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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.

Graphic1

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

Heart Attack Ended Marilyn’s Life, but Bureaucracy Killed Her

Zero Tolerance…Was It Worth It?

Marilyn Holsten died of a heart attack in August. A nearly blind, diabetic, double amputee.  Marilyn was another evicted medical marijuana patient.  Marilyn used cannabis to control the pain.  Her last year on Earth was a living hell after being evicted because of cannabis.

RIP Marilyn

“I’m really scared”

“I don’t want to be out on the streets. I don’t have anywhere to go.” Holsten, a 49-year-old diabetic who is also losing sight in her right eye, has lived for eight years in a building run by the non-profit Anavets Senior Citizens’ Housing Society.

“I get these terrible ghost pains,” she said.

“Doctors say there’s nothing that’ll work for it, so the only thing they suggested was to try pot.”

When she started smoking pot — about a gram a day — she gave a note from her doctor to the society that runs the building on East 8th Ave.

She got her first eviction notice in April 2008.

In order to stay, she signed a document promising that she would light up outdoors only.

“I was exhausted. I didn’t have time to fight,” said Holsten.

Last month, she received her second eviction notice after management said the smell of marijuana from her suite was wafting into the public areas.

Holsten said she tries to smoke outside, but admits she smokes in her room when she wakes up in pain in the middle of the night.

She does her best to diffuse the smell, she said — keeping her window open, using a fan and sprays.

Holsten’s physician, Dr. Fraser Norrie, supports her pot use.

“I agree with this medical treatment,” he wrote in a letter to the housing society.

“I would ask you to accept her medical needs, including her need to smoke marijuana.”

But the doctor’s note wasn’t enough for building management.

“While your doctor supports your decision to use marijuana, he has not prescribed it for medicinal purposes,” society administrator Mary McLeod wrote in a letter to Holsten dated April 24.

“Marijuana use is still against the law and … [as] part of your tenancy agreement, you agreed you would not participate in illegal activities.”

Anavets refused an interview request.

 – article by THE PROVINCE

photographs by Cannabis Culture Magazine

Jeremiah Vandermeer photographer

 

 

wasit worth it

 
 
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and in the USA

MS Medical Marijuana Patient Evicted in Colorado by HUD

 
Co Man and dog
 
William Wood photographer
Nancy Lofholm The Denver Post August 28,2009

…smoking marijuana has allowed him to cut out many prescription medications with bad side effects. He said he no longer uses tranquilizers, muscle relaxers, sleeping pills and a nerve drug. He still takes medications for his heart, bladder and stomach and a half dose of the painkiller methadone…

Teresa Duran, interim director of the Colorado Division of Housing. “Until the federal laws change, we have to abide by that.” 

There is no data to say how widespread the problem is. HUD officials say they don’t track evictions or complaints tied to medical- marijuana use.

Medical-marijuana users and suppliers say it is common and becoming more so.

“It’s safe to say this is a growing problem. We’re going to encounter it more,” said Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado, a nonprofit resource for medical- marijuana users.

Hewitt said he knows three other disabled users in federally subsidized housing in the small town of Olathe who plan to move into his trailer park rather than fight HUD rules.

“It’s disgusting. Most disabled can’t afford a house, so they get assistance. These people should not be thrown in the street because they use a medication that alleviates pain,” Hewitt said.

He said he received an eviction notice this spring, a day after HUD inspectors looked over his rental house and told him everything was satisfactory. He said he gave them a copy of his medical-marijuana card months before that.

 Hewitt is fearing the winter in his little trailer. He said
the owner has told him that it will be like an icebox.
And he has to make his way about 50 yards across a lot
to use a rest room in a former gas station.
 

 

another in the USA
 Allowed by state to grow his own medicine,
MS sufferer – evicted by HUD

niles

Barbara Allison Photographer

The Niles man who’s growing marijuana in his federally subsidized home under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act is once again facing eviction…

That date turned out to be Tuesday. Bell said Wednesday he has refiled in Berrien County Trial Court the commission’s motion to evict Allain, calling the new action “a belt-and-suspenders way to deal with some of the procedural defenses Steve (Allain) raised.’’

heart of the matter: Whether state or federal law takes precedence.

