NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - March 6, 2008

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - March 6, 2008
Posted by CN Staff on March 06, 2008 at 13:17:09 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
 Michigan Medical Marijuana Initiative Certified For November Ballot March 6, 2008 - Lansing, MI, USALansing, MI: State election officials this week approved a measure for the November 2008 electoral ballot that seeks to legalize the possession and use of cannabis for qualified patients.
Sponsored by the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care, the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act would amend state law to allow authorized patients to use cannabis therapeutically under a doctor’s supervision. Backers of the plan gathered over 300,000 signatures from Michigan voters to place the measure on the upcoming ballot.Under Michigan law, state lawmakers may preemptively enact the measure, but are unlikely to do so.Since 2004, five Michigan cities – Ann Arbor, Detroit, Ferndale, Flint, and Traverse City – have each enacted municipal initiatives endorsing the medical use of marijuana.If enacted by the voters, Michigan will become the thirteenth state since 1996 to authorize the legal use of medical cannabis, and the ninth state to do so by voter initiative.For more information, please visit the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care at: http://stoparrestingpatients.orgDL:  Pot Use Not Associated With Increased Risk Of Head Or Neck Cancer, Study Says  March 6, 2008 - Wellington, New ZealandWellington, New Zealand: Smoking cannabis, even long-term, is not associated with an increased risk of developing cancers of the head or neck, according to the results of a case control population-based study published in the March issue of the journal Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.Investigators at the Medical Research Institute in Wellington assessed the relative risk of head and neck cancer associated with marijuana smoking in 75 cases (16 of which reported having used cannabis) and 319 controls. Researchers reported that marijuana use – including chronic use of the drug – was not associated with any increased cancer risk compared to non-using controls."This population-based study did not find a statistically significant increase in the risk of head and neck cancer in adults [under age 55] from cannabis," authors concluded. "[Even] the risk associated with the highest tertile of cannabis use (defined as one joint a day for more than eight years) was not statistically significant after adjustment for cofounding variables including tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, and level of income."By contrast, investigators reported that heavy alcohol use was associated with a nearly six-fold increased cancer risk compared to controls.In February, a parallel study published by the same investigative team reported that subjects who had "ever used" cannabis experienced, on average, no statistically increased risk of lung cancer compared to non-users. A prior case-control study sponsored by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse of 164 oral cancer patients and 526 controls determined, "The balance of the evidence … does not favor the idea that marijuana as commonly used in the community is a causal factor for head, neck or lung cancer in adults." More recently, a 2004 clinical trial performed by investigators at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reported "no association" between marijuana use and the incidence of oral carcinoma, "regardless of how long, how much or how often a person has used marijuana."Most recently, a UCLA study of more than 2,200 subjects (1,212 cases and 1,040 controls) reported that marijuana smoking was not positively associated with cancers of the lung or upper aerodigestive tract – even among individuals who reported smoking more than 22,000 joints during their lifetime.NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said that the Wellington team’s findings add to the growing body of evidence indicating that smoking cannabis poses a surprisingly low cancer risk compared to the use of tobacco or alcohol. He said: "While studies purporting to uncover alleged harms due to cannabis use receive wide dissemination by the mainstream press, research that fails to find such harms often gets ignored. It will be telling to see if this latest study is the exception or the rule."For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul norml.orgFull text of the study, "Cannabis use and cancer of the head and neck: Case-control study," appears in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Additional information on cannabis and cancer risk is available in the online report, "Cannabis Smoke and Cancer: Assessing the Risk," at: Jamaica: Parliament Once Again Considering Liberalizing Ganja Laws  March 6, 2008 - Kingston, JamaicaKingston, Jamaica: A government commission is expected to once again recommend that Parliament remove criminal penalties outlawing the possession of small amounts of cannabis, according to an Associated Press (AP) report published this week.The report warns that any liberalization of Jamaican pot policies would likely yield harsh criticism from US officials, and could jeopardize the island’s ‘anti-drug certification.’In 2001, the Jamaican National Commission on Ganja recommended that Parliament decriminalize the private, personal use of cannabis for adults – determining that the "criminalization of thousands of people for simple possession for consumption [of cannabis] does more harm to the society than could be done by the use of ganja itself."In 2003, Parliament held a series of legislative hearings debating the Commission’s recommendations, but failed to enact them.For more in formation, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500. DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: March 6, 2008Copyright: 2008 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #10 posted by rchandar on March 22, 2008 at 16:14:25 PT:
The Dangerous "Certification" Card
First off, I'm glad that CN posted this article; I believe it's important, so thanks FoM.Okay. This is one that has been tried three or four times in the past 20 years. Every time it has been killed by the US doctrine of "certification." "Certification" means that, if countries known for drugs production have verifiable efforts to eradicate the sale, trade, and manufacture of drugs, then the US government "certifies" them as drug fighters and allows them to get loans and funding for military, educational, and economic objectives.Okay. Doesn't that sound horrible? Now, here's our caveat: "certification" is NOT correlative with UN law. None of these nations "have" to support the US Drug War, it's just a means of restricting funding to poor nations. But UN-wise--and specifically, with respect to the UN Drug treaties of 1961, 1988, and 1992, Jamaica has the same right as Holland to draw up a "liberal" drugs policy. There are plenty of rich nations--especially now, with the US going into a recession--that would benefit from the withdrawal of "certification." It would mean that they, not the US, could master the industrialization of a poor nation. This is all perfectly legal; the US government has NO right to EXPECT that countries obey THEIR objectives.There is no reason why "certification" should stop this impressive move. Okay...
