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The peak month for government marijuana eradication efforts in North Carolina is August. The Marijuana Found In Six Western North Carolina Counties this year was minimal. It took three federal and three state agencies, law enforcement specialist, helicopter pilots and National Guard  to eradicate 815 plants.

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Law enforcement agencies using fly-over operations…
The August raids netted 815 plants In Western North Carolina…
Three people face trafficking charges.

Federal agents seize about 4,000 pounds of the finished product a year in North Carolina, according to the U.S.  Drug Enforcement Administration.

Authorities so far this year seized 45,000 plants statewide, which the N.C.  State Bureau of Investigation says is on pace with last year’s rate.

“It is ongoing,” said Haywood County Sheriff Bobby Suttles…we are going to be looking for it.”

Eradication teams typically work in August at the end of the growing season when plants are tall and easier to spot from the air.

Deputies and police work with helicopter pilots from the N.C.  National Guard and the N.C.  Highway Patrol to spot and destroy patches.  SBI agents and the U.S.  Forest Service also join the effort.

Haywood County started at the county fairgrounds, where deputies and federal police went over target areas with Highway Patrol pilots.

When the helicopter took flight, deputies and U.S.  Forest Service police rode in a caravan to the first area in a remote section off White Oak Road.

The team that day hit several more spots with no luck.  …The Highway Patrol aviation unit averages about 400 hours a year on flights searching for marijuana. Since 2007, it has helped eradicate 74,151 plants.

The National Guard averages 2,000 hours in the air each year helping state authorities find pot.

Some communities are tired of the Drug War and Stopped Taking DEA Money for eradication. https://cannabistv.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/drug-war-funds-cut-digging-our-way-out-of-prohibition/

Haywood County deputies seized 431 plants from patches in the White Oak and Fines Creek communities and off Rabbit Skin Road in the first of two fly-overs.

Some of the plants were 10 feet tall and had four-inch buds, the part marijuana users smoke.

“It was a success,” said narcotics detective Mark Mease.  “we had good air support.” Authorities said they found 20 plants in a garden .  A search of the property the next day uncovered an indoor growing operation in a shed.

Sometimes the operations just aren’t productive.

A fly-over in Transylvania County turned up nothing last month and a brief outing in Jackson County uncovered just one plant. Investigators found nothing in Swain County.

How It’s Done In Amsterdam- “The Sniffer Chopper”

Blog Posted by Ray Pague

 Senator Kennedy pleaded with the DEA to stop interfering with medical marijuana research.  The Senator, along with Senator Kerry and forty-three Congressmen, sent at least one-hundred and ten official letters to DEA Administrators Tandy and Lionhart, Attorney General Holder and Deputy Attorney General Ogden with concerns that the DEA and ONDCP were purposefully keeping a monopoly on marijuana and keeping scientific and medical research from happening.  They also requested that Dr.Lyle Cracker , an expert in plant genetics, plant physiology and biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts be allowed to grow research grade cannabis at  the University of Massachusetts for an FDA study already approved by the FDA to explore the possibilities to producing cannabis based medicines in pill form.  

The DEA will currently only allow one site in the entire country to grow marijuana, and only one man has a license to grow cannabis for the entire country.

In 2007, Federal Judge Mary Bittner ruled after seven days of professional testimony that the DEA was not releasing enough cannabis or of a high enough  medical quality to support research that the public deserves on marijuana.  Judge Bittner ruled that the ” it is the public interest” that the DEA allow Dr. Craker a Schedule 1 License to produce medical grade marijuana. DEA Administrator Lionhart decided on Jan. 14, 2009 to disregard Judge Bitters ruling. http://www.maps.org/mmj/kennedy_Kerry_to_Ogden_april_29_2009.pdf

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 When Ted Kennedy was originally diagnosed  with brain cancer in May of 2008, Cannabis TV posted the latest science on the potential for cannabis and cannabinoids to be effective treatment for brain cancer. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has compiled recent medical research on the anti-cancer effects  of cannabinoids on Glioma cancer.

