MJ News for 01/27/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:33 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

URL: hMPp://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/01/marijuana_news_top_drug_enforc.html

Drug enforcement official slams Obama's recent comments on pot

Michele M. Leonhart, the top official at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, told a group of sheriffs last week she's unhappy with President Barack Obama's recent comments on marijuana.

Leonhart, according to The Boston Herald, was frustrated by her boss's statements to The New Yorker in which he said he doesn't think pot is more dangerous than alcohol.

Thomas M. Hodgson, a local sheriff in Massachusetts, heard Leonhart's speech and told The Herald he was happy to hear her take Obama to task. The sheriffs gave her a standing ovation, Hodgson told the newspaper.

"She’s frustrated for the same reasons we are,” Hodgson said. “She said she felt the administration didn’t understand the science enough to make those statements. She was particularly frustrated with the fact that, according to her, the White House participated in a softball game with a pro-legalization group. ... But she said her lowest point in 33 years in the DEA was when she learned they’d flown a hemp flag over the Capitol on July 4. The sheriffs were all shocked. This is the first time in 28 years I’ve ever heard anyone in her position be this candid.”

Top DEA officials also are frustrated by the defection of two former agents with Oregon ties to the marijuana industry, a story The Oregonian reported in December. FoxNews.com and Reuters spoke with a couple of DEA officials about the departures of Patrick Moen, a former supervisory agent in Portland, and Paul Schmidt, once the highest-ranking federal drug enforcement official in Oregon. Both now work in the marijuana industry.

Speaking of Moen's move, Dawn Dearden, a DEA spokeswoman said: “I think he doesn’t represent the hard work of every other agent and the DEA.”

The top agent in Seattle echoed Dearden's comments:

“It is disappointing when law enforcement officers, sworn to uphold the laws of the United States with honor, courage and integrity, abandon their commitment to work in an industry involved in trafficking marijuana,” Seattle-based DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Barnes told Reuters.

Some Oregon communities aren't welcoming medical marijuana dispensaries with open arms. Cities like Medford have changed their business licensing requirements, effectively banning the establishments. Others are considering temporary bans until they can make changes to their licensing rules. Lawmakers in February will consider a law that would allow local governments to regulate and restrict the retail outlets.

Today's New York Times examines the resistance to legalization by some local communities. Staff writer Kirk Johnson writes:

"... (T)he fight also signals a larger battle over the future of legal marijuana: whether it will be a national industry providing near-universal access, or a patchwork system with isolated islands of mainly urban sales. To some partisans, the debate has echoes to the post-Prohibition era, when “dry towns” emerged in some states in response to legalized alcohol. “At some point we have to put some boundaries,” said Rosetta Horne, a nondenominational Christian church minister here in Yakima, at a public hearing on Tuesday night where she urged the City Council to enact a permanent ban on marijuana businesses.

Though it seems strongest in more rural and conservative communities, the resistance has been surprisingly bipartisan. In states from Louisiana to Indiana that are discussing decriminalizing marijuana, Republican opponents of relaxing the drug laws are finding themselves loosely allied with Democratic skeptics. Voices in the Obama administration concerned about growing access have joined antidrug crusaders like Patrick J. Kennedy, a Democratic former United States representative from Rhode Island, who contends that the potential health risks of marijuana have not been adequately explored, especially for juveniles — and who has written and spoken widely about his own struggles with alcohol and prescription drugs.

Johnson also spoke with Kevin Sabet, a leading spokesman against marijuana legalization, who said advocates' insistence on pushing for legalization has created a backlash. Sabet recently spent several days in Oregon, meeting with police, treatment providers and lawmakers to discuss marijuana's harms.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 01/27/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:38 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/01/26/marijuana-groups-wage-weed-friendly-bets-to-highlight-reform-in-super-bowl-states/

Pot Groups Wage Weed-Friendly Bets To Highlight Reform In Super Bowl States

DENVER (CBS) – The Colorado and Washington chapters of the marijuana reform organization NORML have agreed to a cannabis-based bet to highlight the upcoming Super Bowl, which features respective teams from the two states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana.

Next week’s Super Bowl matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks will allow the two chapters of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) to take their weed-friendly wager to the national stage.

“Bud Bowl. Weed Bowl. Fill a Bowl. Stoner Bowl. Super Stupor Bowl. Whatever you call it, the teams from Denver and Seattle are in it to win it! And so are cannabis consumers!” reads a statement from NORML.

