Legal Michigan Medical Marijuana Growers Face Years in Federal Prison

Category: News | Posted on Tue, October, 2nd 2012 by THCFinder

Four medical marijuana patients and caregivers will be sentenced federal courts in Michigan this week, highlighting the human cost of the federal government’s stance toward state medical marijuana laws. The sentencing hearings come less than a week after another Montana medical marijuana provider, Chris Williams, was similarly denied a defense and found guilty at trial. In August, Montana medical marijuana provider Richard Flor, who was 68, died in custody after being sentenced to 5 years in prison despite a lack of evidence that he was in violation of any state laws.


Two medical marijuana caregivers from Monroe County, Michigan, Gerald Lee Duval Jr., 52, and his son, Jeremy Duval, 30, were raided by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in 2011 and charged with felony cultivation, maintaining a place to cultivate marijuana, and conspiracy to distribute. In April, the Duvals were convicted at trial, the expected result of federal laws that prohibit any medical defense or reference to state law in front of juries.


"The Duvals' case is another tragedy from President Obama's war on medical marijuana," said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy group. "This type of enforcement is completely discretionary, unnecessary and far from the public health approach that medical marijuana patients deserve."


With all the things officials in the federal government need to worry about, it is inexplicable that they would waste so many resources on medical marijuana caregivers and patients.


Two other medical marijuana caregivers are due to be sentenced this week as well, John Marcinkewciz  and Shelley Waldron, were originally charged under state law with cultivation and conspiracy to cultivate, but prosecutors soon turned their cases over to the federal Justice Department, where the three had no chance of defending themselves against federal law. Marcinkewciz, Waldron and Montague all ended up taking plea bargains in May.


After all, what chance do caregivers have against the feds, especially when they are not allowed to even mention state medical marijuana laws in their defense?




Veterans in Colorado form Pro-Marijuana Legalization Group

Category: News | Posted on Mon, October, 1st 2012 by THCFinder

After their petition to add Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Colorado was denied for a second time, veterans in the state have decided to take matters into their own hands.


At a news conference recently at the El Paso County Court House in Colorado Springs, veterans gathered to announce the formation of "Veterans for 64," a group in support of Colorado's Amendment 64 ballot measure which seeks to legalize and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.


“As a combat veteran,” said Iraq War veteran Joe Hatcher, on whose behalf the PTSD petition was filed, “I served our country in Iraq, and I am painfully aware of the devastating impact PTSD has had on veterans and their families. These brave soldiers -- and the many non-soldiers who suffer from PTSD -- deserve legal and safe access to this substance that has been proven to be therapeutically effective in treating this condition. I hope Coloradans will join me in voting Yes on 64, and help veterans and others with PTSD get access to marijuana without fear of arrest and prosecution.”


"The state's failure to act is an effective denial of this compassionate petition," said Vietnam veteran Bob Wiley in a statement announcing the formation of Veterans for 64. "Our only option is to support Amendment 64, which will ensure that Coloradans 21 and older who suffer from PTSD will no longer be subject to arrest and prosecution for using marijuana."


In the end many medical marijuana patients will find that they will need legalization in order to be free to treat their ailments, no matter what they are. Everyone should have the option of cannabis instead of the addictive and deadly prescription drugs that Big Pharma pushes on us.




Report: At Least 1 in 20 Colorado Arrests Are Marijuana Related

Category: News | Posted on Thu, September, 27th 2012 by THCFinder
In just six weeks, Colorado will vote on Amendment 64, an initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol. A new report commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance outlines how legalization would affect the state’s criminal justice system:
A study conducted by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy estimated that police forces in Colorado spend about 4.4 percent of their budgets enforcing marijuana prohibition, that the judicial system spends 7 percent on marijuana cases, and that 2 percent of the corrections budget also is spent on marijuana-related incarcerations. [...]
Economist Chris Stiffler, who wrote the CCLP report, told the Colorado Independent that his best estimate is that 5 percent to 6 percent of all arrests in Colorado are marijuana related. All told, the study concludes that legalizing small amounts of marijuana will save Colorado taxpayers $12 million a year in the beginning and up to $40 million a year in later years.
Though the taxpayer savings are relatively modest, the human cost of the drug war led the NAACP to endorse Amendment 64. Almost half of all drug arrests in the country are for marijuana possession — more than 500,000 a year. In Colorado, the number is ballparked around 10,000 to 12,000 arrests a year. According to Tom Gorman, who heads a federal program to coordinate regional drug trafficking in the Rocky Mountain, state police do not go out of their way to make marijuana possession arrests. A retired police officer told reporters that it made sense for cops to support legalization:
Law enforcement officers know better than anyone that keeping marijuana illegal and unregulated means the gangs and cartels that control the illegal trade win, and the rest of us lose. Our current marijuana laws distract police officers from doing the job we signed up for — protecting the public by stopping and solving serious crimes. They also put us at risk by forcing us to deal with an underground marijuana market made up of gangsters, cartels and other criminals.
The state capital, Denver, has already legalized petty possession, though police can still make arrests based on state law. Medical marijuana is also legal in Colorado, and full legalization is favored by 51 percent of likely voters. Governor John Hickenlooper (D), however, has come out staunchly against the amendment.


