NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - May 29, 2008

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - May 29, 2008
Posted by CN Staff on May 29, 2008 at 11:44:54 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
  Idaho: City Voters Once Again Approve Pot Liberalization Measures  May 29, 2008 - Hailey, ID, United States of AmericaHailey: For the second time in seven months, Hailey voters approved a trio of municipal ballot measures liberalizing local marijuana law enforcement policies.
On Tuesday, voters endorsed language legalizing the use of medical cannabis and hemp, and calling on local police to make marijuana law enforcement its lowest priority.Voters had previously approved all three ballot measures in November, but city council members sued in January to have the measures declared illegal. The council"s lawsuit remains pending."In the coming weeks and months, we will learn whether the long-held democratic notion of a government "by the people for the people" applies in Idaho or whether lawmakers are willing to cast democracy aside in order to bow at the altar of pot prohibition," NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel, at (202) 483-5500.DL: Pot Potency Claims Unfounded, Study Says "Claims ... about a 20- or 30-fold increase in cannabis potency and about adverse mental health effectsare not supported by the evidence"  May 29, 2008 - Sydney, AustraliaSydney, Australia: Allegations of a dramatic increase in worldwide marijuana potency are not supported by available evidence, according to a literature review to be published in the journal Addiction.Investigators at the University of New South Wales, National Drug and Alcohol Research Center, conducted a meta-analysis of worldwide trends in cannabis potency. Researchers reviewed nine international studies, which analyzed the potency of more than 100,000 marijuana seizures over a period of three decades."Increased potency has been observed in some countries, but there is enormous variation between samples, meaning that cannabis users may be exposed to greater variation in a single year than over years or decades," authors concluded. "Claims made in the public domain about a 20- or 30-fold increase in cannabis potency and about the adverse mental health effects of cannabis contamination are not supported currently by the evidence."The study criticizes a 2006 United Nations" report that claimed, "[T]oday, the characteristics of cannabis are no longer that different from those of other plant-based drugs such as cocaine and heroin."A previous study of European marijuana potency trends published by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction reported: "There is no evidence of a significant increase in potency. ... [The] effective potency of cannabis in nearly all EU countries has remained quite stable for many years, at around 6-8 percent THC."Earlier this month, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called on Parliament to recriminalize pot possession, alleging that the potency of cannabis had increased to "lethal" levels.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul Full text of the study, "Cannabis potency and contamination: a review of the literature," will appear in Addiction.DL:  Last Chance To Register For The 3rd Annual NORML Aspen Legal Seminar May 29, 2008 - Washington, DC, United States of AmericaWashington, DC: NORML is still accepting registrations from criminal defense attorneys and the general public for its third annual Aspen Legal Seminar. This year"s event takes place on Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7 at the Gant Hotel in downtown Aspen - one of the nation's most marijuana-friendly cities.Speakers at this year"s event include John Wesley Hall, president elect of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Jeralyn Merritt, television legal analyst for MSNBC and host of the popular website; Gerald Goldstein, past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and legal counsel for the late-Hunter S. Thompson; NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano; and Paul Wright, editor and co-founder of Prison Legal News, the longest publishing independent prisoner rights magazine in US history.Social events at this year's conference include an opening night reception, a benefit dinner catered by Aspen chef Chris Lanter of Cache Cache, and an afternoon cookout at the fabled Owl Farm, the legendary Woody Creek home of the late Hunter S. Thompson."NORML is proud to make this once-a-year legal seminar open to lawyers and the public," said NORML founder and Legal Director Keith Stroup. "Don"t miss this rare opportunity to join NORML"s staff and some of the nation"s top pot lawyers and activists in this "highly" unique and intimate setting."Conference agenda and registration information (members of the general public may sign up at a reduced rate) for the 2008 Aspen Legal Seminar is now available online at: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: May 29, 2008Copyright: 2008 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by Dankhank on May 29, 2008 at 18:57:44 PT
Afterburner ...
right on ... orright on, LesterI know that's my outlook on the munificent Cannabis plant.Lends credence to Jon Stewart's character in Half-baked ...Hey, you ever done ................ on weed?watch this ... this ...the whole movie, I guess ... the gab ...
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 29, 2008 at 14:13:32 PT
Thank you.
