Posts Tagged ‘medical marijuana lake forest’

Federal government says marijuana has no accepted medical use

LA-Marijuana has been approved by California, many other states and the nation’s capital to treat a range of illnesses, but in a decision announced Friday the federal government ruled that it has no accepted medical use and should remain classified as a dangerous drug like heroin.

The decision comes almost nine years after medical marijuana supporters asked the government to reclassify cannabis to take into account a growing body of worldwide research that shows its effectiveness in treating certain diseases, such as glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.

Advocates for the medical use of the drug criticized the ruling but were elated that the Obama administration had finally acted, which allows them to appeal to the federal courts, where they believe they can get a fairer hearing. The decision to deny the request was made by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and comes less than two months after advocates asked the U.S. Court of Appeals to force the administration to respond to their petition.

“We have foiled the government’s strategy of delay, and we can now go head-to-head on the merits, that marijuana really does have therapeutic value,” said Joe Elford, the chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access and the lead counsel on the recently filed lawsuit. Elford said he was not surprised by the decision, which comes just after the Obama administration announced it would not tolerate large-scale commercial marijuana cultivation. “It is clearly motivated by a political decision that is anti-marijuana,” he said. He noted that studies demonstrate pot has beneficial effects, including appetite stimulation for people undergoing chemotherapy. “One of the things people say about marijuana is that it gives you the munchies and the truth is that it does, and for some people that’s a very positive thing.”

DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart sent a letter dated June 21 to the organizations that filed a petition for the change. The letter and the documentation that she used to back up her decision were published Friday in the Federal Register. Leonhart said she rejected the request because marijuana “has a high potential for abuse,” “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” and “lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”

This is the third time that petitions to reclassify marijuana have been spurned. The first was filed in 1972 and denied 17 years later. The second was filed in 1995 and denied in 2001. Both decisions were appealed, but the courts sided with the federal government.

Ron Paul & Hemp for American Farmers:energy efficiency grants

Energy audit [Economist articles in description – Ron Paul mentioned in one] A video consisting of an US Government history lesson about hemp which leads into an argument for hemp and then Ron Paul’s Hemp legislation. Hemp has the potential to be a huge boon for American farmers and the US economy all while helping the environment and improving US security by lowering our reliance on foreign oil…and Ron Paul is the only candidate in favor of legislation to allow American Farmers to grow it. Music Artist – The Whitest Boy Alive Song – Golden Cage (Economist – 6/23/07) Nowadays farmers are banned from growing hemp without a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which usually refuses to grant one. So many hemp products in America—food, lotions, clothing, paper and so forth—are imported from China or Canada, where farmers have been allowed to grow hemp commercially since 1998. Hemp grows so easily that few pesticides or even fertilisers are needed. “Feral” hemp is said to grow by the roadside in Iowa and Nebraska. Barbara Filippone, owner of a hemp fabric company called Enviro Textiles, says demand has rocketed—sales are growing by 35% a year. Nutiva, a California-based hemp company that sells hemp bars, shakes and oils, saw sales rise from under $1m three years ago to $4.5m last year. “Hemp is the next soy,” predicts John Roulac, Nutiva’s founder. American farmers would love to grow hemp. North Dakota, which in 1999 became the first state to allow industrial hemp energy saving


OC Weekly: Medical Marijuana Clubs Getting Schooled?

To understand the insanity at the heart of California’s love-hate relationship with medical marijuana, one need look no further than a low-end strip mall on Raymond Way just off El Toro Boulevard near Interstate 5 in Lake Forest. It’s a somewhat decrepit-looking series of stores that stretches around the parking lot, one corner of which is occupied by a Montessori school. It’s easy to miss that five of the storefronts belong to marijuana clubs.

Although marijuana is illegal under federal law, it’s legal for medical purposes in California, and Lake Forest, which is one of only two Orange County cities (the other is Dana Point) that don’t require business licenses, has no ban against cannabis clubs on the books. Such apparent laxity may explain the huge influx of them over the past few years, which has left city officials scrambling to sue them out of existence, alleging they violate Lake Forest’s municipal code, leading to a legal standoff that is likely to last years.