In this video from the 2008 Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, Rick Doblin, founder of the MAPS,  explains efforts to break the government monopoly on medical Cannabis production in America, including Dr.Lyle Cracker’s application. Conference hosted by Patients Out of Time.NIDA, DEA & Medical Cannabis Research, with Rick Doblin, MAPS

“Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record.”
– Francis L. Young, DEA’s own Administrative Law Judge, 1988

Posted by Muggles 

 

 

paxThe venerable CBS News anchor, famous for his heartfelt message to the American people on the futility of the Vietnam War and known as the “Most Trusted Man in America”, Walter Cronkite passed away yesterday at age ninety-two.  Not as famous was his opposition to the another futility – the “War on Drugs”, especially the unfair consequences suffered by families, women and childen as innocent victims.

On Alternet.org today, Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance penned an editorial on Mr. Cronkite’s passing, remembering the honor of being asked by “Uncle Walter” to help in the production of a 1995 edition of his “Cronkite Report” on the Discovery channel. On DPA’s You Tube channel is a six-part video series, “America’s Disastrous Drug war” . Here is Part One:Walter Cronkite & America’s Disastrous Drug War Pt 1 of 6

Here is an article published by Mr. Cronkite on August 8th,2004, From Allen St. Pierre’s blog post at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws:

Drug war is a war on families
By Walter Cronkite

In the midst of the soaring rhetoric of the recent Democratic National Convention, more than one speaker quoted Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address, invoking “the better angels of our nature.” Well, there is an especially appropriate task awaiting those heavenly creatures – a long-overdue reform of our disastrous war on drugs. We should begin by recognizing its costly and inhumane dimensions.

Much of the nation, in one way or another, is victimized by this failure – including, most notably, the innocents, whose exposure to drugs is greater than ever.

This despite the fact that there are, housed in federal and state prisons and local jails on drug offenses, more than 500,000 persons – half a million people! Clearly, no punishment could be too severe for that portion of them who were kingpins of the drug trade and who ruined so many lives. But by far, the majority of these prisoners are guilty of only minor offenses, such as possessing small amounts of marijuana. That includes people who used it only for medicinal purposes.

The cost to maintain this great horde of prisoners is more than $10 billion annually. And that’s just part of the cost of this war on drugs: The federal, state and local drug-control budgets last year added up to almost $40 billion.

These figures were amassed by the Drug Policy Alliance, one of the foremost national organizations seeking to bring reason to the war on drugs and reduce substantially those caught in the terrible web of addiction. There are awful tales of tragedy and shocking injustice hidden in those figures – the product of an almost mindlessly draconian system called “mandatory sentencing,” in which even small offenses can draw years in prison.

Thousands of women, many of them mothers of young children, are included among those minor offenders. Those children left without motherly care are the most innocent victims of the drug war and the reason some call it a “war on families.”

Women are the fastest-growing segment of the prison population, with almost 80 percent of them incarcerated for drug offenses. The deep perversity of the system lies in the fact that women with the least culpability often get the harshest sentences. Unlike the guilty drug dealer, they often have no information to trade for a better deal from prosecutors, and might end up with a harsher sentence than the dealer gets.

Then there are women like Kimba Smith, in California, who probably knew a few things but was so terrified of her abusive boyfriend that she refused to testify against him. (Those who agree to testify, by the way, frequently are murdered before they have a chance to do so.) Smith paid for her terrified silence with a 24-year sentence. Nonviolent first offenders, male and female, caught with only small amounts of a controlled substance frequently are given prison sentences of five to 10 years or more. As a result, the number of nonviolent offenders in the nation’s prisons is filling them to overflowing, literally. The resulting overcrowding is forcing violent felons onto the streets with early releases.

The Drug Policy Alliance also points out other important areas of injustice in the present enforcement system. For instance, people of color – African-Americans and Latinos – are far more likely to be jailed for drug offenses than others. And college students caught in possession of very small amounts of illegal substances are denied student loans and even food stamps.

The Alliance and other organizations are working to reform and reframe the war on drugs. And they are finding many judges on their side, who are rebelling against this cruel system. We can expect no federal action during the congressional hiatus in activity ahead of the November elections, but it would be of considerable help if, across the country, campaigning politicians put this high on their promises of legislative action, much sooner than later.