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on May 29, 2008 at 14:08:13 PT
'third category' of cannabis: enhancement
"Currently it is generally thought that there are two generic categories of marijuana use: recreational and medical. But in fact many uses do not fit into these categories without stretching their boundaries to the point of distortion; they fall into a third category, one that is more diverse and for that reason difficult to label. It includes such disparate uses as the magnification of pleasure in a host of activities ranging from dining to sex, the increased ability to hear music and see works of art, and the ways in which it appears to catalyze new ideas, insights and creativity, to name a few. Furthermore, at its edges, which are fuzzy, there is some conflation with both medicine and recreation. Yet, the preponderance of these uses falls into this broad and distinctive third category that I call enhancement. This is the class of uses which is generally the least appreciated or understood by non-cannabis users. It is also the case that some people who use or who have used marijuana may not be aware of some if not most of the enhancement possibilities."
To Smoke or not to Smoke: A Cannabis Odyssey
By Lester Grinspoon, MD
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 29, 2008 at 13:34:44 PT
AP: Medical Marijuana Allowed for Those on Parole
By The Associated PressMay 29, 2008 Helena, Montana -- The state Department of Corrections has backed off from a proposed rule that would bar anyone on parole or probation from obtaining medical marijuana as a prescription drug.Diana Koch, chief legal counsel for the department, says the decision to exclude the marijuana provision from the rules does not mean the department endorses the use of marijuana.Proponents of the medical marijuana law argued that it does not allow any penalty for using medical marijuana, regardless of the person's criminal history. Koch says she doesn't know if Montana voters understood the medical marijuana law was going to go that far. She says it's possible that a convicted drug dealer could get a medical marijuana card, and there would be nothing probation or parole officers could do about it.Copyright: 2008 Associated Press
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Comment #1 posted by Dr Ganj on May 29, 2008 at 13:20:26 PT
More Taxpayers' Money Wasted By DEA
Feds raid Peninsula’s only marijuana club
May 29, 2008 6:00 AM by Tamara Barak Aparton, The Examiner Medical marijuana patients arrived at Holistic Solutions to find doors shuttered.  
Federal agents smashed the front door to the Peninsula’s only cannabis club Wednesday morning, seizing marijuana and shutting down the downtown dispensary.Commander Mark Wyss of the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force confirmed that his agency assisted in the 6 a.m. raid at Holistic Solutions at 216 Second St.Federal Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent Casey McEnry said searches were conducted at several locations in the Bay Area and Northern California, but refused to divulge details, saying that the documents relating to the raid were under court seal.No arrests have been made, but drugs and paperwork were confiscated, she said. 
Pills, powder and pot found in drug bust 
and while law enforcement officials remained tight-lipped Wednesday, medical marijuana advocates said the operation was part of a trio of early morning raids of Holistic Solutions dispensaries in San Mateo, Clearlake and Richmond, according to Rebecca Saltzman, chief of staff for Americans for Safe Access.Saltzman, who said her organization sent volunteers to observe each of the raids, disputed the DEA’s assertion that nobody was arrested.“We do know some employees were arrested, at least at some locations,” she said. “They may have been released later.”Kevin Reed, owner of San Francisco medical cannabis collective The Green Cross, said Holistic Solutions owner Ken Estes runs about six medical marijuana facilities in California.“I think the DEA has always targeted the larger operations,” Reed said. “I think the small collectives operating under the sanctuary of state law, at the end of the day, will be OK.”After the raid on Wednesday afternoon, a steady stream of medical marijuana patients found plywood over the locked front door of Holistic Solutions in downtown San Mateo. A sign read, “Got busted today. Sorry!”Kindred McCune, 33, described Estes as a wheelchair user who kept the facility spotless and safe.“This place was really good because it was affordable,” McCune said. “I have to go all the way to San Francisco now, with the price of gas the way it is.”Saltzman said the patients in San Mateo would be particularly hard hit by the raid.“You can imagine if the only pharmacy in your town shut down,” she said. “It would be very difficult for sick patients to drive 50 miles.”The raids highlight the legal limbo many pot clubs face. Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, allows those with a doctor’s recommendation to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use in California. However, pot is still illegal under federal law and the legality of cannabis dispensaries is subject to varied interpretation by different municipalities.In August, a federal raid shut down three medical marijuana dispensaries in downtown San Mateo.
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