Cannabis Cures Cancer


"In California, approximately 133,000 people
are diagnosed every year with some form of invasive
cancer, not including the common skin
cancers. About 53,000 Californians die each
year from cancer."

Help free the cure, inform others, save lives.

This blog is to help inform the public on the truth and medical benefits of cannabis. It also contains info to help teach others the healthiest and safest way to grow or acquire their medicine, what strains are best for their condition and responsible and healthy ways of medicating.

Have suggestions, comments, or questions you can email me at
admin@cannabiscurescancer.com

Storm Crows MMJ Cannabis List on all ailments

Learn How To Make Cancer Curing THC Oil ...

Skunk Farm Oil Technique

How to make THC oil
http://phoenixtears.ca/make-the-medicine/


"Note some solvents are cleaner than those used above, I would use those"
AKA 100% Food Grade Ethanol, or Food grade Alcohol.


How to make cannabis milk
Make it into ice-cream to help with taste

Find us on You Tube

California Prop 215 Sb 420 & your patients rights .doc

Info and videos on how cannabis stops cancer.

How THC kills cancer

Cannabis to have anti-cancer agents in extracts;

Kills brain tumors

Kills cancer in test tubes

Run for the cure video links; Cancer stopping cannabis extracts and one mans story.


You tube link to 7 part series

Article about "Run For the Cure" and easy video links

Other Videos and Info

Doctor explains why cannabis is a miracle drug


Cannabis / Cancer report and brain scans on video

Here is some very good books on how to test for CBD's and the making of pure oil.
Marijuana Chemistry

Cannabis Chemistry

Cannabis Medical Extracts


Only Legal Medicinal Oil facility
GW Pharmaceuticals

THC / CBD / ETC Test Kits

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cannabis Cures Cancer Supports ASA NC Measure S

The Cannabis Cures Cancer website supports ASA Nevada County's Measure S.

This measure is crucial to regulate cannabis grows in Nevada County and still allow patients the ability to grow and have access to medicine. By setting an easy to understand set of rules for patients to understand, it will help free up law enforcement resources to enforce actions to grows that are not legal under Prop 215. By also setting reasonable limits, it will help prevent cannabis from being grown in significant amounts for the black market and help stop unreasonable nuisance gardens from being grown in residential areas of the county.

The Cannabis Cures Cancer Cooperative Significantly Endorses The Marijuana Cultivation Act of Nevada County.

Measure S is vital in implementing a sensible and prudent ordinance which protects patients' rights while addressing the needs of the county.


Advances in Cannabis Cultivation ...

Greenhouses are sprouting up everywhere ... it is the future of cannabis cultivation ...

http://www.leafscience.com/2014/07/09/dont-grow-tomatoes-basements-future-cannabis-cultivation-greenhouses/

Light deprivation to get premium crops in the summer ....

http://edrosenthal.com/2011/03/ask-ed-marijuana-grow-tip-26-light-deprivation-how-to-ditch-the-tarp.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zK-Od4lXgE

http://theleafonline.com/c/business/2014/01/boosting-light-dep-production-for-maximum-roi/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEufre2RBE0

Advances are also being made in supplemental lighting for greenhouses ... so you can to grow all year ...

Light Emitting Plasma LEP
http://theleafonline.com/c/business/2014/01/boosting-light-dep-production-for-maximum-roi/

LED lights that are efficient (Not all are !!!) 







Friday, January 31, 2014

Legal Marijuana by Nov 2014?

Legal Marijuana by Nov 2014?


2014 California Marijuana Legalization Initiative Cleared for Signature Gathering
 
The Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act  

I just received this Press Release that I wanted to share with everyone.  I've read the text and I really like this initiative - primarily because it is statewide.  A local jurisdiction would have to put it to a popular vote of the people to ban dispensaries or cultivation (unless they have fewer than 10,000 residents).  There is no tax on medical marijuana and tax on social marijuana is limited to 10%.  Even better, a Cannabis Regulatory Commission will be established that consists of two medical marijuana patients, one MMJ doctor, one MMJ lawyer with at least ten years defending patients and three representatives from government agencies.  (Do the math:  we get four representatives, they only get three!)

I plan to help circulate this petition because we can continue to register voters which will help us with our initiative.  Please come out and join me!


SACRAMENTO, CA – (1/31/14) - Today, California Attorney General Kamala Harris released her summary of the final version of the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act (MCLR). The first of its kind grassroots, open source, community-based document is now approved and cleared for signature gathering. MCLR can now attempt to qualify for the November 2014 California ballot.

With polls now showing that well over 50% of voters favor marijuana legalization in California, and the President of the United States stating publicly that, “I don't think [marijuana] is more dangerous than alcohol,” the time is now for California to legalize marijuana.

AG Harris' fiscal analysis states MCLR will, “Reduce costs potentially exceeding $100 million annually to state and local governments related to enforcing certain marijuana-related offenses, handling the related criminal cases in the court system, and incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders.” The analysis also states, “Potential net additional tax revenues of a few hundred million dollars annually related to the production and sale of marijuana,” would be realized.

The MCLR campaign has a commitment of $500k dedicated to signature gathering, yet it may take an additional $2M to make the dream of legal marijuana in California come true this year. To make 2014 a reality, donations are needed from everyone who supports marijuana reform. “We are calling on all marijuana users & supporters to help make 2014 happen,” said proponent Dave Hodges. Donations to MCLR can be made at http://mclr.us/donate.

For over a year Americans for Policy Reform (AFPR), the group behind MCLR, has been working with thousands of Californians on a grassroots, “open source” document to legalize Marijuana for medical, industrial and adult social use. Through its open, inclusive process, MCLR has the support of dozens of attorneys and thousands of marijuana activists.

With a comprehensive structure based on the needs of the California community, and the US Department of Justice guidelines, the MCLR Act of 2014 provides equally for supporters of marijuana and those who are still concerned about the effects of legalization.

The full text for MCLR can be found at: http://www.mclr.us/the-language-full-text/
The fiscal impact estimate can be found at: http://bit.ly/mclr-fie
The title & summary can be found at: http://bit.ly/mclr-ts

Monday, December 16, 2013

CalNORML to Challenge Medical Marijuana Cultivation Ruling

http://www.canorml.org/news/Live_Oak_medical_marijuana_cultivation_ban_challenge.html

December 11, 2013 - In an action supported by California NORML, medical marijuana patient James Maral will file a petition with the California Supreme Court to review the recent Third District Appellate Court decision upholding the city of Live Oak’s ban on medical marijuana cultivation.
San Francisco Attorney Joe Elford will draft and file the petition. “If you ban dispensaries and you ban cultivation, you’re ripping the heart out of California's medical marijuana laws,” said Elford. "This decision conflicts with the intent of the electorate and Legislature and should not be allowed to stand."
The announcement comes a day after Fresno county took steps to enact a total cultivation ban on first reading at its Board of Supervisors meeting. A second reading on the ordinance will take place on January 7.
Maral, 42, suffers from compartment syndrome, a painful life- and limb-threatening condition caused by insufficient blood supply to muscles and nerves. In addition, he has six damaged discs in his back, the result of his work as a heavy equipment driver. He and his family have lived in Live Oak for 15 years.
Maral is also a caretaker for his mother Donneda Maral, who has severe diverticulitis and Crohn's disease, for which she is frequently hospitalized.
"The only thing I'm fighting for is the patients who just want a couple of plants in their backyard," said Maral. "I'm not willing to let my mother die or live out the rest of her time in a hospital." The Marals live at least two hours away from any medical marijuana dispensary.
Cultivation is exempted from state law for medical marijuana patients by Proposition 215, passed by the voters in 1996. State law SB420 established a "floor" of 6 mature or 12 immature plants as allowable per patient, permitting cities and counties to pass ordinances allowing for greater, not lesser, amounts. The California Supreme Court threw out SB420's limits in People v. Kelly (2010), opting instead for allowing whatever a patient needs to grow.
Live Oak’s ban on medical marijuana cultivation took effect in January 2012, over the objections of local citizens. The only other known jurisdiction currently banning all medical marijuana cultivation is Tracy. Sacramento county has passed an ordinance zoning out anything federally illegal, and Sacramento sheriffs were out this year enforcing it by taking out gardens. The city of Selma rolled back their cultivation ban on October 16, voting to allow permitted, indoor gardens.
Prop. 215 co-author and CalNORML director Dale Gieringer, who sat on the state committee that wrote SB420, said, "The right of patients to grow their own medicine is fundamental to Prop. 215's stated purpose of ensuring that 'seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes.' The city of Live Oak has no legitimate business prohibiting Mr. Maral from growing the medicine he needs at his own private residence."
Established in 1972, California NORML is the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. We are a non-profit, membership organization dedicated to reforming California's marijuana laws. Our mission is to establish the right of adults to use cannabis legally.
Also see: Pot proponents vow appeal to state Supreme Court in Live Oak case
Appeal Democrat, December 12, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

Legalize @ California 2014

Jacks; WOOT
http://www.cchi2014.org/

Regulate like wine; ehhh
http://oag.ca.gov/system/files/initiatives/pdfs/13-0053%20%2813-0053%20%28Marijuana%20V2%29%29.pdf

Manufacturer.
A cannabis manufacturer is any registered business dedicated to the germination, cultivation, production, processing, conversion, extraction, in-vitro testing, distribution, or wholesale of cannabis. The registration fee for a cannabis manufacturer shall be an annual fee of five thousand dollars ($5,000), plus one hundred and fifty dollars ($150) per 100 square feet of cannabis plant canopy.

