Nevada: Retail Marijuana Sales To Begin This July

thumbs_upNevada regulators have approved rules to allow for the expedited sales of cannabis to adults.

Members of the Nevada Tax Commission voted 6 to 1 on Monday to license select medical dispensaries to engage in retail sales of non-medical cannabis. Dispensaries in good standing with the state will be able to apply for “early start” licenses on May 15. Those facilities who are approved by state regulators will be able to engage in adult use marijuana sales on July 1.

A majority of voters decided last November in favor of The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, a voter-initiated measure regulating the commercial marijuana market. Provisions in the law eliminating criminal penalties regarding the personal possession of personal use quantities of cannabis took effect on January 1, 2017. Separate provisions in the measure regulating the commercial production and sales of cannabis were initially slated to take effect on January 1, 2018.

Regulators decision to expedite marijuana sales is in sharp contrast to the actions of lawmakers in several other states, including Maine and Massachusetts — both of which have taken steps to delay adult use marijuana sales by several months.

Last Chance To Protect Medical Marijuana Patients and Providers From Jeff Sessions

Medical marijuana

Update: Congress passed a one-week continuing resolution to maintain the current federal spending levels with the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment included, meaning state medical marijuana patients and businesses will remain protected from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice until May 5.

Today is the final day that Congress has to pass a short-term budget to fund the federal government and it’s up to us to make sure that lawmakers reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. This critical amendment stops Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice from targeting state-sanctioned medical marijuana patients, growers, caregivers, and providers.

Click here now to tell your member of Congress to Stop Sessions from going after marijuana.

94% of US voters support legal access to medical marijuana. Congress needs to understand that this is a mandate that is non-negotiable.

We cannot give one inch of our hard fought victories when we still have so far to go.

Take action today to protect our gains and to keep in place programs that millions of patients have come to rely upon. Tomorrow we continue our fight to legalize marijuana nationwide.

Click HERE now to make your voice heard!

Background:

Since 2014, members of Congress have passed annual spending bills that have included a provision protecting those who engage in the state-sanctioned use and dispensing of medical cannabis from undue prosecution by the Department of Justice. The amendment, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, maintains that federal funds can not be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

In December, Congress re-authorized the amendment as part of a short term spending package, House Resolution 2028. This bill extends federal funding through April 28, 2017, at which time the measure — and the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment — will expire.

According to recently released nationwide survey data, the majority of Americans are on our side. A whopping 93 percent support the medical use of marijuana. Perhaps most importantly, 71 percent of voters — including strong majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — say that they “oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana.”

Again, please contact your member of Congress right now to protect legal state medical marijuana patients and businesses. 

 

West Virginia: Lawmakers Approve Amended Medical Marijuana Measure

oil_bottlesWest Virginia legislators on Thursday approved a significantly amended version of Senate Bill 386, which seeks to establish a state-regulated medical cannabis program. The measure now awaits action from Democrat Gov. Jim Justice, who has previously expressed support for permitting qualified patients access cannabis therapy.

If signed into law, West Virginia will become the 30th state to authorize by statute the physicians-recommended use of cannabis or cannabis-infused products.

Under the amended measure, qualified patients will be permitted to obtain cannabis-infused oils, pills, tinctures, or creams from a limited number of state-authorized dispensaries. Cannabis-based medications will be produced by state-licensed growers and processors. Patients will not be permitted to grow their own cannabis, nor will they be able to legally access or smoke herbal formulations of the plant. Similar restrictive programs are presently in place in Minnesota and New York and are awaiting implementation in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

To participate in the proposed program, both patients and physicians would need to be registered with the state. Government officials are not mandated under the legislation to begin issuing patient identification cards until July 1, 2019.

Massachusetts: Lawmakers Amend Voter-Initiated Marijuana Legalization Measure

MAWith little debate, House and Senate lawmakers voted today to significantly amend Massachusetts’ voter-initiated marijuana law.

