Archive for the ‘Marijuana’ Category

Overkill in the war on pot

By Marie Myung-Ok Lee
January 22, 2013

As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama emphatically stated that medical marijuana use was an issue best left to the states. One of the first promises he made as the newly elected president was that he was “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws.” This was even reiterated formally in the so-called Ogden memo of 2009, in which the Department of Justice instructed U.S. attorneys that federal enforcement should apply only to medical marijuana operations that were not in clear compliance with state law.

Obama has since “clarified” those promises, but it still makes no sense that Matthew R. Davies, a business school graduate who set out in 2009 to create a medical marijuana dispensary that would be in full compliance with California law, is facing up to 15 years in prison — with a mandatory five-year sentence.

This is just one more puzzling incident in the history of a president who not only made these promises but has also admitted to heavy recreational use of marijuana himself in his youth. As a second-term president, with little to lose, why is he continuing his odd campaign on a state-approved industry that employs people, pays taxes and distributes a safe and clinically useful product?

Full story La Times


Jan, 23 2013

Americans for Safe Access will seek En Banc review, continue fight to develop public health policy

Washington, DC — The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a ruling today in the medical marijuana reclassification case, Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration. In a 2-1 decision, the Court granted standing in the case — the right to bring a claim against the federal government — but denied the legal challenge on the merits, agreeing with the government’s assertion that “adequate and well-controlled studies” on the medical efficacy of marijuana do not exist.

“To deny that sufficient evidence is lacking on the medical efficacy of marijuana is to ignore a mountain of well-documented studies that conclude otherwise,” said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy organization, which appealed the denial of the rescheduling petition in January of last year. “The Court has unfortunately agreed with the Obama Administration’s unreasonably raised bar on what qualifies as an ‘adequate and well-controlled’ study, thereby continuing their game of ‘Gotcha.'”

ASA intends to seek En Banc review by the full D.C. Circuit and,necessary, the organization will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. ASA intends to argue that the Obama Administration has acted arbitrarily and capriciously by using continually changing standards of “medical efficacy” in order to maintain marijuana as a Schedule I substance, a dangerous drug with no medical value. The government now contends that Stage II and III clinical trials are necessary to show efficacy, while ASA has consistently argued that the more than 200 peer-reviewed studies cited in the legal briefs adequately meet this standard.

In 2002, the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, made up of several individuals and organizations including ASA, filed a petition to reclassify marijuana for medical use. That petition was denied in July 2011, after ASA sued the Obama Administration for unreasonable delaying the answer. The appeal to the D.C. Circuit was the first time in nearly 20 years that a federal court has reviewed the issue of whether adequate scientific evidence exists to reclassify marijuana.

“The Obama Administration’s legal efforts will keep marijuana out of reach for millions of qualified patients who would benefit from its use,” continued Elford. “It’s time for President Obama to change his harmful policy with regard to medical marijuana and treat this as a public health issue, something entirely within the capability and authority of the executive office.”

Patient advocates claim that marijuana is treated unlike any other controlled substance and that politics have dominated over medical science on this issue. Advocates point to a research approval process for marijuana, controlled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is unique, overly rigorous, and hinders meaningful therapeutic research. ASA argues in its appeal brief that the DEA has no “license to apply different criteria to marijuana than to other drugs, ignore critical scientific data, misrepresent social science research, or rely upon unsubstantiated assumptions, as the DEA has done in this case.”

ASA will continue to put pressure on the Obama Administration, but will also be lobbying Members of Congress to reclassify marijuana for medical use. A new comprehensive public health bill on medical marijuana is expected to be introduced soon in Congress, and ASA is holding a national conference in February to support its passage.


Hemp Legalization Effort Gathers Steam

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Politics and Democracy page.

In the cannabis plant family, hemp is the good seed. Marijuana, the evil weed. Michael Bowman, a gregarious Colorado farmer who grows corn and wheat, has been working his contacts in Congress in an attempt to persuade lawmakers that hemp has been framed, unfairly lumped with the stuff people smoke to get high.

