Posts Tagged ‘legalize marijuana’

Can Adam Assenberg’s Story Help Change Federal Medical Marijuana Policy?

Adam AssenbergBy Adam Assenberg

Please let me introduce myself to you,

My Name is Michael ( ADAM ) Assenberg and here is my story,

Even with me not living in your State my STORY will have impact on anyone in any state who needs MEDICAL MARIJUANA.

I used to be a Security Guard for a Company down by Riverside, California back in 1985 and on Jan. 25, 1985 was a day that would change my life forever. I was Guarding a place in Corona, California called the 3-m plant and they had TNT on the site. Well, while on patrol I went and checked the “shack” like I always do on my drives and found a white pick-up by the shack, as I started to drive up to them they spotted me and started driving to the back of the complex where they ran out of road and tried to cross a train bridge in there pickup truck. They started driving half way across and stopped in the middle.

As they acted this way I knew there would be trouble so I took my night stick in one hand and my Mace in the other ready for action if needed. I wanted to get a good look at them so I could give the police the best info, while I talked to them a number 3 man came up from behind and hit me in the middle of my back with a baseball bat, then pushed me backwards off the train bridge 15 feet down into a dry riverbed full of boulders.

I did not black-out when I hit but I acted like they killed me as I knew if I moved they would end what they started. After they left I tried to get up and found that I could not move from my waist down so I crawled up a 45 degree embankment and 2.5 miles on my hands and elbows to get to a phone where I called 911. Next thing I remember is waking in the hospital.

I ended up with breaking nine bones in my spine and crushing my Cervical Process at the base of my neck. It took six months to get some feeling back into my legs and seven years to walk again. Now I suffer INTRACTABLE PAIN 24 hours a day seven days a week. After years of different treatments and medications I have tried everything known to mankind. A friend of mine in 1987 told me about the GREAT benefit he gets from the Medical use of Marijuana, I tried it and the PAIN SPASMS and the blackouts stopped just about over night, When it became legal under STATE LAW under the 10Th Amendment that Doctors are to be allowed to act in anyway that a STATE so deemed fit to have them act, signed my paper under Washington State LAW I-692 and I became legal to use MEDICAL MARIJUANA.

Now, unlike California that has it legal to have ” Clinics ” for people needing Medical Marijuana, Washington state has it to where you need to find it on your own. Or you are allowed under State LAW to grow up to a TWO MONTH SUPPLY. Also it is also written into Washington State LAW that few people know about that it is legal for the police to give out MARIJUANA that they get from grows that are not from medical users to the sick that need it. The ONLY TRICK is they wrote it in the law that they MUST wait for the FEDERAL GUIDELINES for passing it out and that we all know will not come unless we fight for what is right. Reference: WA State Initiative – 692.

Now in 2004 my Mother passed away from Cancer and there was no one Left that was around to worry about me or for me to care about, so in Nov. of 2004 I made up my mind to end the suffering of going through what looks like GRAND MAUL SEIZURES, all RELATED to the level of PAIN I was SUFFERING from. I go through at least a dozen of them a day all related from pain when I don’t use the Medical Marijuana. The way I went about trying to end my life may seem shocking to some but to them I say, ‘you have never suffered the way I do each and every day of every week.

I stabbed myself in the heart four times and one of those times was in front of many police officers. They tried to ‘tazer’ me with three of their guns. The pain I suffer is far greater then anything those can pump into me so, I pulled the wires off of me and took the 4Th plunge, I only had a 20% chance of pulling through, The Doc’s evaluated me and found The ONLY reason I did this is due to pain. Now, without the use of Medical Marijuana, each and every day is a living hell even with the doc’s giving me 500MG of Morphine a day as well as 60MG of endocet a day for pain.

Now here is where my story is going to hit EVERY STATE that has MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAWS.

