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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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theskunk.org
Congress respecting the will of the people? What’s next, democracy?

​Eleven years later, it’s about time: The U.S. Senate today passed historic legislation to end the decade long ban on implementation of the medical marijuana law Washington, D.C., voters passed with 69 percent of the vote in 1998.

“This marks the first time in history that Congress has changed a marijuana law for the better,” said Aaron Houston, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), based in D.C.
The “Barr Amendment,” a rider attached to appropriations for the District of Columbia, has forbidden D.C. from extending the legal protection of Initiative 59, the “Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative of 1998,” to qualified medical marijuana patients.
The amendment has long been derided as an unconscionable intrusion by the federal government into the District’s affairs, according to MPP.

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Cannabis Therapy Institute

​The Cannabis Holiday Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Boulder today will be the largest gathering of medical cannabis businesses ever held in Colorado, according to organizers, and will highlight the growing industry and its importance to the economy.
Several new businesses are using this as their debut appearance, including two magazines and several wellness centers. 
The Fair is a full-day public outreach event designed to answer questions about cannabis as medicine and how to become a legal patient in Colorado.
The  event is free and open to the public.
There will be displays from medical cannabis dispensaries as well as other hemp and cannabis-related businesses, video seminars, gifts, contests and prizes.
State Senator Chris Romer and Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown will attend from 12 noon until 1 p.m.

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Federal Art Project

“A weed is a flower, too, once you get to know it.” ~ Eeyore from “Winnie The Pooh”

After 72 years of the debate being controlled by those who’ve made it taboo to even talk honestly on the subject, it’s time to tell the truth about marijuana.
The deck remains stacked, of course, in favor of cannabis prohibition. The reason? Folks who know that marijuana should be legal are often too intimidated to say so — because, until now, speaking cannabis truth has sometimes carried a heavy price.
For years, a few brave medical doctors such as Lester Grinspoon of Harvard have been voices in the wilderness of marijuana prohibition. Their repeated calls for an open and honest debate on the subject have largely fallen on deaf ears.
Until now, when it comes to marijuana, those who know won’t say, and those who say don’t know.

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Graphic: mrc.la
Compassion and common sense: a good combination in La Puente

​In an inspiring show of common sense, the La Puente, Calif., City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to allow six medical marijuana dispensaries to open.

The first pot shop in town, La Puente Medical Cannabis Center, opened two weeks ago. Employees there declined to comment, reports James Wagner at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
City officials appeared not to take very seriously the grandstanding tactics of pot-hating Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley. Media whore Cooley last month said he would prosecute medical marijuana shops — even those protected by city ordinances.
“If they sell it, it’s illegal,” Cooley’s spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons told the Daily Bulletin on Wednesday.
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