"There is absolutely nothing wrong with the responsible use of marijuana by adults and it should be of no interest or concern to the government. They have no business knowing whether we smoke or why we smoke." Keith Stroup, NORMLCON 2010
Compiled by Hemp News
1. Global: U.S.-Mexico Drug Summit Fails to Acknowledge Obvious Solution to Violent Drug Cartels
Ending Marijuana Prohibition Would Deal Crucial Blow to Mexican Drug Cartels, Drastically Reduce Border Violence.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Today, high-ranking officials from the United States and Mexico concluded a three-day conference meant to outline ways the two nations could reduce the illicit drug trade-associated violence that continues to plague the U.S.-Mexican border.
Talk of renewed unity within the cannabis legalization movement ignites a sense of family within the community
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent/Oregon NORML Member
The 9th Annual Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards, sponsored by Oregon NORML, included a public Holiday Bazaar featuring unique items from a dozen vendors and held educational programs at the World Famous Cannabis Café located 322 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97216. The Cannabis Cafe is a private club that serves Oregon Medical Marijuana Program registrants, and is not usually open to the public.
United States: Sunil Aggarwal, PhD – Removal of Cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances ActSubmitted by restore on Tue, 12/21/2010 - 06:57
The Pharmaceuticalization of Cannabis: Rescheduling proponents suggest cannabis doesn't meet the Controlled Substances Act's extensive criteria for placement in Schedule I. The U.S. Government clings to the stance that cannabis merit’s Schedule I status.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Sunil Aggarwal, PhD, represents a new generation of scientific-minded doctors, leaving cannabis’ negative propaganda behind and fighting for it as a valuable, medicinal plant. His credentials include the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), Health Professionals for Responsible Drug Scheduling, service on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine and he is a Seattle Hempfest Core Staff Member.
By Anna Diaz, Hemp News Correspondent
Portland, OR - Unique holiday shopping is just one reason to attend the ninth annual Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards (OMCA). The day event is free and open to the public from 10:00am to 5:00pm and features a unique green shopping bazaar and educational programs to be held at the World Famous Cannabis Cafe, 322 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97216.
The Cannabis Cafe is a private club that serves Oregon Medical Marijuana Program registrants, and is not usually open to the public. The OMCA provides a special opportunity for the curious to get a peek inside as well as the chance to shop for a wide variety of hemp and cannabis friendly products in one place. From hemp based soaps and clothing to handmade jewelry and mosaic art, the Holiday Bazaar at the OMCA is one of Portland's best kept secrets.
(SACRAMENTO) - From California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, on September 30, 2010.
To the Members of the California State Senate:
I am signing Senate Bill 1449.
This bill changes the crime of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor punishable only by a $100 fine to an infraction punishable by a $100 fine. Under existing law, jail time cannot be imposed, probation cannot be ordered, nor can the base fine exceed $100 for someone convicted of this crime.
I am opposed to decriminalizing the possession and recreational use of marijuana and oppose Proposition 19, which is on the November ballot.
Unfortunately, Proposition 19 is a deeply flawed measure that, if passed, will adversely impact California’s businesses without bringing in the tax revenues to the state promised by its proponents.
Notwithstanding my opposition to Proposition 19, however, I am signing this measure because possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction in everything but name. The only difference is that because it is a misdemeanor, a criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial and a defense attorney.
In this time of drastic budget cuts, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, and the courts cannot afford to expend limited resources prosecuting a crime that carries the same punishment as a traffic ticket.
As long as breast cancer exists, the finish line has not been reached, but each year's Komen race brings it closer
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News
Inspiration was in the air on Sunday, September 19th at the 19th Annual Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure” in Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. It is estimated that over 40,000 people, including over 3,500 breast cancer survivors, walked, raced and ran, bringing awareness and raising millions in the name of breast cancer research.
Showing their pride as the emcee acknowledged their participation, about a dozen walkers on the streets were from the Oregon Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Their slogan was: “It’s NORML to Race for the Cure”.
