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Judge Weighs Whether U.S. Marijuana Law Is Unconstitutional

Category: News | Posted on Thu, February, 12th 2015 by THCFinder
deciding-if-mj-law-is-unconstitutionalA decision about the constitutionality of a federal marijuana ban could heat up national debate
 
A federal judge hearing a case of nine men charged with illegally growing marijuana on federal land in California said Wednesday she was considering arguments that the federal government has improperly labelled marijuana as one of the most dangerous drugs.
 
The U.S. classifies marijuana as a Schedule One drug, putting it in the most dangerous of five categories. Classification is determined by the drug’s potential for abuse and dependency, and whether the drug has an acceptable medical use. Cocaine, methamphetamine, and OxyContin are all Schedule Two drugs, meaning that they are treated by federal law as less dangerous and more medically appropriate than marijuana.
 
The marijuana growers’ defense argued that classifying marijuana as a Schedule One drug was unconstitutional because 23 states have made the drug legal for medical use, Reuters reports. “If I were persuaded by the defense’s argument, if I bought their argument, what would you lose here?” the judge asked prosecutors during a motion to dismiss.
 
If convicted, the men face up to life imprisonment and a $10 million fine.
 
Read more: http://time.com

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Jamaican Senate Says Yes To Marijuana On Bob Marley's Birthday

Category: News | Posted on Tue, February, 10th 2015 by THCFinder
jamaica-says-yes-to-mjJamaica took one step closer to decriminalizing marijuana and it couldn't have happened on a more fitting day -- the birthday of Jamaican reggae superstar Bob Marley, whose public embrace of cannabis made him nearly synonymous with the culture of the plant.
 
On Friday, the Jamaican Senate passed a bill to decriminalize marijuana for medical, religious and scientific purposes. The bill, which would amend the country's Dangerous Drugs Act, would reduce possession of two ounces or less of marijuana for personal use to a ticketable offense, rather than a criminal one. Cultivation of up to five plants would be permitted. Under current Jamaican law, marijuana possession charges can lead to as much as five years in prison and a fine.
 
Registered health professionals would also be able to prescribe cannabis for various ailments, and accredited institutions could conduct scientific research with the plant. For the first time, Rastafarians -- members of a spiritual movement founded on the island that sees cannabis use as a sacrament -- would be able to legally smoke the substance for religious purposes, according to the Jamaica Information Service.
 
"The objective is to provide a more enlightened approach to dealing with possession of small quantities and smoking, while still meeting the ends of justice," wrote Jamaican Minister of Justice Mark Goldberg when he announced the measure last year. "The proposed changes represent an approach which will enure to the benefit of the persons concerned and the society as a whole, and reduce the burdens on the court system."
 
The country's House of Representatives must still review and vote on the bill, the Jamaica Gleaner reported, but it is supported by Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller and is expected to pass.
 
Friday marked what would have been Marley's 70th birthday. Marley, who died in 1981 from cancer at age 36, was popular worldwide with such hits as "Exodus," "I Shot the Sheriff" and "Jammin'." He used cannabis as part of his Rastafarian religious beliefs, which held that smoking marijuana was a natural, positive part of life that helped one's spiritual growth.
 

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Feds lose in court against Berkeley marijuana dispensary

Category: News | Posted on Tue, February, 10th 2015 by THCFinder
feds-loose-in-court-to-bpgMajor Berkeley medical cannabis dispensary Berkeley Patients Group notched another win against federal authorities in court Friday when a Federal judge sided with the City of Berkeley in its efforts to keep the dispensary open.
 
The dispensary will now remain open while the courts decide whether the City of Berkeley has the legal standing to defend the club in court against federal prosecutors.
 
In May 2013, United States Attorney Melinda Haag moved to seize the state’s oldest, most respected legal cannabis dispensary as part of a broad crackdown on state-legal canna-businesses. But the property owner and the City of Berkeley sued to block the forfeiture. The City argues that it would suffer irreparable harm if the case were allowed to proceed to conclusion without City participation.
 
In the Fall, a judge dismissed Berkeley’s claim, saying it had no standing in the case. But Berkeley appealed, and sought a stay of forfeiture pending the outcome of the appeal.
 
During Friday’s hearing, prosecutors argued against the stay in favor of seizing BPG, but Judge Jon S. Tigar rejected prosecution’s arguments, writing that higher courts could still rule the City of Berkeley has standing and that “district courts should recognize the public interest reflected in a properly enacted local ordinance.”
 
All the key factors in the case support a stay, Judge Tigar wrote, and “Berkeley’s Motion to Stay is granted.”
 
The case will remain on hold until the Ninth Circuit decides whether Berkeley has standing.
 
BPG’s leadership does not understand why U.S. Attorney Haag is defying orders from the White House as well as Congressional law mandating she do something more useful with her time and resources.
 
“We’re still surprised given the recent change in the climate surrounding medical cannabis in California that the attorney is being relentless in her fight,” said Victor Pinho, for BPG. “We are emboldened by this judgement and we reaffirm our commitment to our patients and reaffirm our commitment to fighting the good cause of making sure every one who needs access has proper access.”
 

