearing Scheduled on Medical Marijuana Ballot Item (South Dakota)

Location: 
SD
United States
Publication/Source: 
Associated Press
URL: 
http://www.ktiv.com/News/index.php?ID=3231

Medical Marijuana Patients Get Say in Counties' Legal Challenge to California Medical Marijuana Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ACLU, Drug Policy Alliance and Americans for Safe Access Step In to Represent Medical Marijuana Patients in Lawsuit SAN DIEGO A San Diego Superior Court ruled today that lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Safe Access and the Drug Policy Alliance will be permitted to intervene in a lawsuit brought by several California counties seeking to thwart the state's Compassionate Use Act, which makes medical marijuana legal for patients with a doctor's recommendation. The groups joined the case on behalf of medical marijuana patients and their caregivers and doctors in order to assure their adequate representation in the legal proceedings. "We look forward to the opportunity to stand together with patients in defense of the rights of states to allow medicine to those in need," said David Blair-Loy, an attorney with the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties. "We are heartened that the court recognized the necessity of giving voice to those truly at risk from the counties' ill-conceived actions." San Diego, San Bernardino and Merced counties argued in a lawsuit filed in state court that federal laws prohibiting all use of marijuana invalidate state laws that allow qualified patients to use medical marijuana. The ACLU, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and the Drug Policy Alliance (the Alliance) filed legal papers on July 7, 2006 seeking to intervene in the proceedings. "As the largest grassroots organization of patients, doctors and scientists advocating for safe and legal access, we feel it's critically important that California's medical marijuana laws be respected by everyone," said Steph Sherer, executive director of ASA. Daniel Abrahamson, director of legal affairs for the Alliance, added, "These county governments have ignored the needs of their sick and dying residents and the advice of California's physicians. By intervening in the lawsuit, patients will have the chance to confront their rogue county officials in court and defend the legality of the Compassionate Use Act." In addition to entering the case, the group's filing asked for a court order compelling the counties to abide by and implement California's medical marijuana laws, as well as an order affirming that the state's medical marijuana laws are not preempted by contrary federal statutes. The lawsuit, initially brought by San Diego County and later joined by San Bernardino and Merced counties, challenges state laws that permit patients to use, and doctors to recommend, medical marijuana under explicit exemptions from state criminal laws that otherwise prohibit all marijuana use. The counties' lawsuit further challenges the state's Medical Marijuana Program Act, which calls for the implementation of an identification card program that would allow police and others to more easily identify legitimate medical marijuana patients. The ACLU, the Alliance and ASA maintain that state medical marijuana laws are not preempted by the federal ban on medical marijuana. While the federal government is free to enforce its prohibition on medical marijuana, even in states such as California that permit its use, all states remain free to adopt and implement policies of their own design an opinion shared by the California Attorney General's office and the attorneys general of several other states, including Colorado, Hawaii and Oregon, that permit medical use of marijuana. The groups represent Wendy Christakes, Pamela Sakuda, William Britt and Yvonne Westbrook, Californians who use physician-recommended marijuana to treat medical conditions and their side-effects, including chronic pain and sciatica, multiple sclerosis, rectal cancer, epilepsy and post-polio syndrome. The groups also represent Sakuda's spouse and caregiver, Norbert Litzinger, as well as Dr. Stephen O'Brien, a physician who specializes in HIV/AIDS treatment in Oakland, California, and believes that many of his seriously ill patients benefit from the medical use of marijuana. In addition to being co-counsel, ASA is also a party to the proceedings on behalf of its membership, which includes thousands of medical marijuana patients, caregivers and physicians residing in California. The Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) is also represented by the groups. WAMM is a medical marijuana collective and hospice located in Santa Cruz, California, whose 250 members, the majority of whom are terminally ill, use marijuana to treat a range of conditions. The groups' legal papers are available online at: www.aclu.org/drugpolicy/medmarijuana/26090lgl20060707.html The ACLU's January 19, 2006 letter to the San Diego Supervisors explaining why California's medical marijuana laws are not preempted by federal law is online at: www.aclu.org/drugpolicy/medmarijuana/23565lgl20060119.html California Attorney General Bill Lockyer's opinion issued to the state's Department of Health Services affirming the validity of the state's medical marijuana laws is available at: www.aclu.org/drugpolicy/medmarijuana/21194res20050715.html Additional background on the case can be found at: www.aclu.org/drugpolicy/medmarijuana/23587prs20060124.html
Location: 
San Diego, CA
United States

My South Dakota Medical Marijuana Lawsuit Research

Our article about the South Dakota medical marijuana initiative and the likely lawsuit against state Attorney General Larry Long over what initiative supporters contend is his biased and possibly illegal description of the initiative that will appear on the ballot, got bumped this week, but we expect it to happen next week. I held off for a couple of reasons: First, the lawsuit has yet to actually be filed. Second, I couldn't manage to make contact with South Dakotans for Safe Access sole spokeswoman Valerie Hannah until Friday morning. Hannah, a Gulf War veteran who suffers from nerve gas exposure, will fill me in on what's going on Monday. We published the first story about the pending lawsuit last issue, beating the Associated Press, which came out with its own story Tuesday. While the AP explained that initiative supporters faulted the AG for his ballot language about doctors possibly losing their DEA prescribing licenses, it failed to mention the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Conant v. Ashcroft, where the court ruled quite clearly that physicians have a First Amendment right to recommend medical marijuana without administrative penalty. Conant is a precedent, but it is not controlling in other circuits since the US Supreme Court refused the Justice Department's appeal of the decision. That is the only possibly out for Long--his ballot language says "doctors may" face problems with the DEA. Yes, and monkeys may fly out my butt.
Location: 
United States

Patients Get Okay to Oppose County's Marijuana Challenge (San Diego County)

Location: 
San Diego, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
North County Times
URL: 
http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/08/04/news/sandiego/21_03_458_3_06.txt

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, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 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, Kratom, 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