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A Brief History of Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on October 21, 2009 at 07:34:58 PT
By Patrick Stack, with Claire Suddath
Source: Time Magazine 
USA -- On Oct. 19, the U.S. Justice Department announced that federal prosecutors would not pursue medical-marijuana users and distributors who comply with state laws, formalizing a policy at which the Obama Administration hinted earlier this year. Currently, 13 states allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients suffering from ailments ranging from AIDS to glaucoma, and in Maryland a prescription can soften punishment if a user faces prosecution. But until now those laws didn't provide any protection from federal authorities.
Should Professors Cheech and Chong ever receive university tenure teaching the medical history of their favorite subject, the course pack would be surprisingly thick. As early as 2737 B.C., the mystical Emperor Shen Neng of China was prescribing marijuana tea for the treatment of gout, rheumatism, malaria and, oddly enough, poor memory. The drug's popularity as a medicine spread throughout Asia, the Middle East and down the eastern coast of Africa, and certain Hindu sects in India used marijuana for religious purposes and stress relief. Ancient physicians prescribed marijuana for everything from pain relief to earache to childbirth. Doctors also warned against overuse of marijuana, believing that too much consumption caused impotence, blindness and "seeing devils."By the late 18th century, early editions of American medical journals recommend hemp seeds and roots for the treatment of inflamed skin, incontinence and venereal disease. Irish doctor William O'Shaughnessy first popularized marijuana's medical use in England and America. As a physician with the British East India Company, he found marijuana eased the pain of rheumatism and was helpful against discomfort and nausea in cases of rabies, cholera and tetanus.The sea change in American attitudes toward pot came at the end of the 19th century, when between 2% and 5% of the U.S. population was unknowingly addicted to morphine, a popular secret ingredient in patent medicines with colorful names like "The People's Healing Liniment for Man or Beast" and "Dr. Fenner's Golden Relief." To prevent more of the country from being washed over with a morphine-induced golden relief, the government introduced the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906, creating the Food and Drug Administration. While it didn't apply to marijuana and merely brought the distribution of opium and morphine under doctors' control, the regulation of chemical substances was a major shift in American drug policy. It wasn't until 1914 that drug use was defined as a crime, under the Harrison Act. To get around states' rights issues, the act used a tax to regulate opium- and coca-derived drugs: it levied a tax on nonmedical uses of the drugs that was much higher than the cost of the drugs themselves, and punished anyone using the drugs without paying the tax. By 1937, 23 states had outlawed marijuana: some to stop former morphine addicts from taking up a new drug, and some as a backlash against newly arrived Mexican immigrants, some of whom brought the drug with them. Also in 1937, the Federal Government passed the Marihuana Tax Act, which made nonmedical use of marijuana illegal. Only the birdseed industry, which argued that hemp seeds gave birds' feathers a particularly shiny gloss, was exempted, and to this day birdseed producers are allowed to use imported hemp seeds treated so they don't sprout.With an exception during World War II, when the government planted huge hemp crops to supply naval rope needs and make up for Asian hemp supplies controlled by the Japanese, marijuana was criminalized and harsher penalties were applied. In the 1950s Congress passed the Boggs Act and the Narcotics Control Act, which laid down mandatory sentences for drug offenders, including marijuana possessors and distributors.Despite an easing of marijuana laws in the 1970s, the Reagan Administration's get-tough drug policies the following decade applied to marijuana as well. Still, the long-term trend has been toward relaxation. Since California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, a dozen states have followed. Critics say the legalization of medical marijuana has sparked an underground pot culture in states that sanction its use  Los Angeles County district attorney Steve Cooley has estimated that there are about 1,000 illegally operated marijuana shops in that city alone. And although the Justice Department's newly unveiled policy will keep authorities from cracking down on those with legitimate marijuana prescriptions, all other smokers still run the risk of prosecution.Source: Time Magazine (US)Author:  Patrick Stack, with Claire Suddath Published: Wednesday, October 21, 2009Copyright: 2009 Time Inc.Contact: letters time.comWebsite: http://www.time.com/time/URL: http://drugsense.org/url/H0GoKODpCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml
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Comment #4 posted by TerryClimber on October 21, 2009 at 12:24:42 PT
Why I Don't Buy Medical Marijuana, Inc. 
