Category Archives: Drug War

Historic Federal Summit on Medicine Marijuana Is Slanted By Drug War Agenda


Legalization Nation

 

By David Downs

 

A seemingly historic medical marijuana summit by several US government health agencies will largely exclude evidence coming from the states that have legalized medical cannabis — another example of entrenched Washington, DC bureaucrats placing politics over science in the marijuana debate.

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    The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and four other NIH institutes and centers is holding the “Marijuana and Cannabinoids: A Neuroscience Research Summit” today and tomorrow in Bethesda, Maryland.

    “The overarching goal is to present current basic research and evidence-based information to identify research gaps to ultimately inform science, practice, and policy,” an NCCIH release states.
    But the presence of at least one co-sponsor, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, ensures that the summit will be less about healing and more about Reefer Madness. NIDA’s official mission is to fund studies to find harms in cannabis — not any benefit. The summit will not include leading doctors who treat patients with medical marijuana, or patients themselves.
    Instead, NIDA’s director, Dr. Nora Volkow is opening and closing the summit, which will showcase NIDA’s most recent research efforts to show marijuana harms the brain, brain development, and function. The White House Drug Czar will weigh in after lunch, followed by talks on pot and psychosis, pot addiction, and combining pot with alcohol.

     

    [You can watch the NIH Marijuana Summit online here.]


    Only at the end of the day will speakers address the ability of cannabis to treat epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. A marijuana-derived drug reduced seizures by 40 percent in kids with untreatable epilepsy, clinical trials revealed last week.

    Tomorrow, NIDA will relay its latest on pot and driving in the morning. Talks on cannabis’ potential for use on pain and anxiety precede discussions about potential negative health effects of legalization.
    States with medical marijuana laws have 25 percent less opioid overdoses than states without cannabis access, a study published in JAMA showed.
    In February, US Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachussetts, asked the CDC to consider legalizing pot to stem the opioid overdose epidemic.
    The summit is a missed opportunity, said Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, affiliated faculty of the MultiCare Institute of Research and Innovation. Aggarwal just spent a year as a clinical fellow at the NIH intramural campus, and wrote us that “there is a strong bureaucratic taboo in discussing any of the reemerging science or art of cannabis medicine.”
    “This conference does break down some of that taboo, but performs a great disservice to the American people by excluding in the core agenda medical and scientific speakers who can describe health lessons learned from the two dozen medical cannabis state level programs in the United States,” he wrote.

    Millions of patients have been treated by botanical cannabis, Aggarwal notes. One in twenty California adults have reported using medical cannabis for a serious condition and 92 percent of them believe pot worked, researchers report.

    “This belies the strong phamaceuticalized cannabis slant of this conference, despite its co-sponsorship by the National Center on Complementary and Integrative Health, which ought to be studying cannabis and cannabinoid integrative health and medicine, not ignoring it,” Aggarwal wrote.
    The doctor who wrote the textbook on cannabis in Integrative Oncology, Donald Abrams of San Francisco, is also not part of the summit. Neither is leading researcher on using marijuana to treat PTSD — Dr. Sue Sisley.

    According to the National Cancer Institute, cannabis users have a 45 percent decrease in the likelihood of bladder cancer compared to non-users.
    The journal Epidemiology reported cannabis users had 30 percent less likelihood of diabetes compared to non-users in studies.

    The American Epilepsy Society reported a 47 percent drop in pediatric epileptic seizures during clinical trials of cannabis extract Epidiolex, and 9 percent of kids in the study became seizure-free.
    Cannabis is ranked number one on the US government list of the most dangerous drugs. Researchers report facing more hurdles to studying botanical cannabis than any other drug.
    Prescription opioids are far less controlled. The number of overdose deaths from cannabis in recorded history is zero, while the number of overdose deaths from opioids in 2014 in the United States totaled 28,647. Doctors wrote 259 million opioid pain medication prescriptions in 2012. About 100 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses.

    CONTINUE READING…

    Pot Shrinks Tumors – US Government Has Know Since 1974… Nixon Classified The Study Immediately


     

    TUMORSAN

    By TNM News on September 4, 2015 Featured, Latest Headlines, News Feed, Politics, Science

    President Nixon was in need of more funding for the war on drugs, so he set up a study hopefully finding that THC caused cancer. Instead, the findings were exactly the opposite, they found that cannabis if ingested in concentrated edible doses attack abnormal cells, and shrinks tumors.

    THIS STUDY WAS BURIED AND CLASSIFIED as it would have seriously hurt Nixon’s War On Drug scheme to profit off of low level drug offenders, and support expansion of prisons. Only until recently with The Freedom of Information Act and a group of concerned and dedicated doctors and lawyers, did they have the information of this study released.

    Here is the full story as by alternet.org

    The term medical marijuana took on dramatic new meaning in February, 2000 when researchers in Madrid announced they had destroyed incurable brain tumors in rats by injecting them with THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.
    The Madrid study marks only the second time that THC has been administered to tumor-bearing animals; the first was a Virginia investigation 26 years ago. In both studies, the THC shrank or destroyed tumors in a majority of the test subjects.

    Most Americans don’t know anything about the Madrid discovery. Virtually no major U.S. newspapers carried the story, which ran only once on the AP and UPI news wires, on Feb. 29, 2000.

    The ominous part is that this isn’t the first time scientists have discovered that THC shrinks tumors. In 1974 researchers at the Medical College of Virginia, who had been funded by the National Institute of Health to find evidence that marijuana damages the immune system, found instead that THC slowed the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice — lung and breast cancer, and a virus-induced leukemia.

    The DEA quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis/tumor research, according to Jack Herer, who reports on the events in his book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” In 1976 President Gerald Ford put an end to all public cannabis research and granted exclusive research rights to major pharmaceutical companies, who set out — unsuccessfully — to develop synthetic forms of THC that would deliver all the medical benefits without the “high.”

    The Madrid researchers reported in the March issue of “Nature Medicine” that they injected the brains of 45 rats with cancer cells, producing tumors whose presence they confirmed through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). On the 12th day they injected 15 of the rats with THC and 15 with Win-55,212-2 a synthetic compound similar to THC. “All the rats left untreated uniformly died 12-18 days after glioma (brain cancer) cell inoculation … Cannabinoid (THC)-treated rats survived significantly longer than control rats. THC administration was ineffective in three rats, which died by days 16-18. Nine of the THC-treated rats surpassed the time of death of untreated rats, and survived up to 19-35 days. Moreover, the tumor was completely eradicated in three of the treated rats.” The rats treated with Win-55,212-2 showed similar results.

