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1US NJ: OPED: Compassionate, But Still IllegalTue, 30 Dec 2008
Source:Times, The (Trenton, NJ) Author:Sullivan, Gregory J. Area:New Jersey Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2008

The movement in the New Jersey Legislature to enact the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act has much to recommend it. It is in fact a sound policy to allow those suffering great physical pain to use marijuana to relieve various symptoms. Nevertheless, creating an exception for the medical use of marijuana under state law does not create an exception under federal law. By using state law to sanction marijuana use in the medical context, New Jersey will be encouraging a violation of federal law. That is a problem that must be resolved before the policy deserves full support. The proposed New Jersey statute is admirable in the care with which it sets forth the medical exception. It cabins the possibility of abuse as well as can be expected. That is to say, it establishes a narrow, meticulously circumscribed exception to the general prohibition on marijuana use. The premises for the exception are found in the legislative findings, which include:

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2 US: Web: Could Obama's Pro-Marijuana Commerce Secretary Spell a Golden Era for PThu, 18 Dec 2008
Source:AlterNet (US Web) Author:Thill, Scott Area:United States Lines:185 Added:12/19/2008

December has been an interesting month for marijuana, or cannabis as it is known to scientists and all too few others. To kick off the month, the U.S. Supreme Court decided against reviewing a California state appellate court ruling arguing that its medical marijuana law trumped federal law. That, in effect, set the stage for better implementation of medical-marijuana law in not just California, but every state that has one, while also reminding local police that the job of enforcing federal drug policy is, in fact, not its job.

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3 US: Web: Federal Law Does Not Trump State Laws on Medical MarijuanaFri, 12 Dec 2008
Source:DrugSense Weekly (DSW) Author:Kubby, Steve Area:United States Lines:77 Added:12/12/2008

Last Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday quietly, but overwhelmingly destroyed the allegations by state law enforcement that, "Federal law trumps state laws on medical marijuana."

The Supremes declined to review a lower court decision that ordered Garden Grove, California, police to return marijuana seized from a medical marijuana patient. In November 2007, the California Fourth District Court of Appeal had ordered the marijuana returned, finding that "it is not the job of local police to enforce federal drug laws."

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4 US WI: Are Marijuana Laws Changing To Keep Up With Public Opinion?Wed, 03 Dec 2008
Source:Shepherd Express (Milwaukee, WI) Author:Kaiser, Lisa Area:Wisconsin Lines:269 Added:12/03/2008

A Shepherd Q&A With High Times Editor David Bienenstock

People have been smoking pot ever since they discovered that sparking one was good clean fun. So why do we need The Official High Times Pot Smoker's Handbook, published just in time for the holidays? Editor David Bienenstock explains that even an experienced stoner could learn a few things-as well as get involved in the larger marijuana movement to make pot smoking legal, especially for those who are chronically ill.

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5 US MD: Edu: The Benefits of Decriminalizing Marijuana Use in MarylandTue, 14 Oct 2008
Source:Retriever, The (UMBC, MD Edu) Author:Tchiegg, Brian Area:Maryland Lines:120 Added:10/16/2008

Maryland is one out of the 11 states to include provisions for the use of medical marijuana in their drug laws. In 2003, former Governor Robert Ehrlich signed the medical marijuana affirmative defense law which allows defendants to make a case based on their medical need. Although Maryland is one of the more progressive states to pass such a clause, it still has some of the harshest penalties for recreational use and medical marijuana users can only make their defense after an arrest.

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6US CA: McNerney Changes Medical Marijuana StanceSat, 12 Jul 2008
Source:Alameda Times-Star, The (CA) Author:Richman, Josh Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/11/2008

Rep. Jerry McNerney is now willing to vote for an amendment he'd opposed last year that would bar the federal government from spending money to arrest or prosecute medical-marijuana patients in the states - -- including California -- where medical marijuana is legal.

"In the past year, the congressman has met several patients with debilitating illnesses that use doctor-prescribed medical marijuana," McNerney spokesman Andy Stone said Friday. "Hearing their stories, he feels that he cannot in good conscience deny doctor-prescribed treatment to a person that experiences excruciating pain on a daily basis."

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7US WA: OPED: Medical Marijuana Is Needed by Seriously IllTue, 08 Jul 2008
Source:Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Author:Bigelow, Allison Area:Washington Lines:Excerpt Added:07/08/2008

The federal government is waging war on some of our most vulnerable citizens, who Washington voters have acted to protect. Soon, our congressional representatives will have the chance to stand up for those people -- seriously ill patients who need medical marijuana.

