Search Results: policy/ (35)

The Weed Blog

​The Czech Ministry of Health has said it will take marijuana off the list of banned substances and for the first time allow it to be prescribed as medicine by doctors.

“By the end of this year we will submit to Parliament an amended law on addictive substances which will move marihuana from the list of banned substances to the list of those which can be prescribed,” Deputy Health Minister Martin Plíšek said, reports Chris Johnstone at
The promised policy change comes after increasing evidence of marijuana’s beneficial effects for those suffering from cancer, Parkinson’s disease and other illnesses, CzechPosition reports. More and more Czechs are growing cannabis and resorting to home remedies due to the existing ban on its prescription, according to the site.

Graphic: The Weed Blog

United States Conference of Mayors Unanimously Passes Resolution Calling the War On Drugs a Failed Policy Driving Over-Incarceration and Racial Disparities

“The war on drugs — declared 40 years ago this weekend — has been the principal driver of mass incarceration in America,” said U.S. mayors in a resolution adopted on Monday at the United States Conference of Mayors’ annual meeting in Baltimore.
The mayors pointed out that the U.S. has by far the highest incarceration rate in the the world, with 2.4 million of its residents in prison or jail, including about 500,000 Americans behind bars for drug law violations — an increase of 1,200 percent since 1980.
In their resolution, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) officially endorsed pending bipartisan federal legislation, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2011, sponsored by Virginia Senator Jim Webb and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.

Graphic: Four Twenty Studios

​​​Welcome to Room 420, where your instructor is Mr. Ron Marczyk and your subjects are wellness, disease prevention, self actualization, and chillin’.

Worth Repeating
By Ron Marczyk, R.N.
Health Education Teacher (Retired)

An Israeli study finds that the cannabinoids in cannabis provide relief from anxiety due to stress. This study suggests that a treatment to heal a hyper-alert “fear memory” in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients may exist.

Medical cannabis may also enhance PTSD behavior therapy treatments as an anti-anxiety agent that resets a damaged amygdala and may act as a superior psychiatric medicine to present-day antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs.

Graphic: New York Medical Marijuana Society
The National Institute on Drug Abuse: “Our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use. We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana”

​Nearly two years ago, the Obama Administration issued its heralded “Scientific Integrity” memorandum which said “Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration.”

Coming, as pointed out by NORML’s Paul Armentano at AlterNet, just months after the American Medical Association called for “facilitating … clinical research and [the]development of cannabinoid-based medicines,” the memorandum stoked the hopes of pot activists who want to see the commencement of long-overdue human studies into the safety and effectiveness of medical cannabis.
But that was before cold gray reality, also known as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), weighed in. NIDA, which oversees 85 percent of the world’s research on controlled substances, reaffirmed its longstanding policy of “no medical marijuana” to The New York Times
“As the National Institute on Drug Abuse, our focus is primarily on the negative consequencs of marijuana use,” a spokesperson told the Times in 2010. “We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.”

Photo: Philly NORML
Neill Franklin, LEAP: “The President needs to put his money where his mouth is”

​Another budget, another year of a drug control budget disparity that prioritizes punishment over actually treating drugs as a public health issue. Will President Obama’s rhetoric ever be made into brass tacks budget reality?

A group of police officers, judges and prosecutors who have waged the so-called War On Drugs is criticizing Obama because his federal drug control budget, released Monday, doesn’t match his rhetoric on treating drug abuse as a health problem.
Obama’s federal drug control budget maintains a Bush-era disparity, devoting almost twice as much money to punishment as it does for treatment and prevention. This is despite the President saying, less than three weeks ago, “We have to think more about drugs as a public health problem,” which requires “shifting resources.”

