Newswire

Federally-Approved Medical Marijuana Patient Stumps Through Montana

Irvin Rosenfeld, as one of only a few surviving federal medical marijuana patients was in Montana, stumping for what he calls a 'Wonderdrug.' Every month, the federal government sends Rosenfeld his medicine: 360 rolled marijuana cigarettes. He suffers from a rare disorder that produces tumors at the end of long bones. "I haven't developed a new tumor or had an existing one grow since I was 21, which was 37 years ago, and I attribute that to my medicine: medical cannabis," he said. (Link to Story)

Colombia Is No Model for Mexico's Drug Prohibition War (Opinion)

Sanho Tree at the Institute for Policy Studies reminds us that when Washington ramped up its anti-drug efforts through Plan Colombia, more than 90 percent of the cocaine consumed in the United States came through Colombia. A decade later, we get about 97 percent of our cocaine via Colombia. President Barack Obama recently admitted that drug legalization was a valid subject for debate even though he didn't support it himself. That was the most daring admission made by any sitting U.S. president on this subject. If he's serious, we should stoke this debate before another 35,000 lives are needlessly lost. There are many alternatives in the spectrum between prohibition and total free market legalization. (Link to Story)
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Mexico Drug Prohibition War Spillover: Texas Resident Says War Getting Closer to Home

The drug prohibition war has been crossing over into the United States for months, some say years. Now, nearly a dozen automatic rifles, grenades and ammo were all found on the U.S. side of the river in Fronton, Texas. "I don't think it will be too late before they come over here...we don't go out anymore," said resident Ismael Guerra. Bullets zoom by his house at times. The latest cache of weapons found means more nights of gun battles outside the Guerra's window. (Link to Story)

Drug Lords Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Global Prohibition (Video)

50 years ago the United Nations adopted the first international treaty to prohibit some drugs. The logic of the system was simple: any use of the drugs listed, unless sanctioned for medical or scientific purposes, would be deemed 'abuse' and thus illegal. As a result of this convention, the unsanctioned production and trafficking of these drugs became a crime in all member states of the UN. There is a small group that benefits phenomenally from the global war on drugs: organized criminals and terrorists. View this video from the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and find out more. (Link to Story)

Washington State Marijuana Bill Should Reflect Shift in Culture (Editorial)

The Spokesman-Review opines that because Congress refuses to update the absurd Controlled Substances Act, states are trying to figure out the best ways to implement the sane and popular wish that marijuana be made available for medicinal purposes. The newspaper says Washington's bill should put patients first by not erecting barriers that make it more difficult to legally obtain medical marijuana, and that the House should strip the bill of these excessive limitations. It says the bill represents a cultural shift in attitudes toward marijuana, and that regulation and enforcement ought to reflect that reality. (Link to Story)

Study Casts Doubts Over Canada's Strategy on Illicit Drug Use

Much like the American approach to drug policy, it's not clear Canadians are getting a whole lot of bang for all the bucks thrown at the illicit drug problem, a new report says. "In the case of the strategy, many programs do not have the means to demonstrate the incremental impact of their activities...Many programs report output information...but the validity of the information remains questionable from an impact measurement perspective," the document says. (Link to Story)

Mexicans Seeking Asylum Due to Drug Prohibition War Form Coalition in Texas

The director of the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, Louie Gilot, said cases of Mexicans fleeing drug prohibition violence have risen significantly over the past two years and that the asylum seekers include former police officers, rights activists, journalists, business leaders and even government officials. Carlos Spector, an attorney, said the U.S. government is reluctant to grant political asylum to Mexican applicants because doing so means recognizing that aid from Washington is financing military abuses against the Mexican civilian population. (Link to Story)

HUD Says Medical Marijuana Policies Up to Local Housing Authorities

A Colorado-based non-profit has received a statement from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) making it clear that local housing authorities themselves are responsible for determining policies regarding medical marijuana use by recipients of federal housing assistance. "PHAs [public housing authorities] have discretion to determine, on a case by case basis, the appropriateness of program termination for the use of medical marijuana," Milan M. Ozdinec, the deputy assistant secretary for Public Housing and Voucher Program, said in the statement. (Link to Story)