This is an issue we both know personally. One of us is a physician and researcher specializing in rehabilitation medicine and neuromuscular diseases such as ALS ("Lou Gehrig's disease"). The other is a cancer survivor who got through the nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy with the help of marijuana, and who has again found relief with marijuana from the chronic pain caused by injuries in a car accident.

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8 US: Web: All Indicators Point to a Softening of America's Harsh Marijuana LawsTue, 03 Jun 2008
Source:AlterNet (US Web) Author:Zaitchik, Alexander Area:United States Lines:197 Added:06/04/2008

With Key Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiatives Likely to Pass, and a More Pot-Friendly Majority in Congress, There Is Room for Optimism.

You have to hand it to the Republican National Committee: Those guys really know how to pick the wrong fight.

John McCain, already running against the public opinion grain in support of the Iraq War and Bush tax cuts, received no help from headquarters last month when the RNC made medical marijuana a campaign issue. After Barack Obama told an Oregon weekly that he would end federal raids on medical marijuana users and providers in states with compassionate use laws, the RNC pounced. Obama's position, said an RNC statement, "reveals that (he) doesn't have the experience necessary to do the job of President (and) lacks the judgment to carry out the most basic functions of the Executive Branch." Because the Supreme Court has ruled that federal drug laws trump state drug laws, the RNC reasons that halting federal raids would be tantamount to ignoring the law.

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9 US CA: OPED: Raiding States' Rights?Tue, 22 Apr 2008
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Sullum, Jacob Area:California Lines:166 Added:04/23/2008



Do federal raids of legal local marijuana dispensaries violate state sovereignty? Charles 'Cully' Stimson and Jacob Sullum debate.

Today, Stimson and Sullum debate the federal government's assertion of authority in states where certain kinds of drug use are legal. Previously, they compared drug legalization and decriminalization. Later in the week, they'll discuss drug-related violence, admitted substance use by successful politicians and more.



The law is on the feds' side

By Charles "Cully" Stimson

The answer to today's question -- not just mine, but the Supreme Court's -- is no.

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10 US TN: Edu: Jay Fisher Discusses View Regarding War on DrugsThu, 17 Apr 2008
Source:Sidelines, The (Middle Tennessee State U, TN Edu) Author:Wilkes, Byron Area:Tennessee Lines:92 Added:04/17/2008

Attorney Jay Fisher revealed his and others' belief that the war on drugs is eroding the rights of civilians.

Fisher spoke on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, with the term prohibition referring to the current illegal status of narcotics, from marijuana to crack cocaine and ecstasy.

LEAP consists of sheriffs, constables, and cops, as well as academics such as linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky and noted economist Milton Friedman.

"The act of prohibition effectively sets up the black market which America fights against," Fisher said. "The notion of an absolute ban is a failure. The question of policy can only be debated proactively after elected officials have hashed out the current situation."

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11 US CA: Calif. Judge Deals Blow to Medical Pot MovementFri, 18 Apr 2008
Source:Recorder, The (CA) Author:Hill, Evan Area:California Lines:83 Added:04/17/2008

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that federal law allows landlords to boot medical marijuana dispensaries that rent from them.

The decision by Judge Margaret Oldendorf was a strike against dispensaries in their legal battle against the Drug Enforcement Administration. The agency, over the past year or so, has notified landlords who rent to dispensaries that doing so is a violation of federal law, even though medical marijuana is legal in California.

The case before Oldendorf stemmed from Northridge, Calif., landlord Parthenia Center's attempt to evict dispensary Today's Health Care Inc.

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12 US MI: Edu: Column: Marijuana For Legal Usage: CounterpointWed, 19 Mar 2008
Source:Eastern Echo (MI Edu) Author:Brandt, Tom Area:Michigan Lines:82 Added:03/24/2008

The U.S. federal law that currently prohibits the production, sale, possession and use of marijuana is the Controlled Substances Act. This 1970 statute is enforced by the attorney general through the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The CSA outlaws any natural or synthetic substance containing the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, the compound responsible for most of marijuana's narcotic effect.

Cannabis that contains THC, which the CSA calls "Marihuana," is listed as a 'Schedule I' narcotic. This is the most dangerous of the act's five controlled-substance categories.