    The Spanish researchers, led by Dr. Manuel Guzman of Complutense University, also irrigated healthy rats’ brains with large doses of THC for seven days, to test for harmful biochemical or neurological effects. They found none.

    “Careful MRI analysis of all those tumor-free rats showed no sign of damage related to necrosis, edema, infection or trauma … We also examined other potential side effects of cannabinoid administration. In both tumor-free and tumor-bearing rats, cannabinoid administration induced no substantial change in behavioral parameters such as motor coordination or physical activity. Food and water intake as well as body weight gain were unaffected during and after cannabinoid delivery. Likewise, the general hematological profiles of cannabinoid-treated rats were normal. Thus, neither biochemical parameters nor markers of tissue damage changed substantially during the 7-day delivery period or for at least 2 months after cannabinoid treatment ended.”

    Guzman’s investigation is the only time since the 1974 Virginia study that THC has been administered to live tumor-bearing animals. (The Spanish researchers cite a 1998 study in which cannabinoids inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation, but that was a “petri dish” experiment that didn’t involve live subjects.)

    In an email interview for this story, the Madrid researcher said he had heard of the Virginia study, but had never been able to locate literature on it. Hence, the Nature Medicine article characterizes the new study as the first on tumor-laden animals and doesn’t cite the 1974 Virginia investigation.

    “I am aware of the existence of that research. In fact I have attempted many times to obtain the journal article on the original investigation by these people, but it has proven impossible.” Guzman said.

    In 1983 the Reagan/Bush Administration tried to persuade American universities and researchers to destroy all 1966-76 cannabis research work, including compendiums in libraries, reports Jack Herer, who states, “We know that large amounts of information have since disappeared.”

    Guzman provided the title of the work — “Antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids,” an article in a 1975 Journal of the National Cancer Institute — and this writer obtained a copy at the University of California medical school library in Davis and faxed it to Madrid.

    The summary of the Virginia study begins, “Lewis lung adenocarcinoma growth was retarded by the oral administration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinol (CBN)” — two types of cannabinoids, a family of active components in marijuana. “Mice treated for 20 consecutive days with THC and CBN had reduced primary tumor size.”

    The 1975 journal article doesn’t mention breast cancer tumors, which featured in the only newspaper story ever to appear about the 1974 study — in the Local section of the Washington Post on August 18, 1974. Under the headline, “Cancer Curb Is Studied,” it read in part:

    “The active chemical agent in marijuana curbs the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice and may also suppress the immunity reaction that causes rejection of organ transplants, a Medical College of Virginia team has discovered.” The researchers “found that THC slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent.”

    Guzman, writing from Madrid, was eloquent in his response after this writer faxed him the clipping from the Washington Post of a quarter century ago. In translation, he wrote:

    “It is extremely interesting to me, the hope that the project seemed to awaken at that moment, and the sad evolution of events during the years following the discovery, until now we once again Œdraw back the veil‚ over the anti-tumoral power of THC, twenty-five years later. Unfortunately, the world bumps along between such moments of hope and long periods of intellectual castration.”

    News coverage of the Madrid discovery has been virtually nonexistent in this country. The news broke quietly on Feb. 29, 2000 with a story that ran once on the UPI wire about the Nature Medicine article. This writer stumbled on it through a link that appeared briefly on the Drudge Report web page. The New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times all ignored the story, even though its newsworthiness is indisputable: a benign substance occurring in nature destroys deadly brain tumors.

    Raymond Cushing is a journalist, musician and filmmaker. This article was named by Project Censored as a “Top Censored Story of 2000.”

    CONTINUE READING…

    Marijuana Advocates Continue to Challenge Feds’ Authority


    NANETTE GONZALEZ FOR LA WEEKLY

    A team of attorneys is challenging federal authorities’ right to crack down on California marijuana dispensaries. They lost a courtroom battle this week.
    See also: Weed’s Federal Battle in California Remains Uphill.
    A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied the challenge, essentially ruling that, despite California’s own medical marijuana laws, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration can still bust pot shops because cannabis is fully illegal under federal law.
    However, …
    … there is still hope.
    The panel noted that "a prior holding of this court may only be overturned through en banc consideration."
    What that means is that a hearing of the matter before the entire, 11-judge court was seemingly encouraged, and a spokesman for the plaintiffs, Matthew Kumin, says they’ll apply for just that next week.
    On top of that, he says, if they lose before the entire court, there’s always the U.S. Supreme Court.
    These people are serious.
    The case, Sacramento Nonprofit Collective et al v. Eric Holder et. al, challenges federal authority to bust pot shops in light of "ambiguous" federal guidelines (the so-called Ogden memo that de-emphasizes medical prosecution) and in light of the DEA’s seemingly illogical classification of cannabis as a top-level outlaw with no medical uses.
    The court said there’s "no clear inconsistency between the Government’s current and prior positions."
    Kumin says the plaintiffs’ team of seven attorneys will keep on keepin’ on.
    "It doesn’t end," he says, "because you lose an battle on important civil rights issue."
    Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

    CONTINUE READING….

    "I don’t want to fucking give this United States government one fucking dollar of taxes…" — Jack Herer, "The Emperor of Hemp", September 12th, 2009


    Rev. Mary Spears explains the legalization vs. repeal initiatives and why REPEAL is the only way to proceed.

     

    "I don’t want to fucking give this United States
    government one fucking dollar of taxes…"
    Jack Herer, "The Emperor of Hemp", September 12th, 2009
    (Portland Hempstalk Festival–his final speech.)
    http://overgrow.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-fallacy-of-the-legalize-and-tax-cannabis-initiatives

     

    By ElectroPig Von Fökkengrüüven in Overgrow The World v2.0

    The Fallacy of the "Legalize and Tax Cannabis" initiatives.

    Overgrow The World

    April 21, 2010

    I have listened and understood the words of the late Jack Herer, and I am amazed how few people who say they believe in what Jack was saying truly understand the real reasons why he so horrified at the idea of creating new cannabis taxes. Let me explain quickly: THEY ARE NOT NEEDED AT ALL! As a matter of fact, nothing could be further from the truth!

    Now I’m sure that many of you don’t believe me. If that is the case, then you also didn’t understand what Jack meant, or perhaps you simply weren’t paying attention, choosing to hear what you agreed with and ignoring what you didn’t understand, or simply weren’t interested in.

    The first "ignored fact" is that the vast majority of the "illicit market" for cannabis is underground, hence, completely untaxed. There is a small fallacy to this statement, however, as even those "underground economies" still purchase their supplies, tools and equipment from "legitimate businesses" and those businesses all pay taxes of one form or another. Cannabis growers order pizza, buy gas, hire electricians and plumbers, et cetera. In this admittedly roundabout way, cannabis already is taxed, albeit to a very small degreee in comparison to the total size of the market as it stands, and to the potential which is known to exist.