DPA; AKA Big Business Prop 19 back
http://www.thedailychronic.net/2013/26740/third-marijuana-legalization-initiative-filed-in-california-for-2014/

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunday, September 29, 2013

SB 566 Would Allow California Farmers to Grow Industrial Hemp Upon Federal Approval

http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/28/5777538/governor-brown-signs-california.html

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Vote Hemp and the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), the nation's leading hemp grassroots advocacy organization and industry trade group, respectively, each working to revitalize industrial hemp production and processing in the U.S., are excited to report that Governor Jerry Brown has signed SB 566, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act. After moving smoothly through the California legislature with strong bi-partisan support, this landmark legislation has now become California law.
Introduced by Senator Mark Leno earlier this year, SB 566 ensures that California is prepared to begin registering hemp farmers once the federal government has given states the green light. The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act will establish a framework for farming the oilseed and fiber varieties of the plant, which are used in a myriad of everyday consumer products, including food, body care, clothing, paper, auto parts, composites, building materials, and bio-fuels. Enforcement and oversight of hemp production would be conducted in concert with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and county agricultural commissioners, as is done with other crops.
"SB 566 demonstrates the real momentum behind the national movement to legalize industrial hemp," said Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association. "With Congressional bills to legalize hemp currently in both the House and Senate, California is on the cutting edge, pushing forward with an industrial hemp law that would not only stimulate much needed growth in local business and farming sectors, but ultimately lead the nation toward a federal policy change that would open hemp cultivation to hemp farmers around the country. This will lower our dependence on Canada and China for hemp imports, and empower our agrarian and manufacturing economies to finally tap into one of the fastest growing natural products in the market."
"With the signing of this bill, California is poised to grow industrial hemp when the federal government gives states the green light," said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco. "In the past year, the conversation to legalize the cultivation of hemp has gained momentum at the federal level, and it is only a matter of time before a farmer's right to grow hemp is restored. Hemp, which is already found in hundreds of consumer products manufactured in our state, is a perfect crop for California. It has great potential to revitalize family farms, create new jobs and stimulate the economy."
Strong support for the bill has come from The California Sheriffs Association, individual county sheriffs, family and organic farmers, environmental organizations, labor unions, and businesses statewide. 2 Vote Hemp and HIA believe that hemp farming registrations could be accepted as soon as 2014 based on the recent memo from Deputy Attorney General James Cole of the Department of Justice. "Before farmers can begin planting hemp under SB 566, the state will need to seek clarification from federal officials that state regulations for hemp farming meet the requirements outlined in the recent memo issued by Deputy Attorney General James Cole," notes Vote Hemp Director Patrick Goggin.
Today, more than 30 industrialized nations grow industrial hemp and export it to the United States. Hemp is the only crop that is illegal to grow at the federal level, yet is legal for Americans to import. Among the numerous California-based companies who have supported the bill are Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, makers of North America's top-selling natural soap, and Nutiva, a rising star among innovative health food companies. Both of these businesses currently must import hemp from other countries. The passage of SB 566 sends a strong message to Washington that the time has come to change federal policy regarding industrial hemp.
"Hemp grown right here in California would stimulate massive growth in the food, body care, textiles, building and other crucial sectors that suffer from having to import less efficient materials in lieu of this lucrative industrial crop," says David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. "The nationwide movement to legalize industrial hemp and farm it right here in the US to benefit American business is growing, and SB 566 opens a door to incredible opportunity for farmers who seek sustainable agriculture, ecologically responsible businesses and products. Ultimately, this bill will help end the prohibition on what is one of the most versatile and environmentally revolutionary industrial crops on the planet."
"Nutiva looks forward to buying hemp from American farmers," says John Roulac, President of Nutiva. "This will add American jobs and reduce our fuel consumption."
California businesses currently spend millions of dollars each year importing hemp primarily from Canada, China, and Europe. Demand for hemp products has been growing rapidly in recent years, and it is estimated that the U.S. hemp market now exceeds $500 million in annual retail sales. From natural soaps to healthy foods, there are a large variety of "Made in California" hemp products whose manufacturers and buyers will greatly benefit from an in-state source of hemp seed, fiber, and oil.
The environmental and agricultural benefits are not limited to the versatility of uses. Industrial hemp is an excellent rotation crop because its dense growth smothers weeds without herbicides and helps to break the disease cycle. Hemp requires less water and agricultural inputs than other crops, has deep tap roots that leave the soil in excellent condition for the next crop, and is proven to increase yields. These benefits save farmers money and reduce the amount of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers that run into our waterways.
Vote Hemp is a national, singleissue, nonprofit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow this agricultural crop. More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com or www.TheHIA.org. Video footage of hemp farming in other countries is available upon request by contacting Ryan Fletcher at 202-641-0277 or ryan@votehemp.com.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/28/5777538/governor-brown-signs-california.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, September 5, 2013

War Never Ends

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/melinda-haag-new-marijuana-guidelines-wont-affect-local-cases/Content?oid=2566092


http://www.theunion.com/opinion/columns/7884585-113/cannabis-ordinance-cultivation-plants


If you’ve been to any public event lately, you are probably aware that Americans for Safe Access-Nevada County is leading a petition drive that would allow the voters to accept or reject a more compassionate cannabis cultivation ordinance that is sponsored by our organization.
I apologize if we have asked some of you to sign our petition at multiple events.
Some have questioned whether our volunteers are being paid to gather signatures, and the answer is no.

All of our volunteers have given their time freely, although we do offer incentives like concert and raffle tickets to keep up morale.
This issue has united people from opposite ends of the political spectrum judging by the mountains of new voter registration cards we have gathered.
We cannot wait for a general election when the sheriff’s department is using the cultivation ordinance as a pretext to enter properties without justification … and to interpret the ordinance as they go without issuing clear guidelines.


Even people who don’t support patient rights are joining us because of violations against private property rights and the wasteful use of taxpayers’ dollars that are being spent to support prohibition — which has neither lowered supply nor demand but has incarcerated record numbers of nonviolent offenders.

Our initiative would replace the current cultivation ordinance that sets artificial square-foot restrictions on the size of the garden and would go back to state-sanctioned six plants per qualified patient.

We actually adopt the state minimum threshold as our maximum allowance. Our initiative would also restrict outdoor cultivation on R-1, R-2 and R-3 zoned parcels. You can read the whole initiative at http://asa-nc.com.

The current restrictions don’t just mark the outside dimensions of the garden. They include the height and width of a plant and the ground space separating the plants from each other.
You must cut the tops and sides of your plants if they extend past this invisible barrier.
The problem is that the best medicine is located in the tops and tips of the plant. 
Sheriff Royal has stated that square-foot restrictions are necessary because some cannabis plants grow to the size of giant Sequoia trees.

Although some Cannabis Sativa plants can reach heights of 14 feet or more, this is the exception rather than the rule, and his depiction is a gross exaggeration of the average plant being grown in Nevada County.

It really is a shame that our board of supervisors has steadfastly refused to mediate with stakeholders to find a solution that would meet the needs of patients while safeguarding the rights of neighbors to the quiet enjoyment of their properties.

Despite the fact that we voted for Prop 215 and poll after poll shows that we still support medical marijuana, our board believes that it knows what is best for us.