Photo: Huffington Post
Michele Leonhart, just confirmed by the Senate as administrator of the DEA, is a Bush-era drug warrior who has overseen raids of legal medical marijuana dispensaries

​The U.S. Senate has unanimously confirmed Michele Leonhart, a Bush-era holdover who has overseen dozens of federal raids on medical marijuana providers and producers, to head the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

“Ms. Leonhart’s actions and ambitions are incompatible with state law, public opinion, and with the policies of this administration,” said Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). “It is unlikely that we will see any serious change in the DEA’s direction under Ms. Leonhart’s leadership.”

Leonhart had served as interim director of the agency since November 2007. President Barack Obama nominated Leonhart in February 2010 to serve as the agency’s permanent director, NORML reports.
Numerous drug policy reform groups, including NORML, Marijuana Policy Project, the Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and others had opposed Leonhart’s confirmation, arguing that her actions as interim DEA administrator violated the Obama Administration’s pledge to allow science, rather than politics, rhetoric and ideology, to guide public policy.

Photo: Freedom To Exhale

If confirmed as administrator, we would continue to enforce the federal drug laws.

~ Michelle Leonhart, November 17, 2010

It’s not looking good for marijuana advocates after day one of the Senate confirmation process for Michelle Leonhart, President Obama’s nominee to head the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Acting DEA director Leonhart is nominated to officially fill the position she’s already held for three years, and after being prodded by reactionary Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, she had no compunctions about pledging to continue to enforce federal drug laws in states where medical marijuana is legal.
Such a pledge is remarkable in view of the fact that just last year, the Justice Department issued a memo instructing federal attorneys to back off on enforcement against medical marijuana patients and providers who are following their state laws.

Graphic: The Tulane Hullabaloo

​Marijuana legalization went down in flames at the polls in California on Tuesday, and local experts in Louisiana say it’s very unlikely to happen there anytime soon, either.

“The chance of [marijuana law]changing here is extraordinarily remote,” said Robert Hogan, a political science professor at Louisiana State University. “The political system here does not lend itself to things like that.”
Hogan said Louisiana’s laws are unlikely to change because voters in Louisiana do not have the right to put an initiative like Proposition 19 on the ballot, reports Frederick Holl at The Daily Reveille.

Photo: follow the money
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos: “Tell me if there is a way to explain to a Colombian peasant that if he produces marijuana we are going to put him in jail… [while]the same product is legal [in California]”

​Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said that if Proposition 19 passes next week in California, legalizing marijuana in the state, it could force his country to rethink its drug policies.

“Tell me if there is a way to explain to a Colombian peasant that if he produces marijuana we are going to put him in jail… [while]the same product is legal [in California],” President Santos said, reports All Headline News. “That’s going to produce a comprehensive discussion on the approach we have taken on the fight against drug trafficking.”
Just a couple of months ago, Santos endorsed the call for a debate on drug legalization made by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, reports Juan Carlos Hidalgo at Cato @ Liberty. However, Santos also said he believes legalization would increase consumption of drugs, despite the fact that it hasn’t happened in countries with liberal drug policies such as Portugal.
Santos brought up the subject again on Tuesday at a Latin American presidential summit in Cartagena, Colombia. “If we don’t act in a consistent way on this issue, if all we are doing is to send our fellow citizens to jail while in other latitudes the market is being legalized, then we have to ask ourselves: Isn’t it time to review the global strategy against drugs?” he asked.

Graphic: Veterans Today
In a historic decision, the V.A. has announced veterans will no longer be endangering their pain prescriptions by using medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

​In a historic decision, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will now formally allow patients treated at its hospitals and clinics to use medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

It’s a day to remember, according to Steve Fox, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project. “We now have a branch of the federal government accepting marijuana as a legal medicine,” Fox said.
The policy clarification has been sought by veterans and advocates for years, reports Dan Frosch at The New York Times.
A department directive, expected to take effect next week, resolves the conflict in V.A. hospitals between federal law, which outlaws marijuana for any purpose, and medical marijuana laws in the 14 states that allow medicinal use of cannabis.
Like the decision by Obama’s Justice Department to back off on marijuana dispensary raids in states that have legalized medical pot, the new V.A. policy essentially means the federal government is deferring to state medical marijuana laws.