Cannitrol – Cannabis Control Agent

Marijuana news from around the world


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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1956, a Grave Injustice


One of the more infamous events in drug law history was the passage of the Narcotic Control Act in July of 1956.  One of its many effects was the introduction of mandatory minimum sentences for possession, distribution and trafficking of drugs, particularly Marijuana.  At this time, Marijuana was still highly castigated by the majority of the US population, especially those eager-to-please, power-hungry politicians.  Henry J Anslinger (the man behind the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937) was still the drug czar of the era, and although this bill was not his brain-child, he certainly championed it as it gave enormous power to his organization (the Federal Bureau of Narcotics).  Interestingly enough, some members of the Federal bureaucracy (those in law enforcement) were against this because it gave so much power to a sub-department of the Treasury Department.  Some of its provisions wanted bureau agents to carry firearms and serve warrants.  It also allowed them to make arrests and obtain wiretaps without warrants.

In the 1950’s, “narcotic” drug use was ramping up in the United States.  Also, it was a time where the first congressional hearings were broadcast on television.  These Senate hearings discussed organized crime and its continued rise in power.  Where was this stemming from? More money = more power, and the crime lords were making vast swaths of money in drug trafficking, specifically heroin, cocaine and marijuana.  For a quick tutorial on this, take a few minutes to check out The Godfather.  There’s a great scene where the Dons of the Five Families get together and discuss how they will make peace between themselves and carve out their empires by building on drug revenue.  Some were against drug sales due to moral objections (although they had no problem with gambling, prostitution and protection rackets) while others saw an untapped market just waiting to explode.  Well, the entrepreneurs were right and drugs were indeed the wave of the future.  It only takes a little taste to get most users hooked.  So, a lot of society’s members were legitimately worried about this rising tide.  It was a pity that Marijuana got caught up with the much more dangerous drugs, but alcohol and tobacco were once again ignored.

Let’s get to the meat-and-potatoes of this bill.  It “increased the minimum and maximum penalties for all drug offenses to 1-10 years, 5-25 years, and 10-40 years for succeeding convictions; increased the fine in an categories to $20,000; and imposed 5-20 years upon first conviction for any smuggling or sale violation, and 10-40 years thereafter, with a separate penalty of 10-40 years for any sale or distribution by a person over eighteen to a minor, and from ten years to life, or death when a jury so recommended, if the drug was heroin.  All discretion to suspend sentences or grant probation, and all parole eligibility-generally available to anyone convicted under any other federal criminal law-were prohibited except for first offenders convicted of possession only.”  By removing the chance for parole, inmates had no incentive to reform their behavior and become functional members of society.  Furthermore, the law required that anyone convicted of drug crimes must register and receive special licenses to exit and enter any borders of the United States. Failure to comply with this provision led to fines and further imprisonment.  There are a few more caveats to this piece of legislation; if there are any interested people, that information can be found here.

This law stood until it was thankfully overturned in 1970.  It led to many thousands of arrests and incarcerations.  Many of the convicted were young offenders and served the majority of their lives in jail, if they lived long enough to be released.  There were a lucky few who were pardoned by President Kennedy in 1962, but there were very few.

Surprised, horrified, and/or upset by this tidbit of history? Well, there’s plenty more where that came from. Luckily this law is gone, but the Marijuana community has many more battles to fight before they can declare victory.

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