April 6, 2012
“Even though NYC decriminalized pot in 1977, that hasn’t stopped the cops.” –KTRN
Police officers in New York are “manufacturing” criminal offenses by forcing people with small amounts of marijuana to reveal their drugs, according to a survey by public defenders.
Under New York law, possession of 25g or less of marijuana [merely] brings a $100 fine. Only when the drugs are in public view are the police permitted to make an arrest for drug possession. One in three respondents said police had forced them to take the marijuana out of pockets or from under clothes and produce it into public view.
In September last year, Kelly issued an order to officers not to arrest people caught with small amounts of marijuana. But the number of those arrested increased after the order was made. In all, about 50,000 people were arrested in 2011 for marijuana possession.
April 5, 2012
Stop The Drug War
By Phillip Smith
“Prohibition has never worked, so why are we even trying?” –KTRN
Federal agents raided Oaksterdam University and associated businesses in downtown Oakland Monday morning shortly before 8:00am local time. The entire building was surrounded by yellow crime scene tape, and an hour later, agents were spotted carrying trash bags filled with unknown materials to a waiting van.
Also hit in the early morning raids were the nearby Oaksterdam Museum, the Oaksterdam gift shop, and the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Club. None of those businesses actually distribute medical marijuana.
The Bay Citizen reported that Oaksterdam founder Richard Lee had been detained at his home and that four university plant tenders had been arrested. The Bay Citizen also reported that the former location of Lee’s Blue Sky dispensary had been raided.
Oaksterdam University is the beating heart of the Oakland cannabis revival, which has helped revitalize the city’s downtown core. Founded in 2007, it was the first institution in the country devoted to providing instruction in medical marijuana cultivation.
Owned and operated by Richard Lee, who put his personal fortune into getting 2010′s Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana on the ballot, the university has trained thousands of people in how to grow their own medicine and other aspects of medical marijuana business. It has also served as an organizing center for the Bay area medical marijuana movement.
Medical marijuana defense groups, such as Americans for Safe Access, were mobilizing their members Monday morning and calling for supporters to head to the scene. They did so in large and angry numbers, shouting obscenities and imprecations at the federal agents. Oakland police were called in for crowd control after protestors spilled onto Broadway. Two people were arrested during the protest.
March 19, 2012
By Ethan A. Huff
“This is the real reason pot remains illegal. A lot of people are getting rich from the prohibition of the drug.” –KTRN
The federal government’s illegal war on drugs is big business for lobbyists who profit on making sure you never have access to marijuana, whether for recreational or medicinal purposes. And one such lobbyist, John Lovell, reportedly raked in nearly $400,000 from the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) for helping to defeat California’s Proposition 19, a 2010 ballot measure that would have legalized marijuana in the Golden State and generated billions of dollars in new state tax revenues.
The Republic Report’s Lee Fang writes that, based on a comprehensive review of the lobbying contracts anti-marijuana groups had during the Prop. 19 battle, Lovell’s name showed up as a major recipient of lobbying funds for his help in making sure the proposal never got passed. And with his services, CPCA was able to continue receiving millions of dollars in federal funding for drug war programs that are a significant source of police force revenue.
After the Obama Administration enacted its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Lovell reportedly got busy sending notices to police agencies alerting them about “important opportunities” to generate more federal grants. These opportunities included $2.2 million in funding for implementing a “Marijuana Suppression Program,” and more than $7.5 million for a “Campaign Against Marijuana Planting” program.
However, if Prop. 19 had passed, this federal funding stream would have quickly dried up, which means police agencies across California would have had to seek out alternate sources of funding. The “Northern California Marijuana Eradication Team,” for instance, composed of police departments in Shasta, Siskiyou, and Tehama Counties, would not have received its $550,000 federal grant had Prop. 13 been passed.
So once again job security and greed have overtaken the will of the people. CPCA’s concerns about losing millions of dollars in federal funding for carrying out drug war initiatives are apparently more important than spurring the ailing California economy by legalizing a natural substance that is leaps and bounds safer than alcohol.
March 5, 2012
By Paul Fassa
“Here is more proof that natural remedies really do work. And to think people are still taking pharmaceutical drugs. Why?” –KTRN
There has been a resurgence of asthma and other lung issues, especially among children, over the past few decades. Whether from chemtrails, outrageously increased vaccination schedules, or both – and more – is undetermined.
But the suffering is the same, and the mainstream medical solutions of inhaled steroids or calcium blockers offer short term relief with long term health hazards.
As drugs, their usefulness tends to diminish in effectiveness or duration, promoting increased use that causes those other health issues to come on more quickly. It is a vicious cycle that can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, mental disorders, cardiac arrest and premature death.
That’s why both herbal remedies for lung issues, khella and lobelia, should be primary choices for asthma, COPD and other breathing problems.