“That’s the issue we need the court to decide,’’ he said.

Bell said Allain, as he did with the initial eviction motion, would still be able to receive a jury trial…

Allain and his teenage son reside in one of Niles’ 50 scattered public-housing sites, which are subject to rules and regulations set down by the U. S. Department Of Housing and Urban Development.  Bush said earlier she sympathized with Allain, who has stated he suffers from Crohn’s disease, hepatitis C and acute depression, but a check with HUD revealed it has a “zero tolerance’’ policy regarding marijuana.

 – This post assembled by Muggles

 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

KennedyOgden

 45 congressmen 1

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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 

 

 

Still reeling from the sight of Olympian Michael Phelps partaking of a plant steeped in their own cultural traditions, modern Earthlings – from Japan to British Columbia, Jamaica to Quincy, Mass – are grappling with taboos and prohibitions of the most popular, relatively benign (even medicinal) plant on the planet.

jpnHeadline: Feb 4, 2009 –  Japan: Editorial: Marijuana Use Spreading – Gird you loins, sports fans – “incipient cannabis pollution”  has claimed another revered athlete. Sumo wrestler Wakakirin was expelled from the ancient sport in his native Japan – where Shinto priests employ Cannabis hemp wands to bless everything from marriages to buildings – check it all out in Jack Herer’s “Emporer Wears No Clothes”. In the meantime, here is Wakakirin practicing his craft:Bloodfest-Wakakirin -Asahimaru

The article also mentions several Russian Sumo wrestlers busted for pot last year. As these guys obviously need a hearty appetite to excel at Sumo, their preference for Cannabis is not surprising. Skinny snowboarders must like it for some other reason. Many athletes probably like the smooth muscle relaxation; extra oxygen from dilated blood vessels (reason for red eyes); non-narcotic relief from aches and pains; and other side-effects of Cannabis use. Speaking of medical:

canadaHeadline: Feb 2, 2009Canada – BC Supreme Court Rules in Favour of Medical Marijuana – A federal judge in British Columbia has ruled the government’s monopoly on growing medical Cannabis to be unconstitutional and has given Ottawa a year to incorporate compassion clubs and other private growers into Health Canada’s medical marijuana program. Health Canada grows it’s Cannabis in an abandoned mineshaft and the medicine has a reputation for contamination, low potency and high price, with few takers among patients in the program. So, others have stepped into the breech.

ctc1The case leading to this ruling involved a man growing for the Vancouver Island Compassion Club. The executive director of VICS, Philippe Lucas, described the mission and goals of the club, including research protocols for strain/symtom correlation, at the 2004 Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, hosted by Patients Out of Time.Medical Cannabis in British Columbia, by Philippe Lucas

jamflagHeadline: Feb 9, 2009Storm Over the Sun’s ‘Jamaica Druggies’ Slur –  When Amy Winehouse went to Jamaica to record a new album, a  British tabloid said the Caribbean island was “awash with drugs like crack cocaine and cannabis”. Jamaicans on both sides of the pond were irate – “You can buy drugs in the UK as easy as buying a loaf of bread. And after all, Amy did get hooked on drugs in this country!’

Jamaica does have a long tradition of Ganja (Cannabis) use and, as everywhere, hard drug problems. Interestingly, there is a new tradition emerging, supported by science – using Cannabis to treat addictions to narcotics (see previous post). As the Rasta says in this video, Alcohol – it’s not good. Herb is for the Use of Man“. Ganja Field, Herbal Meditation by Smoking Holy Medication

 maflagHeadline: Jan 16, 2009MA: Police Chief Seeks Additional Marijuana Penalties– After Massachusetts decriminalized small amounts of Cannabis last November (previous post) , a loop hole in the new law has caused chaos, as several municipalities are attempting to enact ordinances that would levy additional fines for marijuana possession. Melrose may enact, but Worcester has rejected these punitive measures: Editorial: Weed Whackers No Need For New Local Marijuana Laws

When the City Council of Quincy put a proposal on it’s agenda that could slap a pot possessor with $700 in fines, the towns people turned out – check this great video of democracy in action, from Boston Freedom Rally’s You Tube channelA Strength in Numbers in Quincy – City Council Sees, But Won’t Listen to Marijuana Supporters

johnaIf 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.