Medical Marijuana Inc. (MJNA) is truly a forward looking company.Looking back, it began in 2003 as Berkshire Collection, Inc. (BKCL) of Ontario, Canada. According to a complaint filed 12 Jun 09 by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) against Blackout Media (BKMP) and its principal Sandy Winick of Toronto, Berkshire Collection was one of 59 subsidiaries spun off from Blackout Media Corporation, formerly known as First Canadian American Holding Corporation, (FCDH).The SEC complaint alleges these 59 subsidiaries had no legitimate business purpose and were just "public company shells", and that Winick profited at least $3.2 million from selling shares in these "shells" from 2004 through 2007.On 23 May 05 Berkshire Collection changed its jurisdiction to Oregon, at the same time issuing a 1 for 1,000 reverse split.I have never before in my life seen a 1 for 1,000 reverse split. A reverse split is typically a last ditch effort to prevent a company from being delisted on an exchange. According to MSN Money, "reverse splits are like a message from management that the underlying business trends are so rotten, they won't be enough to get the stock price up to snuff." Small shareholders, those holding less than 1 share after the reverse split, are cashed out. They're lucky if they get a penny on the dollar.On 31 Jan 2007 Berkshire Collection changed its name to My Newpedia Corp (MYNW). This incarnation lasted until June of 2008 when it issued 211,926,840 shares of common stock, realizing $100,000. Then My Newpedia changed it's name to Club Vivanet, exchanging 12 shares of MYNW for 1 share of CVIV. Then the merged entities, now named Club Vivanet (CVIV), "took back" 210,117,998 shares in a 1 for 20 reverse split and posted a stunning net profit of $26,040 for 2008.The Statement of Operations found on page 16 of the Annual Report for Club Vivanet for 31 Dec 08 states that it spent $751,359 on sales and marketing in order to post a profit of $26,040 on revenue of $818,992. While this was more than double the net profit of $12,624 for the previous year, it doesn't seem particularly forthcoming to term the growth "meteoric" as Perlowin does repeatedly.In April of 2009 Club Vivanet (CVIV) became Medical Marijuana Inc. (MJNA):We thought at first we'd call our corporation Marijuana Inc. But when you say to someone ... you're in the Marijuana Business, you do get that weird, kinda strange look. But when you say 'We're in the Medical Marijuana Business' ...I don't care where I am, everyone's interested. Not only are they interested, sometimes they're passionately interested because they've heard the stories and they think people should have the freedom to choose the medicine that really does help them.On 25 Mar 09, the day the name change was filed, the stock was worth 4 cents. The name change and 10 for 1 forward split occurred on 28 Apr 09. The day before the split and name change CVIV closed at 22 cents. The day after, MJNA closed at 62 cents. It has trended downward since.Perlowin explains it like this, pointing out he got out of prison 19 years ago:I was the largest marijuana smuggler in West Coast history. The media dubbed me the King of Pot. As the newspapers said, I had a fleet of boats larger than most country's navies, and that was probably true. Made $100 million bucks by the time I was thirty. And then I went to jail for nine years and got out and made some huge businesses in the phone card and international telecom business. We've always had meteorically growing businesses after I got out of prison. Well, before I got out of prison too...Just look at what happened to our stock from day one and you can see we sort of know know what we're doing in this industry.He explains that he is "monetizing" the public's desire to legalize marijuana and that buying stock in his company is casting a vote for the legalization of marijuana.When Obama and the attorney general Holder said that they'd no longer interfere with state laws on marijuana issues, all of a sudden dispensaries and collectives and co-ops started popping up like weeds all over California ... and, all of a sudden, legitimate business people started getting involved and wanting to get involved. And then "we" come along...This is one of those statements were you don't really know where to begin.What is this "all of a sudden" legitimate business people are getting involved? Is he saying those dispensaries and co-operatives that have been doing it for years and who built the industry he finds so exciting are not "legitimate business people"? What does this say about The Green Cross - in business in San Francisco for five years and featured in June as an example of how medical marijuana had become mainstream? And, by the way, they've all been using plastic cards of all kinds for years: debit, credit, stored value, ID, and so forth. A manager of one dispensary told me 5 years ago, "Bank of America loves us."Are we also supposed to believe that the "legitimate business people" who have been waiting for Obama to start the green rush before they got involved will not have the wherewithal to set up a business account with, oh, Bank of America or Wells Fargo, but instead will be "cash based"?While Perlowin wasn't really sure if New Mexico had passed a medical marijuana law or not and was astonished at what he found when he came to California in February and told his doctor he had insomnia so he could get in a dispensary and see what it was like, he assures us he is the one to tell us all how to do it.I actually believe New Mexico is one of the places - don't quote me on that because my big focus is on marijuana, on California - but I think New Mexico is one of the places where it's legal. You can look at any of the movement websites like NORML or MPP.org - that's a great one, MPP.org - and they really keep you up-to-date on what's going on in each state. So I think it is. And in some places you can have co-ops, like in Colorado and California, and some places you're allowed to grow your own. There's no standardized laws or rules, which for a public company like us makes it really lucrative, or potentially lucrative. Because we can help come in and standardize the industry and help regulate the industry. Again, from the bottom up. Typically a company like this can move much quicker than the government can.It's all a mish-mash. Every county in California is different from every city. And every state has