NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - December 27, 2007

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - December 27, 2007
Posted by CN Staff on December 27, 2007 at 20:53:16 PT
Weekly Press Release 
Source: NORML
  2007: The Year In Review – NORML’s Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy  December 27, 2007 - Washington, DC, USA#1 DEA Steps Up Attacks Against California Medi-Pot Patients, Dispensaries
Federal law enforcement officials took unprecedented steps in 2007 to quash California’s medi-pot patient community. DEA officials raided a record number of dispensaries and mailed hundreds of letters to California landlords threatening them with arrest and up to 20 years imprisonment, as well as the forfeiture of their building, if they rented to medicinal cannabis clubs. Since DEA officials began mailing warning letters this summer, numerous high profile clubs across the state have ceased operations. Read the full story at: #2 DEA Administrative Law Judge Rules Against US Government's Monopoly On Pot ProductionDEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner ruled in February that the private production of cannabis for research purposes is “in the public interest.” She found that the DEA had improperly rejected an application from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to manufacture cannabis for FDA-approved research. The agency has yet to affirm or set aside the ruling. Read the full story at: #3 Pot Compounds Inhibit Spread Of Breast Cancer, Lung CancerCompounds in marijuana reduce the spread and size of various cancers, including lung cancer and breast cancer, according to a pair of preclinical studies published in 2007. In the first, investigators at Harvard University reported that THC reduced lung tumor growth by as much as 50 percent compared to untreated controls. In the second trial, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute reported that CBD significantly limits the activity of a gene linked to the spread of breast cancer. Read the full story at: #4: Marijuana Arrests For Year 2005 Most EverPolice arrested an estimated 829,625 persons for marijuana violations in 2006, the highest annual total ever recorded in the United States, according to statistics compiled in September by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. An American is now arrested for violating marijuana laws every 38 seconds. Read the full story at: #5 New Mexico Becomes Twelfth State To Authorize Medical Cannabis UseNew Mexico lawmakers approved legislation in April approving the use of medicinal cannabis by authorized patients. New Mexico is the twelfth state since 1996 to enact legislation protecting medical cannabis patients from arrest and state criminal prosecution, though it is only the fourth to do so legislatively. Lawmakers in Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington amended their medical marijuana laws in 2007.Read the full story at: #6 Studies Find That Cannabis Has “Clear Medical Benefits” For HIV Patients Inhaling cannabis significantly increases daily caloric intake and body weight in HIV-positive patients, is well tolerated, and does not impair subjects’ cognitive performance, according to a clinical trial published this year in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Additionally, in February, investigators at San Francisco General Hospital reported in the journal Neurology that inhaling cannabis significantly reduced HIV-associated neuropathy (nerve pain) compared to placebo. Read the full story at: #7 Smokeless Cannabis Delivery System Found “Safe And Effective”Vaporization is a “safe and effective” cannabinoid delivery mode for patients who desire the rapid onset of action associated with inhalation while avoiding the respiratory risks of smoking, according to clinical trial data published earlier this year in the journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics. “Vaporization of marijuana does not result in exposure to combustion gases, ... and … is an effective and apparently safe vehicle for THC delivery,” the study concluded. Read the full story at: #8 Cannabis Prohibition Costs Taxpayers More Than $40 Billion Per Year Marijuana prohibition costs US taxpayers nearly $42 billion dollars per year in criminal justice costs and in lost tax revenues, according to an economic analysis released in October. Read the full story at: #9 Ninth Circuit: No “Fundamental” Right To Use Pot To Ease SufferingThe physician-approved use of cannabis to “preserve bodily integrity, avoid intolerable pain, and preserve life” is not a Constitutionally protected right, the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in March. The Court opined: “[M]edical and conventional wisdom … recogniz[ing] the use of marijuana for medical purposes is gaining traction in the law. But that legal recognition has not yet reached the point where a conclusion can be drawn that the right to use medical marijuana is 'fundamental' and 'implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.'” Read the full story at: #10 FDA Advisory Panel Says Controversial Cannabinoid Blocker Not Safe For Human ConsumptionAn independent FDA advisory committee determined 14-0 in June that the controversial cannabinoid receptor antagonist Rimonabant is unsafe for human consumption in the United States. Panelists reported that patients prescribed Rimonabant experienced increased incidences of depression, nausea, vomiting, and suicidal tendencies. Rimonabant is currently marketed in Europe (under the trade name Acomplia) as a dietary aid. Read the full story at: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: December 27, 2007Copyright: 2007 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #15 posted by charmed quark on December 31, 2007 at 06:55:15 PT
Heart attacks and pot
There was some research showing a slightly elevated risk of heart attacks after smoking cannabis(in middle-aged men). Since the increase in risk isn't large, it's unlikely you would personally know some one who did. And middle-aged men have heart attacks all the time regardless of whether they smoke pot. So in individual cases you wouldn't be able to determine if the pot was a real factor. It shows up statistically.It's interesting they raise this risk. Many common prescription and OTC drugs such as Sudafed also raise heart rates and can increase the risk of heart attacks. But I've never had a doctor warn me of this.
