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Florida Medical Association Backward on Marijuana

medical marijuanaThe Florida Medical Association came out against Amendment 2 (Florida’s upcoming medical marijuana ballot measure).

Following the standard talking points of the opposition, physician Alan Pillersdorf, association president, said in a statement. “We believe the unintended consequences of Amendment 2 are serious and numerous enough for us to believe they constitute a public health risk for Floridians.”

Unintended consequences? Besides being a BS phrase meant to scare people, this phrase really has no bearing on anything. We have seen successful rollouts of medical marijuana in dozens of states. Washington state and Colorado have legalized recreational marijuana. What have the unintended consequences been?

The unintended consequences of medical, or even recreational marijuana legalization are all positive.

I am sure someone down there is thinking “what about the children?”. So I have to tell you this: I grew up in Florida. I graduated High School in Florida. Marijuana is far easier for a teenager in Florida to get then alcohol is. Maybe if we started requiring the people selling it to ID people it would be better for the children… but that would require legalization and regulation…

medical cannabisBut seriously Florida folk. There is a lot of marijuana in your state. It is currently being grown, harvested, prepped, transported, bought and sold in an underground economy that does not help the state one bit, nor does it required that sellers check ID’s and only sell to adults. Any effort to take any part of the marijuana market away from the underground market and it put it into the legitimate, regulated, taxed market is a positive move.

In the statement criticizing Amendment 2 and medical marijuana, The Florida Medical Association urged its membership not to prescribe medical marijuana if the amendment passes until products are approved by the FDA. (Despite the fact that marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and therefore the FDA will likely not be approving anything until that changes). This move comes as no surprise from the type of people who accept kickbacks from big pharma. Of course they don’t want something that can be grown in your backyard to replace the expensive pharmaceuticals. Not after Florida Doctors received over $200 million in payments from Pharmaceutical companies (2nd only in the US to payments made to California Doctors)

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Cannabis in The USA: a Brief History of American Marijuana

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Cannabis in the USA – Some Notable Facts

Many people wrongly believe that Cannabis (or marijuana) was never used in the United States of America by acceptable society. The truth is that Americans of all walks of life enjoyed the benefits of Cannabis.

In 1619 the first law regulating Cannabis in the American colonies was passed. The Law Required All farmers to grow Cannabis.

From 1842 to 1900 Cannabis made up half of ALL medicine sold in the USA.

In the 1890s, many popular American marriage guides recommend cannabis as an aphrodisiac.

1850 to 1942 – marijuana was listed by the United States as a useful medicine for nausea, rheumatism, and labor pains and was easily obtained at the local general store

a number of women’s temperance organizations suggested “hashish” as a substitute for “demon” alcohol during alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s

Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. – DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young – 1988

We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption.

– US President John Adams

I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marihuana.”

– US President Jimmy Carter

When I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point.

– US President Barack Obama


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Bill O’Reilly Fans Support Marijuana Legalization

bill-oreilly-pollMarijuana legalization is often promoted as being a “liberal” issue. After a recent rant against marijuana legalization by conservative talk show host Bill O’reilly, his staff decided to add a marijuana legalization question to the daily poll on his website.

The poll asks the question: “There is momentum behind the move to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Where do you stand?”. The options to answer are:

  • It should be legal, like alcohol
  • Dangerous idea with many unintended consequences

To many peoples surprise, a whopping 89% of the 70,311 respondents supported legalization. Although the poll does state, “These polls are not scientific.” The response mimics results of more scientific polls from Gallup, CNN and others.

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gallup-pollThe surprise with O’reilly’s poll was that his audience is conservative… and they supposedly do not support legalization. Even Gallup’s Poll, that showed 58% of Americans supported marijuana legalization, showed that only 35% of Republicans supported marijuana legalization. I never understood this rationale. A “conservative”, in my opinion, should believe in limiting governments interference in our personal lives, therfore Marijuana Prohibition is the exact opposite of the conservative ideology.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. There was a time in this country when it was believed that the pursuit of Happiness, even chemically, was considered a right the government could not take away.

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Feds may Legalize some Strains of Marijuana

herojuana-4A bill introduced Monday in the U.S. House of Representatives would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exempt plants with an extremely low amount of THC.

Stepping Stone

Many will consider this bill, if passed, a small victory, or a stepping stone. For the people suffering from seizures It will be a blessing.  (see CNN’s article about Haleigh Cox for a heart wrenching story of the power of this medicine, and the horrors that prohibition cause).

Not Enough

Others will see this bill as not enough. Maybe a government attempt to slow the rising tide of legalization by legalizing the strains that will not get you high. They do have a point.  Besides getting you high, THC has been proven successful in treating cancer in many studies… We’ll list a few:

A study published in the British Journal of Cancerconducted by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Complutense University in Madrid determined that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other cannabinoids inhibit tumour growth.