Somehow over time, as Bowman’s pitch goes, hemp, which is used to make paper, oils and a variety of useful products, was mistaken for its twin, marijuana – a.k.a pot, chronic, blunt and weed – a medicinal drug loaded with tetrahydrocannabinol that buzzes the mind. Hemp got caught up in the legendary crusade against pot popularized by the movie “Reefer Madness.” All varieties of cannabis ended up on the most-wanted list, outlawed by Congress as well as lawmakers in other nations, inspiring people to kill it on sight.

Bowman’s message is simple: Be sensible. “Can we just stop being stupid? Can we just talk about how things need to change?”

While the United States ranks as the world’s leading consumer of hemp products – with total sales of food and body-care products exceeding $43 million in 2011 – it is the only major industrialized country that bans growing it, even though 11 states have passed measures removing barriers to hemp production and research. Ninety percent of the U.S. supply comes from Canada.

Since Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana by ballot initiatives last fall, a group of farmers and activists have been pushing to revive a crop they say offers a solution to vexing environmental, health and economic challenges.

What’s next for weed? Total legalization?

With half or more Americans now favoring legalizing marijuana, President Obama has one bold option that few experts are talking about: Raising the white flag and ending the federal war on pot.

To be sure, many legal experts believe the US Department of Justice instead is preparing to block new regulatory schemes passed by voters last month in Washington and Colorado that legalize and regulate the selling, possession, and use of marijuana. One option is to invoke Article 6 of the Constitution, which says federal law is “the supreme law of the land.”

But despite the constraints of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act in which Congress cemented its stance that marijuana is highly dangerous and has no legitimate medical use, the Obama administration does have legal authority to relabel marijuana as either a less dangerous drug or, as Washington and Colorado have done, classify it alongside alcohol as a legal drug. Such a move could partially or wholly end federal marijuana oversight.

“Maybe this will be the moment when the feds are prepared to revisit marijuana prohibition,” says Josh Meisel, co-director of the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research in California. “At the federal level … I could see a scenario of marijuana regulation” ending.

At the very least, Washington and Colorado have laid a Gordian knot on the President’s desk.

How, exactly, does the US respond, given that a recent Gallup poll finds that 63 percent of Americans want the federal government to leave the two states alone? Moreover, legal experts say, the laws are not at their core contradictory to federal policy.

Both state schemes will continue to regulate marijuana in ways designed to curtail, not promote, its use. In Colorado’s case, tax revenues will go to local school districts. In Washington, police will be able to pull over stoners and prosecute them for intoxicated driving if they’ve had too much to smoke.

Feasibility of Industrial Hemp Production in the United States Pacific Northwest

For many centuries hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) has been cultivated as a source of strong stem fibers, seed oil, and psychoactive drugs in its leaves and flowers. Environmental concerns and recent shortages of wood fiber have renewed interest in hemp as a raw material for a wide range of industrial products including textiles, paper, and composite wood products. This report assesses the agricultural feasibility of industrial hemp production in the Pacific Northwest (PNW).

Hemp is an herbaceous annual that develops a rigid woody stem ranging in height from 1 to over 5 meters (3 to 19 feet). Hemp stalks have a woody core surrounded by a bark layer containing long fibers that extend nearly the entire length of the stem. Plant breeders have developed hemp varieties with increased stem fiber content and very low levels of delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana.

Historically, hemp fiber was used mainly for cordage, but it can also be made into textiles, paper, and composite wood products. Demand for hemp cordage peaked in the late 1800’s, and world hemp production has continuously declined since that time, except for brief increases during both World Wars. Hemp fiber has largely been replaced by relatively inexpensive natural and synthetic fibers.