“If the Denver Broncos win, WA NORML has agreed to dress in Bronco colors of blue and orange and sing Karaoke-style Colorado’s (second) official state song “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver. If the Seattle Seahawks win, CO NORML will do the same, but in Seahawk blue and green and singing “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix, a native son of Seattle.”

A video performance will be featured on the groups’ Facebook pages and YouTube, acknowledging the winner and loser of the Feb. 2 matchup to be held at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

The NORML organization was founded in 1970 to “provide a voice in the public policy debate for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition and favor an end to the practice of arresting marijuana smokers,” according to the organization’s website.

“We are working to educate our fellow Coloradoans about marijuana including hemp, its potential medical and industrial uses, and about the need to end current laws prohibiting marijuana possession and distribution.”

The Super Bowl bet comes after the two states’ 2012 vote to legalize recreational use of cannabis, and amid recent comments made by President Obama that he believes marijuana usage is less dangerous than alcohol consumption.

“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol,” Obama told The New Yorker’s David Remnick.

However, the White House reiterated earlier this week that the president remains opposed to nationwide decriminalization of the drug labeled a Schedule I substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency, placing it alongside heroin, ecstasy and LSD — “the most dangerous class of drugs with a high potential for abuse and potentially severe psychological and/or physical dependence.”

A 2012 FBI report revealed that police in the U.S. arrest someone for a marijuana-related crime every 42 seconds. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting data, there were 1.5 million drug arrests across the US in 2011, and nearly half (750,000) were related to marijuana.

According to a similar report from the Marijuana Arrest Research Project (MARP), there were 210,000 marijuana possession arrests in Colorado between 1986 and 2010. With that number having increased from about 4,000 in 1986 to over 10,000 marijuana arrests in 2010.
More than two thirds (69 percent) of those arrested were 25 years of age or under.

NORML is also looking to draw attention to the National Football League’s policy, which bans marijuana usage. Both teams have had players suspended for failing pot-related drug tests in recent years.

“The NFL would be wise to be more open to marijuana use among players. Its value as a safer treatment than opiates for pain resulting from the brutality of the game must be acknowledged. With concerns over repeat concussions and the resulting traumatic brain injury to players like Junior Seau, the league should be particularly interested in marijuana’s potential to prevent long-term damage associated with brain injuries,” reads a statement from NORML.

NORML notes that cannabis use could be used as a less risky alternative for players than painkillers and alcohol.

“So while we celebrate this historic Super Doobie Bowl, cheering on our respective teams, and laughing about the irony of it all, let’s not forget those players on and off the field whose employers will not allow them to consume a legal substance that has never had an associated death in all of recorded history.”

Both NORML chapters will have to wait until Super Bowl XLVIII at 6:30 pm on Sunday, Feb. 2 to find out just which team comes away with — the highest — score.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 01/27/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:41 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.livescience.com/42853-marijuana-during-pregnancy-baby-brain.html

Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Affects Baby's Brain

Using marijuana during pregnancy could affect a baby'sbrain development by interfering with how brain cells are wired, a new study in mice and human tissue suggests.

Researchers studied marijuana's effects on mice and brain tissue from human fetuses, and found that the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, interferes with the formation of connections between nerve cells in the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher thinking skills and forming memories.

"Our advice is that [pregnant] mothers should avoid marijuana,"said neuroscientist Tibor Harkany of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and the Medical University of Vienna, in Austria, who led a study detailed today (Jan. 27) in the EMBO Journal. [11 Facts Every Parent Should Know About Their Baby's Brain]

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Scroll up


RE: MJ News for 01/27/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:45 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/1/27/marijuana-legalizationpresentschallengefortribalnationsinwashing.html

Marijuana legalization presents challenge for Washington’s tribes

WELLPINIT, Wash. — After every other case had been tried, the crowded room had emptied and the three shackled prisoners in orange jumpsuits and cuffs had been escorted away, Isaiah Wynne sat before the judge.

On a frigid December afternoon in Spokane Tribal Court — a squat clapboard building on a gravelly road at the center of this rural town, where the warm aroma of wood-burning stoves cut the cold air — Wynne held a red folder bulging with papers. His black hair was folded neatly into two long braids; a crisscross of tribal tattoos peeked out from under his black shirtsleeves. He sat beside his lawyer, Michael Beegle, who wore a suit and cowboy boots.

