View Full Version : Medicinal Marijuana (MMJ) Informational thread

May 21st, 2012, 06:42 PM
The original thread was created in the Political sub-forum, and we all know what happened to that. :unsure:

Anyway, rather than re-post past articles and arguments, this thread will primarily focus on...


* Properly educating the public and breaking the MYTHS, STEREOTYPES, and MISINFORMATION, surrounding this amazing, naturally occurring, MEDICINE.

* Define why decriminazation of cannabis is in the U.S.'s best interest.

* Highlighting articles based upon actual and factually accurate information surrounding real life events that have influenced legal and/or federal opponents, who have become proponents of the decriminization and re-scheduling of MMJ (federal) laws.

* New Movements, Laws, or Legislative Efforts (in general), that will have a direct affect upon current or future cannabis activities worldwide.


Any and all arguments pro/con are welcome.

Also, I would be more than willing to field tangent questions concerning this amazing plant. :)

May 21st, 2012, 06:45 PM
A Judge’s Plea for Pot

Source: New York Times (NY)
Author: Gustin L. Reichbach
Published: May 17, 2012
Copyright: 2012 The New York Times Company


Three and a half years ago, on my 62nd birthday, doctors discovered a mass on my pancreas. It turned out to be Stage 3 pancreatic cancer. I was told I would be dead in four to six months. Today I am in that rare coterie of people who have survived this long with the disease. But I did not foresee that after having dedicated myself for 40 years to a life of the law, including more than two decades as a New York State judge, my quest for ameliorative and palliative care would lead me to marijuana.

My survival has demanded an enormous price, including months of chemotherapy, radiation hell and brutal surgery. For about a year, my cancer disappeared, only to return. About a month ago, I started a new and even more debilitating course of treatment. Every other week, after receiving an IV booster of chemotherapy drugs that takes three hours, I wear a pump that slowly injects more of the drugs over the next 48 hours.

Nausea and pain are constant companions. One struggles to eat enough to stave off the dramatic weight loss that is part of this disease. Eating, one of the great pleasures of life, has now become a daily battle, with each forkful a small victory. Every drug prescribed to treat one problem leads to one or two more drugs to offset its side effects. Pain medication leads to loss of appetite and constipation. Anti-nausea medication raises glucose levels, a serious problem for me with my pancreas so compromised. Sleep, which might bring respite from the miseries of the day, becomes increasingly elusive.

Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep. The oral synthetic substitute, Marinol, prescribed by my doctors, was useless. Rather than watch the agony of my suffering, friends have chosen, at some personal risk, to provide the substance. I find a few puffs of marijuana before dinner gives me ammunition in the battle to eat. A few more puffs at bedtime permits desperately needed sleep.

This is not a law-and-order issue; it is a medical and a human rights issue. Being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I am receiving the absolute gold standard of medical care. But doctors cannot be expected to do what the law prohibits, even when they know it is in the best interests of their patients. When palliative care is understood as a fundamental human and medical right, marijuana for medical use should be beyond controversy.

Sixteen states already permit the legitimate clinical use of marijuana, including our neighbor New Jersey, and Connecticut is on the cusp of becoming No. 17. The New York State Legislature is now debating a bill to recognize marijuana as an effective and legitimate medicinal substance and establish a lawful framework for its use. The Assembly has passed such bills before, but they went nowhere in the State Senate. This year I hope that the outcome will be different. Cancer is a nonpartisan disease, so ubiquitous that it’s impossible to imagine that there are legislators whose families have not also been touched by this scourge. It is to help all who have been affected by cancer, and those who will come after, that I now speak.

Given my position as a sitting judge still hearing cases, well-meaning friends question the wisdom of my coming out on this issue. But I recognize that fellow cancer sufferers may be unable, for a host of reasons, to give voice to our plight. It is another heartbreaking aporia in the world of cancer that the one drug that gives relief without deleterious side effects remains classified as a narcotic with no medicinal value.

Because criminalizing an effective medical technique affects the fair administration of justice, I feel obliged to speak out as both a judge and a cancer patient suffering with a fatal disease. I implore the governor and the Legislature of New York, always considered a leader among states, to join the forward and humane thinking of 16 other states and pass the medical marijuana bill this year. Medical science has not yet found a cure, but it is barbaric to deny us access to one substance that has proved to ameliorate our suffering.

Gustin L. Reichbach is a justice of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on May 17, 2012, on page A27 of the New York edition with the headline: A Judge’s Plea for Pot.

