Marijuana Policy

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Paul Armentano: A Billion Dollars a Year for Pot?

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
Washington Examiner
URL: 
http://www.examiner.com/a-349381~Paul_Armentano__A_billion_dollars_a_year_for_pot_.html

Potheads, Puritans, and Pragmatists: Two Marijuana Initiatives Put Drug Warriors on the Defensive

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
Townhall.com
URL: 
http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/JacobSullum/2006/10/18/potheads,_puritans_and_pragmatists_two_marijuana_initiatives_put_drug_warriors_on_the_defensive

South Dakotans for Medical Marijuana TV Ad Running with Election Coming Up

Click here for the new South Dakota medical marijuana campaign ad, featuring patient/activist Valerie Hannah.

Location: 
SD
United States

Media Advisory: Medical marijuana protest to return to Green campaign (Wisconsin)

Media Advisory: Medical marijuana protest to return to Green campaign office Wednesday WHAT? Protest at Mark Green's Campaign Office WHERE? Mark Green's campaign office 1915 S. Webster, Allouez, Wi. WHEN? Wednesday, October 18 @ 10:00am Background: (WHO? and WHY?) Jacki Rickert, founder of Is My Medicine Legal Yet?, (www.immly.org) suffers from two incurable medical conditions, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and Advanced Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. Jacki has found that marijuana helps treat these painful and debilitating illnesses, and with assistance from her physician, now deceased, she was approved to receive medical marijuana from the federal government's Compassionate IND program. However, the program was closed to new patients, and the 8 medical marijuana patients already in the program were grandfathered in. The program's 5 surviving patients continue to receive marijuana from the government to this day. Congressman Mark Green has been asked about his stance on medical marijuana, and he has written, "I believe current medical options are superior to legalizing an addictive and dangerous illegal drug". Jacki wants to know what medical options he's speaking of to treat her incurable conditions, since she has yet to find these superior medical options that he speaks of. Jacki Rickert went to Mark Green's office on October 10 with a letter, (http://www.immly.org/jacki2green.htm) asking him to tell her about these "superior medical options". He has yet to respond. The staffer in Mark Green's office said they would give this issue some thought, but when WGBA NBC 26 television asked for their stance, Mark Green's Campaign manager Mark Graul laughed and said that he didn't believe "the majority of Wisconsinites would want to legalize drugs". Mark Green's office figured they could just ignore Jacki since she came from far away, and is in a wheelchair. However, Jacki's supporters, including other medical marijuana patients, are coming back to his office to find out what these "superior medical options" are. For more information contact: Eric Tatera (920) 713-0230 (event coordinator in Green Bay) Jacki Rickert (715) 926-4950 (Mondovi) Gary Storck (608) 241-8922 (Madison) - 30 - (This blog post was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)
Location: 
Allouez, WI
United States

Marijuana Guru Pleads Not Guilty to Expanded Charges

Location: 
San Francisco, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
Bay Area News Service
URL: 
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/breaking_news/15774572.htm

Another Reason to Get High With Grandma

The New York Times reports that the value of traditional Alzheimer’s medications has been dramatically overstated:

More and more often, it seems, drugs that were widely thought to be effective against serious illnesses turn out to show little or no value when tested in large, impartial clinical trials insulated from drug company influence.


These discouraging results speak mostly to the desperate need for effective new treatments for Alzheimer’s.
Desperate need for effective new treatment, huh? Look no further. In fact, marijuana may eliminate the need for Alzheimer’s treatments altogether, since it seems to actually prevent the onset of the disease.

I have enough experience with Alzheimer’s to know that families confronted with it will usually try anything. It’s ironic to think that the family values fanatics who arbitrarily oppose medical marijuana may soon find themselves shoving a bong in grandma’s mouth.