Journalist Sues Prosecutor: Claims Medical Marijuana Case Info Wrongfully Withheld

Eric VanDussen, a freelance journalist, filed Freedom of Information Act requests with every prosecutor in the Michigan. He’s looking to learn how each county handles criminal cases that involve registered medical marijuana patients. But not all prosecutors are so forthcoming. (Link to Story)

Rhode Island Looks at Legalizing Marijuana for Recreational Use

Rhode Island would become the first U.S. state to legalize marijuana for recreational use under legislation that would replace criminal penalties for possession with alcohol-style regulation and taxes on America's most widely used illicit drug. Cash-strapped Rhode Island would stand to make tens of millions of dollars off the deal. The legislation would allow individuals to grow up to three marijuana plants, but only if they've paid $100 per plant. Wholesalers would have to pay a $50-per-ounce excise tax, retail licenses would cost $5,000 annually, and all retail marijuana sales would be subject to sales taxes. (Link to Story)

Hemp House Going Up at North Carolina's Lake Junaluska

If you’re looking for a strong, green, energy-efficient building material that’s resistant to pretty much everything, hemp might be your best choice. This is the concept being pitched by Greg Flavall and David Madera, owners of a business called Hemp Technologies. They’re some of the first to build with the material in the United States, where industrial hemp hasn’t seen the rise in popularity it enjoys in other countries, thanks to a federal ban on U.S. production. (Link to Story)
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Hawaii Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Committees with Major Amendments

Hawaii Senate Bill 1458 SD2, which creates medical marijuana compassion centers was heard by the House Committees on Health and Public Safety. The committees passed the bill with major amendments, so now it becomes SB 1458 SD2 HD1. (Link to Story)

Inhaled Marijuana May Keep Brain Cancer in Remission

A recent medical case-report highlights a striking association between inhaled Cannabis and anti-tumor effects in young adults with brain cancer. This gives scientists new evidence that the chemical compounds from the Cannabis plant (known as cannabinoids) may have significant anti-cancer effects in humans. (Link to Story)
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Former U.S. Attorney to Speak in Favor of Marijuana Legalization and Taxation Bill

Former federal prosecutor John McKay will join Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson of Seattle in speaking in favor of a bill to legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana in Washington state. (Link to Story)

John Stossel: End the Drug War, Save Black America (Opinion)

John Stossel discusses issues related to the devastating impact the war on drugs has on the black community. (Link to Story)

Three Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Chosen to Operate in Rhode Island

The long-awaited decision on medical marijuana dispensaries was announced with the Department of Health selecting three applicants, the maximum permitted under state law. They are: Summit Medical Compassion Center in Warwick, The Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center in Providence, and Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center in Portsmouth. (Link to Story)

Obama Sends Drones to Fight Failed Mexican Drug Prohibition War

The Obama administration has been sending drones deep into Mexican territory to gather intelligence. The American assistance has been kept secret because of legal restrictions in Mexico and the heated political sensitivities there about sovereignty. (Link to Story)

Washington State Should Improve Protections for Medical Marijuana Patients and Suppliers (Editorial)

The Seattle Times editorial board reiterates its support for Senate Bill 5073, to expand the protection for medical marijuana users and their suppliers. (Link to Story)

New York Spends $75 Million a Year on Marijuana Arrests Though It's Not Technically a Crime

New York spends $75 million a year to lock up people caught with marijuana, a new study says, even though it's not technically a crime. The report by the Drug Policy Alliance says the NYPD spends that much on 50,000 annual marijuana arrests, in which 86% of those arrested are black or Latino. State law requires people carrying small amounts of marijuana to receive the equivalent of a traffic ticket, but critics say the NYPD arrests and jails them anyway - hurting their job and life prospects. (Link to Story)

Shocking: US Federal Agency Armed Mexican Drug Lords -- May Have Led to More Than a Thousand Deaths

A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms operation allowed guns to be trafficked south of the border with the hope that they would lead to high-level drug trafficking organization operatives. Special Agent John Dodson — the program’s whistle blower — said that he found it morally reprehensible, pointing out that it might have led to the death of over a thousand people. (Link to Story)

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