Cannitrol – Cannabis Control Agent

Marijuana news from around the world

2012 election

Game Changers After Historic Election


There were many highlights from Tuesday’s election.  Obviously the headlines are focusing on President Barack Obama’s re-election which came by dominating the electoral college.  However the President won a much slimmer popular vote victory.  There were also tremendous victories for the LGBT community and anyone who supports equal protection.  Minnesota residents voted against outlawing same sex marriage Maine and Maryland passed legislation allowing the unions.  Other stories include the fact that the majorities in the House (Republican controlled) and the Senate (Democratically controlled) stayed the same, with the exception of a few seats shifting.  Another victory for the people was the apparent failure of the Super PACS(outside political groups with no limits to how much they can spend) to impact the election.  Perhaps there will be a few less advertisements in 2016 or for the 2014 midterm elections, though that is likely wishful thinking.

In the world of marijuana reform, America saw a true game changing events.  Massachusetts has now become the 18th state to pass medical marijuana legislation.  The list almost grew to 19 but the ballot initiative narrowly failed(51-49%).  However, activists should be pleased as a narrow defeat shows even the deep south is changing and is receptive to marijuana reform.  What is even more striking is that Colorado and Washington State voters have passed an initiative that will regulate, tax, and distribute recreational marijuana.

Although the legalization in Colorado and Washington State does not end the conflict with the federal government, it does provide even more legitimacy for legalized marijuana.  Now there will be tighter regulation and greater tax revenues collected from marijuana sales.  If federal agents intervene, they now will have to compromise local economies and infringe on state laws.  They will have to take marijuana from safe and regulated environments and return it to street dealers.  Additionally, we are fresh off of a major statement by the people and while the feds have not respected our will previously, the writing on the wall is becoming more and more apparent.  All over this country the people want to see a different approach toward regulating marijuana, and the old system is simply obsolete.

Thankfully the election cycle is finally over.  It may be instinctive and easy to take a cynical outlook on what occurred but we should all be encouraged by the fact that the biggest changes in this country came directly from the hard work of the people and groups such as Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and New Approach Washington .  Ballot initiatives have produced same sex marriage equality and common sense marijuana reform.  The 2012 election was historic and will set the stage for even more states to return rights back to the people.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Busy ACLU Makes Time For Medical Marijuana Rights



The ACLU almost always has a lot on their plate as they regularly step up to defend those who without a voice.  They are known for shedding light on issues that often involve racial, gender, financial inequalities.  They have also been a friend to the medical marijuana movement and this month alone have really expanded their efforts.

Several weeks ago the ACLU announced it would be filing a lawsuit against the Rhode Island Department of Health.  The suit was filed because the department has stopped accepting medical marijuana applications that have signed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants.  For many sick patients, getting an appointment and traveling to see the doctor can be difficult.  The move by the Department of Health may severely restrict access for vulnerable patients.  JoAnne Leppanen of The Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition agreed and said ‘‘What the health department has done is put up another barrier, basically pulling the rug out from under the patients.’’

Moving over to the other side of the country, the ACLU is also trying to bring awareness to medical marijuana in Montana.  Last night they screened the documentary “The Code of the West” which highlights the political debates regarding marijuana in Montana.  The film deals with a host of issues including medical marijuana’s benefits, the division among Montana residents on the issue and the upcoming vote on IR 124.  If Montana residents vote to pass IR 124, then they would see the 2004 medical marijuana law repealed.

The ACLU is urging Montana residents to vote “no” on IR 124.  In the height of political season, the ACLU has many important issues to deal with.  The group is also busy trying to fight efforts to suppress the vote.  However, as stated on Monday, it is encouraging to see that major news outlets (60 Minutes ran a story on Colorado’s medical marijuana program on Sunday Night) and activists groups are still fighting for marijuana reform even many other issues grabbing the headlines.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Maine Lawmakers Target Medical Marijuana and the Poor

section 8 housing

The poverty rate in the United States is set to reach its highest numbers in 50 years.  During an election the assumption would be that both candidates running for president would champion the cause of reducing poverty.  While we have heard about job growth, we do not hear the “p” word much, as both candidates are likely hoping poor people just goes away.  Perhaps a sitting president and one of the richest men in America just cannot relate.

