“The state of California is in a very, very precipitous economic plight. It’s in the toilet,” says California Democratic state assemblyman Tom Ammiano. “It looks very, very bleak, with layoffs and foreclosures, and schools closing or trying to operate four days a week. We have one of the highest rates of unemployment we’ve ever had. With any revenue ideas, people say you have to think outside the box, you have to be creative, and I feel that the issue of the decriminalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana fits that bill. It’s not new, the idea has been around, and the political will may in fact be there to make something happen.”
Ammiano may be right. A few days after he introduced the bill, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that states should be able to make their own rules for medical marijuana and that federal raids on pot dispensaries in California would cease. The move signaled a softening of the hard-line approach to medicinal pot use previous Administrations have taken. The nomination of Gil Kerlikowske as the head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy may also signal a softer federal line on marijuana. If he is confirmed as the so-called drug czar, Kerlikowske will take with him experience as police chief of Seattle, where he made it clear that going after people for possessing marijuana was not a priority for his force.
It turns out that the study of marijuana’s health effects is at once more complex and less advanced than you might imagine. “Interpretations [of marijuana research] may tell more about [one’s] own biases than the data,” writes Mitch Earleywine in Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence, published in August by Oxford. For example: “Prohibitionists might mention that THC [delta-9 tetra-hydrocannabinol, the smile-producing chemical in pot] often appears in the blood of people in auto accidents. Yet they might omit the fact that most of these people also drank alcohol. Antiprohibitionists might cite a large study that showed no sign of memory problems in chronic marijuana smokers. Yet they might not mention that the tests were so easy that even a demented person could perform them.”
California is the largest of 12 states allowing marijuana for certain medical uses, but the federal government considers all marijuana illegal. The conflicting statutes have led to an uncomfortable existence for California’s growing ranks of marijuana providers. “At any moment, the DEA can come kicking down the door,” says Don Duncan, part owner of a West Hollywood, Calif. dispensary of medical marijuana.
(WebMD) Light drinking helps heart health. But more than one drink a day for women and more than two daily drinks for men are harmful. Despite the health benefit of moderate alcohol consumption, the researchers warn doctors against advising people to drink.
“Sobering statistics warn that moderate daily drinking is a slippery slope that many individuals cannot safely navigate,” University of Missouri cardiologist James H. O’Keefe, M.D.
- Members of Congress like to guzzle the booze, but when it comes to the questions of drugs and states’ rights, don’t ask them for a friendly ear … Arguing from a self-titled “faith-based, conservative perspective” was Stephen Baldwin. Paul dismissed his concern as “silly.”
- “The most addictive drug in the country, in the world, is nicotine,” he said. “Nobody talks about nicotine being a gateway drug, so there’s no sense to that. And besides, [marijuana] is not nearly as addictive as alcohol. If you’re a consistent person and you think the government should be regulating personal behavior, you should be in favor of prohibition of alcohol.”
DEA has been actively shutting down bud dispensaries with their legal growing operations and prosecuting Californians in federal court. In the last two years of the Bush administration, the DEA raided over 100 medical marijuana growers and sellers … Since the passing of the Compassionate Use Act, 11 other states have followed suit with medical marijuana laws. Nowhere is it as popular or common as California, but Oregon is proposing selling and taxing its own marijuana, and last year Massachusetts voted 65% to make the possession of an ounce of bud equivalent to driving over the speed limit.
(Oregon) – With a doctor’s prescription and a little backyard space you can turn your backyard into a medicinal garden providing patients with medicine. Here is something I found this morning regarding a patient having to protect and defend himself against people trying to stop him from growing his own natural and 100% legal medicinal cannabis.
The problem with the above way of thinking is that just because medicinal marijuana is there, does not mean they should show no control and forget about it. Alcoholics enter grocery stores all day long and alcohol is available everywhere that ex-drinkers frequent. Marijuana is medicine, these people cannot stop a patient who is within his legal rights and within state law from growing his own medicinal cannabis. He even built a cage around the plants and there are fences and locks in place! Patients should never be required to turn to the black market for medicine, the same way anxiety, depression, pain medicine is prescribed to Americans every day… marijuana should be available to anyone who needs it. Especially Migraine sufferers who suffer daily pain and anxiety regarding when and if an attack will occur and cause nausea at the workplace and interfering with work hours the way it has me for decades.
California: Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, allows the medical use of marijuana in California. The State has mandated a necessary fee increase in order to comply with with Health and Safety Code 11362.755(a) of Senate Bill 420 (Vasconcellos, Chapter 875, Statutes of 2003), which requires the Department’s ID card implementation, development, and support activities be fully fee supported.
New fees effective 04/1/07 : Non Medi-Cal beneficiaries – $161.00; Medi-Cal beneficiaries – $80.50
There will always be scams. Regular prescription drugs are forged every day. Add medical Marijuana. This does not make Marijuana any different. Prescription drugs are intended to address people’s medical conditions. Many people even scam their doctors to get prescription drugs. This comes with the prescription drug territory. People will always seek a chemical solution to their conditions, real or perceived. This mindset was inherited from everyone’s ancestors. Cannabis has an ancient history of ritual usage as an aid to trance and has been traditionally used in a religious context throughout the old world.
In the current economy, the cost of enforcing Marijuana Laws, specifically, should be revisited.
- Marijuana accounts for 15,000 felony arrests per year, at a cost to the state of about $100 million. Over half of arrestees are black and minorities.
- CAMP helicopters disrupt the peace of our wilderness, invading personal privacy and promoting the spread of cultivation to public lands.
- State eradication programs destroy an estimated $300 million in marijuana per year — revenue that is lost to the local economy and diverted to foreign suppliers.
- Californians consume about $3 – 6 billion worth of marijuana per year, representing some $250 – 500 million in lost sales taxes alone.
- The war on marijuana has deprived us of an economically valuable crop, cannabis hemp, a productive source of fiber, biomass, protein and oil.
- The war on marijuana has cruelly deprived medical patients of valuable therapy for nausea from chemotherapy, AIDS, glaucoma, chronic pain and spasticity, migraines, depression and other diseases.
Money Spent on the War On Drugs this Year : The U.S. federal government spent over $19 billion dollars in 2003 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $600 per second. The budget has since been increased by over a billion dollars.
People Arrested for Cannabis Law Offenses this Year: Police arrested an estimated 872,720 persons for cannabis violations in 2007, the highest annual total ever recorded in the United States, according to statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Of those charged with cannabis violations, approximately 89 percent, 775,137 Americans were charged with possession only. An American is now arrested for violating cannabis laws every 38 seconds.
How long can America support a loosing war on Marijuana, specifically, that only makes illegal suppliers rich and hurts actual medical marijuana users? The reality appears to be a government investment in keeping marijuana illegal, so corrupt government officials can line their pockets with kickbacks from drug lords … drug lords pride themselves in how many politicians and law enforcement officials they own! We see the results of too many powerful drug kingpins fighting over territory on the Mexican-American border today! Imagine what would happen if America took Marijuana off their profit table? They would be left with smuggling hard drugs and trafficking people. That would be a much more righteous mission, worth the cost! Legalizing Medical Marijuana would hit the pockets of the illegal drug industry! Government officials may be less inclined to be bought for the purpose of human trafficking and heroin smuggling!