WATCH: Marijuana in the Halls of Congress

Yesterday, NORML moderated a Facebook Congressional Conversation on marijuana law reform with Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Tom Garrett, Beto O’Rourke, and Justin Amash.

We discussed a wide range of issues including the needless burden of the federal driver’s license suspension mandate, access to medical marijuana, racial injustice, and pending bipartisan legislation to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.

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The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant’s medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color. Only when lawmakers speak honestly about the effects of prohibition and the senseless burdens it imposes on our communities will we be able to win substantial reform.

“At a time when 29 states and the District of Columbia have made the decision to regulate the sale and use of marijuana, we should rethink how the federal government approaches this drug. Our current approach to marijuana prevents legitimate medical use, fills our prisons with nonviolent offenders and continues to fuel drug violence,” said Representative Beto O’Rourke in a statement promoting the event.

In our continued effort to educate the lawmakers and the public, events like this will be able to open the eyes of those who have willfully ignored the issue.

NORML chapters throughout the country are working to advance legalization in state legislatures and, with your support, National NORML will continue to up the pressure in Washington, DC.

Click here to share the video through your networks and support efforts like this in the future. 

 

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!

Washington Post: Can We Prescribe Medical Marijuana To Kids?

In another positive sign of the times for cannabis law reform, please find below a new video from the Washington Post’s The Fold looking at a couple of different situations where parents faced the legal-moral dilemma of whether or not to follow a physician’s recommendation for their young child to use cannabis as a therapeutic. Dr. Ben Whalley From Reading University in United Kingdom is interviewed about his recent cannabinoid research into the use of pediatric cannabis medicine for children, for example, suffering from epilepsy. As a twenty plus year reader of the Washington Post, it is very hard for me to imagine prior editors (and publishers) who would have assigned and widely broadcast a piece that looked at the potential health benefits from cannabis (meaning that as the World War II generation, informed by their government-created ‘Reefer Madness’, that largely ran the storied newspaper until recently has had to logically yield and defer to a decidedly more cannabis-informed generation of Baby Boomers and younger).

National and Philly NORML Turn Philadelphia Green on St. Patrick’s Day with Mid-Atlantic Conference

Photo Credit: Diane Fornbacher

NORML Mid-Atlantic Conference
Photo Credit: Diane Fornbacher

Last weekend, National and Philly NORML convened the first ever Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference in Philadelphia, PA. The gathering drew over a hundred activists from across the region who listened to a diverse line up of speakers ranging from academic researchers, to sitting politicians, to drug policy experts.

Leaders from numerous NORML chapters were present and addressed the crowd including Patrick Nightingale from Pittsburgh NORML, Evan Nison from NJ NORML, Kevin Clough and Joe Forte of Philly NORML, and Erik Williams of Connecticut NORML. They were joined by notable speakers including Gabriel Sayegh (DPA), Ken Wolski (CMMNJ), Rob Cantrell (Stand-up Comedian), Stacia Cosner (SSDP), Mike Liszewski (ASA), Marc Connuck (PA Farmers for Hemp), Jahan Marcu (PhD Candidate, Temple Medical School), Mallory Loflin (SUNY Albany), as well as Erik Altieri and Allen St. Pierre (National NORML). NORML Board of Directors members Rick Cusick and Diane Fornbacher also were on panels.

NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, PhillyNORML Secretary Joe Forte, and PA State Senator Daylin Leach Photo Credit: Ellie Paisley

NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, PhillyNORML Secretary Joe Forte, and PA State Senator Daylin Leach
Photo Credit: Ellie Paisley

Attendees were treated to an engaging keynote address from State Senator Daylin Leach, the primary sponsor of Pennsylvania’s legalization bill. You can view highlights of the speech here and the full video here.

Also featured was Pennsylvania State Representative Mark Cohen, a long time supporter of marijuana law reform in the state, who gave those present advice on how they could best aid their lawmakers in their efforts.

The evening ended with a Private Fundraiser featuring entertainment from the likes of comedian Rob Cantrell and local Philadelphia reggae act, Cultureal.

You can read some coverage of the event below:
Philly.com – Philly420: Cannabis for St. Patrick’s in Philly
PhillyRecord – Leach: Pa. GOP Senators Support Legal Pot – On The QT
CannaCentral – NORML Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference
Live Illustrations of Panel Content by Jonny Goldstein

Chronic Medical Cannabis Use by US Legal Patients, Part 1

Even as the federal government calls for more research into medical marijuana, it has refused to study it’s own patients, who receive monthly shipments of Cannabis though the IND(Investigational New Drug Program). One patient, appearing at the 2002 Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics where this series was presented, had received 300 “joints” per month for 20 years. Quantifiable and assayed for THC, the government-grown marijuana is low quality, but has suceeded in treating the conditions for which it was prescribed, with little apparent harmful effects. Patients Out of Time, hosts of the conference, knew this opportunity for good science shouldn’t be missed, so it enlisted the help of doctors and researchers to perform physical and pyschological tests on four of the legal patients: Elvy Musikka; Irvin Rosenfeld; George McMahon and a MS patient. Dr. Ethan Russo, co-ordinator of the study, first presents patient demographics; medical conditions; and dosage levels, then lists tests performed, including: MRI scans; chest x-rays and pulminory function tests; neuro-pychological exams; endocrine and immune system tests. The entire one hour presentation from which Part 1 is edited can be viewed at: video.google.com including the “Beck Depression Inventory”, which showed a remarkable lack of clinical depression in the legal marijuana patients(considering their serious medical conditions),as Dr. Russo challenges the “attitude among gov’t officials that euphoria is a bad

Representative Russell to Formally Introduce Marijuana Legalization Bill Today in Maine

Representative Diane Russell (D-Portland) will formally introduce legislation that would make Maine the third state to legalize and regulate the possession and sale of marijuana to people over the age of 21 at a press conference being held at noon today.

