President Trump is ill advised to expend resources to shutdown state
legal marijuana businesses ("Pot plans moving forward despite
toughtalk from Trump," Feb. 27).
As Jacob Sullum points out in his column: "According to a recent
Quinnipiac University survey, 59 percent of Americans think
marijuana should be made legal in the United States," while 71
percent "oppose the government enforcing federal laws against
marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational
marijuana." Among Republicans, only 35 percent favored legalization,
but 55 percent opposed federal interference with it."
Steven S. Epstein, Georgetown
Since 2000, the state of Hawaii has had a medical-use-of-marijuana
program to provide patients with chronic illness a safe and effective
treatment option. As we progress through 2017 and in anticipation of
opening dispensaries, it is now the appropriate time to remove the
inconsistent treatment of cannabis as an illegal substance from Hawaii
law. It would seem the state Legislature agrees, as there are over 10
bills seeking to decriminalize marijuana; over 10 bills expanding the
current dispensary program (even though dispensaries haven't opened
yet); over five bills trying to open the state in some way to
industrial hemp; and several bills claiming portions of the tax
revenue from still unopened dispensaries - all alongside two or three
bills with a more "boogeyman" and much less science-based approach.
For example, House Bill 922 points out that 90 percent of the state's
medical marijuana certifications are issued by just 10 doctors, then
asserts this is due to some abuse ! of the system instead of the fact
that most doctors feel their license will be in danger if they issue
marijuana certifications, or the fact that many people choose to seek
marijuana certifications from doctors who specialize in cannabis
rather than their regular doctor.
[continues 406 words]
The New York Times reported this month that expectant mothers are
taking up marijuana in increasing numbers. We asked women who used
marijuana during pregnancy to share their stories.
Hundreds of readers wrote in; most had smoked, while a few vaped or
ate marijuana-laced edibles. Roughly half said they had used pot for a
medical reason. Most felt marijuana use had not affected their
children, or were not sure; just a handful worried the children might
have suffered cognitive deficits.
[continues 1446 words]
Ruth Brunn finally said yes to marijuana. She is 98.
She pops a green pill filled with cannabis oil into her mouth with a
sip of vitamin water. Then Ms. Brunn, who has neuropathy, settles back
in her wheelchair and waits for the jabbing pain in her shoulders,
arms and hands to ebb.
"I don't feel high or stoned," she said. "All I know is I feel better
when I take this."
Ms. Brunn will soon have company. The nursing home in New York City
where she lives, the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, is taking the unusual
step of helping its residents use medical marijuana under a new
program to treat various illnesses with an alternative to prescription
drugs. While the staff will not store or administer pot, residents are
allowed to buy it from a dispensary, keep it in locked boxes in their
rooms and take it on their own.
[continues 1331 words]
Psychedelics, the fabled enlightenment drugs of the '60s, are making a
comeback - this time as medical treatment.
A recent study claimed that psilocybin, a mushroom-derived
hallucinogenic, relieves anxiety and depression in people with
life-threatening cancer. Anecdotal reports have said similar things
about so-called microdoses of LSD.
The allure is understandable, given the limits of our treatments for
depression and anxiety. About a third of patients with major
depression don't get better, even after several trials of different
antidepressants. But I fear that in our desire to combat suffering, we
will ignore the potential risks of these drugs, or be seduced by
preliminary research that seems promising.
[continues 713 words]
Jim "J-Bo" Wages and his wife, Lisa, made the decision a few years ago
to wean their daughter off of pharmaceutical drugs, becoming one of
the first families in 2015 to qualify for Georgia's then-new medical
Since then, they've seen Sydney blossom. She's eating more, has better
awareness of what is going on around her. Last week, they caught her
laughing as her older sister tickled her stomach before bedtime - a
reaction neither had seen in years.
The 13-year-old, who has autism and suffers from intractable seizures,
has benefited from the state's medical marijuana law, her parents
said. But they are afraid others won't.
