cannabis

"This is not your father’s marijuana here"

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So says idiot congressman Mark Kirk of Illinois as he tries to make a name for himself in the degenerate “War on Drugs” by going after “Super Pot.”

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“Yeah for me!”

25 Years in Prison for Pot?

Paul Armentano

They say that every action spurs an opposite reaction. That certainly seems to be the case in Congress.

Just days after Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Barney Frank, along with 13 cosponsors, reintroduced HR 2835, the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2009 in Congress, Republican Rep. Mark Kirk (Illinois) has called for federal legislation to sentence certain first-time marijuana offenders to up to 25 years in prison.

U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk to push tougher sentences for more-potent marijuana via The Chicago Tribune

U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk will call for legislation Monday that would toughen drug-trafficking laws regarding a highly potent form of marijuana, with penalties of up to 25 years in prison for a first-time offense.

The law would target offenders who sell or distribute marijuana that has a THC content exceeding 15 percent.

… Drug dealers are increasingly cross-breeding plants to produce high-potency variants of marijuana, which are called “kush” in street slang when they have 20 percent THC, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said. “When you amplify the strength of it, you are increasing the harm to the system,” said Curran, who supports the legislation, which would amend a federal law. “They are more dangerous behind the wheel of a vehicle. It’s not a good idea to have people that messed up.”

… The Republican North Shore lawmaker said he plans to release more information during a news conference in Chicago on Monday, where he will be joined by representatives from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group and Waukegan Police Department.

Okay, where to begin? Well, we can start with U.S. Representative Mark Kirk. According to the Congressman’s website, Rep. Kirk is “pro-personal responsibility.” Unless, of course, we’re talking about allowing responsible adults (or patients) the choice to relax (or medicate) in the privacy of their own homes with a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol (or most prescription pharmaceuticals). Then, naturally, all bets are off.

Representative Kirk’s website also alleges that the five-time-elected Congressman is “pro-science.” Unless, of course, we’re talking about cannabis — in which case he is actually “pro-ideology” and “anti-science.” After all, if Rep. Kirk was truly interested in the science of cannabis he would already know that:

1) According to a 2008 review (see page 12) of marijuana potency by the University of Mississippi, the average THC in domestically grown marijuana — which comprises the bulk of the U.S. market — is less than five percent, a figure that’s remained unchanged for nearly a decade.

2) THC — regardless of potency — is virtually non-toxic to healthy cells or organs, and is incapable of causing a fatal overdose. Currently, doctors may legally prescribe a FDA-approved pill that contains 100 percent THC, and curiously, nobody among Rep. Kirk’s staff or at the Lake County Sheriff’s office office seems to be overly concerned about its potential health effects.

3) Survey data gleaned from cannabis consumers in the Netherlands — where users may legally purchase pot of known quality — indicates that most cannabis consumers prefer less potent pot, just as the majority of those who drink alcohol prefer beer or wine rather than 190 proof Everclear or Bacardi 151. When consumers encounter unusually strong varieties of marijuana, they adjust their use accordingly and smoke less.

Of course, if Rep. Kirk (write him here!) was really concerned about potential risks posed by supposedly stronger marijuana, he would support regulating the sale of drug (versus jailing first-time pot sellers for a quarter of a century) so that its potency would be consistent and this information would be publicly displayed to the consumer. This same advice applies to the members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and the Waukegan Police Department — who claim “we don’t make the laws; we just enforce them” — yet seem to have no problem whatsoever lobbying for increased federal pot penalties while on company time.

Fortunately, the likelihood is that Rep. Kirk’s proposed legislation will be all bark and no bite. One, I suspect that few if any of Rep. Kirk’s colleagues in Congress will even consider supporting such an asinine measure. Two, even if such legislation were to become law (and it won’t) — who would test each and every seized marijuana sample for THC potency and who would pay for it? Currently, only the University of Mississippi engages in such potency testing, which is highly expensive and requires the use of a gas chromatography mass spectrometer device. In short, it appears that the misguided Congressman from Illinois is simply trying to make headlines.

One can’t blame him for trying. After all, across the pond, unsubstantiated claims regarding the dangers of often-talked-about-but-never-actually-defined supposedly “lethal” ‘skunk’ weed caused a national frenzy and resulted in Parliament hastily deciding to reclassify pot possession offenses from a verbal warning to up to five years in jail. Never mind that, under Britain’s short-lived experiment with decriminalization, marijuana potency actually fell — as did the number of adolescents using the drug.

Of course, as the latest actions of the so-called “pro-science, pro-personal liberty” Congressman show, facts play virtually no role in political drug policy debate, and ignorance hardly disqualifies someone from holding elected office. source

SPEECH OF HONORABLE {???} MARK STEVEN KIRKOF ILLINOIS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2009

HIGH POTENCY MARIJUANA SENTENCING ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2009

  • Mr. KIRK. Madam Speaker, popular culture often romanticizes casual marijuana use, and those who warn that marijuana is a “gateway drug” that can lead to use of other, harder drugs are ridiculed as being out of the mainstream. The reality is that marijuana today is vastly different than the marijuana that was prevalent in the ’60s. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, the average THC content of seized marijuana was less than 4 percent in the early 1990s. By 2007 that level rose to nearly 10 percent.
  • Local police in my district are now reporting a new threat from “Kush,” street slang for a strain of highly potent marijuana with a THC content of at least 20 percent. The rise of Kush mirrors the increasing trend of high-THC marijuana, which has become more accessible with the rise of hydroponics. Drug growers are able to strictly control light, temperature and humidity and can cross-breed to maximize THC content. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Kush has been known to sell for as high as $600 per ounce–creating the same profit potential as crack cocaine.

