Posts Tagged ‘marijuana prohibition’
The libertarian-minded Republican’s campaign released a Web ad Friday that declares the war on drugs is a waste of taxpayer dollars. Mr. Johnson has repeatedly called for the legalization of marijuana. Here’s the video:
by Jeremiah Vandermeer - Wednesday, August 3 2011
The latest stats show the number of Americans who use marijuana has gone up since last year. If the government really wanted to reduce marijuana use, they would legalize it.
The AFP reports:
SAMHSA also looked at Americans’ marijuana use and found that numbers using pot in the past month were up for the two years covered by the report: 6.4 percent of Americans aged 12 and older said they had used marijuana in the past month compared to six percent in 2007-2008.
In the 12- to 17-year age group, marijuana use fell, but seven percent of US teens still use cannabis, the report said.
The 10 states that saw the highest use of marijuana were Alaska, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Medical marijuana is legal in all of those states except for Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Perceptions of the dangers associated with marijuana use were lowest in the 10 states where the drug was used the most, according to the study.
Drug Warriors love to shout in booming voices that if we legalized marijuana, stoners would begin coming out of the woodwork and cause an epidemic of bong-rips and bloodshot eyes. Scientists completely disagree, and say that marijuana law reform does not lead to an increase in usage.
In fact, they say just the opposite. Evidence from countries like Portugal and the Netherlands shows that liberalizing drug laws actually leads to a decrease in usage. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Drug Warriors.
Don’t believe me? Listen to The Young Turks:
Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, will be a guest onReal Time with Bill Maher on July 8th at 10 p.m. ET/ PT.
Mr. Nadelmann will be interviewed one-on-one with Mr. Maher at the top of the show and will discuss the war on drugs and movement to end marijuana prohibition.
The topic of the war on drugs is timely as there was an avalanche of media coverage about the failed drug war in June.
The Global Commission on Drug Policy (Kofi Annan, Former Presidents of Colombia, Mexico and Brazil, Richard Branson etc) made worldwide news calling for an end to the war on drugs.
June 17th was the 40th anniversary of Nixon declaring the War on Drugs. This generated another wave of coverage slamming the drug war.
On June 22nd, Barney Frank and Ron Paul introduced federal legislation to end marijuana prohibition.
Described by Rolling Stone as “the point man” for drug policy reform efforts, Ethan Nadelmann is widely regarded as the most prominent proponent of drug policy reform.
Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Tony Papa 646-420-7290
www.norml.org – NORML Advisory Board Member Willie Nelson speaks out in support of the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011.” This legislation, if passed, would allow states the freedom to set their own marijuana laws independent of the federal government and pursue legalization.
By Chris Goldstein
The medical cannabis bill in Pennsylvania has been stalled in House and Senate committees but some procedural wrangling this week could put the issue back in motion. HB 1653 was first assigned to the House Health Committee chaired by Rep. Matthew Baker. At previous public hearings Baker was a vocal opponent of the measure. Today the bill was re-referred to the House Human Services Committee. This means much better chances that public hearings and/or a committee vote will be be scheduled.
This year the PA bill was also re-named The Governor Raymond P. Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. This is to honor the former Republican governor who guided a commission for President Nixon on the topic of marijuana. In 1972 Shafer delivered a report that cannabis should not be classified with other narcotics and that personal possession should be decriminalized. There were also clear considerations about the medical use of cannabis in the report.
Previously the PA House Health and Human Services Commitee was combined and had 26 members. This year the committee was split into two separate entities.
At public hearings held in 2009 and 2010 testimony strongly favored the medical marijuana bill. Seriously ill residents, religious leaders, advocates, doctors and nurses spoke about the benefits of cannabis but the the bill never got a vote.
Patrick Nightingale, a Pittsburgh based attorney who serves on the Board of Directors at Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana (PA4MMJ), said today, ”Critically ill patients throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are begging merely that their voice be heard by their elected representatives.”
“The answer is not to ignore or bury the legislation but rather to give it a full and fair hearing,” Nightingale added.