“This is Oregon NORML's first year to have a team in the race. As a team, we are going to do the untimed one-mile walk.” stated, Anna Diaz of Oregon NORML.
The debate over medical marijuana is nothing new, but it has been picking up momentum lately, as more states move towards legalized control over the system. If you want to learn more about the medical ethics, benefits and uses of marijuana, as well as the research and court cases surrounding legalization, check out these 30 blogs.
Legal and News
Get state news, national regulation concern, and other news about the legal and business side of medical marijuana.
- NORML Blog: The campaign to reform marijuana laws is tracked and promoted on this blog. Recommended posts: "I Gots Mine: Dispensary Owners Against Marijuana Legalization" and "California’s Prop 19: A Word-for-Word Analysis."
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff
The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF) is proud to be the main sponsor of the Seattle Hempfest because our mission is to educate the general community about the benefits of the cannabis plant to our society. Hempfest 2010 will be held on August 21st and 22nd, and takes place every year at Myrtle Edwards Park expanding in recent years to include the adjacent parks. Hempfest offers five stages of entertainment, a Hemposium question and answer forum, and hundreds of vendor booths, sure to please a myriad of musical, informational, and entrepreneurial tastes.
The time to act in support of hemp is now, so please reach out and create awareness in your community. The Berlin Wall fell quickly, and together we can end this unjust war on the cannabis plant in the same manner, but we need to unite in solidarity. Vivian McPeak, the event's director declares, "No political or human rights movement in America has made it this far without eventually winning. It's just a matter of time."
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe
By Jennifer Alexander, Oregon NORML
Many Oregonians are proud to be citizens of one of the first states to have allowed the use of medical marijuana. For many years, the federal government has led us to believe that marijuana had “no medical value” by retaining it in Schedule I and by continuing to plague us with propaganda that insists that marijuana is “dangerous.” As of April 1, 2010, there are over 32,000 medical marijuana patients currently holding cards in Oregon that disprove the notion that marijuana has “no medical value.”[i] Marijuana remains among the safest drugs known to mankind.
Proven Medical Value
In recent years, our society is rediscovering the value of marijuana for a wide range of disorders, including AIDS, cancer, muscle spasms, chronic pain and many others. The ongoing research is astounding and could demonstrate tremendous breakthroughs in our health and overall well-being. Research continues to demonstrate that marijuana is not as dangerous as once believed, and far more beneficial than most ever thought it could be. However, this research is still very limited due to the status of cannabis as a Schedule I drug. This needs to change; sound clinical studies need to be done to determine more about the potential benefits and possible risks of using cannabis.
By Bennett Hall, Gazette-Times reporter
A pair of pro-marijuana events are coming to Corvallis as advocates push to get a measure aimed at legalizing the drug on the November ballot.
Local pot promoters are planning a Corvallis Marijuana March on Saturday to coincide with marches in other cities organized by Cures Not Wars, a New York-based group that opposes the war on drugs.
Sponsored by the Corvallis Cannabis Movement and Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, the local event will begin at 2 p.m. with a rally at the Benton County Courthouse. The march will start at 4:20 p.m., winding around the courthouse, the police station and City Hall before turning west on Monroe Avenue to Oregon State University and then heading back to Central Park.
In a news release announcing the event, the organizers said they’ll be looking for petition circulators to gather signatures for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act.
The measure, which is being promoted by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, would make it legal for adults to grow and use marijuana in Oregon. It would also regulate pot sales, with part of the proceeds going to promote industrial hemp use.
The petitioners hope to collect 125,000 signatures by July 2, the deadline to place the ballot measure before voters in the November general election.
By Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director
The Congressional Research Service (CRS), part of the Library of Congress, has a mandate to research and publish non-partisan, up-to-date and relevant information for members of Congress and their staff to help them craft legislation.