    Let’s say that cannabis/hemp were re-legalized prohibition was repealed today, and it was done so without the creation of any new tax codes specifically for cannabis. Most think that this would be a bad thing, as it wouldn’t be "exploiting the market" without creating new tax codes, new agencies, new enforcement regimes. Unfortunately, the people who believe that have been lied to, and it’s time that they learned the truth.

    In actual fact, if cannabis were re-legalized prohibition was repealed today and taxes weren’t considered in the equation in any way, it would still be beneficial to society in terms of savings alone. We’d save money on policing, of which estimates range that between 40-60% of all police costs are directly due to "drug prohibition." Logic follows that with police not bogged down with grandmothers taking a puff to slow their glaucoma, they would then be able to concentrate their resources on combating real crimes. Things like rape, murder, fraud, home invasion and theft, assault and battery, arson, financial crimes, environmental crimes (of which cannabis/hemp prohibition is one of the leading causes, in fact), and many more REAL crimes with REAL victims.

    Taken a step further, lawyers would then be freed up to work on real crimes as well. So would prosecutors. So would judges, court stenographers, prison staff and more. WIthout locking away non-violent "criminals" who have harmed noone else–and this is the scary part for corporations–the "warehousing of otherwise productive humans for profit" would suddenly become far less profitable for the prison-industrial complex to continue, and prohibitionary statute development might begin to fade. With less "legal reasons" to imprison people for essentially minding their own business, more people would not have the lives and futures destroyed.

    So let’s say that there were no new taxes created upon re-legalization of cannabis/hemp, and we ONLY consider the tens or hundreds of billions SAVED by no longer wasting time attacking people in their homes for posession or for growing a few plants for their own consumption. Are not those billions of dollars saved a tremendous enough benefit to justify the immediate repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition? Could saving those billions of dollars not be immediately transferred into lower taxes, or public debt reduction? Would those savings alone not be of tremendous, immediate and long-term social value?

    Now let’s consider the tax idea on it’s own merit.

    With re-legalization repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition, there would immediately follow the creation of new businesses to exploit what is widely known to be a global market for cannaibs and hemp products. Each of those businesses would be subject to business income taxes that currently do not exist. WIthout a single character added to business tax statutes, the net result would be the establishment of "new revenue" from those "new businesses."

    Of course, those businesses would need people to man storefronts, deliver products, develop products, design packaging, grow the raw materials, process the raw materials, et cetera. These jobs would all be legitimate jobs in the real job market. Each of those jobs would be subject to existing income tax statutes. It’s not hard to see how those "new jobs" would in turn be utilized as "new tax revenue sources" which previously did not exist. Again, without a single line of new codes written, a brand new revenue stream has been obtained.

    Each of those new employees and businesses would need supplies, equipment, computers, energy sources, and services. All of those businesses and individuals would then use their incomes to purchase those items or services they needed, either to operate or enhance their businesses, or simply to make their lives at home a little better. All of those products would be purchased at existing retailers and/or wholesalers that exist in the current "legitimate marketplace." All (or the vast majority) of those purchases would be subject to sales taxes at state/provincial and federal levels. Again, not a single comma added to the existing statutes required, but "new revenue" has effectively been attained.

    Now let’s take the cannabis market ITSELF.

    All of those newly created and legitimate businesses would provide products that people either wanted or needed, be they for medical purposes or for recreational uses. All of those products would then be subject to state/provincial and federal sales taxes. With each sale would then come "new revenues" which do not exist today. Again–are you starting to notice a pattern yet?–without the addition of a single line of code to any existing tax codes.

    The Fallacy of "New Government Regulatory Jobs"

    People keep being told that "new jobs" will be created in the "new regulatory framework" that "will be needed", but they haven’t thought this through. Some have partly thought it through, thinking that since a percentage of those worker’s incomes will be clawed back by income taxes–say 25%–that means that those jobs are "cheaper" than "real jobs". That’s actually not quite right.

    When you look the "real economy", or in other words, the economy from which all government income is derived via the millions of tax codes which exist to take our incomes from us all, any position in this "real economy" is one which is subject to taxation, and therefore, is generally to be considered a contributing position.

    On the other hand, when you look at "government jobs" which are wholly funded by "real people" with "real jobs" in the "real economy", every government position which exists–no matter what country or what level of government–is a drain on society, and must be so, as "we hired them to work for us."

    Now let’s take a simple example that we’ve all heard a million times: "Joe The Plumber."

    If Joe was working in his own shop, or for someone else in their business, he would be a contributing factor in the "real economy" in the amount of taxation on his income, we’ll use 25% for illustration purposes. This means that 25% of his income is diverted to "public employees and projects" needed for society to function as it currently exists.

    Now let’s take Joe’s situation if he were a government employee…let’s say he’s employed by the local Public Utilities Comission. Now Joe’s income is wholly funded by tax dollars, and thus, is a drain on society. We’ve established an income tax rate of 25%, so we can now say that Joe is "cheaper" because now his services now only costs us 75% of what they would, had he remained in his private sector job.

    Here is the "minor error" in that logic: Joe has moved from the "real economy" to the "government economy". In making that move, the "real economy" has lost 100% of a "real job", while the government has gained an employee "at a discount of only 75% of their private sector wages." When you add that up, you see quite clearly that Joe’s "new job" is effectively now a 175% loss to society as a whole.

    Joe’s still making the same amount of money. We’re still paying him the same amount of money when he does his work…but now he is NOT contributing to the "real economy" at all, while he is draining 75% of his wages from unnaportioned taxation of the people who are forced to pay his salary, whether they partake of his services or not.

    Unfortunately, this also applies to every "equivalent government position" that exists in the world. Accountants cost 175% of what they would cost in the "real economy." So do welders, secretaries, cafeteria cooks, lawyers…ALL of them! If they work for the government, they are at a much higher cost than their equivalent "real world" positions in the real economy.

    We need to keep this in mind whenever we hear talk of " new regulations" because that almost always means "new regulatory bodies", and that DEFINITELY always means "new government employees" which are going to cost us dearly if we allow such things to occur.

    If we are forced to accept some form of taxation in order to move closer to the full repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition, so be it…let’s move a little closer…but the second we have a positive change under our belts, we must NOT become complacent! We must continue to fight for the full repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition until the batttle is decisively won.

