Oregon: 15th Annual Global Cannabis March in Portland on May 3rd, Thousands Expected to Rally to End Marijuana ProhibitionSubmitted by restore on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 18:53
Cannabis proponents agree; the war on the cannabis plant is a farce, the drug war is taking its last gasp. No political movement in America has made it this far without eventually winning, and it's just a matter of time before marijuana prohibition crumbles.
By Michael Bachara, Oregon NORML/CRRH
Portland, Oregon – On Saturday, May 3, 2014, nearly three hundred cities worldwide, including Portland, will participate in the fifteenth annual Global Cannabis March on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Portland participants will gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square to march at high noon through downtown Portland, accompanied by a police escort. Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) and Oregon NORML are sponsors of this event.
Portland participants will gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square to march at high noon through downtown Portland, accompanied by a police escort. Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) and Oregon NORML are sponsors of this event.
Global: Talking About Drugs at the United Nations - UN General Assembly Special Session On Drugs In 2016Submitted by steveelliott on Mon, 03/24/2014 - 16:07
Featured Speakers Include Former President of Switzerland, Ruth Dreifuss, and Drug Czar of the Czech Republic, Jindrich Voboril
Never before have so many governments voiced displeasure with the international drug control regime. Never before, to this degree, have citizens put drug law reform on the agenda and passed regulatory proposals via referenda or by popular campaigns. For the first time, there is significant dissent at the local, national, and international levels.
As national and local governments around the world pursue alternative drug policies, there is unprecedented momentum for reform of the international system. Governments will hold a review of the drug control system in 2016 at the UN General Assembly. This international summit, which is referred to as the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on drugs (UNGASS 2016), is an extraordinary opportunity to consider what works in drug policy.
On March 25, political leaders who initiated alternative approaches to drugs in their own countries will discuss their experiences and how they could inform international discussions. The national policies to be discussed include:
By Steve Elliott
Colorado marijuana activist Mason Tvert, unhappy that the Governor's Mansion recently installed a draft beer system, put on his toga Friday afternoon and held a protest "toga party" outside Gov. John Hickenlooper's official residence.
The draft beer system, which was finished just in time for a private beer party at the mansion Friday night, was paid for by private donors, reports Ryan Parker at The Denver Post. The system has three taps that feature rotating Colorado-made beers.
Tvert, wearing a sheet, appeared behind a podium with a "Colorado Governor's Mansion" sign with "Governor's Mansion" crossed out and replaced with "Delta House," a reference to the 1970s fraternity party movie Animal House. He called the new beer system "home-brewed hypocrisy."
Tvert, the director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, said he showed up in a toga because Gov. Hickenlooper is "turning the governor's mansion into a fraternity house."
"This is just another example of the pro-alcohol, anti-marijuana culture," said a toga-clad Tvert.
While others attended the protest, Tvert was the only one wearing a toga.
Gov. Hickenlooper co-founded a downtown pub in the late 1980s, and frequently mentions his fondness for Colorado beers.
"He should be ashamed," Tvert said. "It's a hypocritical message."
Gov. Hickenlooper's spokesman, Eric Brown, took a light-hearted view of the protest.
Event will feature special screening of Film Breaking the Taboo
Film Narrated by Morgan Freeman, Features Interviews with Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter Former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Sweden, Victims of Drug War, Leading Experts and Advocates
Sundog Pictures will be holding a special screening of its groundbreaking documentary Breaking the Taboo, about the failed War On Drugs, in San Francisco. The screening will be held at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, March 25 at the New People Cinema, 1746 Post Street, San Francisco.
The special screening will be followed by a panel discussion from 6:15 until 7 pm about opportunities to help people convicted of drug offenses get back on the right path and reduce the burden that drug convictions place on American prison systems. The discussion will feature Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, Laura Thomas of the Drug Policy Alliance and Dorsey Nunn, executive director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.
By Steve Elliott
Inhaling whole-plant marijuana provides relief from the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, according to observational trial data published in the March/April 2014 issue of the scientific journal Clinical Neuropharmacology.
Scientists at Tel Aviv University's Department of Neurology looked at Parkinson's symptoms in 22 patients at baseline, and again 30 minutes after inhaling cannabis, reports NORML.
The researchers reported that inhaled marijuana resulted in "significant improvement after treatment in tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia (slowness of movement). There was also significant improvement of sleep and pain scores," the Israeli researchers noted. "No significant adverse effects of the drug were observed."
"[T]his observational study is the first to report an amelioration of both motor and non-motor symptoms in patients with PD treated with cannabis," the researchers reported. "The study opens new venues for treatment strategies in PD especially in patients refractory to current medications."
Israel has allowed the licensed production, distribution and medical use of cannabis since 2011.
The Oregon Health Authority has issued licenses to the first eight medical marijuana dispensaries; the establishments were finally legalized by the Legislature last year after years of existing in a gray area of the law.
