Medical Marijuana

RSS Feed for this category

Gathering Will Mark 10 Years of Medical Marijuana Use

Location: 
San Francisco, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
Los Angeles Times
URL: 
http://www.latimes.com/features/health/medicine/la-me-pot4nov04,1,93472.story?coll=la-health-medicine&ctrack=1&cset=true

Federal Official Criticizes Medical Marijuana Issue

Location: 
SD
United States
Publication/Source: 
Associated Press
URL: 
http://www.yankton.net/stories/110406/news_1580110406.shtml

Medical Marijuana: Students lose shirts off their backs for Initiated Measure 4 (The Rapid City Journal)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2006/11/03/news/top/news03.txt

Medical Marijuana Patients Arrested at DEA Convention in San Diego 7 Arrested, 1 Cited for Demanding to Speak with Federal Agency Chief

SAN DIEGO-Medical marijuana patients demanding to speak with the head of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency were arrested in San Diego shortly after noon today for refusing to leave the site of an agency convention. The seven patients arrested and one cited were among the sixty patients and activists protesting at the Marriott San Diego Mission Valley, where the DEA is holding a meeting to discuss medical marijuana. The protestors dumped 1,500 empty pill bottles in front of the hotel, asking that DEA chief Karen Tandy tell them where they should get their medicine, now that the agency has shut down all medical cannabis dispensaries in the area. The patients refused to leave until Tandy spoke with them. When she declined, San Diego police arrested the seven for trespassing and cited one. "Doctors recommend cannabis and patients use it because it works," said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, the medical cannabis advocacy group that organized the protest. "The DEA is inflicting unnecessary suffering on tens of thousands of Americans by denying them a safe, effective medicine. It has to stop." Earlier in the day, two other patients were cited for dropping a banner near the hotel that read "The DEA is Not My Doctor." The seven arrested are: Ira Altshuler, Wendy Christakes, Alex Franco, Chris Fusco, Kris Hermes, Dale Tripp, and Kristen White. The one person cited was spinal-injury patient Craig McCain. Patients in San Diego report that they are having difficulty getting safe access to the medical cannabis their doctors recommend since the DEA raided or threatened all the medical cannabis dispensaries in the area. Similar raids in the past month have shut dispensaries in Modesto, as well as in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and San Francisco. For clips of the arrests: Among the media present and filming were Fox News (XETV) and ABC (KGTV). The San Diego Union Tribune's Laura Embry was also taking photos. # # # With more than 30,000 active members with chapters and affiliates in more than 40 states, Americans for Safe Access is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research.
Location: 
United States

Video Offer: Waiting to Inhale

Dear Drug War Chronicle reader:

Many drug reform enthusiasts read on our blog this fall about a new video documentary, Waiting to Inhale: Marijuana, Medicine and the Law, and an exciting debate here in Washington between two of my colleagues and a representative of the US drug czar's office that followed the movie's screening. I am pleased to announce that DRCNet is making this film available to you as our latest membership premium -- donate $30 or more to DRCNet and you can receive a copy of Waiting to Inhale as our thanks for your support.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/waitingtoinhale-small.jpg
I've known about Waiting to Inhale for a few years, and I am pretty psyched to see it out now and making waves. People featured in the movie -- medical marijuana providers Mike & Valerie Corral and Jeff Jones, patient spokesperson Yvonne Westbrook, scientist Don Abrams -- are heroes whose stories deserved to be told and whose interviews in this movie should be shown far and wide. You can help by ordering a copy and hosting a private screening in your home! Or you and your activist friends can simply watch it at home for inspiration. (Click here for more information including an online trailer.)