Today I am introducing legislation to bring federal penalties for trafficking high-potency marijuana in line with penalties for cocaine, heroin, and hashish, all of which have similar retail prices on the street. The gangs and cartels trafficking Kush are the same trafficking cocaine and heroin, and the profits they realize represent an equal danger to the public. In my view, the penalties for trafficking this dangerous drug should also be equalized.


“We don’t want to create zombie-like kids.”

And we are pretty tired of zombie congress creatures.

Kirk, besides being an idiot clown, is a traitor to his own country. Check out his voting record and quotes here.

California to Legalize Weed for Everyone?

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Top Shelf Nuggs
That was an eighth of some $80 weed. 510 Kush. Photo by Anti/LAist

There is an initiative in the works that could end up on the November ballot that allows for marijuana to be sold to anyone, and anywhere that already sells alcohol. Its being called The Inalienable Rights Enforcement Initiative. From the full text of the measure:

This initiative will amend the Constitution of California to defend and safeguard the inalienable rights of the People against infringement by governments and corporations, providing for the lawful growth, sale, and possession of marijuana. Marijuana will be taxed through a system of stamps and licenses–a $5 stamp will be required for the sale of an eighth ounce of marijuana and a $50 annual license will be required for the growth of one marijuana plant. To protect participants and encourage participation in the system, such licenses and stamps will be available anonymously in stores where marijuana is sold.

So instead of getting some quack doctor to give you a prescription for $100 because of your supposed “anxiety” or alleged “insomnia”, you will just pay an extra tax each time you buy yourself another 8th.

Aside from allowing all willing adults to be able to buy weed easily, this initiative will start to generate revenue for California, and stimulate our struggling economy. More weed stores means more jobs for Californians, more taxes to be collected, and more people enjoying better weed. And finally marijuana will be put into the same file as Alcohol and Cigarettes where it belongs, instead of it being equated with crack-cocaine and heroine.

The initiative goes on to say why they believe this to be a necessary measure:

We also hold these truths to be self-evident-That, as an intoxicant, marijuana is far less harmful to the health and safety of the People than alcohol–That, as a smoking substance, marijuana is far less addictive or harmful to the health of the People than tobacco–That, even though alcohol is harmful to the health and safety of the People, the prohibition of alcohol from 1920 to 1933 only increased the harms associated with alcohol use: criminals seized control of the alcohol market, crime and violence increased greatly, and poverty, unemployment, and corruption flourished, while otherwise lawful alcohol drinkers were treated as “criminals” subject to detention, arrest, and incarceration, even though they had not harmed the rights of anyone–That, as with alcohol prohibition, the prohibition of marijuana has only increased the harms associated with the use of marijuana: criminals control a multi-billion dollar market, crime and violence have increased greatly, and poverty, unemployment, and corruption flourish, while otherwise law-abiding marijuana smokers are treated as “criminals” subject to detention, arrest, and incarceration, even though they have not harmed the rights of anyone-That the history of marijuana prohibition is a history of repeated injuries and infringements upon the inalienable rights, powers, and best interests of the People.

Fuck Yes! Preach on, brothers! They go on to point out that alcohol, tobacco, and big-pharma lobbyists have the politicians that are supposed to represent the People in their back-pockets and serving the interests of the alcohol, tobacco, and big-pharma industries.

Despite the harms of marijuana prohibition, politicians persist in imposing and upholding marijuana prohibition, because these politicians are not working for the People–they are working for the corporate executives who financed their campaigns, such as corporate executives in the alcohol industry who want to protect their monopoly on intoxication, corporate executives in the tobacco industry who want to protect their monopoly on smoking, corporate executives in the pharmaceutical industry who want to protect their monopoly on expensive medicines, and corporate executives in the many industries threatened by competition with hemp. These corporate executives pull the strings of the government to perpetuate marijuana prohibition despite its harms, because they do not care about the inalienable rights and best interests of the People–they care about taking as much money from the People as possible. These corporate executives also use their control of the mainstream media to make it seem like marijuana prohibition is a failed attempt to serve the interests of the People, censoring the idea that marijuana prohibition is a successful attempt to serve corporate interests at the expense of the People. For these corporate interests, politicians sacrifice the inalienable rights and best interests of the People. This corruption and corporate influence is worse at the national level, where the People can least afford political influence and the media is most effective at manipulating public debate. Because of this corruption, it is futile for the People to turn to the federal government for protection–because the federal government is the source of the harm. The repeated attempts by the People to reduce the harms of marijuana prohibition have been answered only by repeated injury. The harm from marijuana prohibition is ongoing and the need for relief is urgent. Such is the suffering of the People, and such is the necessity that constrains us to alter our former systems of government. A government with a character marked by every act that defines a tyrant is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Therefore, appealing to humankind for the rightness of our intentions

They need 694,354 signatures by September, 5, 2008. I think it’s totally do-able. Its been over a decade since Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, was passed with over 5 million votes in favor.

