Cannabinophobia: The Timing Makes You Wonder


Photo: Loopy Lettuce

​​By Jack Rikess

Toke of the Town

Northern California Correspondent

Schedule I: A category of drugs not considered legitimate for medical use. Included are heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and marijuana.
April 14th 1937
Whose bright idea was it to tax it? Is the option still open?

Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
The Act levied a tax equaling roughly one dollar on anyone who dealt commercially in cannabis, hemp, or marijuana. The Act did not itself criminalize the possession or usage of hemp, marijuana, or cannabis. It did include penalty and enforcement provisions to which marijuana, cannabis, or hemp handlers were subject. Violation of these procedures could result in a fine of up to $2,000 and five years’ imprisonment.

Graphic: The California Pot Blog

November 5, 1996

State’s Rights, the People voted, Anyone? Bueller?

Proposition 215 (or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996) is a California law concerning the use of medical cannabis. It was enacted, by means of the initiative process, and passed with 55.6% of votes in favor.
February 2009

Message Delivered

President Barack Obama delivered a message on medical marijuana in February 2009. It couldn’t have been clearer and simpler: The federal government was getting out of the business of busting medical marijuana patients and providers who were following state laws in California and other states where voters had approved medicinal application of the plant.
March 30th, 2011

This is your mind not on drugs

National Cancer Institute scrubs “anti-tumoral effect” of cannabinoids after stating for about five minutes that cannabis did have some medical value in the General Information section. The wording was revised to make clearer that cannabis is not approved by the FDA for any medical use.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Do Walgreen’s and CVS have this problem?

San Jose limits the number of medical marijuana dispensaries from more than 100 to roughly 10.

Graphic: Reality Catcher

Thursday April 14

But the people voted!

Washington’s top federal prosecutors have threatened to crack down if the state goes forward with a proposal to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries and growers, putting in jeopardy a bill that has already passed both chambers of the Legislature. Governor Christine Gregoire vetoes most of the bill, citing fears of state employees being federally prosecuted.
April 20, 2011

WTF!!! We can’t but they can…And they did it on our holiday…bastards!

US Patent Granted for Sativex in Cancer Pain

GW Pharmaceuticals announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for a patent which protects the use of Sativex® as a treatment for cancer pain.
The patent, entitled “Pharmaceutical Compositions for the Treatment of Pain”, provides an exclusivity period until April 2025. The patent specifically covers a method of treating cancer related pain by administering a combination of the cannabinoids cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the two principal cannabinoids in Sativex®. In addition to this newly granted patent, Sativex® is protected by a number of other patents related to different aspects of the product.
Photo: TPM
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) gets lots of Big Pharma dollars. He gives them their money’s worth.
Early in Sativex’s development, GW hired Dr. Andrea Barthwell as a consultant to sing the drug’s praises. Here’s the crazy part of the woman who has assisted in getting Sativex approved in the States. Barthwell was a deputy drug czar under George W. Bush and is the former president of the American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM). In a recent ASAM press release, Barthwell denounces medical marijuana because…wait for it… because it was unregulated by the federal government.
And there’s more…
Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Congress’s top recipient of campaign funds from the pharmaceutical industry, has (what a surp
rise!) come out against state medical marijuana laws, despite being an advocate of states’ rights on issues like allowing offshore drilling.
It’s easy to see why medical marijuana activists bemoaned the double-punch of people like Barthwell and Burr who represent the pharmaceutical industry’s goal for medical marijuana: demonize it, prosecute it, shut it down, then work with Big Pharma to get their piece of the pie. How it works…

Photo: ANU News
Sure, it cost them plenty, but Big Pharma bought Congress.

​So how do pharmaceutical companies get into the Pot Biz while legitimate medical marijuana dispensaries are being closed and under harassment? 
The answer: Money.
The pharmaceutical industry is far and away the biggest spender on federal lobbying. Between 1998 and 2010, Big Pharma spent more than $2 billion sending lobbyists to the capital to fight for industry-friendly legislation and regulations. This is more than half a billion greater than the amount spent in the same period by pharmaceuticals’ closest competitor, the insurance industry, and nearly twice what oil and gas companies spent. 
April 27, 2011

It’s almost like the Feds are working with Big Pharma…
Colorado medical-marijuana bill draws U.S. attorney’s warning
The U.S. attorney for Colorado warned state lawmakers that pending legislation adjusting rules for medical marijuana would conflict with federal law and could lead to federal prosecutions.
U.S. Attorney John Walsh’s letter was sent to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers in response to his request for clarification on how federal treatment of medical marijuana use may conflict with pending legislation now under consideration in House Bill 1043.
Just The Facts:

16 states have medical marijuana.
1,000 people a year die from aspirin.

Photo: Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town correspondent Jack Rikess blogs from the Haight in San Francisco.

Jack Rikess, a former stand-up comic, writes a regular column most directly found at

Jack delivers real-time coverage following the cannabis community, focusing on politics and culture.

His beat includes San Francisco, the Bay Area and Mendocino-Humboldt counties.

He has been quoted by the national media and is known for his unique view with thoughtful, insightful perspective.