Your donation will help DRCNet as we pull together what we think will be an incredible two-year plan to substantially advance drug policy reform and the cause of ending prohibition globally and in the US. Please make a generous donation today to help the cause! I know you will feel the money was well spent after you see what DRCNet has in store. Our online donation form lets you donate by credit card, by PayPal, or to print out a form to send with your check or money order by mail. Please note that contributions to the Drug Reform Coordination Network, our lobbying entity, are not tax-deductible. Tax-deductible donations can be made to DRCNet Foundation, our educational wing. (Choosing a gift like Waiting to Inhale will reduce the portion of your donation that you can deduct by the retail cost of the item.) Both groups receive member mail at: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036.

Thank you for your support. If you haven't already checked out our new web site, I hope you'll take a moment to do so -- it really is looking pretty good, if I may say so myself. :) Take care, and hope to hear from you.

Sincerely,


David Borden
Executive Director

Manufacturer Advertises Marinol as "Legal Marijuana"

Drug warriors such as Andrea Barthwell and David Murray have argued strenuously that cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals such as Marinol and Sativex are completely different from marijuana. They’ve bristled at Rob Kampia’s claims that Sativex is "liquid marijuana" and they’ve long used the availability of Marinol as an excuse to arrest patients who prefer cultivated marijuana instead.

Whether extracted or synthesized, THC-based medicines don’t include anything not present in the plant itself, so it’s ludicrous to argue that one can be medicinal and the other can’t. Yet they’ve done exactly that. Afterall, if this stuff is medicine, it sure as hell isn’t marijuana.

Thus I was rather surprised to come across this Google ad:

The link goes directly to the official Marinol website, sponsored by Solvay Pharmaceuticals. So while Barthwell is saying the stuff ain’t pot, Solvay is marketing their product as "legal marijuana."

Moreover, since Google ads are designed to offer products relevant to the web page on which they appear, Solvay’s ads target anyone interested in marijuana. Structured as such, this ad campaign will reach many recreational users and encourage them to become patients. I’m not saying that’s what they’re trying to do, but it's unusual to see a pharmaceutical company boasting that its product is legal.

Let’s assume Solvay is merely trying to inform the public that one needn’t break the law in order to enjoy the widely recognized medical benefits of marijuana. It’s perfectly understandable, and very smart from a marketing perspective. Afterall, if I had to choose between nausea medications, I’d pick the one that lists "exaggerated happiness" as a possible side effect.

The fun part is that by calling Marinol "legal marijuana", Solvay is basically mocking the very people who helped them get Schedule III approval in the first place. And they’ve got absolutely nothing to lose. Aggressively marketing Marinol at this time makes sense with Sativex on the horizon.

Ultimately, the drug warriors’ goal of distinguishing cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals from the plant itself could prove a lost cause. Marijuana is popular among patients and a large segment of the general population. Claiming that these pharmaceuticals are totally different from marijuana may suit hardcore drug warriors trying to save face, but it’s not smart if you’re trying to win over patients who like marijuana or prospective patients who’ve heard good things about it. You’re better off saying your product is similar but legal and more potent.

So if Solvay Pharmaceuticals refers to its medicine as marijuana, and patients refer to their marijuana as medicine, it seems everyone’s on the same page except Barthwell and Murray.

Location: 
United States

Drug Reform and Drug Reformers in the 2006 Elections -- The List

In a national political season dominated by the war in Iraq and concerns about the direction in which the country is headed, drug policy issues have largely been ignored this year. Drug policy issues are on the ballot in several states and localities and drug reformers are running for statewide office in a handful of states. Here are the campaigns and races we will be watching and reporting on next week.

NATIONAL

United States Congress: We are not singling out any races in this crucial, possible sea change, election year, and no single race has been distinguished for its drug policy implications. Should Democrats take control of one or both chambers of Congress, that could potentially have significant ramifications for the issue -- imagine Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) as head of the House Judiciary Committee instead of Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), for starters. Historically drug reformers have tended to find both major parties disappointing, however.

If you are interested in how your representative represents your views on drug policy issues, the Drug Policy Alliance has prepared a 2006 Drug Policy Reform Congressional Voter Guide, as have Marc Emery and Cannabis Culture.

