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Mexican Cartel

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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Teen Marijuana use on the Rise: Is America Finally Ready to Discuss Regulation?


Whether they realize it or not, the American minor is one of the staples of politics in the United States.  Both sides of an out of touch political aisle hold up our children and claim to know how policies will or will not impact them.  For the largest group of Americans who cannot vote, children have an awful lot to do with governing policy in the United States.

Marijuana advocates and patients are accustomed to this. The excuse of “what about the message this sends to children” has caused a tremendous amount of pain for patients who have witnessed their safe access be compromised as a result.  Sick patients typically are not wearing trench coats and selling drugs on the street, rather, they are just seeking relief.  Patients would say the message to children should be “we do not sit idle in this country and watch people suffer when we can easily help them.”  Talking to your children about why people medicate is a far easier approach.  Marijuana simply having legal status does not put it teen hands.  Like alcohol, (with far worse addicting qualities yet receives less criticism), there are safety precautions to make sure minors/non patients are not purchasing it.  Direct conversation is always the best antidote, but just as television executives have found, parents do not want to be the bad guys and have tried to enlist the help of policy makers to make their lives easier.

Reports on rising teenage marijuana use have been making the media rounds lately.  According to an article by the Associated Press that was posted on CBS News, monthly marijuana use by teens rose from 19% in 2008 to 27% currently.  The article cites a study conducted by the Partnership at  Additional findings included a rise in teenagers who smoke 20 or more times per month.  In 2008 this number was at 5%, but has almost doubled to 9% in 2012.  Morgan Fox, a spokesman for Marijuana Policy Project responded to the findings by saying “If we remove marijuana from the criminal market and have the market run by responsible business people that have an incentive to check IDs and not sell to minors, then we might see those rates drop again.”

The facts obviously shows that legalized marijuana is not the core of the issue as even in states where marijuana is not legal, teens have been resourceful enough to find cannabis.  Our attack on marijuana for close to a century has created a black market, The Mexican Cartel, dangerous synthetics, and gross misinformation.  Ridiculous propaganda that was easily proven false by the last 50 years of youth has only made opponents seem silly and created an even larger generational gap.   If a rise in teen cannabis smoking truly is a concern, then regulation is the only way to keep it out of the hands of minors.

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World Renown Economists become newest Marijuana Advocates


A generation of Americans have grown tired of watching taxpayer dollars being diverted toward fighting a plant, when Americans are sick, in debt, and can use a new approach to governing.  A generation of Latin Americans have grown tired of witnessing violence, being controlled by a growing Cartel, and policies of the United States that have only increased the problems.  No dollar value can be put on the lives of those lost or impacted during the failed 40 year war on drugs.

There are many areas where a dollar value on outdated marijuana laws can be assessed.  Three hundred of the world’s leading economists have signed a petition that urges President Barack Obama and Congress to consider marijuana legalization.  The petition cites Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron’s recent letter which describes the possibility of tens of billions being saved and generated if marijuana were properly regulated.  The article and the economists are also concerned with how many lives have been ruined because of incarceration linked to marijuana charges.

It is interesting to see that the conversation has changed and commenting on marijuana reform is no longer a political death sentence.  Even Nancy Pelosi was willing to address the issue last week as she expressed concern over medical marijuana raids.  Even if our elected officials are trying to run from it, marijuana is becoming a tremendous political issue.  Similar to prohibition, if politicians keep running from addressing the issue head on, it will only avalanche into an uncontrollable situation.  Now the old page of talking points will not properly satisfy a new generation where statements can be watched over and over again on youtube.  There are no issues to run from and there are no offhanded comments any longer.

This country is full of pundits who fight about which economic recovery plan will work the best.  Of course, in an election year that conversation has degenerated into inaudible arguments taking up the same talking points.  All we hear is a few arguments from Democrats on corporate tax rates and tax rates for the wealthy while Republicans respond by saying raising any of these will slow job growth.  These decades old arguments can truly use a new perspective, and marijuana legalization will not cost anything, in fact it will save billions while simultaneously generating billions.  Are we to believe the politicians talking into the camera, or the world renown economists who are experts on how to fix America’s financial problems?

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