 A study published in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics determined that THC as well as cannabidiol dramatically reduced breast cancer cell growth.

 A study published in the Journal Molecular Cancer showed that THC reduced tumour growth and tumour numbers. They determined that cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell proliferation, induce cancer cell apoptosis and impair tumour angiogenesis

A study published in the journal Oncogeneby Harvard Medical Schools Experimental Medicine Department determined that THC inhibits epithelial growth factor induced lung cancer cell migration and more.

Other Implications

medical cannabisWhat surprises me the most about this bill, is that it would amend the Controlled Substances Act to allow for medical use of some strains of Marijuana.

Currently, Marijuana is listed as a schedule 1 narcotic. Schedule 1 narcotics are defined as:

  • The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
  • The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
  • There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

Amending the Controlled Substances Act to exempt plants with low THC is a rather ridicules approach. It would seem more logical to just move marijuana to Schedule 2. Schedule 2 is defined as:

  • The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
  • The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.
  • Abuse of the drug or other substances may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

It certainly sounds to me like amending the act to allow for medical use of some strains of marijuana is equivalent to admitting that marijuana has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

After all, how bad would simply moving it to schedule 2 be? After all, Opium and Cocaine and Methadone are all schedule 2 narcotics. (and they are allowed to be used medicinally with a Doctors prescription… usually under different names).

Or, we could just call it schedule 3. Schedule 3 is defined as:

  • The drug or other substance has a potential for abuse less than the drugs or other substances in schedules I and II.
  • The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
  • Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.

Other examples of schedule 3 narcotics are Amphetamines, Barbiturate, and LSD. (all of which can legally prescribed by a Doctor.)

legalize marijuanaDoes it take an act of Congress to move marijuana to a different schedule? According to subchapter ! Part B 811 of the Controlled Substances Act: …The Attorney General may by rule add to such a schedule or transfer between such schedules any drug or other substance.

So maybe The U.S. House of Representatives should stop wasting money drafting amendments to the bill, and just send a Paige to run over to the Attorney Generals office and wake him up. Then maybe he will do his job, and transfer marijuana to a more appropriate schedule. Moving marijuana down the list to a schedule 2 or 3 narcotic would allow for the medical use of marijuana nationwide, yet still allow for the recreational use to be criminalized. And since it seems the people who are representing us seem to think it is their duty to tell us what we can do for fun, a simple schedule changes would seem like the perfect solution. (and since the Attorney General is appointed, no one would have to answer for it at the polls…) There was a time in this country where it was believed that our constitution guaranteed us the right to the pursuit of happiness, chemical or otherwise.

For more information on our nations Controlled Substances Act, feel free to read the whole thing here.


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3 Marijuana Myths Exposed

marijuana-pipeAs marijuana users, we understand that most of what people say about marijuana is BS propaganda. There are a few myths that are so ridicules that I am surprised anyone still try’s to push them, but they do… so here are my top 3 marijuana myths exposed. Click through for each myth

Legalizing Marijuana will make it Easier for Kids to Get It

We have all heard the claim. “If you make marijuana legal, it will make it easier for kids to get it”. I was a teenager in the early 1990’s, and I will admit that I experimented with marijuana in High School. One of the reasons I tried marijuana when I was a teenager was because of its ease of procurement. If I wanted to get drunk, I had to try and find someone with an older sibling that would buy it for us. But the corner weed dealer never checked ID. Making marijuana legal will add the barrier of a seller who checks ID’s to the equation and make getting marijuana as difficult for a minor as getting booze is.

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Florida Medical Marijuana: What You Need To Know

medical-marijuanaMedical Marijuana in Florida

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill earlier this year to allow for very limited medical marijuana use in very limited cases. The bill only allowed for a strain of marijuana called “Charlottes Web” which has very low amounts of THC. The reason for this is because of the medical value of the other chemicals in the plant. Yet with so many proven accounts of THC’s medical benefits why did Gov. Scott not allow them?

THC is also the part of marijuana that gets you “high”.  Despite the many proven medical uses for THC, Gov. Scott decided the government knows better then the people who hired them, and therefore he put forth his big government agenda to try to neuter any upcoming medical marijuana legislation by passing his own overly restrictive version of medical marijuana reform.

Amendment 2: Florida’s’ Real Medical Marijuana Reform

gods-gift-8On November 4th, Florida voters get to decide on Amendment 2 to legalize real medical marijuana use. However, Amendment 2 will not make medical marijuana instantly available around the state. Instead, it will give regulators until July of 2015 to come up with regulations to make the medical marijuana system in the state work. The department then has until October to license the first Medical Treatment Centers. Before then, no one will be allowed to start growing, or selling medical marijuana in Florida.

