NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - December 21, 2006

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - December 21, 2006
Posted by CN Staff on December 21, 2006 at 14:01:48 PT
Weekly Press Release 
Source: NORML 
 Marijuana Ranks As Top US Cash Crop December 21, 2006 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: Cannabis is the largest cash crop in the United States, outpacing the production of corn and wheat combined, according to an economic analysis released this week.
According to the study, "Marijuana Production in the United States, 2006," domestic marijuana production has increased ten-fold in the past 25 years from 1,000 metric tons (2.2 million pounds) to 10,000 metric tons (22 million pounds) and now has an estimated annual value of $36 billion."Despite their best efforts, the [government] has been unable to curtail the growth of domestic marijuana cultivation in the United States, let alone make any progress toward suppressing, abolishing, or eliminating this market phenomenon," the report states. "The focus for public policy should be how to effectively control this market through regulation and taxation in order to achieve immediate and realistic goals, such as reducing teenage access, rather than to continue to sacrifice achievable goals in exchange for unachievable long-term goals that have failed to materialize over the last 25 years."According to the report, marijuana cultivation in California is responsible for more than a third of all US pot production.Cannabis ranks as the top cash crop in twelve states and is worth more than $1 billion annually in five states: California, Tennessee, Kentucky, Hawaii, and Washington.A 1998 NORML report estimated the value of domestic marijuana production at that time at approximately $25 billion.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the report, "Marijuana Production in the United States, 2006," is available online at: Cannabinoid Treatments May Offer Novel Therapy For Parkinson's Disease December 21, 2006 - Frankfurt, GermanyFrankfurt, Germany: Cannabis-based medicines could offer therapeutic relief for symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) and may also moderate the course of the illness, according to a scientific review published this month in the journal Current Medicinal Chemistry."Cannabinoids are antioxidant, inhibit glutamate toxicity, and they also possess anti-inflammatory properties," authors state. "All together, we can conclude that cannabinoid-based medicines could be neuroprotective in the course of the disease, whereas [individual] compounds ... might modulate the behavioral effects of ... PD motor symptoms themselves."Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting the basal ganglia that results in a loss of motor coordination, organ failure, and death. The disease is characterized by a loss of dopaminergic neurons, typically resulting from brain inflammation, glutamate overproduction, and/or oxidative stress. The illness is estimated to affect approximately 2 percent of the population over age 65.Survey data indicates that cannabis can provide subjective relief for symptoms of PD, including bradykinsia (extreme slowness of movement and reflexes), muscle rigidity, and tremor. However, a recent clinical trial assessing the short-term use of oral THC on symptoms of PD found the drug to have little immediate effect on patients' movement.For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the study, "An overview of Parkinson's disease and the cannabinoid system and possible benefits of cannabinoid-based treatments," appears in the December issue of Current Medicinal Chemistry.DL: Report Chair Dies December 21, 2006 - Meadville, PA, USAMeadville, PA: Former Pennsylvania Gov. Raymond P. Shafer passed away last week after suffering complications from congestive heart failure. He was 89 years old.Shafer served as Governor from 1967 to 1971. In 1971, Shafer -- a Republican -- was appointed by President Richard Nixon to chair the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. The Presidential Commission, later known as the Shafer Commission, concluded in 1972 that "neither the marijuana user nor the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety," and recommended to Congress that "citizens should not be criminalized or jailed merely for private possession or use."Though rejected by Nixon -- who refused to even read the report -- and largely ignored by Congress, the Shafer Commission's report was instrumental in convincing several state legislatures to decriminalize penalties for the possession of minor amounts of marijuana. The report was later cited in 1977 by then-President Jimmy Carter, who argued before Congress: "Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to the individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use."NORML founder Keith Stroup said: "Governor Shafer was an honest public servant who -- when confronted with the evidence that it made no sense to treat responsible marijuana smokers as criminals -- had the courage to stand by his principles, despite enormous pressure from the Nixon administration to modify his views and the commission's recommendations for political ends. To this day, The Marijuana Commission still stands as the most comprehensive governmental study of this subject ever undertaken."Full text of the 1972 Shafer Commission report is available at: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: December 21, 2006Copyright: 2006 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #1 posted by Richard Zuckerman on December 26, 2006 at 10:19:25 PT:
California Governor Arnold S. broke his leg skiing. He had an opportunity to legalize Hemp. He has an opportunity to encourage the legalization, regulation, and taxation of Marijuana, in the spirit of the late Milton Friedman, Cannabis might be the biggest cash crop in this country, but here in Middlesex County, New Jersey, it is difficult to obtain without fear of law enforcement's sword of Damocles hanging over our heads! I purchased bumper stickers and sweat shirts from While shopping in Macy's, this morning, one lady said: "Oh, don't wear that sweat shirt!" Democratic N.J. Governor Jon Corzine has shut his mouth about cutting off teacher's benefits, after the teachers showed up in the thousands to rally outside the State House, about two months ago. Now he wants to lease the New Jersey Turnpike to balance the N.J. State budget; Another shell game? The Democrats seem to be maintaining the troops in Iraq JUST AS MUCH AS THE REPUBLICANS. This morning, I heard that Iran might cut exporting oil, which the radio commentator claims might reduce or dely the need to confront Iran. I watched the DVD from about the Freemason Temple in a cave in Israel, where Big wig Freemasons, including King Hussein, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, meets once a year, and Biblical forecast for a World War III to begin in the middle east and the plan to blow up the Israeli Gold-domed Islamic to build a huge Freemason Temple. It seems to me that Democrats and Republicans are no longer supportive of the people. We should vote for Libertarian Party and Green Party political candidates!Part C of the Appellate Division denied my appellate motion for partial summary disposition. Apparently, appellate motion for summary disposition is restricted to those cases where the transcript has not been obtained and the appeal may be decided on the merits with the existing record. My motion was made after the briefs had been submitted, after oral argument. The motion was apparently denied on PROCEDURAL grounds!I HOPE YOU PEOPLE HAD A MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I HOPE YOU PEOPLE HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I HOPE YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTION AND SHORT TERM GOALS ARE FULFILLED TO YOUR EXPECTATIONS!!Richard Paul Zuckerman, Post Office Box 159, Metuchen, New Jersey, 08840-0159, (Cell phone)(848) 250-8879.
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