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Photo Courtesy Eugene Davidovich
Marijuana hero Eugene Davidovich: In San Diego court today at 1:30 p.m.

​Medical marijuana patient, activist and provider Eugene Davidovich is scheduled to appear in court in San Diego today.

Davidovich is one of the victims of San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ war on cannabis patients and providers.
Eugene’s hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at 220 West Broadway, San Diego. If you’re in the San Diego area, in-person court support is much appreciated.
A military veteran with an honorable discharge, Davidovich started a legal marijuana collective in San Diego, carefully abiding by state law.
Eugene was arrested last February as part of Operation Green Rx (aka Operation Endless Summer). He told me that the chief investigative officer in his case testified on the stand that the officer based his expert testimony, as far as “medical marijuana training,” on a handout from something called the Narcotic Educational Foundation of America, “Drug Abuse Education Provider of the California Narcotic Officers’ Association.”
In this toxic little screed, with the title Use of Marijuana As A “Medicine” (the quotes are theirs), we learn right off the bat — in the first sentence! — that “Marijuana, a plant from the cannabis family, is illegal and highly psychoactive.” No mention of the fact that medical use of marijuana is legal, mind you — and this in materials used to educate law enforcement officers.

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Photo: thanasim25 (Arthur Mouratidis)
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter: At this rate, by next week he’ll be an expert on nuclear physics.

​Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter said he’s “concerned” about the number of medical marijuana cards issued in the state recently, and his office is crafting legislation to deal with the issue, reports Dan Boniface at 9news.

Voters in 2000 approved legalizing medicinal pot in Colorado. Since the Obama Administration announced it wouldn’t be going after patients and providers in states where medical marijuana is legal, the number of cards in Colorado has skyrocketed.
The governor, who seems eager to start practicing medicine, said he wants to “define the relationship” between doctors and patients to ensure marijuana cards “aren’t just given to people who spend 20 minutes with a doctor.”
One of the main points of the governor’s proposed regulations seems to be second guessing medical doctors. “I have a sense that the number of cards that we’ve been seeing would indicate to me that there may be some group of physicians that are not being careful about how they’re prescribing it and to whom they’re prescribing it,” a dazzlingly hubristic Ritter said.
We’re still awaiting input from physicians on how they feel Ritter should do his job.
More on the governor’s amazing newfound medical expertise as the story develops.

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cencalhhp.com

​A District of Columbia councilman Monday said he wants to move quickly to establish regulations for distributing medical marijuana now that Congress voted to lift an 11-year ban on medicinal pot in the nation’s capital.

D.C. voters approved legalizing medical marijuana with 69 percent of the vote in 1998, but drug warrior then-Congressman Bob Barr (R-Ga.), at the time an ardent drug warrior who since says he’s become a pro-legalization Libertarian, blocked implementation of the law with the infamous Barr Amendment.

Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray said the council will use Initiative 59, approved by the voters, to devise a policy that allows doctors to recommend marijuana to patients with serious illnesses, reports Tim Craig at the Washington Post.
“We’ve waited 10 years… There is no reason to sit on it,” Gray said.

Seniors living at the Laguna Woods Village retirement community, also known as “Leisure World,” didn’t have a medical marijuana dispensary — so they formed their own patient-run collective, as reported by Ellen Leyva at KABC.

The city of Laguna Woods, with a majority of older residents, was one of the first in Orange County, Calif., to pass an ordinance allowing medical pot dispensaries. But nobody’s opened a shop yet, so these folks took matters into their own hands.

“A group of patients got together and decided we’d try to grow our own and make it available for our neighbors who also have doctor recommendations, but are too ill to grow,” said Lonnie Painter, a resident and member of the Laguna Woods for Medical Cannabis Collective.

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photobucket.com
California’s 2010 election: Be there, or be square.

​Californians will get a chance to vote on legalizing marijuana next November.

