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Photo: The Information Underground
Gil Kerlikowske supports the failed prohibitionist policies which have made marijuana easily available to teens, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.

MPP Calls On Drug Czar to Support Regulating Marijuana In Order to Take It Out of the Hands of Drug Dealers Who Sell to Young People

Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske on Thursday decried recent data showing that American teens are using marijuana at younger ages and in greater numbers.

In response, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), a cannabis policy reform organization, called on Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), to abandon the failed policies of marijuana prohibition and instead embrace the regulation of cannabis, accompanied by science-based education campaigns, as the only sensible way to reduce teen pot use.
“After decades of the same ineffective approach, it’s more clear than ever that our government’s current policies have failed to reduce marijuana’s use or availability among young people and that a change is needed,” said Steve Fox, director of government relations for MPP.

Photo: NORML Stash Blog
Your tax dollars were used to pay for this dumb-ass billboard just outside of Portland, Oregon.

​The widespread belief that marijuana users will eventually and inevitably move on to harder drugs has yet more evidence against it with the release of a new study from the University of New Hampshire.

Whether teenagers who smoked pot will use other illegal drugs as young adults has a lot more to do with factors such as employment status and stress, according to the new research, reports Science News. In fact, the strongest predictor of whether someone will use hard drugs is their race/ethnicity, not whether they ever used marijuana.
“In light of these findings, we urge U.S. drug control policymakers to consider stress and life-course approaches in their pursuit of solutions to the ‘drug problem,’ ” wrote UNH associate professors of sociology Karen Van Gundy and Cesar Rebellon.

Graphic: Cannabis Culture

​A group of medical marijuana patients Thursday held a press conference in Boston to ask lawmakers to support legalizing medical marijuana in Massachusetts.

The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health is currently considering a bill that would make Massachusetts the 15th state in the U.S. to give seriously ill patients safe and legal access to medical cannabis.
Patients called for the bill to receive a committee vote before a deadline on March 18, after which passage out of committee becomes much more difficult.
“Watching my 29-year-old son struggle with the side effects of brutal chemotherapy treatments was heart wrenching,” said Lorraine Kerz of Greenfield, Mass., who said her son benefited from medical marijuana.

Graphic: ABC News

​A group of medical marijuana patients and advocates will hold a press conference Thursday to ask Massachusetts lawmakers to support medical marijuana.

The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health is currently considering a bill that would make Massachusetts the 15th state in the nation to give seriously ill patients safe and legal access to medical marijuana.
Last September, Suffolk University released poll results showing that 81 percent of Massachusetts residents support allowing “seriously ill patients to use, grow, and purchase marijuana for medical purposes if they have the approval of their physicians.”

Graphic: Cannabis Culture
The Massachusetts Bar Association — and a huge majority of state residents — favor medical marijuana.

​The Massachusetts Bar Association’s (MBA) House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly last month to support House Bill 2160, a bipartisan medical marijuana bill introduced in the State House earlier this year.

The bill would “regulate the use of marijuana by patients approved by physicians and certified by the department of public health.”
“The MBA supports this legislation because it affirms the rights of patients to be treated with medical marijuana — a drug with proven efficacy — while including important regulations to deter improper use,” said former MBA president David White, who introduced the measure.
“Provisions like state-issued ID cards for patients, state certification of a limited number of dispensaries, and rules governing secure growing sites ensure that only patients who have their doctor’s recommendation can obtain medical marijuana.”
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.

​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.”