STATE INITIATIVES

http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/files/ballot1.jpg
Election Day approaching
Arizona: Proposition 301 would roll back a decade-only sentencing reform law as it applies to methamphetamine offenders. Under the sentencing reform, first- or second-time drug possession offenders cannot be sentenced to jail or prison -- only to probation. This legislature-sponsored initiative would allow meth offenders -- and only meth offenders -- to be jailed on a first or second offense. It is opposed by Meth-Free Arizona -- No on 301, a citizens' and activist organization, as well as leading Arizona jurists.

Colorado: Amendment 44 would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults. Building on successful non-binding resolutions at several Colorado universities and last year's surprise Denver vote to legalize possession under city ordinance, initiative organizers SAFER Colorado have been hammering away at what has proven to be a particularly resonant theme: Marijuana is safer than alcohol. While the most recent polls show the initiative trailing, organizers say those polls under-sample youthful voters who are more likely to vote yes.

Nevada: Question 7 would replace marijuana prohibition with a system of regulated, taxed, and controlled marijuana sales and would allow for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults. Sponsored by the Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana, an affiliate of the Marijuana Policy Project, the initiative, if successful, would result in Nevada being the first state to sanction marijuana sales. The effort builds on four years of work in Nevada by MPP and its affiliates. A similar initiative won 39% of the vote in 2002 and a 2004 signature drive failed to make the ballot, but this year the measure not only made the ballot but was polling above 40% in recent weeks and leading in the only poll that used the actual ballot language.

South Dakota: Initiated Measure 4 would allow for the use of medical marijuana by qualified patients with a doctor's recommendation. The measure allows qualified patients or caregivers to grow up to six plants and possess up to one ounce of marijuana. South Dakotans for Medical Marijuana, the group behind the campaign, has just unleashed its latest round of TV and radio commercials featuring two medical marijuana patients and a former police officer. There is no known polling on how the measure will fare in the socially conservative Upper Midwest state.

LOCAL INITIATIVES

http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/files/ballot2.jpg
Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Santa Monica, California: All three cities will vote on initiatives calling for adult marijuana offenses to be the lowest law enforcement priority. Part of the California Cities Campaign, an outgrowth of the successful Oakland Proposition Z lowest priority initiative in 2004, organizers hope victories this year will help lay the groundwork for a statewide effort to further reform California's marijuana laws. Initiative language is available at Sensible Santa Barbara (Measure P), Santa Cruz Citizens for Sensible Marijuana Policies (Measure K), and Santa Monicans for Sensible Marijuana Policy (Measure Y). According to state and local organizers, the most difficult fight will be in Santa Monica.

Missoula County, Montana: Initiative #2 would make adult marijuana offenses the lowest law enforcement priority. Sponsored by Citizens for Responsible Crime Policy, the initiative is facing strong law enforcement opposition, but has the benefit of being held in what is arguably the most liberal county in the state.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas: Sponsored by University of Arkansas/Fayetteville NORML, the municipal ballot measure would make adult marijuana possession the lowest law enforcement priority. It took only 115 signatures to get a lowest priority initiative on the ballot in this small, countercultural town in Northwest Arkansas.

Plymouth, Massachusetts: In the 1st and 12th Plymouth Representative Districts, voters will be voting to tell their representatives to support decriminalization: “Shall the state legislator from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that would make the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana a civil violation, subject to a fine of no more than $100.00 and not subject to any criminal penalties?”

Middlesex and Norfolk, Massachusetts: Voters in the 7th Norfolk Representative District and the 3rd Middlesex Senate District will be voting on whether to tell their representatives to support medical marijuana: “Shall the state legislator from this district be instructed to vote in favor of legislation that would allow seriously ill patients, with their doctor’s written recommendation, to possess and grow small amounts of marijuana for their personal medical use?”

