Surprise, surprise. It seems some former Drug Warriors are on the warpath concerning the prospective legalization of marijuana in Colorado, Washington and Oregon.
Former administrators from various Washington drug enforcement agencies (including the nefarious National Institute on Drug Abuse, which keeps cock-blocking clinical trials) gathered on a conference call to try to pressure Attorney General Eric Holder to announce drug law enforcement plans on the three states, according to HuffingtonPost.com.
The call was largely a case of preachers addressing the choir, Mason Tvert, co-director of Colorado's Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, told HuffPost:
The nation wastes billions of taxpayer dollars annually on the failed policy of marijuana prohibition and people like Bill Bennett and John Walters are among the biggest cheerleaders for wasting billions more. The call today should be taken as seriously as an event by former coal industry CEOs opposing legislation curtailing greenhouse gas emissions. They are stuck in a certain mindset and no level of evidence demonstrating the weakness of their position will change their views.
Hopefully, Holder will ignore Bennett, a former director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under George H.W. Bush who once said the crime rate would go down if we aborted all black babies, and Walters, who ran the same office under George W. Bush.
Tucson's Ward 2 City Councilman Paul Cunningham has called for a city zoning ordinance change that would tighten the leash on planned medical marijuana dispensaries.
Cunningham, whose judgement came into question a few months ago when he got drunk in Cali and temporarily lost the ability to STFU, wants to extend the dispensary setback from schools, churches, etc. from 1,000 feet to 1,300 feet. In an embarrassingly poorly written entry in his newsletter, Cunningham said:
There are people who can make out signs and letters from 1,000 feet away, but a quarter-mile gives a large enough buffer to minimize the immediate physical environment of young people. This buffer will help to eliminate any propaganda that legitimizes marijuana use. As a former Juvenile Probation Ofﬁcer, legitimizing marijuana use to any child is a mistake. Extending the buffer to a quarter mile will help prevent this from happening.
The change is up for discussion at the council's Oct. 9 study session in the council chamber at 1 p.m. Be there or be square.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tried to avoid the question of medical marijuana during a campaign stop this week in Denver, but it didn’t work. In a campaign bus interview Oct. 1, Romney offered a less-than-deft non-sequitur to the Denver Post when asked how he would address Colorado’s burgeoning MMJ business.
"I oppose marijuana being used for recreational purposes and I believe the federal law should prohibit the recreational use of marijuana," he said.
“Governor Romney has a long record of opposing the use of marijuana for any reason,” a campaign spokesperson said. “He opposes legalizing drugs, including marijuana for medicinal purposes. He will fully enforce the nation’s drug laws, and he will oppose any attempts at legalization.”So, don’t vote for Mitt Romney. Aside from being a wealthy prick who ran rough-shod over American jobs to line his own pockets, he is against MMJ. Mr. Smith does not approve.
A medical marijuana rally called hastily by Americans for Safe Access drew a lot of honks from passers-by Thursday afternoon, but not a lot of protesters.
About a dozen folks marched around the intersection of Speedway and Swan for about an hour during rush hour, sparking a bunch of honks of support and a few shouts of "Get a Job!" Interestingly, being there was my job, so Mr. Smith would offer a heartfelt "Go Fuck Yourself" to those folks. The rally was to protest President Obama's administration busts of more than 200 medical marijuana facilities in the past few years.
Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group, is calling for rallies in 15 cities and eight states on Thursday to protest Department of Justice attacks on the MMJ industry, ASA said Wednesday.
Protesters will gather at Obama's Tucson office, 4639 E. 1st Street, at 5 p.m. today to presumably wave signs, shout and generally chastise the Choomer in Chief for shutting down some very respectable and successful businesses in MMJ states in recent years. Rallies are also planned for Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, San Diego, Oakland and Washington, D.C.
"Over the past three years, the DOJ has conducted more than 200 SWAT-style federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raids on legitimate medical marijuana businesses in at least 6 states - at twice the rate under the Bush Administration - and indicted more than 70 related to medical marijuana," the ASA said in a news release.
So bring a sign to wave and tell the prez what you think. Mr. Smith plans to attend. See you there.
Officers from the multi-agency Counter Narcotics Alliance swept into five Shop 420 certification centers, arresting 10 people, confiscating 14 pounds of the sticky and generally making a huge show of force right next door to Che's Lounge and at three other Tucson addresses and one in Casa Grande, according to a Tucson Police news release.
After a month-long investigation, the officers descended on Shop 420 and charged the evil doers with planning and plotting and possessing (but not selling) marijuana. The 10 MMJ workers were also charged with money laundering, and the alliance officers confiscated some fake MMJ cards and equipment to make them. Shop 420 representatives were unavailable for comment two days after the raids.
The closed shops were at 5151 South 12th Ave., 3408 East Grant Road, 8250 East Broadway Boulevard, and 408 East 7th Street in Tucson and 1145 East Florence Boulevard in Casa Grande. The raids follow similar ones earlier this year at Tucson's Green Halo Caregiver Collective and Tucson Arizona Collective.
