HEMP FOR VICTORY: Twenty-Seven States Currently Considering The Legalization Of Medical Marijuana


Alabama – Alabama Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
California – Tax and Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
Connecticut – Connecticut Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
Connecticut – Connecticut Legislature Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana
Hawaii – Hawaii Legislature Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana
Iowa – Iowa Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
Illinois – Illinois Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
Kentucky – Oppose Zero Tolerance ‘Drugged’ Driving Bill In Kentucky
Maryland – Maryland Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Task Force
Maine – Maine Legislature Considers Expanding Decrim Law
Minnesota – Minnesota Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
– Missouri Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
Montana – Montana Senate Votes To Expand State’s Medical Marijuana Program
New Hampshire – New Hampshire Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
New Jersey – Senate Approves Medical Marijuana
Rhode IslandRhode Island Legislature Considers Licensing Compassion Centers
TennesseeTennessee Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
Texas – Texas Legislature Considers Fine-Only Penalties For Marijuana
Texas – Texas Legislature Considers Medical Marijuana Reform
Vermont Vermont Legislature Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana
Washington – Washington Legislature Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana [via NORML]

hemp-for-victory.jpgRAW STORY: A recent Zogby poll found 44 percent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana, the most support for legalization since pollsters began asking the question in 1969.. In 2001 that figure was significantly lower: just 34 percent, according to a USA Today-CNN-Gallup poll. MORE

MPP: Has the dam finally broken on medical marijuana? It sure seems like efforts to protect medical marijuana patients are on the march across the U.S. Why so much progress now? Maybe it was the massive, 63% “yes” vote for medical marijuana in Michigan last November. Maybe it was the blessed sanity of the Obama administration saying it will stop raiding medical marijuana patients and providers who are following state law. Or maybe it’s just science, compassion, and common sense finally winning out over ideology and superstition. MORE

THE UNION: The Business Behind Getting High

British Columbia’s illegal marijuana trade industry has evolved into a business giant, dubbed by some involved as ‘The Union’, Commanding upwards of $7 billion Canadian annually. With up to 85% of ‘BC Bud’ being exported to the United States, the trade has become an international issue. Follow filmmaker Adam Scorgie as he demystifies the underground market and brings to light how an industry can function while remaining illegal. Through growers, police officers, criminologists, economists, doctors, politicians and pop culture icons, Scorgie examines the cause and effect nature of the business – an industry that may be profiting more by being illegal. MORE

hempvictory.jpgCBS NEWS: Therapeutic use of marijuana has a history spanning over 4,500 years. The most humane and just approach to helping the sick requires that we continue the availability of medical marijuana. Evidence supporting medical marijuana for appetite loss, glaucoma, nausea, vomiting, spasticity, pain, and weight loss is quite impressive. Evidence for its use for arthritis, dystonia, insomnia, seizures, and Tourette’s syndrome is also very promising.Opponents of medical marijuana mention that other drugs are available for each of these disorders. Nevertheless, people differ. We have multiple treatments for almost every human problem. Some patients do not respond well to other medications and need medical marijuana to alleviate their symptoms. Many pharmaceutical drugs create aversive side effects that these patients cannot endure. In addition, medical marijuana is often markedly cheaper than these other medications. […] Concern over marijuana’s impact on respiratory health is easily remedied. There are no links between marijuana use and lung cancer or emphysema. The associations between smoked marijuana and symptoms like coughing and wheezing can be remedied with the vaporizer. The vaporizer heats the plant so that active ingredients boil off into a fine mist but the plant itself never ignites. The mist contains no tars or noxious gases, making respiratory complications a thing of the past. MORE

LOS ANGELES TIMES: At the heart of the debate about marijuana’s medicinal value is a dearth of academic research into its therapeutic properties. For 40 years, the federal government has frustrated such study by restricting cultivation of marijuana for research to a single source, the University of Mississippi. Most recently, the Bush administration denied the application of a well-regarded botanist at the University of Massachusetts to establish another cultivation facility, despite a ruling by an administrative law judge determining that it should go forward. For eight years, professor Lyle Craker has struggled to obtain a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration to grow research-grade cannabis. His proposal is to supply marijuana to DEA-approved researchers who have undergone a marijuana_deaths_shirt.pngrigorous review and approval process by the U.S. Public Health Service, and whose protocols have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The DEA, however, has behaved as if this serious scientist wants to start a backyard plot for campus parties.

In February 2007, after nine days of testimony from expert witnesses and administration officials, light broke through the DEA’s bureaucratic murk: Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner issued an 87-page opinion saying that the supply of marijuana from the University of Mississippi is insufficient in quality and quantity and that Craker’s project should go forward. In a case study of governmental intransigence, the DEA dithered for two years. Then, a few days before the Obama administration took power, acting Administrator Michele Leonhart issued a final order denying Craker’s application.

Members of Congress have urged Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. to amend or overrule the order, and he should do so. Then he should go further and change the culture of the agency. Instead of thwarting the advancement of science, the DEA should encourage cannabis research. As California and the U.S. government continue to debate the future of medical marijuana, what we need is a body of work on the drug’s efficacy in treating a variety of illnesses and conditions. Instead, we have a collection of small studies and individual testimony. On Monday, President Obama signed a “scientific integrity presidential memorandum” and promised that his administration would base its public policies on science, not politics; the DEA is one of many federal agencies ready for enlightenment. MORE

medicalmarijuanathugfreeamerica_1.jpgLOS ANGELES TIMES: California voters approved the use of marijuana prescribed for medical purposes in 1996, yet the possession, cultivation and use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. There is no common ground between these two positions, and the Drug Enforcement Administration has relentlessly enforced the federal government’s prerogative to supersede state law. Oakland-based Americans for Safe Access, the nation’s largest advocacy group for medical marijuana, estimates that 200 dispensaries across the country were raided in just the last two years, and scores of people are awaiting trial or have been incarcerated. During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised that the raids would stop if he won, but they continued, the most recent in Northern California two days after his inauguration. So when Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. affirmed last week that it was no longer the Justice Department’s policy to raid dispensaries, it was cause for celebration by patients, doctors and advocates in the 13 states with medical marijuana laws, and it offered the hope that the Obama administration will devise a policy that takes state laws into consideration. Of course, backing off the raids creates new legal conundrums. For example, more than 100 people have been arrested, prosecuted and/or imprisoned, some for up to 20 years, for doing what the federal government now says it will ignore: running a dispensary or purchasing marijuana from one. How will the Justice Department proceed in these cases? The Bush administration also threatened the 300 or so California landlords who lease to dispensaries with prosecution and asset foreclosure if they did not evict tenants. Will these intimidation tactics cease? MORE

phish-hampton-1-03-03.jpgRELATED: HAMPTON, VA — Police confiscated $1.2 million worth of illegal drugs and more than $68,000 in cash from concertgoers arrested over three nights of Phish shows. There were 194 concertgoers and others in the area of Hampton Coliseum charged with various misdemeanor and felony offenses — mostly possessing, using and selling drugs. Some faced multiple counts, for a total of 245 charges in all. Police were out in force, with 113 Hampton police officers working special overtime shifts at the event, plus another 85 officers helping out from other agencies, said police spokeswoman Allison Quiñones.  Many of the charges pertained to marijuana, cocaine, mushrooms and painkillers. Police used a combination of undercover and out-in-the-open tactics, those at the scene said. In one case, an undercover police officer offered to sell concert tickets in return for drugs, then arrested the man who tried to buy them. MORE


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