STATEWIDE ELECTIVE OFFICE

Alabama: Loretta Nall is running for governor on the Libertarian Party ticket. Denied a line on the ballot by Alabama's tight election laws, Nall is running a write-in campaign in hopes of gaining sufficient votes to win the party a spot on the ballot next time around. While Nall is calling for marijuana legalization and substantive sentencing reform, among other issues, her breasts have garnered the most press coverage. (See related story this issue.)

Connecticut: Long-time drug reform leader Cliff Thornton is running as the Green Party nominee for governor. While Thornton has been excluded from most polls and televised debates, the commanding lead held by incumbent Gov. Jodi Rell over her Democratic opponent may leave political space for a protest vote for Thornton.

Maryland: Long-time drug reform leader Kevin Zeese is running for US Senate as a unity candidate on a combined Green-Populist-Libertarian ticket. With a tighter-than-expected race between Democrat Ben Cardin and Republican Michael Steele, a strong Zeese showing could potentially throw the election to one candidate or the other. With some data suggesting he is drawing support from both candidates, however, and with Cardin so far polling ahead consistently if not comfortably, that is unclear.

New Jersey: The one-time Ed Forchion, who has legally changed his name to NJ Weedman, is on the ballot in the US Senate race. Long a media favorite in the Garden State for his pro-marijuana antics, NJ Weedman campaigns on a platform of legalization.

Texas: Musician, novelist, and humorist Kinky Friedman has called for the legalization of marijuana. He is currently polling in the teens in a four-way race where incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Perry is leading with about 35% of the vote.

(Disclaimer: DRCNet endorses the positive drug reform ballot measures being promoted by our colleagues around the country -- the only ballot measure mentioned here that we oppose is 301 in Arizona. However, Drug War Chronicle is restricted by virtue of DRCNet Foundation's nonprofit status from taking positions for or against any parties or candidates for elected office, and DRCNet's supporters in fact span a wide range of the political spectrum. This article is intended only to provide objective information to foster understanding of the impact of the electoral process on the issue, and to support the democratic principle of an informed electorate.)

93% of Canadians Okay With Medicinal Pot

Location: 
Canada
Publication/Source: 
CanWest News Service
URL: 
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=55ee004d-e80e-449b-945f-d156ae62b66f

Medical Marijuana: Patients Challenge DEA Head at San Diego Conference, Seven Arrested

Police arrested seven medical marijuana patients demanding to speak with Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) head Karen Tandy at a San Diego hotel Wednesday after they refused to leave. One other patient was cited, and two others were cited earlier for hanging a banner that read "The DEA is Not My Doctor."

Those cited or arrested were among about 60 demonstrators who showed up at the Marriot San Diego Mission Valley, where the DEA is holding a conference on medical marijuana. San Diego area patients and their supporters are furious with the federal drug agency for its role in raiding and closing medical marijuana dispensaries in the area.

According to Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the medical marijuana defense group that organized the action, protestors dumped 1,500 empty pill bottles in front of the hotel as a way of showing that the DEA's actions left them without their medicine. The patients refused to leave until Tandy came out to speak with them, and when she declined, they remained and were arrested.

While medical marijuana was legalized by California voters a decade ago, the federal government does not recognize it and views any marijuana use as illegal. Acting with the support of San Diego County political officials and law enforcement, the DEA has effectively shut down what was a growing network of medical marijuana dispensaries serving the San Diego area.

"Doctors recommend cannabis and patients use it because it works," said ASA executive director Steph Sherer. "The DEA is inflicting unnecessary suffering on tens of thousands of Americans by denying them a safe, effective medicine. It has to stop."

The action may not have reined in the rogue agency, but it helped turn up the heat on Tandy, who, according to ASA California state coordinator Alex Franco, came down and apologized to the Marriot staff for the "commotion" caused by the protest and arrests. When you head an agency that is taking medicine from seriously ill people, sometimes you have to pay the price, both personally and professionally.

[South Dakota] Bill Pits Attorney General Against Medical Marijuana Proponents

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
Rapid City Journal
URL: 
http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2006/11/01/news/top/news01.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