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Comment #14 posted by ekim on December 30, 2007 at 19:07:08 PT
cbs is not god allow both sides
speaking of research ----- 
where in the - was the sixty crew or for that matter was the rev tonite -----why no mention of all this newly released info of late on so many fronts.please norml and mpp get a statement out like run a coast to coast spot on all that is helped and counter this crap about how some look as to weather they are helped or not.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on December 30, 2007 at 14:31:21 PT
I haven't known anyone that did but I believe it isn't wise to smoke for a couple of hours before bed if a person is older. I know it can increase you heart rate like some other herbs do.
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Comment #12 posted by BGreen on December 30, 2007 at 14:00:29 PT
Re: Post #9
Has anybody here ever witnessed or heard about somebody who smoked a joint and dropped over with a heart attack within an hour?I sure haven't.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on December 30, 2007 at 13:53:26 PT
Yes he did.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on December 30, 2007 at 12:27:17 PT
Comment 9
That's pretty amazing. He's done a bit of research. Amazing.This is good. This is very good.I think the lid could come boiling off the "cancer" issue pretty dang soon.But then again... censors, censors of all sorts and kinds... and why would they censor news like this? Why have they been keeping it very quiet for so very long?I don't know.I can't imagine the mind of a cannabis prohibitionist. I think they must be mean and stupid.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on December 29, 2007 at 20:30:46 PT
Consumer Affairs: Medical Uses of Marijuana 
 By Fred CicettiDecember 29, 2007 
 Q. I heard that marijuana helps glaucoma. I’d like to try it, but won’t I get in trouble?A. Marijuana can help your glaucoma and it could definitely get you in trouble because it’s illegal.Marijuana refers to the parts of the Cannabis sativa plant, which has been used for medicinal purposes for more than 4,800 years. Doctors in ancient China, Greece and Persia used it as a pain reliever and for gastrointestinal disorders and insomnia.Cannabis as a medicine was common throughout most of the world in the 1800s. It was used as the primary pain reliever until the invention of aspirin.The United States, in effect, made prescriptions for Cannabis illegal through the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. The only opponent to the legislation was the representative of the American Medical Association.Marijuana contains at least 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. THC is the main component responsible for marijuana's mind-altering effect. Marinol (dronabinol), a prescription drug taken by oral capsule, is a man-made version of THCOne of THC's medical uses is for the treatment of nausea. It can improve mild to moderate nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy and help reduce nausea and weight loss in people with AIDS.Older people, especially those with no marijuana experience, may not tolerate THC’s mind-altering side effects as well as young people. Doctors generally prescribe several kinds of newer anti-nausea drugs with fewer side effects before resorting to Marinol.Glaucoma increases pressure in the eyeball, which can lead to vision loss. Smoking marijuana reduces pressure in the eyes. Your doctor can prescribe other medications to treat glaucoma, but these can lose their effectiveness over time.Researchers are trying to develop new medications based on cannabis to treat pain. THC may work as well in treating cancer pain as codeine. A recent study found that cannabinoids significantly reduced pain in people with multiple sclerosis, a disease of the nervous system.Though some doctors and patients suggest marijuana has a legitimate use, the federal government disagrees.The law classifies marijuana as one of the “most dangerous drugs that have no recognized medical use.” The penalties for possession of marijuana can range from a small fine to a prison sentence.Along with the legal implications of smoking marijuana are the health problems such as memory impairment, loss of coordination and the potential for withdrawal symptoms and hallucinations. And, inhaling marijuana smoke exposes you to substances that may cause cancer.One study has indicated that the risk of heart attack more than quadruples in the first hour after smoking marijuana. The researchers suggest that a heart attack might be caused by marijuana’s effects on blood pressure, heart rate and the capacity of blood to carry oxygen.Most polls show that about three out of four people approve of medical marijuana. This has led to the introduction of bills in Congress which would eliminate federal controls in states which approve medical marijuana. None of these bills has been voted into law.There is legislation on the books in the majority of states allowing the medical use of marijuana. Most require that it be prescribed. This provision presents a problem because federal agencies control the power to prescribe.Ask FredIf you would like to ask Fred a question, please use this form. Fred is not able to respond to all questions. Your name will not be used in Fred's column. Copyright: 2007 by Fred Cicetti
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Comment #8 posted by goneposthole on December 29, 2007 at 20:09:39 PT
25 thousand long tons of marijuana
2206 pounds per metric ton. 55 150 000 pounds of cannabis sold and smoked each year.Me thinks there are more than thirty million cannabis smokers in America.If drug interdiction is a top priority for the DEA, they aren't making much of an effort.It's easier to arrest cannabis users and collect money.'To serve and collect'
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Comment #7 posted by Truth on December 29, 2007 at 13:05:42 PT
Arn't pharmacies also in store fronts? Where's this guy's head?
