Tag Archives | Medical Marijuana

Obama Is The Worst President In U.S. History Regarding Medical Marijuana

…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.


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Media Roots: Occupy Wall Street, Divide & Conquer, Medical Marijuana Crackdown

Via Media Roots: Abby & Robbie Martin cover the Occupy Wall Street Movement: the divide and conquer tactics being used to discredit OWS, the different schools of thought and ideology within the movement and the original demands made by the U.S. Day of Rage; the Obama administration's shocking crackdown on medical marijuana and new federal law banning medical marijuana card holders from owning firearms; Blackwater and the privatization of the armed forces: is the corporatization of the U.S. military preventing an anti-war rebellion similar to that seen in the '60s?
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Obama’s Crackdown on Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana

Photo: O'Dea (CC)

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.

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Scientists Crack Genome – Of Cannabis

MarijuanaEliza Barclay reveals a major breakthrough in marijuana research for NPR:

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.

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Weed Wars: Marijuana Dispensary Reality Show Coming To Discovery Channel

Harborside Health CenterA step towards acceptance? James Hibberd writes in Entertainment Weekly:

Discovery Channel is set to announce a potentially controversial new series: A docu-soap reality show set in the country’s largest medical marijuana distributorship and starring a pot reform activist. This fall, the network will unveil Weed Wars, where cameras follow the day-to-day dealings of a California ganja store.

The show follows Steve DeAngelo, the owner of Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, which serves 80,000 clients. According to the network, DeAngelo strives to provide patients with the highest-quality product and uses his business to promote the national regulation and taxation of cannabis.

“Weed Wars fearlessly pulls back the curtain on a once illegal and still controversial world,” said Nancy Daniels, executive VP at Discovery Channel. “From the inner workings of the business to Steve’s distinctive leadership style, Weed Wars is a fascinating glimpse into this highly unique setting. Like Gold Rush or Deadliest Catch, these are guys pursuing their own version of the American Dream.”

California passed the Compassionate Use Act in 1996 that permitted legalized pot dispensaries where customers can select from a variety of toke-able or edible products if they have a doctor’s approval.

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Federal Government Rules Marijuana Has No Medical Purpose

Mvd1221939Our government will continue to structure policy on the basis that marijuana is the same as heroin — because it’s science. Via the Los Angeles Times:

In a decision announced Friday the federal government ruled that [marijuana] has no accepted medical use and should remain classified as a dangerous drug like heroin.

The decision comes almost nine years after medical marijuana supporters asked the government to reclassify cannabis to take into account a growing body of worldwide research that shows its effectiveness in treating certain diseases, such as glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.

DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart sent a letter dated June 21 to the organizations that filed a petition for the change. Leonhart said she rejected the request because marijuana “has a high potential for abuse,” “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” and “lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”

This is the third time that petitions to reclassify marijuana have been spurned.

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Denver Has More Marijuana Dispensaries Than Starbucks Coffee Shops

Medical MarijuanaIs this going to be old news very fast, with Denver just the first major American city to see the light? Report from thedaily.com:

DENVER — The Mile High City is getting higher all the time.

There are now more medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver than there are Starbucks. Glossy guidebooks list nearly 300 locations where Colorado’s 125,000 residents who have been prescribed medical marijuana can get their “medicine.” Many offer a free joint to new customers, allowing them to sample exotic strains like Jah Kush, Golden Goat and Romulan Cotton Candy.

Local smokers even have a professional critic to help them navigate the gauntlet of bongs, pipes and vaporizers, or make that essential choice between Super Silver Haze and Purple Passion.

The critic’s pen name is William Breathes; he keeps his real identity secret to ensure he gets the same treatment as any other patient.

His weekly weed purchase is paid for by the Denver Westword, the popular alternative weekly that hired Breathes after its editors realized they were serving one of the most stoned readerships in America.

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Miracle-Gro Expands From Weed Killer To Killer Weed

I fear the worst ... previously healthy cannabis plants being infused with chemicals that are then smoked and, well, you know the rest. Dana Mattioli reports for the Wall Street Journal:
Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. has long sold weed killer. Now, it's hoping to help people grow killer weed. In an unlikely move for the head of a major company, Scotts Chief Executive Jim Hagedorn said he is exploring targeting medical marijuana as well as other niches to help boost sales at his lawn and garden company. "I want to target the pot market," Mr. Hagedorn said in an interview. "There's no good reason we haven't."
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House Introduces Bill To Protect Medical Marijuana Industry

Photo: Plazak (CC)

Photo: Plazak (CC)

The House is doing what it can to protect the medical marijuana dispensaries with a bill that has been proposed to allow the marijuana industry to act as any other legal buisness, including expense deduction on federal tax returns and would make both businesses and patients “immune to federal prosecution if they are acting in compliance with local marijuana laws.” Via AlterNet:

Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA), Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced legislation to the House on Wednesday aimed at ensuring the medical marijuana industry is treated like any other business.

The legislation was supported by Republican Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (CA) and Ron Paul (TX).

The Small Business Tax Equity Act, introduced by Stark, authorizes medical marijuana dispensaries to take the full range of business expense deductions on their federal tax returns, like other legal businesses are allowed to.

“Our tax code undercuts legal medical marijuana dispensaries by preventing them from taking all the deductions allowed for other small businesses,” Stark stated.

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