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Marijuana news from around the world

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Bipartisan legislation seeks to undermine Jeff Sessions’ sentencing memo

A bipartisan group of senators are introducing legislation to give federal judges more discretion to impose lower sentences, pushing back on Jeff Sessions’ order.

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta Not Only Apologizing For Previous Stance on Marijuana


Marijuana patients and activists have been disappointed regarding the across the country known Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s sights on Cannabis. For a long time he appeared to dismiss the numerous patient recommendations and lots of studies carried out highlighting the advantages of medicinal marijuana.  Dr. Gupta has considerable affect on established medical community, and federal policy (he’s a detailed ally of Leader Obama and it was offered a situation within the Whitened House).

About eight several weeks ago, Dr. Gupta required the initial step to redeeming themself within the medicinal marijuana community.  He accepted he didn’t consider all the details and authored articles entitled “Why I transformed my thoughts on weed.” Dr. Gupta stated he was sorry for adding to “misleading” the general public on marijuana   It had been an excellent gesture and assisted the thought of legitimate medicinal marijuana gain much more traction. Then he dug much deeper on medicinal marijuana in the CNN documentary “Weed”.
Dr. Gupta has taken the redemption farther.  The other day he stated he was “doubling lower on medicinal marijuana.Inch  The phrase grew to become overused throughout 2012 election season, but continues to be encouraging to listen to from Dr. Gupta.  In the brand new article, he discusses the government government’s patent on cannabinoid treatment.  Many of medical marijuana’s detractors have no clue exactly that the us government has acknowledged the effectiveness of cannabis, while still declaring they haven’t.  Confusing, we all know.  Clearly, the final and diminishing group in Congress who keep towards the old speaking points don’t truly understand what their government has acknowledged.
This hypocrisy wasn’t lost on Dr. Gupta.  In his article he said However, this specific problem still bothers me: “Just how can the federal government deny the advantages of medicinal marijuana even while it holds a patent for individuals exact same benefits? People from the Fda rejected my repeated demands to have an interview.”  Although the marijuana community and Dr. Gupta departed to some rough start, it appears he’s seriously interested in as being a reliable ally now.

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New Hamphire Governor Keeps Campaign Promise and Signs Medicinal Marijuana Law

maggie hassan

Many ambitious promises are created by campaigning political figures.  It appears simple to explore the moment and deliver high offers to huge crowds.  Regrettably, very frequently these promises are damaged once politics as always begins dictating the legislative direction in our chosen authorities.  It might be even simpler to interrupt these promises from behind closed office doorways, without needing to look excited voters within the eyes.

Marijuana activists know all of this too along with a youthful and vibrant (and recorded regular smoker of marijuana) Barack Obama signaled a hands off approach from the us government on marijuana.  Not just was that advertise damaged,  the Obama Whitened House is just about the most aggressive administration in going after condition law abiding care providers.  This Audacity of Hope for brand new laws and regulations,  patient privileges,  as well as an finish towards the unsuccessful Fight against Drugs had converted into government business as always,  and maybe even worse.

Fortunately,  condition and native authorities have recognized they have to make the effort because the futility in Washington continues.  Now Nh grew to become the 19th condition to legalize medicinal marijuana.  Governor  Maggie Hassan guaranteed she’d sign a medicinal marijuana bill into law while on the campaign trail.  ,  we discovered that they did indeed keep her word.

New Hampshire’s medicinal marijuana is going to be strict as patients must be using their physician for 3 months,  attempted other remedies, and will need a being approved illness.  To date,  it appears the being approved illness list is going to be stored to mostly existence threatening conditions.  Patients who qualify is going to be permitted to own as much as 2 oz . of cannabis.  Initially you will see 4 shops permitted,  with every nonprofit only having the ability to develop to 80 plants each.

Governor Hassan said on filling out the bill by saying ‘‘Allowing doctors to supply relief to patients by using properly controlled and distributed medicinal marijuana may be the compassionate and right insurance policy for the condition of Nh, which legislation guarantees that people approach this insurance policy correctly with measures to avoid abuse.”  We at marijuana.internet are content to determine an chosen official keep their word.