Special elections are necessary when our elected officials refuse to represent their constituents’ needs.
We cannot wait for a general election when the sheriff’s department is using the cultivation ordinance as a pretext to enter properties without justification, red-tag homes, conduct unlawful searches and to interpret the ordinance as they go without issuing clear guidelines.

ASA-NC again calls on the supervisors to accept our initiative and spare us all the cost of a special election.

Even worse are the missed opportunities that occur by opposing each other rather than working toward a creative win-win solution.

Case in point are the illegal grows taking place in our national forests that are polluting our watershed and destroying wildlife.

ASA supports organic growing methods to ensure the safest level of medicine is being produced for human consumption.

Surely this is an area where we could work together.
If you are still sitting on the fence about the effectiveness of marijuana as a medicine, I urge you to watch two remarkable films that I guarantee will change your mind.

First is “What if Cannabis Cured Cancer,” by Len Richmond, and the second is the CNN documentary, “Weed,” by Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
A quick Google search will turn up links to both of these videos. I defy any parent to reject the cannabis therapy that spared young Charlotte Figi from suffering from more than 300 epileptic seizures a month.

Indeed, cannabis was the only medication that brought relief and controlled her symptoms.
After you see the effectiveness of medical marijuana for yourself, I hope you will join the thousands of people who have already signed our petition.
There may come a time when you or a loved one will need this medicine, and we hope that it will still available when you do.

Patricia Smith is the chair of Americans for Safe Access, Nevada County.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Nevada County Cracks Down, Support New ordnance ...

http://knco.com/ordinance-doesnt-address-compliance/

Ordinance Doesn’t Address Compliance

Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal says the proposed new marijuana ordinance being brought forward by Americans for Safe Access-Nevada County is more like “be kind to your neighbor”. The Sheriff says the proposed ordinance has no penalties for non-compliance and no terms dealing with enforcement of the ordinance. The Sheriff also says the number of plants a person can grow is being greatly increased.
Click here to listen to Sheriff Keith Royal
ASA-Nevada County Chair Patricia Smith agrees that enforcement and penalties are not part of the proposed ordinance.
Click here to listen to Patricia Smith
Smith says that current enforcement penalties would be sufficient if applied to the proposed ordinance.
Click here to listen to Patricia Smith
The proposed ordinance allows patients to grow up to six plants and collectives to grow six plants per patient member which is in alignment with California law. Smith says the existing ordinance restricts the number of plants per patient by restricting garden size.
A number of people are collecting signatures to to place the proposed ordinance before the voters.

Leave A Comment

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Americans for Safe Access - NC will be filing a Request for a Special Election to replace Ordinance 2349 with the Safe Cultivation Act of Nevada County

Americans for Safe Access - Nevada County (ASA-NC)

June 14, 2013 - On Monday, June 17, Americans for Safe Access - NC will be filing a Request for a Special Election to replace Ordinance 2349 with the Safe Cultivation Act of Nevada County.

The Board of Supervisors passed the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance to combat neighborhood nuisance complaints on May 8, 2012. It was passed as an Emergency Measure based on Sheriff Royalʼs assertion that he was receiving 20 - 30 calls a day. When Americans for Safe Access - Nevada County requested copies of the complaints through a Freedom of Information request, we were told that they hadnʼt been recorded. They didnʼt have a single complaint on file!

State laws already exist that make large commercial grows illegal. Even federal law has set limits on how many plants one can grow before they will intercede. This Ordinance was designed to restrict small medical growers who are following State law. Some MMJ Collectives have been cited for growing as few as twelve plants on large AG zoned parcels.

The provisions of the Ordinance are so prohibitive as to amount to a de facto ban. As a result, ASA-NC initiated a lawsuit to challenge the ordinance on behalf of medical marijuana patients who were no longer able to grow enough medicine to treat their conditions. Our case was dismissed when the CA Supreme Court decided in the City of Riverside v The Inland Empire Patients Health & Wellness Collective that local jurisdictions have the right to make their own land use regulations concerning the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana.

We believe that elected officials are put in office to represent the views of their constituents. ASA-NC conducted a survey to assess the feelings of our fellow citizens regarding the Ordinance. Over 70% of the registered voters that we polled thought the Ordinance was overreaching. This figure included cultivators and business owners, Republicans and Democrats, the young and old. Surveys were conducted in Alta Sierra, Lake Wildwood, Lake of the Pines as well as Briarpatch Co-op and the Flour Garden to get an accurate sampling of the whole county.

The CA Supreme Court stated that a voters initiative would required to change the law. We believe an issue of this importance should be decided by the people, so ASA-NC has filed a Request for a Special Election to replace the current Ordinance with one that complies with the 2008 Attorney Generalʼs Guidelines by using the initiative process.

Special Elections cost taxpayers a lot of money and ASA-NC would have preferred to save the County this burden. Estimates for Special Elections range from $125,000 - $250,000 according to statements made by local officials. ASA-NC has tried to work with the county to reach a compromise that would protect homeowners and patients alike, but the Board of Supervisors has refused to mediate with us. If we wait for a General Election, patients will have to suffer through two seasons under the restrictive provisions of this Ordinance.

I urge you to support our cause. There is more at stake than whether patients have safe access to medical marijuana. Any type of medical therapy one pursues is a decision best made between patient and doctor - not patient and the Board of Supervisors. This is a basic individual freedom that should never be usurped.

The citizens of Nevada County voted to support patients rights when they approved Prop 215 in 1996. The Safe Cultivation Act of Nevada County will protect patients and homeowners alike. In the spirit of compromise, The Safe Cultivation Act of Nevada County wonʼt be to everyoneʼs liking, but it is far better than what we have now.

http://yubanet.com/regional/ASA-Nevada-County-to-file-Request-for-Special-Election-on-Monday.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Yubanet+%28YubaNet.com+Headlines%29#.Uby-zZxl7kA

You can read the full text of our initiative online (and below)

http://www.scribd.com/doc/147806959/...nty-Initiative

http://asa-nc.com/june-2013-nevada-c...92/#comment-30

Sunday, March 31, 2013

'Monsanto Protection Act' slips silently through US Congress

The US House of Representatives quietly passed a last-minute addition to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 last week - including a provision protecting genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks.

The rider, which is officially known as the Farmer Assurance Provision, has been derided by opponents of biotech lobbying as the “Monsanto Protection Act,” as it would strip federal courts of the authority to immediately halt the planting and sale of genetically modified (GMO) seed crop regardless of any consumer health concerns.

The provision, also decried as a “biotech rider,” should have gone through the Agricultural or Judiciary Committees for review. Instead, no hearings were held, and the piece was evidently unknown to most Democrats (who hold the majority in the Senate) prior to its approval as part of HR 993, the short-term funding bill that was approved to avoid a federal government shutdown.

Senator John Tester (D-MT) proved to be the lone dissenter to the so-called Monsanto Protection Act, though his proposed amendment to strip the rider from the bill was never put to a vote.

As the US legal system functions today, and largely as a result of prior lawsuits, the USDA is required to complete environmental impact statements (EIS) prior to both the planting and sale of GMO crops. The extent and effectiveness to which the USDA exercises this rule is in itself a source of serious dispute.

The reviews have been the focus of heated debate between food safety advocacy groups and the biotech industry in the past. In December of 2009, for example, Food Democracy Now collected signatures during the EIS commenting period in a bid to prevent the approval of Monsanto’s GMO alfalfa, which many feared would contaminate organic feed used by dairy farmers; it was approved regardless.

Previously discovered pathogens in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready corn and soy are suspected of causing infertility in livestock and to impact the health of plants.

So, just how much of a victory is this for biotech companies like Monsanto? Critics are thus far alarmed by the very way in which the provision made it through Congress -- the rider was introduced anonymously as the larger bill progressed through the Senate Appropriations Committee. Now, groups like the Center for Food Safety are holding Senator Mikulski (D-MD), chairman of that committee, to task and lobbing accusations of a “backroom deal” with the biotech industry.