Also, back in 1998, The Drug Policy Alliance also coordinated an open letter to then Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Anan in opposition to the U.N. Drug Policy, which was signed by 500 prominent persons, including Walter Cronkite

Here is the Epilogue to the 1995 broadcast, courtesy of Stop the Drug War:

The Drug Dilemma, War or Peace?

An epidose of The Cronkite Report, first aired on the Discovery Channel, Tuesday, June 20, 1995.

Every American was shocked when Robert McNamara, one of the master architects of the Vietnam war, acknowledged that not only did he believe the war was, “wrong, terribly wrong,” but that he thought so at the very time he was helping to wage it. That’s a mistake we must not make in this 10th year of America’s all-out War on Drugs.

It’s surely time for this nation to stop flying blind, stop accepting the assurances of politicians and other officials, that if we only keep doing what we are doing, add a little more cash, break down a few more doors, lock up a few more Jan Warrens and Nicole Richardsons, then we will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Victory will be ours.

Tonight we have seen a war that in its broad outline is not working. And we’ve seen some less war-like ideas that appear to hold promise. We’ve raised more questions than we’ve answered, because that’s where the Drug War stands today. We’re a confused people, desperately in need of answers and leadership. Legalization seems to many like too dangerous an experiment; to others, the War on Drugs, as it is now conducted, seems inhumane and too costly. Is there a middle ground?

Well, it seems to this reporter that the time has come for President Clinton to do what President Hoover did when prohibition was tearing the nation apart: appoint a bi-partisan commission of distinguished citizens, perhaps including some of the people we heard tonight, a blue-ribbon panel to re-appraise our drug policy right down to its very core, a commission with full investigative authority and the prestige and power to override bureaucratic concerns and political considerations.

Such a commission could help us focus our thinking, escape the cliches of the Drug War in favor of scientific fact, and more rationally analyze the real scope of the problem, answer the questions that bedevil us, and present a comprehensive drug policy for the future.

We cannot go into tomorrow with the same formulas that are failing today. We must not blindly add to the body count and the terrible cost of the War on Drugs, only to learn from another Robert McNamara 30 years from now that what we’ve been doing is, “wrong, terribly wrong.”

Goodnight.

(“The Drug Dilemma: War or Peace,” can be ordered from Cronkite, Ward and Co., 39 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019; (212) 765-1200.)

 

cannabisDuring the most urgent transfer of power ever to occur in America, President-Elect Barack Obama’s transition team is hearing from countless constituencies for change. The internet was important to his election and Obama’s team’s website – Change.Gov – provided a forum for questions important to the people. Our silent majority is speaking up!  The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is keeping track of a question important to medical Cannabis patients and civil libertarians alike. Paul Armentano provides the details in NORML’s  Blog

nmlPresident-Elect Obama, The People Have Spoken; Will You “Answer” Their Question? – After receiving nearly 100,000 total votes on more than 10,000 public policy issues, the most widely voted on question for Obama is:

Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion-dollar industry right here in the U.S.?

Polls have consistently shown public support for reform of Cannabis laws and empty promises have been made – During his campaign, George Bush said he would leave medical marijuana issues to the states. Barack Obama seems to understand the issue, but recently hedged his position on marijuana law reform. This You Tube video quotes Obama’s views on marijuana law reform and challenges him to bring about real change: Will Obama Keep His Words?

ssdpStudents for Sensible Drug Policy, with chapters in colleges across America, has an Online Petetion on Facebook , with a message to Barack Obama – requesting that his administration and the next “Drug Czar” treat drug abuse as a health issue rather than a criminal issue and will move away from a “War on Drugs” paradigm.  Here is a relevant news article: VA: Edu: Column: Students’ Concerns For Drug Policy

NORML has called on the entire You Tube video community to help send a  message to the new administration – a video contest with $10,000 in prizes!NORML – Pro-Cannabis Law Reform Ad Contest

Headline: Dec 9, 2008CA: Column: Obama Sends Mixed Messages On Marijuana– This article examines the medical marijuana issue, the history of the pot prohibition,. “harm-reduction” policies in Europe and speculates on Barack Obama’s choice for “Drug Czar“.

ohCoincidentally, recent research at Ohio State University has shown again that Cannabinoids and marijuana may slow or prevent Alzheimer’s associated plaque buildup in aging brains, by neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory actions. Here’s a news story and a video that links science and politics:

Headline: Nov 20, 2008 – Puff-A-Day Of Pot May Keep Old Memory Functioning – The Society for Neuroscience hears a researcher explain his study of rats, Cannabinoids and memory.