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President Obama Officially Starts His Second Term

obama inauguration

Earlier today America watched the President of the United States be sworn in for his second term.  There was an enormous crowd on hand to witness the historical event.  Unfortunately, in modern day politics, the day would not be complete without House GOP members playing politics with the Presidential Inauguration.  Many skipped the event with critics accusing them of making America “look like brats.”

It does not feel as if four years have passed since we lasted watched Barack Obama recite the oath.  There was optimism in the air for activists when President Barack Obama became president in 2009.  The self proclaimed fan of marijuana took a progressive stance on our failed marijuana policy.  He informed the public that marijuana was a low priority and that he did not envision the Department of Justice using significant resources to attack the medical marijuana industry.  Over the course of the last year and a half, however, those statements seemed to be challenged by federal raids in California, Colorado, and Montana.

As we have already covered in previous articles, 2012 looks to be serving as a key turning point in the marijuana reform movement.  If the recent tax and “fiscal cliff” debate are any example, then finances are going to be a point of contention for some time.  It is time for this president to re-prioritize our resources.  America wants our children protected and lack of funds for mental health facilities, or additional police officers for schools will be considered unacceptable by the public. recently reported that a high profile Obama ally, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, has publicly discussed reforming marijuana laws in his state.  Cuomo may be testing the waters for future political action.  Since his statements have not resulted in a political suicide, we hope the president takes note.  Any president is conscious of his legacy and we wonder exactly what President Obama was thinking as he placed his hand on that bible and said “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Somewhere in that Constitution we are pretty it says something about protecting the rights of the people.

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After Historic President Obama May Be Ready to Examine Marijuana Reform


Often a politician’s true feelings are not decipherable until after they no longer face the prospect of re-election.  While President Obama’s 2008 campaign included a progressive tone to the war on drugs and marijuana reform, his first term drifted away from those sentiments.  Federal raids on dispensaries have been at an all time high under President Obama, more so than the Clinton and Bush years combined.

While normally an elected official could risk paying a high price such misleading political statements, marijuana advocates were left with little choice as Republican challenger Mitt Romney stated that he would medical marijuana “tooth and nail”.  One year ago, sensible marijuana reform and all the hard work for 15 years seemed to seriously be at jeopardy.  Raids were underway in California and Newt Gingrich (who vowed to increase government efforts on the failed war on drugs) was the frontrunner for the GOP nomination.  While the atmosphere was starting to appear toxic, activists remained undeterred.  Groups such as Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (Colorado) and New Approach Washington were able expand awareness and help collect enough signatures to get legalization to the ballots.  The legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado seems to be a game changer

Elections clearly have winners, losers, and consequences.  The international community, especially our neighbors to the south have been calling on the United States to alter its approach to the War On Drugs.  The Obama administration seemed unmoved by the international pressure.  President Obama even sidestepped online forum questions on marijuana several times.  Through all of this many kept their fingers crossed that President Obama would take on a softer tone as he likely will never be running for public office again.  The second term is here and marijuana activists were thrown a bone recently.

Even as the media coverage is narrowly focused on the so called “fiscal cliff”, the president must have taken notice of what happened in the two now legal marijuana states as he felt compelled to comment on the issue last week.  He recently told Barbara Walters that “We’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Mr Obama said in a nationally televised interview. “It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal.”  He also went on to say that the Justice Department is researching how they can reconcile the differences between federal and state law.  The president does not even have to draft his own legislation as The Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2012 has already been introduced to congress.  The bill, which is sponsored by Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, would amend the US Controlled Substances Act and prevent federal law from taking precedence over state law.

It remains to be seen what exactly President Obama will do in regards to marijuana reform.  Unlike previous politicians, President Obama has previously professed his love for marijuana in print.  In his 1995 memoir “Dreams from My Father,” the president stated that he smoked marijuana like Dr. Suess wrote about Green Eggs and Ham.  Here, there everywhere.  Other reports suggest he was part of a pot smoking group named “The Chrom Gang”.   This is not to say that he must be forever tied to his actions as a teen and college student.  However, for a president that had a personal love for marijuana, and now has first hand experience in the failings of the drug war, it should be expected that he try his very best to fix this mess.  While the future is unclear, it is encouraging that marijuana would even get any airtime as fiscal cliff coverage, the aftermath of the Newtown shooting, and a re-energized conversation on gun control is dominating the airwaves.

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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.