So 12 years later… are we more or less tolerant of recreational use of marijuana? For now, we’ll have to wait and see.

http://laist.com/2008/06/30/california_to_legalize_weed_for_eve_1.php

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‘Here they look for the cigarette in the marijuana’

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TOBY STERLING | AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – Jun 28 2008
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Amsterdam’s famed marijuana bars have weathered many challenges over the years and are still smoking, blanketed in reggae music and a skunky haze.

But now they face an unwelcome blast of fresh air: on July 1, The Netherlands will be one of the last European countries to comply with European Union law and ban smoking in bars and restaurants.

The Health Ministry has made it clear the ban will apply to cafés that sell marijuana, known as coffee shops. But this being The Netherlands, which for centuries has experimented with social liberalism, there’s a loophole: the ban covers tobacco but not marijuana, which is technically illegal anyway.

However, that still leaves coffee shops and their customers in a bind. Dutch and other European marijuana users traditionally smoke pot in fat, cone-shaped joints mixed with tobacco.

Shops are scrambling to adapt. One alternative is “vaporiser” machines, which incinerate weed smokelessly. Another scheme is replacing tobacco with herbs like coltsfoot, a common plant similar to a dandelion in appearance that smokers describe as tasting a bit like oregano.

But most are just planning to increase their sales of hash brownies and pure weed — and hoping the law isn’t enforced.

Michael Veling, owner of the 4-20 Café and a board member of the Cannabis Retailers’ Union, says he expected a small decline in sales as smokers are forced to separate their nicotine addiction from their marijuana habit.

But he expects the long-term effects to be minimal. “It’s absurd to say that coffee shops will go bankrupt in the second week of July. Nonsense.”

Veling is instructing his staff to send tobacco smokers outside, but he doesn’t expect all coffee shops to do the same. He said some owners will ignore the ban — and probably get away with it, at least for a while.

But “if obeying the smoking ban becomes a condition of renewing your business licence, just watch how fast it will happen,” he said. “That’s the way things work.”

Jason den Enting, manager of coffee shop Dampkring, says it will be impossible to monitor what customers are smoking. “It’s the world upside down: In other countries they look for the marijuana in the cigarette. Here they look for the cigarette in the marijuana.”

Chris Krikken, spokesperson for the Food and Wares Authority, charged with enforcing the ban, says his agency won’t be targeting coffee shops in particular. “For the first month we’ll just be gathering information about compliance in a wide range of hospitality businesses. Depending on what we find, we may focus more squarely on a sector that’s lagging.”

Individual businesses caught allowing customers to smoke will be warned and checked again. “Repeat offenders will face escalating fines,” he says.

Marijuana possession is illegal in The Netherlands, but smokers are not prosecuted for holding up to 5g. About 750 cafés — half of them in Amsterdam — are licensed to have up to 500g in stock at any one time.

The Dutch “tolerance” policy is a pragmatic recognition that people will smoke pot regardless of laws, so it might as well happen in an orderly way. Critics complain this encourages substance abuse.

But the use of cannabis in The Netherlands ranks somewhere in the middle of international norms: higher than in neighbouring Germany but lower than in France, the United Kingdom and the United States.

At the same time, the levels of THC — the main active chemical in marijuana — have soared in the past decade and are now at 16% in Dutch weed.

The US government sounded the alarm earlier this month because THC in American marijuana has doubled to 9,6% since 1983, and it warned of recent scientific findings linking the drug to mental problems.

The Dutch government, currently led by a conservative coalition with a religious bent, is slowly squeezing back the number of coffee shops by not renewing licences when shops close.

Growers are arrested, leaving coffee-shop owners struggling to obtain their main product.

“The rules are being set to pester us out of business one by one, slowly but surely,” says Richard van Velthoven, manager at The Greenhouse, who adds he fears being shut down for tobacco violations.

“I’ve taken the cigarette machines out, I’m putting coltsfoot on the tables, I’ve bought extra vaporisers, the staff is watching out — what more can I do?”

German tourist Lars Schmit says he laments the possible end of an era.

“Amsterdam has a lot of other things that are nice: you can party, it’s funny to see all the people riding bicycles, it’s completely different to other places, but if the coffee shops go away, it’s not the same,” he says.

Without coffee shops, he says, “a little bit of Amsterdam will die.” — Sapa

Source: Mail & Guardian online

Will Pot Ever Be Legal in This Schizoid Country?

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By Steven Wishnia, AlterNet.

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Five signs that pot might become legal soon — and five reasons why it probably won’t.

Marijuana occupies a bizarrely paradoxical place in American culture. Its use is widespread, commonplace among the young and ubiquitous in popular culture. Yet it remains highly illegal, and talk of legalization is usually deemed political suicide.

Here are five signs that pot should be legal soon — and five reasons why it probably won’t.

1. Pot is indelibly a part of the cultural mainstream. The stoner comedy Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay grossed $14.6 million in its first weekend, making it the second most popular movie in the country. Most pro basketball players blaze, according to sources as diverse as the ganjaphile Mavericks player Josh Howard and the anti-drug ex-Knick Charles Oakley. And on April 20, thousands of revelers turned out at the University of Colorado and the University of California at Santa Cruz to celebrate the 4/20 herb holiday.

As of 2002, notes Keith Stroup, legal counsel with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 47 percent of American adults had smoked marijuana at some time in their lives, according to a CNN/Time poll. By today, he adds, “it is likely there are more living Americans who have smoked marijuana than who have not. Approximately 26 million Americans smoked marijuana just in the last year. All of these people know it did not cause them any real harm and that it did not keep them from having a successful life and career.”