In May 2010, Orange County Superior Court Judge David Chaffee ruled in favor of Lake Forest and ordered the clubs to shut down. Several of them voluntarily closed, but others appealed the decision and were allowed to reopen. Then, on Jan. 1, a new state law took effect banning pot clubs from operating within 600 feet of a school. On April 26, citing the fact that the five dispensaries that continued to operate at the Raymond Way location were next door to the Montessori school, Chaffee issued a temporary restraining order against them; the clubs shut down once again.

But on May 9, Chaffee lifted the temporary order against those clubs until he could sort out all the competing legal claims being made by lawyers for both the city and the clubs. The dispensaries immediately opened for business. The hearing is scheduled to resume on Friday.

The most basic question is whether the marijuana clubs pose a public “nuisance,” as claimed by lawyers for Lake Forest, or if they are providing a vital service for residents in South County, where medicinal cannabis is becoming harder to obtain. “These businesses are a nuisance,” Jeffrey Dunn, an attorney for Lake Forest, told Chaffee at the May 9 hearing. “There have been thefts and burglaries at these dispensaries, [plus] public urination and an assault on a police officer.”

Lawyers for the five clubs make the opposite claim. “Because Lake Forest doesn’t have a ban on medical marijuana, there is no way for them to effectively argue you can’t do business in their city,” said Christopher Glew, who represents two of the clubs, Cafe Vale Tudo and Florentina Organic, as well as collectives elsewhere in the city. “For the city to do that, it has to take the affirmative step of initiating a ban or some type of restriction on that activity, which they haven’t done yet.”

Indeed, in the May 9 hearing, Chaffee wondered aloud why Lake Forest had neither a ban on medical marijuana nor a requirement that dispensaries obtain a business license. Dunn responded by claiming that the fact the city had no such ban or licensing procedure was irrelevant because the clubs were “not a permitted use, so we don’t have a license requirement for businesses that aren’t allowed.” He added that this, combined with the new state law creating the 600-feet-from-a-school buffer zone, meant the clubs were illegal.

Then there’s the question of whether the Montessori school, which opened in 1994, is really a school as defined in the new state law, which includes both public and private schools that teach kindergarten through high school, but not pre-kindergarten or daycare centers.

“There doesn’t seem to be any dispute that there is a kindergarten in this school,” Dunn argued at the May 9 hearing, citing a sworn declaration submitted by the facility. “It has teachers accredited to teach kindergarten, and 10 out of 20 students are taking kindergarten classes there five days a week.”

That school’s declaration failed to impress Glew. “The school holds itself out as a daycare facility,” he told Chaffee. “If all that is required is a declaration saying you are a kindergarten school, then all the collectives all over Lake Forest could be shut down because anybody could just say ‘I’m a kindergarten,’ and that’s all anybody would know.”

Montessori Children’s School House didn’t return a telephone call seeking comment for this story.

Dino Retuchi, manager of the Cafe Vale Tudo, located adjacent to the school, said it was unfair for the city to go after the cannabis clubs in court. “I don’t understand why they target us all the time,” Retuchi says. “We’re willing to work with the city and the police to follow their guidelines.” Retuchi acknowledged that his club was raided in March 2010, along with the since-shuttered 215 Agenda, whose owner, Mark Moen, was the subject of a subsequent Weekly cover story (see “Marijuana Martyr,” April 29, 2010). But he claimed the raid only targeted one employee of the club who also worked at 215 Agenda, which was the true target of the raid.

“The raid was just because of one volunteer,” Retuchi says. “The original owner isn’t with us now. We made a lot of changes since I’ve been here. I fired everyone who worked here, hired new employees. We have our own farmers and no vendors. We don’t allow people to medicate onsite, and if people are loitering outside, we push them out. We want to coexist in the community.”

Meanwhile, several disabled Orange County residents who were members of the shuttered clubs also sued Lake Forest, charging that the city was violating their rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act. (The lawsuit also named the city of Costa Mesa as a defendant.) U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford threw out the suit in April 2010, citing the fact that the plaintiffs used marijuana, which “has no medical purpose.” The lawsuit is currently being considered by the 9th District Court of Appeals.

One of the plaintiffs in that case is Marla James, a paraplegic who is president of the Orange County chapter of Americans for Safe Access. “I should have the right to go to any of these collectives,” James says. “That’s why I’m hoping that Lake Forest won’t be able to shut them down.”

