Group Wants Marijuana To Be Lowest Police Priority

Group Wants Marijuana To Be Lowest Police Priority
Posted by CN Staff on November 27, 2007 at 08:53:12 PT
By Adam Wallworth, Northwest Arkansas Times
Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
Arkansas -- Sensible Fayetteville wants to give voters a chance to declare marijuana the lowest priority for police. "We believe law enforcement should be focusing on higher priorities and more serious issues," said Ryan Denham, an organizer of Sensible Fayetteville. Members of the group are circulating a petition to get an amendment added to the ballot during next year's general election. The group argues that drug policy should be a local decision, not something handed down by the federal government, according to the group's Web site:
The amendment would be similar to the one approved in Eureka Springs and would make "investigations, citations, arrests, property seizures, and prosecutions for adult marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia offenses, where the marijuana was intended for adult personal use, the City of Fayetteville's lowest law enforcement and prosecutorial priority," the petition states. Denham said the focus is on adults who would fall under misdemeanor offenses, which is possession of 1 ounce or less. He said enforcement of the law, as written, only serves to increase law enforcement expenditures and overcrowd jails. "We believe that at the least it should be a citation-only offense, not an arrestable offense," Denham said. "This is going to reduce the city's spending on law enforcement and punishment."While the primary goal of the group is to make marijuana the lowest priority, Denham said Sensible Fayetteville also wants to call attention to the reality that the government's stance on marijuana is much harsher than for much more heinous crimes, at least when it comes to granting financial aid. College students arrested for possession of marijuana will lose federal financial aid, he said, while convicted felons, including rapists, are not so penalized. Sgt. Shannon Gabbard with the Fayetteville Police Department said he doubts that passage of such an amendment will have much of an impact, if any, on police enforcement. He said misdemeanor marijuana arrests typically are made subsequent to other investigations, such as traffic stops or noise complaints. "I don't know that they're out there doing some light patrols - going out looking for people smoking dope in parking lots," Gabbard said. He said that as it is, officers decide whether they will arrest a person for possession - as in the case of a traffic stop in which someone would be driving under the influence - or whether they want to work on the supply chain - as in the case of answering a call to a loud party. "But this is totally walking away saying, ' Don't do that, '"Gabbard said. "I don't see that, and definitely not leaving it with them."He said that for people who want to legalize marijuana, this may be the step to take, but for law enforcement, passage of this ordinance probably won't mean much. "I can tell you I don't see this making much of a ripple other than as a political statement," he said. Eureka Springs police Chief Early Hyatt said nothing has changed since the law was approved in his city last November. He said the passage of that type of amendment is a way for people to make a statement against federal drug policy. In reality, there's not much that can be done at a municipal level, he said. "We're kind of at the bottom of the food chain," he said. Complete Title: Local Group Wants Marijuana To Be Lowest Police Priority Source: Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, AR)Author: Adam Wallworth, Northwest Arkansas TimesPublished: Tuesday, November 27, 2007Copyright: 2007 Arkansas Democrat-GazetteContact:  email nwarktimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #3 posted by Mike on November 27, 2007 at 17:35:50 PT
From the Union Leader
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Comment #2 posted by Graehstone on November 27, 2007 at 17:02:05 PT
More than 6000 papers ...
Thought this to be of interest enough to want to share here.PubMed lists over 6,000 records for cannabinoids in 2006, indicating the level of interest in the scientific community. It is an exciting time to be involved in cannabinoid research as reflected in the growing number of international scientific meetings on cannabinoids or cannabinoid-related topics. One of these, organized in Nottingham by Steve Alexander, Victoria Chapman, Dave Kendall and Michael Randall, was the British Pharmacological Society Focused Meeting on Cannabinoids/3rd European Workshop on Cannabinoid Research (April 2007).This special themed issue on cannabinoids, guest edited by Steve Alexander and Michael Randall, contains 12 review articles related to topics presented at the British Pharmacological Society Focused Meeting/3rd European Workshop, as well as a series of 1520 original articles.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 27, 2007 at 14:12:37 PT
Cannabis Drug Begins Last Phase of U.S. Testing
By Trista Kelley Bloomberg NewsPublished: November 26, 2007 LONDON: GW Pharmaceuticals and its Japanese partner, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, began the final phase of U.S. testing of the cannabis-based Sativex pain-relief medicine for some cancer patients.The five-week trial of 336 patients will test whether the drug helps advanced cancer sufferers who no longer respond to opium-based pain relievers, the companies said in a statement Monday. GW Pharma, based in Salisbury, England, plans to report findings from the study next year and expects to receive U.S. regulatory approval in 2011.Otsuka, which is closely held, has exclusive rights to develop and market Sativex in the United States. There are more than six million cancer patients and GW Pharma estimates as much as 40 percent of them have severe enough pain to warrant an opium-based treatment. Sativex, a mist sprayed in the mouth, is already approved in Canada for pain relief from advanced cancer and multiple sclerosis."Sativex has the potential to be a lucrative niche drug," Stefan Hamill, a Clear Capital analyst, said in London. "Data in the beginning of 2008 will convince the market that this is actually a real drug."Hamill, who has a buy rating on GW Pharma, estimates peak sales for U.S. cancer pain at $200 million a year and worldwide annual revenue of $350 million.Today in Marketplace by Bloomberg
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 GW Pharma shares plunged 29 percent, the most ever, on July 20 after the drug maker withdrew an application to European regulators for Sativex as treatment for MS muscle spasms. GW Pharma said it plans to resubmit the application after conducting a new trial that regulators requested. The shares rose 1 percent, to 50 pence, or $1.03, in early trading Monday. The stock is down about 43 percent this year."We think the pessimism has peaked and the positive clinical data is going to turn things around," Hamill said. He has a target price of 102 pence.Under the February agreement, Otsuka agreed to pay GW Pharma as much as $273 million plus a royalty, as well as bear all the costs for the U.S. development of the drug.Otsuka, the discoverer of the antipsychotic medicine Abilify, and GW Pharma in July also agreed to collaborate on researching and developing cannabis-based treatments related to the central nervous system and cancer.GW Pharma is already screening molecules from marijuana plants for Otsuka, and the first potential products may enter very early clinical testing next year, said Justin David Gover, the managing director at GW Pharma.The agreement gives GW Pharma "a pipeline that is fully funded," he said Nov. 15. "We were wondering how we were going to fund the U.S. bit" before the deal.GW Pharma also has Sativex licensing agreements with Bayer for Britain and Canada and Laboratorios Almirall for the rest of Europe. Gover said the company will seek partners next year to develop cannabis-based treatments for inflammatory conditions, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and osteoporosis. Copyright: 2007 the International Herald Tribune
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