2. Increased medical acceptance. In February, the American College of Physicians, the second-largest medical organization in the country, urged the federal government to move cannabis out of Schedule I, the category for drugs with no legal medical use, “given marijuana’s proven efficacy at treating certain symptoms and its relatively low toxicity.” The group also strongly urged legal protections for doctors who prescribe cannabis and patients who use it.

Last year, more than 3,000 articles on cannabinoids were published in scientific journals. These have explored their possible uses for a host of ailments, from easing the pain of arthritis to inhibiting the growth of brain tumors.

The development of vaporization technology — pricey devices that heat cannabis to a point where the THC can be inhaled, but don’t incinerate the plant matter — has eliminated one of the main reasons for doctors to be uncomfortable about the medical use of cannabis: that smoke contains toxic compounds. “Vaporization of THC offers the rapid onset of symptom relief without the negative effects from smoking,” the ACP noted.

3. A federal decriminalization bill was introduced last month. HR 5843, sponsored by Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Ron Paul, R-Tex., would eliminate federal penalties for possession of less than 100 grams or for the nonprofit transfer of less than one ounce between adults. The bill is the first decriminalization measure introduced in Congress since the early 1980s.

4. The state budget crunch. With the recession battering their treasuries, many states are taking a second look at the price of incarcerating thousands of drug prisoners. Legal cannabis would eliminate the costs of arresting, prosecuting and jailing cannabis users, growers and dealers, and could be a major new source of tax revenue — especially in states like California, where it is estimated to be the most valuable cash crop. And cannabis farming could revive rural economies, whether by hemp production in the Great Plains or marijuana cultivation in Appalachia.

5. There are no rational arguments against legalizing cannabis under regulations similar to those for alcohol. I’ve been covering drug issues for almost 20 years (and smoking the green since? Well, I went to Woodstock when I was 14, you do the math), and I haven’t heard any. The most common, the “gateway theory” and the idea that today’s pot is so much stronger than Woodstock-era weed that it’s essentially a different drug, are based on distortion and misinformation. They aren’t even valid rebuttable presumptions like “abortion is murder,” “the government should not interfere with the free market by regulating rents,” or “the U.S. government had to depose Saddam Hussein by any means necessary.” And the “send a message to the children” argument is akin to espousing the resurrection of Prohibition because legal alcohol encourages underage drinking.

****

On the other hand, I strongly doubt that cannabis will become legal in the near future, for the following reasons.

1. Pot smokers aren’t well organized. According to government surveys, there are about 4 million to 5 million regular marijuana users — roughly speaking, people who get high at least once a week. The three leading drug-law-reform groups would have a combined mailing list of 35,000 to 55,000 people, estimates NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre. NORML has about 15,000 dues-paying members, 55,000 email subscribers, and 420,000 friends on its Facebook page. The Marijuana Policy Project claims 24,000 members and 180,000 email subscribers. The Drug Policy Alliance has 26,000 members and more than 100,000 email subscribers.

Those numbers are dramatically higher than they were five years ago, but they’re still relatively small. MoveOn.org has 3.2 million people on its email list. The National Rifle Association has more than 4 million members.

2. Very few politicians support legalization. About the only nationally known elected officials who advocate full legalization of cannabis are Ron Paul and Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, the two candidates most often derided as fringe lunatics in this year’s presidential race. If you stretch the list to include big-city mayors, you’d get Gavin Newsom of San Francisco and the recently retired Rocky Anderson of Salt Lake City. The Frank-Paul decriminalization bill’s co-sponsors include both anti-war liberals and far-right semilibertarians, but St. Pierre believes it is unlikely to make it out of committee this year and wouldn’t get more than 85 votes if it did. Almost all its supporters represent culturally liberal areas in the far West and Northeast.

“If those of us who currently smoke would take the pledge that we will never again vote for any candidate for public office who supports treating us like criminals, we could end prohibition within a couple of election cycles,” says Stroup. But if they did take that pledge, “initially they would frequently only have fringe candidates whom they could support and would have to sit out many major races. So we can’t count on most smokers to vote based only on the candidate’s position towards treating marijuana smokers like criminals.”

3. Marijuana arrests continue at record levels. In 2006, there were 830,000 arrests for marijuana offenses — almost triple the number of people nabbed in 1991. It was the fourth consecutive year that the number of pot busts set a new record. Of those popped, 89 percent were charged with simple possession.

4. Baby-boomer politicians sold us out. In the 1970s, baby-boomer stoners believed that the laws would inevitably change when the prohibitionist dinosaurs faded out and their generation took over.

Well, among the potheads-turned-politicians of the last 15 years, Bill Clinton signed the law cutting off federal student aid to drug offenders. Clarence Thomas wrote the Supreme Court decision against medical marijuana. Barack Obama now says he is “not interested in legalizing drugs.” Al Gore, declaring that he had “put away childish things,” came out against legalizing medical marijuana. Newt Gingrich sponsored a bill to execute pot smugglers. George W. Bush (yeah, you expect me to believe that a raging alcoholic with a never-denied taste for cocaine made it through the ’70s without a single toke?) has overseen federal crackdowns on headshops, bong-makers, and medical marijuana clinics.

5. We don’t live in a rational society. In many ways, American politics haven’t changed much from 1928, when people believed that if Al Smith, a Catholic, were elected president, he’d dig a tunnel from the White House to the Vatican, except that now we have the Internet to spread similar rumors. (We didn’t have Photoshop in 1927, when Smith dedicated the Holland Tunnel connecting Manhattan and Jersey City.)