Washington State MarijuanaIn March of the following year I was living in Tacoma, Washington and was on the Internet where I met this Wonderful woman and two Children who lived many miles away from me in Anacortes, Washington. She had raised these children since they were babies all by herself.

Then she meets me and we fall in love and the kids just about right away start loving me like I have always been there dad, Well she ends up asking me to move in with her and her two children. TheresaMcCallum the Director of Anacortes Housing Authority gets wind that I have a legal service animal plus I use Medical Marijuana with a doctor’s note under I-692. She asked me about it and I gave her my Doctors Statements. After she has these letters from my doctor she still gives us an eviction for using a controlled substance plus the use of a service animal and she said this exact thing on the eviction letter.

I fought this eviction in Federal Court and Federal Judge Lasnik, with our right to a Jury trial even with the power of what my doctor statement said about my medical need, said that no matter how much a person suffered they could not use marijuana for medical reasons, what about the right to a life or a right not to live in never-ending suffering? The way I suffer amounts to nothing less than torture without the medical use of marijuana. Another item Lasnik overlooked when he tossed out my case, without a Jury Trial, is the right not to live in Torture and without the Federal Government allowing for my Medical use amounts to the Federal Government Torturing me for as long as I live.

With the power of my doctors statement it is very clear that, no matter what our Federal System has to say about MMJ, all levels of the Federal and State Government will not allow the medical use of Marijuana for any reason, no matter how sick or disabled a person is.

My case should be a ‘wake up’ call to all people that our ‘votes’ do not count anymore. When I called the Governor of Washington State and informed them of what was going on, they hid behind the AngelRaich case. Even the Attorney General would not help protect the rights of what was voted into State Law. Judge Myers, out of Mount Vernon ‘STATE’ Court said, in open court, he does not believe in the State Law, even with him being informed of the State laws that Housing was violating by throwing my family out onto the street, said he does not feel I-692 was a good law and was not going to up-hold State Law. At the end of this letter is the case numbers if you wish to look anything up.

Also at the bottom is my phone number and web site should anyone wish to contact me. Considering this is an election year and with it being about throwing out a family over the Medical use of Marijuana with the power of my doctors statement it could kill Medical Marijuana for everyone, Everywhere. As we all know Marijuana is not legal in the United States for use in any way, under Federal Guidelines. This came to be in 1937. Schedule I drugs have the highest abuse potential and have no accepted medical use. Now, if this is the case then why, from 1850 until 1942, was Marijuana prescribed for various conditions including labor pains, nausea, and rheumatism listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia?

Now Marijuana dates back way before that even. Take a look at the Chinese medical compendium, traditionally considered to date from 2737 BC. Marijuana use spread from China to India and then to N. Africa and reached Europe at least as early as AD 500.

Not only has Marijuana been used as Medicine from way back but also as a intoxicant, giving the non-medical user a feeling of euphoria, Marijuana in all this time has never contributed to killing anyone. Can the same be said for drinking alcohol? If we take a look at the reasoning the Government gives for it’s ban on Marijuana, why aren’t Cigarettes, that are full of additives that get you hooked, as well as alcohol, banned by the Federal Government? If you want to argue that the reason the latter two are not banned is because they are not drugs, then look at the listing of chemicals that are used to make Cigarettes.

If you take a good look at the things that Marijuana is helping with today, you need only to look at the States who are helping the sick and disabled right now. Take a good look at California, at Proposition 215, The People of California voted in Medical Marijuana to help the sick in their State. Since the Federal Government did not like what California did they, the Federal Government, have chosen to give many of the sick a quicker death sentence, like they did to McWilliams who choked to death on his own vomit, because the Government did not allow him access to his Medical Marijuana. Now I don’t know about you but, how would YOU like it if the Federal Government gave your Father, Mother or your Child that sentence?