    Once we have some "half-assed reasonable legislation" in place, we can guage what are the worst parts of those enacted bills and target them one by one until they’re all gone, and then, we will have our ofn freedom, and freedom for what is arguably the most important plant known on this planet.

    At the Hempstalk Festival, during Jack Herer’s final public speech, he said (among other things):

    "I don’t want to fucking give this United States government one fucking dollar of taxes…"

    Obviously, he understood my thinking…or perhaps, I simply learned enough to come to an understanding of his.

    What about you?

    EDIT:  I have since come up with the complete solution to the perils of prohibition in THREE WORDS:

    1) DESCHEDULE.
    2) REPEAL.
    3) DONE!!!

    If you remember only three words in your lifetime, THOSE are the ones that WILL end cannabis/hemp prohibition.

    If we continue to be led by propagandists and prohibitionists into accepting ever-longer-names for prohibition, while believing we are "moving closer to freedom", we’ll never get there…it’ll just keep getting more complex, more costly, and more damaging to society as a whole…as it has for decades already.

    If we allow our politicians to "reschedule" cannabis, this COULD mean an outright statutory BAN on ALL cannabis use, medicinal or otherwise, for the length of time it would take "to conduct safety studies."  We already know that if they keep finding proof cannabis is non-toxic, anti-oxidant, neuroprotectant, et cetera, we also already know that these "safety studies" will be completed in an absolute minimum of 4-6 years, to an absolute maximum of…NEVER!

    "Decriminalization" is NOT repeal.  It’s still illegal.

    "Legalization" simply tells the politicians and courts that we believe the fix to bad legislation conveived of in fraud can only be fixed not by deleting it from the recored entirely, but by making it more complex…but keeping it all on the books for future "quick-n-easy" readoption when prison investors want higher revenues to do their profit-taking from.

    "Re-legalization" is just two letters prepended to the above.

    "Tax and regulate" tells OUR EMPLOYEES that "we owe them new taxes for not wasting our money attacking us."  If we keep buying into the scam, they’ll get it, too!

    "Regulate like [insert commodity of the hour here]" is just another way to justify the creation of a new regulatory body, hire new "government employees", raise taxes, lower rights and freedoms, all while telling the wilfully ignorant population that "they are free."  They ain’t.  They won’t be.

    "REPEAL" means:  The statutes are GONE.  Deleted.  History.  Erased.  Terminated.  Removed from the "law" journals.  NEVER TO RETURN.

    The ridiculous proposition that "if we want it legal again, we have to create new taxes" is also a prime example of idiotic propaganda foisted upon a wilfully ignorant population.  Only two seconds of thought tells you the truth of the situation…we do NOT need to "appease our employees" when we finally force them to stop wasting our money.  Not wasting all those billions of dollars every year should be, and IS, reward enough to everyone all on it’s own!

    When we find out we’ve got a crooked mechanic who’s bee charging us for spark plug changes on every visit that we didn’t really need, and were nothing more than a waste of OUR money…we don’t praise them and give them permanent bonuses, do we?  So where did the idea come from, that in order for our employees to simply do their job with a litle more brainpower behind their actions, that we need to give them more money and hire more people?  Reality has to sink in eventually, folks!  Even through the infinitely thick skulls of "politicians."  They might be as dense as the core of a neutron star, but they still have ear holes!  SO START SPEAKING UP!!!

    Either we DEMAND the full repeal of prohibition, or we will continue on with it forever, just with a different name, and higher taxes…and let’s face it, folks:  OUR EMPLOYEES will be completely happy to rename what they’re doing to us and call it whatever we want to call it, if we’re dumb enough to allow it to continue.  Are we really so blind as to STILL not see the truth for what it is?

    Want it over?  MAKE it over!

    1) DESCHEDULE.
    2) REPEAL.
    3) DONE!!!

    It really is just as simple as that.

    * That solves prohibition on a national level…we still need to remove cannabis/hemp from the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in order to end prohibition GLOBALLY.

    Views: 3521

    Tags: Herer, Jack, PROHIBITION, REPEAL, Rick, Simpson, cannabis, freedom, health, human, More…

     

    By ElectroPig Von Fökkengrüüven in Overgrow The World v2.0

    The Fallacy of the "Legalize and Tax Cannabis" initiatives.

    Overgrow The World

    April 21, 2010

     

    Jack Herer’s last speech at Portland Hempstalk Festival 2009–HIS FINAL SPEECH BEFORE HE DIED…MAY HE NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!

     

    MY PERSONAL COMMENT:  SOMETIMES (MOST OFTEN) OLD NEWS IS THE BEST NEWS – SMK.

    Trading Sex for a "F–cking Happy Meal?


    Mom Can’t Get Food Stamps After Drug Offense, Resorts to Prostitution to Feed her Kids

    If she’d committed murder, Carla could have gotten assistance to feed her children. But because the crime she committed was related to drugs, she can’t.

    December 21, 2012  |  

    images2

    Carla walked into my office with despair in her eyes. I was surprised. Carla has been doing well in her four months out of prison; she got off drugs, regained custody of her kids, and even enrolled in a local community college. 

    Without much prodding she admitted to me that she had retuned to prostitution: “I am putting myself at risk for HIV to get my kids a f—ing happy meal.”

    Despite looking high and low for a job, Carla explained, she was still unemployed. Most entry-level jobs felt out of reach with her drug record, but what’s worse, even the state wasn’t willing to throw her a temporary life preserver.

    You see, Carla is from one of the 32 states in the country that ban anyone convicted of a drug felony from collecting food stamps. With the release of the Global Burden of Disease Study last week, it bears looking at how we are perpetuating burdens among the most vulnerable Americans with our outdated laws.

    If she’d committed rape or murder, Carla could have gotten assistance to feed herself and her children, but because the crime she committed was a drug felony, Carla joined the hundreds of thousands of drug felons who are not eligible.

    The 1996 passage of the Welfare Reform Act was supposedly implemented to prevent drug addicts from selling their food stamps for drugs. But that concern is virtually unwarranted today. Unlike old food-stamp coupons, today’s food stamps are distributed electronically, which makes selling or trading them quite difficult.

    Nonetheless, the law persists.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nine states have a lifetime ban for food-stamp eligibly for people convicted of drug felonies.  Twenty-three states have a partial ban, such as permitting eligibility for persons convicted of drug possession but not sale, or for persons enrolled in drug treatment programs.

    Denying food stamp benefits to people convicted of drug offenses is an excessive and ineffective crime control strategy. The policy increases an individual’s risk of returning to prison by making it more difficult for people to survive after they get out, slowing or possibly even preventing their reintegration into society. People without the financial cushion necessary to get through the initial period of job searching and re-establishing a life have little choice but to turn to illegal means to make ends meet.