We live in a society where politics are dominated by moronic symbolism, where the media ignore government’s actual effect on working-class people in favor of pontificating endlessly about the importance of Hillary Clinton knocking back a shot of blended whiskey vs. Obama’s abysmal bowling score, where they cast a spoiled senator’s son as a “man of the people” because he clears brush and isn’t too bright.

We live in a society ruled by fear, where people are willing to accept having the Bill of Rights shredded in the name of fighting drugs or “terrorism.”

So it’s not surprising that politicians quaver and quail at the idea of supporting a perfectly rational change that would end the legal harassment of millions of Americans. If they did, they’d be damned as “trying to let drug dealers out of jail” and barraged with attack ads accusing them of wanting to sell methamphetamine to 8-year-olds.

There is a very powerful stereotype afoot in much of the population, the belief that anyone “on drugs” is a brutish beast from whom all reason hath fled, a conglomeration of the snapping-at-phantoms temper of a rageball drunk, the stolen-goods appetite of a $500-a-day dope fiend, the self-abasement of a crack addict performing oral sex for a $5 rock, and the casual and calculated sadism of an ’80s cocaine kingpin ordaining, “Manolo, choot this piece of chit.”

Anyone who knows a pothead knows that this belief is absolutely ludicrous, but it’s what sets the tone of American political discourse on drug issues — or more accurately, almost no one in the political mainstream has the guts to defend drug users by pointing out that it’s propaganda.

http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/84055/

Post by way of: Drug War Rant

American College of Physicians Endorses Medical Marijuana

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The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.cbcmarin.com/cbclogo2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Sunday, April 20, 2008 by: Adam Miller

physicians
NaturalNews) Transcending political controversy and stigma surrounding the subject, the second largest physician group in the country has endorsed the use, reclassification, and further study of medicinal marijuana. In a position paper issued February 14th, the American College of Physicians (ACP) makes the case that the red tape surrounding the medical use of cannabis has obscured good science for too long.

Several states including California have opened the door for legal use of medical marijuana, but this stands in opposition to the federal government’s Schedule I classification of the plant. This discontinuity has led to legal obfuscation and obscurity as to what really is legal. Schedule I is a term used to describe drugs such as LSD and heroin, and translates to a substance having “no accepted medical use and being unsafe for use even under medical supervision.”

With their newly defined position, ACP now joins the ranks of dozens of other national medical groups urging an ease on cannabis regulation in the face of what many consider overwhelming scientific evidence of its medicinal usefulness. “ACP urges review of marijuana’s status as a Schedule I controlled substance and reclassification into a more appropriate schedule, given the scientific evidence regarding marijuana’s safety and efficacy in some clinical conditions,” the paper states.

Supporters hope that this will be the long-awaited nudge needed to tip the American Medical Association (AMA) in favor of reclassification and legal protection for medical use of the drug. The AMA urges further research, but so far it does not support reclassification of the Schedule I substance.

To date, the most serious argument for potential damage done by cannabis is harm to the lungs caused by smoking. The paper notes that this problem has already been overcome by a technology known as vaporization, in which the active constituents are efficiently released into the lungs without burning the plant.

Another myth dispelled by the paper is that marijuana acts as a ‘gateway drug,’ leading to the use of more harmful substances. “Marijuana has not been proven to be the cause or even the most significant predictor of serious drug abuse. Opiates are highly addictive, yet medically effective … There is no evidence to suggest that medical use of opiates has increased perception that their illicit use is safe or acceptable,” the group states.

The paper also cites significant evidence that cannabis relieves the nausea, vomiting and wasting that accompany cancer, AIDS and other diseases, while lessening the pain associated with multiple sclerosis and many other conditions.

Calling for further research, ACP points out that the period of validation has passed in more heavily researched areas. In these cases, the group makes clear their position that the time has come to roll out trials designed to determine proper dosage and method of delivery — a step currently being stonewalled by the drug’s legal classification.

The position paper can be found in pdf format at (http://www.acponline.org/acp_news/medmarinews.htm) .

About the author

Adam Miller is a student of life who has dedicated literally thousands of hours of personal research on top of formal institutional training in Dietetics to learn the secrets of achieving vibrant health and extended lifespan. His passion and dedication is in bringing the best ideas for self-empowerment through nutrition and nutraceuticals as well as alternative therapies, technology, and information to the public through various means.

http://www.naturalnews.com/023062.html

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Barney Frank and Ron Paul ride together

Via Hit and Run — Barney Frank has introduced his Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008, co-sponsored by Ron Paul.

Congressman Frank’s statement:

“I think it is poor law enforcement to keep on the books legislation that establishes as a crime something which in fact society does not seriously wish to prosecute. In my view, having federal law enforcement agents engaged in the prosecution of people who are personally using marijuana is a waste of scarce resources better used for serious crimes. In fact, this type of prosecution often meets with public disapproval. The most frequent recent examples have been federal prosecutions of individuals using marijuana for medical purposes in states that have voted [^] usually by public referenda [^] to allow such use. Because current federal law has been interpreted as superseding state law in this area, most states that have made medical use of marijuana legal have been unable to actually implement their laws.