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13US CA: OPED: Hell-Bent on Shutting Medical Marijuana DispensariesThu, 14 Feb 2008
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Yee, Betty T. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/14/2008

This will be a make-or-break year for medical marijuana dispensaries - - if they can survive the tactics employed by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which recently added busting dispensaries' landlords to its repertoire of raids and fear. As urged by Senate Joint Resolution 20 by state Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, the federal government needs to back off and respect state compassionate use laws that authorize a network of responsible, law abiding and tax-paying medical marijuana providers.

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14US CA: City Hall Makes Federal Case Against New Pot DispensaryWed, 13 Feb 2008
Source:Desert Sun, The (Palm Springs, CA) Author:Kaufmann, K Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/13/2008

Cathedral City has filed a request for a federal injunction against Essential Herbs and Oils, a medical marijuana dispensary on E. Palm Canyon Drive.

The five-page legal request, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Riverside, asks the court to rule on whether the city has to comply with the California's medical marijuana law, which it says violates federal law.

"(The city) is not required to comply with state law enacted by voters in direct conflict with federal statute interpreted by the United States Supreme Court as establishing that local and state governments cannot allow marijuana possession even if used for medicinal purposes," City Attorney Charles R. Green argued in the request.

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15US CA: Pot Merchants File Against Oakdale, CountyTue, 12 Feb 2008
Source:Modesto Bee, The (CA) Author:Moran, Tim Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/12/2008

The owners of the closed medical marijuana dispensary in Oakdale have filed two claims against the city and Stanislaus County, asking for almost $2 million.

The dispensary, Oakdale Natural Choice Collective Inc., and the home of the owners were raided July 31 by members of the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency and the Oakdale Police Department. Another raid was conducted a day later on a Riverbank home that was used to grow marijuana for the patient collective.

Addison DeMoura, owner of the dispensary, was arrested along with several others associated with Oakdale Natural Choice Collective.

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16 US CA: City OKs Medicinal Marijuana ResolutionWed, 30 Jan 2008
Source:Daily Californian, The (UC Berkeley, CA Edu) Author:Shin, Jane Area:California Lines:77 Added:01/30/2008

Berkeley City Council members unanimously approved a resolution last night to declare Berkeley a sanctuary for medicinal marijuana in the event of federal interference with dispensaries.

The resolution, which was received with overwhelming support and applause from the audience, opposes attempts by the Drug Enforcement Administration to conduct raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in Berkeley, and urges city, county and state departments to not cooperate in the event that a raid occurs.

By claiming itself as a sanctuary, Berkeley have committed to ensuring that residents are provided access to medicinal marijuana if dispensaries in the city are shut down.

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17 US FL: Edu: Editorial: The War On Drugs Takes Wrong AimTue, 20 Nov 2007
Source:Central Florida Future (Orlando, FL Edu)          Area:Florida Lines:119 Added:11/21/2007

The debate on the use of medical marijuana has been written so many times before. It's a battle that will never be won until more research is done.

Right now 12 states have legalized medical marijuana, but Florida is not one of them. The latest state to pass the law is New Mexico this past March and it went into effect on July 1. The state will now register users and give permits to distributors.

That's 12 states down and 38 more to go.

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18 US CA: More Juvenile Arrests For Drugs And DrinkingWed, 17 Oct 2007
Source:Palisadian-Post, The (CA) Author:Pascoe, Sue Area:California Lines:88 Added:10/17/2007

The Los Angeles Police Department Vice Unit has arrested seven juveniles and one adult this month for alcohol violations and illegal drug use in Pacific Palisades. This follows 14 arrests in September for similar illegal activity at the Mobil station, corner of Sunset and Swarthmore.

On October 4, a 21-year-old male and an underage male were observed drinking alcohol in the parking lot behind the Mobil station. Both live in the Palisades. The adult was charged for drinking in a public place, the minor was cited for underage drinking.

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19 US FL: Column: The Truth About Medical MarijuanaMon, 08 Oct 2007
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Chapman, Steve Area:Florida Lines:107 Added:10/10/2007

Through all his years in politics, despite the endless obligation to shake hands, smile for the cameras and coax money out of contributors, John McCain has somehow avoided becoming a complete phony - something that John Edwards and Mitt Romney managed to achieve within a week of entering politics. Annoy McCain, and you won't have to wait long to find out.

Even a sickly, soft-spoken woman in a wheelchair gets no pass from him. The other day, at a meeting with voters in New Hampshire, Linda Macia mentioned her use of medical marijuana and politely asked his position on permitting it. Barely were the words out of her mouth before the Arizona senator spun on his heel, stalked away and heaped scorn on the idea.