“For the first time, a legal and regulatory structure is in place to govern the operation of dispensaries,” said dispensary program supervisor Tom Burns, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian.“The registration process is the first to ensuring safe access to medical marijuana for patients and protecting the safety of our communities.”
The names and locations of the eight licensed dispensaries are private under the law passed last year. However, the Oregon Health Authority gave applicants the option of allowing their shop names and locations to be released; seven of the eight licensed shops allowed that information to be released.
Getting a licensed were Pure Green in Northeast Portland, located on the site of one of the state's first post-Prohibition liquor stores; Oregon's Finest, 1327 NW Kearney St., Portland; NW Green Oasis, 1035 SE Tacoma St., Portland; Releaf Center, 2372 N. 1st St., Suite B, Hermiston; Cherry City Compassion, 202 5 25th St. SE, Salem; Dr. Jolly's, 415 SE 3rd St, Bend; and Emerald City Medical, 1474 W 6th Ave., Eugene.
By Steve Elliott
Several cities in South Florida are planning for the day when the Sunshine State legalizes marijuana for medicinal use.
The ballot initiative, Amendment 2, won't go before voters until November, but Pembroke Park recently became among the first in the state to consider regulating grow houses, reports Lisa J. Hurlash at the Sun Sentinel.
"There is a problem that every city is going to have to solve," said Town Manager Bob Levy. "It's better to be ahead of the game than lagging behind."
While some cities are waiting for the outcome of the state referendum in November, Lauderhill, Pembroke Park and Sunrise have all recently begun to plan for legal medical marijuana.
Lauderhill and Sunrise want to be proactive on pot.
Lauderhill City Hall staff members are looking into how the law "will affect health care costs and internal policies," according to city spokesperson Leslie Johnson. "We need to start looking at how it will affect the workplace," she said. "It's so new we don't really know what's coming."
The city of Sunrise is collecting information so it can deal with any marijuana-related issues that may arise. "We have been looking at the effects of potential medical marijuana legislation on our employees and operations, and on the services we provide," said spokeswoman Christine Pfeffer.
By Steve Elliott
A bill which would legalize the use of marijuana-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil to treat seizures associated with severe forms of childhood epilepsy, unanimously passed a key committee in the Kentucky Legislature on Wednesday.
Senate Bill 124, which passed the Kentucky Senate last week, would allow children with severe seizures to be treated with CBD oil, a non-psychoactive marijuana extract, reports Mollie Reilly at The Huffington Post. Under the language of the measure, patients would be treated as part of FDA trials (which of course could introduce long bureaucratic delays into the process) or under the recommendation of state research hospitals.
The measure cleared the Kentucky House Judiciary Committee on a unanimous vote during Wednesday's hearing.
Rita Wooton, who said her four-year-old son Eli suffers from up to 40 seizures a day, was moved to tears by the bill's advancement. "When I started this roller coaster ride two months ago, I never thought this would be feasible for any of us," Wooton said, reports Theo Keiteh at WAVE. "We're just really super excited that this is coming here -- soon."
The bill now goes to the full House, where Democratic Speaker Greg Stumbo said it should have easy sailing.
Since the Oregon Legislature's failure to refer the ballot a comprehensive marijuana policy, we've seen some unfocused reporting in the media. Initiative Petitions 21 and 22, supporters pointed out, are not just about the adult possession of marijuana but the failure of prohibition and the negative impacts that unnecessary enforcement and imprisonment has had on Oregon citizens, especially the youth and minority communities.
"Prohibition has never worked," chief petitioner Paul Stanford said last week, speaking with KPAM (AM 860) on the Mark and Dave Show. "This isn't about a right to possess or smoke marijuana, this is about the wrongs of criminalizing it and putting people in jail for it," Stanford said.
"We have a chance to represent the people of Oregon in their overwhelming support of ending marijuana prohibition," said Campaign Manager Jersey Deutsch, speaking from CRRH headquarters in Portland. "Our campaign has been actively engaging the public with our street canvass, and from countless conversations with both supporters and skeptics of marijuana legalization, the message is clear: prohibition hasn't worked in the United States, and it hasn't worked in Oregon."
By Steve Elliott
You have to wonder about the priorities of the Georgia Legislature. They found time this session to pass a law mandating drug testing for welfare recipients. They even passed a law allowing guns in churches and bars. But they didn't find time to pass a law which would have helped children fight seizures with marijuana-derived CBD oil.
The effort to bring relief to Georgia children died at midnight on Thursday despite votes favoring the move in both houses, reports 13 WMAZ.
On the last day of the legislative session, the Senate unanimously approved, 54-0, House Bill 885 legalizing cannabidiol oil for medicinal uses, but added provisions requiring insurance coverage for treatment of autism in children.
The bill's main sponsor, Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), said the bill wouldn't pass the House with the autism provision because it's seen as "increasing the cost of health insurance for small businesses."
In a hail mary effort late Thursday night, the House passed yet another bill including medical marijuana and quickly sent it to the Senate. Rep. Peake begged the Senate to pass the bill, saying on Twitter that the bill was on life support.