THAT sentence HAS been given to me, by a STATE judge who did NOT OBEY the LAW under I-692 Washington’s Medical Law. PLUS again by a FEDERAL JUDGE who did not allow for a JURY trial with respect as to how powerful my doctors statement was that MEDICAL MARIJUANA WAS the ONLY thing that really worked for me and that I would suffer a great deal more without it’s use.

marijuanaThe ONLY reason Marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I drug today is because Congress is getting ‘Donations’ from pill manufacturers. They and not looking at the facts that Marijuana helps the sick. Congress in DC is no longer for WE THE PEOPLE and the US Department of Justice is hiding behind Congress. The FDA is unwilling to act on behalf of the people. Looks like poli-tricks is the norm in DC.

You don’t have to go far to read about scandals going on in DC. While the folks in DC sit back with their donations, WE THE PEOPLE suffer to the point of wanting to die. All because money was more important to the Government than the lives of WE THE PEOPLE. Money is the ONLY reason that Marijuana is not legal in the United States under Federal Law. In California, Marijuana is listed as Medicine for: Cancer, Anorexia, Aids, Chronic pain, Spasticity, Glaucoma, Arthritis, Migraine or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.

In Oregon Marijuana is used as medicine for: Cancer, Glaucoma, positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus or acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or treatment for these conditions, Cachexia, Severe pain, Severe nausea and Seizures, including but not limited to seizures caused by Epilepsy, and Persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to spasms caused by Multiple Sclerosis.

There are 11 states in the United States that have accepted marijuana as medicinal. We are now waiting for the Federal Government to acknowledge that marijuana has medical properties. If you were to look at the Law in Washington State, where I live, it’s used for: Chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, AIDS Wasting Syndrome; severe Muscle Spasms, associated with Multiple Sclerosis and other spasticity disorders, Epilepsy, Acute or Chronic Glaucoma and some forms of Intractable Pain.

I suffer from Intractable Pain. Every pain medication that can be used for me has been tried. During a twenty-four hour period, there is not a moment that I don’t suffer. The pain is so intense that it feels like my head wants to rip off my body and by the bottom of my spine it feels like a 500 pound weight is sitting on my back. I feel like this 24 hours a day, 7days a week, etc. So if you look at these few States that I have listed you will see that there is plenty of accepted medical use. ONLY at the Federal Level is it still a crime to use Marijuana.

When have the Members of Congress started becoming doctors? All you need do is look at the money trail. How much have manufacturers in the pharmaceutical industry donated to the Members of Congress?

Look at the congressional corruption going on with Abramoff and the sleazy way the Superior Court in California hid behind the Commerce Clause, stating that the private growing of Medical Marijuana would upset the market on Marijuana sales. Well first off, there are two items wrong with the choice the Court made. The First mistake is that there is NO legal market for the sale of marijuana so how can a market be said to be upset when there is no legal market. Plus the fact that if the person growing it for medical reasons has the grow operation in their own home and it never hits the street, then how is it adding to the market of sales be it legal sales or the black market?

The Second mistake: with all the congressional corruption, how can the Government be trusted to do what is right by the American people when so many people are sick and/or suffering and being mis-led by OUR Government?

Anacortes Housing Authority is trying to hide behind the Gonzalez v. Raich ruling of June 6, 2001 over my use of Medical Marijuana. The Gonzalez v. Raich ruling is about the Oakland Marijuana club and NOT about end users like myself. If our State Government from the Governor’s office on down the line will not protect the laws that WE THE PEOPLE put into effect then at that point we then live in a dictatorship as is VERY clear in this case.

Another item to note, when we were thrown out of our home we had to move across Washington State into Eastern Washington because I am so sick that no shelters were willing to take me in. Since our move to this side of Washington, I have NOT found any doctor that is willing to sign my paperwork. Since I am so willing to stand up for my rights, I am forced to drive to Anacortes to see the one doctor on the other side of WA that signed my paperwork.

