Posts Tagged ‘cal norml’
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Our friends over at NORML seem to be more involved in the Obama campaign efforts than even they realized. This wouldn’t actually be a bad thing since many marijuana supporters voted for the POTUS during his initial election for presidency in 2008.
Unfortunately, a lot has changed since then as Obama and the DEA have recently become less marijuana friendly. This position has left Russ Belville and the rest of the smoke community feeling somewhat neglected and forgotten about by the Obama administration. Well, imagine their surprise when an Obama ad campaign showed up on NORML’s YouTube channel.
The general idea of lending political support behind a candidate is done in exchange for consideration of some kind once they get in office. One hand is supposed to wash the other and that’s not wrong, that’s politics. “Radical” Russ Belville reminded BAM with this response to the Obama administration ad’s placement:
You want the absolute guaranteed votes of 90% of the 25 million American adults who use cannabis annually in America?
Convince Congress to pass and then you sign Barney Frank and Ron Paul’s Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act.
I’m so glad NORML spoke out about this, the American people should be more vocal about their lack of interest in playing political games with the current administration. At this point, we’re getting squeezed by interest groups no matter if you’re a marijuana supporter or not. If we all speak up when we see political bullshit and continue to give heat to those who have made promises that they’ve forgotten about then maybe we’ll one day get the type of world we all want…..A NORML one.
They call Congress’ stance ‘Reefer Madness,’ but decriminalization bill appears doomed.
By Gary Martin
WASHINGTON — Worried that marijuana decriminalization dreams could go up in smoke, advocates are targeting a Texas congressman who has vowed to kill a bill that would remove pot from the federal list of controlled substances.
U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said his panel will not take up the bipartisan legislation, which would effectively kill it for lack of action.
“Instead of encouraging the use of marijuana, we should strengthen enforcement of federal drug laws to protect Americans from the devastating effects of drug use,” said Smith, R-San Antonio.
Smith’s stance has prompted a backlash organized by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Legalization.
NORML has launched a letter and telephone campaign that swamped Smith with more than 9,000 messages and calls and forced him to take down his Facebook page.
The sheer number of the responses does not surprise NORML, but the group is under no illusion that it will see the legislation passed any time soon.
“This Congress is a ‘Reefer Madness’ Congress,” said Allen St. Pierre, NORML executive director, referring to the 1936 morality film that portrayed users of the herb descending into mental illness.
Still, St. Pierre said changing public attitudes on cannabis use and its acceptance in some parts of the country should at least require Congress to hold a hearing on the merits of the legislation. The authors say the bill is no half-baked idea.
The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act was filed by Rep. Ron Paul, the Texas congressman seeking the Republican presidential nomination, and Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee.
Paul, who has a national libertarian following, and Frank, one of the most liberal members of Congress, say the bill is a reasoned approach to getting the federal government out of the regulation of marijuana.
Under the bill, HR 2306, marijuana would be removed from the federal list of controlled substances, ending federal enforcement and allowing each state to address how it could be used and distributed.
NORML is airing announcements about the bill on its web site and YouTube, urging people to contact Smith and other members of Congress.
With his hit “On the Road Again” playing in the background, Nelson says 850,000 citizens will be arrested this year on cannabis-related charges: “That’s another marijuana smoker busted every 35 seconds.”
Advocates of pot use note that 14 states have passed decriminalization laws, and 16 states and the District of Columbia permit the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Texas is not one of those states, and it is not likely to be one soon, said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and a former state attorney general and state Supreme Court justice.
“I would be surprised if it has much in the way of public support, which would be the biggest obstacle, since I doubt the members of the Texas Legislature would take this matter up and pass it,” Cornyn said.
There is no companion legislation in the Senate, but Cornyn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would join Smith and House colleagues in opposing similar measures.
Cornyn said he worries that decriminalization, medical usage and removing marijuana laws from federal enforcement is a slippery slope “where a similar attitude would be embraced with regards to other illegal drugs and dangerous substances.”
The Obama administration also opposes decriminalization of marijuana, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Marijuana use is harmful and should be discouraged, according to the White House drug czar, and legalization would lower the price and increase usage.
St. Pierre said it is likely to take another decade for Congress to catch up to public attitudes and develop a more relaxed attitude on marijuana use, but he predicted federal decriminalization would come eventually.
“The states are really driving this,” St. Pierre said.
by David Borden
In March 2008, candidate Obama promised not to use Dept. of Justice resources to block state medical marijuana laws. But President Obama has broken that promise:
- The Obama DOJ is raiding marijuana dispensaries at twice the rate the Bush DOJ did.
- US Attorneys have sent misleading, threatening letters to state legislatures considering dispensary laws.