Khella, commonly called bishop’s weed, is both a vasodilator (dilating blood vessels), and a bronchial dilator. It accomplishes both without caffeine-like or other stimulation affecting the adrenal glands.
It also acts to smooth and strengthen heart muscles to enable a stronger heart beat. Khella even promotes gall bladder bile flow and helps eliminate urinary tract stones. In other words, unlike pharmaceuticals designated for asthma that destroy health, khella promotes good cardiac and overall health.
Khella or bishop’s weed is available wherever you can find over-the-counter natural herbal remedies. It can come in extracts or tinctures, tablets, or used as a tea. The extracts and tablets are recommended for daily use.
Though not recommended for use during an asthma attack, using khella daily as recommended can go far with preventing or minimizing acute attacks. This will at least minimize or diminish the use of asthma pharmaceuticals for acute attacks.
Dosage varies slightly, depending on the delivery type, but taking one of those doses just before going to bed is important for asthmatics. It is common for asthmatics to endure asthma attacks that interrupt sleep patterns needed for restoring immune system energy.
Khella can be used during a bout with bronchitis to ease up congestion and open bronchial passages and airways. It is even better to use it in conjunction with lobelia, which tends to offer immediate relief from asthma attacks or other bronchial based breathing problems.
February 22, 2012
By J.D. Heyes
“Finally some good news to report about Monsanto. And the good news here is that they are guilty.” –KTRN
It’s no secret that biotech giant Monsanto has been hard at work genetically modifying everything on the planet, but now the mega-corporation may have gone too far.
In what is being viewed as a major victory for public health advocates, a French court last week declared Monsanto guilty in the chemical poisoning of a French farmer, a ruling that could – and should – lead to additional health claims against the use of pesticides.
Paul Francois, a grain grower, told the court he suffered neurological problems that included memory loss, stammering and headaches after having inhaled Monsanto’s Lasso weed killer in 2004. He accused Monsanto of not providing adequate warnings on the product.
A court in Lyon, which is located in southeast France, agreed, ordering an expert to determine the extent of Francois’s losses and injuries to determine a proper sum of damages.
The ruling marks the first time anyone has been able to establish a clear link between one of Monsanto’s dangerous products and illnesses caused by exposure to them.
“I am alive today, but part of the farming population is going to be sacrificed and is going to die because of this,” Francois told Reuters in an interview.
Francois brought his case after he and other farmers banded together to form an association of individuals who claim they, too, began suffering illness following exposure to Monsanto’s so-called “crop protection” chemicals. The rising tide of illnesses – about 200 per year since 1996, according to the agricultural branch of the French social security system – should be more than enough to give pause, not only to French citizens, but to anyone exposed to produce that has been “treated” with any of these dangerous pesticides.
On the surface, the French court’s ruling seemed inevitable, if not somewhat overdue. Monsanto’s Lasso was banned throughout France in 2007, following a European Union directive after the product had been taken out of use in a few other countries.
Perhaps because of the increasing health problems caused by chemical use in agriculture, France – the EU’s largest grower – is going a step further, having announced a plan to curb pesticide use by 50 percent between 2008 and 2018.
From the sound of it, the cut in usage can’t come soon enough. Other farmers have blamed chemicals for their lingering health problems as well.
“It’s like lying on a bed of thorns and trying to say which one cut you,” one farmer recovering from prostate cancer, who asked not to be named, told Reuters, regarding his widespread exposure to a number of agricultural chemical products.
February 10, 2012
By Renata Rollins
“It’s only a matter of time before medical marijuana is a reality in every state.” –KTRN
Readers of the Jan. 29 Sunday Olympian woke up to two front-page headlines, five full-color photos and 85 column inches about the legal woes of local medical cannabis providers. The story had all the makings of great political drama: ambiguous laws, ambivalent lawmakers, undercover cops, lawyers of all stripes.
And yet, I’m in the chorus of millions asking: What’s the fuss? Any other business accused of a code violation, whether undercooking food or selling alcohol to a minor, could expect a visit from a clipboard-wielding state worker. But change one detail and it’s armed federal agents, state troopers and the local narcotics task force at the door – usually not knocking politely.
As similar scenes unfold across the nation, more communities bear witness to the waste and dishonor of cannabis prohibition. Not only does it harm already ailing patients, it makes criminals out of people who choose a safer alternative to alcohol, the world’s most destructive drug.
In 2012, the federal government looks pretty lonely insisting cannabis has “no medical use.” Research scientists, the American Medical Association, traditional medicine practitioners and 81 percent of the American public acknowledge its therapeutic benefits.
For thousands of years, herbal cannabis has relieved pain and inflammation, prevented nausea, treated menstrual discomfort and improved sleep. Repeated studies show cannabis helps addiction recovery, epilepsy, PTSD and cancer.