The vote sets the stage to delay the establishment of state-licensed marijuana retail facilities from January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2018. Governor Charlie Baker, who campaigned against the initiative, must still sign off on the law change. [UPDATE: Gov. Baker signed the language into law on Friday, December 30.] Separate provisions in the law eliminating penalties for adults who privately possess or grow personal use quantities of cannabis took effect on December 15.

According to The Boston Globe, the “extraordinary move” by lawmakers took place in an “informal” legislative session with “just a half-dozen legislators present.”

NORML had been urging lawmakers to adopt the law swiftly as voters intended, and it continues to urge Massachusetts voters to take action.

NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri called lawmakers’ decision a “slap in the face” to the nearly two million Massachusetts voters who decided in favor of Question 4 on Election Day.

“The arrogance and hubris lawmakers are showing toward voters is remarkable,” he said. “The voters have spoken and it is incumbent on legislators to carry out their will. Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to impose criminal penalties on marijuana – doing so in 1914. After more than a century of this failed policy, it is time to bring prohibition to an end in Massachusetts.”

The move by lawmakers to delay aspects of the law’s implementation is not altogether surprising, as politicians and bureaucrats had previously discussed restricting home cultivation as well as raising the proposed sales taxes rate on marijuana sales.

Arkansas Voters Legalize Medical Marijuana

pain_reliefAccording to the Associated Press, voters in Arkansas have approved Issue 6, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment. The AP’s final vote count is 53 to 47 percent.

“Thanks to the support of Arkansas voters, their state now joins the majority of states in this country in allowing for the medicinal use of marijuana. This will provide patients with access to a safe and effective medicine and apply further pressure on Congress and the incoming administration to bring federal policy in line with the overwhelming will of the American people.” said Erik Altieri, NORML’s new Executive Director.

Issue 6, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, amends the state constitution to permit qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation may legally possess and obtain medical cannabis provided by state licensed dispensaries. The home cultivation of cannabis is not permitted under the law. Under the law, regulators will license up to 40 dispensary providers and up to eight marijuana cultivators.

The new law takes effect on November 9, 2016. Regulators have 120 days following the law’s enactment to develop rules overseeing the new medical marijuana program.

A summary of the Amendment is available here.

Congratulations Arkansas!

Colorado visitors using marijuana more likely to end up in emergency room

Out-of-towners using marijuana in Colorado — which has legally allowed sales of the drug in retail dispensaries since 2014 — are ending up in the emergency room for marijuana-related symptoms at an increasing rate, reports a new study. Visitors are unprepared for the adverse effects of marijuana use. The study shows the importance of educating the public about safe marijuana use.

California: Supreme Court Upholds Authority Of Cities To Prohibit Medical Marijuana Facilities

The California Supreme Court ruled today that municipalities possess the legal authority to prohibit the establishment of medical cannabis dispensaries.

The unanimous ruling upheld a 4th District Court of Appeals opinion (City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients’ Health and Wellness Center, Inc.) which held that local zoning measures banning the establishment of brick-and-mortar facilities that engage in the distribution of cannabis to state-authorized persons are not preempted by state law. Other lower courts had ruled against such local bans, arguing that cities can’t use zoning laws to bar activity legal under state law.

It is estimated that some 200 California cities presently impose moratoriums on medicinal cannabis facilities. At least 50 municipalities have enacted local regulations licensing dispensaries.

Opined the Court:

“We have consistently maintained that the CUA (the California Compassionate Use Act aka Proposition 215) and the MMP (the Medical Marijuana program Act) are but incremental steps toward freer access to medical marijuana, and the scope of these statutes is limited and circumscribed. They merely declare that the conduct they describe cannot lead to arrest or conviction, or be abated as a nuisance, as violations of enumerated provisions of the Health and Safety Code. Nothing in the CUA or the MMP expressly or impliedly limits the inherent authority of a local jurisdiction, by its own ordinances, to regulate the use of its land, including the authority to provide that facilities for the distribution of medical marijuana will not be permitted to operate within its borders.”