As the Washington Times points out, the provision’s success is viewed by many as a victory by companies like Syngenta Corp, Cargill, Monsanto and affiliated PACs that have donated $7.5 million to members of Congress since 2009, and $372,000 to members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

It remains unclear whether the bill’s six-month expiration means that the provision will be short-lived. Regardless, Food Democracy Now has begun a campaign calling on US President Barack Obama to veto the Continuing Resolution spending bill, which seems unlikely as HR 933 includes a sweeping amount of government funding. http://rt.com/usa/monsanto-congress-silently-slips-830/

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Op-Ed: ASA-Nevada County | County Conspires to Stifle Free Speech

By: Americans for Safe Access - Nevada County (ASA-NC)

March 27, 2013 - Apparently, the Board of Supervisors (Terry Lamphier excepted) only wants to hear from constituents who agree with their policies. In a blatant attempt to intimidate opposition, eleven armed deputies were posted across the back wall and inside and outside the doors of the Supervisor's chambers when collective cannabis gardens came up for discussion. All twenty-seven items that preceded the Cultivation Ordinance were quickly dispatched without this unwarranted show of force, nor were armed officers present for the afternoon session.

That they wanted to muzzle public comment was apparent from the opening remarks made by County Counsel, Alison Barrat-Green. After reading the proposed amendments to the ordinance, she informed the public "only comments concerning collectives" would be entertained. However, this only applied to the opposition as the sole public supporter of the County's actions spoke about everything except collective gardens without reprimand from the Chair, Hank Weston.

These actions were a clear attempt to stifle the free speech of political opponents. It sent a chill throughout the roomful of citizens that had peaceably assembled to address their grievances with the Board. The one heated moment during the session occurred when a courageous citizen called out the Sheriff's Department for their aggressive behavior.

The Board was asked to amend the existing Cultivation Ordinance to acknowledge the right of patients to grow medicine together in a collective garden. Although the Board unanimously passed the amendments, they refused to allow additional space to grow medicine for each collective member even in remote rural areas.

Attorney Jeff Lake, representing Americans for Safe Access - Nevada County in their lawsuit against County's ordinance, wasn't allowed to include other improvements to the Cultivation Ordinance during his public comments. Supervisor Lamphier asked for a motion to require the County to enter mediation but was advised by Barrat-Green to "stick to the amendments before you."

The Board has rejected ASA-NC's request for mediation and have opted instead to wait for the CA Supreme Court decision in the City of Riverside v. The Inland Empire Patients Health & Wellness Collective. The Court's decision will determine whether local jurisdictions can ban dispensaries and/or cultivation rather than regulate the operation and location of these establishments. Their decision is expected by early May.

Americans for Safe Access has been conducting a phone survey to ascertain the level of support the Cultivation ordinance has in this County. The results have been so overwhelming against the Ordinance that we questioned the results even though we have used the same random sampling techniques and standards as those used by major polling organizations.

We decided to expand the survey by going into specific areas where we presume support for the County's Ordinance runs high as a counter balance to the phone survey. We do not advertise the locations of our field surveys as to not draw supporters from either camp. If you happen upon one of our survey takers, we hope that you will take a moment to state your opinions regardless of your position. In fact, we welcome those with opposing viewpoints as we want to be inclusive of the entire County's attitudes.

For me the issue is quite simple: cannabis has been shown to be a very effective treatment for a myriad of conditions. It is a fundamental human right to be able to use any medical treatment one chooses without interference from government bureaucrats. By placing Collective gardens in rural areas, most of the perceived nuisances can be eliminated. This would be a win for residential homeowners and a win for patients.

For more information about Americans for Safe Access, please visit our website at www.asa-nc.com.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Medical Marijuana Patient Protections Act

Yesterday, Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Sam Farr introduced legislation that will end the federal conflict with state medical cannabis programs. Blumenauer’s bill, titled the States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protections Act (HR 689), will move cannabis out of Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act and allow for medical research to be controlled by an agency other than the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Farr’s bill, the Truth in Trials Act (HR 710), will allow patients, caregivers and providers who are in compliance with state law to offer evidence of the medical necessity for their use of cannabis.

Our champions in Congress are doing their part to protect safe access, but now the ball is in our court to make sure these bills pass! Next weekend, ASA will be hosting the first ever National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference in DC that will culminate with a congressional briefing and a lobby day on Capitol Hill to support these bills. By registering for the conference, ASA will also schedule a meeting with your congressional representative during the lobby day so we can really show Congress a unified voice in support safe access!

The best chance we have at getting these bills passed is through an overwhelming show of support from advocates like you. Don’t miss this historic chance to join fellow supporters of medical cannabis as we march on Capitol Hill on Monday, February 26th. Register for the conference now to make sure you get to meet your congressional rep!

Even if you can’t join us in DC, you can still contact your member of Congress and urge them to vote for HR 689 and HR 710. You have the power to end the federal war on medical cannabis this year, so join us in DC or let your voice be heard that safe access is an issue of vital importance!

Looking forward to seeing you in DC next week …

Hunter Holliman National Field Coordinator

Thursday, January 24, 2013

So much for science and freedom; Cannabis denied reclassification

Immediate Release: January 22nd, 2013

D.C. Circuit Denies Medical Marijuana Reclassification Challenge, Advocates Vow to Appeal Americans for Safe Access will seek En Banc review, continue fight to develop public health policy

Washington, DC -- The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a ruling today in the medical marijuana reclassification case, Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration. In a 2-1 decision, the Court granted standing in the case -- the right to bring a claim against the federal government -- but denied the legal challenge on the merits, agreeing with the government's assertion that "adequate and well-controlled studies" on the medical efficacy of marijuana do not exist.

"To deny that sufficient evidence is lacking on the medical efficacy of marijuana is to ignore a mountain of well-documented studies that conclude otherwise," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country's leading medical marijuana advocacy organization, which appealed the denial of the rescheduling petition in January of last year. "The Court has unfortunately agreed with the Obama Administration's unreasonably raised bar on what qualifies as an 'adequate and well-controlled' study, thereby continuing their game of 'Gotcha.'"

ASA intends to seek En Banc review by the full D.C. Circuit and,necessary, the organization will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. ASA intends to argue that the Obama Administration has acted arbitrarily and capriciously by using continually changing standards of "medical efficacy" in order to maintain marijuana as a Schedule I substance, a dangerous drug with no medical value. The government now contends that Stage II and III clinical trials are necessary to show efficacy, while ASA has consistently argued that the more than 200 peer-reviewed studies cited in the legal briefs adequately meet this standard.

In 2002, the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, made up of several individuals and organizations including ASA, filed a petition to reclassify marijuana for medical use. That petition was denied in July 2011, after ASA sued the Obama Administration for unreasonable delaying the answer. The appeal to the D.C. Circuit was the first time in nearly 20 years that a federal court has reviewed the issue of whether adequate scientific evidence exists to reclassify marijuana.

"The Obama Administration's legal efforts will keep marijuana out of reach for millions of qualified patients who would benefit from its use," continued Elford. "It's time for President Obama to change his harmful policy with regard to medical marijuana and treat this as a public health issue, something entirely within the capability and authority of the executive office."

Patient advocates claim that marijuana is treated unlike any other controlled substance and that politics have dominated over medical science on this issue. Advocates point to a research approval process for marijuana, controlled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is unique, overly rigorous, and hinders meaningful therapeutic research. ASA argues in its appeal brief that the DEA has no "license to apply different criteria to marijuana than to other drugs, ignore critical scientific data, misrepresent social science research, or rely upon unsubstantiated assumptions, as the DEA has done in this case."

ASA will continue to put pressure on the Obama Administration, but will also be lobbying Members of Congress to reclassify marijuana for medical use. A new comprehensive public health bill on medical marijuana is expected to be introduced soon in Congress, and ASA is holding a national conference in February to support its passage.

Further information: Today's D.C. Circuit decision: http://americansforsafeaccess.org/do..._ASA_v_DEA.pdf ASA appeal brief: http://americansforsafeaccess.org/do...CRC_Appeal.pdf CRC rescheduling petition: http://www.drugscience.org/PDF/Petition_Final_2002.pdf

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Juice For Greater Health

Juicing Raw Cannabis for Greater Health

If you find yourself in the doctors chair at the office of Dr. William Courtney, Willits, California you will be advised; we shouldn’t be smoking our marijuana, we should be eating it! After I read the story in the Washington Post, “Form of medical marijuana won’t get you high but is creating quite a buzz” written by Karl Vick, I decided to look into it more.

CBD (Cannabidiol), one of the main constituents of the cannabis plant has been proven medically to relieve convulsion, inflammation, anxiety and nausea, as well as inhibit cancer cell growth. Recent studies have shown it to be an effective atypical anti-psychotic in treating schizophrenia. CBD also interferes with the amount of THC your brain processes, balancing the psychotropic effect of marijuana.