May 21st, 2012, 06:52 PM
MMJ and Politics

MJ Groups Hope Ore. Race Will Have Chilling Effect


Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Published: May 17, 2012
Copyright: 2012 The Associated Press

Medical marijuana advocates have a message for Democratic leaders and federal prosecutors with an eye on political office: Don’t mess with pot. Pushing back against a federal effort to stem the proliferation of medical marijuana operations, one of the nation’s largest drug policy groups claimed credit Wednesday for the defeat of a former federal prosecutor who was the early favorite to win the Democratic primary for Oregon attorney general.

As interim U.S. attorney, Dwight Holton called Oregon’s medical marijuana law a “train wreck” and oversaw efforts to crack down on medical marijuana clubs and grow operations that he said were fronts for illegal marijuana sales. Federal prosecutors have led similar crackdowns in other states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use.

“Drug war rhetoric and tactics will not be tolerated,” said Jill Harris, managing director for the campaign arm of Drug Policy Alliance.

Retired state appeals court judge Ellen Rosenblum said she’d make marijuana enforcement a low priority. She easily defeated Holton with the help of Harris’ group and its allies, which chipped in at least a quarter of Rosenblum’s total campaign cash.

“What we’re hoping, and what we assume, is that any U.S. attorney who’s thinking of running for statewide office in a Democratic Primary anywhere in the country is going to think twice now before adopting a highly aggressive posture toward the medical marijuana law,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director Drug Policy Alliance and its campaign branch, Drug Policy Action.

Rosenblum downplayed the role of the marijuana vote in her victory in a brief interview following her victory Tuesday night. With most votes counted, she defeated Holton 64 percent to 36 percent.

“There’s lots of issues that played into my victory, and that may well be one of them,” Rosenblum said of the surprising emergence of medical marijuana as a defining issue.

About 55,000 people are registered marijuana users in Oregon.

Sixteen states allow people with a doctor’s recommendation to use marijuana, an issue that has long been a source of tension with the federal government. Federal officials have said some state medical marijuana laws are being used as cover to grow and sell pot for the black market. Law enforcement agencies have cracked down on some pot growers, dispensaries and clubs in several states, including California, Colorado and Oregon.

Campaign finance records show Rosenblum raised $600,000 through May 9, including $80,000 from Drug Policy Action and $70,000 from John Sperling, Chairman of Apollo Group Inc., who has financed medical marijuana campaigns nationally. Oregon has no caps on campaign contributions.

Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement, a local organization working on a ballot measure to legalize marijuana, spent another $40,000 to boost Rosenblum, much of it on radio ads attacking Holton over marijuana.

“We’re glad to have played a role in her victory,” said Bob Wolfe, one of the organization’s directors. “But I do think Dwight’s defeat is directly related to his stance on marijuana.”

Holton declined to comment. The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

May 21st, 2012, 06:57 PM
Smoking Medical Marijuana May Decrease MS Symptoms

Source: Huffington Post (NY)
Published: May 14, 2012
Copyright: 2012 HuffingtonPost.com, LLC
Contact: scoop@huffingtonpost.com
Website: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Smoking medical marijuana could help relieve some symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a small new study suggests. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, found that people with MS who smoked cannabis had decreased pain and muscle tightness, called spasticity. However, the researchers warned that smoking the cannabis also led to problems with focus and attention.

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, included 30 people — 63 percent of them women — with an average age of 50. More than half the participants needed aids for walking, and 20 percent of them were in wheelchairs. Some of the study participants were randomly assigned to have the cannabis, while others received a placebo.

At the end of the study, researchers found that people who smoked the cannabis had lower numbers on a spasticity scale, as well as a 50 percent decrease in pain scores.

But researchers found that the people who smoked the cannabis had decreased cognitive functioning, in that they scored lower on a test that measured their focus. This effect was only seen for a short term.

“Smoked cannabis was superior to placebo in symptom and pain reduction in participants with treatment-resistant spasticity,” researchers wrote in the study. “Future studies should examine whether different doses can result in similar beneficial effects with less cognitive impact.”

Just last year, a study in the journal Neurology also showed that multiple sclerosis patients who smoked medical marijuana have a doubled risk of developing cognitive impairments.

“Whatever benefits patients feel they might be getting from smoking marijuana might come at the cost of further cognitive compromise,” the researcher of that study, Dr. Anthony Feinstein, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Toronto, told WebMD.

Marijuana use is currently legal for medical purposes in 16 states and Washington, D.C., the New York Times reported.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the brain and spinal cord, according to the National Institutes of Health. It occurs when the myelin sheath, which is responsible for protecting nerve fibers, is damaged, causing symptoms of cognitive problems, muscle weakness, disturbed vision, strange touch sensations and balance and coordination problems.