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20 US CA: Column: Candidate McCain Is CluelessMon, 08 Oct 2007
Source:Tracy Press (CA) Author:Chapman, Stephen Area:California Lines:109 Added:10/10/2007

CHICAGO -- Through all his years in politics, despite the endless obligation to shake hands, smile for the cameras and coax money out of contributors, John McCain has somehow avoided becoming a complete phony -- something that John Edwards and Mitt Romney managed to achieve within a week of entering politics. Annoy McCain, and you won't have to wait long to find out.

Even a sickly, soft-spoken woman in a wheelchair gets no pass from him. The other day, at a meeting with voters in New Hampshire, Linda Macia mentioned her use of medical marijuana and politely asked his position on permitting it. Barely were the words out of her mouth before the Arizona senator spun on his heel, stalked away and heaped scorn on the idea.

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21 US: Web: The Truth About Medical MarijuanaMon, 08 Oct 2007
Source:Reason Online (US Web) Author:Chapman, Steve Area:United States Lines:105 Added:10/09/2007

What the Presidential Candidates Are Too Timid to Tell You

Through all his years in politics, despite the endless obligation to shake hands, smile for the cameras and coax money out of contributors, John McCain has somehow avoided becoming a complete phony-something that John Edwards and Mitt Romney managed to achieve within a week of entering politics. Annoy McCain, and you won't have to wait long to find out.

Even a sickly, soft-spoken woman in a wheelchair gets no pass from him. The other day, at a meeting with voters in New Hampshire, Linda Macia mentioned her use of medical marijuana and politely asked his position on permitting it. Barely were the words out of her mouth before the Arizona senator spun on his heel, stalked away and heaped scorn on the idea.

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22 US MD: Column: Pot Helps; Policy HurtsMon, 08 Oct 2007
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Chapman, Steve Area:Maryland Lines:92 Added:10/08/2007

Through all his years in politics, despite the endless obligation to shake hands, smile for the cameras and coax money out of contributors, Sen. John McCain has somehow avoided becoming a complete phony. Annoy Mr. McCain, and you won't have to wait long to find out.

Even a sickly, soft-spoken woman in a wheelchair gets no pass from him. The other day, at a meeting with voters in New Hampshire, Linda Macia mentioned her use of medical marijuana and politely asked his position on permitting it. Barely were the words out of her mouth before Mr. McCain spun on his heel, stalked away and heaped scorn on the idea.

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23 US IL: Column: McCain Should Know The Truth About Medical MarijuanaSun, 07 Oct 2007
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Chapman, Steve Area:Illinois Lines:112 Added:10/06/2007

Through all his years in politics, despite the endless obligation to shake hands, smile for the cameras and coax money out of contributors, John McCain has somehow avoided becoming a complete phony-something that John Edwards and Mitt Romney managed to achieve within a week of entering politics. Annoy McCain, and you won't have to wait long to find out.

Even a sickly, soft-spoken woman in a wheelchair gets no pass from him. The other day, at a meeting with voters in New Hampshire, Linda Macia mentioned her use of medical marijuana and politely asked his position on permitting it. Barely were the words out of her mouth before the Arizona senator spun on his heel, stalked away and heaped scorn on the idea.

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24US CA: Shannon Denies Pending Action vs Pot ClinicsThu, 04 Oct 2007
Source:Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) Author:Manzer, Tracy Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/06/2007

City Attorney Says His Office Is Monitoring Process.

LONG BEACH - In a memo issued to the mayor and City Council Tuesday, the city attorney denied his office is taking formal legal action against a group of medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the city without business licenses.

City Attorney Robert Shannon said his office was never preparing legal action against nearly a dozen medical marijuana dispensaries operating in Long Beach without business licenses.

"What they're working on is monitoring the progress, we're working to see what's finally decided," Shannon said, referring to the state attorney general's office and the court of appeals, neither of which has ruled on the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries and whether they are legal under current state law.

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25US CA: State Still Hashing Out Medical Marijuana RulesSun, 30 Sep 2007
Source:Contra Costa Times (CA) Author:Sheppard, Harrison Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/30/2007

More Than 10 Years After Voters Spoke, a Surge in Dispensaries Has Cities and Counties Scrambling to Regulate, Fend Off DEA

Highly publicized raids last month on three medical marijuana outlets in downtown San Mateo were the latest example of the continuing clash between state and federal officials over medicinal cannabis.