    What’s more, the food-stamp ban is a law that works against good public health policy. As a doctor who cares predominantly for people who are released from prison, I see the damaging consequences of this ban on food stamps. I have seen patients of mine with diabetes go without food and end up hospitalized with low blood sugar, and still others with HIV skip their antiretrovirals because they don’t have food to take with their pills.  Not having access to food is associated with bad health outcomes including worsening diabetes, HIV, depression. Young children face anemia, diabetes, and depression.

    Women with children are especially affected. It’s estimated that 70,000 women and their children are banned from obtaining food stamps. This means mothers who are simply trying to feed themselves and their children, and who are trying to get back on their feet after serving their time, are banned from receiving the money to pay for the basics necessary to survive.  Meanwhile, 46 million others, including college graduates and PhDs with far more resources, can receive food aid.

    No other criminal conviction results in such a ban—not arson, not rape, not even murder.

    Carla was arrested at 20 for selling marijuana.  At the time, she had also been making money working for her “boyfriend” as a sex worker.  Her boyfriend was also arrested for robbery.  He could qualify for food stamps upon release. But not Carla. She continues to pay for selling marijuana— a drug which two states have now voted to legalize outright—and the price is health risks for herself and for her children. 

    CONTINUE READING….PAGE 2…

    Excerpt from the 1961 UN Convention on Narcotics


    AND HOW THE UNITED NATIONS CONTROLS ALL NARCOTICS INCLUDING (BUT NOT LIMITED TO) CANNABIS AND HEMP.

    COULD THIS BE THE REAL REASON WHY THE UNITED STATES HAS NOT ADOPTED NEW LAWS AND LEGAL OPINIONS ON MARIJUANA?

    IS IT THE UNITED NATIONS WE SHOULD BE PROTESTING OR OUR OWN GOVERNMENTS?  DOES OUR OWN GOVERNMENT EVEN HAVE ANY CONTROL OVER THE MATTER?

    THE N W O OVER RIDES OUR OWN COUNTRY’S LAWS, AND RULE OF THE  PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE…

     

    en2661297

    HERE IS A LINK TO THE ENTIRE PDF….

    SINGLE CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS, 1961,
    AS AMENDED BY THE 1972 PROTOCOL AMENDING THE
    SINGLE CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS, 1961

    PREAMBLE

    The Parties,

    Concerned with the health and welfare of mankind,
    Recognizing that the medical use of narcotic drugs continues to be indispensable for the relief of pain and suffering and that adequate provision must be made to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs for such purposes,
    Recognizing that addiction to narcotic drugs constitutes a serious evil for the individual and is fraught with social and economic danger to mankind,
    Conscious of their duty to prevent and combat this evil,
    Considering that effective measures against abuse of narcotic drugs require co-ordinated and universal action,
    Understanding that such universal action calls for international co-operation guided by the same principles and aimed at common objectives,
    Acknowledging the competence of the United Nations in the field of narcotics control and desirous that the international organs concerned should be within the framework of that Organization,
    Desiring to conclude a generally acceptable international convention replacing existing treaties on narcotic drugs, limiting such drugs to medical and scientific use, and providing for continuous international co-operation and control for the achievement of such aims and objectives,
    Hereby agree as follows:

    Article 1
    DEFINITIONS

    1. Except where otherwise expressly indicated or where the context otherwise requires, the following definitions shall apply throughout the Convention:
    a) “Board” means the International Narcotics Control Board,
    b) “Cannabis” means the flowering or fruiting tops of the cannabis plant (excluding the seeds and leaves when not accompanied by the tops) from which the resin has not been extracted, by whatever name they may be designated.
    c) “Cannabis plant” means any plant of the genus Cannabis,
    d) “Cannabis resin” means the separated resin, whether crude or purified, obtained from the cannabis plant.
    e) “Coca bush” means the plant of any species of the genus Erythroxylon.
    f) “Coca leaf” means the leaf of the coca bush except a leaf from which all ecgonine, cocaine and any other ecgonine alkaloids have been removed.
    g) “Commission” means the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the Council.
    h) “Council” means the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
    i) “Cultivation” means the cultivation of the opium poppy, coca bush or cannabis plant.
    j) “Drug” means any of the substances in Schedules I and II, whether natural or synthetic.
    k) “General Assembly” means the General Assembly of the United Nations.
    1 Note by the Secretariat: The Preamble to the Protocol amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, reads as follows:
    “The Parties to the Present Protocol,
    “Considering the provisions of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, done at New York on 30 March 1961 (hereinafter called the Single Convention),
    “Desiring to amend the Single Convention
    “Have agreed as follows:”
    – 1 –
    l) “Illicit traffic” means cultivation or trafficking in drugs contrary to the provisions of this Convention.
    m) “Import” and “export” mean in their respective connotations the physical transfer of drugs from one State to another State, or from one territory to another territory of the same State.
    n) “Manufacture” means all processes, other than production, by which drugs may be obtained and includes refining as well as the transformation of drugs into other drugs.
    o) “Medicinal opium” means opium which has undergone the processes necessary to adapt it for medicinal use.
    p) “Opium” means the coagulated juice of the opium poppy.
    q) “Opium poppy” means the plant of the species Papaver somniferum L.
    r) “Poppy straw” means all parts (except the seeds) of the opium poppy, after mowing.
    s) “Preparation” means a mixture, solid or liquid, containing a drug.
    t) “Production” means the separation of opium, coca leaves, cannabis and cannabis resin from the plants from which they are obtained.
    u) “Schedule I”, “Schedule II”, “Schedule III” and “Schedule IV” mean the correspondingly numbered list of drugs or preparations annexed to this Convention, as amended from time to time in accordance with article 3.
    v) “Secretary-General” means the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
    w) “Special stocks” means the amounts of drugs held in a country or territory by the Government of such country or territory for special government purposes and to meet exceptional circumstances; and the expression “special purposes” shall be construed accordingly.
    x) “Stocks” means the amounts of drugs held in a country or territory and intended for:
    i) Consumption in the country or territory for medical and scientific purposes,
    ii) Utilization in the country or territory for the manufacture of drugs and other substances, or
    iii) Export;
    but does not include the amounts of drugs held in the country or territory,
    iv) By retail pharmacists or other authorized retail distributors and by institutions or qualified persons in the duly authorized exercise of therapeutic or scientific functions, or
    v) As “special stocks”.
    y) Territory” means any part of a State which is treated as a separate entity for the application of the system of import certificates and export authorizations provided for in article 31. This definition shall not apply to the term “territory” as used in articles 42 and 46.
    2. For the purposes of this Convention a drug shall be regarded as “consumed” when it has been supplied to any person or enterprise for retail distribution, medical use or scientific research; and “consumption” shall be construed accordingly.