In my report,Sativex: Liquid medical marijuana, I talked about GW Phamacueticals, a British company who, with Japanese pharmaceuticals company Otsuka, have been granted permission by the New drug Administration and the FDA to enter into late stage trials here in the US for treatment of cancer pain and the side effects of chemotherapy with their cannabinoid based oral mouth spray, Sativex. The THC/CBD spray is already available to patients in the United Kingdom, Canada and Spain for the treatment of MS.

According to GW Pharma’s cultivation FAQ their scientists in the UK can precisely control the cannabinoid composition of the plant and they have bred an extremely CBD high strain. Both Dr. Courtney and some of his patients tried to find a similar strain available here in Northern California but to no avail. Recently, an emboldened lab, operating in the hope they can avoid DEA interference here in the Bay Area has begun testing plants for CBD, THC and pathogens like mold. Steep Hill Lab has found only one bankable strain, “Soma A+” that contained significantly more CBD than any other strain tested.

“What has happened is, almost all strains available in America through the black market are THC concentrates,” said Ethan Russo, a Seattle area physician who is senior medical adviser to GW. “The CBD in almost all cases has been bred out. The reason, cannabis in this country has been cultivated for its intoxicating effect.”

“It’s going to be a few years yet,” said Russo, who in the mid-’90s left his neurology practice in Montana, concerned by the toxic side effects of medicines he was prescribing. He returned from a sabbatical to Peru convinced that marijuana holds the greatest potential among medicinal plants.

“There’s a tendency to discount claims when something appears to be good for everything, but there’s a reason this is the case,” he said. “CBD works on receptors, and as it turns out, we have cannabinoids in our bodies, endogenous cannabinoids, that turn out to be very effective at regulating immune functions, nerve functions, bone functions.”

Russo: “The endogenous cannabinoid system acts as a modulator in fine-tuning a lot of these systems, and if something is deranged biochemically in a person’s body, it may well be that a cannabinoid system can bring things back into balance.”

On an important side note, laboratory studies on cannabinoids including CBD, by other companies and research schools has been largely hindered by federal restrictions on marijuana research.

The catch 22 is the continued classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug. This impedes research on marijuana’s therapeutic value, thereby making it’s re-evaluation and re-scheduling through the normal drug approval process extremely unlikely. In fact, speaking to The New York Times in a January 19, 2010 article entitled, “Researchers Find Medical Study of Marijuana Discouraged,” NIDA spokeswoman Shirley Simson said: “As the National Institute on Drug Abuse, our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use. We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.”

In the perhaps $15 billion underground economy that flows from marijuana in California: No one knows for certain what they’re buying. “I can’t breed analytically,” said Jim Hill, a pot farmer in Mendocino’s Potter Valley. “I can only go by patient anecdote: ‘Yeah, that really worked for me.’ I can’t go by graph paper.” reports the Washington Post article.

Sixties activist Fred Gardner edits O’Shaughnessy’s, a quarterly devoted to medical marijuana and named for the physician who brought cannabis to the attention of European medicos. “I think people owe it to the industry, owe it to the people, to do something honestly medical,” Gardner said. “And CBD is honestly medical.”

CBD’s could finally be the link between medical marijuana and science.

Back to Dr. Courtney in Mendocino- maybe nowhere else in the country could a cannabis doctor advise growing 40 plants — enough for one juicing each day on the 45-day cycle required of the auto-flowering strain. What’s striking is the number of patients who truly do not want to get high. Juicing the fresh leaves instead of burning the dried plant matter does not deliver the same concentrate of THC (the psychoactive component) and recent research has shown that CBD works better consumed raw. The THC needs heat for activation and because of that, the raw leaves don’t produce a “high”. The doctor recommends that his patients mix the cannabis juice (1 part) with carrot juice (10 parts) to counteract the bitterness. Information I found online explained that any cannabis plant has the highest CBD at 70-90 days after sowing. After 90 days they rapidly produce more THC. He recommends drinking the juice three times a day.

Unfortunately for most of us, growing 40 plants on constant light cycles so you can provide yourself with enough fresh leaves for juicing will never be a viable option but it’s very interesting to see where this movement could go and what new cannabis products could come of it. Once labs can analyze the medicine, the cultivators can begin to use selective breeding techniques to develop strains that have a higher or more balanced CBD to THC ratio and then identify them as such.

Dr. William Courtney is pioneering the raw cannabis concept and for his own validation he explains, he only need look to his once seriously ill girlfriend who consumes the fresh juice daily and has made a recovery from several debilitating illness’ which are chronicled in her“New Settlement“ interview found on Dr. Courtney’s website, Leaves of Grass. His site includes links to several articles and studies regarding cannabinoid research and interviews with him on the topic so check it out for more information.

I’ve also been advised by a patient that is planning to grow medicine for fresh juicing, that a very CBD high strain was tested at Spannabis this year called “Cannatonic” and seeds may be available online.

http://berkeleypatientscare.com/2010/09/18/juicing-raw-cannabis-for-greater-health/

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Law Enforcement Community Members Urge Obama, Holder To Respect State Marijuana Legalization Laws

Two weeks ago, Washington and Colorado passed historically unprecedented measures legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for adults dealing a major blow to the decades-long drug war.

Since the marijuana measures passed, the federal government has remained mostly silent on the issue, but members of law enforcement are asking President Barack Obama as well as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to respect these states' new marijuana legalization laws.

Niell Franklin, director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and a former narcotics police officer, delivered a letter to Holder's office at the Department of Justice Tuesday morning urging him not interfere with voters in Colorado and Washington who wish to have marijuana legalized and regulated.

Read the text of the letter that LEAP's Neill Franklin delivered to Eric Holder this morning, below:

Dear Mr. Attorney General and Our Colleagues in the Department of Justice,

As fellow law enforcement and criminal justice professionals we respectfully call upon you to respect and abide by the democratically enacted laws to regulate marijuana in Colorado and Washington. This is not a challenge to you, but an invitation – an invitation to help return our profession to the principles that made us enter law enforcement in the first place.

We went into law enforcement, despite its long hours and constant frustrations, because we wanted to serve our communities. We wanted to save people, to protect them, and there are few more selfless and noble callings on this earth. But the second we overthrow the will of the people, we fail to live up to the promise of that calling.

The great American political writings upon which this country was founded were based in John Locke’s concept of the social contract, which recognizes that the authority of police, and of all government, is derived from the people. And the people have spoken. To disregard the fact is to undermine the legitimacy of the ideas for which our forefathers fought and died.

This is not merely an academic argument. August Vollmer, father of professional policing and primary author of the Wickersham Commission report that served to bring an end to the prohibition of alcohol, opposed the enforcement of drug laws, saying that they "engender disrespect both for law and for the agents of law enforcement." His words ring as true today as they did in 1929. After 40 years of the drug war, people no longer look upon law enforcement as heroes but as people to be feared. This is particularly true in poor neighborhoods and in those of people of color, and it impacts our ability to fight real crime.

Read the full letter and see the 73 law enforcement community members that signed off on it, here.

On Tuesday afternoon, LEAP held a teleconference call announcing the delivery of the letter and Frankin was joined by former Seattle chief of police Norm Stamper, 36-year veteran former Denver police lieutenant Tony Ryan, former police lieutenant commander Diane Goldstein & California NAACP President Alice Huffman.

"This is the perfect opportunity for this administration, under the leadership of President Obama, to do the right thing," Franklin said on Tuesday's teleconference call. "In Washington State and in Colorado, voters have gone to the polls and overwhelmingly sent a message that it's time for a new drug policy for marijuana in their state. It's a perfect opportunity for the president to respect democracy and the demonstration of it."

Members of state and federal government are also keeping the pressure on Obama and Holder to respect states like Colorado and Washington that have passed marijuana legalization measures.

Last week, Colorado Reps Jared Polis and Diana DeGette introduced the "Respect States' and Citizens' Rights Act" that would exempt states from the federal laws banning the sale, possession and use of small amounts of marijuana by adults, The Colorado Independent reported.

Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) alo announced last week that they are urging President Barack Obama to "respect the wishes of voters in Colorado and Washington" who voted to legalize marijuana.

"We have sponsored legislation at the federal level to remove criminal penalties for the use of marijuana because of our belief in individual freedom," Frank and Paul wrote in a letter to Obama. "We recognize that this has not yet become national policy, but we believe there are many strong reasons for your administration to allow the states of Colorado and Washington to set the policies they believe appropriate in this regard, without the federal government overriding the choices made by the voters of these states."