Now by state law, with the Medical coupons I have, they are to pay to get me to my doctors appointments. At this point in time, I am having to drive to my doctor appointments on the other side of the state with out help from the state. I am now fighting that battle as well. I think it it is very important to point out that I took this to Federal Court under the right to life, Right not to have to live in Intractable pain and the right for a doctor to act in accordance with State Guidelines. ALL of which Federal Judge Lasnick as well as State Myers turned down.

Another item of interest to readers of ALL Medical Marijuana States, is that because I lost the first round in Both Federal Court and State Court I am getting ready to file a Multi-Billion dollar Class Action Lawsuit for violating what the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled we have a VERY BASIC right to above all other laws and that is a right to LIFE in ANY way that needs to be met for that person to be able to live a basic life.

This has been violated in all lower Courts all with the Court System never allowing me a Jury Trial. I am asking for anyone in Any State that would like to take part on this Class action Suit to give me a call as soon as they can. I file this suit Dec. 1, 2006 and after that I will not allow anyone else in on the suit that I am filing. The ONLY reason for that rule is that I am doing all the paperwork myself without the use of a Lawyer.

Because Washington State, starting from the Governor’s office and on down, has not supported I – 692, and because of the State and Federal Governments not supporting this law, I now have to file in Federal Court the right to end my life due to the Federal and State Government forcing me into a life of Intractable pain and daily torture, without being able to use Medical Marijuana as was guided by my Doctor under article 10 of the United States Constitution. My family also suffers from my disability, (the pain I go through, the spasms, etc) because of the Federal Governments decision.

Case numbers,

1st Federal case # Case No. C05-1836RSL ( Now in the ninth circuit court of appeals )

State Case Number No. 06-2-00999-4

2nd Federal Case # No. CV06-0987 ( Soon to be in the ninth also. )

To get a hold of me by phone please call 509-288-0830 or check out his website: http://www.marijuanafactorfiction.net/

Most Americans Want To Legalize Marijuana: New Poll

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Graphic: Misplaced In The Midwest

​Just give me the ganja. A new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found that a majority of Americans continue to believe that marijuana should be legalized, but don’t support the legalization of other drugs.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,003 American adults, 55 percent of respondents support the legalization of cannabis, while 40 percent oppose it.
Democrats are the group most supportive of legalizing cannabis in the United States, with 63 percent in favor of ending the war on marijuana. Almost as many Independents, at 61 percent, also support the move.
Republicans were out of step with the majority on the legalization issue, with just 41 percent supporting marijuana legalization and 56 percent opposed.
Marijuana legalization enjoyed big majorities among men (57 percent) and respondents aged 35 to 54 (also 57 percent).

However, when it comes to other drugs, the numbers shrink rapidly.
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Graphic: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Clear majorities of Democrats and Independents support marijuana legalization, while a clear majority of Republicans opposes it.
Only 10 percent of Americans support legalizing MDMA, or “ecstasy.” Smaller proportions of respondents said they would approve of legalizing powder cocaine (9 percent), heroin (8 percent), methamphetamine (7 percent) and crack cocaine (7 percent).
Across the country, 64 percent of respondents said they believe America has a “serious drug abuse problem” which affects the entire United States. One in five (20 percent) believe the drug abuse problem is confined to specific areas and people (this would include the racist contingent who are blithely ignoring the facts).
Only one in twenty Americans — 5 percent — think America does not have a serious drug abuse problem.
The War On Drugs has a serious public relations problem, according to the poll.
Only nine percent of respondents believe the Drug War — the efforts of the U.S. government to stymie the illegal drug trade — has been a success. Two-thirds, 67 percent, say the Drug War has been a failure.
“The survey shows a country that is concerned about the effects of drugs, and at the same time deeply disappointed with the efforts of the U.S. government to deal with the drug trade,” Angus Reid Public Opinion offers in the “Analysis” section of their press release.
This is the third year in a row that Angus Reid Public Opinion surveys have shown majority support for marijuana legalization in the United States. The 2009 (53 percent) and 2010 surveys (52 percent) also found a majority of Americans calling for pot legalization.
“Cannabis is definitely not seen as a substance that is as harmful as other illegal drugs, as evidenced in the minuscule level of support for the legalization of cocaine or heroin,” Angus Reid Public Opinion noted.
The margin of error on the poll is plus or minus 3.1 percent, according to Angus Reid Public Opinion.
To see the full report, detailed tables and methodology of the survey, click here [PDF].
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Graphic: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Marijuana legalization enjoys majority support across the board when it comes to genders and age groups.