Although language included in Proposition 215 explicitly called for the state government “to implement a plan for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana,” to date, lawmakers have failed to enact any specific statewide regulations regarding the retail production and distribution of cannabis to those patients authorized to consume it.

Commenting on the ruling, California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer said, “The court essentially affirmed the status quo. Local governments may choose to allow or limit dispensaries as they please. The unfortunate result of this decision is to leave many needy patients without legal access to medical marijuana in their communities, thereby promoting illegal black market suppliers. It is time for the state and federal governments to step up to the plate and fulfill the mandate of Prop 215 to implement a system of ‘safe and affordable’ access for all patients in medical need.”

Legislation is presently pending in both the California Assembly (AB 473) and Senate (SB 439) to impose statewide regulations governing the dispensing of marijuana produced for medical purposes.

Full text of the California Supreme Court’s opinion is available online here.

‘Respect State Marijuana Laws Act’ Introduced In Congress

United States Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with a bipartisan coalition of three Republicans (Reps. Rohrabacher, Rep. Justin Amash [R-MI], and Don Young [R-AK]) and three Democrats (Reps. Earl Blumenauer [D-OR], Steve Cohen [D-TN] and Jared Polis [D-CO]) today introduced House Bill 1523: the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act.

The measure would amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to exempt from federal prosecution individuals and businesses, including marijuana dispensaries and/or retail outlets, who comply with state marijuana laws.

“This bipartisan bill represents a common-sense approach that establishes federal government respect for all statesmarijuana laws,” Rohrabacher said in a news release. “It does so by keeping the federal government out of the business of criminalizing marijuana activities in states that don’t want it to be criminal.”

The proposal is one of several marijuana law reform bills now pending before the United States Congress, including 013, House Bill 689: the States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, and 013.

Florida State Attorney Drops Charges Against Bob and Cathy Jordan

Today I share with you wonderful news from an all too conservative state, Florida, where the sun shines on everything but justice for cannabis users.

Just a few weeks ago, I announced that the ‘New NORML’ would have an active, working legal committeethat would make a difference for all of us.

Last month, State Senator Jeff Clemens in Tampa announced that he was introducing a medical marijuana bill in Florida, which would allow for the establishment of dispensaries in our state.

The bill was named the ‘Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act’, in honor of a woman who has beenopenly using cannabis as medicine for over a quarter century, championing our cause from her wheelchair while living with an incurable condition- ALS; Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Backed by her loving husband, Bob, who cultivates two-dozen plants on their farm for her personal use, Cathy has been a public advocate for cannabis law reform. Here she is:
http://medicalmarijuana411.com/mmj411_v3/?p=10558

One day after the state senator introduced the medical necessity legislation, publicizing her name and address, the DEA and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office paid her a not-too-polite visit, raiding her home, dressed in swat uniforms, armed with machine guns and wearing masks, seizing her cannabis and arresting her husband for cultivation. Her wheelchair was no defense.

One NORML lawyer from our NLC legal committee immediately stepped up to the plate to come to her defense. Florida CAN, the Cannabis Action Network, contacted Michael C. Minardi, of Stuart, Florida. He undertook the defense.

Michael had already prevailed on a medical necessity case on the west coast of Florida, and he at once met with Bob and Cathy Jordan. Both were adamant that they would take no pleas, but instead sought to fight for their right to use marijuana as medicine.

Based in South Florida, I volunteered with another NLC Committee member, my law office partner, Russell Cormican, and entered into a civil retainer agreement with Cathy Jordan, to prosecute a pro bono civil legal action seeking a declaratory judgment that Cathy’s possession of cannabis warranted a judicial order stating that such ownership was entirely medicinal and lawful.

I could not do it alone, so I contacted NLC Committee member Matt Kumin, who immediately agreed to join the cause on behalf of NORML, coming in as amicus curiae. “This is an impact case,” he concluded.