- A DOJ memo sent late last month, claiming to “clarify” an earlier memo that supported states rights to medical marijuana, in fact backtracked on it. While the federal government is not targeting patients themselves, they are making it more difficult for them to obtain marijuana legally and safely.
Please write to President Obama to express your concern and disappointment over his broken promise. The future of medical marijuana depends on people like you across the country speaking up and putting pressure on the president to keep his promise to respect state medical marijuana laws – so please use our web site to send President Obama a letter today. When you’re done, please use our tell-a-friend form to spread the word. You can call the White House Comment Line on the phone too, at (202) 456-1111, to make an even greater impact.
Thank you for taking a stand. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org for news and commentary about all aspects of the drug war. Click here for our medical marijuana archive page, or here for our medical marijuana RSS feed.
I received this very interesting e-mail from CA NORML, and I thought others might be interested to see it:
California’s CAMP marijuana eradication reported 4,320,314 plant seizures in 2010, slightly less than last year’s all-time record of 4,463,917.
CAMP estimates the wholesale value of the destroyed crop at $17.2 billion – enough to qualify for agricultural disaster aid for any other crop. This works out to $4,000 per plant, or over 1 lb per plant. At this rate, the total amount of marijuana destroyed by CAMP works out to over four times the estimated consumption of the entire state of California (1 million lb/year). CAMP’s harvest has soared tenfold since 2002-3.
The leading counties this year were Mendocino (572,680), Tuolumne (411,004), Lake (374,958), Shasta (325,480), Tehama (312,574, Sonoma (311,147), Tulare (227,002), San Bernardino (171,258), Riverside (155,209) and Humboldt (140,911).
- Cal NORML Release, Oct 30, 2010
Thank you calnorml & theweedblog.com for this!
|Graphic: MJ Dispensaries of Southern California|
Retail Market Is $1.5 Billion To $4.5 Billion Per Year
There are now more than 750,000 medical marijuana patients in California, representing two percent of the population according to the most recent data, estimates California NORML. At the high end, an estimate of more than 1,125,000 patients, or three percent of the population, is consistent with the data.
This represents a substantial increase from Cal NORML‘s earlier estimates of 300,000 in 2007, 150,000 in 2005, and 75,000 in 2004, but is in line with registration rates in other comparable states that enjoy similar wide access to medical cannabis clinics and dispensaries.
The exact number of patients in California is uncertain, because patients aren’t required to register in the Golden State. Under Prop 215,
California’s medical marijuana law, patients need only a physician’s recommendation to be legal.
Just a tiny fraction of the California’s medical marijuana population is enlisted in the state’s voluntary ID card program, which issued just 12,659 cards in 2009-2010. Therefore, California’s patient numbers must be estimated from other sources.
Among the most salient sources of data are medical marijuana registries in Colorado and Montana, which report patient rates of 2.5 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively.
Because California’s law is older and has more liberal inclusion criteria than in other states, usage there is likely to be higher, according to Cal NORML.
|Dale Gieringer, Cal NORML: “The data show that medical marijuana users are becoming an increasingly important constituency”|
Despite this, there is no evidence that liberal access to medical marijuana has spurred overall marijuana use in California. According to U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) data, the total number of cannabis users in the state, including non-medical ones, amounts to 6.7 percent of the population (2.5 million) within the past month, or 11.3 percent (4.1 million) within the past year.
This places California only slightly above the national average in marijuana use (6.0 percent monthly and 10.4 percent yearly), and below several states with tougher marijuana laws.
Use of cannabis by California school youth has declined since Proposition 215 passed, according to data from the Attorney General’s Survey of Student Drug Use in California. The increase in medical marijuana use therefore appears to reflect a tendency for existing users to “go medical,” rather than the enlistment of new users.
The total retail value of medical marijuana consumed in California can be estimated at between $1.5 billion and $4.5 billion per year, assuming a market of 2 percent to 3 percent of the population, with average use of 0.5 to 1 gram per day, and an average cost of $320 per ounce.
“Marijuana’s popularity can be explained by its low toxicity, pleasant effects, and remarkably wide range of therapeutic uses, over 250 of which have been reported,” Cal NORML said in a press release.
By far the leading application is chronic pain, which accounts for the majority of all recommendations. Studies by California’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research have shown that marijuana is particularly effective for neuropathic pain, an otherwise difficult to treat condition that afflicts up to 7 to 8 percent of the population.
Patients who use marijuana for pain commonly report significant reductions in their use of other medications, in particular prescription opiates.
“The data show that medical marijuana users are becoming an increasingly important constituency,” said California NORML Director Dale Gieringer. “It is time for the federal government to stop ignoring the facts and recognize their right to medicine.”