State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, and Rep. Chris Taylor,
D-Madison, recently introduced legislation that would place an
advisory referendum on the November 2018 general election ballot
asking state voters if they support legalizing medical cannabis.
In 2012, after Washington and Colorado voters passed initiatives
legalizing cannabis for adult use, the Associated Press published an
article looking at potential legalization in other states.
Wisconsin was included: "Republican Gov. Scott Walker said ... he's
not interested in legalizing marijuana. The only way he sees it
happening is if state residents approve the idea in a referendum
similar to Colorado and Washington."
Walker has not weighed in on the advisory referendum proposal since it
was introduced, but his 2012 comments to the AP certainly suggest he
should welcome Sen. Erpenbach and Rep. Taylor's proposal to let voters
Gary Storck, Madison
If consumers are going to purchase and consume beer and other alcohol
products [Re: Cannabis Corner, "Are People Switching From Booze To
Pot?," Jan. 19], consider purchasing them from companies who do not
support or enable cannabis (marijuana) prohibition. That's not always
easy to do.
In the past, large beer producers contributed to the Ad Council, which
aired anti-cannabis rhetoric using lies, half-truths and propaganda in
order to perpetuate cannabis prohibition, in part to eliminate
competition. Another thing making it difficult to know which companies
are harmful is the way large breweries are purchasing small craft
[continues 99 words]
TAMPA -- Four years ago, Bree Morris faced a choice between pain relief
and being close to family.
Permanently disabled from a car crash that injured her back, Morris, 53,
moved from Florida to Colorado after voters here rejected a medical
marijuana referendum in 2012. She left her children and grandchildren with
a hunch that access to medical cannabis in Colorado would work better than
the opiates that had turned her into a "zombie."
"From that day on, my quality of life changed," she said. "I started doing
walks around the park. I started feeling better about life. I'm able to
talk and be alert and do things and even go back to school to earn my
[continues 616 words]
[photo] Kate Hintz of North Salem, with her daughter, Morgan Jones,
diagnosed with Dravet syndrome. Hintz, director of Compassionate Care New
York, says the state must expand access with more dispensaries.(Photo:
COURTESY/Jennifer Tonetti Spellman.)
The problems with New York's medical marijuana program are well documented.
From the day the Compassionate Care Act was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo,
patient advocates knew that the law -- a compromise born of a nearly 20
year struggle -- was seriously flawed.
Those flaws are numerous, and they all work against patients: a very
limited number of eligible conditions, restricting patient certification
only to physicians, severely restricting the number of producers and
dispensaries, limiting to five the number of products a company could
sell, and prohibiting forms of the medicine that have proved popular and
effective in other states.
[continues 649 words]
A man in his 20s sat handcuffed in the back of a police car Monday night
after about $500,000 worth of narcotics was found in a southeast Fresno
home, Fresno police Major Narcotics Unit Supervisor Timothy Tietjen said.
Several undercover investigators waited outside a home on the 700 block of
south 4th Street, south of Ventura Avenue.
Tietjen said around 6 p.m. officials made their move while family members,
including children between 4 and 7 years of age, were home.
[continues 132 words]
MANITOWOC - A listening session hosted by State Rep. Paul Tittl,
R-Manitowoc, and Republican State Sen. Devin LeMahieu Monday was dominated
by talks of legalizing medical marijuana.
Out of the 25 attendees to Monday's listening session, nine people voiced
their support of legalizing medical marijuana in the state. Many cited
mental health issues they believed would be better treated with cannabis
oil than with pharmaceuticals. "It seems there is a numerous amount of
people interested in passing medical marijuana in the State of Wisconsin,"
Tittl said. "I think it is to the point where we should have the
conversation -- I'm not saying whether I am for it or against it -- but I
think more information does need to come out on both sides."