“When doctors recommend the use of marijuana for their patients and states are willing to permit it, I think it’s wrong for the federal government to subject either the doctors or the patients to criminal prosecution. More broadly speaking, the norm in America is for the states to decide whether particular behaviors should be made criminal. To make the smoking of marijuana, whether for medical purposes or not, one of those extremely rare instances of federal crime [^] literally, to make a [OE]federal case’ out of it [^] is wholly disproportionate to the activity involved. We do not have federal criminal prohibitions against drinking alcoholic beverages, and there are generally no criminal penalties for the use of tobacco at the state and federal levels for adults. There is no rational argument for treating marijuana so differently from these other substances.”

“To those who say that the government should not be encouraging the smoking of marijuana, my response is that I completely agree. But it is a great mistake to divide all human activity into two categories: those that are criminally prohibited, and those that are encouraged. In a free society, there must be a very considerable zone of activity between those two poles in which people are allowed to make their own choices as long as they are not impinging on the rights, freedom, or property of others. I believe it is important with regard to tobacco, marijuana and alcohol, among other things, that we strictly regulate the age at which people may use these substances. And, enforcement of age restrictions should be firm. But, criminalizing choices that adults make because we think they are unwise ones, when the choices involved have no negative effect on the rights of others, is not appropriate in a free society.”

“If the laws I am proposing pass, states will still be free to treat marijuana as they wish. But I do not believe that the federal government should treat adults who choose to smoke marijuana as criminals. Federal law enforcement is a serious business, and we should be concentrating our efforts in this regard on measures that truly protect the public.”

Source: Drug War Rant

HEMP MAKES ETHANOL AND BIODIESEL TOO

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April 14, 2008

Hemp is the term commonly employed for the industrial (non-drug) usage of the cannabis plant, otherwise known as marijuana. The stalk of the cannabis or marijuana plant has no THC content whatsoever, that is, it has no mind-altering properties.

The use of cannabis for hemp products goes back thousands of years. Today, hemp can be used in thousands of commercial products. The hemp tops and seeds can go to food, and the stalks can go for fuel, fiber and building materials, so it is like growing two crops in one field.

Hemp fibers have many uses in the manufacture of such things as garments, paper, rope, packing materials and thousands of other commercial products. Hemp seeds are a significant food source, since they are highly nutritious and contain beneficial omega fatty acids, amino acids and minerals.

The oil from the hemp seed has additional uses as soaps, moisturizing agents, and paint, for example. Hemp is one of the earth’s fastest-growing plants, it requires little or no fertilizer or pesticides, and it replenishes the soil with nutrients and nitrogen. Hemp actually refreshes the soil, so putting it into rotation with other crops will heal – not deplete – the soil.

Because it is so fast-growing, hemp produces more energy per acre for biodiesel or ethanol fuel than corn, sugar, flax or any other food crop. Hemp produces upt to 10 times more ethanol per acre than corn, and up to 20 times more biodiesel per acre than corn. Furthermore, it does so at a lower cost and with less damage to the soil. If the USA were to sow just 10 per cent of its current farmland as hemp, for example, it would not need to buy any foreign petroleum. Corn could never accomplish that, even if planted on 100% of the total farmland in the nation.

Hemp fuel burns clean, which would lower air pollution and reduce health and environmental issues. Hemp can grow on damaged, exhausted or marginal soil, so we don’t need to use prime farmland but instead can reclaim thousands of acres of unused and abandoned land for hemp.

http://www.ethanolinfo.com/hemp-makes-ethanol-and-biodiesel-too/

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Professional Cannabis Grower Sought By Canadian Government

http://pr.cannazine.co.uk : Health Canada, the Canadian government department tasked with over-seeing and providing for the country’s medical marijuana program is seeking a professional cannabis grower, according to an announcement on the official government tenders website.

The organisation which wins the lucrative tender will be expected to supply medical grade cannabis which is approved by the government, to certified Canadian users and the contract, which could be worth $10 million+ per year, is to start in the Autumn.

Image
‘Original Cheese’ by Big Buddha. Buy original cheese from the Canna Zine seed store.

Help Wanted
Health Canada posted a notice on a government tenders website saying it would put out a formal request for proposals in the spring of 2008, but without actually specifying a date.

According to Canadian law, the marijuana program licenses certified medical users to grow their own pot, to have someone grow it for them or to buy it straight from Health Canada who have to date, paid a private organisation, Praire Plant Systems, over $10 million dollars to cultivate government certified dope in a disused mine shaft in Flin Flon Manitoba, from where the company couriers the finished cannabis buds direct to the end user in 30 gram packs. The company was awarded the contract initially back in late 2000.

Since 2006 the government has awarded Praire Plant Systems 6 monthly increases in the deal. A situation which Praire Plant Systems company president Brent Zettl says, was never going to last for ever.

He said “We didn’t expect that this process would be able to continue. These are the rules that they have to abide by”.

“We had anticipated internally that something would have to happen. We expected it would be something along these lines.”

He continued, saying the company has yet to decide whether it will bid on the new contract, although he “expects it will.”

With over $10 million at stake I’ll say it will.

United Kingdom
Closer to home and the UK governments intentions to further criminalise cannabis and its users, supposedly on the grounds of “public health” is shown up for exactly what it is in light of this announcement.

A unilateral policy which is driven by an agenda absolutely nothing to do with health, and more to do with political shenanigans put in place to protect the alcohol, the pharmaceutical and the oil industries respectively, who between them spend millions of pounds per year, lobbying government.

