Deputy AG: Marijuana is federally illegal and has no medical use

Cannabis PenaltiesDeputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was questioned about federal marijuana policy during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today and his responses were disconcerting to say the least.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) asked Rosenstein about the current tension between state and federal marijuana laws.

“We do have a conflict between federal law and the law in some states. It’s a difficult issue for parents like me, who have to provide guidance to our kids… I’ve talked to Chuck Rosenberg, the administrator of the DEA and we follow the law and the science,” said Rosenstein, “And from a legal and scientific perspective, marijuana is an unlawful drug. It’s properly scheduled under Schedule I. And therefore we have this conflict.”

He further elaborated on the Trump Administration’s view of the Cole Memo, which was issued by President Obama’s Deputy Attorney General James Cole, which lays out guidelines for marijuana businesses operating in medical and legal states if they wish to avoid federal interference.

“Jim Cole tried to deal with it in that memorandum and at the moment that memorandum is still in effect. Maybe there will be changes to it in the future but we’re still operating under that policy which is an effort to balance the conflicting interests with regard to marijuana,” stated Rosenstein, “So I can assure you that is going to be a high priority for me as the U.S. Attorneys come on board to talk about how to deal with that challenge in the states that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana, whether it be for recreational or medical use…”

He also said that the Department of Justice is “responsible for enforcing the law. It’s illegal, and that is the federal policy with regards to marijuana.”

After testifying in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he also appeared before its House counterpart.

Representative Kilmer (D-WA) further questioned the Deputy Attorney General on the Cole Memo and the Department of Justice’s pending review of it, asking for an update on Attorney General Jeff Sessions view on it.

Rosenstein responded: “I do not have an update. I can tell you, it’s a very complicated issue for us. Under federal law as passed by the Congress, and given the science concerning marijuana, it’s a Schedule I controlled substance. That’s a decision I’ve talked with (DEA) Administrator Rosenberg about. Some states have taken a different approach and legalized or decriminalized marijuana for medical use and in some cases recreational use…The question of whether it’s legal under federal law is resolved because Congress has passed a law — it’s illegal. Scientists have found that there’s no accepted medical use for it. Cole made an effort to examine the issue and find a way forward for the department where we could continue with our obligation to enforce federal law and minimize the intrusion on states that were attempting to follow a different path.”

Despite these critiques, Rosenstein stated any revisions are likely to happen further down the road.

“For the moment the Cole memo remains our policy. There may be an opportunity to review it in the future, but at the moment I’m not aware of any proposal to change it. But I think we’re all going to have to deal with it in the future.”

You can watch the exchange on CSPAN by clicking HERE

Send a message to your member of Congress to support legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition by clicking HERE. 

Iowa State University’s NORML Chapter Fought Back – and Won – in the 8th Circuit Court

chapter_spotlightThe four-year feud between Iowa State University (ISU) and the student group NORML ISU has finally concluded with a victory for the marijuana reform advocacy group.

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled in favor of NORML ISU right to use a marijuana leaf and the logo of the school on their promotional items.

Here is the background as written in the Washington Post by Eugene Volokh:

NORML ISU at first got permission from the Trademark Office to use a T-shirt “that had ‘NORML ISU’ on the front with the ‘O’ represented by Cy the Cardinal,” with “Freedom is NORML at ISU” and a cannabis leaf depicted on the back. But after a Des Moines Register article mentioned the T-shirt, a state legislator and someone at the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy heard about this and objected, and the University barred NORML ISU from printing further T-shirts with the design. After that, the University’s Trademark Guidelines were changed to ban “designs that suggest promotion of the below listed items … dangerous, illegal or unhealthy products, actions or behaviors; … [or] drugs and drug paraphernalia that are illegal or unhealthful.”

The court disagreed.

NORML ISU’s use of the cannabis leaf does not violate ISU’s trademark policies because the organization advocates for reform to marijuana laws, not the illegal use of marijuana,”

The circuit court decided that students’ “attempts to obtain approval to use ISU’s trademarks on NORML ISU’s merchandise amounted to constitutionally protected speech.”

Basically, ISU violated the students’ first amendment rights and discriminated against them on the basis of their viewpoint.

The suit was overseen by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon, FIRE’s director of litigation, released a statement saying “We are so pleased to see Paul and Erin’s victory unanimously affirmed by the Eighth Circuit today. Paul and Erin had the courage to stand up for their First Amendment rights, and thousands of students in seven states will now benefit from their commitment.”