Together, we decided that we had a viable claim Cathy had a legal right to grow her medicine, and a court would conclude as much. Matt brought in two more NLC colleagues, Alan Silber and David Michael. These guys are already arguing tough cases in the Ninth Circuit. But we have a good plaintiff and a strong case.

This past Monday, the State Attorney dismissed all charges against Cathy and Bob Jordan. The decision by the State Attorney, explaining why he filed a ‘no information.” ratifies the defense of medical necessity for patients, and caregivers as well. The prosecutor’s determination goes beyond the customary and routine post of ‘case declined.’

The decision outlined by the chief prosecutor goes out of its way to acknowledge the legal basis of the medical necessity defense and the ‘progressive, neurodegenerative disease’ that Cathy Jordan deals with daily. The state attorney said he could not in ‘good faith’ proceed with a criminal prosecution against an individual with such a compelling medical reason to use marijuana. It was a courageous decision to see a prosecutor protect a pot patient.

The result came about in no small part to Bob Jordan, Cathy Jordan’s husband. He refused to accept a probationary plea offer. “If I could handle Vietnam,” he told me last week, “I can take whatever the State wants to try and hit me with. I am protecting my wife. No deals. No nothing. I want a trial. I want a jury to see my wife and try to convict her.”

Michael C. Minardi and his client even refused to cop a plea to a deferred prosecution. Matt. Kumin, who has never met Bob, called him, “my hero.” Armed with solid case law, a determined defendant, and a courageous lawyer- Michael Minardi- the good guys prevailed.

A talented team of NLC amicus curiae attorneys are now preparing to go to court and seek a judgment declaring that the use of cannabis by Cathy Jordan should continue as an exception to Florida drug statutes, based on her use being lawful, medically necessary, and legally protected. Hell, we might even get her pot back through a replevin action.

Unfortunately, Florida is a conservative state. I won’t mislead you. The Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Bill is already ‘stuck like chuck’ in a legislative committee.

However, also due to the efforts of NLC Committee member, Michael C. Minardi, the criminal prosecution of Cathy and Bob Jordan is dead in the water.

Remember the TV show, ‘The Naked City,’ that ‘there are 8 million stories in the Naked City; this has been one of them.’

My friends, there are thousands of Cathy Jordans across America who still need our help. There are hundreds of you capable of assisting so many of them. The spiritual rewards of engaging such tasks enrich your soul and make your practice so much more meaningful.

Please consider also asking a friend to help expand ranks by joining NORML today. In fact, this week we are promoting new memberships by offering up a NORML Hemp Baseball Cap. Wear it to the ballpark, and let everyone know that it is NORML to smoke pot. Cheer for your home team, but stand up for freedom.

Today, all of us throughout the country celebrate the victory of Cathy and Bob Jordan. We also thank the lawyer, Michael C. Minardi of Stuart, Florida, who stood up for them.

We are all cannabis warriors with stories of our own to tell, lives of our friends to illuminate. Never forget the cause you are fighting for is more than to torch up a joint. It is to light a torch for personal sovereignty and individual freedom.

Thank you.
Norm Kent
Chair, NORML Board of Directors

Record Level of Californians Support Regulating Marijuana

According to survey data released this week by The Field Poll, a record number of Californians now support legalizing and regulating marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.

The poll, conducted February 5-17 among 834 registered California voters, found that 54% support making the use of marijuana legal, with age and other controls like those that apply to alcohol, only 43% were opposed. This is the highest level of support for legalization since The Field Poll began asking the question. In their 2010 poll, only 50% of California voters supported legalization and 46% were opposed.

This survey also found that an overwhelming 72% of Californians support the state’s medical marijuana program and 52% favor allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to open in their town.

California narrowly rejected Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana in 2010, but clearly public opinion has continued to move in our favor since then. It is reasonable to expect that by 2016, when many believe there will be another voter initiative to legalize marijuana, support will have reached the critical mass required to approve of such a measure.

You can view the full poll results here.

