Category: Fun | Posted on Fri, November, 18th 2011 by THCFinder
Raids emphasize need for coherent marijuana regulation
Category: News | Posted on Fri, November, 18th 2011 by THCFinder
RECENT federal raids of medical-marijuana dispensaries in the Puget Sound region highlight in bold relief our disjointed and out-of-touch federal and state rules on marijuana.
Few will argue that the U.S. government, which bans marijuana entirely, is off base for intervening in drug sales to a gang in Chicago, as one affidavit contends.
Obviously, law-enforcement officers have a duty to try to intervene in marijuana interstate importation and distribution. Medical-marijuana dispensaries have a purpose and, done right, should be legal. Federal law-enforcement authorities raided dispensaries they believe are acting as fronts for a variety pack of other illegal activities.
The raids underscore the mess of regulations and rules. It is time to legalize marijuana, tax it, clarify the rules and provide a reasonable regulatory scheme.
If sensible regulations were in place, medical-marijuana dispensaries would not be importing and exporting marijuana across state lines or allowing felons to sell marijuana or illegal narcotics.
There are many lines to draw and numerous safety issues to consider. Marijuana should not be legal for those under age 21. It should be legal for people who are not well and need marijuana to control their pain and suffering and for adults.
U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, who must enforce draconian federal law on marijuana, said: "The truly sick people, doctors, caregivers, we're not going to prosecute. They don't have to worry about our enforcement action. But people exploiting (medical marijuana) laws just to make a lot of money selling drugs, they do have a reason to worry."
Fine, go after alleged criminals abusing the privilege of a convoluted state law that allows certain kinds of medical-marijuana dispensaries.
Washington voters favor medical-marijuana use. They will likely have a chance to decide if they want to go further and legalize marijuana for adults, either if a new initiative gathers sufficient signatures and is passed by the Legislature, or by voters if the measure comes to them.
What is indisputable is the current system does not work. Millions of dollars and untold hours of law-enforcement time are wasted prosecuting bit players. Washington needs a more coherent and modern system.
Category: Fun | Posted on Fri, November, 18th 2011 by THCFinder
Marijuana arrests rising on campus
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, November, 18th 2011 by THCFinder
Arrests for the use of controlled substances such as marijuana at USU have nearly doubled from last year, according to Capt. Steve Milne of the USU Police.
"For 2011 we have 41 arrests for controlled substances," Milne said, "compared to 22 for all of 2010."
Milne said there has also been four more alcohol-related arrests this year compared to last year, and he pointed out there is more than one month before the year is over.
Most of the students arrested for substance abuse have been first-year students, Milne reported. He said many of the freshmen are not aware of a freshman student who died of alcohol poisoning during a fraternity hazing incident at USU in 2008.
"I think a lot of it has to do with the freshmen students that are entering school have no idea who Michael Starks was," Milne said. "When that happened, I think they were roughly freshmen in high school, and I don't think they paid much attention to what was happening in the outside world."
Milne said arrests involving drugs and alcohol decreased for a period after Starks' death, but are currently on the rise.
"It's always been here," Milne said. "But this is definitely, by far, our busiest year. We've seen more cases of it than I've ever seen in the 29 years I've been here."
Ryan Barfuss, prevention specialist at the Student Wellness Center, said recently fewer USU students claim to have tried marijuana than in past years.
"It went from — in 2011 — 89.8 percent of students have not used," Barfuss said. "In 2009, 89.2 percent of students had not used. So actually the numbers have gone up of people who have not used."
Barfuss said many students think drug use is more common than it actually is. According to his survey, only 2.8 percent of students at USU have used marijuana in the last 30 days.
However, the 2011 American College Health Association Survey reports perceived use is at 43.3 percent of college students, within the last 30 days.
"There's some use, but not a lot of use," Barfuss said.
Barfuss said the use of marijuana hasn't really gone up, but more people are getting caught.
Monopoly just got better
Category: Fun | Posted on Thu, November, 17th 2011 by THCFinder
Cedars-Sinai Denying Transplant To Medical Marijuana Patient
Category: News | Posted on Thu, November, 17th 2011 by THCFinder
Los Angeles, CA --(ENEWSPF)--November 17, 2011. Sixty-three year-old medical marijuana patient Norman B. Smith was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer in 2009 and sought treatment from the internationally lauded Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Smith's oncologist at Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Steven Miles, approved of his medical marijuana use as a means to deal with the effects of chemotherapy and pain from an unrelated back surgery. In September 2010, Smith became eligible for a liver transplant, but after testing positive for marijuana in February he was removed from the transplant list. Smith's cancer was in remission until just recently, but now he is scheduled to undergo radiation treatments in the next few days.
Medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) issued a letter today urging the Cedars-Sinai Transplant Department to promptly re-list Smith for a liver transplant. The letter also urges Cedars-Sinai to change its transplant eligibility policy. "Denying necessary transplants to medical marijuana patients is the worst kind of discrimination," said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who also authored the letter to Cedars-Sinai. "Cedars-Sinai would not be breaking any laws, federal or otherwise, by granting Norman Smith a liver transplant, and it's certainly the ethical thing to do."
Smith is not the only medical marijuana patient in the U.S. being denied a transplant. At least one other Cedars-Sinai patient reported to ASA in 2008 that they had been kicked off the transplant list because of their legal medical marijuana use. Over the past four years, ASA has received numerous reports of patients being purged from transplant lists across California, as well as in other medical marijuana states like Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. In 2008, Seattle resident and medical marijuana patient Timothy Garon died after being denied a liver transplant by the University of Washington Medical Center. A year later, in 2009, Big Island resident and medical marijuana patient Kimberly Reyes died at Hilo Hospital after being denied a liver transplant.
Cedars-Sinai is demanding that Smith not only abstain from marijuana use for at least six months, forcing him to undergo random toxicology tests, but he is also required to participate in weekly substance abuse counseling over the same period. Although Smith was within two months of receiving a transplant before he was de-listed, he will be put at the bottom of the list even after satisfying the policy requirements. "ASA seeks to change this harmful and uncompassionate policy not only for Smith's benefit, but also for the benefit of numerous other medical marijuana patients who are being made to suffer unnecessarily as a result of political ideology," said Elford.
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