While there’s no cure for the condition, current treatments for multiple sclerosis attacks include taking drugs called corticosteroids and undergoing plasma exchange (where blood cells and plasma are mechanically separated), according to the Mayo Clinic. Other drugs and even physical therapy can help reduce symptoms or even slow the disease down.

May 21st, 2012, 07:02 PM
It should be noted that this is an extremely hot-button issue & topic in Canada as well.

I will make an effort to post information on Canada's debate as well for our Northern buddies. :angel:

May 21st, 2012, 07:09 PM

Corrigan Joins Pot Movement

Source: Burnaby Now, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Contact: editorial@burnabynow.com
Website: http://www.burnabynow.com/
Author: Janaya Fuller-Evans

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan put his name on the dotted line Thursday, calling for marijuana to be taxed and regulated, along with seven other B.C. mayors.

The open letter to Premier Christy Clark; Adrian Dix, leader of the B.C. New Democrats; and John Cummins, leader of the B.C. Conservative Party, comes on the heels of a similar letter from four former Vancouver mayors last December and one from four former B.C. attorneys general in February.

Corrigan told the NOW in December that while he personally supported an end to pot prohibition, he would not make a public statement in his official capacity as a sitting mayor.

When asked why he changed his position on that, Corrigan said the health and safety concerns were a factor.

“I thought the fact that we had seen a coalition of ex-mayors, and ex-attorneys general and health professionals taking a stand on this issue really meant we had to take it to the next step, which is elected officials taking a position,” he said in a phone interview Thursday.

Prohibition has not stopped the production and distribution of marijuana, Corrigan said, but it has lined the pockets of criminals, much like alcohol prohibition before it.

“We know alcohol prohibition didn’t work. That doesn’t mean there aren’t problems with alcohol because there are – it still is a serious problem in our society, but prohibition simply turned the distribution of alcohol over to a criminal element,” he said.

“We saw the rise of Al Capone-like figures making their money off of prohibition, and the same thing is happening with marijuana,” Corrigan added. “People are making fortunes off of the distribution of marijuana illegally and in fact, we’re not curing the problem at all, we’re just pushing it underground. I think it’s much better to take the attitude as we do with alcohol and cigarettes that while it is a vice, it’s something that should be done in an upfront manner, the government should regulate and tax it, and there should be controls placed on it.”

He disputed the idea that legalizing marijuana in Canada wouldn’t be worthwhile so long as it’s still illegal in the United States.

The effect on young Canadian’s lives is a factor as well, he said.

“I think that the fact that we continue to give young people criminal records for this offense and continue to have people who live with the stigma of a criminal record for the use of marijuana is a serious problem,” Corrigan said, “one that has individual effects that are way in excess of the act.”

While he doesn’t see things changing tomorrow, he hopes that provincial governments will begin to support a change to the current laws, he said.

“I think it is part of a building process,” Corrigan said. “Polls and general public opinion indicate that the public wants to find a way to resolve the issue. They want to find a way to regulate rather than prohibit, and they want to find a way that they can discourage the use of marijuana among young people, and end the lock that crime has on the production of marijuana and distribution of marijuana.”

He hopes this is a movement that spreads across the rest of Canada, and that the issue plays a part in the next federal election, he added.

The open letter – signed by Mayor Corrigan as well as the mayors of Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver, the District of Lake Country, Armstrong, Vernon, Enderby, and Metchosin – was put forward by the Stop the Violence B.C. coalition.

The criminal justice system is overburdened and needs to focus its resources on serious crime, according to Neil Boyd, a professor with Simon Fraser University’s school of criminology.

Boyd joined the Stop the Violence B.C. coalition after being approached by Dr. Evan Wood, who started the coalition.

Boyd spoke to the NOW in February, saying he has advocated for marijuana law reform for many years.

“Unlike the other illegal drugs, which are used by less than one per cent of the population, marijuana is used by more than 10 per cent of the population,” he said. “Given that it isn’t nearly as dangerous a drug, for most people in most circumstances, from a public health perspective, as alcohol or tobacco.”

The focus on the issue by former and current public figures followed a number of public shootings in Vancouver and Surrey during the winter, which police have indicated are likely gang-related.

The most high profile incident was the shooting death of Sandip Duhre at the Wall Centre Hotel in Vancouver on Jan. 17.

An Angus Reid poll, commissioned by the coalition this winter, that found that 77 per cent of British Columbians did not agree that marijuana possession should be a criminal offence and that 78 per cent said they were dissatisfied with the way politicians at the provincial level responded to problems stemming from the illegal marijuana industry.