Wynne faced three charges of possession of marijuana with intent to sell. But his attorney argued that, despite the Spokane Tribe’s explicit Law and Order Code (PDF) stating that marijuana is illegal for use on the reservation, the charges against him should be dismissed because of the tribe’s historical use of the plant for medicinal and spiritual purposes. In fact, a talking circle of elders was called here recently to discuss whether that was true.

“I think there’s substantial evidence that there is historical use,” Beegle said.

It’s a scene likely to be replicated in tribal courts across Washington, one of two states in the country where people can legally use, distribute and possess marijuana. There are 29 federally recognized tribes in the state. And marijuana remains illegal to possess — for medical purposes or otherwise — under federal and tribal law.

Last week the Yakama Nation — which has a 1.2 million–acre reservation in south-central Washington — said it would ban marijuana on all its ceded lands, a massive area that spans more than 10 counties and includes several cities (PDF). Though the tribe ceded most of that land to the federal government, under the Yakama Treaty of 1855 (PDF) it retains the exclusive right to hunt, fish and gather food there.

No tribal involvement

Harry Smiskin, the Yakama Nation’s Tribal Council chairman, told the Yakima Herald last week the treaty entitles the tribe to fight any marijuana business seeking to open on its ceded lands.

“We’re merely exercising what the treaty allows us to do, and that is prevent marijuana grows (and sales) on those lands,” Smiskin told the newspaper.

That could be a problem for the hundreds of businesses in cities such as Pasco, Ellensburg and Wenatchee that have filed applications to be processors, producers and retailers of marijuana. But some people aren’t sure if the Yakama’s claims will hold up in court.

It does raise the question: How involved were Washington’s tribes in the state’s move to legalize marijuana? Not very, said Alison Holcomb, the author of Initiative 502, which voters approved in 2012 — but that’s because I-502 didn’t aim to have marijuana legalized on any tribal lands.

“When we were drafting Initiative 502, our goal was to draft it in such a way that it would withstand a challenge under federal law,” said Holcomb, who is also the criminal-justice director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. “In tackling that goal, we had no interest in also trying to require Native American communities to accommodate this state law on reservations. We had no intention of going there and forcing any tribe to open marijuana businesses.”

Troy Eid, chairman of the Indian Law and Order Commission, said part of the reason tribes weren’t included in the conversation about marijuana legalization in Washington or Colorado, the other state to legalize it, was that the initiatives started with voters — not legislators.

“In neither case did (consultation with tribes) happen, because the voters simply voted,” said Eid, who lives in Colorado. “But between Washington and Colorado, it’s different. (Colorado) has two Indian nations. They’re in federal jurisdiction. Nothing that happened with our amendment affects those tribes. Nothing has changed at all.

“Washington — it’s different, because in Washington they purported to legalize (marijuana), but the law enforcement on those reservations is state law enforcement,” he said.

The result is an apparent lack of clarity or consistency across the state’s tribes.

“The question becomes whether or not the tribe will enforce marijuana use by its members on the reservation,” Holcomb said. “Each tribe is taking a different position. I think there are tribes that are actually interested in the possibility of having stores on their reservations. And, so far, the Yakama Nation is the only tribe to be very outspoken about its opposition to the implementation of the law.”

Challenging prohibition

Marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington is something of an experiment, it seems, and among the biggest challenges posed to those states are effective prevention plans that keep marijuana from getting into the hands of minors and stopping it from traveling beyond the border into states where it isn’t legal. Though marijuana won’t be legal on the several reservations near Washington’s borders, tribal members could easily purchase it from a store off the reservation and bring it back onto tribal land.

Holcomb said there’s no question that tribes can prohibit marijuana from their lands — and that the topic is a sensitive one for many reasons.

“On the one hand, Native Americans have struggled with substance-abuse issues, and they have not traditionally received adequate funding and support to address those substance-abuse issues,” she said. “They’re struggling with poverty. They’re struggling with a lot of socioeconomic challenges … It’s a very big issue for them.

“But the flip side of that coin is whether or not prohibition … has been a tactic that has been effective or if it has caused more problems for tribal members.”

She points to criminal organizations that have built marijuana farms on tribal land and the disproportionate enforcement of possession laws when it comes to minorities. If slapped with a possession charge, someone like Wynne could be facing serious barriers in every aspect of his life.