Unfortunately, this election season has taught us that there are other priorities.  Millions of dollars have been spent on political Super PACS.  These outside groups that are allowed to spend as much secretive money as they want on campaign ads thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizen’s United v. Federal Election Commission case.  The result is a political mess that focuses much more on large donors than the working class who is in dire need of help.

In a move that mirrors the greater social shift in ignoring the poor, Maine lawmakers have decided its time to target those who do not have Super Political Action Committees to fight their battles.  By a vote of 4-3, members of Maine’s Housing Board decided that medical marijuana is banned from all section 8 housing.  This builds on momentum from other states who have tried to enact drug testing for welfare recipients.  The idea sounds great from the surface, but it also costs significantly more in tax revenues to do so and seems specifically targeted at lower income families.  While critics say it is fair because government money is used supplement section 8 housing, we have to wonder why this is not across the board.  Will the government start to drug test seniors on Medicare, or the elderly who live in government supplemented retirement homes?

Medical marijuana has become a reliable and more cost effective solution for many who simply cannot afford traditional modern medicine.  While this may score points with many in Maine, the policy seems specifically targeted toward those who are unable to fight back in world of corporate politics.


, , , , , , , , , ,

Med Marijuana Advocates Rally in Front of Many Obama Campaign Headquarters


With the exception of Paul Ryan’s declaration that marijuana should be a state level issue (which was quickly recanted by Team Romney), marijuana reform has not garnered much attention this race.  Only Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson has embraced the issue and vowed to legalize marijuana if elected president.  Unfortunately he is having a hard time breaking through the two party system and his appearance at the debates seems unlikely.  President Obama has certainly disappointed  many medical marijuana patients and activists.  Mitt Romney has vowed to “fight medical marijuana tooth and nail”, leaving patients with few options.  Recent campaign stumbles, including a controversial statement accusing President Obama of “apologizing for American values” immediately following the Libya embassy attacks and a video where Romney claimed he was not targeting 47% of the country in his campaign make it increasingly likely that Barack Obama will remain the president of the United States.  Marijuana activists launched a nation wide protest outside of the President’s campaign offices in 15 states.  Americans for Safe Access have been helping to organize the rallies.  Steph Sherer of the group said “There have been more raids under Obama in three-and-a-half years than eight years of Bush.”  Even if President Obama wins, advocates are hopeful that he would reconsider his positions for a second term.


For more click here

, , , , , , , , , ,

New Teen Marijuana Study Shows Need for Regulation


As the Republican National Convention concludes tonight with a speech from Mitt Romney and the Democratic Convention kicks off next week, the election season is officially shifting into high gear. Polling and coverage of the upcoming 2012 presidential election, and the three previous held in 2008, 2004, and 2000 show an extremely divided country.  On most issues one side of the other is quick to jump on any information that can make their stance seem like the singularly correct position.  However, often this can be much more of a matter of inflating one’s ego then laying out helpful advice for the future of our nation.

Medical marijuana has been a topic with strong support, and of course strong opposition.  However, polls show Americans have quickly shifted their attitude toward medical marijuana (approximately 75% of Americans support a physician’s right to prescribe marijuana to patients), the failed war on drugs, and useless incarcerations of non violent offenders.  Research and patient testimony is starting to build a rather concrete case that marijuana does in fact offer substantial medical usefulness.

However, opponents of any cause ignore overwhelming evidence on one side only to embrace any fact that strengthens their own argument, usually through exaggeration or distortion.  This week, a study conducted at Duke University was released that indicated that frequent use of marijuana (4x per week) in teens could possibly lead to lower IQs later in life.  Study researcher Madeline Meier said “The findings are consistent with speculation that cannabis use in adolescence, when the brain is undergoing critical development, may have neurotoxic effects.”  The study also concluded that IQ reduction seemed limited to teens.  Those who started smoking marijuana as adults showed no change in IQ levels.

