cannabisnews.com: Medicinal Pot in The Lege





Medicinal Pot in The Lege
Posted by CN Staff on April 14, 2005 at 07:24:31 PT
By Jordan Smith
Source: Austin Chronicle
Texas -- Patients and advocates filled the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee room on April 5 to testify in favor of HB 658, which would offer medical marijuana patients an affirmative defense against prosecution for pot possession. The bill, filed by Rep. Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, and co-sponsored by Reps. Terry Keel, R-Austin, and Suzanna Gratia Hupp, R-Lampasas, would offer the defense for patients using marijuana on a doctor's recommendation for the treatment of a bona fide medical condition. It would also prohibit law enforcement from investigating doctors on the grounds that they'd discussed marijuana with their patients.
Twenty-six states have already recognized the benefits of medical marijuana  including 10 which have legalized medi-pot and two, Florida and Idaho, which have passed laws creating a "medical necessity" defense to prosecution, akin to Naishtat's current proposal. "This is an issue of compassion, and of the right to effective health care treatments," Texans for Medical Marijuana Executive Director Noelle Davis told the committee. The bill is still pending in committee. In other news, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Surfside, intends to file legislation this spring that would redefine industrial hemp under the Controlled Substances Act, removing the de facto federal ban on agricultural hemp production. "This is an industrial product," said Paul spokesman Jeff Deist. "This would essentially eliminate the federal roadblocks to industrial hemp production." According to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service, the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that does not have an established hemp crop. And the demand for hemp products  from textiles to auto parts to foods  continues to grow, meaning U.S. companies must import hemp products for sale in the states. Hemp farming used to be an agricultural staple  the government actually encouraged production during World War II  until changes to the Controlled Substances Act made continued production untenable. The CSA drug-war era revisions eliminated the distinction between breeds of marijuana, thus placing hemp regulation under the authority of the Drug Enforcement Administration, which is charged with approving, denying, or just ignoring hemp farming license applications. (The DEA has only ever issued one license, which has now expired, to hemp growers in Hawaii.) Nonetheless, five states  Hawaii, Montana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and North Dakota  currently have laws that legalize and regulate hemp farming; similar legislation is pending in California, Oregon, and New Hampshire. Deist said that the government's broad definition of marijuana, which includes industrial hemp as a Schedule I narcotic, is "preposterous." "Hemp doesn't fall under the same category [as illegal marijuana] and it is silly that it does," he said. "This is an industrial product." The ban on hemp is merely an "off-shoot of this mentality from a war on drugs, and is not based on reason or fact. There is no rational policy right now." Deist said Paul expects to file the legislation in late May or early June. Speaking of irrational, federal drug czar John Walters, head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, whipped out his hysterical evil-weed rhetoric last week during a visit to Cincinnati, claiming, again, that marijuana is a hard drug and is now the primary reason for admission to drug treatment facilities, reports The Cincinnati Enquirer. Walters' pot protestations have become somewhat tiresome  along with the dubious drug treatment stats, Walters also likes to claim that today's pot is super potent, with THC levels up to 20% and higher  but the man is nothing if not persistent. During his Cinci speech, Walters said it's "crucial" to target preteens with an anti-pot message, since "studies show" that people are less likely to become dependent on drugs after age 19. Marijuana abuse, he said, is a "pediatric-onset disease." Source: Austin Chronicle (TX)Author: Jordan SmithPublished: April 15, 2005Copyright: 2005 Austin Chronicle Corp.Contact: louis auschron.comWebsite: http://www.auschron.com/Related Articles & Web Site:Texans For Medical Marijuanahttp://texansformedicalmarijuana.org/Bill Backs Medical Use for Pothttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20463.shtmlMedical Pot Law Backers Hopefulhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20152.shtmlMedical Pot Has Support in Austin http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20252.shtmlPoll Finds 75% of Texans Support Med Marijuanahttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread19840.shtml 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 14, 2005 at 18:04:22 PT
Picture of The Inhaler
Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050414/CGTH061 
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on April 14, 2005 at 17:50:05 PT
Big Brother Is Sniffing 
Big Brother Is Sniffing You – And Without Going to the Dogs. New Technologies and Court Rulings Could Raise More Threats to Cannabis Community. MarijuanaNews Exclusive. http://www.marijuananews.com/news.php3?sid=801
http://www.marijuananews.com/
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Comment #4 posted by mayan on April 14, 2005 at 17:41:09 PT
Third Crop Needed
In other news, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Surfside, intends to file legislation this spring that would redefine industrial hemp under the Controlled Substances Act, removing the de facto federal ban on agricultural hemp production. "This is an industrial product," said Paul spokesman Jeff Deist. "This would essentially eliminate the federal roadblocks to industrial hemp production."I live in a major soy-bean producing state. Some farmers are refusing to plant beans this year due to fears of "soy-bean rust", which was detected in some gulf states late last growing season and is likely to spread north this year. Many farmers are planting corn for a second consecutive year but wish they had a viable "third-crop" to rotate. Industrial hemp would be the perfect choice right now. Some farmers are still growing beans out of neccessity but the rust is almost certain to hit us. If nothing else, hemp could help buy them some time until more is learned about this rust. It's a shame that hemp is an illegal crop. The most basic,important aspect of national security is a country's ability to feed it's people. If our agriculture is vulnerable then so are we.Greed sucks.
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Comment #3 posted by jose melendez on April 14, 2005 at 17:11:40 PT
imagine no possession (charges)
Professional pharmaceutical pushers promote pills, poisons, powders and now puffs for profit, just not pot:http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/04-14-2005/0003393629&EDATE=
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Comment #2 posted by stoner spirit on April 14, 2005 at 15:44:29 PT:
Pills
The last thing we need is more pills and poisons! The thing that we need is weed! Legalizing it for medical use is a good start, but, how about making it available for everybody?
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Comment #1 posted by potpal on April 14, 2005 at 07:44:40 PT
An ill for every pill
pediatric-onset disease?Now that they have a name for it, they'll start making new designer drugs to treat it...Sow every seed.
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