Europe
A number of our European neighbours have already made allowances for citizens who choose to use cannabis over regular intoxicants such as alcohol. These include Holland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Germany, who announced back in 07 that their first legally certified medical cannabis patient, a female suffering with MS, had been granted a permit to buy medical marijuana from the government.

Yet in the summer of 2007 when new boy Gordon Brown took over from Tony Blair as Prime Minister, one of his first announcements was to call into question the status of cannabis in the UK (Class C), and to ask the ACMD for their advice on whether cannabis should be reclassified back to a class B drug.

Since the ACMD public meeting convened in London on February 5th 08 the advice has been printed in every single newspaper in the land. According to the ACMD there is “no new evidence which proves cannabis is any more dangerous now, than it was back in 2004.” The year it was declassified.

Yet the govermnments bloody minded quest to criminalise upwards of 4 million of its citizens continues apace as the Prime Minister seeks to pass what he calls “the right message”.

But its a message which a great many voters disagree with and in a period which see’s David Cameron’s Conservative party pulling further ahead in the polls, the Labour party must do everything in its power to bring those voters who have changed their allegiances, back on side, and if Gordon Brown isn’t seen by party HQ as the man who can regain the countries flagging confidence, perhaps its time they chose someone who can?

Or they can leave it until the next general election, when we the voter’s will do it for them.

http://pr.cannazine.co.uk/content/view/249/27/

Posts by way of: Jack Herer

Cannabis – A Choice

Posted on

Thursday, March 27, 2008

https://i2.wp.com/aphs.worldnomads.com/disco/1669/IMG_1253.jpg

I just saw a report of a woman (working for the BBC, reported on www.bbc.co.uk) who took part in an experiment to find out the “real” effects of Cannabis smoking. This required her to move to Amsterdam (one of the few progressive countries to have decriminalized Cannabis) for a month, and work in a Coffee-shop. (Please read the article for your own judgement: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7314812.stm) (article is below)

She claimed to have had an unreasonable amount of Paranoia and thought that everyone on the BBC crew and the people who came into her Coffee-shop were talking about her. I would have thought that they would have been talking about here anyway considering that she was the focal point of the study. Also she claimed sleeplessness and, in the case of weaker Cannabis varieties, the inability to put together packed furniture… Uh, yeah… Highly disturbing behaviour!

An excerpt from the article goes as follows: “This is not the first time Nicky has become a guinea pig – other programmes have seen her binge drinking, and undergoing plastic surgery. ”

Now this also throws up a few questions to my mind… How about if the binge drinking experiment made her more prone to psychotic episodes? What if her previous experience of other experiments had an effect of bias in her own analysis? Is this the same with every person?

I do not concur with the idea that everybody will react to the same stimuli in the same way. This is assuming that the stimuli is the same! What if she just smoked way too much!? What if she hadn’t found which strain of cannabis would calm her down to the levels that she was comfortable with? What about all of the organic Cannabis which is grown without the addition of chemical fertilizers, and has a more pure effect? (I urge you to talk to Cannabis smokers of the non-stoner variety, the equivalent of an appreciator of wine rather than a wino!). Could it be that her inexperience and her recruitment bias, would have had an adverse effect of what she might have said (or divulged) otherwise?

These questions are not aimed at dis-reputing her endeavour, or for proclaiming the methodology in this “study” a sham (though one might be tempted to!). They are merely questions which I would like answered to clarify my position on the subject.

I will go into the legal aspects of the Plant in a later post, but must mention here that the majority of smokers who go in for hard-hitting varieties (eg. Skunk) are those that do not have the option of buying good quality Cannabis of lower THC content. These are the people who live in oppressive regimes with regard to Cannabis, and are in favor of being able to smoke in the privacy of their (or their friend’s) homes.

If when you walked into a liquor store or bar and all they had was Everclear (180% proof grain alcohol), and Absinthe, would you really be surprised that people were just getting way out of control after a night out? Would you then put forth the suggestion that maybe what they need is a weaker alternative, say, beer, or wine, or even whisky? It would seem the sensible option rather than to say that all alcohol was evil and caused death!! Seems silly when put like that doesn’t it?

Weaker varieties of Cannabis can have an equally profound and therapeutic value, as would stronger varieties, for specific uses. There are times when the therapeutic value of the drug comes from the strength of a particular property of the plant. An example of this is when a patient would suffer from major muscular cramps and would be forced to have a lot of pharmaceutical alternatives for pain and muscle relaxation. Particular strains of Cannabis would be able to help the patient control the cramps, rather than palliatively hiding it from the brain until it re-emerges even stronger! Pharmaceuticals routinely have side-effects which can be very harmful in the long term. Cannabis does too (and no I don’t count the Munchies as an adverse reaction!), and as such should be used with care and diligence!

Cannabis is often looked at as an alternative to Pharmaceuticals. I am not one to go for the “Pharma companies are keeping all of this under wraps and misleading the public so that their sales won’t drop!” philosophy. I work for a Pharma company myself, and I assure you that there are no conspiracies against the smokers!

The therapeutic value comes not from a particular compound but a mix of many! A large misconception is that THC is the only compound to have an effect. This is incorrect. There are several compounds which act in concert with each other to have the desired effect. This is why different varieties, with the same THC levels, have different effects on people. There are even compounds in these plants which can retard the onset of psychosis (CBDs) and have been proved to do so (though probably by the same types of scientists who came up with these types of studies!). It is a natural and complex plant, which should be respected!