Both Frank and Paul are ardent supporters of marijuana legalization. In 2011, the two pushed legislation to end the federal ban on marijuana and let the states decide on legalization.

Just days after Frank and Paul's letter to the White House, 18 members of Congress signed a letter to Eric Holder and and Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart requesting that the federal government respect state laws regarding marijuana allowing states be permitted to function as "laboratories of democracy." Read Congress' full letter to Holder here.

When asked about Holder's expected reaction to the letter, Franklin said during Tuesday's teleconference call, "I think that not only what they are hearing from us, but from members of Congress and other citizens, as well as looking at the numbers and the trends -- I think they probably realize it was a good decision not to advocate for the continuation of prohibition in Colorado and Washington. Personally, I'm an optimist regarding all of this and I see it as a good sign that they didn't go into Colorado and Washington."

The federal government's enforcement intent on marijuana law remains unclear, now two weeks since Amendment 64 passed in Colorado and Initiative 502 passed in Washington. Holder, who was a vocal opponent of California's legalization initiative in 2010 saying he would "vigorously enforce" federal marijuana prohibition, remained silent on the issue during the election cycle and has continued to remain silent now that the measures have passed.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who has been a vocal opponent of Amendment 64 but has said that he intends to respect the wishes of the voters, did have a recent phone call with Holder to discuss Colorado's legalizing of marijuana and how the feds might respond, but the results of that call gave no clue as to whether or not the Department of Justice will sue to block the marijuana measures in Colorado and Washington, according to The Associated Press.

If the Obama administration does decide to crackdown on legalized marijuana in Colorado -- where more people voted for marijuana legalization than for the president's reelection -- the administration could face some serious political fallout with much of the same population of the Centennial State that handed him Colorado on election night.

However many proponents of legalization say they don't foresee federal agents interfering in states that have legalized cannabis, NBC News reported, citing the federal government's silence on the issue this election cycle.

There is also the July report from GQ which stated that President Obama wants to "pivot" on the war on drugs during his second term. Marc Ambinder writes:

Don't expect miracles. There is very little the president can do by himself. And pot-smokers shouldn't expect the president to come out in favor of legalizing marijuana. But from his days as a state senator in Illinois, Obama has considered the Drug War to be a failure, a conflict that has exacerbated the problem of drug abuse, devastated entire communities, changed policing practices for the worse, and has led to a generation of young children, disproportionately black and minority, to grow up in dislocated homes, or in none at all.

Optimism about a second-term Obama administration that turns its stance around on marijuana might be difficult for some pot business owners who have seen the DOJ aggressively crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries in states like California and Colorado where hundreds of pot shops have been shuttered just since the beginning of 2012.

"During his first term, President Obama really disappointed those of us who hoped he might follow through on his campaign pledges to respect state medical marijuana laws," said Franklin, in a statement about the letter delivered to Holder on Tuesday. "Still, I'm hopeful that in his second term he'll realize the political opportunity that exists to do the right thing."

During his closing remarks on Tuesday's call, Franklin outlined the process that President Obama could go through: "It's a very simple process here for the administration and President Obama," Franklin began. "Tomorrow, or maybe later today, he can take his ink pen and sign an executive order for the DEA to remove marijuana from Schedule I, place it into a three or four category, and allow the states and the voters to do what they feel is best for their communities."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/20/cops-obama-holder-respect-marijuana-legalization_n_2165852.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

Monday, November 12, 2012

DARE changes stance on cannabis

The country's "DARE" program - this author knows it well, having received the teachings of Drug Abuse Resistance Education in the early 90s - is set to scrap its marijuana plank, reports the aptly named Toke of the Town.

The program, long scrutinized by weed legalizers but defended by cops, will be dropping discussion of marijuana from its go-to list of drugs to avoid, which includes unarguably more dangerous substances like heroin and methamphetamine. A police officer involved with the program's outreach in Washington state confirmed that the parent organization overseeing DARE's local efforts has "deleted" pot from its agenda.

"The new curriculum starts as of December," said Kennewick, Washington police officer Mike Meyer. "It does not bring up the subject of marijuana at all."

Sunday, November 11, 2012

220 marijuana cases dismissed in King, Pierce counties

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/politicsnorthwest/2012/11/09/175-marijuana-prosecutions-in-king-county-dismissed-because-of-initiative-502/

UPDATE 3:03 p.m. King and Pierce County prosecutors are dismissing more than 220 misdemeanor marijuana cases in response to Tuesday’s vote to decriminalize small amounts of pot.

In King County, 175 cases are being dismissed involving people 21 and older and possession of one ounce or less. I-502 makes one ounce of marijuana legal on Dec. 6, but King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg decided to apply I-502 retroactively.

“Although the effective date of I-502 is not until December 6, there is no point in continuing to seek criminal penalties for conduct that will be legal next month,” Satterberg said in a statement.

The dismissed cases involved arrests in unincorporated King County, as well as the state highways and the University of Washington. About 40 of the cases had already been filed in court as criminal charges; those charges will be dismissed. Another 135 cases were pending charging decisions and will simply be returned to the arresting police agency.

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said he was dismissing “about four dozen” pending cases where misdemeanor marijuana was the only offense. He said his staff was continuing to prosecute other cases where possession was secondary to a more serious charge, such as drunken driving.

“The people have spoken through this initiative,” said Lindquist. “And as a practical matter, I don’t think you could sell a simple marijuana case to a jury after this initiative passed.”

In an interview, Satterberg said his office would continue to prosecute marijuana possession above one ounce, allowing for “a buffer for those whose scales are less than accurate.” His office also charges felony possession — for people with more than 40 grams — although he said his staff routinely allows those defendants to plead down to a misdemeanor.

“I think when the people voted to change the policy, they weren’t focused on when the effective date of the new policy would be. They spoke loudly and clearly that we should not treat small amounts of marijuana as an offense,” he said. I-502 campaign manager Alison Holcomb said she was “incredibly moved” by Satterberg’s announcement, which she said showed “incredible courage.”

The decision supports a prime argument I-502 made during the campaign. A study by a group of academics found there had been 241,000 misdemeanor marijuana possession cases in Washington over the past 25 years, 67,000 of them in the past five years. “If 502 hadn’t passed, we’d see the same amount of marijuana possession cases every year,” she said. “What makes a difference is changing the law.” Satterberg is the first prosecutor to change charging policy after I-502, but other prosecutors are also considering these cases. Tom McBride of the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys said his office “just starting to work through those issues.”

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has refused to prosecute misdemeanor possession cases since he took office.

Earlier this week, the chief criminal deputy prosecutor in Spokane County, Jack Driscoll, appeared to take a more conservative position. He told the Spokesman-Review that, even after Dec. 6, the only marijuana which was legal to possess was pot sold in the state-licensed stores called for in I-502. Those stores won’t be created for at least a year.

“The only thing that is legal is selling marijuana through those stores,” Driscoll said. “That will be regulated by the state. You can’t under this initiative have an ounce of marijuana that doesn’t come from a state-issued provider. You still can’t have black-market marijuana.”

Holcomb disputed that interpretation. So did Satterberg, who called it a “very narrow reading” of the initiative. “I don’t know how you trace where (the marijuana) comes from,” he said.

Satterberg said he expected federal authorities to seek an injunction to block implementation of I-502′s state licensing scheme for marijuana retailers and growers. “I think it’s the kind of issue the U.S. Supreme Court will have a final word on,” said Satterberg, calling it an “an important state’s rights issue.” But he does not expect a federal lawsuit to target the types of cases he is dismissing, noting that states already have widely divergent penalties for marijuana possession.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Legalize 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Federal Appeals Court Hears Case On Medical Value Of Marijuana

By Jonathan Bair, Americans for Safe Access


This morning, the federal Appeals Court for the DC Circuit heard an appeal in the case called Americans for Safe Access v Drug Enforcement Administration. The case is an appeal of the DEA’s rejection of a petition filed in 2002 seeking to change the placement of marijuana as a Schedule I drug per the Controlled Substances Act. Based on the scientific evidence, ASA and our fellow plaintiffs feel that it is simply untrue that cannabis is a drug with a “high potential for abuse” and “without accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” The hearing today offered a glimpse at the Court’s approach to this topic.

In front of a packed courtroom in Washington, the three-judge panel questioned ASA’s Chief Counsel Joe Elford and a federal lawyer about the merits of the scientific case, and the crucial legal issue of “standing.” Standing is a legal concept that restricts the right to sue to injured parties – people who are directly hurt by what they are fighting, and can get relief from a legal judgement. The issue of standing has been the reason why two prior appeals of the DEA’s classification of marijuana were rejected. In the past, patients have not been part of lawsuits against the Controlled Substances Act. The three judges were Merrick Garland, Karen Henderson, and Harry Edwards.

