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Will “No-High” Pot Change the Med-MJ Debate?

1:08 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

(photo: O'Dea / wikimedia)

If a patient can’t get high from marijuana being used for medicinal purposes, does that marijuana still fall under the draconian federal drug laws? How might this new pot that won’t get you high change the debate in the USA?

Israeli researchers have developed a medicinal marijuana that can ease the symptoms of some ailments without producing the euphoric high of pot. For many this may seem like tasteless cake or non-alochoiic [sic] vodka, but the discovery could lead to some interesting legal and political issues.

The culprit (or appeal) in marijuana is Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Researchers believe that the benefits widely reported from medicial marijuana comes from Cannabidiol, or CBD, a substance that gives anti-inflammatory benefits.

Israeli grower, Tikun Olam, has developed Avidekel, containing 15.8 per cent CBD and less than 1 percent traces of THC.

Police might not be able to distinguish between pot-that-gets-you-high and “no-high” pot, so enforcement challenges remain. Of course, legalization of all pot would change that somewhat.

This could present an interesting problem if the marijuana is still smoked but without the high. Police would have a difficult time distinguishing the products if smoked — assuming non-high marijuana is declared legal. The basis for banning non-high marijuana would be dubious at best. However, if smoked, the government could require some additives to distinguish the smell.

One shudders to think what additives a still-rabid DEA might require in “no-high” pot to make it smell different in the bag.

Dwight Holton, US Attorney: Oregon Pot Dispensaries “Will Not Be Tolerated”

3:29 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Just as US Attorney General Eric Holder announces that he will shortly “clarify Department policy” on marijuana dispensaries in states where laws allow them (Rhode Island in particular) United States Attorney Dwight Holton rounded up all but two of the District Attorneys in Oregon to sign a letter about the Feds’ zero tolerance policy:

“The sale of marijuana for any purpose—including as medicine—violates both federal and Oregon law and will not be tolerated,” says the warning from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “People and businesses that conduct sales of marijuana face the risk of prosecution, civil enforcement action and seizure of assets.”

The letter is also signed by the head of the Oregon Sheriffs Association and the Oregon Chief of State Police. Missing is the signature of the Multnomah (Portland) County District Attorney:

One notable absence from the list of co-signers is Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk. He tells WW his office has different priorities.

“I don’t like to threaten things that we realistically are not geared up to do,” Schrunk says. “We’ve been at the forefront of trying to do rehabilitation for drug offenders. We have one of the oldest drug courts in the country. I think we’ve tried to have a progressive, realistic view.”

US Attorney Holton’s letter (at Willamette Week here) follows the familiar, sweeping format of other heavy federal warnings to “owners, operators and landlords of Oregon marijuana dispensaries.” It’s the first of its kind in Oregon. Since the invented terror beat may be unraveling for Holton, the US Attorney may think it’s time to crack down on the other evildoers amongst us: sick people who need the medicine their own doctors have prescribed that fixes what ails them.

Because that’s how our federal government needs to occupy its time. Right?

AZ Approves Medical MJ

7:36 pm in 2010 election, Drug Policy, Elections, Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

After all the votes are counted, it looks like patients in Arizona won their battle for medicine:

Arizona voters have approved Proposition 203, which legalizes marijuana for medicinal use.

The Secretary of State’s unofficial results indicate that the “yes” vote on the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act has won by a narrow margin of 4,341 votes, or 50.13 percent of more than 1.67 million votes counted.

This after Maricopa County officials finished counting about 11,000 outstanding ballots Saturday.

The “yes” and “no” votes remained neck-and-neck for more than a week since Election Night, with the “yes” vote trailing behind by at least 3,000 each day. But the “yes” vote picked up traction after election officials started counting provisional ballots and by Friday, it was leading by 4,421 for the first time.

Arizona would be the 15th state to legalize medical marijuana.

The general-election canvass will be held Nov. 29. The Arizona Department of Health Services has 120 days from that day to finalize all rules for implementation. The department is expected to begin reviewing dispensary and patient applications by April 2011.