Here’s Why Legalizing Marijuana Makes Sense

Guest editorial: Here’s why legalizing marijuana makes sense
By Alex Newhouse

For the Yakima Herald-Republic

The call to legalize cannabis continues to grow louder despite all of the other problems our country is currently facing. Mainstream polls indicate almost 50 percent of Americans favor full-out legalization, and nearly 80 percent believe that marijuana should be available for medicinal purposes.

No one has ever died from simply using marijuana. In 1972, then-President Richard Nixon appointed the Shafer Commission to study the nation’s rising drug problem. It reported the following: “Neither the marihuana [sic] user nor the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety.” The commission’s findings have withstood the test of time.

The more we learn about marijuana, the more benign it becomes. Marijuana does not cause cancer. Sound scientific studies, such as those done by UCLA’s Dr. Donald Tashkin, have clearly demonstrated this. We also know that marijuana is legitimate medicine. If marijuana has no medicinal benefit, why are so many terminally ill patients turning to it to improve their quality of life? Why, after countless legislative hearings and initiatives, have 16 states and our nation’s capital legalized marijuana for medicinal use? And why does an expensive prescription drug called Marinol, which is a synthetic form of the active ingredient in marijuana, exist? Even the federal government owns a patent for the medicinal use of marijuana. (The patent number is 6630507.)

Marijuana is medicine to many people. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s own administrative law judge, Francis L. Young, held that “marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record.” Studies done by the California Center for Medical Cannabis Research and the recent breakthroughs highlighting the antibacterial properties of cannabis extracts also clearly demonstrate marijuana’s potential as a natural and inexpensive medicine.

Unlike most medicines, it is quite safe for marijuana to be used recreationally by responsible and healthy adults. According to the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, over 100 million Americans have tried or use marijuana. If this market were taxed and regulated, crime rates would go down and agriculturally based communities would profit. We easily forget how much disrespect for the law vanished when alcohol prohibition was repealed, or that well over 30,000 Mexican citizens have died since 2006 as a direct result of a drug war fueled in large part by demand for marijuana, or that the U.S. has spent approximately a trillion dollars and 100,000 lives on a drug war that could be reined in considerably with marijuana legalization.

Regulating marijuana would also protect our children. It is easier for kids today to get marijuana than it is for them to get alcohol or tobacco, which is a fact supported by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Drug dealers simply do not ask for ID. Regulation would also lessen the burden on the criminal justice system, making it easier to keep violent criminals behind bars. Washington currently has mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana possession, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports more people are being court-ordered into treatment for marijuana than ever before under threat of incarceration. This is a huge waste of resources.

The legalization movement is not about persuading people to use marijuana, but for giving the sick and responsible the liberty to consume a relatively benign product. Proposed policies within the spirit of the movement are worthy of our consideration.

 

* Alex Newhouse is a lawyer who lives in the Sunnyside area.

