On a recent episode of his podcast, Penn Jillette unleashed his thoughts on the Obama administration's handling of the War on Drugs, calling President Obama's actions "beyond hypocrisy" regarding his own admitted drug use. Penn said: "He would have done hard fucking time! And if he had done hard fucking time, he would NOT be President of the United States of America, and he would NOT have gone to his fancy ass college, and he would NOT have sold books that sold millions and millions of copies and made millions and millions of fucking dollars, he would NOT have a beautiful, smart wife, he would NOT have a great job. He would have been in fucking prison, and it's not a goddamn joke!"
Tag Archives | Medical Marijuana
Interesting report from Austin Johansen on death and taxes:
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Andy Caffrey is a 54 year-old candidate running for Congress from California’s 2nd District. Aside from the Crocodile Dundee-esque hat and his sweeping, silver ponytail, Caffrey is a fairly unassuming man in the state of California. He’s tired of both Republicans and Democrats, loves his country and has his own ideas to make improvements, which is more than some politicians can say. He also takes pride in being a part of the Green Movement … in more ways than one *cough cough.*
In the 1991 Oakland Firestorm, Andy “lost everything.” He writes on his website that he spent five years as a homeless man and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder following his sister’s suicide. His ailment led him to become a prescribed medical marijuana patient, and he’s on the campaign trail to make his defense of its medicinal use perfectly clear … or a little hazy.
The classification of cannabis as a schedule one narcotic is among the least defensible aspects of prohibition. Dr. Jody Corey-Bloom, director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at UC San Diego, recently helped run a study that provided multiple sclerosis patients with either a marijuana joint or a placebo that looked, smelled, and tasted like marijuana. After smoking whichever substance they were given, patients were tested to see if it reduced their muscle spasticity — an affliction, common to MS patients, that causes painful, uncontrollable spasms of the extremities. Spasticity was unaffected among the placebo patients but dropped 30 percent on average among the patients given real marijuana. The side effects? "Smoking caused fatigue and dizziness in some users," says Reuters, "and slowed down people's mental skills soon after they used marijuana."
Is this the End (of cannabis prohibition as we know it)?
The NORML blog says eight states may legalize marijuana this year:
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2012 has only just begun and it is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting and active years for marijuana law reform in some time. More than a dozen state legislatures are currently considering reform measures in some respect and 8 states are attempting to put legalization initiatives before voters this November.
Many of these efforts are still in the signature gathering stage. Check out the list below to see if you might be able to vote ‘Yes’ on marijuana legalization in your state this year and how you can get involved to make that a reality. In addition to the legalization initiatives below several states, such as Ohio and Massachusetts, are working to also put medical marijuana initiatives before voters this year. To stay up to date on all the efforts to reform marijuana laws you can follow our “Legalize It 2012″ hub on Facebook and Twitter.
Ethan Nadelman, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, suggests that President Obama needs to take charge of the medical marijuana legislative chaos around the United States, in the New York Times:
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Marijuana is now legal under state law for medical purposes in 16 states and the District of Columbia, encompassing nearly one-third of the American population. More than 1,000 dispensaries provide medical marijuana; many are well regulated by state and local law and pay substantial taxes. But though more than 70 percent of Americans support legalizing medical marijuana, any use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
When he ran for president, Barack Obama defended the medical use of marijuana and said that he would not use Justice Department resources to override state laws on the issue. He appeared to make good on this commitment in October 2009, when the Justice Department directed federal prosecutors not to focus their efforts on “individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.”
But over the past year, federal authorities appear to have done everything in their power to undermine state and local regulation of medical marijuana and to create uncertainty, fear and confusion among those in the industry.
…Or so the Medical Marijuana Project argues. What happened, Barry? You were supposed to be so cool.
During his run for the presidency, Barack Obama instilled hope in medical marijuana supporters by pledging to respect state laws on the matter. And for the first two years of his term, he was generally faithful to his promise. Yet suddenly, and with no logical explanation, over the past eight months he has become arguably the worst president in U.S. history regarding medical marijuana.
Justin Elliott writes in Salon:
Back in July, I interviewed a drug policy expert about an apparent change in Justice Department policy that suggested a crackdown on medical marijuana — which is legal in many states but illegal under federal law — might be coming.
Now, with the announcement last week by California’s four U.S. attorneys that pot dispensaries will be targeted with harsh criminal sanctions, the shift feared by drug policy reform advocates appears to have come to pass. The rhetoric from candidate Barack Obama about not prioritizing medical marijuana cases now seems a distant memory.
To learn more about what’s happening in California, I spoke to Bob Egelko, a veteran reporter who covers courts for the San Francisco Chronicle and has been following the story.
Eliza Barclay reveals a major breakthrough in marijuana research for NPR:
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Stoners and scientists alike may be stoked to learn that a startup biotech company has completed the DNA sequence of Cannabis sativa, or marijuana. But here’s something that could ruin a high: The company hopes the data will help scientists breed pot plantswithout much THC, the mind-altering chemical in the plant. The goal is instead to maximize other compounds that may have therapeutic benefits.
Kevin McKernan, founder and chief executive officer of the startup, called Medicinal Genomics, says Cannabis sativa has 84 other compounds that could fight pain or possibly even shrink tumors. But anti-marijuana laws make it difficult for scientists to breed and study the plant in most countries. That’s one reason he decided to publish his data for free on Amazon’s EC2, a public data cloud.
McKernan, who has an office in Massachusetts and a lab in the Netherlands where he can legally gather DNA from marijuana plants, has spent most of his career studying tumors in humans.