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Arizona Gives Cold Shoulder to Returning Veterans

arizonaWhile it is usually a difficult time to be a veteran integrating back into civilian life, last week was especially difficult.  First the White House denied a petition to allow PTSD to be legally treated with marijuana.  The petition was signed by thousands of war veterans though the White House maintains there is not enough …continue reading

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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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Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Expected to Open in Washington D.C. by Summer

dc monument

With the iconic Berkeley Patient’s Group being forced to close its doors, the Federal government has demonstrated its desire to uphold not only its failed war on drugs, but also the war on patients.  Interestingly enough, inside the belly of the beast, medical marijuana centers will be opening up within months.

Washington D.C. is expected to start serving medical marijuana patients by this summer.  The process has already begun as cultivators are filling out the paperwork for leasing growing space.  Sixty nine percent of D.C. voters approved a measure to legalize medical marijuana way back in 1998, but Congress stood in the way several times.  In 2010, the City Council in D.C. approved another measure and this time Congress decided to respect the decision of both the council and residents of Washington.  Residents who qualify will be purchasing marijuana within miles of the white house and congress, even as patients thousands of miles away fear raids and shutdowns.

The medical marijuana program in Washington D.C., like many other new states enacting programs, will have a much stricter set of guidelines than California’s system.  This may be why the federal government, for the moment, seems to be far less concerned.  California does not have a state run program, and municipalities have different interpretations of what rights are afforded under proposition 215.  However this is all speculation and with little information available as to how the federal government selects its raid targets, advocates are left without an answer.  Even if laws become stricter in California, many patients and advocates are hoping for a unified system so that everyone can operate legally.

Until the federal government decides to take the guessing game out of the legal realm, medical marijuana will remain in limbo.  Although Washington D.C. will be allowed to serve patients now, no one can be certain of what the new faces in congress will decide after this November.  No one wants a prolonged battle with the federal government, and a government should not be seeking to battle sick patients.  The debate seems to be getting sillier each day and if our government cannot decide what they even want  in their own backyard (City of Washington D.C), then can we really expect to look to them for leadership elsewhere?

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Attorney General Eric Holder provides Update and further Confusion on Medical Marijuana


In the wake of the recent federal raids that have shaken the medical marijuana industry, many have been expecting legal answers.  Will the raids continue in California?  Does this signal a shift in President Obama’s medical marijuana policy?  Analysts were sure that either the president or attorney general would be engaging America directly and explaining what can be construed as a change in policy.

Unfortunately, Attorney General Eric Holder only added to the confusion in a recent session of the House Judiciary Committee.  Representative Jared Polis (D-CO), concerned over rumors of upcoming raids in his state, tried to get Mr. Holder to clarify the White House’s stance on medical cannabis.  Holder stated that those who comply with state marijuana laws “should not be an enforcement priority.”  He also went on to say “If in fact people are not using the policy decision that we have made to use marijuana in a way that’s not consistent with the state statute, we will not use our limited resources in that way.”  For advocates this may sound like the worst is behind them but these statements do not seem very different than Mr. Holder’s 2009 statements, which certainly did not protect against federal raids.

While there is no legal clarity presented to the public with Holder’s statements, like most legally savvy individuals who appear regularly in the media, all statements seem to have an escape clause.  The attorney general makes sure to use terms like “priority” and “limited resources”.  Both of these terms seem flexible and subject to change.  Additionally, previous statements of this nature did nothing in preventing California federal raids.  The White House seems to want everyone to know that they do not want to step on state law.  Such an accusation during an election year may not serve the Obama administration well.  Of course, it only makes the water more murky as we ask why are federal agents raiding establishments who are in compliance with state law, especially a state law that does not agree with federal law?  Is it not true that this whole issue stems from Federal law outweighing state law?  But November 2012 is not far away so such double speak is to be expected.

The recent session of the House Judiciary Committee could have provided answers, but this administration seems to thrive under a confused legal situation.  With a chance to reclassify marijuana as a schedule II drug and put an end to the guessing game, our government instead opted to sit on the fence and keep everyone on their toes.  Mr. Holder may get his chance to see his statements at work.  If they respect state law so much we will see if they move forward with the proposed raids in Colorado.  Colorado has the tightest and most regulated medical marijuana program, so respecting state law in this case may be to just simply walk away.

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