The news did not take long to excite those who have been salivating for their chance to condescend toward cannabis.  OC Weekly quickly published an article titled “Smoking Pot Makes Teens Stupid, Study Says”.  Of course the study actually said it lowers IQ by up to 8 points.  Absent from many of the knee jerk responses is the fact that most drugs that are illegal for teens to use can have a negative impact on their still developing brains.  According to many authorities, including the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors teenage alcohol use can lead to litany of developmental disorders including the damaging of brain tissue and memory loss.  Many other studies on teen alcohol use have been conducted that also do not offer an optimistic picture those who start drinking earlier in life.  With prescription pill abuse skyrocketing and far more accessible for teens, do we really think it has no impact on the developing adolescent mind?

While marijuana will receive the venom by virtue of the fact that it is illegal we have to stop and think how this continues to make opponents call for no regulation.  Alcohol is legal but requires proper identification to purchase it.  We know that alcohol can harm our teens, so in turn we do not ignore the issue and hope beyond hope that it simply disappears.  In fact, Colorado’s Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol often features concerned parents in their ads.  These parents are not pushing for regulation because they want their children to smoke marijuana.  To the contrary they are seeking legalization and regulation to keep it out of teens hands.  While opponents may be pleased to read about bullet points that satisfy their intellect, would they not be more satisfied to provide answers?  The bottom line is that we have to pay attention to what is going on and as the conventions unfold and the election season progresses, will we hear anything about how to deal with the issue of teenage drug abuse?  Not likely, but concerned citizens already have concluded that the situation falls into the hands of the people.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Marijuana Gets Political As GOP Convention Gets Underway

Republican National Convention

This week the Republican National Convention has commenced.  The goal of the convention will be to officially nominate former Governor Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate for president of the United States.  The convention has been forced to do a balancing act because Hurricane Isaac has been looming.  The guest speakers, which included Ann Romney, Rick Santorum and Chris Christie, were tasked with the goal of painting Mitt Romney as the man who can turn our country around.  Absent from any of the speeches was marijuana reform, even as it is becoming a large concern for many Americans.  The convention will continue throughout the week, however, since mainstream coverage will ignore the issue, would like to take this time to discuss some political updates that will not make it to the airwaves this week.

The two party system in the United States has disenfranchised many and created a sentiment that we have very limited choices.  This could explain why the United States Medical Marijuana Chamber of Commerce has now officially endorsed a president that has overseen the largest attack on medical marijuana patients in 16 years.  Fear of Mitt Romney seems to have prompted the endorsement.  Thomas L. Leto III, President and Founder of the group said in a statement this week “The Economic Potential of the Cannabis Business in the U.S. is Limitless and President Obama understands this, It is our impression that Mr. Romney just doesn’t get it.  Mitt Romney is known for his business success and would probably be able to forecast how large the legalized marijuana is set to grow in the coming years.  However, his campaign has been forced to embrace far right wing ideals which would likely prevent him from enacting reform measures.  Many are confident that an Obama second term would see a less toxic atmosphere for marijuana, while many fear the unknown with a Romney presidency.

We would also like to touch on another political issue that will likely fly under the radar this week.  The NAACP has announced their endorsement of Washington States Initiative 502.  New Approach Washington has been instrumental in collecting enough signatures from residents in order to get the issue of marijuana legalization and regulation in front of voters this November.  As reported by last week, the group also backed Colorado’s Ammendment 64, a ballot initiative that will also face a vote by residents and is similar to Washington’s Initiative 502.  NAACP President of the Alaska, Washington State, and Oregon chapter, Oscar Eason, Jr. said “Treating marijuana use as a crime has not only failed, it has perpetuated racial inequities through unequal enforcement.”  He also went on to say “African Americans are no more likely than whites to use marijuana, but we are much more likely to be arrested for it.”  This sentiment also matches the rationale for the NAACP backing of the Colorado legalization efforts.

As the road to the White House unfolds we will continue to provide updates.  Next week is the Democratic National Convention to be held in North Carolina.  While we expect a dodging of the marijuana issue there, we would like to remind the president that he could truly galvanize a large voting base by demonstrating some concern for reform and medical patients.  We would also hope that Hurricane Isaac passes through with minimal damage.  Our hearts, once again, are with the Gulf region.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Where the Candidates Stand

president logo

The race for the American presidency has entered the period that can best be described as the calm before the storm.   The candidates may be sniping at each other through the media, but otherwise we are in a lull waiting for the Republican candidate Mitt Romney to announce his running mate and the upcoming national conventions.  However, before the race kicks into high gear we thought we would provide updates on the candidates and their plans marijuana reform.