And that clash is reverberating through communities across the state.

More than a decade after Californians voted to legalize medical marijuana, an explosion of dispensaries and patients has cities and counties scrambling to regulate the operations.

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26US CA: Judge Keeps Door Open For WAMM's Medical Marijuana CaseSat, 14 Jul 2007
Source:Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA) Author:Aronson, Sean Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/14/2007

SAN JOSE -- A Santa Cruz marijuana collective raided by federal agents in 2002 made its case for the right to grow medical pot in court Friday.

Though no ruling was issued, supporters of the group, Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, said they're encouraged by the judge's response.

U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel heard arguments on the federal government's motion to dismiss the suit, which alleges the raid five years ago at WAMM's Davenport garden was outside the law, given the legality of medical marijuana in California. The county and city of Santa Cruz are signed on as plaintiffs in the suit.

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27 US LA: Edu: War On Drugs Runs Parallel To Iraq, Vietnam WarsTue, 26 Jun 2007
Source:Daily Reveille (LA Edu) Author:Ruchalski, Joseph Area:Louisiana Lines:125 Added:06/27/2007

President Nixon's declaration that drug abuse is "public enemy number one in the United States" in 1971 launched a "war on drugs" that has raged since the war in Vietnam.

Like the war in Vietnam then and in Iraq today, this war has proven to be much more complex than a simple "red versus blue" campaign. The soldiers are sworn law enforcement officers and organized crime members playing a dangerous game of "cops and robbers." The victims are varied, some helpless, destitute, or hardened criminals themselves, but all are civilians.

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28 US LA: Edu: War On Drugs Runs Parallel To Iraq, VietnamMon, 25 Jun 2007
Source:Daily Reveille (LA Edu) Author:Ruchalski, Joseph Area:Louisiana Lines:134 Added:06/25/2007

President Nixon's declaration that drug abuse is "public enemy number one in the United States" in 1971 launched a "war on drugs" that has raged since the war in Vietnam.

Like the war in Vietnam then and in Iraq today, this war has proven to be much more complex than a simple "red versus blue" campaign. The soldiers are sworn law enforcement officers and organized crime members playing a dangerous game of "cops and robbers." The victims are varied, some helpless, destitute, or hardened criminals themselves, but all are civilians.

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29 US CA: Caught In The MiddleThu, 21 Jun 2007
Source:Chico News & Review, The (CA) Author:Speer, Robert Area:California Lines:211 Added:06/22/2007

After a decade of legal wrangling and more than two years in prison, med-pot pioneer Bryan Epis faces a return to prison

Today (Thursday, June 21) at 9:30 a.m., Bryan Epis will walk into the Sacramento courtroom of federal District Court Judge Frank Damrell Jr., where he is scheduled to testify once again in his marijuana-cultivation case.

Epis' case began with his arrest 10 years ago almost to the day and still isn't resolved. What started out as a small-time bust has become a legal roller-coaster ride, made Epis a hero among med-pot activists, and raised serious constitutional issues.

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30US CA: Medical Pot Advocates Suffer Court SetbacksFri, 11 May 2007
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Egelko, Bob Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:05/11/2007

One Case Dropped; Ruling Bars Defense Claim In Second

A medical marijuana patient whose challenge to federal drug laws reached the U.S. Supreme Court dropped her long-running legal case Thursday, while in another case a noted pot advocate lost an attempt to introduce evidence about the medicinal value of cannabis at his retrial on cultivation charges.

The separate developments represented victories for federal prosecutors who have sought to override California's 1996 medical marijuana initiative in federal court. Although the law, which allows patients to use the drug with their doctor's recommendation, remains in effect, patients and suppliers can be prosecuted under federal law that recognizes no legitimate use for marijuana.

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31 US RI: Whos Afraid Of Medical Marijuana?Wed, 02 May 2007
Source:Providence Phoenix (RI) Author:Chen, Te-Ping Area:Rhode Island Lines:356 Added:05/02/2007

Who's afraid of medical marijuana? Opponents' fears go unrealized with the implementation of Rhode Island's law

Two hits of marijuana in the morning, and two in the evening before he goes to sleep. That's what it takes to get Bobby Ebert through the day.

But Ebert's not a junkie or a college student looking for a quick high. He has AIDS -- and is one of more than 240 patients in Rhode Island whose use of marijuana is protected under state law.

