On Sept. 21, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
(ATF) responded to confusion in the federal firearms licensing
community about whether medical marijuana patients can apply for gun
Its letter refers to the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Controlled
Substances Act of 1970. An unlawful user or addict to controlled
substances is prohibited from purchasing firearms or ammunition.
Furthermore, presenting a medical marijuana card is "reasonable cause
to believe" that the transferee is an unlawful user or addict.
[continues 546 words]
A new marijuana-legalization campaign with deep pockets and prominent
supporters is poised to force the state Legislature to vote on the
issue or send it to the 2012 ballot.
Marijuana legalization in Washington has been an activist's pipe
dream for decades, but a new campaign with deep pockets and prominent
supporters is poised to force the state Legislature to vote on the
issue or send it to the 2012 presidential ballot.
The group, New Approach Washington, is the strongest mainstream
campaign to date. Since former federal prosecutor John McKay backed
the campaign this summer, supporters with impressive resumes emerged,
from wealthy investment analysts and businessmen to white-shoe
attorneys and, this week, philanthropist Harriet Bullitt.
[continues 1029 words]
The would-be thieves - captured on surveillance video at the Colorado
Springs medical-marijuana dispensary they were trying to burglarize -
made for a fitting symbol of the connection between dispensaries and crime.
Prevented by locked doors in front of them from getting what they came
for and prevented by locked doors behind them from getting away, they
were stuck in the muddled middle.
With a calendar year of data now available, local law enforcement
officials face a similar predicament.
Crimes connected to medical marijuana have undoubtedly increased since
the beginning of Colorado's cannabis boom.
[continues 773 words]
SAN FRANCISCO -- Proposition 19, which would have legalized marijuana
in California, received more votes than the Republican nominee for
governor, Meg Whitman.
It also received untold news coverage, bringing the debate a new
level of legitimacy in the eyes of many supporters. And while it lost
- -- with 46 percent of the vote -- its showing at the polls was strong
enough that those supporters are confidently planning to bring it
back before voters in California, and perhaps other states, in 2012.
"We're going to win," said Aaron Houston, the executive director of
Students for Sensible Drug Policy, a nonprofit group in Washington.
"And we're going to win a whole lot sooner than anybody thinks."
[continues 1034 words]
Some See Prop 19 As 'Law and Order' Issue
LOS ANGELES - California's fall ballot battle over legalizing pot is
drawing law-enforcement officials to both sides of the issue. Beer
sellers want to stop legal marijuana, too, but say it's not because
they fear competition.
Proposition 19, which if approved by voters in November, would make
marijuana legal for recreational use by those 21 and older, though
possession would still be a federal violation.
The first state in the USA to make marijuana legal for medical use,
California would again set a new course for the nation on drug use if
Prop 19 is approved.
[continues 328 words]
The folks who deliver beer and other beverages to liquor stores have
joined the fight against legalizing marijuana in California.
On Sept. 7, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors gave $10,000
to a committee opposing Proposition 19, the measure that would change
state law to legalize pot and allow it to be taxed and regulated.
The California Police Chiefs Association has given the most to the
Proposition 19 opposition with a contribution of $30,000, according
to Cal-Access, a website operated by the secretary of state's office.
[continues 234 words]
Phoenix Officials Gear Up for Potential Legalized Pot
Phoenix officials are discussing how to deal with a November ballot
measure that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes.
Phoenix has taken no position on the matter, but City Councilwoman
Peggy Neely and Debra Stark of the City Manager's Office are studying
how the measure could be implemented if it passes.
The measure would allow terminally or seriously ill patients to
qualify for medical marijuana with a doctor's approval, permit
qualifying patients or their caregivers to purchase it, and even
allow them to grow it if a registered marijuana clinic is not nearby.
It would also create ID cards and establish penalties for false cards.
[continues 402 words]
DENVER -- The Department of Veterans Affairs will formally allow
patients treated at its hospitals and clinics to use medical
marijuana in states where it is legal, a policy clarification that
veterans have sought for several years.
A department directive, expected to take effect next week, resolves
the conflict in veterans facilities between federal law, which
outlaws marijuana, and the 14 states that allow medicinal use of the
drug, effectively deferring to the states.
The policy will not permit department doctors to prescribe marijuana.
But it will address the concern of many patients who use the drug
that they could lose access to their prescription pain medication if caught.
[continues 1087 words]
Pot Advocates Ask DARE Officers to Read Book on Pot Vs. Alcohol
Local pot advocate Mason Tvert is daring officers to read his book.
The publisher of Tvert's 2009 release, "Marijuana is Safer: So Why
Are We Driving People to Drink?", is distributing free copies of the
pro-marijuana book this week at a Drug Abuse Resistance Education
(DARE) conference in Cincinnati.
DARE officers and instructors at the training conference are being
encouraged to read the book and then take its message back to
students that marijuana is safer than alcohol N a message that has
propelled Tvert into local and national stardom for his efforts to
[continues 628 words]
Steve Fox is high on a mission. The Marblehead native is Director of
State Campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C.
the nation's largest marijuana reform organization.