Barack Obama:

The current president of the United States has upset many of his previous supporters by taking an unexpected harsh approach toward medical marijuana.  Many federal raids have been conducted with letters and threats for more to come being sent out.  The president has stayed mostly quiet about the war and drugs and it seems to be an inconvenient thorn in his side.  Many are wondering if a second Barack Obama term would see a different approach.  Many South and Central American nations have and are considering legalization/decriminalization measures as a way to try and reduce escalating violence by the cartels.  Recently the president has said they are not going to legalize anytime soon but that he would be open to a discussion on the issue.  Nancy Pelosi had recently signaled that there may be more movement on the issue after the election.

Mitt Romney:

Governor Romney  has never supported medical marijuana (unless he has changed this view somewhere along the line) and does not appear inclined to start anytime soon.  He famously walked away from a suffering man in a wheelchair who questioned the governor about medical cannabis.  In a campaign stop on Colorado several months ago Mr. Romney was questioned about medical marijuana and he responded by asking if anyone wanted to discuss any “real” issues.  Patients in Colorado were not pleased that Mr. Romney would not engage the issue and for those who are sick, the issue is all too real for them everyday.  The campaign has been rough for the former governor lately, as his recent trip oversees was marred with controversy over his comments regarding Israel and Palestine, and his statement that London was not ready to hold the Olympics.

Gary Johnson:

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson now serves as the flag bearer for marijuana reform on the presidential stage.  While his chances of winning the White House may be slim, he is bringing a great deal of attention to the issue.  The popular libertarian has polled as high as 8% nationally, which is a very high number for a third party candidate.  His running mate is also a very well known advocate of marijuana reform and a former justice of the peace.  Gary Johnson is trying to be included in the presidential debates, which would likely bring the issue to the forefront and prevent Barack Obama and Mitt Romney from sidestepping the issue.

Roseanne Barr:

The comedian and former television star has thrown her hat into the race. Similar to Governor Johnson, she has made marijuana reform one of her primary core issues.  Recently she appeared on the Late Show With David Letterman and said they would have to pry a joint “out of her cold dead fingers”, an obvious parody to the late Charlton Heston and similar remarks he made regarding gun rights.  Many have questioned if Roseanne is serious about a White House run, but so far she appears to be staying in the race.

The 2012 election appears to be heading down a historic path.  It is unclear if marijuana reform will receive the attention it deserves but the time for dodging the questions seem to be running out.  The war on drugs has long failed, and taxpayers have grown tired of watching their hard earned dollars be wasted during a time where we could put the money to better use.  Check back with us as the race for the White House starts to heat up.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mitt Romney Secures Enough Votes with Win in Texas to become GOP Nominee

mitt romney

Although thought to be a foregone conclusion, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has secured the GOP nomination for the 2012 presidential election.  The race has been all but official for some time now as other GOP candidates such as Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry had already exited the primaries.  Long time marijuana supporter, Ron Paul has remained in the race.  Romney will accept the party’s nomination at the Republican National Convention, which is to be held in Tampa Florida during late August.

Mitt Romney now will turn his focus squarely on his run against President Barack Obama.  The road has been long for Romney who attempted a failed candidacy in 2008  only to lose to the popular senator from Arizona, John McCain.  In a statement Romney said “Our party has come together with the goal of putting the failures of the last three and a half years behind us, I have no illusions about the difficulties of the task before us. But whatever challenges lie ahead, we will settle for nothing less than getting America back on the path to full employment and prosperity.” Mitt Romney has and will likely to continue his attacks on the president regarding the economy.

Should he secure the presidency, Americans will hope to see Romney keep his word to fix the the economy.  Although job reports and GDP numbers seem to be improving, the economy is fluctuating and with the impending doom of the Greek economy, and continued reports on the European Debt Crisis, Romney may still have his political opening.