Although hemp is well adapted to the temperate climatic zone and will grow under varied environmental conditions, it grows best with warm growing conditions, an extended frost-free season, highly productive agricultural soils, and abundant moisture throughout the growing season. When grown under proper conditions, hemp is very competitive with weeds, and herbicides are generally not required in hemp production. Although a number of insect pests and diseases have been reported on hemp, significant crop losses from pests are not common. High levels of soil fertility are required to maximize hemp productivity. Cultural requirements and production costs are quite similar to those of corn. Reported hemp yields range from 2.5 to 8.7 tons of dry stems per acre.

The climatic and soil requirements of hemp can be met in some agricultural areas of the PNW, however, hemp will almost certainly require irrigation to reliably maximize productivity in the region. The requirement for supplemental irrigation will place hemp in direct competition with the highest value crops in the PNW, limiting available acreage. Stem yields will have to be substantially higher than those previously recorded for hemp to be economically feasible in the PNW at current prices. It is unlikely that the investment needed to improve hemp production technology will be made until legislative restrictions are removed from the crop.

Feasibility of Industrial Hemp Production in the United States Pacific Northwest

The Strain

March 12th, 2012 West of the Sea of Galilee, Israel. The Sun was rising as Professor Miller drove out of Kafr Kanna. As she rose into the hills the valleys mists from the morning dew quickly gave way to cold, crisp air and miles of visibility in the gathering light. She knew that Howard Ben-David of the Israeli Antiquities Authority would be waiting for her at the dig site already. He seemed to sense she was close to something just as she did, perhaps she had a tell, perhaps it was just that Howie was very good at his job. She didn’t really mind, he was easy enough to deal with and seemed to mainly be concerned with protecting the sites he managed from looters.

Sarah Miller stopped several miles before the dig on the far side of the mountain where the Sun had yet to make an appearance. She got out of the land Rover and walked down an ancient trail, almost obscured except for the depression from thousands of years of foot falls. An untrained eye might even miss the slight depression but to her it looked like a freeway off ramp.  She followed it down into a small valley to where the trail intersected a small stream and followed it up the canyon. At the head of the canyon she found a pool fed by a spring spilling out of the rocks. She could tell that there had been many different founts built around the spring over the millennium and the last, now a pile of rubble, seemed to be at least 1500 years old. She bent down and touched the cool water and brought her fingers to her lips. It tasted slightly of the alkaline in the surrounding hill but not too much to be distasteful. She cupped a handful and drank it slowly.

The Sun was already warming the small valley and Sarah stepped out of her boots and khakis and into the pool. It was just deep enough to be able to swim most of the way across the 60 to 80 feet to the far side. She stepped out onto smooth sandstone and knelt at the edge of the spring where it exited the mountainside. As she was bent over drinking from the source she noticed a large plant several feet away. From her days in college not so many years ago she instantly recognized it as a fully seeded Cannabis Sativa much like the ones her ex boyfriend grew in the extra bedroom of their Cambridge Campus apartment. She picked several large seed heads and swam back to her clothes, laying out in the warm morning Sun to dry before getting dressed and returning to the Land Rover.

Howie seemed to be annoyed that she was late, even though by the official schedule she had been required to present him she was not due at the site for at least another half hour. By 11 AM the Sun had become unmerciful and the only relief, the tents around the dig and the depths of the dig itself were only slightly bearable at best. The end of the dig was by far the best place to be, cool and comfortable compared to the oven 30 feet above through a small entrance tunnel. Sarah was carefully removing a jar from a stack of 8 others. It was fired clay and looked to hold several gallons and as she worked it free she knew that is was indeed still full, as she had suspected by her gentle taps. she sat it on a padded litter and put the straps around her shoulders and started the long crawl back out to the accursed heat.

