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Medical Marijuana Industry News July 13, 2012

weed wars

Harborside Health Center the Target of Recent Federal Raid…

Harborside Health Center is one of the most widely known marijuana dispensaries in the world.  It serves as the setting for the Discovery Channel’s popular series “Weed Wars”.  The charismatic Steve DeAngelo runs the facility and has learned from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag that she is threatening to shut down Harborside and its affiliated dispensary in San Jose.  Analysts have questioned the government’s stated reasons for the recent wave of federal raids.  Federal officials claim they are not targeting anyone who abides by state law.  Many feel that shops abiding by California law have been targeted regardless.  Ms. Haag stated “The larger the operation, the greater the likelihood that there will be abuse of the state’s medical marijuana laws, and marijuana in the hands of individuals who do not have a demonstrated medical need.”  Though she did not outright accuse Harborside of any illegal (on state level) activity.  The federal government appears to be trying to make a statement by going after the most well known facilitites.  Earlier this year, raids on the famous Oaksterdam University were carried out by federal officials.


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Alcohol is more of a gateway than marijuana according to Study…

For decades marijuana has often been accused as a gateway drug even as no empirical data has been present to support such claims.  Alcohol, with its physically addictive properties seems to elusively sidestep these conversations because its status as “legal” seems to pacify many.  New research shows that alcohol is more likely to be a “gateway drug” than marijuana.  A study that will appear in August issue of the Journal of School Health shows that teens are exposed to alcohol more frequently and earlier in life.  The study found that the percentage of high school seniors who at least tried alcohol once.  Of the 14,577 students questioned, 72.2% had tried alcohol at least once while 45% tried tobacco products and 43.3% had smoked marijuana.  Researchers concluded that alcohol is much easier for teens to access.  One researcher from The Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan where the study was conducted said “By recognizing the important predictive role of alcohol and delaying initiation of alcohol use, school officials and public health leaders can positively impact the progression of substance use.”  He went to also say “I am confident in our findings and the clear implications they have for school-based prevention programs. By delaying and/or preventing the use of alcohol, these programs can indirectly reduce the rate of use of other substances.


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Backers of Second Legalization Ballot Initiative in Oregon File Lawsuit…

Earlier this week reported that Oregon voters may get their chance to legalize marijuana this November.  The ballot initiative is called “The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act” and would create a government regulatory system that would see marijuana regulated like alcohol.  The issue has a great deal of support in the state as another ballot initiative also collected many signatures.  However, Robert Wolfe has filed a lawsuit against Oregon’s Secretary of State, Kate Brown, on the grounds that she illegally invalidated many of the submitted signatures.  Mr. Wolfe and his group submitted approximately 170,000 signatures which is over 50,000 more than required.  Currently there are not enough signatures for the issue to make the ballot and Mr. Wolfe will have to be successful in court in order to get his efforts to the voters.  However, it still appears Oregon voters will have the chance to at least vote on one legalization measure.


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