“Cannabinoid-Deficient people tend to accumulate in government” , says Dr. Robert Melamede, PhD, Professor of Biology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. His “Forward-Looking People” and “Backward-Looking People” theory credits Cannabis and Cannabinoids with actually stimulating creative thinking . I visited him in his office in 2006:Politicians & Cannabinoids – FLP/BLP Theory, Dr.Bob Melamede

george“ Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.”

– President George Washington, 1794

 

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* * * News Flash Update: Nov 25, 2008 – UK: Scientists Attack Plan To Upgrade Cannabis“In recommending this change to parliament the government has rejected the explicit advice of its appointed experts, the advisory council on the misuse of drugs, for the first time in its history.” (from a letter to The Guardian) * * *

For past eight years, the British Isles have been on a roller coaster of governmental policies regarding Cannabis (marijuana), with the reform apex being 2004, when Cannabis was moved from Class B (an arrestable offence) to Class C, which placed it in the company of amphetamines and Ritalin.

However, paranoia and hysteria ensued as reports of increased Cannabis use by youths, an alleged epidemic of mental illness among the young (statistically irrelevant compared to alcohol) and fears of high potency “Skunk” weed infiltrating Britain (See Previous Post) . So, last spring Cannabis was returned to Class B.

Amid this political schizophrenia, inconvenient truths refuse to go away. Prestigious institutions keep issuing reports on the current prohibition (see previous post), it’s ineffectiveness in controlling substance abuse and unintended consequences suffered by society. Last week, The Observer ran a series of articles examining several drug issues. The following are selections that dealt with Cannabis use, with You Tube videos posted from Britain.

UK: Series: Drugs Uncovered: The Facts: Cannabis – A brief but eclectic collection of Cannabis facts and history, including a reference to Lord Shiva’s gifting of Cannabis to humankind.

In this video, a Multiple Sclerosis patient in Britain (whose doctor warned her not to take conventional pharmaceuticals for MS because of the serious side effects) eloquently explains the need for medicinal Cannabis. Cannabis Reclassification – Kerrang Interview 2008 – UK Britain

Series: Drugs Uncovered: The Observer Drugs Poll 2008 – In this extensive poll conducted last month, public opinions on aspects of all illegal drug use are examined. In a popular video on You Tube, a venerable British lady who grew her own Cannabis as medicine refuses to be labeled a criminal.Cannabis Granny

Series: Drugs Uncovered: The Legal Landscape – This article looks at the A,B,C system of illegal drug classification in Britain and cites the confusion over Cannabis. In this amazing video from England, police rip out the side of a Cannabis cafe with a tractor.Lancing Cannabis Cafe Raid

Series: Drugs Uncovered: Chemical Bonds – This article acknowledges the influence that drugs have had on art, literature and music.A Brief List of People Who Have Smoked Marijuana

Series: Drugs Uncovered: Frankly, the Ads Don’t Work – They Just Make It Worse – Looking at past and current attempts by government sponsored media to discourage illegal drug use.Banned Commercial: Terrible Weed Commercial

Series: Drugs Uncovered: The Legaliser– ‘We Need to Manage the People Who Use Them and Help the People Who Misuse Them, Not Criminalise Either of Them”, says Danny Kushlick, Founder of the Transform Drug Policy Foundation. Mr. Kushlick points out what should be obvious to all observers of history – that prohibitions never work, are counter productive and corrupt government institutions. In this video posted on You Tube, a member of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance challenges all the groups advocating reform to come together and put an end to Cannabis prohibition in the U.K.Splitters Unite!

 To delve more deeply into the history of Britain’s drug war, I highly recommend
Drug Crazy : How We Got into This Mess and How We Can Get Out, by Mike Gray (author of, The China Syndrome ). A fascinating chapter examines the “heroin maintenance model” that existed before the American -influenced drug war took hold. Addicts who were able to drop by a free clinic for a heroin injection once a day used one-seventh the amount of drug they would normally seek out and consume on the street.