different rules. And if you standardize it - it will take a few years - but that's one of the things that we're here to do, is to help standardize it. And again, starting with the most lucrative of all, the tax remittance.And he's going to begin by re-assembling his old organization, from administering taxes paid by the sick and dying for medicine. When asked if he has any plans to own a dispensary:"If Nevada ever legalizes it - it'll be on the ballot in 2012, November - I would love to have a dispensary inside a casino, growing the marijuana plants..."Obviously, Medical Marijuana Inc. CEO and King of Pot Bruce Perlowin didn't have "medical marijuana" in mind when he said this. When the host points out this has the appearance of exploitation he replies:Yeah. So in that case, yeah. In the beginning. no. In the beginning all we want to do is provide all the tools for the dispensaries or the co-ops. In fact, we're going to be doing seminars on how to open up a dispensary and we want management contracts with the dispensaries, not just for the tax card but for inventory control, for grading and standardizing the marijuana for software, for the doctors to use, and evaluating whether sativa or indica should be used for glaucoma vs. cancer vs. MS vs. headaches..."In the meantime, he hopes to buy "homesteads" of 1 to 5 thousand acres all over the country and grow vegetables or something on them until hemp is legalized, and then convert them to hemp farms. All this from administering taxes paid by the sick and dying for medicine.It's an intriguing business model. He states they've decided 60% of the profit will go to the company, and 40% to charity.My job is to empower people, and specifically (because of another model) empower women. 40% of our profits goes to The Global Family and WE (Women Empowerment) because their job is to make sure this wealth goes all over the world to create a thousand millionaire women, who will create a thousand millionaire women each, and then they take over the world in what's known as a global coup, but it's really a coochie coo..Again, it's difficult to figure out where to begin. Seems a bit sexist (not to mention boorish) to me, but what do I know? Besides there are more pressing issues. For instance, just ten minutes previously he stated 40% of "revenues" would be going to the local community: 10% to schools and or the women's council (because women won't take bribes and kick-backs, but men will); 10% to another local problem like fire or police (speaking of bribes); 10% to another city in America; and 10% to some international problem.Obviously, how much of what goes where isn't really important. All that's important is that 40% of the stockholders earnings from administering taxes paid on medicine by the sick and dying will go to some charity somewhere. No doubt medical marijuana patients will get a warm glow knowing their disability stipend is going to increase the supply of female millionaires in third world countries.Among a nebulae of disconnects is that it never occurred to Medical Marijuana Inc. that there are medical marijuana patients that can't afford medicine, that are losing their jobs and their homes, that can't pay lawyers and court costs. And a lot of them are men.Perlowin says he doesn't smoke marijuana, except rarely.My prescription's for insomnia. And I don't know if I have insomnia, I'm so excited about what we're doing I can't sleep at night so I jump up and email. I go to sleep. I wake up. I email. And so I'm thinking, 'I really want to go see these dispensaries but you can't get in without a medical condition and I don't want to lie about a medical condition. I won't do that. I'm CEO of a public company, I've got to keep everything really straight. So, I'm thinking, 'wait a minute...' and if I don't have my computer I'm sitting there awake all night, just thinking. So that's clinical insomnia. That's insomnia. So I got my medical marijuana card for being too excited. But I haven't used my marijuana medicine yet because if I do I won't answer my emails all night.As for the morality of taxing medicine? As for what happens when The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act (HR 2835) is passed? As for the fact that you don't get a "prescription" for medical marijuana, you get a "recommendation"?HR 2835 will move marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act's Schedule I to Schedule II. Among other things this will mean marijuana will meet the legal definition of medicine and that doctors can prescribe it the same as pharmaceuticals. And this means it will not be taxed in states such as California where the people think there's something sleazy and just plain wrong about taxing medicine.Well, maybe by then Perlowin will have his upscale pot emporium in some swanky Las Vegas casino.Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-14883-Santa-Cruz-County-Drug-Policy-Examiner~y2009m9d2-Agonizing-over-Medical-Marijuana-Inc
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on October 21, 2009 at 08:36:53 PT
Pardon?
"Los Angeles County district attorney Steve Cooley has estimated that there are about 1,000 illegally operated marijuana shops in that city alone."
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on October 21, 2009 at 08:33:06 PT
Pretty good article.
But it's not a "Prescription". It's a "Recommendation".
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on October 21, 2009 at 07:50:15 PT
History
>>The sea change in American attitudes toward pot came at the end of the 19th century, when between 2% and 5% of the U.S. population was unknowingly addicted to morphine, a popular secret ingredient in patent medicines with colorful names like "The People's Healing Liniment for Man or Beast" and "Dr. Fenner's Golden Relief." To prevent more of the country from being washed over with a morphine-induced golden relief, the government introduced the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906, creating the Food and Drug Administration. While it didn't apply to marijuana and merely brought the distribution of opium and morphine under doctors' control, the regulation of chemical substances was a major shift in American drug policy. And the rate of drug addiction is exactly the same today as it was in the 1906!  With the added bonus of warring gangs taking over our poor neighborhoods and 2.5 million people in prison
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