“For a community that is already struggling,” Holcomb said, “it seems really counterproductive to add another hurdle.”

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 01/27/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:47 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2014/01/27/Republican-helps-medical-marijuana-advance-in-state/stories/201401270070

Republican helps medical marijuana advance in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG -- Scan the Pennsylvania Legislature for a likely proponent of legalizing medical marijuana, and you probably wouldn't pick Sen. Mike Folmer.

A Republican whose district includes Lebanon and part of Lancaster counties, Mr. Folmer was named by the American Conservative Union last year as one of just 10 "defenders of liberty" in the General Assembly. His website features a pledge to hamper tax increases and support the right-to-work policies feared by labor unions.

But as of late, Mr. Folmer has become a public face of an otherwise Democratic-led effort to allow cannabis in the treatment of certain serious medical conditions.

He has appeared on PCN, the Pennsylvania Cable Network, to discuss his legislation on the issue. He keeps in his car, for impromptu interviews, a collage with pictures of children whose parents believe the drug could have helped. His office has given other senators a packet excerpting findings -- from the LaGuardia report in the 1940s to the 1972 commission led by former Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond Shafer to more recent medical studies -- supporting his case that medical cannabis could help alleviate suffering without harming society. (Aware of the cultural connotations that accompany the drug, he shies away from the word marijuana, referring to it instead as cannabis.)

Though he says he had always questioned why a doctor can prescribe certain opiate pain relievers but not cannabis, Mr. Folmer became an advocate after meeting parents of children with epilepsy.

One mother, Dana Ulrich, who lives in Berks County, described the situation of her 6-year-old daughter, Lorelei, who she said experiences hundreds of seizures each day. Lorelei had tried more than a dozen medications, as well as a highly specialized diet, without success, when her mother saw a documentary in which Sanjay Gupta, the CNN medical correspondent, described how oil extracted from a particular strain of marijuana had helped a Colorado girl beset by severe seizures. The next day, Ms. Ulrich said in an interview, she began contacting legislators to seek changes in Pennsylvania law.

Mr. Folmer, who himself was completing a course of chemotherapy to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, was moved by the stories.

"I had some other preconceived notions before," he said in a recent interview. "The more I got into it, I'm going, 'Oh my goodness, I was wrong.' Here we have a plant that we could be getting medical benefits from to help sick people."

He partnered with Sen. Daylin Leach, a Montgomery County Democrat, who has also proposed legalizing recreational marijuana, on a bill to allow medical use. With Republicans controlling the Pennsylvania Senate, Mr. Folmer said, he feared Mr. Leach's medical bill would sit dormant.

The pair hold opposing views on many issues, and Mr. Leach -- known for being mischievously blunt -- described his response when Mr. Folmer revealed an openness to joining the effort.

"I was like, 'Mike, you're a right-wing lunatic, you'd be perfect,' " Mr. Leach said. "He agreed, and frankly showed great courage. It is easier for me in my district to take these positions than I imagine it is for Mike in his district."

Mr. Folmer, for his part, says the effort is in line with his philosophy of limiting the role of government.

Their bill is now scheduled for a hearing Tuesday before the Senate Law & Justice Committee, whose chairman, Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks, said he wants to hear what medical professionals have to say.

"I would defer to our medical community," he said. "On the surface of it, if it's something they think is going to be useful for an ongoing treatment, then I would assume I would be in favor of it."

Those scheduled to testify include representatives of the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, which last week announced its endorsement, saying it is bound to supporting relief for patients not helped by conventional therapies, and the Pennsylvania Medical Society, which wants to see more research.

"There may really be a role for it. The question is we don't really know," said Bruce MacLeod, president of the medical society and an emergency physician at West Penn Hospital. "We want to make sure people have access to pharmaceuticals that help them, but also we have to be very careful we're not hurting them."

As of now, the bill faces long odds. Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, has said he would veto such a proposal if it were to reach his desk. Jay Pagni, his press secretary, said Mr. Corbett opposes the bill because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, though he said the governor would be interested in clinical trials from the Food and Drug Administration on cannabidiol, or CBD, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis cited for treatment of children with epilepsy.

Marijuana continues to be categorized by the federal government as a Schedule I drug, those considered to have a high potential for abuse and "with no currently accepted medical use," according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Cocaine and methamphetamine are listed in the next most serious category.

Erik Arneson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, said there are no plans to vote on the bill this year, both because of Mr. Corbett's opposition and because there is not reason to think majorities support the measure.

