Tag Archives | Marijuana

Federal Marijuana Hearing Victim of Government Shutdown

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Picture: Hupu2 (CC)

Published a day prior to the legislative temper tantrum:

Politico:

One of the first victims of a government shutdown may be a congressional hearing on marijuana laws.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Government Operations is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday on the White House’s drug control policy “in the wake of the DOJ’s decision not to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized it,” the panel said in a statement. “This hearing will also explore the effects of legalization, including the social costs of increased marijuana use.”

But if there’s no agreement on a federal budget, the hearing will be postponed, the committee said.

Oh, and marijuana isn’t legal while the feds are doing their thing, (although I think maybe a little weed might help on Capitol Hill).

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Holder Tells Federal Prosecutors Not to Focus on Marijuana Users

obama-smoking-joint-marijuana-weedAnother sign that prohibition’s days are numbered? Carefully engineered distraction to draw attention away from the administration’s plans for Syria? Both? Neither?

Via NPR:

Federal prosecutors are being told by Attorney General Eric Holder to focus on cartels, criminal enterprises and those who sell the drug to children, not on casual marijuana users, a Justice Department official tells NPR’s Carrie Johnson.

Holder today informed the governors of Washington and Colorado — two states that recently legalized the sale of marijuana for personal use — about the new guidelines for prosecutors, the official adds.

Bu the new guidelines will apply to all states, not just Washington, Colorado and those where “medical marijuana” is legal.

“Based on assurances that those states will impose an appropriately strict regulatory system, the Department has informed the governors of both states that it is deferring its right to challenge their legalization laws at this time,” .

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How Weed Works

Marijuana plantK.M. Cholewa explains the chemistry behind medical marijuana that got Sanjay Gupta and others to finally believe, for Salon:

Last week, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta grabbed headlines for coming out in support of the validity of the medical use of marijuana, something he had opposed in the past. What changed his mind? Science.

Here’s what he — and those studying the chemistry of marijuana — now understand.

Marijuana makes chemical contact with human bodies through cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds in marijuana (cannabis). The human body also creates cannabinoids. The body creates cannabinoids on-demand, such as when they are produced to serve as neuroprotectants when the brain’s nerve cells begin to fire too much, as in the case of stress, seizures or an impact to the brain. Our bodies also have cannabinoid receptors. Together, the cannabinoids and their receptors make up the human cannabinoid system.

Just as there was a time when we didn’t know we had immune systems or hormonal systems, until 1988 we didn’t know that we had cannabinoid systems.

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How New Cannabis Prohibition Laws Created Crime in Holland

Members of local government in Holland decided to implement stricter marijuana laws which then gave more power to violent street dealers that began to take over the market.

When the governments realized this was happening, they eased up on some of the laws again. When the coffeshops were allowed to sell cannabis to tourists again, members of these gangs threatened coffeshop owners because their business was being taken away from them, This video shows footage of one of the street dealers threatening a coffeshop owner and the experience of the person who was filming the confrontation.

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Texas Police Raid Farming Commune After Mistaking Tomato Plants For Marijuana

tomatoesPerhaps to be on the safe side, we should prohibit growing plants in general. NBC 5 Dallas–Fort Worth reports:

A small organic farm in South Arlington is demanding an apology from police who raided the property in early August. Officers raided the Garden of Eden, a 3.5-acre farm, searching for marijuana in the gardens, according to search warrants. Police did not any drugs.

Quinn Eaker, a resident, told NBC 5 that the six adults who live at the farm were handcuffed when SWAT officers from the Arlington Police Department came to their home with weapons drawn. According to a statement posted on the Garden of Eden’s website, the raid of the farm lasted for an estimated 10 hours.

Code compliance officers mowed the grass on the property and removed wild, cultivated plants including blackberries and okra. Eaker said that the plants police mistook to be marijuana were likely tomatoes: “They can’t even tell the difference between tomato plants and a marijuana drug cartel.”

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta Endorses Marijuana Use*

MarijuanaThe TV doctor has very publicly changed his tune on the benefits of weed (the asterisk in the title is of course because he’s only advocating medical use of marijuana, not recreational). From CNN:

Over the last year, I have been working on a new documentary called “Weed.” The title “Weed” may sound cavalier, but the content is not.

I traveled around the world to interview medical leaders, experts, growers and patients. I spoke candidly to them, asking tough questions. What I found was stunning.

Long before I began this project, I had steadily reviewed the scientific literature on medical marijuana from the United States and thought it was fairly unimpressive. Reading these papers five years ago, it was hard to make a case for medicinal marijuana. I even wrote about this in a TIME magazine article, back in 2009, titled “Why I would Vote No on Pot.”

Well, I am here to apologize.

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Marijuana stops child’s severe seizures

via CNN:

“They weren’t calling it epilepsy,” Paige said. “We just thought it was one random seizure. They did a million-dollar work-up — the MRI, EEG, spinal tap — they did the whole work-up and found nothing. And sent us home.”

A week later, Charlotte had another seizure. This one was longer, and it was only the beginning. Over the next few months, Charlotte — affectionately called Charlie — had frequent seizures lasting two to four hours, and she was hospitalized repeatedly.

Doctors were stumped. Her blood tests were normal. Her scans were all normal.

“They said it’s probably going to go away,” Paige recalled. “It is unusual in that it’s so severe, but it’s probably something she’ll grow out of.”

But she didn’t grow out of it. The seizures continued. The hospital stays got longer. One of the doctors treating Charlotte thought there were three possible diagnoses.

The worse-case scenario?

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Illinois Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Bill Into Law

profileIllinois governor Pat Quinn signed a medical marijuana bill into law. That’s twenty states down, thirty more to go.

Via Think Progress:

Once the law goes into effect January 1, it will permit marijuana use with a doctor’s prescription for more than 30 specified ailments; require users, growers, and dispensaries to undergo fingerprinting and criminal background checks; and limit the number of growers and dispensaries. It also limits the amount of marijuana per person to the equivalent of two small sandwich bags over the course of two weeks.

“This is really an important day for healing in Illinois,” Quinn signed the bill with military veteran Jim Champion at his side. Champion, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, said the bill will allow him to more than halve the number of pills he takes.

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Uruguay Likely to Create Legal Marijuana Market

Flag_of_Uruguay.svgUruguayan lawmakers say that creating a legal marijuana market will save money and lives.

Via The Guardian:

Uruguay’s unprecedented plan to create a legal marijuana market has taken its critical first step in the lower house of Congress.

All 50 members of the ruling Broad Front coalition approved the proposal just before midnight on Wednesday in a party line vote, keeping a narrow majority of the 96 MPs present after more than 13 hours of passionate debate.

The measure now goes to the Senate, where passage is expected to make Uruguay the first country in the world to license and enforce rules for the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adult consumers.

Legislators in the ruling coalition said putting the government at the centre of a legal marijuana industry is worth trying because the global war on drugs had been a costly and bloody failure, and displacing illegal dealers through licensed marijuana sales could save money and lives.

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