Michigan Moves Forward
Well, we can chalk up another medical Cannabis Cup for the state of
Michigan. Truth is, I was too busy to make it to Clio, although the
Wyclef Jean show to cap it off would have been worth the trip on its
own. At least I got to enjoy Lee DeVito's posts from the affair. I
think he sent them in by carrier pigeon - an electronic pigeon.
These kinds of things are the fulfillment of lots of strategic
planning to make sure things go right. The last Cup, held in Detroit
in 2011, was pretty good except for Detroit police felt the need to
stroll through and show off a little muscle. That included shutting
down the medicating area.
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Is the Federal Government Starting to Acknowledge That Legalization
and Regulation Are Safer Than Busting People?
Eight months ago, an explosion and fire tore through the Hampton
Greens apartment complex in Bellevue. It happened at 6:30 in the
morning. Among the residents was Nan Campbell, the 87-year-old former
mayor of Bellevue. She was the city's first female mayor, elected in
According to charging documents filed July 22 in US District Court in
connection with the explosion, Campbell "was forced to flee the
building as a result of the fire, and fell and fractured her pelvis
while doing so." Another woman in the building had to "drop out of her
third-story window to escape the flames," which resulted in a
fractured spine, broken arm, and broken ankle. Yet another woman
fractured her leg after leaping from a second-story window to escape.
Authorities say the fire began after butane fuel, which was being used
to make hash oil, ignited in one of the apartments. Campbell happened
to be in a neighboring unit at the time. She was taken to the hospital
after her fall, and "she later expired due to complications" from her
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I'm writing in response to Jodi James' thoughtful Sunday guest
column, "Floridians deserve safe, legal access to medical pot."
While there have been studies showing that marijuana can shrink
cancerous tumors, medical marijuana is essentially a palliative drug.
If a doctor recommends marijuana to a cancer patient undergoing
chemotherapy, and it helps them feel better, then it's working. In
the end, medical marijuana is a quality-of-life decision best left to
patients and their doctors.
Drug warriors waging war on non-corporate drugs contend that organic
marijuana is not an effective health intervention. Their prescribed
intervention for medical marijuana patients is handcuffs, jail cells
and criminal records. This approach suggests that drug warriors should
not be dictating health-care decisions.
It's long past time to let doctors decide what is right for their
patients; sick patients should not be jailed for daring to seek relief
Robert Sharpe, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington,
Long before college student Daniel Chong nearly died after being left
in a holding cell without food or water for five days in 2012, federal
drug officials in San Diego knew their detention practices were deficient.
According to the Inspector General's Office of the U.S. Department of
Justice, which just concluded a two-year probe into what happened to
Chong, managers in the Drug Enforcement Administration's San Diego
field division were warned about the problems but had not corrected
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Physicians don't want to prescribe pot; surveys indicate this
overwhelmingly. The Canadian Medical Association unequivocally doesn't
want them to do it either, and for years, they've issued policy
statements, briefs and resolutions to their members, to the public, to
the courts, and to government saying so.
The insurer of physicians, the Canadian Medical Protective
Association, advises doctors not to do it, citing liability concerns.
Last week, the president of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr.
Louis Hugo Francescutti, raised alarms when he said that between pot
manufacturers lobbying physicians, and patients pushing for
prescriptions, doctors have been put in an untenable position. One
2012 CMA survey of doctors showed that 70 per cent had been asked for
a pot prescription, with doctors estimating that 64 per cent of these
requests were for non-medical use. Intimidating indeed.
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I THINK THAT the editorial regarding access to marijuana in (the July
21) Journal is excellent.
As one follows developments here in New Mexico, one could be easily
confused about whether the state is trying to make things more
difficult for those who really need the relief in several forms or
easier, as they claim.
Just to avoid having to take another drug whose side effects include
agonizing constipation is a big winner, so why would the state do
anything but make it more readily available to as many people as
possible? If we bear in mind that those with easy financial means have
never had a problem getting marijuana, but it is those who are in
financial stress who do, perhaps our perception of the problem will
change. The Journal has taken a very nice step in helping and I thank
you for that.