Pennsylvania is hardly at the forefront of the medical marijuana movement. Since 1996, when California voters approved its use, 19 additional states and the District of Columbia have enacted public medical marijuana programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Colorado and Washington recently approved its recreational use.

The inconsistency between federal and state regulation of marijuana has been a developing topic. In August, the U.S. Justice Department said in a memo to federal prosecutors that it expects states permitting marijuana use to implement robust regulatory and enforcement systems. Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder said legal marijuana businesses should be permitted to move their money through American banks.

The proposal to come before the Pennsylvania Senate panel Tuesday would allow people diagnosed with debilitating conditions, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma or a condition producing seizures or severe pain, to purchase medical cannabis from licensed centers. It would also establish a system to regulate the cultivation and dispensation of the marijuana.

While the bill currently does not specify a particular strain of the plant, Mr. Folmer has described the virtues of a form, cited in Dr. Gupta's television report, that is low in THC, the component that creates a high, and high in CBD, which has anti-inflammatory properties but is not psychoactive. In the report, it is not smoked but consumed as an oil.

"If every hippie in Pennsylvania smoked this stuff, you would have a bunch of disappointed hippies," Mr. Folmer said. "There's no way you would be able to get a buzz from it."

When Ms. Ulrich's daughter, Lorelei, was 22 months old, she began to experience absence seizures, losing consciousness for several seconds, Ms. Ulrich said. The seizures -- doctors estimated 400 a day, her mother said -- have affected her development, leaving her with little impulse control and difficulty eating and drinking. Earlier this month, she was put on a feeding tube.

While she does not know for sure that cannabis would help Lorelei, Ms. Ulrich said reports of success treating children with epilepsy in Colorado have given her hope.

"The biggest thing is her level of sadness," Ms. Ulrich said. "I watch her every day, and I just feel it hurts my heart to see the kid she was four years ago and to see what she is now. It's painful for a parent to watch."

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 01/27/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:50 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2014/01/26/children-with-epilepsy-forced-wait-for-medical-marijuana/rslCgjrrId8mJ3SkZJUWKI/story.html

Children with epilepsy waiting for medical marijuana

Seventeen medications during the past four years have failed to quell the haywire electrical signals in Haley Osborn’s brain that send her young body into convulsions dozens of times a day.

The 7-year-old climbs into bed at night with her service dog, Sofie, a border collie mix trained to push an alarm with her nose when the seizures start, summoning Haley’s parents. The dog then gently lays her body over Haley to protect her from hurting herself.

Now Jill and Arthur Osborn of Georgetown would dearly love to have their daughter try marijuana, after hearing that it helped children in Colorado with severe, unrelenting seizures. But more than a year after voters approved legalizing marijuana for medical use in Massachusetts, Haley and hundreds of other children with severe epilepsy are still waiting to get the drug.

Dispensaries authorized to sell marijuana are not expected to open until this summer at the earliest; the state is expected to award the first 35 licenses this week, but it will take months more for the chosen companies to grow their products and negotiate with local authorities for building and other permits. Even then, there is no guarantee the stores will stock the strain of marijuana believed to help prevent seizures, and federal law prohibits families from having the drug shipped to their homes from other states where it is legally sold.

“We are desperate to help our daughter, and running into obstacles at every turn,” said Jill Osborn. In the interim, Haley wears a padded helmet to protect her head during seizures, and attends school only part-time, with a nurse at her side.

In November, when Haley was hospitalized for an uncontrollable seizure, and physicians considered putting her into a medically-induced coma for the second time in her short life, the Osborns thought about packing up and moving to Colorado to get marijuana specially grown for people with epilepsy.

“We don’t think we should have to uproot our medically fragile child and our whole support team to go there,” Jill Osborn said. “We shouldn’t be limited because of geography.”

Haley Osborn, 7, who has severe epilepsy, with her service dog and her mother, Jill. A handful of studies suggest an ingredient in marijuana might cut frequency of seizures.

Marijuana is promoted as a treatment for a long list of ailments, though few rigorous studies have been done to show it works. For children with epilepsy, however, the evidence of marijuana’s benefits is slowly accumulating. A handful of small studies have suggested that one primary ingredient of marijuana, cannabidiol, or CBD, might reduce the frequency of seizures, and a study starting soon at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and four other hospitals nationally will test CBD on young patients who have seizures that are not controlled by traditional drugs.