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32 US CA: Bongloads of JusticeThu, 19 Apr 2007
Source:Pasadena Weekly (CA) Author:Piasecki, Joe Area:California Lines:249 Added:04/19/2007

How Getting Caught Up in a Federal Drug Raid Turned Pasadena Comic Tere Joyce into a Marijuana Missionary

Tere Joyce finds humor in just about everything, but not this.

During a stop on her way home from a radio interview last week, the Pasadena comic and former star of the NBC reality show "Last Comic Standing" found herself at the wrong end of a rifle, caught up in a surprise Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raid on a medical marijuana dispensary in Woodland Hills.

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33US: Employers Grapple With Medical Marijuana UseTue, 17 Apr 2007
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Armour, Stephanie Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2007

Ethical, Liability Issues Rise As More States Make It Legal

On a typical weekday, stockbroker Irvin Rosenfeld has a marijuana cigarette before work, then goes to his firm's smoking area for another after he gets to the office. By day's end, he usually has smoked more than a half-dozen joints -- and handled millions of dollars' in clients' holdings.

There's nothing illegal about it. Rosenfeld, 54, of Fort Lauderdale, has a condition that causes benign tumors in the long bones of his body. After trying to control pain by taking narcotics such as Dilaudid, he persuaded the U.S. government to put him in a test program that gives marijuana to people with certain illnesses. His pain is now manageable, he says.

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34US CA: OPED: Rejected in Court, Medical Pot Advocates Turn to DEASun, 15 Apr 2007
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Cooper, Claire Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/15/2007

A federal appeals court's rejection of Angel Raich's plea for permission to ease her suffering without fear of prosecution has medical marijuana advocates looking for reform in a surprising venue - -- the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Raich's loss severely diminishes prospects of reform through litigation. But a February "opinion and recommended ruling" by a DEA administrative law judge holds out the possibility that prescription marijuana will be developed and approved by the Federal Drug Administration, ending the long federal-state standoff over medical pot.

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35 US CA: Column: Talk About Sending Mixed Smoke SignalsSun, 01 Apr 2007
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:Swartz, Susan Area:California Lines:82 Added:04/01/2007

You have to wonder what those judges themselves were smoking. I refer to the federal court of appeals that ruled a sick mother of two from Oakland cannot use medical marijuana.

Even though what she's doing is legal under California law and even though her doctors say smoking marijuana is the only thing that motivates her to eat and deal with the pain from scoliosis, a brain tumor and endometriosis, the court says Angel Raich is a criminal in the eyes of the federal government.

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36 US CA: Editorial: Medicinal Pot Still in LimboWed, 28 Mar 2007
Source:Ventura County Star (CA)          Area:California Lines:80 Added:03/28/2007

Congress Needs to Settle Issue

Eleven years after California voters approved Proposition 215, allowing the medicinal use of marijuana, the federal government is still asserting its right to prosecute Californians whose doctors say they need it.

It is time for Congress to settle this issue, instead of leaving sick people vulnerable to federal prosecution.

In fact, two years ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 that state medical marijuana laws do not protect people from federal prosecution, Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority, said the issue belongs before Congress.

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37 US IA: Reader's Plea To Legislature For 'Common Sense'Sat, 24 Mar 2007
Source:Independent Iowan, The (IA) Author:Olsen, Carl Area:Iowa Lines:54 Added:03/27/2007

Advocates Joining 12 Other States Permitting Use Of Medical Marijuana

There are a number of drug law reform issues in the 2006 Iowa Democratic Party State Platform, particularly regarding marijuana. I don't expect Iowa legislators will be so bold as to support decriminalization of marijuana like Dennis Kucinich (http://www.decriminalizemarijuana.info/), but it is certainly within expectation that Iowa will show the same courage as New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and do something to protect people who use marijuana as medicine.

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38US CA: Column: Still Waiting To InhaleSun, 25 Mar 2007
Source:Orange County Register, The (CA) Author:Bock, Alan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/25/2007

California voters in 1996 passed Proposition 215, which exempted bona fide patients with a recommendation from a licensed physician from certain aspects of state prohibition against the possession, use or transportation of marijuana, or cannabis. More than 10 years later, however, implementation of the law is spotty and still controversial.

Several recent developments, however, have put the issue in the news: Comedian Drew Carey is stepping up as a Hollywood spokesperson; the Orange County Board of Supervisors is weighing medical marijuana ID cards, and one of the most famous cases has come to an unhappy and unfavorable, in my view, conclusion. There have been a number of promising studies and decisions, too.