A resident of Huntington Beach, which has banned medical marijuana, James adds that she has no choice but to travel to dispensaries in cities such as Lake Forest to obtain her state-sanctioned medicine. “I’m in a wheelchair,” she says. “I have one leg and am going blind. If I could get up on two feet, which I don’t have, and grow my own plants, I would.”

This article appeared in print as “Pot Clubs Getting Schooled? The Montessori center next door is part of Lake Forest’s latest effort to boot medical marijuana dispensaries.

The strip mall that's gone to pot

OC Weekly file photo/John Gilhooley
The strip mall that’s gone to pot

R.I.P. Jack Herer

Today is the one year anniversary of the death of legendary cannabis activist, Jack Herer. Here’s some information about him so you can get acquainted. Also, he has his own Jack Herer strain that you might be familiar with (we think it’s awesome!). Alright, well here you go, from wikipedia (

“Jack Herer (June 18, 1939 – April 15, 2010) was an American cannabis activist and the author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, a book which has been used in efforts to decriminalize cannabis.

A former Goldwater Republican, Herer was a pro-cannabis (marijuana) and hemp activist. He wrote two books, the aforementioned The Emperor Wears No Clothes and Grass. There has also been a documentary made about his life called, The Emperor of Hemp. He believed that the cannabis plant should be decriminalized because it has been shown to be a renewable source of fuel, food, and medicine that can be grown in virtually any part of the world. He further asserts that the U.S. government deliberately hides the proof of this.

A specific strain of cannabis[1] has been named after Jack Herer in honor of his work. This strain has won several awards, including the 7th High Times Cannabis Cup. Jack Herer was also inducted into the Counterculture Hall of Fame at the 16th Cannabis Cup in recognition of his first book.[2]

Herer ran for United States President twice, in 1988 (1,949 votes) and 1992 (3,875 votes) as the Grassroots Party candidate.

In July 2000, Herer suffered a minor heart attack and a major stroke, resulting in difficulties speaking and moving the right side of his body.[3] Herer mostly recovered, and claimed in May 2004 that treatment with the amanita muscaria, a psychoactive mushroom was the “secret”.[4]

On September 12, 2009 Herer suffered another heart attack while backstage at the Hempstalk Festival in Portland, Oregon.[5] He spent nearly a month in critical condition in a Portland hospital, including several days in a medically induced coma. He was discharged to another facility on October 13, 2009. Paul Stanford of The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation said “He is waking up and gazing appropriately when someone is talking… but he is not really communicating in any way.”[6] He died aged 70 on April 15, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon, from complications related to the September 2009 heart attack.[7][8] Herer was buried at the Eden Memorial Park Cemetery in Mission Hills, California.


European experts on hemp, like Dr. Hayo M.G. van der Werf author of the doctoral thesis Crop physiology of fibre hemp (1994) and Dr. Ivan Bûcsa have criticized Herer for making unrealistic claims regarding the potential of hemp, for example:

– Herer claimed that hemp produces higher yields than other crops. Van der Werf argue that is simply wrong. Under most favorable growing conditions, other crops such as maize, sugar beet or potato produced similar dry matter yields. Fiber hemp is in no way exceptional.[9]

– Herer claimed that hemp hurds, which make up 60 to 80 % of the stem dry weight, contain 77 % cellulose. Van der Werf argue that is wrong. Cellulose content of hemp hurds has been found to vary between 32 and 38 % (Bedetti and Ciaralli 1976, van der Werf 1994). Possibly, Herer confused the hurds, which form the woody core of the hemp stem, with the bark, which forms the outer layer of the hemp stem. The bark contains the long bast fibers which are used in textile manufacturing. [9]

– Herer claimed that hemp could be grown on 6 million hectares in the European Union. Dr. Ivan Bûcsa argue that it was a great exaggeration to calculate that since it is not worth transporting unprocessed hemp more than 40-50 km even in bales. [10] The total reported area in the world cultivated with hemp fiber and hemp seed has only been a fraction of Herers claim: 0.3 million hectares in 1965, 0.076 million hectares in 2004.[11]”

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