Cannitrol – Cannabis Control Agent

Marijuana news from around the world

Attorney General Bill Schuette

Medical Marijuana Industry News July 6, 2012

DEA Michele Leonhardt

California Government Sponsored Study Contradicts DEA Position on Marijuana…

Those seeking a reclassification of marijuana as a schedule 1 narcotic may have gotten some uplifting news.  A study sponsored by the California state government and conducted by the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research may help make this a reality sooner than later.  The study published in The Open Neurology Journal indicates that marijuana was effective in helping to counter neuropathic pain and muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis.  Paul Armentano, director of NORML, said in response to the study results that United States drug policy  “is neither based upon nor guided by science.”  The study suggests that cannabis does have some risk for dependency but should place it in the schedule III category.  DEA officials have received considerable criticism lately as they were grilled by US Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) and would not admit that heroin and crack were more dangerous than marijuana.

Click here for more on this study


Long Beach Police Appear to Use Excessive Force During Dispensary Raid…

The Long Beach Police department is now engaged in an investigation into whether or not its officers used excessive force during a recent dispensary raid.  A surveillance video appears to show an officer standing on the neck and placing all of his weight on Dorian Brooks, a volunteer at the dispensary.  The officers did not seem to notice the camera until after they became physical with Brooks.  Immediately after discovering the camera, officers appeared concerned as they proceeded to destroy the surveillance equipment.  Attorney Matt Pappas plans on assisting Brooks in filing a lawsuit against the police department.  Check out the surveillance video below.


Activists Confident Marijuana Legalization Ballot will Pass in Detroit…

Two years ago Detroit activists collected enough signatures to get marijuana legalization on the ballot.  Last month, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the referendum should go to the voters this November.  While residents have overwhelmingly supported decriminalization, medical marijuana, and legalization efforts, many law enforcement officials (most notably state Attorney General Bill Schuette) have tried to derail the reform measures.  Recently Tim Beck, chairman of the Coalition for a Safer Detroit stated that he was very confident that Detroit residents will pass a legalization bill.  Mr. Beck went on to say “The poll numbers are so far ahead … This thing is going to pass, period.”  If in fact the referendum is passed, residents over the age of 21 will be permitted to possess under one ounce of marijuana on private property without risk for prosecution or arrest.

For more on this story click here


Longtime Marijuana Advocate Oliver Stone Wants to See End to Cartel Violence

High profile director Oliver Stone has been a marijuana reform supporter for years.  The director of successful films such as “JFK”, “Natural Born Killers”, “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Wall Street” served as an infantryman during the Vietnam War.  Stone has had an opportunity to open up lately regarding his views on marijuana as he is promoting his new film “Savages”.  The film depicts Mexican Cartel violence that is associated with the current war on drugs.  Mr. Stone said he would like to see marijuana legalized, regulated and taxed.  He believes  revenues could help pay for education costs.  In the short term Oliver Stone said decriminalization efforts could be undertaken right away to reduce violence associated with the cartels.

For more on what Oliver Stone had to say click here

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Update on Medical Marijuana Issues in Michigan


While the coastal areas of New York and California have dominated marijuana reform news lately, we would like to turn our attention today toward the middle of the country.  Michigan approved medical marijuana legislation in 2008 and though Attorney General Bill Schuette has sought to bring an end to the program, advocates have rallied to ensure patient safety.

There was a major landmark court decision issued recently by the Michigan Supreme Court.  In a unanimous decision the court upheld a voter approved statute that would protect patients even if they have not applied for a medical marijuana card.  However, they would need a previous recommendation from a physician.  The current decision stems from lower cases where individuals were arrested for marijuana possession but should have been protected under the voter approved law.  Karen O’Keefe, an attorney with the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) was pleased with the victory.  MPP sponsored the initiative to get Michigan’s medical marijuana program passed.  Ms. O’Keefe did urge patients to register in order to avoid the stress of being arrested and any legal fees associated with it.  However, the victory is huge and patients can seek relief quicker as they can get their recommendation and start medicating as they wait on their paperwork to be processed.