This can only come as a reminder to us to stand up and fight back against those looking to suppress advocates for marijuana legalization (and fashionable people everywhere). We as a constituency have the unalienable right of freedom of speech, so make your voice heard and get involved with a NORML chapter near you.

Study: Medical Marijuana Laws Associated With Fewer Traffic Fatalities

cropsThe passage of medical marijuana legalization is associated with reduced traffic fatalities among younger drivers, according to data published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Public Health.

Investigators from Columbia University in New York and the University of California at Davis analyzed traffic fatality data from the years 1985 to 2014.

They reported that states with medical cannabis laws had lower overall traffic fatality rates compared to states where cannabis is illegal, and that there was an immediate decline in motor vehicle deaths following the establishment of a legal cannabis market – particularly among those under 44 years of age.

Authors concluded: “[O]n average, MMLs (medical marijuana laws) states had lower traffic fatality rates than non-MML states. …. MMLs are associated with reductions in traffic fatalities, particularly pronounced among those aged 25 to 44 years. … It is possible that this is related to lower alcohol-impaired driving behavior in MML-states.”

An abstract of the study, “US traffic fatalities, 1985-2014, and their relationship to medical marijuana laws,” appears online here.

Many patients abusing drugs, alcohol are self-medicating chronic pain

With opioid addiction and prescription drug abuse considered one of the biggest public health threats of our time in the US, many are asking why so many Americans are struggling with addiction to illegal drugs and prescription medications. New research suggests that chronic pain may be part of the answer.

Heavy drinkers, drugs users underestimate their levels of consumption compared to others’

Heavy drinkers and users of illegal drugs downplay their relative levels of consumption, when comparing themselves to others, reveals research. The research shows that 68 per cent of respondents were drinking at hazardous or harmful levels, yet the vast majority (83 per cent) felt they were drinking at low or average levels.

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.

New York Times OpDoc: A True Satire Of The War on Some Drugs

While there is nothing genuinely funny about a seventy-five year prohibition on cannabis that has arrested over 25 million cannabis consumers, making fun of the failed policy never goes out of style, especially when done right, with aplomb, which the NORML staff occasionally highlights on an otherwise serious-minded public policy blog.

While over a week-old it would seem a crime itself not to share this New York Times so-called OpDoc (where videos rather than guest columns are submitted). The Gregory Brothers, a quartet of video artists from Brooklyn, absolutely skew the disparity between American society’s hypocritical legal vs illegal drug paradigm.

They accomplish this by very humorous employment of auto-tune and eye-rolling use of politicians’ own words about the now near universally acknowledged failed war on some drugs.

Check out former Congressman Ron Paul, New York governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey governor Chris Christie (with intentional help from Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes of ‘Jay and Silent Bob’ fame) sing in a way, about a subject matter, they surely didn’t intend t00 when they opened their mouths and spoke the truth about an unpopular public policy (which, ironically, is what elected policymakers are supposed to do in democracies).

You can watch the video here.

Enjoy!

Kentucky Industrial Hemp Legislation Becomes Law Without Governor’s Signature

On Friday, April 5th, Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky stated that he will let Kentucky’s industrial hemp measure become law without his signature. Gov. Beshear had expressed concerns that marijuana growers could hide their illegal growing operations with hemp plants. Despite his concerns, he allowed the measure to become law without his signature and did not veto the legislation.

House and Senate lawmakers passed an amended version of Senate Bill 50, “An Act relating to industrial hemp”, in March during the final hours of the 2013 legislative session. Noting that “public pressure to pass the bill helped achieve the last-minute deal.”

After the bills approval by the state legislature, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer stated that “by passing this bill, the General Assembly has signaled that Kentucky is serious about restoring industrial hemp production to the commonwealth and doing it in the right way. That will give Kentucky’s congressional delegation more leverage when they seek a federal waiver allowing Kentucky farmers to grow hemp.”

Kentucky is now the ninth state to have passed a law allowing for farmers to cultivate industrial hemp. Hemp cultivation is still prohibited by the federal government, so until the feds alter their current policy, it is unlikely that Kentucky farmers will begin to grow this crop. Of the eight states who previously approved industrial hemp legislation, only Hawaii has received a federal waiver allowing them to grow an acre of hemp for research purposes.

Federal legislation, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana is currently pending in the US Senate and House of Representatives and has been sponsored by prominent politicians such as Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. You can click here to write your federal officials in support of this legislation.