Is this really necessary? I think not.
The latest medical marijuana application report from the state Department of Health Services shows that the number of patients and caregivers continues to creep upward.
As of Au/ 13, there were 31,084 people with MMJ cards. Of those, 25,097 were new applications; 4,080 were renewed cards; and 1,217 were changed information, such as addresses. Just more than 700 either added, replaced or removed caregivers. So far, the largest age group is 18-30, which comprises almost 27 percent of patients. The next largest age group is their parents, ages 51-60. Hehe. There were 20 patients under 18 and 92 age 81 or older, and 73 percent are men, according to DHS.
Chronic pain was the ailment most-commonly used to get MMJ cards at 90 percent of patients. The next most common ailment is muscle spasms (13 percent), followed by nausea (9 percent) and hepatitis and cancer (4 percent).
Read all about it here.
If you want to find out what government officials and others through (recent) history think about medical marijuana, ProCon.org has done a lot of legwork for you.
The organization, a nonprofit that researches various relevant topics of the day and compiles reasonably objective assessments of the state of affairs, has a compilation of quotes under the topic: “Should marijuana be a medical option?” Personalities quoted include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (wants research; not for or against), Sen. John McCain (against it), Sanjay Gupta (Yes, the CNN guy. WTF? Against it), and former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders.
“The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS — or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day," Elders said.
Check out the info here.
A steady drizzle continued over the medical marijuana parade in recent days, when the federal government threatened and/or sued a few dozen MMJ storefronts in California and Washington.
In the Central District of California, which covers the Los Angeles metro area, the U.S. Attorney's Office filed three lawsuits seeking property forfeiture and sent letters to folks associated with 66 MMJ storefronts in Anaheim and La Habra. Not only were the shops illegal under federal law, but under state law, according to a news release. "While these marijuana stores purport to be ‘medical marijuana dispensaries’ operating pursuant to California law, and claim to be distributing marijuana for medical purposes, such distribution is not a recognized exception to the [federal] Controlled Substances Act," the U.S. said in the lawsuits. The current round of threats brings to almost 300 the number of close-or-we-will-fuck-you-in-the-ass letters sent to operators in the Central District in the past 10 months. Ouch.
Then on Thursday in the kinder, gentler Western District of Washington, the Drug Enforcement Admistration sent letters to 23 "dispensaries" that are operating near schools, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Druken's office. "We all work hard to create a safe zone for kids in school. There is a reason that both federal and state laws prohibit sales of marijuana in school zones. We need to enforce one message for our students: drugs have no place in or near our schools,” Durken said. Ouch again, a little. I am down with keeping drugs away from kids, mmmkay?
If this all seems a bit depressing, please remember that it seems momentum is behind the MMJ community across the nation. The train is moving too fast for the federal government to stop it. Thank you, Western District of Washington, where federal officials seem to be reasonable and, well, kind. California U.S. attorneys, please take note of your esteemed colleagues in Washington. Meanwhile, I guess we will all just keep marching along in the MMJ parade under our umbrellas.
In a long, drawn-out, seemingly somber process involving ping-pong balls and a stopwatch, the state Department of Health Services on Tuesday randomly chose potential operators for 97 medical marijuana dispensaries across the state.
Operator certificates went to applicants in 14 of the 18 Tucson area districts (none were issued for the West Side, Pascua Yaqui, Tohono O'odham and Green Valley areas), as well as Nogales, Sierra Vista, Bisbee and Benson. When the operators are ready, they will call for state inspections. If they pass, they will then get approval to open. Some of the dispensary operators — who have been waiting more than a year - are ready to swing open doors this week. Though the inspection process doesn't include a deadline, it seems likely the state will move forward post-haste. It would suck in so many ways if the Gov. Jan, Attorney Generalisimo Tom Horne or DHS Director Will Humble tries yet again to stall this process.
Here is a map of state CHAA's and a list of the ones where certificates were issued. The addresses of several planned dispensaries were available Tuesday at a jovial gathering of potential dispensary operators and other MMJ proponents. Spirits were high among the crowd, some of whom were arrested a month ago in a raid at Green Halo Cannabis Collective near Prince Road and Interstate 10. That location will not be a dispensary, though The Green Halo plans to open two — at 4045 E. 29th Street and 7710 S. Wilmot. Other Tucson locations include: Copper State Herbal, 8950 N. Oracle; Verde Wellness Center, 8060 E. 22nd and 1530 E. Benson Hwy; Southern Arizona Wellness, 4695 N. Oracle Road; and Purplemed, 1010 S. Freeway and 2788 S. Frontage Road.
So the MMJ program inches ahead yet again, the key word there being "ahead." It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy that dispensaries could soon be a reality. Now, bring on the inspections, Mr. Humble. We are waiting patiently. **Crosses arms. Taps foot**
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