Kush Clubhouse and Medical Kush Beach Club In the News on hashbartv

www.hashbar.tv The Medical Kush Beach Club was featured on Fox 11 News as laws to close the medical marijuana dispensaries begin to close down local shops. Sean Kush talks about the state of affairs and we take a walk down the Venice Beach Boardwalk to visit the Kush Clubhouse and learn about the function of smoking lounges and Hash Bars. For more episodes go to http For information about the Medical Kush Beach Club go To www.medicalkushbeachclub.com
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Transcription to follow: Actually I was very skeptical rather than opposed. The first person who introduced me to the possibility that cannabis was medicinal was my father who was a pharmacist. We were talking about prohibition and he mentioned that when he was a freshman in pharmacy school at the University of Minnesota in 1928 and one of their assignments was to make tincture of cannabis. He said, we had to be very careful because the alcohol was illegal. I’ve got his 1927 Remmington’s Textbook of Pharmacy and on page 999 and 1000 it tells you how to make tincture of cannabis. It also says that it is useful for relief of pain and a tranquilizer. In the process of marginalizing quackery we also tended to marginalize homeopaths, naturopaths, osteopaths all of whom placed greater importance on herbal medicine that allopathic doctors, the doctors that we today called MD’s. There still was interest in plant based medicine but there was a problem that it was not standardized. However, as late as 1937 the AMA testified against the marijuana tax act. First off, they said we don’t have any idea why you are not calling this cannabis obviously we need to explore that why was it called marijuana when that’s not what it was called at that time. And secondly he said, yes, this is decreasingly being prescribed by physicians because of lack of standardization. However, even then in 1937 there were about 100000 prescriptions written by doctors in the United States where cannabis
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Journey Healing Centers Opposes Medical Marijuana Proposition

Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) June 2, 2010

To prevent the painkiller drug war from escalating further in the US, Journey Healing Centers (http://journeyrecoverycenters.com) announces their opposition to the Medical Marijuana proposition that was approved June 1, 2010, to be on the Arizona November 2010 ballot. With 50 million admitting to abusing prescription drugs in the US (CBS Evening News), the center believes medical marijuana and the proposed legalization of marijuana in California will only increase substance abuse, relapses and addictions to harder drugs.

There are 14 states that have already legalized medical marijuana, and a “Green Rush” has swept through much of California in recent years (CBS News http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/26/politics/main6143291.shtml). No one is exactly sure how many Cannabis clinics exist in Los Angeles, CA, and the best estimate is somewhere between 800 and 1,000 (CBS News). The city is now attempting to close dispensaries that aren’t in compliance with a new ordinance by June 7th, and ensure the roughly 130 clinics meet stringent guidelines (MSNBC).. The centers are also supposed to be non-profit, yet are making an estimated $ 1.2 per year in profits (PBS, Need to Know). This November, Californians will vote on an initiative that would legalize the use of medical marijuana for any citizen over 21, which is even more concerning. The following health concerns are the reasons Journey Healing Centers has taken this position:

1. Lowers Ambition – One consequence that is overlooked from marijuana is how the drug lowers the users’ ambition to achieve life accomplishments (SAMHSA). In one case, a client ended up being suspended from school, losing his job, and eventually returning to his drug of choice crystal meth. His last words to his counselor were, “it’s only marijuana,” says Aubrey Barrow, Admissions Director for Journey Healing Centers.

2. Marijuana is a Gateway Drug – Marijuana is typically the first drug that most drug addicts encounter when first experimenting with drugs. The reason people call marijuana “the gateway drug” is because it often leads to other drug usage. Years later, an addicted person may end up in treatment for a heroin, crack cocaine, meth, and/or other drug problems. Marijuana is a harmful drug, especially since the potency of the marijuana now available has increased more than 275 percent over the last decade (SAMHSA).