 

orwellIn an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
– George Orwell

***Update*** – Nov 5, 2008 – Michigan is now the 13th state to legalize Cannabis as medicine and Massachusetts is the 13th state to decriminalize Cannabis (marijuana)! Read more on a post from NORML.

Headline: Sept 28, 2008 – Michigan: Election 2008 – Medical Pot Issue Called “Ploy”, “Good Idea” – A lively controversy accomponies Michigan’s medical Cannabis (marijuana) ballot proposal, which if successful, will make Michigan the thirteenth state to allow citizens access to Cannabis for medicine. The measure directs the legislature to enact a state program to register patients; will allow patients and caregivers to grow their own Cannabis, with limits on possession amounts; and will establish a “medical necessity defence” for persons not registered in the state program, but seeking to defend their use of Cannabis as medicine in front of a jury. This last provision is causing some law enforcement to vehemently oppose the proposal.

Headline: Oct 3, 2008 – MI: Editorial: Vote Yes on Proposal 1 for Medical Marijuana – The Detroit Free Press has identified half a million potential patients who would qualify under the proposed medical marijuana measure on the ballot in Michigan and urges its’ readers to vote Yes.  The Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care, proponents of the new medical marijuana ballot measure, cite a September poll showing 67% support across the state.

Oakland County, Michigan’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has a You Tube Channel – OCNORML, which has just posted a video outlining the ballot proposal and media treatment of the issue:OCNORML on Proposal 1

Headline: Oct 3, 2008 – MI: Group Launches Campaign to Stop Proposal on Pot“Pot dream come true for drug dealers”, says a coalition fighting the Michigan medical Cannabis proposal. Law enforcement groups and anti-drug groups like “Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Kids” warn of dire consequences, but the Michigan State Medical Society is neutral on the bill, while the Michigan Nurses Association is in favor of the legislation.

Headline: Oct 14, 2008 – MI: U.S. Deputy Drug Czar Says Proposal 1 Is ‘About Dope, Not About Medicine’U.S.  Deputy Drug Czar Scott Burns, using taxpayer dollars, is fighting Michigan’s potential medical Cannabis proposal – with the usual warnings of crime, chaos and “pot shops in strip malls“, like in California. However, a spokesperson for Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care pointed out that Proposal 1 does not have a provision for dispensaries.

Headline: Oct 14, 2008 – Massachusetts: Column: Marijuana Skirmish in the War on Drugs – Meanwhile, on the east coast, “Question 2 “, a voter initiative that would decriminalize small amounts of Cannabis, has also generated controversy – despite it’s modest goal of including Massachusetts in the roster of “decrim” states (around a dozen), some of which decriminalized simple possession and eased other marijuana statutes way back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. These states were responding to government studies suggesting that liberalizing Cannabis laws would be the smart way to go and few have reversed their stance.

The Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy says that 71% of MA’s voters already support “Question 2”. (See our previous post from this spring), claiming wide based, mainstream recognition of the need for change. Economist Jeffrey Miron of Harvard University (see previous post) estimates that decriminalizing marijuana would save the state’s police departments, courts, and jails nearly $30 million.

Headline: Oct 20, 2008 – MA: DAs Fight Bid To Ease Penalty For Marijuana – District Attorneys across the state of Massachusetts are using their public offices to influence a voter initiative – morally questionable policy at best. Question 2, which would decriminalize small amounts of Cannabis in a rather modest effort at easing the states harsh marijuana statutes, which unnecessarily saddle many otherwise law abiding citizens with criminal records and other punitive measures. 

Jack Cole of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is also a supporter of Question 2.  LEAP, consisting of retired police officers, judges and other law enforcement personnel, educates the public from a “law and order” point of view – showing how a prohibition always makes things worse, including crime and corruption.

Here is a radio ad (on video), featuring a long time Boston police officer who supports Question 2.  The You Tube Producer who posted this video has more on Massachusetts’ efforts for reform of Cannabis laws.Radio Ad: MA Marijuana Decrim Question 2, Retired Boston Police Officer Supports It

Keeping in mind that alcohol prohibition was “decrim” (targeting only sellers, not users) and still had to ended for the good of society, please vote in our poll on how best to reform Cannabis prohibition in 21st century America

If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being a gift from God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.
Samuel Adams, Father of the American Revolution.