Dr. Harry Swidler, an Emergency Medicine physician said at the 2009 hearings: “Marijuana is non-addicting. There is no physical dependence or physical withdrawal associated with its use. It is, from a practical standpoint, non-toxic. Marijuana is safer by some measures than any other drug. There is simply no known quantity of marijuana capable of killing a person.”
Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana bill is active in both chambers of the General Assembly. In April state senator Daylin Leach re-introduced SB 1003, but it remains stalled in the Senate Health and Public Welfare Committee chaired by Senator Patricia Vance. Advocates are hopeful that renewed action in the House will help the effort to have Senate hearings as well.
Derek Rosenzweig of Philadelphia spearheaded the PA4MMJ effort and testified at previous public hearings. He said in an email today: “With the introduction of legislation in the US Congress today that would remove marijuana from the federal Schedule I classification, states such as Pennsylvania may soon be free of federal interference in implementing medical marijuana laws. Activists across the state have been pushing for a vote. Everyone at PA4MMJ has been making phone calls and sending emails.”
Grassroots link www.pa4mmj.org
|Graphic: Drug Policy Alliance|
The first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition is coming on Thursday, June 23. Historic, bipartisan legislation which would end the United States’ war on marijuana — and allow states to legalize, tax regulate and control cannabis commerce without federal interference — will be introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).
|Photo: Jimmy Carter Library & Museum|
|Former President Jimmy Carter:
“Maybe the increased tax burden on wealthy citizens necessary to pay
for the war on drugs will help bring about a reform of America’s drug policies”
|Photo: Cannabis Culture|
|President Nixon sniffs a wrapped brick of marijuana
at the outset of his War On Drugs in 1970
|Photo: The Narco News Bulletin|
|Ethan Nadelmann, DPA: “We are enlisting unprecedented numbers of powerful and distinguished individuals to voice their dissent publicly”|
10) MARIJUANA USE HAS NO EFFECT ON MORTALITY:
A massive study of California HMO members funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found marijuana use caused no significant increase in mortality. Tobacco use was associated with increased risk of death. Sidney, S et al. Marijuana Use and Mortality. American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 87 No. 4, April 1997. p. 585-590. Sept. 2002.
9) HEAVY MARIJUANA USE AS A YOUNG ADULT WON’T RUIN YOUR LIFE:
Veterans Affairs scientists looked at whether heavy marijuana use as a young adult caused long-term problems later, studying identical twins in which one twin had been a heavy marijuana user for a year or longer but had stopped at least one month before the study, while the second twin had used marijuana no more than five times ever. Marijuana use had no significant impact on physical or mental health care utilization, health-related quality of life, or current socio-demographic characteristics. Eisen SE et al. Does Marijuana Use Have Residual Adverse Effects on Self-Reported Health Measures, Socio-Demographics or Quality of Life? A Monozygotic Co-Twin Control Study in Men. Addiction. Vol. 97 No. 9. p.1083-1086. Sept. 1997
8) THE “GATEWAY EFFECT” MAY BE A MIRAGE:
Marijuana is often called a “gateway drug” by supporters of prohibition, who point to statistical “associations” indicating that persons who use marijuana are more likely to eventually try hard drugs than those who never use marijuana – implying that marijuana use somehow causes hard drug use. But a model developed by RAND Corp. researcher Andrew Morral demonstrates that these associations can be explained “without requiring a gateway effect.” More likely, this federally funded study suggests, some people simply have an underlying propensity to try drugs, and start with what’s most readily available. Morral AR, McCaffrey D and Paddock S. Reassessing the Marijuana Gateway Effect. Addiction. December 2002. p. 1493-1504.
7) PROHIBITION DOESN’T WORK (PART I):
The White House had the National Research Council examine the data being gathered about drug use and the effects of U.S. drug policies. NRC concluded, “the nation possesses little information about the effectiveness of current drug policy, especially of drug law enforcement.” And what data exist show “little apparent relationship between severity of sanctions prescribed for drug use and prevalence or frequency of use.” In other words, there is no proof that prohibition – the cornerstone of U.S. drug policy for a century – reduces drug use. National Research Council. Informing America’s Policy on Illegal Drugs: What We Don’t Know Keeps Hurting Us. National Academy Press, 2001. p. 193.