He has just co-authored a book entitled "Marijuana is Safer: So Why
Are We Driving People to Drink?" The provocative work was written
with Paul Armentano of NORML (the National Organization for the
Reform of Marijuana Laws, a nonprofit lobbying organization working
to legalize marijuana), and Mason Tvert of SAFER (Safer Alternative
for Enjoyable Recreation, a Colorado-based organization that
maintains marijuana is less harmful than alcohol).
[continues 1118 words]
New Study Explores Possible Benefits Of Marijuana For Binge Drinkers
A controversial new study found that smoking marijuana may improve
Before you down that fifth shot of Jagermeister, you might want to
fire up a joint. Research shows that compared with alcohol, marijuana
causes less brain damage.
In a study completed at the University of California, San Diego, the
results of which were published in the current issue of the
scientific journal "Neurotoxicology and Teratology," researchers
examined the white brain matter of 42 teenage participants. The
participants were placed into three groups: those classified as binge
drinkers (defined in this case as males who consume five or more
drinks in one sitting and females who consume four or more), binge
drinkers who also smoked marijuana "regularly" and a control group of
those who neither drank nor smoked.
[continues 982 words]
A study conducted at the University of California-San Diego discovered
that marijuana is not only safer than alcohol, but also protects the
brain from damages caused by excessive drinking.
Patrick Stack, director of counseling at Webster University, said any
individual has the risk of misusing these types of substances.
"The problem of any type of drug usage originates when a person abuses
a drug," Stack said. "As a result of this abuse, the drug has more
influence on the person than the person has over him-or herself."
[continues 720 words]
In the wake of July's controversial arrest of Harvard professor Henry
Louis Gates Jr., President Barack Obama sought to take the rhetoric
down a notch via an informal White House meeting between Gates and
Sgt. James Crowley, the officer who arrested him. The two, joined by
Obama, would sit down and talk things out, adultlike, over beer. It
sounded folksy and practical, something that many, many Americans
could get behind - a so-called "beer summit."
No one really batted an eye at the idea of adult men sitting around
hashing out their differences with the help of a little social
lubricant. And that's fine. But here's the truth: They were using
drugs - on the president's urging.
[continues 1005 words]
The results of a University of California San Diego study claim
adolescents who use marijuana may be less susceptible to brain damage
from binge drinking.
"I was definitely surprised by the results," said Susan Tapert, a
professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego, and
one of the main researchers in the study.
The study's goal was to research the capacity of the adolescent brain
to process information efficiently after exposure to drugs and alcohol.
Between 2007 and 2009, researchers studied adolescents ages 16 to 19.
[continues 629 words]
Many arguments for ending marijuana prohibition are familiar,
including the potential tax windfall, freedom of personal choice and
the financial and societal costs of a policy that's a failure as a
Now, a new book uses documented scientific and medical evidence to
make a less familiar argument: that punishing adults for using
marijuana is senseless because, compared with legal and widely
accepted alcohol, it's far less harmful.
Steve Fox, director of state campaigns for the Marijuana Policy
Project, visited the Trib to discuss "Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are
We Driving People to Drink?" (Chelsea Green). Following are excerpts
from Fox's discussion of the book, which he co-authored with Paul
Armentano, deputy director of NORML (National Organization for the
Reform of Marijuana Laws), and Mason Tvert, co-founder and executive
director of SAFER (Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation).
[continues 1190 words]
Pot Advocates Produce Book
A hero to potheads across the nation, local marijuana advocate Mason
Tvert continues his smokin' streak with Amazon.com best-selling book
"Marijuana is Safer."
His first book aims to convince supporters and opponents alike that
marijuana is a safer recreational alternative to other substances like
"Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?" is
co-written by fellow pot experts Paul Armentano, deputy director of The
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and Steve Fox,
director of state campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project.
[continues 724 words]
Paul Armentano is on a mission.
The 37-year-old Vallejo resident aims to convince the powers that be
that smoking marijuana is less dangerous on a number of levels than
drinking alcohol, and that laws should reflect that.
He has co-authored a book, "Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving
People to Drink?," which is available on Amazon.com,
BarnesandNoble.com and will soon be distributed to bookstores
nationwide, he said.
"For those who may be initially skeptical of this message, 'Marijuana
Is Safer' will change the way you think about cannabis," Armentano
said. "And for those roughly 50 percent of Americans nationwide who
already support reforming America's draconian pot laws, this book
will change the way they talk about marijuana."
[continues 524 words]
For a plant that's never caused a single human death in the tens of
thousands of years it's been with us, marijuana still faces a
gargantuan social stigma.
Government propagandists and some social conservatives, in their quest
to proscribe our behavior, and consumption, are quick to cite
anecdotal evidence and piles of bogus liquor- and
studies that warn of the dangers of firing up even that first joint.
[continues 1695 words]