3. Painkiller Prescriptions Out of Control – The US is already challenged by a war on prescription drugs. Opiate pain drugs and benzodiazepines are the prescription drugs that treatment centers see most commonly abused. According to SAMHSA, prescription drug abuse is the second most common form of recreational drug use in America second only to marijuana. Addicts are getting prescription drugs from their doctor versus the streets, who often write prescriptions quickly versus taking the time to analyze a patient’s issue. While there are some rare instances in the medical field where marijuana may work best to alleviate pain and nausea, legalizing it for day-to- day use will only create more of an addiction problem.

Aubrey Barrow, Admissions Director at Journey Healing Centers, adds, “Although there may be economic benefits for legalizing marijuana (business profit and taxes), there is also great expense. When abused, this addiction can lead to criminal activity causing taxpayer dollars on the court system. It will also be impossible to control the distribution and cultivation, not to mention the illegal transporting it into the US. We don’t need additional drug challenges with our loved ones.”

Background: Journey Healing Centers operates drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in Arizona and Utah, and has been featured on MTV’s Gone Too Far, PBS, ABC News 15 Phoenix, ABC 4 Salt Lake City, USAToday.com and in People Magazine. Journey Healing Centers has supported thousands dealing with addictions through Residential Programs, Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), Sober Living Homes, Aftercare and a Free 24-Hour Hotline with Addiction Specialists: 1-866-774-5119. http://journeyrecoverycenters.com

References

CBS Evening News: States Try to Curb Prescription Drug Abuse

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/07/01/eveningnews/main5128584.shtml

14 Legal Medical Marijuana States

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881

CBS News: L.A. Moves Toward Closing Pot Clinics

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/26/politics/main6143291.shtml

MSNBC: Los Angeles to close pot dispensaries

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37066340

PBS – Need to Know (3rd story about CA medical marijuana)

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/video/need-to-know-may-21-2010/953/

SAMHSA: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

http://www.samhsa.gov

Media Contact:

Liz Brown

Journey Healing Centers

310-795-1485

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LA Overturns Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban

“Faced with several lawsuits, petitions with thousands of signatures and heavy criticism, the Los Angeles City Council reversed itself yesterday. In a preliminary vote, members ended the city’s ban on medical marijuana dispensaries. The ban was only enacted in July…”.* Ana Kasparian, John Iadarola (host of TYT University and Common Room), and Steve Oh (TYT COO/Audio Guy) break it down on The Young Turks. *Read more here from NPR: www.npr.org Watch the cannabis themed Point: www.youtube.com Support The Young Turks by Subscribing bit.ly Like Us on Facebook: www.fb.com Follow Us on Twitter: bit.ly Buy TYT Merch: theyoungturks.spreadshirt.com Find out how to watch The Young Turks on Current by clicking here: www.current.com
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Hawaii: 57% Want to Tax and Regulate Marijuana

New polling data, released this past week by the ACLU of Hawaii, shows strong support for marijuana law reform on the islands.

57% of respondents stated that they believed marijuana should be “taxed, regulated, and legalized for adults” – only 39% were opposed. This is up a whopping 20 percentage points in support since they last polled the question in 2005.

The survey also asked about the state’s medical marijuana program. An astounding 81% of respondents said they support the current law and 78% were in favor of passing regulations to allow dispensaries that would provide safe access to cannabis for Hawaii’s patients.

As recent polling has shown, support for marijuana law reform is at an all time high in many states across the nation, now including the original home of the “Choom Gang” and President Obama.

You can view the full survey here.

Journey Healing Centers Sends Voters a Medical Marijuana Video Wake-up Call

Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) October 28, 2010

While many Prop 203 (AZ medical marijuana) and Prop 19 (CA legalization) advocates think “It’s Only Marijuana,” many Journey Healing Centers clients who enter drug abuse treatment addicted to cocaine, heroin, marijuana and meth often say, “If only I hadn’t started smoking marijuana.” After working in Law Enforcement and Night Clubs in Las Vegas, the Co-Founders are passionate about educating and assisting families in overcoming addiction and bringing to light the massive abuse, which is why Journey Healing Centers is releasing this Venice Beach, CA Video where dispensaries actively solicit new clients, 420 Doctors give out medical marijuana cards for any pain, and smoking lounges are making this beach town look more like Amsterdam.