Julie Di Mambro, press secretary for federal justice minister Rob Nicholson, did not address the issue of legalization in her statement to the NOW in February but made it clear things are not going to change any time soon.

“Our government is committed to ensuring criminals are held fully accountable for their actions and that the safety and security of law-abiding Canadians come first in Canada’s judicial system,” she wrote in an email. “We will continue to fight crime and protect Canadians so that our communities are safe places for people to live, raise their families and do business.”

For the entire open letter from the mayors, go to www.stoptheviolencebc.org and click on the link for B.C. Mayors Call for Taxation and Regulation of Marijuana.

May 22nd, 2012, 03:53 AM
Also, I would be more than willing to field tangent questions concerning this amazing plant. :)
:yeah: Marijuana has some major benefits. And so do many other banned substances. I favor legal access to all substances.

May 22nd, 2012, 04:39 AM
:yeah: Marijuana has some major benefits. And so do many other banned substances. I favor legal access to all substances.

That's because you're young and stupid naive idealistic.

May 23rd, 2012, 02:19 AM
:yeah: Marijuana has some major benefits. And so do many other banned substances. I favor legal access to all substances.It most certainly does. :yeah::yeah:

http://www.thcsupport.com/blog/image.axd?picture=2011%2F7%2Fmedical+marijuana+ben efits.jpg


May 23rd, 2012, 02:41 AM

Some may find this chart QUITE interesting.
I was blown away when I first discovered this chart and article late last year.

It is my firm belief that MMJ will have a notable affect on the Presidential election race.

There are currently 16 states that have enacted/passed progressive laws to legalize medical marijuana...INCLUDING D.C.

What's interesting (and very sad) is Obama's current stance on MMJ, and how he compares (politically) with past Presidents.


May 23rd, 2012, 02:48 AM


May 23rd, 2012, 03:36 PM

:eek: Yikes. :o

May 24th, 2012, 12:10 AM
MMJ and Politics

Sounds like possibly the right man (with the right ideas...) for the job, yet Obama won't meet with his new Drug Czar. :shrug:

Is Obama's Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske, Being Undermined by His Boss?
By Nina Shapiro Mon., May 3 2010 at 12:46 PM


It seemed like a big promotion when President Obama tapped former Seattle police chief Gil Kerlikowske for the job of national drug czar. But even if you're a czar, apparently, you don't always get respect.

Kerlikowske hasn't been able to get time on either the president's or the vice-president's schedule. He's been trying to do so in order to stage a joint rollout of a new drug policy that the czar has been working on for almost a year, according to a Newsweek report on Friday. Consequently, Kerlikowske is months late in releasing the policy, a delay that earned him sharp criticism at a House subcommittee hearing last month.

More importantly, the Obama administration may not be giving Kerlikowske the tools he needs to fulfill his promise of taking drug policy in a "new direction."

Kerlikowske has said that he wants to step up the public health approach to drug use rather than rely on law enforcement alone. A draft copy of his yet-to-be-released policy, which Newsweek obtained, continues to tout this theme, while setting goals for reducing drug use among youth by 15 percent. (This sounds like the correct approach, IMHO)

Yet, as critics have noted, the proportion of Obama's drug budget that would be allocated for treatment and prevention is roughly the same as it was under President Bush. Enforcement still occupies the lion's share of funding. Is it a coincidence that Kerlikowske's chief deputy, Thomas McClellan, is now resigning?

Kerlikowske's office has not yet responded to a request for comment.

May 24th, 2012, 12:26 AM
Chart may require updating, as it appears that Obama has the Feds targeting/threatening doctors.


2008 Obama:

My attitude is that if it’s an issue of doctors prescribing medical marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma or as a cancer treatment, I think that should be appropriate because there really is no difference between that and a doctor prescribing morphine or anything else. … I think the basic concept that using medical marijuana in the same way, with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors, I think that’s entirely appropriate. I would not punish doctors if it’s prescribed in a way that is appropriate.

2008 – A doctor who prescribed marijuana as treatment for her own breast cancer and then for others’ is busted by the DEA. She and her husband, a lawyer who suffers from hemophilia, tended a small medical marijuana garden, completely within compliance of California’s Prop 215 (aka “state law”). They were open and up-front about what they were doing and drew praise from the local leaders for their compassionate operation. The sheriffs who had been verifying their compliance with state law turned the data over to DEA, who then used their plant counts over the course of the three year statute of limitations to top 100, the magic number needed to secure a five-year mandatory minimum sentence.

[Excerpt from...] Barack Obama: Most Anti-Medical Marijuana President Ever