July 31, 2008– Last month saw a milestone in American healthcare that largely passed unnoticed: The National Clinical Advisory Board of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has issued an “Expert Opinion Paper – Treatment Recommendations for Physicians” which recognizes the healing properties of Cannabinoids and Cannabis (marijuana), specific to the pain and muscle spasticity of MS. The MS Society also calls for research into the neuroprotective aspects of Cannabinoids, following evidence that the progression of the disease can be slowed or halted by these remarkable therapeutic agents.  Paul Armentano at NORML has put together a comprehensive post detailing this news, plus links to research, studies, etc. confirming the efficacy of Cannabinoids for MS. (More from Paul below)

The MS Society’s position may seem tentative, given the exciting research coming out of Europe, some involving human trials of a whole plant extract of Cannabis (more below) and surveys of MS patients showing nearly half use Cannabis as a medicine.  This news comes at a time when more and more people are aware of the limited efficacy of synthetic pharmaceutical preparations and the horrendous side-effects that seem to come with all of them.  Five years ago, I met several people who already knew these things – MS patients using Cannabis, each with an amazing story.

In 2003, I was in Washington, DC to attend a memorial for a friend who had recently passed away. On a rainy evening in front of the Supreme Court, we gathered because it was what she wanted –  MS patients, caregivers and activists converging on Washington to force politicians and the MS Society to acknowledge the obvious.  The friends of Cheryl Miller and her husband Jim had no doubt that a God-given herb did more to ease their suffering than all the modern medicines meant to be their only choice.

September 23, 2003 – Before meeting up at the Supreme Court that evening, I rode with the Multiple Sclerosis Patients Union to bring their stories of wondrous healing (anecdotal evidence) to an organization that seemed to shun their voices. They knew that the British Multiple Sclerosis Society had already posted news of Cannabis use by patients and had cooperated in the clinical trials of “Sativex” – a whole, natural extract of the Cannabis plant, formulated by GW Pharmaceuticals in England.  The ride from our hotel to the MS Society was an educational experience in itself:MS Patients Visit MS Society, DC, Part 1

After filling the MS Society’s Washington office wall to wall with patients and friends, we listened to Jim Miller thank our host and recount his experiences fighting MS with his wife and struggling to have their story heard by politicians and the medical establishment, even as research confirmed what they were saying. Then we heard from the patients – bright, cheerful people who didn’t seem at all embittered by their fate, by being victims of a horrific disease and unjust laws. Also, Mary Lynn Mathre from Patients Out of Time points out that the American Nurses Association and many other health care providers have endorsed patient access to medical Cannabis.MS Patients Speak to MS Society, Washington, DC – Part 2 

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws was one of the sponsors that made this gathering possible and was represented by Paul Armentano (now Deputy Director at NORML ), who had previously worked with GW Pharmaceuticals on MS research and subsequently collected data for NORML on the science of Cannabinoids, medical Cannabis and Multiple Sclerosis. In this video, Paul reads from some of these studies and more MS patient tell their stories.MS/Cannabis Research & Patients at MS Society, Part 3

The clinical trials in England to which Paul Armentano refers were conducted by GW Pharmaceuticals, in production of their natural Cannabis extract, “Sativex” (a sub-lingual spray). Dr. Geoffrey Guy, President of GW Pharmaceuticals, outlines results from Phase One and Two Clinical Trials on MS patients at the 2004 Cannabis Therapeutics Conference in Charlottesville, VA, hosted by Patients Out of Time – Oromuscosal Cannabis-based Medicine, Geoffrey Guy, MD

That afternoon, all the patients met again for a press conference arranged by NORML and featuring Rep. Barney Frank (D) MA – long time champion of individual liberties, including the right to heal oneself with a natural herb (Previous Post) – an issue he became aware of as legions of HIV patients pressed the government to allow them access to medical marijuana in the early 1990’s.  In this video, Rep. Frank restates his assertion that the people are far ahead of the politicians on the issue of medical Cannabis, then MS patients and caregivers visit their representative’s offices.Barney Frank Speaks to MSPU, MS Patients Lobby their Reps