Another interesting development in Michigan has to do with the medical marijuana program’s inclusion of 44 minors under the age of 18.  For many this is controversial at best, and maybe even downright wrong.  However, we must ask ourselves if there would be any attention paid to these children if they were taking highly addictive opiates in order to combat pain.  The Detroit Free Press recently ran an article that focuses on Cooper Brown, a 14 year old who is a Michigan cardholder and uses marijuana to relieve complications associated with Dravet Syndrome (a severe form of epilepsy that is untraceable and begins in infancy).  Cooper’s mother, Rebecca Brown, says that his seizures have drastically reduced since he began using marijuana.  In line with the growing trend, Rebecca relies on laboratories to select strains that are low in THC and high CBD (the cannabinoid associated with pain relief without feeling “stoned”).  She does not permit him to smoke it and, instead, prepares it in his food.

Rebecca and Cooper highlight just how desperate the need for medical marijuana regulation is.  Though Rebecca seems capable of selecting her son’s medicine, there should be much more information and professional recommendations available.  The time for simply dismissing marijuana as taboo is not a luxury Rebecca Brown can afford.  Her son needs help and a lack of information on the subject is simply unacceptable.  Thankfully they live in Michigan where the Supreme Court’s decision and Cooper’s situation show that patients are still a high priority.

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Detroit Lawmakers Attempt to Block Ballot Initiative to Decriminalize Marijuana


Michigan has been a hotbed of marijuana reform activity over the course of the past several years.  They are one of the 16 states with legalized medical marijuana and have had local municipalities attempt decriminalization efforts, usually met with opposition by state Attorney General Bill Schuette.

The marijuana reform movement has had to rely heavily on ballot initiatives grassroots support as politicians have had a hard time breaking away from lobbyists who desperately want to uphold antiquated cannabis laws.   Marijuana reform has many accomplishments including helping patients and pushing forward decriminalization efforts that can help non-violent offenders to avoid incarceration.  It is also is allowing the American public access to a unique perspective in what is normally a very closed door political system.  Americans can now see that so much more is at hand than simple matters of right or wrong.  Lobbyists, special interests and long held stubborn beliefs carry more weight in Washington D.C. and state governments than struggling patients and those whose lives are ruined by small possession marijuana charges.

A recent entry in the Detroit Free Press sheds even more light on this issue in Michigan.  Efforts to totally decriminalize small marijuana possession had gained considerable momentum as of late.  However, the Detroit political machine is in full force and has filed a suit with the Michigan Supreme Court to disqualify a ballot initiative that would eliminate penalties associated with low level cannabis possession.  Detroit’s legal department claims that the ballot issue would not create a legitimate ordinance because marijuana is not legal on a state level.  Activists and patients are accustomed to this desperate political argument as relief is often prevented by this line of thinking.  Of course what is most interesting is this the same state (like many others) that has already sided with its people by providing medical marijuana on a state wide level even though it conflicts with federal law.  Proponents of the ballot initiative seemed unfazed as Tim Beck, who heads the initiative through an organization called Coalition for a Safer Detroit, stated “The law is on our side, and we have every expectation that the people of Detroit will vote on this in 2012.”

Activists should only be motivated by the actions our elected officials have taken.  Clearly, lawmakers feel well within their comfort zone to ignore the pleas of Americans.  Three quarters of this country agrees with medical marijuana and half even support total legalization.  A ballot initiative is organized and conducted by the people, typically without the support of big time corporate lobbyists.  Apparently politicians fear us far less than them, but they seem to have overplayed their hand, and whether they like it or not reform is coming.

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Medical Marijuana Industry News May 4, 2012

Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi Challenges Federal Government Over Marijuana Raids… As the federal raids continue against marijuana dispensaries, President Obama has had to deal with comments from all over the world.  Perhaps he was surprised to hear that his newest critic is one of his closest political allies, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).  …continue reading

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