Amendment 2 specifically states that driving a car or boat under the influence of marijuana would remain illegal. Marijuana could still be banned from workplaces, schools and public spaces. It is also written into the amendment that no insurance company or government agency can be forced to cover the cost of medical marijuana. However many details are left to the regulators including accepting out of state medical marijuana prescriptions, and what the proper age to purchase medical marijuana will be. The amendment does require the regulations to be reasonable, and that the regulations will ensure the availability, and safe use of the medical marijuana.

Amendment 2 also provides for new civil immunities for marijuana users protecting patients from losing custody fights or employment actions simply because they use medical marijuana.

If you live in Florida get out there and vote this November!

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German Marijuana Patients Can Grow Their Own… Approved on a Case to Case Basis


German Marijuana Regulation Eases on Cultivation

Although medical marijuana has been legal in Germany since 2008, German Marijuana patients have not been allowed to grow it themselves. Instead, medical marijuana patients in Germany had to rely on a heavily restricted program distributed by prescription in pharmacies.

Unhappy with the costs of the medical marijuana, which is not covered by health insurance, five patients with chronic pain  filed suits to gain permission from Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices to grow their own medical marijuana. Each plaintiff already had a permit to use medical marijuana.

The administrative court in the western city of Cologne said that some patients with medical marijuana permits would be allowed to grow their own, but each case would be individually reviewed adding that a key condition was that “access by third parties to the plants and products must be sufficiently restricted”.

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Is Oregon Next to Legalize Recreational Marijuana?

20120928-yay-oregon-greenColorado and Washington have already successfully legalized recreational marijuana use in their states. Now, along with Alaska, Oregon will be allowing voters to decide if recreational marijuana use is right for their states this November.

Dominique Lopez, metro regional organizer for New Approach Oregon, said in a statement. “Treating marijuana use as a crime has failed, but together we can win a more sensible approach and better the lives of Oregonians.”

The New Approach Oregon campaign was successful in gaining enough signatures to qualify a measure to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and over, on the ballot. Officially called the Control, Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana and Hemp Act, The measure would allow for licensed manufacture and sale, of marijuana, as well as ensure the safe distribution of the drug by placing authority to oversee and regulate recreational sales under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Legal sales would begin in January 2016.

Lavender-marijuana-20According to the measure, recreational marijuana would be taxed at $1.50 a gram or $35 an ounce. That money would be used for schools, law enforcement, drug treatment programs and mental health programs.

The measure would allow a person to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana in their home, and one ounce on their person in public. It would also allow a person to grow up to four plants.

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4 Industries that are Against Medical Marijuana

Who is Against Medical Marijuana and Why?

dead-on-arrival-2When we see the ads on tv vilifying marijuana legalization proposals, we have to ask ourselves “what is their motive?” Marijuana has been legally used for thousands of years. It’s medicinal and industrial uses have been well known throughout time. It’s intoxicating effects were appreciated by all cultures in history. So why do some groups adamantly stand by prohibition laws that never should have been passed to begin with? (Marijuana was placed on the controlled substances act in 1970 under recommendation of the Attorney General who stated it should only be placed there until the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse study is completed. In 1972, the study was completed and it recommended the legalization of Marijuana. No government action was taken.


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Washington D.C. Marijuana Decriminalization: What You Need to Know

Marijuana Decriminalization in Washington D.C.

Marijuana Decriminalization

Possession of under an ounce of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense in the nations capitol. But just because it is not a criminal offense, doesn’t mean it is legal. Confused? Let’s try to clear things up.

Is marijuana legal or not?

Marijuana is still illegal in Washington D.C.. However, being caught with it will only result in the confiscation of the marijuana and a $25.00 fine as opposed to arrest. It is also no longer a crime to posses paraphernalia such as pipes, bongs or rolling papers.

Selling marijuana, as well as smoking it in public will still land you in prison, as will driving under the influence of marijuana.

Being under the influence of marijuana, as well as smelling like marijuana will no longer be considered reasonable suspicion of a crime.

In 2010, more than 54 percent of marijuana arrests in D.C. were sole possession charges.

Who’s Jurisdiction?

XXX-OG-27One issue likely to add to some of the confusion surrounding Washington D.C.’s marijuana decriminalization efforts is that many parts of the city are federal land and policed by federal police. Washington D.C.’s marijuana decriminalization does not change the rules for them. As USA Today points out this leaves some places in the city where people will be able to get a $25 ticket on a street, and go to jail for the same thing when they step up onto the sidewalk.

The Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department emphasized the jurisdiction issues with a statement on its website which reads in part:

Although the District of Columbia has decriminalized possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, federal law continues to prohibit the possession or use of any amount of marijuana. As a result, federal law enforcement officers may arrest anyone in the District of Columbia for possession or use of any amount of marijuana as a violation of federal law. For example, the U.S. Park Police can arrest a person for possessing or using any marijuana on the National Mall, Rock Creek Park, or any other National Park Service land.