Celebrity Cannabis use is in the news again, the visible tip of an iceberg with incredible masses of people hidden below – people whose lives and civil rights have been set adrift in the prohibition ocean. On Feb. 2nd, President Obama’s half-brother George was hauled out of his Kenyan home for one joint.

And the phenomenal Olympian Michael Phelps, who awed the world and garnered a record setting eight gold medals for swimming like a porpoise at last summer’s Olympic Games, was photographed smoking a “bong” – admittedly filled with marijuana (Cannabis).

The Associated Press’ You Tube channel has posted a video of the photo and news story, complete with Phelps’ sad apology for his “regrettable behavior” in using a God-given plant:Photo Shows Michael Phelps Smoking Bong

nmlA good post from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws looks deeper into the murky waters of this breaking story, speculating on rumors that Mr. Phelps was already a regular user of marijuana.

Speaking of super athletes who like Cannabis, check out Arnold Schwarzenegger, current Governor of California, smoking “weed” on his famous documentary “Pumping IronGov. Schwarzenenegger Smokes Marijuana

Interestingly, there is a scientific basis for the use of Cannabis in working out and historical basis for efficacy of Cannabis in hard labor in general, as in the case of the plantation owners in Jamaica who saw to it that their slave workers in the sugarcane fields had enough good Ganja (Cannabis) to dilate their blood vessels – bringing the blood near the surface of the skin, cooling the body and enabling more working hours in the hot sun.

ctc1Also, the bronchial dilation action of Cannabis would be a boon to a swimmer, allowing more efficient oxygen-to-blood transfer and greater capacity for the lungs.

Medical Cannabis expert, neurologist and author Ethan Russo, MD explains this history, along with other studies of Cannabis use in this video from the 2004 Clinical Conference for Cannabis Therapeutics, hosted by Patients Out of Time.Marijuana Use Studies – A History, with Ethan Russo, MD

Surely, Michael Phelps doesn’t really believe that he did anything wrong (other than jeopardize his advertising contracts). Perhaps soon America will acknowledge the relative benignness and benefits of Cannabis.

loui “It really puzzles me to see Marijuana connected with  narcotics – dope and all that crap…it’s a thousand times better than whiskey – it’s an assistant – a friend.”    – Louis Armstrong

british

* * * 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

Just over ten years ago, the United Nations Office of Drug Policy set a goal – the eradication of Cannabis (marijuana) and several other psychoactive plants from the face of the earth by 2008. Most viewed this as unattainable, even laughable, but the ensuing decade saw a sad timeline of prohibition running roughshod over the lives of people around the world: Villagers in the Putomayo region of Columbia were inundated with pesticides, ruining their farms, gardens and water supplies; innocent missionaries shot down by U.S. drug warriors over Peru; the death penalty became the norm for Cannabis trafficking in Southeast Asia; arrests for Cannabis possession in America now approach 800,000 per year – often ruining the hopes and dreams of otherwise law-abiding citizens.

So, as a British “think tank” prepared a report for next year’s U.N. Drug Policy meetings recommending “decriminalization” of Cannabis (see story below), the writing on the wall grows clear. This July, representatives from many countries and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) met in Vienna for “Beyond 2008” – preliminary hearings on reforming U.N. drug policy and the concensus for change was inescapable. Here is a video, produced by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, with several reformers looking to the future:Three Days in Ten Minutes – Beyond 2008 Series #2

A Previous Post from last February examines U.N. Drug Policy in detail, featuring a hearing in British Columbia that the U.N. held to get input on possible reforms.