But state Senator Renee Unterman of Gwinnett County, chairwoman of the Senate Health and Human Services committee -- which added the autism provision -- said she was "insisting" on it, and the Senate leadership closed ranks behind her.
By Steve Elliott
The much-talked-about proposed federally approved study about using marijuana to treat military veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) made headlines when it got a green light from the federal FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services. It even passed the Arizona House of Representatives (the study would be done at the University of Arizona). But one Arizona State Senator, Kimberly Yee, a Republican from Phoenix, has stopped the study in its tracks.
The study, which organizers say is aimed at veterans suffering from PTSD who have not been helped by other treatments, would not be funded with state tax money, but rather through the sale of medical marijuana cards, reports Steve Krafft at Fox 10 News.
Senator Yee, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, the recipient of the bill, had a hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. on Thursday, but Yee said she would not let them consider the study.
Yee is ignoring the testimony of veterans like Ricard Pereyda, who served as a military policeman in Iraq and now suffers from PTSD. He says cannabis helps him cope with the disorder.
"There are a hundred scenarios in my head at any time and using cannabis quiets that; it allows me to go through my day being productive," Pereyda said.
By Steve Elliott
Commissioners in Clark County, Nevada gave a victory to advocates on Wednesday, approving an ordinance to allow medical marijuana dispensaries.
The 4-2 vote is a long-sought milestone for medicinal cannabis proponents, who have long pushed for dispensaries so that patients could have safe access to marijuana, reports Ben Botkin at the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The new change also allows marijuana cultivation and testing in the county.
Before approving the proposal, commissioners tweaked it, eliminating the proposed restriction requiring a 330-foot separation from residential properties. Special permit applications will now give commissioners broader discretion to grant permits if they deem them suitable for the surrounding area.
Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, who as a state legislator drafted the Nevada bill legalizing marijuana back in 2001, said her "no" vote on the ordinance was more of a "protest vote" out of concerns over specific provisions of the ordinance. "I do fundamentally think we should try to do it right from the get-go," she said.
All the commissioners, in a separate vote before approving the overall ordinance, supported lifting the proposed 330-foot separation between dispensaries and residential property. Commissioner Tom Collins wasn't present for the vote.
By Steve Elliott
The Oregon Health Authority on Wednesday issued draft rules to keep marijuana-infused foods and candies away from children.
The rules result from the passage of Senate Bill 1531, a measure which allows municipalities to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, which were finally legalized last year after years of existing in a gray area of the law. The rules are controversial and opposed by many medicinal cannabis patients and advocates, since they ban many sweet marijuana-infused medibles popular with patients, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian.
Dispensaries may not sell marijuana-infused products "manufactured in a form that resembles cake-like products, cookies, candy, or gum, or that otherwise may be attractive to minors because of its shape, color, or taste," the oddly written draft rules state.
Oregon Health Authority Officials drafted the rules (gee, could they have indulged in the treats first?), which according to agency spokeswoman Karynn Fish, will take effect next week. Dispensaries will not be able to legally sell cookies and candies after that point.
Fish said the health authority is accepting public comment on the draft rules. You can email comments to email@example.com .
By Steve Elliott
The Alabama House early Thursday morning passed Carly's Law, which would authorize a study of marijuana-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil for the treatment of childhood seizures, on a unanimous 97-90 vote. CBD oil doesn't get users high, but strong anecdotal evidence indicates it is effective in quelling seizures.
SB 74, named Carly's Law after the three-year-old daughter of Dustin and Amy Chandler, authorizes a study of CBD oil through the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), including the limited use of the oil that advocates are hoping to use from a special strain of marijuana grown in Colorado which has given relief to children suffering from seizures when conventional prescription medications haven't helped, reports Martin J. Reed at Al.com.
UAB physicians would authorize certain patients to receive CBD oil under the study.
"When they got to Carly's Law and the Speaker introduced it, [Rep.] Allen Farley [a proponent of the bill] said he was ready to debate it or answer questions," Dustin Chandler said. "They started chanting, 'Vote, vote, vote!'" he said Farley told him. "He didn't even get one question from the floor."
By Steve Elliott
Oregon gubernatorial candidate Tim Carr said this week he supports the legalization of marijuana, and using the tax proceeds to help the homeless and the poor.
"I don't want that money siphoned off" for state programs because too much would go to paying for public employee pensions, Carr said, reports Harry Esteve at The Oregonian.
Carr, one of six Republicans vying for the nomination to take on incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber in November, is the only GOP candidate from the Portland area.
Carr's chief opponent is State Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point), who is seen as the front-runner in the primary. He has said he thinks Oregon's marijuana laws "should be changed," but he hasn't said how.
"What we have presently with Oregon's medical marijuana cards has failed," Richardson said. But he added that legalizing recreational use "isn't a good idea," either. "We would be wise to wait a year and watch what takes place in Colorado and Washington," he said. "We could learn from their mistakes or their successes."