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Medical Marijuana

U.S. drug czar slams medical marijuana during S.F. event

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Tue, January, 8th 2013 by THCFinder
The nation’s top drug cop advocated a “different approach” to narcotics enforcement — and stressed that there is no “war on drugs” — but had stern words Monday for the San Francisco-bred medical marijuana movement. 
 
Drug users need treatment and education rather than jail terms, according to Gil Kerlikowske, the former Seattle police chief who now heads President Barack Obama’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.
 
Speaking at a gathering of law enforcement officers at the University of San Francisco, Kerlikowske also said that calling cannabis medicine “sends a terrible message” to the nation’s teens. High school students are more likely to smoke marijuana than tobacco due to the growing “perception” that marijuana is less harmful, he said. 
 
“We have to ask if we doing everything we can to empower them to make a healthy decision about their future,” he said.
 
Kerlikowske was in town to highlight the Obama Adminstration’s “21st-century” approach toward drug use. Also in attendance were Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr, and Berkeley chief of police Michael Meehan — who served under Kerlikowske as a narcotics captain on the Seattle police force. 
 
San Francisco has more than 20 licensed and taxpaying medical marijuana dispensaries. Across California, there are more than 1,000 — all of which pay state sales tax — according to Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana users’ advocacy group.
 
Federal law enforcement officials have long been at odds with state and local policymakers on medical marijuana. Pressure from the federal Justice Department has shut down seven San Francisco medical marijuana dispensaries since Oct. 2011. 
 
Before taking office, Obama said that marijuana would not be a law enforcement priority for his administration. Attorney General Eric Holder reiterated that statement, though U.S. prosecutors have since noted that marijuana remains illegal under federal law and a public health nuisance. 
 
Kerlikowske noted that neither he nor his office have any sway over the Justice Department, and “I wouldn’t suppose that I should tell The City what to do differently.” 
 

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Parkinsons May Be Added To Medical Marijuana List

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, January, 4th 2013 by THCFinder
LANSING (WWJ/AP) - A public hearing is planned later this month to add Parkinson’s disease to the list of illnesses that would qualify for medical marijuana use in Michigan.
 
WWJ legal analyst Charlie Langton said it would be the first addition since medical marijuana was approved by voters in 2008.
 
“Remember, the legislature did not vote for this, the people voted for this. So, if we want to add a disease that would allow for medical marijuana, it would take a 3/4 vote of the legislature,” said Langton.
 
A panel met in December to consider adding Parkinson’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder, but only Parkinson’s made the cut. It’s a brain disorder that causes tremors and problems with coordination.
 
“This last session of legislature, they did tighten up some restrictions on how you can get your marijuana and what kind of doctor’s notes you need for marijuana, but there does seem to be at least some level of interest in the legislature now to expand and really define what people can use medical marijuana for,” said Langton.
 
Current laws pertaining to medical marijuana in Michigan allow for the drug to be used as treatment for certain diseases such as glaucoma, cancer, hepatitis C and Crohn’s disease.
 

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Two medical marijuana initiatives qualify for Los Angeles ballot

Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, January, 3rd 2013 by THCFinder
The city clerk in Los Angeles Wednesday said a second medical marijuana initiative had gathered the necessary 41,138 signatures to qualify for the May ballot.
 
The initiative would permit only the medical marijuana dispensaries that existed before the city’s 2007 moratorium – or about 100 pot shops. Many in the organized medical marijuana community, including the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance and Americans for Safe Access, back this measure.
 
“The Los Angeles City Council can put politics and bickering aside and adopt an ordinance instead, like this initiative," said Yami Bolanos, president of the GLACA. "It’s time to finally do the right thing for the patients of Los Angeles.” 
 
Significantly, this measure also has the support of the powerful United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which wants to organize pot shop workers.
 
“Our initiative will guarantee safe access to medical cannabis for those suffering from debilitating and painful diseases and conditions, while at the same time enforcing the rule of law and protecting neighborhoods," said Rick Icaza, President of UFCW Local 770. 
 
The union, GLACA, and other medical marijuana groups are part of the Committee to Protect Patients and Neighborhoods – the group that sponsored the initiative. Icaza urged the City Council to adopt the initiative rather than place it on the ballot, which the council can do.
 
But the City Council, which has struggled to regulate dispensaries for years, has been working on a new ordinance. In addition, it must consider a second initiative that has qualified for the ballot.
 
It would allow most of the city’s hundreds of pot shops to remain open, as long as they abide by certain regulations. Those regulations include operating a certain distance away from schools and parks and requiring operators to undergo background checks.
 
The initiatives come as the federal government is in the midst of a crackdown on L.A. area pot shops. The local U.S. Attorney has issued more than 70 cease and desist orders and has threatened to issue more.
 
It’s unclear whether the Obama Administration will continue with that strategy as political winds change. Voters in the states of Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana in November.
 

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