SD panel kills medical defense in marijuana cases
Category: News | Posted on Tue, February, 5th 2013 by THCFinder
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A proposal to let people charged with possessing small amounts of marijuana argue in court that they need it for medical reasons was narrowly rejected Tuesday by a South Dakota House committee torn between compassion for chronically ill people in pain and fear that it could lead to increased drug use.
The Health and Human Services Committee voted 7-6 to kill the bill, which was sponsored by two lawmakers with roots in law enforcement.
Rep. Melissa Magstadt, R-Watertown, a nurse, said the South Dakota Medical Association and the Nurses Association oppose the measure, which would allow an unregulated and untested drug to be used for medical purposes. Marijuana often leads people to use other drugs, she said.
"If you talk to drug users, nine times out of 10 they started with marijuana first," Magstadt said.
Rep. Karen Soli, D-Sioux Falls, said she supported the bill because it could help seriously ill people who need marijuana for pain and other problems.
"This is about being compassionate to our folks," Soli said.
"When I first heard of this, I thought no way. I'm not in favor of legalizing marijuana," she added. "It's quite a surprise to me I'm going to vote for this."
Teenager narrowly escapes death after smoking synthetic marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Tue, February, 5th 2013 by THCFinder
A Cypress, Texas teenager had a brush with death just before Christmas; the cause of her near demise – synthetic marijuana.
According to a Feb. 5, CNN report, “Hospital staff removed Emily Bauer's breathing tube and stopped all medication and nourishment at 1:15 p.m. December 16. Only morphine flowed into her body, as the family waited by her side in her final moments.”
Expected to die just days before her 17th birthday, the teenager managed to hang onto her life.
Two weeks earlier Bauer had been in ICU from smoking “fake weed” – a mixture of herbs that’s sprayed with chemicals and is designed to create a high similar to smoking pot.
Synthetic weed is advertised as a legal alternative to marijuana which is illegal in most states.
Using brightly colored packaging with catchy names, marketing is aimed at teens. The trendy drug substitute is sold in convenience stores under the guise of potpourri.
Bauer had purchased synthetic marijuana at a gas station.
According to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 11,406 visits to ER’s were attributed to synthetic marijuana; the majority of patients were 12 to 17 year-old children.
Bauer suffered a series of strokes. Her vascular system had constricted causing a rise in blood pressure, a most common effect of synthetic weed.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Barbara Carreno says synthetic cannabinoids “can be 100 times more potent than marijuana,”
Robbery victim says authorities took his marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Mon, February, 4th 2013 by THCFinder
TEMECULA, Calif.—A robbery victim says Riverside County sheriff's deputies took his marijuana and he wants it back.
John Szwec runs a service that delivers medical marijuana to patients. He was making a delivery last week in Temecula when robbers took an ounce of pot and about $400 in cash.
When they drove off, Szwec chased them in his pickup. The getaway car crashed on a freeway offramp and two men were eventually arrested.
But Szwec tells U-T San Diego (http://bit.ly/14vYV4m) that deputies who responded to the scene took the entire supply of marijuana from his pickup.
Sheriff's Deputy Albert Martinez says it's being held as evidence.
Szwec says he could understand holding the stolen ounce of pot but not his entire business supply—and he wants it back.
10 pounds of marijuana delivered to Seattle Kmart
Category: News | Posted on Thu, January, 31st 2013 by THCFinder
Maybe they should make this one a Green Light Special.
A 10-pound bag of marijuana that took a wrong turn on a cross-country shipment was delivered to surprised employees at the Seattle Kmart, police said.
Shortly after noon Monday, 911 dispatchers received a call from a staff member saying they'd received the massive shipment of pot packed in garbage bags, foam peanuts and cleaning-fluid-soaked pages from a Korean newspaper, department spokesman Jonah Spagenthal-Lee said.
"Delivery information on the package indicates it was originally shipped from Los Angeles to a Philadelphia address, but never made it to its intended destination in Philly," he said. "Whoever sent the package listed the address of the Seattle Kmart on the return label, for some reason."
Seattle police placed the pot into evidence.
The package was beleived to have been sent by UPS. Company spokespeople were not immediately available for comment.
Had the shippers waited just a few weeks longer, the delivery might have been returned to sender. The Kmart store in North Seattle where it was delivered – a fixture at 13200 Aurora Ave. N. since the 1970s – is scheduled to close Sunday. Click here to read more about the North Seattle Kmart store.
Washington vows to try to keep marijuana in state...but how?
Category: News | Posted on Tue, January, 29th 2013 by THCFinder
SEATTLE — So far, no one is suggesting checkpoints or fences to keep Washington state’s legal pot within its borders.
But Gov. Jay Inslee insists there are ways to prevent the bulk smuggling of the state’s newest cash crop into the black market, including digitally tracking weed to ensure that it goes from where it is grown to the stores where it is sold.
With sales set to begin later this year, he hopes to be a good neighbor and keep vanloads of premium, legal bud from cruising into Idaho, Oregon and other states that don’t want people getting stoned for fun.
It’s not just about generating goodwill with fellow governors. Inslee is trying to persuade U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder not to sue to block Washington from licensing pot growers, processors and sellers. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
“I am going to be personally committed to have a well regulated, well disciplined, well tracked, well inventory-controlled, well law-enforcement-coordinated approach,” said Inslee, who is due to give Holder more details this week.
Keeping a lid on the weed is just one of the numerous challenges Washington state authorities and their counterparts in Colorado — where voters also legalized pot use — will face in the coming months.
The potential of regulatory schemes to keep pot from being diverted isn’t clear. Colorado already has intensive rules aimed at keeping its medical marijuana market in line, including the digital tracking of cannabis, bar codes on every plant, surveillance video and manifests of all legal pot shipments.
But law enforcement officials say marijuana from Colorado’s dispensaries often makes its way to the black market, and even the head of the Colorado agency charged with tracking the medical pot industry suggests no one should copy its measures.
The DEA's marijuana mistake
Category: News | Posted on Fri, January, 25th 2013 by THCFinder
The DEA and the National Institute for Drug Abuse block serious research on medical uses of marijuana, creating a ridiculous circle of denials.
For a muscular agency that combats vicious drug criminals, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration acts like a terrified and obstinate toddler when it comes to basic science. For years, the DEA and the National Institute for Drug Abuse have made it all but impossible to develop a robust body of research on the medical uses of marijuana.
A pro-marijuana group lost its legal battle this week when a federal appellate court ruled that marijuana would remain a Schedule I drug, defined as having no accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse. The court deferred to the judgment of federal authorities, quoting the DEA's statement that "the effectiveness of a drug must be established in well-controlled, well-designed, well-conducted and well-documented scientific studies.... To date, such studies have not been performed."
But guess who bears responsibility for this level of ignorance? The DEA itself, which through its ultra-tight restrictions on marijuana has made it nearly impossible for researchers to obtain the drug for study, and the National Institute for Drug Abuse, which controls the availability of the tiny quantity of research-grade marijuana that is federally approved for production.
The few, smaller studies conducted so far suggest marijuana has promise as a medicine, but they're far from conclusive. The National Cancer Institute and the Institute of Medicine support further research.
The judges had it right: In the absence of scientific evidence, they are not in a position to make medical decisions for the country or to set research priorities for the U.S. government. But the Obama administration can and should put the dark ages of uninformed fear behind us and release the death grip of the DEA and the National Institute for Drug Abuse on research-grade marijuana. President Obama then should direct the National Institutes of Health to fund worthwhile research, just as he recently ordered the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research gun violence.
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