August 10th, Spokane, Washington, USA. Sarah carefully unpacked the boxes she had brought back from Israel, the large lotion jar was still in the bottom of the bag with her other toiletries. She unscrewed the lid and dug through the lotion until she caught the edge of the plastic bag and pulled it out. Wiping off the lotion she opened the bag and took out three seeded buds of marijuana. They were dry and brittle and she carefully and expertly separated the seeds from the leaf and stems using her old Jefferson Starship “Blows against the Empire” album cover. She poured the seeds into two canisters and put the leaves in a rosewood box she had taken with her to college. It had burn marks on the lid from hundreds of doobies and the inside was coated with resins from hundreds of “lids”, “1/8ths” and “Grams” of differing strains of marijuana.

Eric got out of the car and walked the 1/2 block to Sarah’s apartment in the slight rain. He rang the bell at the security door and heard the door click open. He took the elevator to the 9th floor. Sarah opened the door and he stepped inside, removing his coat and pulling a small bag from an inside pocket. “Wow, that Sun really did something amazing to your skin! You look positively radiant!” he said as he put his hands on her shoulders and pulled her in for a hug. She returned the hug and initiated a kiss, letting him know that the interest was still mutual and that this meeting was definitely more than just business. “Come in my friend, I think I have something you will be quite interested in.” she said as she took the small bag from him and led him into the living room. The curtains were open and the Spokane Falls could be seen with the expanse of park beyond them.

Eric sat on the couch as Sarah put the tone arm down on the turntable and Jerry Garcia’s glass harp led into Grace Slicks vocals on Sunrise. she sat down beside him and opened the bag, taking out the ezwider rolling papers and daintily extracting a paper which she placed on the Starship album cover. She picked up the box and held it out to Eric.

“Would you like to do the honors?”

Eric took the box and opened the lid slowly. The aroma of excellent reefer wafted up to his nostrils. “Mmmm. A nice, full body, an Indica?” he said as he took a liberal pinch and started rolling a joint.

“This, my dear friend” Sarah said with an air of import “is the true ‘flower of Cana’ direct from Cana where I picked it myself not more than 5 days ago.”

“Oh my, the Mother of all herbage grown in the soil of the Motherland. This should be very interesting indeed, have you partaken?”

“Oh no, I thought I’d wait for you, knowing your delight in all things reefer related I thought you should be in on the initial sampling.” Sarah held the lighter up as Eric gave the joint a final lick and put it in between his lips. He took a long, slow draw and passed the burning joint to Sarah. She watched Eric as he closed his eyes and leaned back into the couch. She drew deeply and started to had the joint back to Eric when he suddenly sat up and turned toward her with a look of astonishment. He looked at her, looked at the joint in her hand, looked back at her and almost as an afterthought slowly exhaled a cloud of dense smoke. Sarah looked at him, felt the effects of the marijuana start to expand from her lungs to her brain and looked at the joint and carefully placed it on the top of the rosewood box.

Oh, Sarah, no, no! What did you do? You know I don’t smoke anything but…”

“No, Eric, I swear, there is nothing, I picked it myself, put it in a bag and it hasn’t been out of the bag until an hour ago.” She looked at Eric and he looked at the joint and smiled. The joint smiled back. He picked it up and looked at it like a gold prospector that has just pulled a 1 oz nugget from his gold pan. “You swear to me that this has not been treated with anything, no chemicals of any kind?”

The Strain ©2012 Stoney Burke/Alaska hemp“Yes, absolutely, it was growing beside a spring in a small valley outside of Cana.” The words seemed to blend into the music and flow through the air and saturate the curtains and bounce off the patio door glass and reverberate back to her as she said them. The music seemed to open up like a Lotus flower, every note distinct and important and flowing together with every other note in some perfect concordance. Eric was still smiling as he put the joint to his lips and took the lighter from her hands. He took a deep draw and passed it back to Sarah.

“Really? You think it…I…Oh, what the hell.” She took a drag and handed it back to Eric, who looked at it lovingly as he took it from her, a smile of perfect contentment spreading across his face that would have made the Buddha envious. He put the joint down on the box and turned to Sarah.