Supporters of marijuana legal reform have their own ideas as to how Mitt Romney can accomplish this. Marijuana and even economic advocates would hope that he would pursues decriminalization and taxation measures that could tremendously boost the economy.  This year’s presidential election is already proving to be monumental and cannabis reform does not appear to be going away.  Judging by the Oregon race for Attorney General, candidates may no longer be able to turn their backs on the issue.  Although the candidates will talk about the important standard issues such as tax rates, immigration reform, maintaining or overturning Roe V. Wade, one issue is emerging as the American consensus issue.  At about 75% approval, medical marijuana is more popular than any living or recently deceased president.  At this point both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama would be happy enough to enjoy the same popularity as legalization of recreational cannabis, which hovers above either candidates approval rating at 56%.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bruce Margolin’s Congressional Run Brings Hope for Marijuana Patients and Activists

bruce margolin

To the dismay of some of our elected officials, marijuana reform is moving higher on the list of voter priorities. President Obama has has been dogged by questions regarding what appears to be a shift in his marijuana enforcement position.  More recently, voters showed that they are no longer willing to tolerate the failed 40 year war on drugs and elected retired judge Ellen Rosenblum, a huge supporter of marijuana rights.

High profile attorney and longtime ally of the marijuana movement, Bruce Margolin, provides even more hope for those seeking a common sense approach to cannabis law.  Margolin announced last month that he would be running for California’s 33rd Congressional district.  This district covers the Los Angeles’ coastal area and many feel the district could benefit tremendously from Mr. Margolin’s leadership.  He is running on a platform that seeks changes in many key areas such as immigration reform, economic fairness, and defending civil liberties.

Bruce Margolin also has a long track record for defending patients and activists.  He has lent his assistance to individuals involved with marijuana cases for over 40 years.  On his legal website, Mr. Margolin directly states his view on marijuana by saying “NO ONE belongs in jail for marijuana.”  He also has served as a director of Los Angeles chapter of NORML for 29 years, contributing to so much of the progress in the marijuana reform movement.  His long track record in marijuana law has made him the premiere legal expert on cannabis law in the United States.

With the injection of Super Pacs on an already polarized nation, the 2012 election already had the makings of a historic and nasty election.  Additionally, there will be at least two states (Washington, and Colorado) and possibly others where residents will have the opportunity to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana use. Bruce Margolin is entering the congressional race at the perfect time.  Patients, marijuana activists, immigrants, same sex couples and so many others desperately need representation in this political climate where federal authorities are still intent on violating our freedoms.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Colorado Residents Will get to Vote on Legalizing Marijuana in November

voting boothe

The 2012 election already was gearing up to be a historic election between the GOP and President Barack Obama.  We also cannot lose sight of the house and senate races which will bombard our televisions. Besides its 9 electoral votes being up for grabs, Colorado figures to be a focal point this November as they were finally able to collect enough signatures to get the legalization effort on the ballot.

There has been a push (lead by the group Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol) in Colorado to collect enough signatures and get the marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot.  Initially, almost double the required 86,105 signatures were submitted.  State officials rejected many of the signatures on the basis that they were invalid.  The initiative fell just short by about 2,400 signatures but over 12,000 were submitted just before the deadline.  Yesterday, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced that enough signatures were collected and that the initiative will be placed on the ballots for voters to decide.  Colorado voters had a similar opportunity in 2006 to legalize marijuana but chose not to.  California also rejected similar measures in 2010, but advocates are hopeful that the current initiative is a better plan and polls show much more support around the country for legalization.

Colorado will not be the only state where recreational marijuana could be legalized.  Through the efforts of New Approach Washington and their high profile team of U.S. attorneys, Judges, and law enforcement members, enough signatures were collected to place the issue on the ballots.  The Washington plan calls for a system of regulation similar to alcohol.  Other states may be poised to make serious changes to marijuana laws as well.  Michigan and Missouri are among several other states where ballot initiatives are underway to legalize cannabis.  There are also 17 other states with pending legislation to legalize medical marijuana and likely a few more on the way.

Calendar year 2012 already has the ingredients to make even more history than a normal presidential election year.  This truly may be the year where we have one or more states that have totally legalized marijuana.  While this may not provide any additional protection from the federal government, raids are harder to conduct when marijuana is permitted and available throughout a state and not just in easily identifiable store fronts.  The federal government may be forced to consider reclassification earlier than they would like, unless they plan on storming the back yards of residents.

, , , , , , , , ,

Previous Posts