[continues 247 words]
Del. Dan K. Morhaim, a Baltimore County Democrat, speaks to reporters on
the last day of the Maryland General Assembly's 2016 session. (Algerina
Perna / Baltimore Sun)
Special counsel hired for ethics investigation into Baltimore County Del.
Morhaim's cannabis work.
The General Assembly ethics committee that's investigating Del. Dan K.
Morhaim's work with a medical cannabis company has hired a special counsel
to assist with the review.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, who on Friday disclosed the hiring
of the special counsel, said the action underscores the serious nature of
[continues 822 words]
Senator Jason M. Lewis proposed legislation that would reduce the amount
of marijuana people 21 years and older could possess in their home from 10
ounces to 2 ounces, and the number of marijuana plants people could grow
from 12 per household to six per household.
The right of Massachusetts adults to possess and grow marijuana would be
sharply curbed, and the ability of retail shops to begin selling
recreational pot next year would be deeply undercut if legislation filed
Friday afternoon by a key state senator becomes law.
[continues 705 words]
Marijuana activists hand out free joints for #Trump420 in DC Hundreds of
people turn out for free marijuana cigarettes at the #Trump420 event,
scheduled to include a march to the National Mall where participants will
light up four minutes and 20 seconds into Donald Trump's presidency.
[photo] Del. Dan K. Morhaim (D-Baltimore County) (Algerina Perna/Baltimore
The Maryland General Assembly has hired outside counsel to aid its ethics
investigation of a state lawmaker who championed medical marijuana while
having a business relationship with a prospective dispensary, a spokesman
for the Senate president confirmed Friday.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said on the floor
of the legislative body that the ethics committee had recently tapped an
outside lawyer to help on a matter.
[continues 386 words]
[photo] 10,000 People Smoke Cannabis on Inauguration Day in Washington,
D.C. to Protest Trump's Pick of Drug Warrior Jeff Sessions The weed was
pretty good. #Trump420 protest in Washington, D.C. (Corey Pein)
An estimated 10,000 people lined up for five blocks to collect some 8,000
free joints at this morning's surprisingly punctual #Trump420 protest at
Dupont Circle in Northwest Washington, DC.
The mellow, all but police-free event was a first stop for President
Donald Trump's protesters and fans alike this Inauguration Day morning.
The weed was pretty good.
[continues 293 words]
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama on Thursday commuted the 20-year
prison sentenced imposed on Richard Ruiz Montes, convicted in 2008 for his
role in the Modesto's pot-dealing California Healthcare Collective.
In one of his final presidential acts, Obama used his executive authority
to cut Montes' sentence by more than half. Now held at a federal facility
in Atwater, according to the Bureau of Prisons' inmate locator, the
36-year-old Montes will be released May 19.
He is identified as Richard by the White House and Bureau of Prisons, but
has also been known as Ricardo. The White House listed his hometown as
[continues 184 words]
The Chowchilla City Council voted unanimously this week to ban marijuana
dispensaries, cultivation, manufacture and transport within city limits.
The move comes on the eve of an election in which Californians will vote
on Proposition 64, which would legalize recreational pot.
City Manager Brian Haddix said the council wanted to act now to ensure
stricter restrictions were in place prior to the Nov. 8 election. He noted
that marijuana is still a Schedule 1 substance under the Federal
Controlled Substances Act.
Mayor Waseem Ahmed said the move was necessary to "walk the talk of being
a family friendly city."
Even as more and more states allow their residents to use marijuana, the
federal government is continuing to obstruct scientists from studying
whether the drug is good or bad for people's health.
A report published last week by the National Academies of Sciences,
Engineering and Medicine points out that scientists who want to study
cannabis have to seek approvals from federal, state and local agencies and
depend on just one lab, at the University of Mississippi, for samples. As
a result, far too little is known about the health effects of a substance
that 28 states have decided can be used as medicine and eight states and
the District of Columbia have approved for recreational use.
[continues 408 words]