The Tax & Regulate Cannabis 2010 ballot initiative has gathered the 650,000 signatures it needs to get the issue on the November 2010 ballot, according to Daniela Perdomo at AlterNet.
If passed, the initiative would legalize marijuana for all adults in California.
“This is the next step to sane cannabis policies and the end to the hypocrisy and unjust prohibition of cannabis,” sponsor Richard Lee told AlterNet.
One recent poll showed 54 percent support among Californians for legalization.
According to Lee, polls showing majority support for legalization and taxation of marijuana, along with the recession, mean that the initiative could be viewed as a watershed, and even a first step in changing federal marijuana laws.

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Iowa Dept. of Public Safety

​Iowa Board of Pharmacy regulators will decide Feb. 17 what they’ll recommend the legislature do about medical marijuana, the board announced today, according to Tony Leys at the Des Moines Register.

The board held a series of medical marijuana hearings around the state this fall.
Cannabis advocates say that Iowa should join the 13 other states which allow patients with serious diseases to use marijuana if recommended by their doctor.
The pharmacy board said it would hold a meeting from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 17 at the State Historical Building, 600 East Locust Street in Des Moines. A decision will be made at this meeting, according to the board.
If board leaders make a recommendation to legislators on Feb. 17 as planned, the lawmakers will have six weeks to act on the issue before their adjournment March 31.

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i.ehow.com

​Colorado should pay to defend medical marijuana growers and dispensaries in court if federal authorities arrest them in the future, a state senator said Sunday.

The provision was part of a plan unveiled yesterday by State Senator Chris Romer, reports Jessica Fender at The Denver Post.

Romer, a Denver Democrat, is proposing legislation to regulate the booming medical marijuana industry in Colorado. He wants to use a state database to track growers and their plants for health, safety, and law enforcement purposes, he told a crowd at a medical marijuana health fair.

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cannabis.net
Sativex, which contains cannabinoids THC and CBD, is effective in reducing cancer pain.

​Cancer patients who used a cannabis mouth spray had their level of pain reduced by 30 percent, a study has shown, according to BBC.

The cannabis based spray, administered like a breath freshener, was tried on 177 patients by researchers from Edinburgh University in Scotland.
Patients in the study had not been helped by morphine or other conventional medications.
The spray was developed so that it did not affect the mental state of the patients in the way that using cannabis would, BBC reports.
The researchers were quick to hedge on their findings, reported in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, saying that the study didn’t justify smoking marijuana “as this could increase the risk of cancer.”
They evidently had spent so much time conducting their own study, they didn’t read the available literature. Multiple studies have shown that cannabis in fact contains anti-cancer agents.

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Photo: NORML Foundation
From left, Ken Wolski, Jacki Rickert, and Jim Miller at October’s rally at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

​The Wisconsin Legislature will hold a public hearing Tuesday to debate SB 368, the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act, which would allow seriously ill patients to use cannabis without fear of arrest if their doctor recommends it.

The hearing will be at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 15, at the State Capitol, Room 412 East, Madison, Wis.

Qualifying patients with doctors’ notes could grow their own marijuana or obtain it from “compassion centers” around the state if the bill becomes law.
Wisconsin is working to become the 14th state to allow medical marijuana. Legislation is in the works in at least 14 other states, according to Mike Meno, assistant director of communications at the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).
The bill is the namesake of Jacki Rickert, a 58-year-old grandmother from Mondovi who has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and advanced reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and who founded medical marijuana advocacy organization Is My Medicine Legal Yet? (IMMLY) in 1992.

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LaughParty.com

​The federal government just released the latest ‘Monitoring The Future‘ survey of teen drug use, and as Bruce Mirken over at the Marijuana Policy Project wrote, “the results do not bode well for current policies.”

In the past 30 days, more high school seniors smoked marijuana (20.6 percent) than smoked tobacco (20.1 percent), according to the survey.
In 2009, marijuana use in the prior 12 months was reported by about 12 percent of the nation’s 8th graders, 27 percent of 10th graders, and 33 percent of 12th graders.
While teen marijuana use is slightly up, it’s in the same general range it’s been in for years; meanwhile, teen tobacco use continues to decline, and has dropped precipitously since 1990.
“Regulation of tobacco, combined with solid educational campaigns, has clearly cut youth access to cigarettes,” Mirken said, “It’s time for officials to take off their blinders and apply those same proven policies to marijuana.”
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