Unlike THC, the ingredient that causes marijuana’s high,” CBD is nonpsychoactive, and it has captured widespread attention amid anecdotal reports that it has helped tame seizures in children in Colorado and California.

Many of the medications available for children with epilepsy have severe side effects that can impair their development, memory, behavior, and mood, so parents have become desperate to get marijuana for their children.

“Haley has tried every medicine on the market, as well as steroids, as well as a modified [anti-epilepsy] diet. She is kind of out of options,” said Dr. Ronald Thibert, a pediatric epilepsy specialist at Mass. General who treats Haley.

“For kids like her,” Thibert said, “even if we don’t know all the effects of CBD, the other alternatives are not great.”

Mass. General treats more than 2,000 children with epilepsy who have seizures that are resistant to medications, but federal regulators have authorized the CBD study to enroll only 25 children at each site. The Osborns are hopeful that Haley will be among the chosen few.

The one-year study is primarily testing whether a drug called Epidiolex, manufactured by a British company that extracts the CBD from marijuana, is safe for use in children and whether it has side effects.

A secondary goal will be to measure whether Epidiolex eases intractable seizures. About one-third of patients with epilepsy are not able to control their seizures with drugs or surgery, according to the National Institutes of Health. As many as 8,500 Massachusetts children are estimated to have such uncontrollable seizures.

For the many children who will not be selected for the study, another challenge will be getting physicians to sign a form certifying them to legally purchase marijuana for medical use. State law requires one physician certification for adults, and two for children.

Haley’s mother has secured one signature from her daughter’s longtime pediatrician, but the Mass. General specialists who treat Haley have hesitated, in part because their hospital has not yet developed a policy on the issue, said Dr. Elizabeth Thiele, director of Mass. General’s pediatric epilepsy program.

“The problem in signing the forms is, we won’t necessarily know what our patients will be getting,” she said, noting that there is “significant variability” among medical marijuana preparations.

Massachusetts’ medical marijuana rules are considered more stringent than many other states’, requiring dispensaries to have an independent lab test their products for contaminants such as pesticides and mold, and for potency, but there is no mandate that store personnel have the expertise to match a patient’s specific illness with the strain of marijuana most likely to be of benefit.

Haley wears a helmet to protect her head in seizures. Her dog, Sofie, is trained to push an alarm when seizures start.

When dispensary doors finally open, it is not clear how many will sell marijuana rich in CBD. Andrew DeAngelo, director of operations at Harborside Health Center, a large California marijuana dispensary that carries CBD-rich products, said he is unlikely to initially grow such strains in Massachusetts if he wins one of the coveted dispensary licenses. He hopes to open in Suffolk County.

“I have to start a production facility in Massachusetts, and it has to be able to pay for itself,” DeAngelo said. “So I have to grow things I know I will be able to sell, and most people who come into a dispensary are looking for THC, not CBD.

He said cancer patients, for instance, typically benefit from strains with higher concentrations of THC.

But at least one dispensary applicant said he is committed to growing marijuana that might help Haley and other children with seizures.

“We are not worried about the small, added cost to growing strains that are not in high demand,” said Brandon Tarricone, chief executive of Medicinal Evolution, which intends to open in Essex County, if granted a license.

Tarricone has been consulting with Haley’s mother, who has been researching CBD strains in other states as she awaits word on whether Haley has been chosen for the Mass. General study.

“I am not the kind of person who is going to sit back and wait for this to happen for us,” Jill Osborn said. “I am a mom, and that trumps everything.”

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Scroll up


RE: MJ News for 01/27/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:52 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/26/6101596/california-police-have-no-interest.html

California police have no interest in setting pot rules

In 2010, as Colorado lawmakers were creating America’s first state-licensed and regulated medical marijuana industry, fellow police officers at a Colorado Drug Investigators Association conference jeered a state law enforcement official assigned to draft the legislation.

Some of the sharpest barbs came from visiting narcotics officers from California.

“I was told that we hadn’t learned anything from California – that you can’t do anything to regulate marijuana,” said Matt Cook, a retired Colorado Springs police officer who became the first director of Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, a policing agency that now regulates state-licensed marijuana workers, pot stores and commercial cannabis producers.

While Colorado moved forward with pot industry oversight, the narcotics officers who berated Cook were right – at least about California, where trying to regulate America’s largest marijuana economy has become a perennial political loser. A key factor has been intense law enforcement opposition itself.