ASA’s Chief Counsel Joe Elford opened his appeal by arguing that the federal “Department of Health and Human Services plays a game of gotcha” by tightly controlling research access to cannabis and then claiming that there is not enough compelling research to justify reconsidering it as Schedule I. The Drug Enforcement Administration erred by determing that cannabis has a high potential for abuse when its findings determine its abuse and harm potential is less than other substances in less-controlled schedules, such as cocaine.

Elford opened his arguments with the issue of standing. He pointed to the affidavit of plaintiff Michael Krawitz, a veteran denied access to Veterans Administration services because of his medically necessary use of marijuana. The Veterans Administrastion’s harmful policy is based on marijuana’s status as a Schedule I substance. He also spoke of the many members of Americans for Safe Access, who are fearful of the consequences of cultivating their own cannabis for their medical needs, and that a medical necessity defense in court could be allowed if marijuana were not in Schedule I.

Elford then turned to the issue of the merits of the DEA’s position on marijuana’s medical value, to prove their position was “arbitrary and capricious” and therefore impermissible. The contention that there is not a complete consensus was argued to be an unreasonable interpretation of the regulatory standard, and that many of HHS’s standards are inapplicable to an organic substance. Significantly, the lack of access to marijuana for medical research is a consequence of the scheduling, yet the lack of suitable research is cited by the DEA as a reason for maintaining the schedule. Despite this lack of research access, ASA cited a growing body of high-quality scientific and medical research into the benefits of marijuana.

Judge Garland asked Elford if he was arguing that marijuana in fact meets HHS’s standard for studies. ASA’s counsel cited over 200 studies and argued that a circular standard is impossible to meet. He also said that, given that the schedule is relative, the DEA is ignoring even its own studies showing that marijuana has merely a “mild” potential for abuse.

Joe Elford concluded by arguing that Schedule I was an inappropriate classification of marijuana and it caused harm to patients and prevented meaningful medical research. Rescheduling marijuana would allow for a reasonable policy solution for suffering patients and uphold the intent of the Controlled Substances Act.

Judge Edwards asked about the standing of Mr. Krawitz, and his access to medical marijuana. The judges asked about access in medical states and noted that marijuana would not be legal just because it were rescheduled.

Federal counsel Lena Watkins then presented her position against appealing the DEA’s decision to continue cannabis in Schedule I. She noted that state legislatures or popular votes do not determine accepted medical use. She said that research is inadequate and has not progressed, and argued that the government does provide access for research. Turning to the abuse potential, Watkins said, “marijuana is the most widely abused drug in America,” and dependency is a factor in making that assessment.

The judges questioned the level of access provided for research, and Watkins said that fifteen studies of a specific federal “quality” metric have been allowed. Pressed to explain why these studies haven’t persuaded the DEA that marijuana has medical benefits, she said, “we don’t have the final results yet.” To many in the audience, the circular nature of the government’s position on the science of marijuana was clear. The judges then invited Elford to give a rebuttal.
Focusing on rebutting the government’s claims about research, Elford argued that there has been adequate study and even more since this case was filed in 2002, and noted that he would like to admit additional evidence to the case. Summarizing by turning the government’s “no substantial evidence” argument on its head, Elford said that both sides agree more research needs to be done and that research can only happen if marijuana is released from Schedule I. Requiring the DEA to make scientific determinations on a new schedule would lead to better policy and more relief for suffering patients.

The patients spoke out at a well-attended press conference after the hearing, and Americans for Safe Access is proud to have given patients a day in court. Many observers felt the judges were willing to consider the argument of Michael Krawitz’s direct harm from the Controlled Substances Act, and this issue of “standing” has been the Achilles heel of past lawsuits against Schedule I. However, Judge Garland asked at one point, “Don’t we have to defer to the agency? We’re not scientists. They are.”

We’ll find out whether the judges felt the DEA’s science is adequate, or if patients can sue for a medical necessity defense against harsh marijuana laws, when the judges rule. We don’t expect it for a few months. This opportunity is thanks to the brave plaintiffs who took on the federal government on behalf of many others.

Jonathan Bair is ASA’s Social Media Director. Recordings of any kind were not allowed in the courtroom.
Court To Review Marijuana's Medical Benefits
by Lucia Graves, Huffington Post
October 12th, 2012


It started with a coalition of disgruntled Americans, then a handful of governors took up the cause last year, and now -- for the first time in nearly 20 years -- a federal court will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the classification of cannabis as a dangerous drug without medical benefits.

In the case, Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration, the court will be presented with scientific evidence regarding the medicinal effects of marijuana, and is expected to rule on whether or not the Drug Enforcement Administration acted appropriately in denying a petition to reclassify cannabis, filed by a collection of public interest organizations back in 2002.

"Medical marijuana patients are finally getting their day in court," Joe Elford, chief counsel with ASA, said in a recent statement. "This is a rare opportunity for patients to confront politically motivated decision-making with scientific evidence of marijuana's medical efficacy."

Under federal law, a schedule I prohibited substance is defined as having “a high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use in treatment.” Heroine and LSD are classified alongside marijuana as schedule I, while cocaine, opium and methamphetamine are classified as schedule II, meaning they have "some accepted medical use."

Other groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians, support medical access to the drug or its reclassification, while the California Medical Association has called for full legalization.

Donald Abrams, chief of hematology-oncology at San Francisco General Hospital, recently described the effectiveness of medical marijuana in the treatment regimens of cancer and HIV/AIDS patients. "I see patients who have loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting from their chemotherapy, pain on and off of opiates, anxiety, depression, and insomnia," he said in a press briefing last week, adding that these are just some of the conditions that can be alleviated by the use of medical marijuana.

In its rejection of the ASA’s rescheduling petition in 2011, the DEA cited a 4-year-old Department of Health and Human Services paper that found no consensus on medical uses for marijuana, but it did not take into account studies showing the medical benefits of marijuana on the grounds the studies did not meet the standard of double-blind FDA approval trials.

"[T]here are no adequate and well-controlled studies proving (marijuana's) efficacy; the drug is not accepted by qualified experts..." wrote DEA administrator Michele Leonhart in a July 8, 2011 letter. "At this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy."

A similar petition calling for marijuana to be reclassified as a schedule II drug was filed with the DEA in 1972, and in 1988, following a federal hearing, Administrative Law Judge Francis Young ruled that marijuana should indeed be reclassified. But that verdict was rejected by then-DEA administrator John Lawn and in 1994, his rejection was upheld by the D.C. Court of Appeals.

The current case will be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Oct.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just say no to Mitt Romney

He and his closed views would start a whole new war on personal freedoms and bump up the failed war on drugs ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY6UTnS6Z-A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpXxPsiz1uw

Just say no to Mitt Romney

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Closure of More Permitted SF Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Marked by Funeral Procession and Press Conference

San Francisco, CA -- As two city-permitted dispensaries are shut down today after 9 years of service to thousands of medical marijuana patients, a coalition calling itself San Francisco United for Safe Access will stage a funeral procession with somber marching band, and a press conference tomorrow to bring attention to the federal government's ongoing attack on medical marijuana. Today's closures are due to threats of criminal prosecution and asset forfeiture made by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag against the dispensaries' landlords unless they promptly evicted their tenants. Similar threats have been made against 9 dispensaries in San Francisco, which have all shut down. Advocates argue these closures are needlessly driving patients into the illicit market.

What: Funeral procession led by The Brass Mafia Marching Band. “Mourners” will be dressed in white and black and are expect to be joined by multiple elected officials.
Where: Patient advocates bearing coffins will march from Haight & Steiner to press conference at 450 Golden Gate, Federal Building and offices of U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag
When: Wednesday, August 1st - Funeral procession starts at 4pm; Press conference starts at 5pm

Both dispensaries being forced to shut down today -- HopeNet and Vapor Room -- had been in operation since 2003 and 2004 respectively, and were fully permitted by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Tenants in HopeNet's neighborhood are so concerned about the loss of security HopeNet provided that they have begun holding meetings to decide a course of action. With cameras monitoring 100 feet in every direction and security personnel, nearby tenants noted that HopeNet helped their businesses by increasing the safety of the neighborhood. The local Starbucks has said that it is anticipating a 10 percent drop in business with the loss of HopeNet.