Marijuana as Autism Cure?

Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 26th 2012 by THCFinder
There has been a lot of craziness swirling around the science of child autism, not to mention Jenny McCarthy.
If the debunked idea that childhood vaccines can cause the disorder was always far out to you, then read on. Welcome, reasonable person, to the world of real science.
UC Irvine endocannabinoid reseacher Daniele Piomelli has come to a novel theory about marijuana and autism, but hear him out:
Autism's leading genetic trigger, "fragile X syndrome," represents a situation where "regional synapse communication is severely limited, giving rise to certain cognitive and behavioral problems," states UC Irvine.
OK. But get this: " ... Natural marijuana-like chemicals" in your own brain "can help correct behavioral issues related to fragile X syndrome," the school says.
Piomelli's research, announced to UC Irvine yesterday, also was published online by the journal Nature Communications.
This connection would suggest that medicine derived from weed could be used to reverse the effects of autism.
That, however, might be far off. (For one thing, marijuana is still considered by the federal government to be a drug with no legitimate medical use.)
Piomelli and his team treated mice that had fragile X syndrome symptoms with marijuana-like compounds and discovered "improvements."
The professor:
What we hope is to one day increase the ability of people with fragile X syndrome to socialize and engage in normal cognitive functions.
That would be huge not only for sufferers of autism but for the medical marijuana movement.


If you Smoke Weed you might be a SLUT?

Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 25th 2012 by THCFinder

Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro slammed Lady Gaga for ‘glorifying drug use’ but oddly called her a ‘slut’.

Lady Gaga is a “slut.”
So says Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, who might want to consult a dictionary before he slams the Grammy Award-winning singer with that word again.
Gaga drew Molinaro’s ire for firing-up joint last week while performing in Amsterdam, where pot is legal.
And when Molinaro appeared in Borough Hall to kick off an youth anti-drug program Monday, he let her have it.
“There’s Gaga,” Molinaro said, as he stood beside a poster that declared “Stop glorifying drug use in the media” and showed two pictures of the songstress getting high.
“Here's this ... this ... I would call her a slut,” he said. “This slut is influencing many, many children.”
Then the Conservative Molinaro added sarcastically, “And it's right to do. It's fine, it's part of it.”
“My niece has two daughters, 12 and 14. They love this woman,” he said. “Why? Why?"
Molinaro also laid into other entertainers and athletes, but the Staten Island Advance reported that he didn’t slam anybody else by name.
“So, we have a job to do also with these actresses, actors, ballplayers,” he told the audience. “They use drugs as if it's nothing. We shouldn't praise them. We shouldn't honor them.”
Then, apparently referring to Gaga again, Molinaro added, “We should hit the sponsors that she has ... where her millions of dollars come.”
“To me, she's not an actress, she's a slut ... in the pure meaning of the word."
Actually, Gaga is a pop star, not an actress. And that’s not the meaning of the word slut.
According to The New Oxford American Dictionary, a slut is defined as “a slovenly or promiscuous woman.”
The dictionary defines someone who smokes marijuana regularly as a pothead.
Asked if Molinaro knows the difference, spokeswoman Patricia Wilkes answered, “Yes, I believe he does.”


Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske Ignores Marijuana Evidence

Category: News | Posted on Mon, September, 24th 2012 by THCFinder
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a press conference this morning, representatives from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the release of the latest results of the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
As is their custom, the federal officials used the event — and the survey itself — as an opportunity to decry the use of marijuana in the United States and focused on perceived risk as a driving factor for increased use.
Marijuana use has slightly increased in the past year, while alcohol use has declined.
“Once again, the federal government is trying to blame attempts to reform our marijuana laws for increases in use, completely ignoring the facts that arresting people for marijuana is obviously not stopping anyone from using it and that education, not arrest, is responsible for decreases in alcohol use over the past year,” said Morgan Fox, communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project. “If we treat marijuana as a public health issue and stop wasting resources arresting adults for using something that is demonstrably safer than alcohol, we might be able to see the same effects. It is unfortunate that the Obama administration and ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske adamantly refuse to consider rational policy alternatives that don’t involve criminal penalties.”
“If we are realistic as a society about the risks of marijuana use compared to other drugs, and about the effectiveness of education and treatment instead of arrest and incarceration, we can do a much better job at decreasing abuse and addiction,“ Fox continued. “Mr. Kerlikowske has consistently stated that we cannot arrest our way out of this problem, so why do we keep trying?”
Other than marijuana, past month drug use has declined nearly across the board, suggesting possible correlations that could include substitution of marijuana for alcohol and harder drugs. Allowing adults to legally use and obtain marijuana in a controlled, taxed, and well-regulated system could be a useful tool in decreasing the health and social costs of using more dangerous drugs.



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