February 7, 2012
By Adam Cohen
“As more and more states legalize pot for medicinal purposes, it’s only a matter of time before recreational use is legalized too.
The drive to legalize marijuana has long been a fringe cause, associated with hard-core libertarians and college-age stoners. But it could go mainstream in a big way in this November’s election, when Washington could become the first state to legalize recreational pot use. If it does — or if voters in any of several other states do — this year could be a turning point in the nation’s treatment of marijuana.
The idea that a majority of voters could support legalizing marijuana may seem far out — but the polls say otherwise. In many states, the prolegalization and antilegalization camps are roughly equal in size. In a poll of Washington state voters released last month, supporters of the legalization referendum outnumbered opponents: 48% vs. 45%. And Washington probably won’t be the only state voting on marijuana this year. In Colorado, supporters last week fell about 3,000 signatures short of getting a legalization measure on the ballot — but the law gave them 15 days to collect the rest, and it seems likely they will. Activists are also collecting signatures in other states, including California, Michigan and Montana.
For years, the debate over marijuana has been focused on a narrower question: medical marijuana. The argument that cancer patients and others with chronic pain should be able to alleviate it by using marijuana has been prevailing in state after state. Today, 16 states — including Washington and Colorado — and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.
January 30, 2012
By Jonathan Benson
“When is the world going to grow up? Isn’t it time everyone realizes that pot isn’t nearly as harmful as alcohol, yet it still remains illegal. It makes no sense. It is impossible to overdose on marijuana – impossible. Go ahead – try it. You might get dry mouth and the munchies. What terrible side effects.” –KTRN
The pressure is on for researchers and pharmaceutical companies to develop drug-based, non-synthetic versions of marijuana for medical use, as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is poised to approve such varieties in the near future. But this potential approval appears to be reserved only for Big Pharma, as the marijuana plant itself could continue to remain a controlled substance at the federal level with no recognized health benefits.
The Associated Press (AP) reports that GW Pharma, a British pharmaceutical company, is currently undergoing advanced clinical trials for the world’s first drug made from raw marijuana, which it will seek FDA approval for by the end of 2013. There are currently a number of synthetic cannabinoid drugs on the market that have been approved by the FDA, but none that incorporate actual marijuana (http://www.justice.gov/dea/ongoing/marinol.html).
Known as Sativex, the marijuana spray contains both delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol, which are considered to be raw marijuana’s two most well-known active components. GW Pharma is hoping to receive US FDA approval of Sativex for the treatment of cancer pain, as the drug has already been approved in several other countries for the treatment of muscle spasm pain caused by multiple sclerosis.
While this is great news on the medical marijuana front in America, it does not necessarily imply that either the FDA or the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will loosen its regulatory grip on the actual marijuana plant. Like regulators did with the stevia plant, marijuana could receive approval only in patented form from drug companies (http://www.healthynewage.com/blog/stevia-fda-approved/).
January 11, 2012
By Lindsey Tanner
“No one is telling you that smoking a fat blunt is good for you, but research is clearly showing that marijuana isn’t nearly as bad as some people make you believe. Nobody can overdose from pot – it’s virtually impossible. Yet, go ahead of drink a bottle of whiskey and tell me how you feel. There is a chance you’ll be dead – and that’s legal?” –KTRN
Smoking a joint once a week or a bit more apparently doesn’t harm the lungs, suggests a 20-year study that bolsters evidence that marijuana doesn’t do the kind of damage tobacco does.
The results, from one of the largest and longest studies on the health effects of marijuana, are hazier for heavy users – those who smoke two or more joints daily for several years. The data suggest that using marijuana that often might cause a decline in lung function, but there weren’t enough heavy users among the 5,000 young adults in the study to draw firm conclusions.
Still, the authors recommended “caution and moderation when marijuana use is considered.”
Marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law although some states allow its use for medical purposes.
The study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham was released Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The findings echo results in some smaller studies that showed while marijuana contains some of the same toxic chemicals as tobacco, it does not carry the same risks for lung disease.
It’s not clear why that is so, but it’s possible that the main active ingredient in marijuana, a chemical known as THC, makes the difference. THC causes the “high” that users feel. It also helps fight inflammation and may counteract the effects of more irritating chemicals in the drug, said Dr. Donald Tashkin, a marijuana researcher and an emeritus professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. Tashkin was not involved in the new study.
Study co-author Dr. Stefan Kertesz said there are other aspects of marijuana that may help explain the results.
Unlike cigarette smokers, marijuana users tend to breathe in deeply when they inhale a joint, which some researchers think might strengthen lung tissue. But the common lung function tests used in the study require the same kind of deep breathing that marijuana smokers are used to, so their good test results might partly reflect lots of practice, said Kertesz, a drug abuse researcher and preventive medicine specialist at the Alabama university.
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