The following news stories from this month reflect the coming tide of changes for our modern prohibition.

Headline: Oct 3, 2008 – UK: Is It Time the World Forgot About Cannabis in Its War? – The United Kingdom has been on a roller coaster of Cannabis policy changes for six years now. This spring saw Britain reclassify Cannabis as “Class B“, reversing  the 2004 move to “Class C“. which decriminalized possession of small amounts. The reasons included fear of “Skunk” – a catch-all term for the more potent “sinsimellia” Cannabis becoming popular in England (see previous post). The Global Cannabis Commission report states that much of the harms associated with Cannabis use is “the result of prohibition itself”.

Headline: Oct 4, 2008 – New Zealand: Cannabis Spray Use May Be Made Legal– Another country wants to join Britain and Canada in legalizing a concentrated plant extract of Cannabis as a prescribable pharmaceutical. “Sativex”, a sub-lingual spray, is made by GW Pharmaceuticals in England, in a government-assisted venture with genetics experts from The Netherlands. With a remarkable safety/therapeutic profile, trials of Sativex shown efficacy in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis and illuminated the neuroprotective action of Cannabinoids. Indeed, new science and anecdotal evidence raise the possibility that Cannabinoids can actually halt the progression of neurodegenerative diseases!

The success of a whole plant extract of Cannabis (the form our ancestors used) and the failure of synthetic THC (Marinol) as an effective medicine demonstrates that Mother Nature is, indeed, the best pharmacist and that patient’s reports of amazing relief of symptoms makes perfect sense. Modern compounds made from Cannabis will be needed and welcomed, but access to the natural plant should be considered a basic human right, as it should be with any healing or sacramental plant.

Headline: Oct 19, 2008 – Caribbean: Prehistoric Drug Kit Is Evidence of Stoned Age– Archaeologists excavating a prehistoric site on the Caribbean island of Carriacou have found ancient “drug paraphernalia”, dating to around 400 BC. These ceramic bowls and tubes were used to inhale hallucinogenic powders, as Shamans have done for eons in South and Central America. In other parts of the world, there is ample evidence that Cannabis Hemp was an integral part of many prehistoric and even paleolithic cultures.

In this video, Ethnogen expert Terence McKennatalks about the ancient connection between Cannabis and humankind.McKenna on Cannabis

Headline: Oct 24, 2008 – US HI: Public Access TV To Air Drug Policy Forum Video – On the eve of election day, when the citizens of Hawaii will decide on Ballot Question No. 1 (which would make cannabis the lowest law-enforcement priority for police), a forum on drug policy was held at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Speaking was Clifford Thornton, founder of Efficacy – a non-profit organization that advocates a move away from criminalization and towards treating drug use as a health issue, lamenting the “turning of the average citizen user into a criminal, even when no violence or criminal behavior is involved.”

The Pinky Show on You Tube has an interview with Clifford Thornton, conducted on October 7th, during his visit to Hawaii.The War on Drugs : FAIL : an interview with Clifford Thornton Jr.

Headline: Oct 28, 2008 – Canada: Medical Marijuana Users Claim Victory– It’s been eight years since the Constitutionality of access to medical Cannabis was established in Canada, but the road has not been easy for patients seeking consistent supplies of quality herbal medicine. Patients were able to grow their own, designate a “caregiver” grower or obtain Cannabis from a government contracted grow operation in an abandoned mineshaft in Flin Flon, Manitoba – reportedly unsatisfactory as medicine.  In 2003, the Ontario Appeal Court struck down restrictions that limited caregiver growers to one patient each, but the government re-instituted the program – leading to this case.

Last year the federal government appealed a lower court ruling that granted licenses to growers for multiple patients, but this month the courts dismissed the appeal, finally enabling sufferers of chronic and terminal illness access to truly medicinal grade Cannabis – many strains of which were bred during the prohibition by ordinary people forced to become experts in horticulture and genetics.