6) PROHIBITION DOESN’T WORK (PART II):
(DOES PROHIBITION CAUSE THE “GATEWAY EFFECT”?): U.S. and Dutch researchers, supported in part by NIDA, compared marijuana users in San Francisco, where non-medical use remains illegal, to Amsterdam, where adults may possess and purchase small amounts of marijuana from regulated businesses. Looking at such parameters as frequency and quantity of use and age at onset of use, they found no differences except one: Lifetime use of hard drugs was significantly lower in Amsterdam, with its “tolerant” marijuana policies. For example, lifetime crack cocaine use was 4.5 times higher in San Francisco than Amsterdam. Reinarman, C, Cohen, PDA, and Kaal, HL. The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy: Cannabis in Amsterdam and San Francisco. American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 94, No. 5. May 2004. p. 836-842.
5) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART I):
Federal researchers implanted several types of cancer, including leukemia and lung cancers, in mice, then treated them with cannabinoids (unique, active components found in marijuana). THC and other cannabinoids shrank tumors and increased the mice’s lifespans. Munson, AE et al. Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Sept. 1975. p. 597-602.
4) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER, (PART II):
In a 1994 study the government tried to suppress, federal researchers gave mice and rats massive doses of THC, looking for cancers or other signs of toxicity. The rodents given THC lived longer and had fewer cancers, “in a dose-dependent manner” (i.e. the more THC they got, the fewer tumors). NTP Technical Report On The Toxicology And Carcinogenesis Studies Of 1-Trans- Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, CAS No. 1972-08-3, In F344/N Rats And B6C3F Mice, Gavage Studies. See also, “Medical Marijuana: Unpublished Federal Study Found THC-Treated Rats Lived Longer, Had Less Cancer,” AIDS Treatment News no. 263, Jan. 17, 1997.
3) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART III):
Researchers at the Kaiser-Permanente HMO, funded by NIDA, followed 65,000 patients for nearly a decade, comparing cancer rates among non-smokers, tobacco smokers, and marijuana smokers. Tobacco smokers had massively higher rates of lung cancer and other cancers. Marijuana smokers who didn’t also use tobacco had no increase in risk of tobacco-related cancers or of cancer risk overall. In fact their rates of lung and most other cancers were slightly lower than non-smokers, though the difference did not reach statistical significance. Sidney, S. et al. Marijuana Use and Cancer Incidence (California, United States). Cancer Causes and Control. Vol. 8. Sept. 1997, p. 722-728.
2) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART IV):
Donald Tashkin, a UCLA researcher whose work is funded by NIDA, did a case-control study comparing 1,200 patients with lung, head and neck cancers to a matched group with no cancer. Even the heaviest marijuana smokers had no increased risk of cancer, and had somewhat lower cancer risk than non-smokers (tobacco smokers had a 20-fold increased lung cancer risk). Tashkin D. Marijuana Use and Lung Cancer: Results of a Case-Control Study. American Thoracic Society International Conference. May 23, 2006.
1) MARIJUANA DOES HAVE MEDICAL VALUE:
In response to passage of California’s medical marijuana law, the White House had the Institute of Medicine (IOM) review the data on marijuana’s medical benefits and risks. The IOM concluded, “Nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety are all afflictions of wasting, and all can be mitigated by marijuana.” While noting potential risks of smoking, the report added, “we acknowledge that there is no clear alternative for people suffering from chronic conditions that might be relieved by smoking marijuana, such as pain or AIDS wasting.” The government’s refusal to acknowledge this finding caused co-author John A. Benson to tell the New York Times that the government “loves to ignore our report … they would rather it never happened.” Joy, JE, Watson, SJ, and Benson, JA. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. National Academy Press. 1999. p. 159. See also, Harris, G. FDA Dismisses Medical Benefit From Marijuana. New York Times. Apr.