The most recent CRS white paper on medical cannabis in the United States is, in fishing parlance, a ‘keeper’. Released for public consumption on April 2, 2010, it is a well researched, scholarly and important document for reformers to download and keep close at hand as a very well presented primer on the history and current domestic legal status of medical cannabis. Of particular help are the many numerous citations and footnotes for greater reference and depth of understanding.
Very often, and rightly so, taxpayers–notably cannabis consumers–are frustrated at how state and federal governments spend tax dollars arresting, prosecuting, incarcerating; interdicting, eradicating and propagandizing in support of cannabis prohibition. But, this most recent CRS report (like many previous reports from them on cannabis and drug policy) is an invaluable report to add to one’s ‘reform library’ that you and I can feel good paying for.
By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town/Hemp News
Oregon's marijuana legalization initiative, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA), is kicking off its signature-gathering phase at the OR NORML meeting in Portland this Saturday, April 10.
Petitions have just been approved for circulation by the Oregon Secretary of State's Office, and OCTA said it expects more than 300 attendees to be among the first to sign the petition for this historic ballot measure.
OCTA will generate revenue by taxing commercial cannabis sales, which will be permitted to adults 21 and older. More than $140 million a year would be generated by OCTA for the state's General Fund, according to projections, paying for education, roads, health care, and other public projects.
"OCTA will transform Oregon," said co-chief petitioner Madeleine Martinez, executive director of OR NORML. "Supporting OCTA is a no-brainer."
According to OCTA's other co-chief petitioner, Paul Stanford of The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF), the potential of industrial hemp for Oregon's economy is limitless, as it will turn the state into a national leader in ecological innovation and sustainable jobs.
"The entire hemp plant is useful, from its seeds which create a food source to its oil which can be made into bio-diesel to its stalks which can be woven into fabrics or turned into paper," Stanford said. "Hemp is the future, not just for Oregon, but for a sustainable planet."
By David Krough and AP
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Marijuana advocates are gearing up to legalize the drug for recreational use in Oregon with a new measure poised to go on the November ballot.
According to their website, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act would "legalize the sale, possession and personal private cultivation of marijuana." It would also set aside two percent of profits from cannabis sales for commissions that promote industrial hemp biodiesel, fiber, protein and oil.
Growers and sellers would need a state license and could only sell in cannabis-only stores.
Oregon became the second state to pass a marijuana law in 1998, following California. There are nearly 24,000 patients with medical marijuana cards in Oregon. Only state residents can obtain the card after registering as a patient in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program with a qualifying debilitating medical condition diagnosed by a doctor.
Organizers will start collecting signatures Saturday.
Kyndall Mason with the DemocracyResources.com organization was working with the National Organization for Reform of Mairjuana Laws (NORML) and Oregon groups to gather signatures starting Saturday.
"Oregon has a long history of laws that conflict with federal law, that includes the Death with Dignity Act," Mason said. "The feds have (recently) given states more autonomy, specifically regarding medical marijuana laws," she said.
from Drug War Chronicle, Issue #626, 4/2/10
There is a chance, albeit an outside one, that the entire West Coast could go green in November. Last week we noted that the California tax and regulate initiative had made the ballot, and reported on the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act initiative's ongoing effort to make the ballot. This week, we turn our attention to Washington state, where yet another marijuana legalization initiative campaign is underway.
Sponsored by Seattle Hempfest head Vivian McPeak, marijuana defense attorneys Douglass Hiatt and Jeffrey Steinborn, and journalist-turned-activist Philip Dawdy and organized under the rubric of Sensible Washington, initiative I-1068 would legalize marijuana by removing marijuana offenses from the state's controlled substances act.
As the official ballot summary puts it:
"This measure would remove state civil and criminal penalties for persons eighteen years or older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana. Marijuana would no longer be defined as a 'controlled substance.' Civil and criminal penalties relating to drug paraphernalia and provisions authorizing seizure or forfeiture of property would not apply to marijuana-related offenses committed by persons eighteen years or older. The measure would retain current restrictions and penalties applicable to persons under eighteen."