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Marijuana news from around the world

Vice President Joe Biden

Vice Presidential Showdown Being Held in Hemp Country

biden ryan

The political world has been buzzing since last week’s presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.  Most analysts and viewers felt Mr. Romney won the debate and that the President seemed distant and unmotivated.  The president has vowed to turn up the intensity next week as the polls have shifted toward Romney a bit.  However before next week’s showdown we will watch the right hand men of the two candidates go into political battle.

Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan will be in Danville Kentucky for their debate.  While this may not seem significant for some, Kentucky is hemp country both in a historical sense and in a modern sense.  Kentucky lawmakers, one of them being the widely known Rand Paul, have been fighting to reform hemp laws, which if possible, make even less sense than our marijuana laws.  Our politicians are the quickest to include American flags on their lapelle but often the slowest to remember exactly what the stars and stripes stand for.  America’s history on hemp will forever be intertwined as George Washington even required farmers to grow the plant in order to help during the revolutionary war.

Irrational and overblown fears of marijuana during the turn of the 20th century into the 1930s lead to lawmakers also outlawing hemp.  The fact that it is virtually impossible to get “stoned” from this part of the marijuana plant would not serve as a deterrent for dogmatic lawmakers.  Hemp stalks include a fraction of 1% of THC, where most strains of marijuana can range from 10-25% THC.  As more is being uncovered about hemp’s versatility, even politicians who love reminiscing in the good old days of anti science are forced to reconsider their opposition.

The two vice presidential candidates will probably stick close to the talking points of their runningmates/bosses.  Even as Joe Biden is known for abandoning the script, we do not feel he will be fielding questions on marijuana and hemp, even though much of the debate will revolve around recycled ideas as to how we get America back to work.  If only each debate required a local segment, where the issues impacting the region where the debate is being held were discussed.  If that were the case then last week we may have heard President Obama and Governor Romney articulate their position on compassion and relief while this week we would be treated to Paul Ryan and Joe Biden telling us how they would jumpstart hemp farming, create jobs, and educate Americans about the wonder fiber.

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Medical Marijuana Industry News June 22, 2012


Uruguay Looks to Legalize Marijuana In Effort to Reduce Violence and Crime…

Efforts by Central American countries to convince the United States government to reconsider their rigid stance on marijuana has proved unsuccessful.  America’s demand for marijuana has lead to a rise in cartel power and violence all over Central America.  Both President Obama and Vice President Biden have been hammered by criticism from leaders in the region on recent trips.  Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico has been very vocal regarding how United States drug laws are having a devastating impact on Central America.  Leaders in Uruguay are taking the initiative and will not wait for United States to take action at a glacial pace.  Uruguay’s Defense Minister Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro said this week that prohibition was causing “more problems than the drugs themselves.” Analysts believe this is only a start and that many nations will follow Uruguay’s lead.


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New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Bill To Legalize Medical Marijuana…

Recently New Hampshire lawmakers approved a measure that would permit medical marijuana.  There has been momentum for such a program for several years as a similar measure was passed in 2009 only to be vetoed by Governor Lynch.  He has done so again with the new 2012 bill however advocates and lawmakers are hoping they can gather enough votes to override the Governor’s veto.  The bill passed by a wide margin in both New Hampshire’s House and Senate though it is still unclear if enough legislators would support overriding the governor’s veto.


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Two House Representatives Refuse to Let DEA Official Avoid Answering Marijuana Questions

Jared Polis (D-CO) is one of the nation’s most recognized marijuana supporters in Congress.  Along with Barney Frank and Ron Paul (R-TX) Mr. Polis has certainly fought hard for marijuana patients.  This week he grilled Michele Leonhart of the Drug Enforcement Administration during a Congressional hearing.  As Ms. Leonhart was asked questions regarding marijuana, she seemed unwilling to elaborate as to why the federal government has marijuana classified as a schedule 1 drug.  Steve Cohen (D-TN) also demanded straight forward answers from Leonhart  Below you can find an excerpt of the exchange between Polis and Leonhardt:

POLIS: Is crack worse for a person than marijuana?

LEONHART: I believe all the illegal drug  are bad.

POLIS: Is methamphetamine worse for somebody’s health than marijuana?

LEONHART: I don’t think any illegal drug is good.

POLIS: Is heroin worse for someone’s health than marijuana?

LEONHART: Again, all the drugs –

POLIS: I mean, either yes, no, or I don’t know. I mean, if you don’t know, you can look this up you should know this as the chief administrator for the Drug Enforcement Agency. I’m asking you a very straightforward question. Is heroin worse for someone’s health than marijuana?

LEONHART: All the illegal drugs are bad.

POLIS: Does this mean you don’t know?

LEONHART: Heroin causes an addiction that causes many problems that’s very hard to kick.

POLIS: Does that mean that the health impact is worse than marijuana, is that what you’re telling me?

LEONHART: I think that you are asking a subjective question. Will Be Attending the High Times Cannabis Cup In San Francisco this weekend…

There is no rest for the weary as will be taking the excitement from San Jose’s Hempcon with us to San Francisco and the 2012 High Times Medical Marijuana Cannabis Cup.  If you are in the Bay Area come check us out on Saturday, Sunday, or both days.  We will continue with our popular raffles and we encourage patients to learn more about which medication is right for them with a free one on one session with our strain master .  We’ll also be showing off our comprehensive strain library and be providing education on the newest marijuana reform developments.

Click here to find out more about the 2012 Medical Marijuana High Times Cannabis Cup in San Francisco

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Outside of U.S. Comfort Zone President Obama Forced to Discuss Failed War on Drugs

summit of americas

Over the weekend President Obama attended the 6th Summit of the Americas in Columbia.   Most of the media focus will be on the secret service prostitute scandal and Cuba’s exclusion from the event.  However, medical marijuana patients were treated to at least a glimmer of hope from the weekend summit.

President Obama has sidestepped discussions on marijuana several times over the past several months.  In two separate online votes, the White House has encouraged participants to submit topics  they wanted the president to discuss.  Marijuana reform dominated the votes, but was sidestepped by the White House.  This comes at a time where patients are genuinely concerned about the administration’s handling of medical marijuana and feel that President Obama is not keeping his promise to uphold state law.

Unfortunately for the president, he was unable to maneuver out of a drug policy discussion at the Summit of the Americas.  Momentum for marijuana legalization seems to be growing significantly.  Many Latin American countries have voiced their opposition to the American War on Drugs recently.  Vice President Joe Biden also was pressured on marijuana policy last month in his visit to Central America.  As the violence has escalated out of control in the region, especially in Mexico, many former and current world leaders including former Mexico president Vicente Fox, have called for a change of course.

At the summit, President Obama maintained his current position that legalization is not the answer to combat drug cartel violence.  Instead he feels we need smarter laws, better law enforcement structure and stronger economies.  These general statements may not sit well with U.S. patients and residents of Latin America although President Obama did indicate that he was willing to hold a debate on the issue.  He did acknowledge that the war on drugs has not been successful over the past 40 years.

While the United States Federal government seems reluctant to enact any changes to its approach on marijuana policy, other countries seem more than willing to do so.  The United States now trails many other countries in education, crime rates, and stem cell research.  Is America willing to take a backseat on yet another global issue?

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