“Do you realize…” he stopped, of course she realized, he could see it, no, he could hear it, but she wasn’t talking…yes I amnoomgyour in my headno, your in mineIof course..we…they both broke into hysterical laughter. By the time they managed to get control of their laughter and stopped telling each other 1/2 jokes because they could never get to a punch line before the other one knew what it was they started to rationally grasp that they were in what seemed to be perfect telepathic communication.

“Wait” Eric signaled. He started to get up to find a note pad and Sarah put her hand up for him to stop and pulled two pencils and a note pad out of the coffee table drawer. She handed him a piece of paper and a pencil. He turned his back and wrote something as she did the same. They turned and exchanged the pieces of paper. “This is some fucking amazing weed! =)” they had both written, with equally identical smiley faces afterwards.

‘This isfucking amazingyou never cursebut it isfucking amazingit would beworthmillionsbillionsI want toyes, oh God yes…’ as they headed for the bedroom removing clothing as quickly as they could Sarah thought “did I mention the seeds?…”

Stoney Burke

Inspired by “Pipe Dream” from National Lampoon June 1972, Vol. 1, No. 27

The need for weed

New report: Marijuana Saves Lives

According to unconfirmed and anonymous sources Marijuana has been shown to have saved the lives of countless millions of assholes over the last 50 years primarily due to it’s calming effect on the average liberal.

Medical Mary Jane

Medical cannabis refers to the parts of the herb cannabis used as a physician-recommended form of medicine or herbal therapy, or to synthetic forms of specific cannabinoids such as THC as a physician-recommended form of medicine. The Cannabis plant has a long history of use as medicine, with historical evidence dating back to 2737 BCE. Cannabis is one of the 50 “fundamental” herbs of traditional Chinese medicine, and is prescribed for a broad range of indications.

Clinical applications

“Victoria”, the United States’ first legal medical marijuana plant grown by The Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana.

“Glaucoma” was published on, and is shown here in it’s original form.  However, this version is designed for WC3, accessibility compliance.

A 2002 review of medical literature by Franjo Grotenhermen states that medical cannabis has established effects in the treatment of nausea, vomiting, premenstrual syndrome, unintentional weight loss, insomnia, and lack of appetite. Other “relatively well-confirmed” effects were in the treatment of “spasticity, painful conditions, especially neurogenic pain, movement disorders, asthma, [and] glaucoma“.

Preliminary findings indicate that cannabis-based drugs could prove useful in treating adrenal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, migraines, fibromyalgia, and related conditions.

Medical cannabis has also been found to relieve certain symptoms of multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries by exhibiting antispasmodic and muscle-relaxant properties as well as stimulating appetite.

Other studies state that cannabis or cannabinoids may be useful in treating alcohol abuseamyotrophic lateral sclerosis, collagen-induced arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, bipolar disordercolorectal cancerHIV-Associated Sensory Neuropathy, depression, dystonia, epilepsy, digestive diseases, gliomashepatitis C,[36] Huntington’s disease, leukemia, skin tumorsmethicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Parkinson’s disease, pruritus, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psoriasis, sickle-cell disease, sleep apnea, and anorexia nervosa.[48] Controlled research on treating Tourette syndrome with a synthetic version of THC called (Marinol), showed the patients taking the pill had a beneficial response without serious adverse effects; other studies have shown that cannabis “has no effects on tics and increases the individuals inner tension”.Case reports found that cannabis helped reduce tics, but validation of these results requires longer, controlled studies on larger samples.

A study done by Craig Reinarman surveyed people in California who used cannabis found they did so for many reasons. Reported uses were for pain relief, muscle spasms, headaches, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, depression, cramps, panic attacks, diarrhea, and itching. Others used cannabis to improve sleep, relaxation, appetite, concentration or focus, and energy. Some patients used it to prevent medication side effects, anger, involuntary movements, and seizures, while others used it as a substitute for other prescription medications and alcohol.




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