    Article 2
    SUBSTANCES UNDER CONTROL

    1. Except as to measures of control which are limited to specified drugs, the drugs in Schedule I are subject to all measures of control applicable to drugs under this Convention and in particular to those prescribed in article 4 c), 19, 20, 21, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 and 37.
    2. The drugs in Schedule II are subject to the same measures of control as drugs in Schedule I with the exception of the measures prescribed in article 30, paragraphs 2 and 5, in respect of the retail trade.
    3. Preparations other than those in Schedule III are subject to the same measures of control as the drugs which they contain, but estimates (article 19) and statistics (article 20) distinct from those dealing with these drugs shall not be required in the case of such preparations, and article 29, paragraph 2 c) and article 30, paragraph 1 b) ii) need not apply.
    4. Preparations in Schedule III are subject to the same measures of control as preparations containing drugs in Schedule II except that article 31, paragraphs 1 b) and 3 to 15 and, as regards their acquisition and retail distribution, article 34, paragraph b), need not apply, and that for the purpose of estimates (article 19) and statistics (article 20) the information required shall be restricted to the quantities of drugs used in the manufacture of such preparations.
    – 2 –
    5. The drugs in Schedule IV shall also be included in Schedule I and subject to all measures of control applicable to drugs in the latter Schedule, and in addition thereto:
    a) A Party shall adopt any special measures of control which in its opinion are necessary having regard to the particularly dangerous properties of a drug so included; and
    b) A Party shall, if in its opinion the prevailing conditions in its country render it the most appropriate means of protecting the public health and welfare, prohibit the production, manufacture, export and import of, trade in, possession or use of any such drug except for amounts which may be necessary for medical and scientific research only, including clinical trials therewith to be conducted under or subject to the direct supervision and control of the Party.
    6. In addition to the measures of control applicable to all drugs in Schedule I, opium is subject to the provisions of article 19, paragraph 1, subparagraph f), and of articles 21 bis, 23 and 24, the coca leaf to those of articles 26 and 27 and cannabis to those of article 28.
    7. The opium poppy, the coca bush, the cannabis plant, poppy straw and cannabis leaves are subject to the control measures prescribed in article 19, paragraph 1, subparagraph e), article 20, paragraph 1, subparagraph g), article 21 bis and in articles 22 to 24; 22, 26 and 27; 22 and 28; 25; and 28, respectively:
    8. The Parties shall use their best endeavours to apply to substances which do not fall under this Convention, but which may be used in the illicit manufacture of drugs, such measures of supervision as may be practicable.
    9. Parties are not required to apply the provisions of this Convention to drugs which are commonly used in industry for other than medical or scientific purposes, provided that:
    a) They ensure by appropriate methods of denaturing or by other means that the drugs so used are not liable to be abused or have ill effects (article 3, paragraph 3) and that the harmful substances cannot in practice be recovered; and
    b) They include in the statistical information (article 20) furnished by them the amount of each drug so used.

    Article 3
    CHANGES IN THE SCOPE OF CONTROL
    1. Where a Party or the World Health Organization has information which in its opinion may require an amendment to any of the Schedules, it shall notify the Secretary-General and furnish him with the information in support of the notification.
    2. The Secretary-General shall transmit such notification, and any information which he considers relevant, to the Parties, to the Commission, and, where the notification is made by a Party, to the World Health Organization.
    3. Where a notification relates to a substance not already in Schedule I or in Schedule II,
    i) The Parties shall examine in the light of the available information the possibility of the provisional application to the substance of all measures of control applicable to drugs in Schedule I;
    ii) Pending its decision as provided in subparagraph iii) of this paragraph, the Commission may decide that the Parties apply provisionally to that substance all measures of control applicable to drugs in Schedule I. The Parties shall apply such measures provisionally to the substance in question;
    iii) If the World Health Organization finds that the substance is liable to similar abuse and productive of similar ill effects as the drugs in Schedule I or Schedule II or is convertible into a drug, it shall communicate that finding to the Commission which may, in accordance with the recommendation of the World Health Organization, decide that the substance shall be added to Schedule I or Schedule II.
    – 3 –
    4. If the World Health Organization finds that a preparation because of the substances which it contains is not liable to abuse and cannot produce ill effects (paragraph 3) and that the drug therein is not readily recoverable, the Commission may, in accordance with the recommendation of the World Health Organization, add that preparation to Schedule III.
    5. If the World Health Organization finds that a drug in Schedule I is particularly liable to abuse and to produce ill effects (paragraph 3) and that such liability is not offset by substantial therapeutic advantages not possessed by substances other than drugs in Schedule IV, the Commission may, in accordance with the recommendation of the World Health Organization, place that drug in Schedule IV.
    6. Where a notification relates to a drug already in Schedule I or Schedule II or to a preparation in Schedule III, the Commission, apart from the measure provided for in paragraph 5, may, in accordance with the recommendation of the World Health Organization, amend any of the Schedules by:
    a) Transferring a drug from Schedule I to Schedule II or from Schedule II to Schedule I; or
    b) Deleting a drug or a preparation as the case may be, from a Schedule.
    7. Any decision of the Commission taken pursuant to this article shall be communicated by the Secretary-General to all States Members of the United Nations, to non-member States Parties to this Convention, to the World Health Organization and to the Board. Such decision shall become effective with respect to each Party on the date of its receipt of such communication, and the Parties shall thereupon take such action as may be required under this Convention.
    8. a) The decisions of the Commission amending any of the Schedules shall be subject to review by the Council upon the request of any Party filed within ninety days from receipt of notification of the decision. The request for review shall be sent to the Secretary-General together with all relevant information upon which the request for review is based;
    b) The Secretary-General shall transmit copies of the request for review and relevant information to the Commission, the World Health Organization and to all the Parties inviting them to submit comments within ninety days. All comments received shall be submitted to the Council for consideration;
    c) The Council may confirm, alter or reverse the decision of the Commission, and the decision of the Council shall be final. Notification of the Council’s decision shall be transmitted to all States Members of the United Nations, to non-member States Parties to this Convention, to the Commission, to the World Health Organization, and to the Board;
    d) During pendency of the review the original decision of the Commission shall remain in effect.
    9. Decisions of the Commission taken in accordance with this article shall not be subject to the review procedure provided for in article 7.