Majority of Americans Are Ready to Legalize Marijuana

As was the case last year, most respondents believe the “War on Drugs” has been a failure.
Many Americans continue to believe that marijuana should be legalized, but are not supportive of making other drugs readily available, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,003 American adults, 55 per cent of respondents support the legalization of marijuana, while 40 per cent oppose it.
The groups that are the most supportive of making cannabis legal in the U.S. are Democrats (63%), Independents (61%), Men (57%) and respondents aged 35-to-54 (57%).
However, only 10 per cent of Americans support legalizing ecstasy. Smaller proportions of respondents would consent to the legalization of powder cocaine (9%), heroin (8%), methamphetamine or “crystal meth” (7%), and crack cocaine (7%).
Across the country, 64 per cent of respondents believe America has a serious drug abuse problem that affects the entire United States, while one-in-five (20%) perceive a drug abuse problem that is confined to specific areas and people. One-in-twenty Americans (5%) think America does not have a serious drug abuse problem.
Only nine per cent of respondents believe the “War on Drugs”—the efforts of the U.S. government to reduce the illegal drug trade—has been a success, while two thirds (67%) deem it a failure.
Analysis
The survey shows a country that is concerned about the effects of drugs, and at the same time deeply disappointed with the efforts of the U.S. government to deal with the drug trade.
However, as has been outlined in Angus Reid Public Opinion surveys conducted in 2009 and 2010, a majority of Americans are calling for the legalization of marijuana. Cannabis is definitely not seen as a substance that is as harmful as other illegal drugs, as evidenced in the minuscule level of support for the legalization of cocaine or heroin.
Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Surprise, Surprise: Oklahoma Governor Not OK With Marijuana

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Photo: Oklahoma Farm Report
OK Gov. Mary Fallin:
Smoking marijuana means you’ll end up in prison. For hash, make that a life sentence.
In a bit of non-shocking news, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said she’s firmly opposed to legalized marijuana, even for medicinal uses.
The Republican governor, who recently signed a bill establishing a life sentence for making hashish out of marijuana, made the statement Thursday during an online town hall forum, reports The Associated Press.
Fallin, one of the new breed of intellectually challenged crypto-conservative “I’d like to hit that” MILFs (think Palin and Bachmann) who seem to be the Republicans’ candidates of choice these days, claimed she analyzes hundreds of pardon and parole requests each month.

Of those, she estimates “90 percent of those criminals have struggled with substance abuse.” She claims many of those started by smoking marijuana.
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Photo: Beats From The Streets
​Yes, it’s a real-life Reefer Madness governor who wants to lock you away forever for enjoying a natural herb.
The online forum, hosted by the Oklahoma GOP, had Fallin taking questions posted on the party’s Facebook page.
Dozens of the questions were about legalizing marijuana or allowing the medical use of cannabis.
A medical marijuana bill introduced in the Oklahoma Legislature earlier this year never even got a hearing.
Ironically, Governor Fallin claims to oppose federal interference in Oklahoma’s health care options.
“The federal government has the ability by law to come in and tell Oklahoma what we are going to do. I don’t want the federal government coming in and telling Oklahoma what we are going to do in insurance and providing health care,” she said in March in a conversation about President Obama’s healthcare reform.
Man, with stellar leadership like this in Oklahoma, it’s no wonder they lead the nation in… Well, I’m sure they do something right.

Latest DOJ Brief Provides Security For State Employees Enforcing Medical Marijuana Laws

Medical Marijuana Signby Noah Mamber

A funny thing happened on Monday. The Department of Justice filed a brief regarding state medical marijuana laws in Arizona . . . and it was a good thing, and was met with appreciation from the medical marijuana movement! Seriously. After the disappointments of the vague, not very helpful Cole memo, and the expected but still disappointing DEA denial of marijuana’s medical value, it was great to see the Department of Justice (DoJ) doing the right thing regarding medical marijuana, even if it was only in a limited way.

As you may know, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, last seen promoting states’ rights and vowing to fight on when it comes to illegal immigration, and her Attorney General, Tom Horne, had filed a suit as plaintiffs against the federal government, requesting permission to move ahead with Arizona’s medical marijuana program implementation. This was ridiculous, since no other governor has needed federal permission to move ahead with medical marijuana implementation, even though some others have also tried to use the red herring threat of federal action to slow implementation. Apparently, the DoJ also thinks Brewer’s claims are ridiculous, and it said as much in its withering Motion to Dismiss brief, in which it took apart each of the state of Arizona’s arguments, urging the court to dismiss the case. If the court dismisses the case, Brewer’s logical course of action would be to fully implement Arizona’s medical marijuana law, including licensing more than 100 dispensaries, though given her intransigence, that course of action is sadly not a given.

