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Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Advocates Sue Federal Government Over Rescheduling Delay

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, May, 23rd 2011 by THCFinder
WASHINGTON--(ENEWSPF)--May 23 - A Coalition of advocacy groups and patients filed suit in the DC Circuit Court today to compel the Obama administration to answer a 9-year-old petition to reclassify medical marijuana. The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC) has never received an answer to its 2002 petition, despite a formal recommendation in 2006 from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the final arbiter in the rescheduling process. As recently as July 2010, the DEA issued a 54-page "Position on Marijuana," but failed to even mention the pending CRC petition. Plaintiffs in the case include the CRC, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Patients Out of Time, as well as individually named patients, one of whom is listed on the CRC petition but died in 2005.
 
"The federal government's strategy has been delay, delay, delay," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel of ASA and lead counsel on the writ. "It is far past time for the government to answer our rescheduling petition, but unfortunately we've been forced to go to court in order to get resolution." The writ of mandamus filed today accuses the government of unreasonable delay in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. A previous cannabis (marijuana) rescheduling petition filed in 1972 went unanswered for 22 years before being denied.
 
The writ argues that cannabis is not a dangerous drug and that ample evidence of its therapeutic value exists based on scientific studies in the US and around the world. "Despite numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies establishing that marijuana is effective" in treating numerous medical conditions, the government "continues to deprive seriously ill persons of this needed, and often life-saving therapy by maintaining marijuana as a Schedule I substance." The writ calls out the government for unlawfully failing to answer the petition despite an Inter-Agency Advisory issued by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006 and "almost five years after receiving a 41-page memorandum from HHS stating its scientific evaluation and recommendations."
 
The two largest physician groups in the country -- the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians -- have both called on the federal government to review marijuana's status as a Schedule I substance with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. The National Cancer Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health, added cannabis to its website earlier this year as a Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) and recognized that, "Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years prior to its current status as an illegal substance."
 
Medical marijuana has now been decriminalized in 16 states and the District of Columbia, and has an 80% approval rating among Americans according to several polls. In a 1988 ruling on a prior rescheduling petition, the DEA's own Administrative Law Judge Francis Young recommended in favor of reclassification stating that, "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest
therapeutically active substances known to man."
 

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Shuttered marijuana dispensaries reopened in Costa Mesa

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, May, 23rd 2011 by THCFinder
A group of shuttered marijuana dispensaries in Costa Mesa were allowed to reopen over the weekend after being deemed public nuisances.
 
Sue Lester, a former City Council candidate and owner of Herban Elements on Fair Drive, said an Orange County Superior Court judge's order Friday allowing her business to reopen was the "right thing to do" pending a court hearing next month.
 
Costa Mesa city officials took aim at the Fair Drive property and several marijuana dispensary and massage parlors in April, declaring them all public nuisances. Police said some of the massage parlors were fronts for prostitution.
 
Lester's business was among those ordered to shut down earlier this month under a temporary injunction until the businesses had a chance to appeal Friday.
 

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Inhaled Cannabis Beneficial For Fibromyalgia Patients, Study Says

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, May, 20th 2011 by THCFinder
Barcelona, Spain--(ENEWSPF)--May 20, 2011.  The use of cannabis is associated with beneficial effects on various symptoms of fibromyalgia, including the relief of pain and muscle stiffness, according to the results of an observational case-control study published online in the journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) ONE. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome associated with musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Symptoms of fibromyalgia are poorly controlled by conventional medications.
 
Investigators at the Institut de Recerca Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, Spain, assessed the associated benefits of cannabis in patients with fibromyalgia (FM) compared with FM patients who did not use the substance. Twenty-eight users and non-users participated in the study.
 
Authors reported: "Patients used cannabis not only to alleviate pain but for almost all symptoms associated to FM, and no one reported worsening of symptoms following cannabis use. ... Significant relief of pain, stiffness, relaxation, somnolence, and perception of well-being, evaluated by VAS (visual analogue scales) before and two hours after cannabis self-administration was observed."
 
Cannabis users in the study also reported higher overall mental health summary scores than did non-users.
 
Investigators concluded: "The present results together with previous evidence seem to confirm the beneficial effects of cannabinoids on FM symptoms. Further studies regarding efficacy of cannabinoids in FM as well as cannabinoid and stress response system involvement in their pathophysiology are warranted."
 