America's four-decade war on drugs is responsible for many casualties,
but the criminalization of marijuana has been perhaps the most
destructive part of that war. The toll can be measured in dollars -
billions of which are thrown away each year in the aggressive
enforcement of pointless laws. It can be measured in years - whether
wasted behind bars or stolen from a child who grows up fatherless. And
it can be measured in lives - those damaged if not destroyed by the
shockingly harsh consequences that can follow even the most minor offenses.
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City council is being asked to take a high-minded approach to allowing
future medical marijuana grow operations within city limits.
During Wednesday night's meeting, council will decide whether to move
forward on a recommended bylaw limiting newly licensed weed production
facilities to parcels of land in the Agricultural Land Reserve and in
Staff have rolled council's directions from a June committee of the
whole meeting into a potential policy that would create a new
narcotics category for greenbelt, agriculture and forestry zones in
the ALR and light, general and business industrial zones -
specifically the BCR, Danson and Boundary Road industrial parks.
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They Say Changes Could Better Help Sick Children. He Has Said His
Worry Is Moving Toward Legalization.
New Jersey's medical-marijuana program is coming under fire from a
group of parents, who are setting up orange traffic cones on a
sidewalk in front of the Statehouse each week to make their point,
simply and colorfully.
The program needs repairs, they say, and Gov. Christie is blocking
changes that would help their severely ill children get treatment
their doctors have recommended. The cones are intended as a visual
reference to Bridgegate.
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Back in the early 1970s, when I as in college, my campus and its
surrounding town had a kind of live-and-let-live understanding about
students' recreational use of marijuana. As long as local residents
weren't disturbed by noise, and no damage was done to off-campus
property, the tiny town's police department turned its limited
manpower to other, more important matters-like making sure
unauthorized people didn't use the municipal dump.
I remember once being in a dorm room, where the air was thick with
smoke. Black Sabbath was blasting out of the stereo speakers, when
suddenly, the door opened. Dazzling fluorescent light from the hallway
spilled into the haze. It was a campus cop. We froze.
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THE WAR on drugs has been a losing fight for 40 years. The response to
unending failure has always been to demand more law enforcement and
more prison cells. It is unclear why the mood should be changing just
now. It isn't that consumers have suddenly got too numerous to ignore:
rates of cannabis use, which had, throughout the late 20th century,
seemed to be on an interminable upward trajectory, are now stable or
But then the long century of criminalisation never had any more to do
with evidence than America's disastrous interwar experiment with
prohibiting the undoubtedly-dangerous demon drink. Then, as now, the
practicalities of harm-reduction and the principle of not persecuting
citizens who harm no one but themselves, point to legalisation.
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Clerk's Office Will Verify Signatures in Next Several
Marijuana activists turned in a petition Tuesday with 1,681 signatures
to the Port Huron City Clerk Office to get a proposal to decriminalize
marijuana on the Nov. 4 ballot.
The ballot proposal was created and signatures were collected by The
Coalition for a Safer Port Huron, a subgroup of the statewide
Coalition for a Safer Michigan.
The proposal aims to legalize the possession and use of less than one
ounce of marijuana by anyone 21 or older.
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By keeping the state marijuana grow canopy minuscule, the Washington
Liquor Control Board can keep marijuana prices high, which will help
to maximize the total tax the state will collect from sales. The
liquor control board has allocated 2 million square feet of marijuana
grow canopy for the entire state, which is equal to 46 acres. If the
state only allowed 46 acres statewide to grow apples on, we would be
paying more than $1,000 for an apple.
The marijuana excise taxes collected by the state will increase as the
price per gram for marijuana increases. The amount of taxes the state
will collect at $20 a gram will be twice the taxes that the state
would collect if the same gram of marijuana was sold for $10.
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To the Editor:
Thank you for your editorial calling for a repeal of marijuana
prohibition. The marijuana plant is incapable of causing an overdose
death. Not even aspirin can make the same claim, much less alcohol or
prescription narcotics. Marijuana prohibition, on the other hand, has
caused untold deaths in the form of violent drug cartel turf battles
and botched "no knock" police raids on residential homes.