Is it not that person’s right to have a natural alternative without the repercussions of jail time and heavy fines? (This seems to be getting through more and more since medical use of Cannabis is being decriminalized in many places).

Analysing one of the last paragraphs: “Fortunately, after the end of the month-long experiment, she has suffered no long-term effects, but has vowed to try to keep her children away from the drug.”

As my best friend would say,”Damn straight!!” We should keep our kids away from psychotropic substances such as alcohol and Cannabis, while they are kids! They are young and impressionable and easily swayed without having had the time OR the guidance (just yelling, or repeating “Drugs are bad M’kay!” is NOT adequate guidance!) to cope with it!

She suffers no long term side effects from the total over-indulgence FOR A MONTH!! To be on the brink of insanity (as it has been so voraciously stuffed down our throats by the article) and to spring back to normality, is really something! I wonder if she was as far gone as it was made to seem. Or could it (POSSIBLY? MAYBE? BY SOME FREAKISH CHANCE?) just be that she was really high at the time because she toked a few doobies too many?

Finally I must reiterate, I do not think that Cannabis is for everyone! I have a friend who, after taking two drags off a joint, pukes his guts out! This is not the thing for him! I have another friend who is bipolar and would routinely freak out (Randomly! And incidentally he was not a smoker of the weed!) until someone would give him some Cannabis (and hoping that he’d stop fighting with everyone for everything!) and he would mellow out enough for someone to talk him through his episode! This might be of some use to him! At least give these two the choice.

I end this post with an urge to keep writing. Please assess for yourself the ideas which I have put forth here, and please do comment. The debate must continue for change to ever take place. Replace the fallacies with experience and knowledge!

Till the next time!

Easy,

Dietz

New Delhi : India

‘Month of cannabis terrified me’

Nicky Taylor

Nicky had tried cannabis at university

A mother-of-three who smoked cannabis for a month as part of a BBC documentary has described how the drug left her paranoid and frightened.

She said that the effects of a powerful version of the drug called “skunk” were “absolutely horrendous”, though not long-lasting.

Nicky Taylor, from Kidderminster, took part in the experiment in Amsterdam, where the drug is legal. She also became psychotic after an injection of an active ingredient of cannabis.

The drug totally wrecked my mind

Nicky Taylor

This is not the first time Nicky has become a guinea pig – other programmes have seen her binge drinking, and undergoing plastic surgery.

Although scientific research has firmly linked cannabis use with health problems, the UK has, according to UNICEF, the third highest rate of use among young people in the Western world.

Although she had previously used cannabis two decades ago at university, Nicky said that she wanted to find out what would happen to her children if any of them went on to take today’s version of the drug.

Some modern varieties are said to have up to five times higher levels of the active ingredient THC.

After taking a job at an Amsterdam coffee shop she smoked different varieties and strengths on a daily basis.

Her experiences with “skunk” cannabis, she said, made her feel “irrational and paranoid”.

“Some nights I couldn’t sleep at all, and would be pacing my room, becoming more and more paranoid and thinking everyone I’d met at the cafe, as well as the BBC crew, was talking about me.”

Although weaker types of cannabis did not have the same effect, she said that her ability to function properly was compromised, making it even more difficult than usual to perform tasks such as putting together flat pack furniture.

“The drug totally wrecked my mind,” she said. “There is no way I would want to repeat it again. Nothing made much sense to me any more.”

Pure injection

Another noticeable effect of the drug was on her appetite – she said she gained half a stone over the course of the month due to cravings for sweet and salty snacks.

Nicky Taylor

Nicky went to Amsterdam for her experiment

After the month was over, she visited scientists at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, where she was injected with THC alone, and THC with cannabinoid, the combination found in less potent cannabis. After the pure THC, she had a severe psychotic episode.

“I thought that the reasearchers conducting the episode were characters from a horror film. “I was thinking about jumping out of a window.”

A psychological score taken during the experiment suggested that the level of her psychosis was greater than that found in some people suffering a schizophrenic attack.

Fortunately, after the end of the month-long experiment, she has suffered no long-term effects, but has vowed to try to keep her children away from the drug.

Debate needed

However, she said a sober public debate was needed about cannabis, as there was growing evidence that it had potentially useful medical applications.

“This is a complex plant, it can do an awful amount of harm, but it can also do an awful amount of good,” she said.

“On one hand you have people who think it is the spawn of the devil, and then you have people who think it’s fantastic, so nobody ever gets to sit down and actually talk constructively about what we should do with the problem.”

Martin Barnes, chief executive of charity Drugscope, said that most evidence about the potential health harms of cannabis had been gathered using lower-strength cannabis varieties.

“The average potency of cannabis available in the UK has increased, and while it is intuitive that greater harm potentially will arise from stronger forms of cannabis, people shouldn’t assume that only the stronger types are harmful.

“A big issue is also the longer-term problems which may arise from cannabis use.”

A spokesman for Addaction, the drug treatment charity, said cannabis was easily obtained, and normally the first drug used by young people.

She said: “Using the drug can provoke the onset of psychosis or worsen existing psychotic illness – so for people with a history of mental health problems or depression, taking this drug is not a good idea.

“What we need is open, realistic education and information on the associated risks of cannabis use and to make sure high quality treatment is available to all those who need help.”

  • The documentary, “Should I Smoke Dope?” can be seen on BBC3 on Wednesday 26 March at 2200.
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7314812.stm