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The Cannabis Cafe: Medical marijuana patients gather at 'Cheers'-like bar in Portland to ease their pain

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, May, 20th 2011 by THCFinder
Lights dim. A white-haired man of perhaps 50 approaches the stage. He's wearing a blue suit jacket, open-neck shirt, black leather loafers and sunglasses, indoors, at night. He's got the Sinatra panache down.
 
Then, the voice, a rich baritone, sweeps over the audience of a couple dozen glazed and grinning pot smokers.
 
"Day and night, night and daaaaay," he croons the Sinatra standard into a mic in his right hand. "Only you beneath the moon or under the sun, whether near to me or far, it's no matter darling where you are.
 
"Dum dum, dum dum de-doo-dee-dum."
 
The audience yelps and coos in appreciation.
 
This is karaoke night at Portland's Cannabis Cafe, a combination of the bar from Cheers and a street-side pot palace in Amsterdam. It is perfectly legal in this smoky room for medical marijuana patients to burn, eat, rub, filter and roll marijuana.
 
There are cancer patients, AIDS patients and sufferers of smashed vertebrae and pinched nerves. There are also those who find refuge under Oregon's "severe pain" allowance — tell a marijuana-friendly doctor you've got pain, and you've pretty much got weed.
 
Since the medical marijuana law's passage in 1998, nearly 40,000 patients have gotten access.
 
The pot in the cafe is brought in by patients or donated by growers. Money doesn't change hands unless it's to buy a sandwich or coffee. The price of admission: a $20 monthly charge and a $5 door fee.
 
The cafe has farmer's markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees' night. On Thursdays, it's karaoke. An ill-lit stage catches an occasional cloud of puffy white smoke blown from a pipe or a bong or a vaporizer.
 

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Arizona universities won't permit medical pot on campus

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, May, 19th 2011 by THCFinder
Despite the reform of medical-marijuana laws in Arizona, state university campuses will remain drug-free.
 
The Arizona Board of Regents is following the example of other federally-funded schools in the states that now permit the use of medical marijuana.
 
Plain and simple, there will be no smoking of joints outside the Memorial Union.
 
Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University exist due to programs provided by the federal government and will continue to be "under the jurisdiction thereof," said Sarah Harper, director of public affairs for the Arizona Board of Regents.
 
For current ASU students and faculty, smoking pot has always been illegal, so not much is changing. For Nick Lessard, a transfer student from San Diego, the policy could be something of a shock.
 
"I smoke wherever I want," 25-year-old Lessard said simply. He has had his medical card for six months.
 
Although California schools also prohibit usage on campus, Lessard said people don't think twice about lighting up anymore. Police would be overwhelmed by the number of arrests in one day if they worried about citizens legally using medical marijuana, he said.
 
"Besides," Lessard said, "no one ever has a problem making it to their car in between classes."
 
"The notion of a 'drug-free' campus warps reality," said Allen St. Pierre, director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. From alcohol to tobacco, Ritalin to oxycodone, "there is no such thing as a drug-free campus," St. Pierre said.
 
"Medical patients are being discriminated against," he said. "Everyone else has a social pass for their respective drugs."
 

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Activist San Diego Screens Medical Cannabis Film

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, May, 19th 2011 by THCFinder

A new film, Medical Cannabis and Its Impact on Human Health, exposes the lies about the medical use of marijuana that led the San Diego City Council to enact a virtual ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. Director James Schmachtenberger, who works at a local dispensary, appeared with the film on April 30th at a showing sponsored by Activist San Diego.

The film is a bit dry, and even Schmachtenberger describes it as not especially entertaining, but it lays out the facts about marijuana's medical uses and makes the case for allowing the substance to be used to treat disease and preserve health. 

The aim of the film was to counteract the claims of dumb politicians and so-called “prevention experts” who pounce on all uses of cannabis as evil — and make wildly false claims to do so. 
 
“Our approach was to talk to the experts … traveling up and down the state for interviews with the professionals,” explained Schmachtenberger. 
 
“We released it only two months ago, and it has gone viral, seen in 62 countries,” he reported. 
 
 
 
(Source) Watch the full documentary HERE

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