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39 Web: DrugSense Weekly, March 23, 2007 #491Fri, 23 Mar 2007
Source:DrugSense Weekly (DSW)                 Lines:89 Added:03/23/2007

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

* This Just In http://www.drugsense.org/dsw/2007/ds07.n491.html#sec1

(1) Development Of A Rational Scale To Assess The Harm Of Drugs Of Potential Misuse (2) Perils Grow In Battle For Medical Pot (3) Give It Away Now? (4) Licence To Kill

* Weekly News in Review http://www.drugsense.org/dsw/2007/ds07.n491.html#sec2

Drug Policy

(5) Court Probes Student Free Speech Limits (6) Richardson To Legalize Medical Marijuana (7) Senate Panel Wants To Give Sheriffs Access To Pharmacy (8) Robbery Suspect Says the D.E.A. Made Him Do It

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40 US: PUB LTE: Marijuana -- Safe Drug for 5,000 YearsFri, 23 Mar 2007
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Mirken, Bruce Area:United States Lines:39 Added:03/23/2007

Law professor Randy Barnett understandably focuses on the arcane legal and constitutional issues raised by the recent Ninth Circuit ruling that Angel Raich's Fifth Amendment right to life does not prevent the federal government from arresting and jailing her for using medical marijuana to stay alive. But legal minutiae should not obscure the larger issue: Federal law is out of step with science and simple common sense. Marijuana has been used as a medicine, safely and effectively, for 5,000 years. In 1988, the Drug Enforcement Administration's own administrative law judge called marijuana "one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man." Since then, a wide variety of experts -- including the Institute of Medicine, the American Public Health Association, and many others -- have weighed in with similar evaluations, and new data arrive almost weekly. Just last month, University of California researchers reported that marijuana effectively relieves a type of nerve pain that afflicts thousands with HIV/AIDS, for which there are no FDA-approved treatments.

Bruce Mirken

Director of Communications

Marijuana Policy Project

Washington

[end]

41 US: PUB LTE: Marijuana -- Safe Drug for 5,000 YearsFri, 23 Mar 2007
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Bradley-Elizandro, Ginny Area:United States Lines:25 Added:03/23/2007

Our society is wrong in equating use of marijuana as a illegal drug with the use of cannabis as a prescribed narcotic. Thankfully, no one I am close to is in this situation, but if they were, I would support their "breaking of the law" without reservation. With all due respect to our justices, I wonder how their decision would have differed had Ms. Raich been the daughter or sister of one of them.

Ginny Bradley-Elizandro

Wayne, Pa.

[end]

42 US MA: Editorial: Marijuana As Medicine a Decision for DoctorsThu, 22 Mar 2007
Source:Republican, The (Springfield, MA)          Area:Massachusetts Lines:65 Added:03/22/2007

Angel Raich, a California mother of two, has an inoperable brain tumor and other serious ailments so painful that she needs drugs every two or three hours.

Her doctor prescribed nearly three dozen drugs before he found a drug that actually relieves her pain and stimulates her appetite - the only medicine that is keeping her alive.

It's marijuana.

Is her doctor undermining this nation's war on drugs by prescribing marijuana to her?

That's a ridiculous question.

A three-judge appeals panel ruled last week, however, that Raich is not immune from federal prosecution if she uses the drug.

[continues 246 words]

43US CA: Perils Grow In Battle For Medical PotThu, 22 Mar 2007
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Collier, Robert Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/22/2007

Laws In Conflict -- Environment Dicey For Patients, Dealers

A decade after Californians approved the medical use of marijuana, the state's battle with the federal government over the use of marijuana still is being fought hard, with contradictory results.

In the past five years, the number of medical marijuana clubs -- stores authorized under state law where people can buy cannabis with a doctor's approval -- has tripled in the state, to more than 300. But club operators and pot growers are increasingly subject to federal arrests, seizures and prosecution.

[continues 1180 words]

44US CA: Column: The Case Of Angel RaichMon, 19 Mar 2007
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Carroll, Jon Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/19/2007

So today we have the case of Angel Raich, who has been using medical marijuana since 1997 to cope with the pain of scoliosis, endometriosis, seizures and a serious wasting disease. She says marijuana is the only thing that relieves her pain. She uses marijuana every day, even though it is against federal law. Her doctor says that if she stops using marijuana, she will die in agony.