TheFix.com: “The Drug Warriors Cashing In on Pot Prohibition”

“Former public servants, from DEA chiefs to cops, are using their clout to lobby for drug policies that enrich themselves.”

That’s the sub-headline on today’s exceptional feature story on TheFix.com highlighting the revolving door of moneyed interests in perpetuating the war on cannabis.

Author Kevin Gray, whose work has appeared in numerous outlets including The Washington Post, articulately summarizes the role of former drug czars, cops, federal bureaucrats, and others who lobby the keep the drug war machine moving forward — and, as a result, line their own pockets.

“The time-honored revolving door between government and business swings fast and often. It can be straightforward, like the appointment of banking behemoth Goldman Sachs’ alumni as economic policymakers by recent presidential administrations. But when it comes to the drug war, the family tree is more like a thicket of interests among law enforcement, federal and state prisons, pharmaceutical giants, drug testers and drug treatment programs—all with an economic stake in keeping pot illegal.”

The whole story is really a must read. Here is the link to the full text.

Marijuana Study Shows No Lung Cancer Risk

Dr. Donald Tashkin UCLA Geffen School of Medicine Pt 2 of 2. Conclusion of 2 part interview with the famous research doctor from UCLA Geffen School of Medicine. Pulmonary research on use of marijuana and interaction with the lungs was funded by the Federal Government to prove that lung cancer is caused by smoking marijuana, however the results proved cannabis does not cause lung cancer. Cannabis was made illegal because the paper industry was split between the hemp and the wood pulp factions. The wood pulp people had more money and won, which caused a negative ripple effect in our society such as the loss of a valuable medicine. Since the prohibition of cannabis began the cancer rates have grown at an alarming rate. Cannabis is used for thousands of purposes and it’s loss of use has caused great hardship to everyone. It is time for truth to prevail and prohibition to stop.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Is Your Teenager Using Prescription Drugs Behind Your Back? TestCountry Drug Test Panel Numbers Tally with NIDA Fact Sheet Reports on Prescription Drug A


San Diego, CA (Vocus) June 19, 2009 -

If sales of drug test panels are an indicator, then it could mean that prescription drug abuse among teenagers is on the rise.

TestCountry.com, a leading online distributor of drug testing kits, has recently announced an increase in their sales of drug test panels, particularly those used for determining prescription drug abuse in teenagers.

Topping the list is the sales figures for opiate panels. Opiate drugs are often prescribed to relieve pain. Examples include Vicodin, OxyContin and Percodan.

Closely following sales figures for opiate panels are those for benzodiazepines and buprenorphine. Benzodiazepines like Valium, Ativan and Halcion are used to treat sleep disorders and anxiety. On the other hand, drugs containing buprenorphine are actually used for treating opioid addiction withdrawal.

These trends coincidentally parallel the 2008 results of the annual survey made by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) through its Monitoring the Future (MFT) program. According to the NIDA fact sheet, 15.4% of teenagers in the United States reported to have gone through prescription drug abuse in 2008.

The survey further revealed that the substances being taken non-medically by these teenagers continue to be tranquilizers, barbiturates, amphetamines, opiates and sedatives. Other drugs being abused are those readily available at drugstore counters, such as cough medicine.

But while the numbers describing prescription drug abuse among teenagers is considered as alarming, this percentage is still thought of as low when compared to that of teenagers struggling with the use of marijuana and other cannabis-derived drugs. Marijuana remains to be the most commonly abused substance among teenagers in the United States. Of the teenagers surveyed by the MFT in 2008, 26.9% have reported using it.

The TestCountry.com sales reports also indicate that sales of drug test kits for marijuana are three times the figures posted for prescription drug test panels.

NIDA has reported that stress is one of the contributing factors behind prescription drug abuse among teenagers. The need to fit in and to perform well, coupled by peer pressure and lack of guidance from parents or guardians, can cause teenagers to cope with the use of prescription drugs.

Lack of information has also led teenagers to believe that prescription drugs are safer than illegal substances like cocaine or heroin because they are prescribed by licensed doctors and are bought from a pharmacy.

Prescription drugs are also the ones most readily available to teenagers. They can get their dosage from the medicine used by their parents and siblings. They can also persuade friends with conditions such as ADHD to give them some of their medicine.

Despite the concerns raised by prescription drug abuse among teenagers, NIDA has nonetheless stated that there is a steady decline in substance abuse in that age group. Past-year use of illegal drugs aside from marijuana is down from 13.1% in 2007 to 11.3% in 2008. The same goes for the use of crystal meth, from 1.6% to 1.1%.