Marijuana can be harmful if abused. Marijuana prohibition does not
make the plant any safer. In fact, it compounds the dangers of
marijuana by granting a monopoly on marijuana distribution to drug
cartels that sell meth, cocaine and heroin. Marijuana prohibition is a
gateway drug policy. It's time for Congress to stop confusing the
drug war's tremendous collateral damage with a comparatively
ROBERT SHARPE Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington,
July 28, 2014
To the Editor:
While I wholeheartedly agree with the editorial board that we need to
end the federal prohibition on marijuana, Congress is not as paralyzed
on this issue as many may think.
A growing, bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in the House has approved
five measures in a row that represent incremental steps to rationalize
our failed marijuana policy. There are more than a dozen bills
pending, most with bipartisan sponsorship, that would create a
framework for legalization.
The House has voted to increase access to banking services for
marijuana businesses in states where they are legal, and prevent the
Drug Enforcement Administration from using funds to interfere with
state medical marijuana laws. This majority in the House seems to
realize what many Americans already knew: Prohibition has failed.
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To the Editor:
Re "Repeal Prohibition, Again" (editorial, July 27): Consumers
have made marijuana a multibillion-dollar enterprise, as creative
entrepreneurs will always provide for citizens' desires, regardless
of government approval. We should legalize marijuana, and add a sales
tax. Revenues will cover the social costs of any abuse.
Citizens have more to fear from murder, arson, rape, muggings,
robberies, auto and identity theft, and home break-ins. Free law
enforcement to pursue those who commit real crimes against citizens
What consenting adults consume or inhale in the privacy of their own
home or social club isn't the concern of government. Let us hope
that we have finally learned from the obvious failures of
Great Neck, N.Y., July 27, 2014
To the Editor:
Your opinion, in "Repeal Prohibition, Again," that marijuana
should be legalized is based in part on an assumption that during
Prohibition "people kept drinking." Prohibition reduced the
public's alcohol intake considerably. The rate of alcohol-associated
illness dropped in similar fashion. Prohibition was perhaps a
political failure, but an impressive success from a public health standpoint.
Both alcohol and marijuana can lead to the chronic disease of
addiction, directly affect the brain and negatively affect function.
As more than 10 percent of our population has addictive disease, your
statement that marijuana is "far less dangerous than alcohol"
doesn't reflect decades of research demonstrating risks associated
with both of these drugs.
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To the Editor:
I am disappointed by your decision to endorse the legalization of
recreational marijuana. Legalization would affect our youth and
communities for generations, just as tobacco has done.
The marijuana industry, like Big Tobacco, has shown that it has no
compunction about marketing its products to our young people. And in
Colorado, we've seen the negative public health effects of
legalization: increased admissions to emergency rooms, increases in
marijuana-positive fatal car crashes, increased reports of kids as
young as middle-school age bringing marijuana to school.
Marijuana is not a safe drug. It harms youths. It harms economies,
with extra social costs. How can this be the way forward for America?
Don't our communities deserve better?
SCOTT M. GAGNON
Gray, Me., July 28, 2014
Cathedral City became the second Coachella Valley city to permit
marijuana dispensaries Tuesday with a 3-2 vote, that included an
amendment to allow three to open immediately, instead of two.
Councilmen Greg Pettis, and Sam Toles and Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Vasquez
voted in favor, with Mayor Kathy DeRosa and Councilman Stan Henry
voted no. The council deadlocked 2-2 on the issue at its July 9
meeting when Toles did not teleconference into the session as expected.
The ordinance, as presented earlier this month, permitted one
dispensary per 20,000 residents, or a cap of two total until the city
of approximately 52,000 reached 60,000 residents. Pettis' amendment
changing that to one per 15,000 residents was approved.
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Marijuana Starts In Manitou
The Gazette is reporting that Maggie's Farm will open in Manitou
Springs on Thursday, July 31, to sales of recreational marijuana.
Multiple attempts to reach owner Bill Conkling were unsuccessful, and
an employee at the organization's South Nevada Avenue store replied,
"Honestly, I'm not too sure" when asked whether it's happening. But if
true - the daily says a final inspection could still change plans - it
would mark the first of two stores, and the dawn of a controversial
era in the small town, which is set to vote whether to continue to
allow recreational marijuana this November.
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