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Comment #6 posted by dongenero on December 29, 2007 at 09:33:15 PT
pharmacies - comment #5 - 60 minutes
Dispensaries are selling safe and effective cannabis to anyone with a doctors note.Well, pharmacies are selling addictive and deadly drugs to anyone with a doctors note.Where is the chaos in this news story? Where is the news in this story?
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on December 29, 2007 at 05:28:58 PT
Heads Up: December 30th: Pot Shops: 60 Minutes
POT SHOPS The law some thought would put medical marijuana in pharmacies has created chaos according to critics, who say there are now "pot dealers in storefronts" who are selling to anyone with a doctor’s note. Morley Safer reports. David Browning is the producer.
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Comment #4 posted by Patrick on December 28, 2007 at 11:37:09 PT
# 9 
I don’t get it.The crumpled up old toilet rag formerly known as our Constitution provided us with a fundamental right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. So when someone is suffering with pain and finds some relief from a God given plant the law doesn’t recognize that as a fundamental implicit right in the concept of ordered liberty? What the F does that mean?I ask this because let’s just say you were suffering from hunger and stumble upon corn. Would a fundamental right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness end because someone in congress 70 years ago voted to prohibit corn as a food substance?My questions are merely rhetorical. This country is so SNAFU’d beyond belief it’s a wonder I even bother throwing my 2cents in every couple of months anymore with such brilliant well paid legal minds coming up with crap like this.
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Comment #3 posted by Truth on December 28, 2007 at 10:48:13 PT
Thank you for speaking the truth. You see through the bull better then most.
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on December 28, 2007 at 10:45:32 PT:
The DEA.
It seems plain and simple to me. The DEA is the strong arm enfocement of the big-pharm companies. They write their own laws in congress to suit themselves. They use the DEA to implement those laws. I believe from what I've learned about the birth and history of the pharm industry in America, that it could not have been nearly so successful without the prohibition of hemp/cannabis and of course the federal muscle to enforce it. It is like I said before, even if they lose the war on cannabis, everyday they can keep prohibition in place is another billion dollars in profits. I believe they will fight tooth and nail and drag this out untill the last cow comes home. Profits over lives. Profits over individual wellfare. This is called preditory capitalism. What industry comes to when they make money their god. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on December 28, 2007 at 07:06:28 PT
DEA Action Prompts Questions 
December 28, 2007Excerpt: Mayor Ron Dellums last week wrote to his longtime former colleague, Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, requesting that the committee investigate why the DEA has sent hundreds of letters threatening people who own property on which medical marijuana establishments are operating. At least once such operation in Oakland has been targeted. Dellums' letter set some people off questioning why the DEA is taking the course that it is. "Part of me wonders if they know the clock is ticking," said Bruce Mirken, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. A new president will be elected in 2008, he noted. All major candidates in the Democratic field, he said, have indicated they'll take a different approach on medical marijuana than the Bush administration's hard-line position. The DEA has mostly stayed mum on why it is issuing the letters, saying only that distribution of marijuana violates federal law and that the DEA's job is to enforce the nation's drug laws. Asked what would happen to property owners who didn't shut down their facilities after receiving the letters, DEA spokeswoman Casey McEnry said, "We don't discuss our enforcement operations. I couldn't get into that with you."
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