In California, police have forcefully opposed any legislation seen as legitimizing a marijuana industry. Their opposition reflects a belief by many police officers that medical marijuana businesses are profiteering shams that were never authorized by California voters.
Training seminars offered for police by the California Narcotic Officers’ Association suggest there is no such thing as medical marijuana and that state voters were hoodwinked into approving its use so people could legally get stoned.

“The general feeling in the law enforcement community is that California’s medical marijuana law is a giant con job,” said John Lovell, a lobbyist for narcotics officers, police chiefs and correctional supervisors. Lovell has led opposition to medical marijuana regulations, saying existing dispensaries in California are “a corrosive presence in the community” and authorities are unwilling to legitimize “free-standing pot shops” that he says attract crime and expand neighborhood availability of marijuana.

A California Police Chiefs Association’s “white paper” on marijuana business, depicting “storefront dispensaries as a cover for selling an illegal substance,” is cited by lawmakers opposing pot legislation and by officials approving local bans on medical marijuana stores.

“Most police chiefs in California understand the voters’ intent with Proposition 215,” the state’s 1996 medical marijuana initiative, “but what has actually happened in California is fraudulent,” said Covina Police Chief Kim Raney, president of the state chiefs association. “In no place that I’ve read in the law does it authorize or legitimize dispensaries that morphed into over-the-counter retail outlets.”

California, America’s first state to legalize marijuana for medical use, has birthed a billion-dollar industry of hundreds of marijuana dispensaries handling millions of dollars in cash and vast quantities of pot with little oversight.

In Colorado, where pot retailers this month began voter-approved sales of recreational marijuana, the state meticulously tags marijuana plants, inspects dispensary books and requires video surveillance of regulated pot deliveries and sales. In Washington state, where voters also legalized recreational use, new regulations seek to prevent diversion of marijuana from state-licensed marijuana stores to the black market.

Amid opposition from police, marijuana industry regulation bills died in the California Legislature in 2012 and 2013.

The last failed attempt came in the closing days of last year’s legislative session, after an Aug. 29 U.S. Justice Department memo declared that federal authorities were less likely to bring marijuana prosecutions in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana while also implementing “strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems” for pot businesses.

“There are definitely forces and law enforcement pressures to not vote on marijuana regulation,” said Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, who co-sponsored unsuccessful legislation last year to put the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in charge of licensing and regulating commercial medical marijuana growers, shippers and sellers.

With California marijuana advocates plotting 2014 or 2016 ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana use, Ammiano said he will introduce a new pot regulation bill this year. Its passage is considered a long shot.

Support for medical uses

The pot regulatory stalemate in California stands in contrast to the state’s history as the birthplace of the modern medical marijuana movement. During the 1980s and 1990s AIDS crisis in San Francisco, infected gay men suffering severe weight loss turned to smoking marijuana to ease nausea and boost appetites.

In 1999, the Legislature allocated $8.7 million for the nation’s first sustained modern medical research for pot. After seven completed clinical trials involving 300 subjects between 2002 and 2012, University of California researchers concluded that marijuana was a promising therapy for pain from nerve damage from injuries, HIV, diabetes, strokes and other conditions. They called for additional studies.

But instructional materials for a certified police officer training program offered by the California Narcotic Officers’ Association declare that “this ‘medical marijuana thing’ ” is “an epidemic that is infecting our society.”

“I put ‘medical marijuana’ in quotes because technically there is no such thing,” wrote Seth Cimino, a Del Norte County sheriff’s deputy, in materials for a 2012 training seminar he taught in Redding called, “Medical Marijuana from the Streets to Dispensaries.” The program offered officers, paying $35 to $45 for the session, “training ... to make your arrests stick” in medical marijuana cases.

The state narcotics officers’ association also manages a Santa Clarita-based organization, the Narcotic Educational Foundation of America, that produces materials that warn of a “well-financed and organized pro-drug legalization lobby” promoting medical marijuana as a gateway to unbridled pot legalization. The group’s report warns of dangerous health consequences, including cognitive damage, from legalizing “crude, intoxicating marijuana.”

Diane Goldstein, a former lieutenant for the Redondo Beach Police Department, said anti-marijuana training is a major factor in political resistance to any legislation seen as pro-pot.