The press conference will start at 12:00 EST at the state capitol. The event will be live streamed here (and below) when it begins.

If you live in Maine, please take a moment to write your representative today and urge them to co-sponsor this important legislation. You can do so, quickly and easily, by using NORML’s Take Action Center here.

MAINE: Click here to urge your elected officials to co-sponsor Rep. Russell’s Marijuana Legalization Bill

You can view the archived video of the press conference here and here.

Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis (PBS Documentary)

freedomformarijuana.com PBS’s documentary, Clearing the Smoke, reveals how cannabis acts on the brain and in the body to treat nausea, pain, epilepsy and potentially even cancer. Extensive interviews with patients, doctors, researchers and skeptics detail the promises and the limitations of medicinal cannabis. If you have any friends or family who are in doubt of medical cannabis, please share this video with them.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Virginia’s Tea Party Backed Attorney General Cuccinelli “Evolving” on Marijuana Legalization

kenVirginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Tea Party favorite and presumed Republican candidate for Governor, opened up on his views regarding marijuana legalization while addressing a group of students at the University of Virginia this week.

When asked how he felt about Colorado and Washington legalizing the adult use and commercial production and sale of marijuana in November, the conservative politico caught many off guard with his answer.

“I don’t have a problem with states experimenting with this sort of thing I think that’s the role of states,” Cuccinelli stated, “I’m not sure about Virginia’s future [re: marijuana legalization], but I and a lot of people are watching Colorado and Washington to see how it plays out.”

Twice during the talk Attorney General Cuccinelli referred to his views on the subject as “evolving.”

You can view video footage of this event here.

The Doctor Talks About His Knowledge Of Cannabis Marijuana

legalizeourdream.blogspot.com Thumbs Up And Subscribe, Favorite, Share this video http
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Hashbar “olympics”part 2-World Championship Games-hashbartv

www.hashbar.tv Hashbar TV brings you the first ever Hashbar World Championship Games on Jan 10th 2011 hosted by Sean Kush and the Stingy Stoners from the web’s biggest Potcast. Medical Marijuana Patients in California go head to head to see who can take the biggest and longest Hash Bong Rip. In this video we reveal the winners! Tune in to Hashbar TV to learn when the next Hashbar World Championship Games is coming. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter Hashbar Olympics is coming. Do you have what it takes to be the Grand Champion? Go to http for more from Hashbar TV.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

In this episode: Michigan medical marijuana program starts, LAPD Chief: Looney TOONS!, CA dispensary closes before it opens, A look at Illinois medical marijuana, Minnesota Senate Bill moves to the floor for consideration, New Hampshire cops take on role of doctor, dispensary cash register-making company goes public
Video Rating: 4 / 5

NORML Women’s Alliance Celebrates 3 Year Anniversary

In January 2010, NORML launched what would become one of the most successful programs in the history of the organization.  The NORML Women’s Alliance also became the first nationwide female outreach program ever created in the marijuana and drug law reform movement.  This month, January 2013, marks the third anniversary of that program.  The following video is a compilation showing some of the highlights and achievements of the NORML Women’s Alliance throughout the last three years.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Please support our efforts by donating to this important cause.

Find us of Facebook: Facebook.com/NORMLWomen

Dr. Robert Melamede / ASA Testimonial

Dr. Robert Melamede / Americans for Safe Access, Medical Cannabis, video by Carson Higby-Flowers
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Pot Parody Video Blows Up On YouTube

Pot Parody VideoNORML supporter and groundbreaking video creator Steve Berke has just launched his most intense, humorous and well produced viral video indictment against marijuana prohibition to date. A graduate of Yale, former two time All-American tennis player, comedian and Miami-based politician, Steve Berke’s cutting video parodies of popular songs re-purposed into pro-cannabis reform videos are becoming legendary in the cannabis law reform community and well beyond.

Steve’s previous pro-pot videos have garnered over a million views, and with this new and outrageous take on rapper Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’, after less then 72 hours, Steve’s ‘Pot Shop’ is well past 300,000 views!

When will Saturday Night Live producers be contacting Steve Berke to replace the now departed and popular viral video producer/comedian Andy Samberg?

Check out the fun and in-your-face public advocacy for cannabis law reform as envisaged and performed like no other cannabis law advocate in the world today.*

*Video contains vulgarity, but nothing compared to the vulgarity of a free market oriented democracy like America arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating millions of cannabis consumers, cultivators and sellers under an eight decade-old failed public policy of prohibition.

Check out a previous Steve Berke video in support of cannabis that has attracted a million views across YouTube.

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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Find More Medical Marijuana Doctors Press Releases

Medical Marijuana Prescriber & Dispensary in Hancock County

Hancock CountyDoctor Ben Newman has been a physician for more than 40 years, recently, he started prescribing medical marijuana to patients of his who were in need and who had aliments that fit the Maine state approved list. This video follow Dr. Newman explain why he started prescribing medical marijuana while also taking a look at the local dispensary side of the process, with Gretchen McCarthy at Maine Organic Dispensary located in Ellsworth.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Rep. Jerry Nadler argues in favor of an intelligent and humane national drug policy which does not penalize those suffering from crippling pain and nausea. Nadler calls for doctors–not bureaucrats–to be allowed to determine the appropriate medical treatment for their patients. The Congressman was speaking in favor of an amendment to the FY13 Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill.

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