U.S. Attorney Haag and Justice Department actions stem from a campaign being waged against medical marijuana in California and other states that have passed such laws. Early last year, U.S. Attorneys in at least 10 medical marijuana states began threatening not only patients and their providers, but also local and state officials attempting to pass their own public health laws. In October, all four U.S. Attorneys in California publicly announced an escalated attack in a unique press conference denouncing medical marijuana businesses. Since then, Haag and her Justice Department partners have sent more than 300 threatening letters to landlords across the state, resulting in the closure of more than 400 dispensaries, most of which were in full compliance with state law.

"U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag must be held accountable for her actions, which are completely inconsistent with Attorney General Holder's recent statements to Congress on medical marijuana," said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, the country's leading medical marijuana advocacy group and a coalition member of San Francisco United for Safe Access. "The Justice Department's attempts to undermine the implementation of state law and to deny thousands of patients a safe and legal means to obtain their medication must be stopped."

The federal attacks on dispensaries in the Bay Area have not gone without significant official opposition. Several San Francisco supervisors publicly decried the closures and federal actions, including Mayor Ed Lee, who was joined by state legislators and Betty Yee of the Board of Equalization, which collects more than $100 million annually from California dispensaries. Even the Democratic Party Committees of San Francisco and Alameda County have come out against the federal actions of Haag and other U.S. Attorneys.

http://americansforsafeaccess.org/closure-of-more-permitted-sf-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-marked-by-funeral-procession-and-press-conference

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Harborside Health Center Targeted

http://www.harborsidehealthcenter.com/

KTVU-AP-OAKLAND, Calif.
An Oakland medical marijuana dispensary that has been billed as the largest pot shop on the planet has been targeted for closure by federal prosecutors in Northern California, suggesting that a crackdown on the state's medical marijuana industry remains well under way.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag has threatened to seize the Oakland property where Harborside Health Center has operated since 2006, as well as its sister shop in San Jose, executive director and co-founder Steve DeAngelo said Wednesday. His employees found court papers announcing asset forfeiture proceedings against Harborside's landlords taped to the doors at the two locations on Tuesday.

Although medical marijuana is legal in California, a federal court complaint that Haag's office filed Sunday says the dispensaries are violating federal law by selling marijuana. It cites a federal law that "makes it unlawful to rent, lease, profit from or make available for use, with or without compensation, a place for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, storing, distributing or using a controlled substance, to wit, marijuana," as justification for going after the landlords.

The court action represents an escalation in a months-long, statewide crackdown on medical marijuana by Haag, who said last year that she would try to shut dispensaries that were within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and playgrounds, which Harborside isn't.

Haag issued a statement Wednesday, saying that while taking action against pot shops operating near children had been her first priority, "marijuana superstores such as Harborside" are now on her radar, as well.

"The larger the operation, the greater the likelihood that there will be abuse of the state's medical marijuana laws, and marijuana in the hands of individuals who do not have a demonstrated medical need," she said.

DeAngelo, who was the subject of a Discovery Channel reality TV show called "Weed Wars" last year, vowed to fight the Department of Justice's attempt to put him out of business. Harborside serves about 100,000 medical marijuana users a year and pays $3 million in federal, state and local taxes annually.

"Harborside has nothing to hide or be ashamed of. We will contest the DOJ action openly and in public, and through all legal means at our disposal. We look forward to our day in court, and are confident that justice is on our side" DeAngelo said.

City officials in Oakland, which has reaped about $1 million a year in tax revenue from Harborside, are planning to join DeAngelo on Wednesday at a news conference decrying Haag's action. Earlier this year, federal prosecutors and the Internal Revenue Service raided Oaksterdam University, a medical marijuana trade school in Oakland, and forced its founder to step aside.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Government-sponsored study destroys DEA’s classification of marijuana

Government-sponsored study destroys DEA’s classification of marijuana

A government-sponsored study published recently in The Open Neurology Journal concludes that marijuana provides much-needed relief to some chronic pain sufferers and that more clinical trials are desperately needed, utterly destroying the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) classification of the drug as having no medical uses.

While numerous prior studies have shown marijuana’s usefulness for a host of medical conditions, none have ever gone directly at the DEA’s placement of marijuana atop the schedule of controlled substances. This study, sponsored by the State of California and conducted at the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, does precisely that, driving a stake into the heart of America’s continued war on marijuana users by calling the Schedule I placement simply “not accurate” and “not tenable.”

Reacting to the study, Paul Armentano, director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), told Raw Story that the study clearly proves U.S. drug policy “is neither based upon nor guided by science.”

“In fact, it is hostile to science,” he said. “And despite the Obama Administration’s well publicized 2009 memo stating, ‘Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration,’ there is little to no evidence indicating that the federal government’s ‘See no evil; hear no evil’ approach to cannabis policy is not changing any time soon.”

Schedule I is supposedly reserved for the most inebriating substances that the DEA believes have no medical value, including LSD, ecstasy, peyote and heroin.* As the DEA describes it: “Drugs listed in schedule I have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and, therefore, may not be prescribed, administered, or dispensed for medical use. In contrast, drugs listed in schedules II-V have some accepted medical use and may be prescribed, administered, or dispensed for medical use.”

And that’s the problem, the study’s authors portend.

“The classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug as well as the continuing controversy as to whether or not cannabis is of medical value are obstacles to medical progress in this area,” they wrote. “Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking. It is true cannabis has some abuse potential, but its profile more closely resembles drugs in Schedule III (where codeine and dronabinol are listed). The continuing conflict between scientific evidence and political ideology will hopefully be reconciled in a judicious manner.”

They add that their evidence showed marijuana reliably reduced chronic neuropathic pain and muscle spasticity due to multiple sclerosis versus trials where a placebo was used. They also specifically tested marijuana’s effects when smoked, calling the delivery method “rapid and efficient” but noting that vaporization is a better choice because it produces less carbon monoxide.

The study adds that, like all medicines, there are negative side effects associated with marijuana, such as dizziness, fatigue, lightheadedness, muscle weakness and pain and heart palpitations — all of which can pose a risk in some chronic pain patients with co-occurring conditions like cardiovascular disease or substance abuse disorders. However, they call these side effects “dose-related” and “of mild to moderate severity,” adding that they “appear to decline over time, and are reported less frequently in experienced than in naïve users.” Researchers also noted that “fatal overdose with cannabis alone has not been reported.”

Authors additionally found that marijuana does cause withdrawal symptoms within 12 hours of use, noting the symptoms are mild in experienced users and typically abate within 72 hours. They added that ingesting marijuana “can acutely impair skills required to drive motor vehicles,” but noted that the data on marijuana and traffic accidents is “inconclusive.”

Ultimately, they concluded that more clinical trials are needed to determine which individual components of the marijuana plant are causing the medicinal effects, and whether the plant can be used to treat a host of other ailments.

“Medical marijuana is mostly used for chronic pain, and has enabled countless patients to either reduce or eliminate their pharmaceutical drug regimen,” Kris Hermes, a spokesman for Americans for Safe Access (ASA), one of the nation’s leading medical marijuana advocacy groups, told Raw Story. “However, it can also be used for: arthritis, nausea or as an appetite stimulant for people living with HIV/AIDS or cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, and movement disorders (not just for people with multiple sclerosis). That is only a sampling of health conditions for which cannabis has been found helpful in alleviating symptoms. Other health conditions include: [post-traumatic stress disorder], [attention deficit disorder], [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] and other mental health conditions, glaucoma, and migraines.”

In hopes of forcing recognition of marijuana’s medical value, ASA sued the federal government last year after a long-running appeal for the reclassification of marijuana was shot down nearly a decade after it was filed. That case should go before the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit later this year.

“The federal government’s strategy has been delay, delay, delay,” ASA chief counsel Joe Elford said in an advisory. “It is far past time for the government to answer our rescheduling petition, but unfortunately we’ve been forced to go to court in order to get resolution.”

“Reform advocates can and should use this study to show their congressional representatives that our country’s leading medical marijuana researchers agree that it should be reclassified,” Hermes added. “…This certainly should also have a bearing on the D.C. Circuit’s deliberations in the appeal of the rescheduling petition denial.”

Medical marijuana is currently legal in just 17 states and Washington, D.C. —— *Clarification: Scientific studies have shown LSD, ecstasy, peyote and heroin also have some limited medical value, which the DEA has refused to recognize.