NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - March 19, 2009

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - March 19, 2009
Posted by CN Staff on March 20, 2009 at 04:51:19 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
U.S. Attorney General Reaffirms Administration's New Pot Policy Stance March 19, 2009 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: United States Attorney General Eric Holder reaffirmed yesterday that he will not authorize federal justice resources to target or prosecute medical cannabis users or providers that are compliant with state law. 
Holder's statements clarify remarks he made last month when he said that the Justice Department would uphold President Obama's campaign pledge not to use federal resources to circumvent state medical marijuana laws."The Obama administration's position is a dramatic shift in US drug policy, and is a major victory for the 72 million Americans who reside in states where the use of medical cannabis is legal," NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said. "This stance is a marked departure from those of the Bush and Clinton administrations -- both of which consistently used the power of the federal government to try and undermine state medical marijuana laws and prosecute those who followed state law. Further, it also lends support to the ongoing efforts in several states, such as Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, each of which are currently debating legislative proposals to make the production and distribution of medical cannabis legal under state law."For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500.DL: Now Accepting Registrations For Fourth Annual Aspen Legal Seminar March 19, 2009 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: NORML is now accepting registrations from criminal defense attorneys and the general public for its fourth annual Aspen Legal Seminar. This year's event will take place Friday, June 5 and Saturday, June 6 at the Gant Hotel and Resort in downtown Aspen, Colorado  one of the nation's most marijuana-friendly cities. Speakers at this year's conference include: Gerald Goldstein, past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and legal counsel for the late-Hunter S. Thompson; famed San Francisco attorney Tony Serra; Hal Haddon, prominent Denver litigator, Jeralyn Merritt, television legal analyst for MSNBC and host of the popular website; paraphernalia law specialist Robert Vaughn; NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre; and NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. Topics include: the use of cannabis as a religious sacrament, a review of cannabis pharmacokinetics and drug testing, and proper ways to establish a legal medical marijuana dispensary and other cannabis-related businesses.Social events at this year's conference include an opening night reception and a Saturday night benefit party, catered by Chris Lanter, chef at the popular Aspen restaurant Cache Cache."This is the one NORML legal seminar each year where we welcome both lawyers and non-lawyers, and our experience with this model has been very positive,"said NORML founder and Legal Director Keith Stroup. "Please mark your calendar and join us this June."Conference agenda and registration information for the 2009 Aspen Legal Seminar is now available online at: Marijuana's Impact On Adolescent Brain "Subtle" Compared To That Of AlcoholMarch 19, 2009 - San Diego, CA, USASan Diego, CA: Chronic marijuana use by adolescents may subtly impair certain neurocognitive skills, but this impairment is far less severe than the adverse effects associated with the use of alcohol, according to a review published in the January issue of the scientific journal Clinical EEG and Neuroscience.Investigators at San Diego State University and the University of California at San Diego wrote: "Recent research has indicated that adolescent substance users show abnormalities on measures of brain functioning, which is linked to changes in neurocognition over time. Abnormalities have been seen in brain structure volume, white matter quality, and activation to cognitive tasks, even in youth with as little as one to two years of heavy drinking and consumption levels of 20 drinks per month, especially if [more than] four or five drinks are consumed on a single occasion. Heavy marijuana users show some subtle anomalies too, but generally not the same degree of divergence from demographically similar non-using adolescents."By contrast, studies have demonstrated that marijuana use by adults, even chronic use, is seldom associated with any long-term residual impact in cognitive skills.Commenting on the UCSD/UCSD study, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: "This review affirms once again that cannabis, though not harmless, poses far less risk to the consumer than does alcohol. Given this premise, it is counterintuitive that our state and federal laws embrace the use of booze while stigmatizing and criminally prohibiting the use of marijuana by adults."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, "The influence of substance abuse on adolescent brain development," appears in the journal Clinical EEG and Neuroscience.DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: March 19, 2009Copyright: 2009 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on March 20, 2009 at 08:02:07 PT
Historical Satan, hysterical Satan?
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on March 20, 2009 at 07:57:53 PT
No aspirin in Aspen!
It is an herb friendly town!How many here are going to the seminar in June?I think we will attend. If you can come we will get to meet you!-yea"...pleased to meet you!"-Mick Jagger, "Sympathy for the Devil"
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