Vote No on Prop 203 and Medical Marijuana Abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNIPicdL5M4

As seen in the Venice Beach video, these propositions are about much more than medical marijuana. The solicitors are not looking for critically ill patients and instead announce to people walking by, “Walk-ins welcome everybody,” “Get just what the doctor ordered,” “Hash bars, smoking lounges, dispensaries upstairs,” and “You can get medical marijuana, right now.”

Journey Healing Centers is one of the only Addiction Centers publically opposing Prop 203 and Prop 19 because the propositions are misleading and will increase addiction. While these Addiction Experts support medical marijuana use for critically ill patients, the reality is that only 2% of the current patients use it for serious illnesses (Billings Gazzette). And there is already an FDA approved drug on the market for this purpose, Marinol. The Medical Marijuana Project (MPP) is misleading the public by saying Prop 203 was written to help people with HIV, Cancer and Glaucoma (MPP’s website clearly states that their goal is to legalize marijuana, which seems more about money versus helping sick people.) If the MPP goal is to legalize marijuana, why not come out and state that big objective and offer to educate the public about the risks of smoking marijuana? Pro marijuana groups and individuals say that treatment centers are opposed because they will lose clients if it passes. The exact opposite is true, it will increase those addicted to substances, yet Journey Healing Centers still opposes because of the misleading prop and the lack of education the MPP is providing on the subject.

The Medical Marijuana Project (MPP) is also misleading the public with stories about the importance of keeping people out of jail who need medical marijuana for critical illnesses and that legalizing it will reduce crime. The reality is that out of the half a million people serving time in prison for drug offenses, less than 1 percent are in prison for possession of marijuana (Chicago Tribune). The other 99% are serving time for drug dealing and distributing. Dispensaries also attract criminal activity, including drug trafficking, money laundering, assaults, burglaries, armed robberies, gang activity, home invasions and even murders (as seen in Los Angeles.) In Colorado Springs (where medical marijuana is legal), a new Police Department is being formed just to keep watch over the industry (The Gazette.)

Have the marijuana advocates thought about the consequences if marijuana passes for recreational use, as California is proposing in Prop 19? Marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, and the FDA has never approved a medical drug to be smoked. Eric Holder, US Attorney General, sent a letter to the DEA, stating, “If passed, this legislation will greatly complicate federal drug enforcement efforts to the detriment of our citizens” (New York Times.) The DEA has already raided medical marijuana clinics in Las Vegas, where medical marijuana is state approved, and took the patients records. It’s time for Voters to wake-up and Vote No on Prop 203, Vote No on Prop 19, and Vote No on Marijuana Abuse because It’s Not Only Marijuana.

Background:

Journey Healing Centers operates drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in Arizona and Utah, and specializes in holistic healing programs, family treatment and has a Sobriety for Life Program. Their work and success stories have been featured on MTV’s Gone Too Far, PBS, ABC News 15 Phoenix, Fox 10 Phoenix, ABC 4 Salt Lake City, KUAT PBS Tucson, USAToday.com, Psychology Today and in People Magazine. Journey Healing Centers has supported thousands dealing with addictions through Residential Treatment Programs, Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), Sober Living Homes, Aftercare and a Free 24-Hour Hotline with Addiction Specialists: 1-866-774-5119.

http://journeyrecoverycenters.com

Media contact:

Liz Brown

310-795-1485

References

New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/16/us/16pot.html

Chicago Tribune

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-10-15/news/chi-101015bensinger_briefs_1_prison-for-drug-offenses-drug-cartels-peter-bensinger

Pot Cops a possible side effect of medical marijuana (Colorado Gazzette)

http://www.gazette.com/articles/marijuana-106837-medical-possible.html

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