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Study: History Of Marijuana Use Associated With Reduced Cancer Risk

Category: News | Posted on Mon, February, 9th 2015 by THCFinder
mj-use-and-cancer-associationCannabis use is inversely associated with incidences of bladder cancer in males, according epidemiological findings published in the February issue of the journal Urology.
 
Investigators at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, Department of Neurology assessed the association of cannabis use and tobacco smoking on the risk of bladder cancer in a multiethnic cohort of more than 80,000 men aged 45 to 69 years old over an 11-year period.
 
Researchers determined that a history of cannabis use was associated with a decreased risk of bladder cancer. By contrast, tobacco use was associated with an increased risk of cancer.
 
“After adjusting for age, race or ethnicity, and body mass index, using tobacco only was associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer (hazard regression 1.52) whereas cannabis use was only associated with a 45 percent reduction in bladder cancer incidence (HR 0.55),” investigators reported.
 
Subjects who reported using both tobacco and cannabis possessed a decreased risk of cancer (HR 1.28) compared to those subjects who used tobacco only (HR 1.52).
 
The study is the first to indicate that cannabis use may be inversely associated with bladder cancer risk.
 
Authors concluded:
 
“In this multiethnic cohort of 82,050 men, we found that cannabis use alone was associated with a decreased risk of bladder cancer. … [M]en who used tobacco alone were 1.5 times more likely to develop bladder cancer when compared with men who did not use tobacco or cannabis. … However, among men who used both substances, this risk of bladder cancer was mitigated. … If this represents a cause and effect relationship, this pathway may provide new opportunities for the prevention and/or treatment of bladder cancer.”
 
In 2009, Brown University researchers similarly reported that the moderate long-term use of marijuana was associated with a reduced risk of head and neck cancers in a multi-center cohort involving over 1,000 subjects. Investigators further reported that marijuana use “modified the interaction between alcohol and cigarette smoking, resulting in a decreased HNSCC (head and neck squamous cell carcinoma) risk among moderate smokers and light drinkers, and attenuated risk among the heaviest smokers and drinkers.”
 

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Packers DT Letroy Guion arrested for felony marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Thu, February, 5th 2015 by THCFinder
packers-player-arrested-for-mj-possessionGreen Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was arrested for felony marijuana possession and felony possession of a firearm in Starke, Fla., Tuesday night, Capt. Barry Warren confirmed to SI.com Wednesday.
 
The arrest was first reported by Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin.
 
Shortly after 11 p.m. ET on Tuesday, a police officer pulled Guion over after he failed to maintain a single lane, according to a press release from the department. As the officer approached Guion's truck, he smelled marijuana. A search of the vehicle yielded two gallon-sized bags of marijuana totaling 357 grams, a firearm and $190,028.81 in cash.
 
Guion was "extremely uncooperative and hostile" during the traffic stop, police said. Guion "rushed" toward the truck's passenger door and attempted to a remove a black bag from the passenger seat.
 
After placing Guion in handcuffs, the officer saw that the bag was partially unzipped and could see a marijuana-type substance inside. A chemical test confirmed that the substance was marijuana and Guion was placed under arrest. 
 
Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony in Florida, punishable by up to five years in prison. Possession of a firearm in commission of a felony "regardless of whether the use of a weapon is an element of the felony" carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted.
 
Guion, 27, just completed his first season with the Packers. He started all 16 games, recording 32 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Guion was a fifth-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2008 and played there until 2013. He signed a one-year contract with Green Bay in March 2014.
 

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U.S. Surgeon General Admits Marijuana Has Medical Value

Category: News | Posted on Thu, February, 5th 2015 by THCFinder
mj-has-medicinal-value-admits-surgeon-generalMarijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the United States government. In order for marijuana to be classified as a Schedule I substance, that means that the federal government considers marijuana to have zero medical value. This of course is a slap in the face to science and logic, proven by the fact that the same federal government grows marijuana for medical reasons in Mississippi, supplies medical marijuana to four federal medical marijuana patients, and owns patents related to marijuana’s medical value. The hypocrisy increased even further this week when the United States Attorney General admitted in an interview that marijuana has medical value. Per the Huffington Post:
 
Dr. Vivek Murthy, the nation’s new surgeon general, says that marijuana “can be helpful” for some medical conditions, and wants science to dictate policy on the federally banned substance.
 
“We have some preliminary data that for certain medical conditions and symptoms, that marijuana can be helpful,” Murthy said during a Wednesday interview on “CBS This Morning” in response to a question about his stance on marijuana legalization.
 
While Murthy didn’t take the opportunity to endorse legalization of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, he did add that he believes U.S. marijuana policy should be driven by science and what it reveals about the efficacy of using the plant for medical purposes.
 
It is way beyond time for marijuana to be removed from the list of Schedule I controlled substances. There is no scientific or logical basis for such a classification. Marijuana is medicine. Marijuana needs to be researched to see how it can help patients, and while there is private research being conducted, rescheduling marijuana would open the flood gates to research, which is something that would benefit the medical community greatly.
 

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