Jan Brewer marijuana leaves

Throughout its brief, the DoJ basically said that the state of Arizona has no case and that plaintiffs Gov. Brewer and AG Horne have invented a controversy where none exists. Further, the brief notes that a state is not allowed to bring a case asking two sides to fight it out, without taking a position on the law in question, belying Gov. Brewer’s claims upon the suit’s filing of being a neutral party seeking “clarity.” The American judicial process simply does not work that way. In its brief, the DoJ’s criticism of the plaintiffs’ complaint was often direct and sometimes even slightly mocking, which was definitely appreciated by this reader.

The brief attacks the premise of Arizona’s suit in several ways. It says that the suit does not raise a substantial federal question (which it must in order to be heard first in federal court) because it asks for a declaratory judgment on the validity of a state law. It is amusing to watch the federal government explain Constitutional Law 101 to Gov. Brewer, noting that, “there is no federal jurisdiction of a suit by a state to declare the validity of its regulations despite possibly conflicting federal law” (p. 6). The brief also states directly that Arizona has not asserted any “actual, concrete controversy” in its complaint. The brief criticizes the plaintiffs for not identifying a controversy between the parties in the suit and notes the plaintiffs’ failure to take a side as a fatal flaw in the lawsuit, accusing the state of Arizona of “attempt[ing] to manufacture disputes among other parties” (p. 9). The brief criticizes Arizona’s decision to create twenty fictitious defendants, ten on one side of the law and ten on the other, states its doubts about the existence of the hypothetical defendants, and notes definitively that “parties cannot have ‘adverse legal interests’ necessary to establish a live controversy, when one party (particularly the plaintiff) professes to take neither side of the dispute” (p. 10). Finally, the brief denies that Arizona even has standing to raise such a claim, as it has not suffered any “injury in fact.” Basing standing on the idea that some Arizonans disagree about federal law’s effect on Arizona’s medical marijuana law will not work, nor will an unspecific suggestion about a “supposed risk that Arizona citizens will lose revenue or property” (pp. 11-12).

More importantly on a national level, this DoJ brief appears to affirm the following interpretation of the Ogden and Cole Memorandums, along with other relevant case law and actual enforcement: that there has been no demonstration that the federal government is interested in prosecuting state employees for implementing state medical marijuana programs and issuing dispensary licenses. The DoJ cites the lack of any “genuine threat that any state employee will face imminent prosecution under federal law” (p. 2) and notes that “plaintiffs can point to no threat of enforcement against the State’s employees” (p. 10). The brief notes that Arizona has no “concrete plan to act in violation of the Controlled Substances Act,” as it has refused to accept dispensary applications and issue licenses (an act that MPP believes, based on relevant court precedent, would clearly not be such a violation). The brief notes that Arizona was not able to produce any threat, generalized or specific, directed towards its state employees, and it points to the omission of any state employee threats in Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke’s letter on the issue (p. 14). The brief dismisses Arizona’s suggestion that Arizona state employees are subject to federal prosecution as “mere speculation” (p. 15). It sums up this argument when it says:

Plaintiffs identify no prior instances in which the federal government has sought to prosecute state employees for the conduct vaguely described in Plaintiffs’ complaint. Without evidence of such prior prosecutions, Plaintiffs cannot credibly show a genuine threat of imminent prosecution in this case. (p. 15)

This message from the DoJ is heartening, along with U.S. Attorney Burke’s clear statement that going after state employees “is not a priority for us, and will not be.” This brief also comes on the heels of the statement of former U.S. Attorney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said definitively about his decision to implement the state’s medical marijuana program:

I don’t believe the United States Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, given the narrow and medically based nature of our program, will expend what are significantly lessening federal law enforcement resources in the context of the federal budget, on going after dispensaries in New Jersey, our Department of Health or other state workers who are helping to implement this program.