She is not fond of being a lawbreaker. She is not fond of waiting for the feds to confiscate her stash and bring her up for arraignment on felony charges. So she has sued the government, contesting the ban on medical marijuana. Her case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where her petition was denied.

[continues 806 words]

45 US CA: PUB LTE: Concern About Marijuana RulingMon, 19 Mar 2007
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Rubba, Johanna Area:California Lines:21 Added:03/19/2007

Someone can drink himself to death without risking prosecution, but Angel Raich can't smoke marijuana to relieve pain and preserve her desire to eat. This is a civilized society?

Johanna Rubba

Grover Beach

[end]

46US CA: Sick Woman Loses Appeal in Pot CaseThu, 15 Mar 2007
Source:News Tribune, The (Tacoma, WA) Author:McKinley, Jesse Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/16/2007

SAN FRANCISCO -- Federal appellate judges in San Francisco ruled on Wednesday that a terminally ill woman using marijuana was not immune from federal prosecution simply because of her condition, and -- in a separate case -- a federal judge dismissed most of the charges against a prominent advocate for the drug.

The woman, Angel McClary Raich, says she uses marijuana on a doctor's recommendation to treat an inoperable brain tumor and other serious ailments.

Raich, 41, asserts that the drug effectively keeps her alive, by stimulating appetite and relieving pain in a way that prescription drugs do not. She wept when she heard the decision.

[continues 283 words]

47 US: OPED: Reefer MadnessFri, 16 Mar 2007
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Barnett, Randy E. Area:United States Lines:151 Added:03/16/2007

On Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit turned away another constitutional challenge to the federal ban on using cannabis for medical purposes. Its decision revealed a glaring weakness in how the Supreme Court protects liberty under the Constitution.

Angel Raich is a seriously ill 41-year-old mother of two who, in 2002, sought an injunction allowing her to use cannabis to alleviate intense pain, and relief from a life-threatening, wasting syndrome. She prevailed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. But the Supreme Court in 2005 rejected her argument that the application of the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to the personal cultivation, possession and use of state-authorized cannabis for medical purposes was unconstitutional because it exceeded the power of Congress to "regulate commerce . . . among the several states." Justices O'Connor and Thomas, joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist, passionately dissented. On remand, Ms. Raich renewed her alternate theory that the CSA's complete ban on the medical use of cannabis also violated her fundamental right to preserve her life, as protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. This week, the Ninth Circuit rejected this claim -- but held out some hope that, if criminally prosecuted, Ms. Raich qualified for the defense of "necessity."

[continues 1060 words]

48 US CA: Calif Appeals Court Rules Against Dying WomanThu, 15 Mar 2007
Source:Alpena News, The (MI)          Area:California Lines:75 Added:03/16/2007

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A woman whose doctor says marijuana is the only medicine keeping her alive can face federal prosecution on drug charges, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The ruling was the latest legal defeat for Angel Raich, a mother of two from Oakland suffering from scoliosis, a brain tumor, chronic nausea and other ailments who sued the federal government pre-emptively to avoid being arrested for using the drug. On her doctor's advice, Raich eats or smokes marijuana every couple of hours to ease her pain and bolster her appetite.

[continues 370 words]

49US CA: Medical Pot User Loses Again In Federal CourtThu, 15 Mar 2007
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Egelko, Bob Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/15/2007

A federal appeals court upheld the U.S. government's authority Wednesday to prosecute medical marijuana patients in California, but left open the possibility that a gravely ill patient could defend against criminal charges by showing that marijuana was her only shield against excruciating pain or death.

Ruling in a case that reached the Supreme Court two years ago, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected an Oakland woman's last constitutional challenge to the use of federal drug laws against medical marijuana patients -- that it violates the fundamental right to preserve one's life and be free of severe pain.

[continues 611 words]

50 US CA: Dying Woman Loses Appeal on Marijuana as MedicationThu, 15 Mar 2007
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:McKinley, Jesse Area:California Lines:107 Added:03/15/2007

SAN FRANCISCO -- Federal appellate judges here ruled Wednesday that a terminally ill woman using marijuana was not immune to federal prosecution simply because of her condition, and in a separate case a federal judge dismissed most of the charges against a prominent advocate for the medicinal use of the drug.

The woman, Angel McClary Raich, says she uses marijuana on doctors' recommendation to treat an inoperable brain tumor and a battery of other serious ailments. Ms. Raich, 41, asserts that the drug effectively keeps her alive, by stimulating appetite and relieving pain, in a way that prescription drugs do not.

[continues 575 words]


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