    Article 4
    GENERAL OBLIGATIONS
    The parties shall take such legislative and administrative measures as may be necessary:
    a) To give effect to and carry out the provisions of this Convention within their own territories;
    b) To co-operate with other States in the execution of the provisions of this Convention; and
    c) Subject to the provisions of this Convention, to limit exclusively to medical and scientific purposes the production, manufacture, export, import, distribution of, trade in, use and possession of drugs.

    Prohibitionists are Overstating Feds vs. State Marijuana Legalization Case to Media


    by David Borden, December 10, 2012, 02:54pm

    Posted in:

    A mostly great piece in Rolling Stone this weekend, "Obama’s Pot Problem," missed the mark on the federal preemption question — can the feds shut down Washington and Colorado’s legalized regulation systems? Tim Dickinson wrote the following on that subject:

    [T]he administration appears to have an open-and-shut case: Federal law trumps state law when the two contradict. What’s more, the Supreme Court has spoken on marijuana law: In the 2005 case Gonzales v. Raich contesting medical marijuana in California, the court ruled that the federal government can regulate even tiny quantities of pot – including those grown and sold purely within state borders – because the drug is ultimately connected to interstate commerce. If the courts side with the administration, a judge could issue an immediate injunction blocking Washington and Colorado from regulating or taxing the growing and selling of pot – actions that would be considered trafficking under the Controlled Substances Act.

    But a former Bush administration official quoted in the New York Times on Thursday, former DOJ civil division head Gregory Katsas, made the opposite prediction. Katsas was "skeptical" that a preemption lawsuit would succeed, according to the Times. Why? Perhaps because it’s not just that the feds can’t force states to criminalize drug possession, as Kevin Sabet selectively pointed out to Dickinson. It’s also the case that they probably can’t directly force the states to criminalize sales either. The Controlled Substances Act in fact leans against federal preemption of state drug policy, as pointed out in a law professors brief on preemption submitted in a California case this year.

    Dickinson also pointed out that federal officials had used threats to prosecute state employees involved in implementing regulations for medical marijuana. In my opinion the US Attorney letters were deliberately vague — scary enough to influence state officials, but in most if not all cases stopping short of explicitly making that threat. A better piece of evidence, I think, is that in 16 years of state medical marijuana laws, no federal prosecutor has ever tried to actually invalidate such a law in court, not even after the Raich ruling. Why not? They must not think they have a slam dunk case. And if preemption is not a slam dunk for medical marijuana, then it’s not a slam dunk when it comes to legalization either, although there are additional arguments to throw against full legalization.

    The reality is that no one knows how this will turn out if it goes to court. Raich established that federal police agencies can use their powers in medical marijuana states to continue to criminalize marijuana federally, justified by the Interstate Commerce Clause. But that is not the same as having the power to forbid states from granting exceptions to the states’ own anti-marijuana sales laws, which in legal terms is what the regulatory frameworks do, and plenty of smart lawyers are skeptical that they can do that. This is not a slam dunk either way.

    CONTINUE READING HERE….

    Why Are We Testing Newborns for Pot?


    The science is alarmingly inconclusive, but the punishment for mothers is severe.

    November 23, 2012  |  

    Employees at US hospitals are testing more and more newborns for cannabis exposure. And, with alarming frequency, they are getting the wrong results. So say a pair of recent studies documenting the unreliability of infant drug testing.

     

     

    In the most recent trial, published in the September edition of the Journal of Clinical Chemistry , investigators at the University of Utah School of Medicine evaluated the rate of unconfirmed "positive" immunoassay test results in infant and non-infant urine samples over a 52-week period. Shockingly, authors found that positive tests for carboxy THC, a byproduct of THC screened for in immunoassay urine tests, were 59 times less likely to be confirmed in infant urine specimens as compared to non-infant urine samples. Overall, 47 percent of the infant positive immunoassay urine samples evaluated did not test for the presence of carboxy THC when confirmatory assay measures were later performed.
    Immunoassay testing – the standard technology used in workplace drug testing – relies on the use of antibodies (proteins that will react to a particular substance or a group of very similar substances) to document whether a specific reaction occurs. Therefore, a positive result on an immunoassay test presumes that a certain quantity of a particular substance may be present in the sample, but it does not actually identify the presence of the substance itself. A more specific chemical test, known as chromatography, must be performed in order to confirm any preliminary analytical test results. Samples that test positive on the presumptive immunoassay test, but then later test negative on the confirmatory test are known as false positives.
    False positive test results for cannabis’ carboxy THC metabolite are relatively uncommon in adult specimens. Among newborns’ specimens, however, false positive results for alleged cannabis exposure are disturbingly prevalent.
    In April, researchers at the University of North Carolina reported in the journal Clinical Biochemistry that various chemicals present in various baby wash products, such as Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash and CVS Baby Wash, frequently cross-react with the immunoassay test to cause false positive results for carboxy THC.

    “[The] addition of Head-to-Toe Baby Wash to drug-free urine produced a dose dependent measureable response in the THC immunoassay,” the investigators concluded . “Addition of other commercially available baby soaps gave similar results, and subsequent testing identified specific chemical surfactants that reacted with the THC immunoassay. … Given these consequences, it is important for laboratories and providers to be aware of this potential source for false positive screening results and to consider confirmation before initiating interventions.”

    Following the publication of the UNC study, researchers at the University of Utah screened for the presence of baby soap contaminants in infant urine. Surprisingly, they didn’t find any . Rather, they concluded that the disproportionately high rate of false positive test results discovered among their samples were the result of a cross-reaction with some other yet-to-be determined constituent. They cautioned: “Until the compounds contributing to positive urine screen results in infants are identified, we encourage the use of alternative specimens for the detection and investigation of neonatal exposure to cannabinoids. Screen-positive cannabinoid results from infant samples should not be reported without confirmation or appropriate consultation, because they cannot currently be interpreted.”
    Yet despite these warnings, in many instances, hospitals fail to confirm the results of presumptive drug tests prior to reporting them to state authorities. (Because confirmatory testing is more expensive the immunoassay testing, many hospitals neglect to send such presumptive positive urine samples to outside labs for follow-up analysis.) Ironically, such confirmatory tests are required for all hospital employees who test positive for illicit substances. But presently, no such guidelines stipulate that similar precautions be taken for newborns or pregnant mothers. Explains Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women : “NAPW has had calls from numerous parents who were subjected to intrusive, threatening, and counterproductive child welfare interventions based on false or innocent positive test results for marijuana. We have learned that pregnant patients receive fewer guarantees of accuracy than do job applicants at that same hospital.” 

