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MAPTalk-Digest Friday, May 10 2013 Volume 13 : Number 016

001 US OR: Science Over Ideology?
002 tell your friends in CA! U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to speak at 


Subj: 001 US OR: Science Over Ideology?
Date: Thu, 9 May 2013 13:57:24 -0700

Science Over Ideology?

And yet the war on pot continues

May 9, 2013 By Jim Greig

An open letter to President Obama:

I am a disabled American worker who uses state approved marijuana for
medical reasons. I am offended that you choose to consider me a criminal.

Mr. President, we all know that you smoked a lot of weed as a youth, and
that your cannabis consumption did not prevent you from becoming this
nation's elected leader. But what seems to be passing over your head, sir,
is that had you been arrested for possession of pot, you most certainly
would never have become president of the U.S.

You should know that during your first four years in office, while you
dodged and dismissed the marijuana issue, some three-quarters of a million
people were arrested each year for possession — about three million
marijuana arrests just in your first term. I'm curious how that fact fares
when we consider your statement at Northwestern University in 2004 that
the “war on drugs has been an utter failure."

Mr. President, I'd really like to understand where you're coming from.
With 80 percent of U.S. voters supporting medical marijuana legalization
and a slim majority favoring adult use, I have a hard time comprehending
your reluctance to act properly.

There is no risk to you — and certainly your fellow Democrats in Congress
could stand a boost in their popularity.

Mr. Obama, may I remind you that when you were elected, one of your
initial points on how your administration would operate revolved around
supporting science rather than ideology. You said "promoting science isn’t
just about providing resources — it’s about protecting free and open
inquiry. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even
when it’s inconvenient — especially when it’s inconvenient.”

Well sir, I'm not sure how to break this to you, because it might be
"inconvenient" but there is no scientific legitimacy behind the illegality
of cannabis in any of its forms. Surely you must agree that the continued
prohibition of industrial hemp is absurd. And to deny patients like myself
legitimate access to a non-toxic, non-addictive, grow-it-at-home substance
that greatly reduces my consumption of toxic pharmaceuticals, is cruel and

As our commander-in-chief you should know that today 22 veterans will
commit suicide. Tomorrow, 22 more. In this country nearly two dozen
veterans take their own lives every day. A lot of them suffer from post
traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

When University of Arizona psychiatrist Dr. Sue Sisley put together a
study to find how effective cannabis is as a treatment for combat veterans
with PTSD she first had to gain FDA and VA approval. Green-lighted from
both agencies, her next step was to gain approval from the National
Institutes of Drug Abuse. Since NIDA's mission is to find only the harms
of drugs, her application was quickly rejected.

In February I was in Washington, D.C., attending the Americas for Safe
Access Unity Conference. While there I had the opportunity to meet Dr.
John Schwarz, a physicist best known as one of the "fathers of string

In a November 2012 Huffington Post op-ed, Schwarz, who's wife is a medical
marijuana patient, criticized your administration for "ignoring
scientists' voices on medical marijuana policy ... and severely
restricting their ability to conduct new research."

He went on to say the "acceptance of science has come a long way since
Galileo was arrested as a heretic for questioning the order of the
universe. Yet today, the federal government ignores scientific facts
accepted around the globe — not to mention the will of the American people
— to cling to outdated ideological policies and restrict marijuana
research. This is hardly the 'free and open scientific inquiry' President
Obama touted in 2009."

Please, Mr. President. I would like to believe that you are not a
hypocrite — that you believe in both science and the will of the American
people. You cannot lose, sir, you can only gain.

In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “Never, never be afraid to do
what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at
stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict
on our soul when we look the other way.”

Jim Greig is an Organizer for Americans for Safe Access and a member of
the Board of Directors for the Voter Power Foundation.


Subj: 002 tell your friends in CA! U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to speak at Berkeley Law commencement
Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 15:00:11 -0700
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to Visit Berkeley, Marijuana Supporters
to Protest

Members of Americans for Safe Access plan to greet Holder in a unique way.
They're dressing up as Justice Department employees and trying to recruit
the cap-and-gowned Berkeley graduates to work on Obama's drug war.

They'll be out at the Greek Theater at 9 a.m. tomorrow "to hand out our
recruitment fliers" while trying to find the one person in the Bay Area
who can say Holder's done a helluva a job.


End of MAPTalk-Digest V13 #16

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