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on March 07, 2008 at 19:57:22 PT:
LEOs & pot!
If every Leo in the country were to be exposed tomorrow for their involvement in the herb it would look like the 1920s prohibition all over again. Cops are in the blackmarket, graft, use, you name it.I wouldn't bet the farm that Wakefield was not somehow involved in illegal drugs. They are very practiced at puting on their most discusted face at a time like this.I've wandered to far, seen too much, payed too many dues, to ever be fooled again.
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Comment #8 posted by ekim on March 07, 2008 at 19:55:08 PT
gee FoM i am in slowmo:)
F4F i get the bigest smile reading your posts.
man keep it up. thanks for all your info.
the bash its been a few and i am very proud of all the people that carried the day i will try.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on March 07, 2008 at 19:46:34 PT
Yes wireless. I agree that the Governor is against the Initiative. She is a big time Clinton supporter unfortunately.
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Comment #6 posted by fight_4_freedom on March 07, 2008 at 19:33:50 PT:
You going to the Bash of the Hash?I'll be there!
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on March 07, 2008 at 19:28:26 PT
thanks FoM -- like wireless -- 
Richard Cowan said it all. its time to put up or shut up. 
Mi. Gov. Gramholm has said she is against the med cannabis its time for the person that wants to be the leader. 
like the song-- my heroes have had the heart to live out on the limb----for sure Illinois wants to hear from their lawmaker on med cannabis.
and the Hash bash would welcome both to Ann Arbor on April 5 or send a Rep to tell the people how the candidates feel about med cannabis-- if MI and FL have a recount the med cannabis question must be asked.when will project runway show some fierceness(cris) and make a cannabis statement in hemp clothing --------new jobs- new mills-new farm equiptment-- new ethanols--new plastics.
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Comment #4 posted by RevRayGreen on March 07, 2008 at 15:00:18 PT
Ex-Deputy Faces Felony Pot Charges 
-------by Sheri McWhirter, (Source:Traverse City Record-Eagle)01 Mar 2008GRAYLING -- A former Crawford County Sheriff's deputy who served as a school DARE officer faces felony marijuana charges. William John Bonkowski III, 45, was arrested Thursday as part of a series of 11 drug-related arrests around the county. The Grayling Township resident worked for the sheriff's department for more than a decade and for a time taught the school-based Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, officials said. At least one law enforcement official said the arrest of a former colleague is disappointing and angering. "It ( ticked ) me off. I take this personally. It's an insult to my profession," said Sheriff Kirk Wakefield. "Not to mention he used to work for me." Bonkowski worked as a Crawford County deputy between September 1996 and December 2006, first as a marine patrol officer and then as a full-time deputy, Wakefield said. He also worked as a school liaison officer with the Crawford-Au Sable School District during his time as a deputy. He was assigned to the primary and elementary schools in Grayling from 2001 to 2004, said Joe Powers, district superintendent. That included running the schools' DARE program, he said. Wakefield declined to comment about Bonkowski and the DARE program. Bonkowski faces a felony charge for allegedly possessing and trying to deliver marijuana in Crawford County. He could face up to four years in prison and a $20,000 fine, if convicted. He posted a $5,000 bond and is set to appear for arraignment on March 19 in 87th District Court in Grayling. The court does not have an attorney on file for Bonkowski, who has not yet appeared before a judge. The arrest warrant was authorized by David Sabin, Crawford County's assistant prosecuting attorney, who could not be reached for comment. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on March 07, 2008 at 05:01:01 PT
You know how...
You know how prohibitng something tends to create an underground and blackmarket situation???This article helps expose how raising the drinking age to 21 actually creates more drinking, not less.-0-Mar 7, 1:00 AM ESTBoulder Police Chief: Drinking age at 21 not a good idea"""... Beckner said he believes the level of drinking between the ages of 18 and 21 has actually increased since the 1980s, after President Reagan signed the National Minimum Age Drinking Act in 1984. That law withheld federal highway funds from states that failed to set the legal limit to 21 years old, prompting all 50 states to raise the limit."All of the efforts we have tried to implement over the years, including education, awareness programs, heavy enforcement, etc., have had little effect on preventing 18- to 20-year-old adults from drinking," he wrote. "What we've done is helped create an underground culture that encourages binge drinking without any oversight or supervision."Cont.
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Comment #2 posted by RevRayGreen on March 06, 2008 at 17:15:37 PT
Yep a couple years ago
a close friend of mine had part of his group get busted boarding the cruise ship that incuded his son and little sister age 24. each had anywhere from an ounce to a QP. They got out the next day for a $20 fine but missed the departure by 6 hours, had to fly to Miami then take a Greyhound to Corpus to get their cars :(
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Comment #1 posted by Yanxor on March 06, 2008 at 16:54:35 PT
Ganja is illegal in Jamaica?
Get out.
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