These recent events all suggest that the Department of Justice is interpreting its guidance to mean that state employees can fully implement medical marijuana programs, like those in Arizona and Rhode Island, with no fear of prosecution. So let’s get it done, Governors Brewer and Chaffee! Time is wasting, and people are hurting and need their medicine now.

From Marijuana Policy Project

rated colleges for marijunana

By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ in Culture
Wednesday, August 3, 2011, at 12:20 pm
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Photo: Little Eddy
A mass exhale of marijuana smoke at the Unibversity of Colorado Boulder campus at 4:20 p.m., April 20, 2010. UC-Boulder came in fourth on the list.

​California and Colorado dominated the The Princeton Review‘s Top 5 colleges for marijuana use this year, with two entries each.

In the rankings — part of the Review’s “The Best 376 Colleges” survey — Colorado College in Colorado Springs ranked as the #1 pot-smoking school in the United States.
The small private school blazed past the competition in the annual rankings, which The Princeton Review released on Monday.
Colorado College has been a “usual suspect” on the marijuana list for the past few years, said Rob Franek, vice president and publisher of the Review.

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Photo: Santa Cruz IMC
A comely reveler at the 4-20 celebration at University of California – Santa Cruz
​Franek said Colorado College, like others on the list, has strong academic standards, reports Brittany Anas of the Boulder Daily Camera.
The Princeton Review surveyed 122,000 students nationwide to come up with the rankings.
“We go directly to whom we think would be experts, and that’s current college students,” Franek said.’
University of Colorado-Boulder spokesman Bronson Hilliard was unimpressed with his school’s #4 showing, saying the rankings are subjective and have no scientific backing.
“The media is way more interested in the rankings than we are,” he sniffed.
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Photo: Santa Cruz IMC
University of California at Santa Cruz, April 20, 2010
​ Pacific Northwest favorite Evergreen College, long known as a countercultural haven, just missed the Top 11, coming in at number 11.
The Princeton Review , which a college test prep company with no connection to Princeton University, released the Top 20 standings to garner publicity for its annual guidebook, The Best 376 Colleges: 2012 Edition, which went on sale Monday.
The lists, besides more academically oriented rankings, also include “party school” standings (Ohio University ranked #1) and one called “Got Milk? (beer usage reported low).” Other rankings include “Birkenstock-wearing, tree-hugging, clove-smoking vegetarians,” “class discussions encouraged,” “great college towns” and “most politically active students.”
As for the Bottom 20 Colleges when it comes to marijuana use, it’s no surprise that schools associated with the U.S. military show up near the top of the list, along with places like Mormon stronghold Brigham Young University in Utah and the Catholic school Thomas Aquinas College in California.
Top 20 Colleges: How Widely Used Is Marijuana?
1. Colorado College, Colorado Springs
2. University of California – Santa Cruz
3. University of California – Santa Barbara
4. University of Colorado – Boulder
5. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
6. Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon
7. Warren Wilson College, Asheville, North Carolina
8. Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida
9. New College of Florida, Sarasota
10. University of Vermont, Burlington
11. The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington
12. New York University, New York City
13. Reed College, Portland, Oregon
14. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
15. Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York
16. Pitzer College, Claremont, California
17. Arizona State University, Tempe
18. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
19. Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York
20. Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa
Bottom 20 Colleges: How Widely Used Is Marijuana?
1. U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado
2. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut
3. Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, California
4. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
5. College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Missouri
6. U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
7. U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York
8. Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois
9. U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York
10. The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma
11. Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio
12. Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan
13. Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska
14. University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
15. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
16. Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
17. Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport
18. University of Louisiana at Lafayette
19. City University of New York – Baruch College, New York City
20. City University of New York – Queens College, Flushing, New York
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