Location: 
United States

Doing "Ant Work" on the Drug War With Mainstream Press Reporters

When I read the autobiography of 20th Century Salvadoran revolutionary leader Miguel Marmol some years ago, one phrase from the book stuck with me. When Marmol talked about the tedious, day-to-day organizing over the long-term to build a revolutionary movement, he called it "trabajo de hormigas," or "ant work." I thought the term was especially apt and evocative, suggesting the unglamorous, but necessary, laying the groundwork for change. I couldn’t help but think of the phrase again over the weekend as I read a story by San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Mike Lee about marijuana growing in the national forests in California. "Forest Pot Farms A Menace to the Land," was the title of the story, and it is the latest published version of a now familiar trope: Those darned marijuana growers are wrecking our national forests with their weed crops.
“The whole process of these marijuana plantations brutalizes the landscape,” said David Graber, Pacific West regional science chief for the National Park Service. The outdoor growing season for marijuana is coming to a close for the year, but some scars left by clandestine pot farms will take months to heal. Anti-drug agencies must deal with tons of trash, human waste, erosion and other forms of soil disturbance, loss of vegetation and chemical pollution that kills marine life. The illegal plots also increase poaching of wildlife, raise the threat of wildfires started accidentally at campsites and put outdoor enthusiasts in harm's way. For instance, the U.S. Forest Service recently warned deer hunters to avoid two areas in Mendocino and Glenn counties until authorities could evict the marijuana growers. Marijuana production on public lands in the United States has risen as the nation moves to further secure its borders and slow the movement of marijuana from Mexico. Mexican organized crime is behind the surge in such illegal plantings, according to law enforcement agencies. Growers favor public property partly because if their plants are discovered, they can flee without leaving behind traceable evidence. But there are other reasons for the popularity of forests and parks. “The nation's public lands have become a haven for this illegal activity due to the relatively few law enforcement personnel and the vast and often remote tracks of sparsely or uninhabited lands,” said the U.S. Forest Service's 2005 marijuana report.
Lee talked to only National Forest and law enforcement sources, and even included a quote from drug czar John Walters, but failed to note the fundamental fact that is driving marijuana growers into the national forests: Marijuana prohibition. So I wrote him a letter:
Dear Mr. Lee: Interesting report on the damage done by illegal pot farming, although I’ve seen numerous variations of it before. But like most similar reports, your story begs a rather large question: Why are people growing pot in the forests in the first place? You alluded to increased border enforcement and a law enforcement learning curve, but again, that’s begging the question. Could it be because marijuana is ILLEGAL? Asking that questions sort of shifts one’s whole perspective: From the point of view of people who do not support marijuana prohibition—like me and nearly half of Californians, according to national polls—the environmental damage you describe is yet another unfortunate, unintended consequence of marijuana prohibition. When you write this story next year, I would respectfully suggest you include that perspective. I would be happy to provide you with contact information for California-based marijuana reform activists who are very informed and articulate on this issue. Thanks for your time. Phillip Smith Drug War Chronicle www.stopthedrugwar.org
To which Lee replied:
Phil... thanks for your comments... i'd suggest you consider writing a letter to the editor. Regards, mlee
Now, did I sway Mr. Lee? He gave no direct indication of that in his brief reply, but at least I was able to put the whole marijuana prohibition issue before him. He has been informed that at least one reader thinks he is missing part of the story. I guess we'll have to wait until next year, when he writes next year's version of this annual story. But in the meantime, the ants are working.
Location: 
CA
United States

Countdown to the November elections

Election day is now three weeks away, and the Chronicle will be focusing on drug policy-related races across the country between now and then. With most people's attention focused on whether the Democrats will regain control of the House and/or Senate, the drug policy-related races and ballot questions are not getting much attention, except at the local and state level, but there are some important drug policy-related questions being decided on election day. Expect to see a lot of articles focused on the elections between now and November 7, and, of course, the Friday following the election. Here is a list of the races and ballot questions we'll be reporting on: Marijuana legalization initiatives—Colorado and Nevada Medical marijuana initiative—South Dakota "Lowest law enforcement priority" initiatives—Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, Missoula, MT; Eureka Springs, AR Alabama governor's race—Drug reformer Loretta Nall is in a write-in campaign Connecticut governor's race—Drug reformer Cliff Thornton is running as a Green Maryland senate race—Drug reformer Kevin Zeese is running as a Green/Libertarian unity candidate Are there any I have failed to list? Please let me know.
Location: 
United States

Drug Czar Visits Two States to Slam Pro-Pot Initiatives

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
Washington Times
URL: 
http://washingtontimes.com/national/20061012-105326-4904r.htm

Fight to Legalize Marijuana Escalates War of Words

Location: 
Las Vegas, NV
United States
Publication/Source: 
KLAS-TV Las Vegas
URL: 
http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=5533026

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