Another hero to these MS patients was also at the press conference. Dr. Denis Petro, the consulting neurologist for their Multiple Sclerosis Patients Union, told his story of science, bureaucracy and politics. Dr. Petro conducted the first clinical trial using synthetic THC (a principle Cannabinoid in Cannabis) to treat muscle spasticity in MS. His results showed efficacy, as did seven follow up trials, but Cannabinoids, and especially marijuana, failed to be adopted into the treatments of Multiple Sclerosis. Denis Petro comments on the reasons why in this video:MS, THC & Cannabis Research, with Dr. Denis Petro – MSPU

Finally, we all met at the Supreme Court – a deeply spiritual coming together of patients, caregivers and activists, all veterans of a long battle with the government – a struggle for dignity, relief of pain, quality of life, justice and compassion. But in the midst of it all, the shining spirit of love that Cheryl left each of us strengthened our resolve and reminded us of the truly transcendent.Cheryl Miller Memorial – Supreme Court, Sept 2003 

 

Headline: June 10, 2008Now Experts Say Cannabis Should Be Legal– Drug abuse experts in Scotland have been studing the Cannabis (marijuana) problem in the U.K. and have come to a logical, if controversial, conclusion. After evaluating data from the Netherlands, where Cannabis has been decriminalized and from San Francisco, CA, where it is still illegal, the researchers found that breaking the legal link between Cannabis and hard drugs also breaks the real-world contact between the Cannabis user and dealers of hard drugs. Only 17% of Cannabis dealers in the Netherlands were also sellers of narcotics, whereas 50% of dealers in San Francisco also dealt in hard drugs.

In this video posted on You Tube, a Scottish poet relates in verse his feelings about the Cannabis plant:Scottish poet in Tobermory Isle of Mull reading Poem.2.

This recommendation comes shortly after Britain reversed several years of leniency on Cannabis users, reclassifying Cannabis as Class B, with the possibility of arrest and jail. (see previous post)

Headline: July 12, 2008 – Ireland: Is It Time To Legalise Drugs? – A new book, The Irish War on Drugs: the Seductive Folly of Prohibition, by Dr. Paul O’Mahony is making waves in the Emerald Isle by recognizing that the modern prohibition of drugs actually makes the misuse problems worse, not better. Citing the United States as mainly responsible for the current drug war tactics, as opposed to “harm reduction” strategies that many European countries have adopted, Dr. Mahony quotes Dr. Milton Friedman, an esteemed U.S. economist, who also sees prohibition as a flawed approach. In this series on You Tube, Milton Friedman expalins why:Milton Friedman on America’s Drug Forum pt.1of 3

Headline: July 12, 2008Italy: Rastas Can Use Cannabis, Italian Court Rules – The Supreme Court of Italy has ruled that, for Rastafarians at least, Cannabis can be considered a religious act and not a criminal offense. Citing marijuana “not only as a medical but also as a meditative herb“, the court also said that “as such [it is] a possible bearer of the psycho-physical state to contemplation and prayer“.  In the next video, we see Italian Rastafarians chanting to Emperor Haile Selassie on the first 115th Earthlight ina Roma, Italy.23rd July ina Rome

Headline: July 2, 2008Drug History’s Sad Centenary – The 100th anniversary of the first anti-narcotic law in history, passed in Canada on July 11, 1908, comes at a time when the new Conservative government has chosen a hard line on drugs, reversing years of liberal Cannabis laws, including the first national medical marijuana law in the modern era. The following video features Canadian president Stephen Harper outlining the new get tough approach on drugs, with questions remaining on the fate of Canada’s medical marijuana program and the patients who use it for medicine.Harper Drug Strategy: What about Medical Marijuana?

Headline: May 2, 2008CN BC: Expert Testifies Cannabis Helps Slow Aging – Meanwhile last May,  during a trial of a man accused of growing marijuana in British Columbia,  the defense called a witness from the United States – Dr. Bob Melamede, a biology professor at the University of Colorado,  to explain how Cannabis has benefits for the mind and body. In the following video from Cannabis TV, Dr. Melamede explains the anti-aging actions of Cannabis and the “Endo-Cannabinoid system” – the body’s mechanism for maintaining balance in an unbalanced world.Surviving ALS with Cannabis, # 3 – with Dr. Bob Melamede

 

“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.” – Carl Sagan