    Regardless of whether or not the drug screen results are confirmed, the sanctions for those subjects who test positive are often swift and severe. Typically, any report of alleged infant exposure to cannabis will trigger a host of serious consequences ranging from the involvement of social services to accusations of child endangerment or neglect. In some instances, mothers whose infants test positive for carboxy THC will lose temporary child custody rights and be mandated to attend a drug treatment program. In other instances they may be civilly prosecuted. At least 18 states address the issue of pregnant women’s drug use in their civil child neglect laws; in 12 states prenatal exposure to any illegal drug is defined by statute as civil child abuse. (One state, South Carolina, authorizes the criminal prosecution of mothers who are alleged to have consumed cannabis, or any other illicit substance, during pregnancy and carry their baby to term.) 
    Of further concern is the reality that the hospital staff’s decision to drug test infants or pregnant mothers appears to be largely a subjective one. There are no national standards delineating specific criteria for the drug testing of pregnant women, new mothers, or their infants. In fact, the only federal government panel ever convened to advise on the practice urged against its adoption. As a result, race and class largely influence who is tested and who isn’t. A study published in the  Journal of Women’s Health reported that "black women and their newborns were 1.5 times more likely to be tested for illicit drugs as non-black women," after controlling for obstetrical conditions and socio-demographic factors, such as single marital status or a lack of health insurance. A separate study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported similar rates of illicit drug consumption during pregnancy among both black and white women, but found that “black women were reported [to health authorities] at approximately 10 times the rate for white women.”
    How many mothers have been accused of child neglect or abuse because of false positive drug test results? Nobody knows for sure. But no doubt some mothers have been penalized solely as a result of the test’s inherent fallibility – and many more are likely to face similar sanctions in the future. That’s because the practice of drug testing infants for cannabis exposure remains a relatively popular even though there exists limited, if any, evidence to justify it.
    “No child-health expert would characterize recreational drug use during pregnancy as a good idea,” writes Time.com columnist Maia Szalavitz. “But it’s not at all clear that the benefits, if any, of newborn marijuana screening – particularly given how selectively the tests are administered – justify the potential harm it can cause to families.”
    Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform agrees, telling Time.com that the emotional damage caused by removing an infant child from their mothers, as well as the risk of abuse inherent to foster care, far outweigh any risks to the child that may be caused by maternal marijuana use during pregnancy. 
    In fact, the potential health effects of maternal marijuana use on infant birth weight and early development have been subject to scientific scrutiny for several decades. One of the earliest and most often cited studies on the topic comes from Dr. Melanie Dreher and colleagues, who assessed neonatal outcomes in Jamaica, where it is customary for many women to ingest cannabis, often in tea, during pregnancy to combat symptoms of morning sickness. Writing in the journal  Pediatrics in 1994, Dreher and colleagues reported no significant physical or psychological differences in newborns of heavy marijuana-using mothers at three days old, and found that exposed children performed better on a variety of physiological and autonomic tests than non-exposed children at 30 days. (This latter trend was suggested to have been a result of the socio-economic status of the mothers rather than a result of pre-natal pot exposure.)
    Separate population studies have reported similar results. A 2002 survey of 12,060 British women reported, “[C]annabis use during pregnancy was unrelated to risk of perinatal death or need for special care.” Researchers added that “frequent or regular use” of cannabis throughout pregnancy may be associated with “small but statistically detectable decrements in birthweight.” However, the association between cannabis use and birthweight failed to be statistically significant after investigators adjusted for confounding factors such as the mothers’ age, pre-pregnancy weight, and the self-reported use of tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, and other illicit drugs.”

    THIS STORY CONTINUES THRU THIS LINK….PLEASE CONTINUE READING

    Mexico Marijuana Legalization Bill Introduced By Lawmaker


    Reuters  |  Posted: 11/15/2012

    Marijuana Legazliation Mexico

    In this Oct. 25, 2012 photo, soldiers stand in a marijuana plantation found during a reconnaissance mission before burning the plants near the town of Lombardia in Michoacan state, Mexico. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

     

    By Noe Torres

    MEXICO CITY, Nov 15 (Reuters) – A leftist Mexican lawmaker on Thursday presented a bill to legalize the production, sale and use of marijuana, adding to a growing chorus of Latin American politicians who are rejecting the prohibitionist policies of the United States.

    The bill is unlikely to win much support in Congress since a strong majority of Mexicans are firmly against legalizing drugs, but may spur a broader debate in Mexico after two U.S. states voted to allow recreational use of marijuana last week. U.S. officials have said it remains illegal and that they are reviewing the state actions.
    The split between local and federal governments in the United States is feeding a growing challenge in Latin America to the four-decade-old policies that Washington promoted, and often bankrolled, to disrupt illegal drug cultivation and smuggling.
    "The prohibitionist paradigm is a complete failure," said Fernando Belaunzaran, the author of the bill from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), who presented the proposal in Mexico’s lower house of Congress.
    "All this has done is spur more violence, the business continues. The country that has paid the highest costs is Mexico," he said in a telephone interview.
    A conflict between drug gangs and security forces has killed more than 60,000 people during the six-year rule of outgoing President Felipe Calderon, who has repeatedly demanded the United States to do more to curb demand for illegal drugs.
    Frustration with U.S. policy deepened after voters in Washington state and Colorado approved the recreational use of marijuana.
    Still, there is little popular support for marijuana legalization in Mexico. Recent polls show two-thirds or more of Mexicans are opposed to making it legal. Several other bills to legalize the drug have been rejected in recent years.
    Mexican leftists form the second biggest bloc in the lower house, behind the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) that won the presidency in an election in July. The leftist coalition has more seats than Calderon’s conservatives.
    "It is important to open the debate, but I do not think this will advance," said political analyst Fernando Dworak. "In reality, it is just not part of the legislative agenda."
    Across Latin America, there is a growing view that Washington’s "war on drugs" is not working.
    Uruguay’s government submitted a legalization bill to Congress this week that would put the state in charge of marijuana cultivation and distribution, while also allowing for individuals to grow plants at home.
    In September, Calderon and the leaders of Colombia and Guatemala – historically three of the most reliable U.S. partners on drug interdiction – called on world governments to explore new alternatives to the problem.
    The chief advisor of incoming President Enrique Pena Nieto, Luis Videgaray, said last week that the votes in Washington and Colorado mean Mexico must rethink its approach to the trade, though he said Pena Nieto was opposed to legalization of drugs.
    Last week, the governor of Chihuahua, one of the Mexican states worst hit by drugs violence, told Reuters Mexico should legalize export of marijuana. The governor, Cesar Duarte, is an ally of Pena Nieto, who takes office on Dec. 1. (Additional reporting by Michael O’Boyle; Editing by Jackie Frank)

    CONTINUE READING…