“When California police officers continue to support training that says there is no such thing as medical marijuana, they are deliberately undermining not just policy and law but science,” said Goldstein, a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an advocacy group of mostly retired police officers who support marijuana legalization and a taxed and regulated pot industry.

Lovell said law enforcement officials are sympathetic to seriously ill people who use marijuana for symptom relief. But he said police are turned off by streams of seemingly fit young people frequenting dispensaries with easily obtained medical marijuana recommendations.

Lovell said he would prefer regulations that would require a bona fide doctor-patient relationship for marijuana recommendations and put public health officials – not retail-style dispensaries – in charge of dispensing medical cannabis.

Vague laws and revenue

Steve Walter, an assistant district attorney and narcotics prosecutor in San Diego County, said many in law enforcement are frustrated that dispensaries flourished under vague California medical marijuana laws that merely state that patients with doctors’ recommendations can collectively cultivate and share marijuana.

San Diego authorities take the view that marijuana dispensaries are illegal and have aggressively prosecuted them. But Walter concedes other jurisdictions have different interpretations. He said some legislative clarity would help.

“I can’t imagine that, if you’re going to have this industry or some semblance of it, you wouldn’t want to have some regulations,” he said.

Marijuana advocates charge that police are unwilling to support state rules because they are too invested in pot policing through drug enforcement grants and revenue from seized houses, cars and property in marijuana prosecutions.

Matt Kumin, a San Francisco attorney specializing in medical marijuana cases, said police have come to rely on marijuana enforcement to produce funding for their budgets. He said authorities, who have “always been taught this is evil weed,” resent marijuana legalization because “people who were their enemies are going to be part of the community.”

This month, The Wall Street Journal reported that police in Washington were taking budget hits as a result of voters there approving marijuana for recreational use. The newspaper reported that some police drug task forces lost 15 percent of funding due to decreased revenue from marijuana forfeiture cases.

The Journal’s analysis of U.S. Justice Department data said California took in $181.4 million in revenue from seized property and money in marijuana cases from 2002 to 2012, followed by New York at $101.3 million.

Disputing marijuana advocates’ contention of a financial incentive for police, Chief Raney noted that California has already widely decriminalized marijuana possession, most recently when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation in 2010 reducing marijuana misdemeanors to noncriminal citations.

Raney said he wants to preserve rights of local communities to restrict marijuana businesses and ensure the availability of pot “isn’t going to filter down to our youth.” He charges that cannabis advocates are unwilling to consider law enforcement’s concerns.

“I have not found those people credible to sit and talk with,” he said.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 01/27/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:42 pm
by Weedhopper | 1.210 Posts | 4031 Points

WHATTTTT,,,Narcotic Officers dont want WEED legalized,,WHY I NEVER.
Of course they dont want a Law passed that would put a stop to them from being able to get their RUSH,, busting PPL.

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RE: MJ News for 01/27/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:50 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

and destroying lives, stealing ppl's belongings, i.e. property,abducting their children, and holding their life savings for ransom or even forfeit.

that and they'll shoot your dogs w/o provokation....

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Scroll up


RE: MJ News for 01/27/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:50 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://thefreethoughtproject.com/woman-arrested-small-amount-pot-dies-jail-denied-prescriptions-cops/

Woman, Arrested for Small Amount of Pot, Dies in Jail After Being Denied Prescriptions by Cops

Get caught with a plant, die in jail for it; the precedent set by the Kansas Highway Patrol as they watched Brenda Sewell vomit up blood and slowly die in a jail cell for having a small amount of nature in her possession.

According to the Associated Press – It started when a Kansas Highway Patrol officer pulled over two Kansas City, Mo., sisters for speeding near the Colorado border and found a small amount of marijuana.

Three days later, one woman lay dying in a northwest Kansas jail cell as the other frantically tried to revive her.

Now, Joy Biggs is mourning Wednesday’s death of her sister, 58-year-old Brenda Sewell. Family members demanded answers Friday as to why after Monday’s arrest the women were held in a Goodland jail without being able to make a phone call or get adequate medical care.

Biggs says her sister spent Tuesday vomiting but was not taken to the hospital until that evening when she started throwing up blood. She was sent back to jail an hour later. The next day she was dead.

Goodland police say they are investigating.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo

Last edited Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:51 pm | Scroll up


Drug enforcement official slams Obama's recent comments on pot

in Marijuana in the News Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:30 pm
by pcduck (deleted)

Only in government can you slam the boss and not get fired

Obtinuit vermis?

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