This means that Just Say Now! wasn’t a total wipeout after all!

Hurray Arizona!

GOP test-markets its next ‘gay marriage’ issue in OK

2:02 pm in 2010 election, Drug Policy, Elections, Judiciary, Just Say Now, Legislature, LGBT, Politics, State Government by Teddy Partridge

It’s no secret that the GOP used ‘gay marriage’ prohibition referenda to great success in turning out their most fundamentalist, right-wing voters in states that mattered to the Bush/Cheney re-election campaign in 2004. But American voters, especially inward-looking, family-oriented fundies, must be constantly re-entertained to be electorally motivated. To that end, the GOP is test-marketing its second-decade turnout-motivator issue in Oklahoma: Sharia law.

Yes, Oklahomans will vote next week whether to prohibit their judges from considering international or Sharia law in their deliberations.

One of 11 ballot initiatives in the state this November, State Question 755, better known as the “Save Our State” constitutional amendment, would prevent courts from using international or Sharia law. The question made it to the ballot by passing the state Senate 41-2 and the House 82-10. In addition to potentially rallying the conservative base to the polls, the initiative, which bans something that is nearly impossible statutorily, is worth watching because the GOP may employ it in swing states two years down the line.

If this works — and why wouldn’t it, given the huge threat Sharia law currently poses to Oklahomans? — it may very well be the ballot issue that supplants ‘gay marriage’ in states the GOP needs to win the presidency in 2012. Look for compliant state legislatures, and some new GOP governors elected next week, to get this pressing issue on statewide ballots in 2012.

‘Gay marriage’ got the fundie preachers’ flocks up and out of the pews to vote in 2004. Eight years later, these preachers will naturally align themselves with such a pro-Christian issue: would you like your next brush with the police to be decided under Sharia law? ‘Sharia law’ is a double-barreled issue, too. It not only has the charming xenophobic resonance of George W Bush’s famous “with us or against us.” It also shuts down debate pretty quickly: “You’re not a terrorist-sympathizer, are you?”

Of course, that Sharia law poses absolutely no threat to American jurisprudence makes no difference whatsoever. Marriage equality hasn’t ended ‘traditional marriage’ anywhere, has it? The logic of the issue isn’t important. In fact, it’s counterintuitive, since anyone who argues against a Sharia law referendum is, by definition, on the side of terrorists.

See?

Suddenly, all that recent braying from disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich about a federal ban on Sharia law begins to make sense. The GOP must get folks scared about Sharia law if they to be asked to vote on it next cycle. If the unresponsive federal government won’t recognize the very real threat of creeping Sharia-ism in our courts, at least states can ban it.

For motivating base voters, 2012 might shape up to be Sharia v pot.

YES on 74: Pro-Oregon’s New Ad

3:27 pm in Drug Policy by Teddy Partridge

Thanks to Progressive Reform of Oregon, Oregonians will now see an exciting new ad that explains Measure 74 and endorses it as well.

Hope you enjoy this; it defines Measure 74 in positive ways, especially for voters (like me!) who don’t really understand it.

Thanks to Pro-Oregon for putting it together.


Oregonians! VOTE YES ON 74

Oregonians! VOTE YES ON 74

Oregonians! VOTE YES ON 74

Oregonians! VOTE YES ON 74

Oregonians! VOTE YES ON 74

h/t anthonyj

Join Just Say Now’s campaign to pass Measure 74.

marijuana, pot, JSN

Boxer Aide Jumps the Gun on Prop 19

5:10 pm in Drug Policy, Just Say Now by Teddy Partridge

Senior economic adviser to Barbara Boxer Marcus Stanley was arrested Tuesday entering the Hart Senate Office Building with a "substance that tested positive for marijuana," apparently jumping the gun on possible passage this November of Proposition 19 despite his boss’s opposition to the measure.

An aide to Sen. Barbara Boxer was arrested Tuesday and charged with possession of marijuana after he was stopped during a security screening while entering the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington at about noon.

Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Capitol Police, said officers observed Marcus Stanley, 43, with a “green leafy substance that tested positive for marijuana.” He was released later on Tuesday, she said. Stanley had been working for Boxer’s senate office since January 2009 as a senior economic adviser.

“Marcus Stanley is no longer with this office,” Boxer’s communication director Zachary Coile said in a statement. “He submitted his resignation and Sen. Boxer accepted it because his actions yesterday were wrong and unacceptable.”

Read the rest of this entry →

LEAP’s Neill Franklin Discusses “Just Say Now” on MSNBC

11:02 am in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Wow, this is a great appearance by a wonderful spokesman I had not seen before on the "Just Say Now" side. Please try to ignore the MSNBC anchormodel who betrays more than he knows when he says in the intro, "I just want to get it in the simplest of terms…." Gotcha, buddy.

Is Armstrong Williams in the Pay of Mexican Drug Cartels?

10:54 am in Just Say Now, Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Armstrong Williams, about whom it must always be first asked, "who purchased this new opinion of yours, Armst?", has a new opinion about marijuana legalization in Mexico. It appears perfectly aligned with the Mexican drug cartels’ opinion of marijuana legalization. So, Armst, I gotta ask — which Mexican drug boss purchased this opinion of yours and paid you to type it up for The Hill?

Armst’s foolishness, perhaps bought and paid for with drug money from Mexico, takes him here, to a dystopia occupied by drug-"infested" illegal immigrants crossing our Southern border, oh my!

Economically, if illegal immigrants think there is an opportunity to sell drugs in the U.S. then they are going to do it. So instead of easier-to-track larger shipments, Border Patrol will be inundated with hundreds of thousands of hard-to-find, individual trackers. This will uncontrollably exacerbate our War on Drugs budget.

I don’t quite understand Mr. Calderon’s logic. He wants to legalize in order to thwart the millions cartels make annually. Doesn’t he get it? Cartel bosses are criminals! They kill their competitors! What do you think they are going to do to a mom-and-pop drug business?

What I do think they are going to do is find an easily purchased opinion and get it published in an Elite periodical like The Hill. Did drug money fuel this opinion, Armst? Can we see your checkbook *again* please?

Rand Study: Prop 19 Will Crash Pot Prices, Increase Consumption

11:07 am in Just Say Now, Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Marijuana prices will drop by as much as 80% if Prop 19 passes in California this November, according to a study by the Rand Corporation‘s Drug Policy Research Center. Pot consumption will also increase.

The Santa Monica-based, nonprofit research institute predicted the cost of marijuana, which runs between $300 and $450 per ounce, could plunge to about $38 by eliminating the expense of compensating suppliers for the challenges of operating in the black market.

The researchers were not certain how much that decline in price might spur use, but noted that one typical estimate is that a 10% drop in price increases use by about 3%. Other factors, such as the elimination of legal risks, could also increase usage between 5% and 50%.

Moving pot out of the shadows will crash the price, as there will no longer be an illegality premium. Growers will be able to pay workers a little more than regular nursery workers make — ten bucks an hour — instead of the $25 they must pay now.

Additionally, marijuana ‘idealists’ are likely to be discouraged by the proposal from my Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who would tax pot fifty bucks an ounce. With the Rand-predicted price drop, more of marijuana’s consumer cost would be going to taxes.

The report notes that Ammiano’s proposed tax is about 10 times the rate of state tobacco taxes. That high tax creates an incentive for tax evasion that is more financially rewarding than smuggling marijuana from Mexico to California and it could also encourage smokers to turn to the highest-potency marijuana to get more bang for their buck, the researchers concluded.

Researchers also looked at the estimates of the cost of enforcing marijuana laws in California, which ranged from $200 million to $1.9 billion, and put it at “probably less than $300 million.” They also conclude that it is not possible to determine whether increased use would lead to more drugged driving accidents and to more use of harder drugs, such as cocaine, saying the research is inconclusive.

Ah, the ‘gateway’ — always hard to predict, always hard to measure, even in a world where pot is legal.