In this next video, a licenced Cannabis grower/patient Canada discusses the future of medical Cannabis in his country and obstacles to patients needing a sustained supply of quality medicine.Legal Medical Cultivator speaks out Jan court ruling Part 1

Nothing is to be preferred before justice.

~ Socrates

“Cannabis has become the football in a contest between evidence and passion”

Headline: May 8, 2008UK: Cannabis Upgrade Made Official – Britain has moved Cannabis back to “Class B” – the culmination of months of debate and propaganda regarding the relative safety of Cannabis (marijuana), especially in the area of mental health among the young.  In January 2004, under Tony Blair’s administration, Cannabis was downgraded to “Class C” – along with tranquilizers and the like, possession of which is a non-arrestable offence.

Here is a TV show in Britain from last week that frames the debate, with additional annotation from from the You Tube producer:Question Time – 5.5.2008 Reclassification of Cannabis

Much has been made of “Skunk” – a generic name for the “new, powerful” Cannabis– blamed for many evils, including triggering of psychosis. Government and media concentrated on reports of a supposed 40% rise of schizophrenia cases among young people experimenting with the new marijuana. (Note that alcohol and other drugs cause a much higher incidence of mental illness – see below.) Much debate continues concerning the relative strength of today’s Cannabis compared with Cannabis of the past. One thing is certain, though – Prohibition always causes an escalation of concentrated substances, as bulky smelly items are difficult to smuggle and conceal. (Remember “Bathtub Gin & “Moonshine”? – they trumped beer & wine.) Therefore, pills and powders are favored while producers and traffickers of Cannabis are forced to concentrate their product, by using more potent varieties.

 There are always markets for high and low grade Cannabis (swag), just as was the case in the 1970’s – remember “Maui-Wowi”, “Thai Stick”, “Panama Red”, “Alculpoco Gold” – the list goes on. As smuggling across international borders has become very risky, it is true that the milder Sativa varieties indigenous to South America (“Columbian”) are largely unavailable, as indoor farming has favored Indica varieties and crosses, enabling a quicker harvest and more potent product.  The Modern Prohibitionists (Drug War proponents) can take credit for that one.

UK: OPED: Hysteria Over Cannabis Is Getting in the Way of Truth – “Cannabis has become the football in a contest between evidence and passion“. All this comes after an expert panel, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs ( ACMD ), tasked with recommending the best approach to the Cannabis “problem”, came to the conclusion that the classification should not to changed. Among the reasons: The supposed rise in mental illness is not reflected in the population during the rise in Cannabis potency, other factors than official classification influence young people to try Cannabis; and the saddling of these young people with criminal records and the resulting sanctions is detrimental to their futures.

At the 2007 National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) conference in California, Mitchell Earleywine, PhD, addresses the comparative risks of marijuana and other drugs for mental illness:2007 NORML Conference – Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D

Headline: July 30, 2007U.S. Reefer Inanity: Never trust the Media on Pot – Last summer, at the start of this debate, mental health experts tried to defuse the hysteria, as cited in this article by the Huffington Post. “One study found that alcohol has been found to increase the risk of psychosis by 800% for men and 300% for women.”

Headline: May 10, 2008US: Pot May Worsen Depression, Drug Czar Says – While acknowledging that he had no proof for what he was saying, America’s “Drug CzarJohn Waters warned parents of teens who are depressed and medicating themselves with Cannabis that pot may may the situation worse.  Experts, including one from NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), pointed out that many young people smoke marijuana and never develop mental illness and that the evidence had been “stretched”.White House Report on Teen Marijuana Use

Blog: May 12, 2008 – How To Tell If The Drug Czar Is Lying? His Lips Are Moving – Paul Armantono, Deputy Director of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws) has an in depth analysis of this story.

Headline: May 13, 2008US: Heavy Marijuana Use Linked to Risk of Heart Attacks78 to 350 Joints per Week – Are you kidding?

If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
– Samuel Adams