DC Avoids Federal Threats
All over the country medical marijuana programs and their supporters are nervous. In recent weeks, A number of states have received threatening letters from the U.S. District Attorneys. These letters were sent to remind states that the federal government still considers marijuana illegal, regardless of what their voters want.
The District of Columbia has been one of the few to not receive a letter. Ron Machen, the U.S. Attorney that presides over D.C refused to comment on why D.C has not received a letter yet, but he states that the program remains “under review.” Machen might feel resources would be wasted on such a small and restrictive program, but only time will tell.
American Express Bans Purchase of Medical Marijuana
The credit card company has banned the purchase of medical marijuana in the 16 states that have legalized it. American Express claims it is just abiding by Federal Law. This move makes them the most conservative of credit card companies.
Visa, MasterCard, and AmEx have already prevented their customers from purchasing casino chips (even though cash withdrawals on the casino floor are still allowed), online pornography, and donations to Wiki Leaks. "It seems to me that credit card companies are imposing their moral values on the world. You ought to be able to use a credit card for any legal purchase," says John Simpson, a consumer watchdog.
Arizona Bans Medical Marijuana on Campus
Even though Arizona's Medical Marijuana Bill was voted through, the Arizona Board of Regents will not be allowing the substance on any state university campuses. The board of Regents is keeping the educational institutions in line with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, which states places reciving funds from federal programs must prevent the possession and distribution of illegal drugs.
The change in policy might not mean much to many students. Arizona State University Students caught with the substance will face no state law violations, but will be found in violation of campus policies. No specific consequenses have been set yet, and ASU plans to deal with each incident on a student-to-student basis.
California NORML Estimates 1 Million MMJ Patients
According to the most recent data collected, between 2%-3% of Californias population finds medical relief from marijuana. California NORML estimates this to be between 750,000 and 1,125,000. Prop 215 (CA's MMJ law) doesnt require every patient to register with the state so these numbers have been estimated based on the population and usage rate of other states.
Colorado and Montana were used as a basis for estimations because they require every medicical marijuana user to register. Colorado currently has over 125,000 registered patients which make up 2.5% of the population. Montana's perentage of users is slightly higher, having 30,000 patients registered, which accounts for over 3% of the population.
Hydroponics Superstore Opens Franchise In Arizona
WeGrow, the first and only hydroponics franchise that openly talks about marijuana, will be opening a 21,000 suare-foot store in Phoenix. WeGrow will open to teach over 100,000 new patients the art of growing medical marijuana.
WeGrow will also be holding a grand opening festival cleverly named "The Green Rush." This is the francises third U.S. location. Medical Marijuana may be put on hold in Arizona due to Gov. Jan Brewer's recent lawsuit against the federal government. "Suspending the state's medical marijuana program will transition Arizona from a state-licensed cannabis distribution model to a patient-cultivator distribution model like California. Now in order to get their cannabis, patients will have to grow it themselves, and most of them will have no idea how to do that. weGrow was created to assist exactly this type of customer," said Dhar Mann, founder of WeGrow.
Feds License Drug Companies To Grow Marijuana
From Arizona to Washington, the DEA is cracking down on medical marijuana and dispensaries everywhere. They have done everything from write threatening letters to politicians to kicking in caregiver’s door; and they did all this while licensing 55 large name pharmaceutical companies to grow the herb to produce generic versions of the THC pill Marinol.
A little hypocritical to say the least? On top of all that, patients claim that THC-only Marinol didn’t provide the same relief they received from smoking marijuana. “They’ve got to realize, as a political issue, this is going to raise a red flag. Here we have companies cultivating marijuana on a mass scale to produce generic Marinol. It’s going to force the government to answer more questions than it wants to,” says Kris Hermes, t he spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access.
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