In NIDA?s prescription drug abuse research, parental supervision is named as one of the factors deemed crucial towards the prevention of non-medicated use of prescription drugs among teenagers. At home drug testing kits remain to be one of the most common ways that parents turn to in determining if the teenager in the household is taking drugs without prescriptions.

For more information on prescription drug abuse among teenagers, please visit testcountry.org.

About TestCountry

TestCountry.com is an online home test kit superstore. The company offers home or work drug test kits for a variety of needs, including HIV / AIDS testing kits, pregnancy and fertility testing, paternity and DNA testing, drug abuse testing, steroid testing, nicotine testing, lead testing, health hazard detection, nutrition and wellness testing. TestCountry specializes in easy-to-use tests that can be individually administered in the security and privacy of a home or office. All shipments are packaged discreetly, thus respecting the privacy of clients. The company also operates exclusively through their web site, found at http://www.testcountry.com, and features a question and answer section, testcountry.org, providing responses to many common concerns users may have related to the various types of home testing at company blog http://hometestingblog.testcountry.com/

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Related Medical Marijuana Doctors Press Releases

Sacred Buddha Cannabis Medicine — Pt 1.

The Manna King: Manna Doctor — Pt 1. “Honoring 5000 year old Cannabis ‘Kansa’ internal herbal medicine recipes,” first written down (palm leaf — Ola scrolls) by King Ravana for the Sri Lanka and Nepal/Indian people. Sri Lanka and Dosthora (Doctor) do not promote smoking cannabis or illegal trafficking of cannabis. The cannabis plant is to be used for internal medicine, when mixed with other herbs, as prescribed in Buddha’s medical writings, and King Ravana’s written down older scrolls give to the Sinhalese culture. In the plant kingdom, the Cannabis plant is the king over all other plants, with the 10 elemental male and female energies, which given with other herbs in portion will heal and balance all body sickness or mind disillusion illness’s. The West have forgotten their healing plants, recipes and their nature to aid themselves to rebalance their body health chemistry, to regain access to their angelic state. The Cannabis (Manna) plant is meant to be eaten by tradition… not smoked. Buddha or Christ would tell you this too… to eat it…as prescribed by the masters because Manna gives man manners. Sri Lanka’s written down cannabis medicine recipes hold the secret key, which western minds are searching now to discover the real benefits of the cannabis plant Vs only smoking the herb. To the source… Sacred We Are … Sacred we are 1. Blogspot.com
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: Hemp Production Would Be a Positive Development

In a statement published Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a previously outspoken opponent of marijuana law reform, did something surprising. He came out in support of allowing the production of industrial hemp.

“I am convinced that allowing its production will be a positive development for Kentucky’s farm families and economy,” McConnell’s statement read, “The utilization of hemp to produce everything from clothing to paper is real and if there is a capacity to center a new domestic industry in Kentucky that will create jobs in these difficult economic times that sounds like a good thing to me.”

The Senator cited his discussions with fellow Ketucky Senator Rand Paul and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Come as being influential in his new position.

It is worth noting, that as recently as last year, Senator McConnell was vociforus in his opposition to marijuana law reform. Replying to a constituent’s letter in 2012, McConnell stated that he was opposed to legalizing marijuana due to the “detrimental effects of drugs..[such as] short-term memory loss, loss of core motor functions, heightened risk of lung disease, and even death.”

While he makes clear that he wants hemp regulated in a way “that does not compromise Kentucky law enforcement’s marijuana eradication efforts or in any way promote illegal drug use,” perhaps his new found support for hemp will become his “gateway” to supporting further rational marijuana policies.

Dr. Donald Tashkin Marijuana Lung Cancer Study Pt 1 of 2

Pulmonary specialist and Federal Government researcher from UCLA Geffen School of Medicine finds that marijuana does not cause lung cancer in his study on the effects of cannabis and the lungs. Results of this study are discussed for the first time. If you agree that cannabis should be legal, write a letter to your congressperson and tell them to legalize it! Cannabis was made illegal because the paper industry was split between the hemp and the wood pulp factions. The wood pulp people had more money and won, which caused a negative ripple effect in our society such as the loss of a valuable medicine. Since the prohibition of cannabis began the cancer rates have grown at an alarming rate. Cannabis is used for thousands of purposes and it’s loss of use has caused great hardship to everyone. It is time for truth to prevail and prohibition to stop. Please watch and share part 2: www.youtube.com Thanks
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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

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