Photo: Selkem
What the doctor ordered?

​A new scientific study published in Harm Reduction Journal suggests that marijuana is a safe and effective substitute for alcohol and prescription drugs.

The study, published by researchers at the University of California, Berkley, showed that 40 percent of marijuana users said they’ve used pot to control their alcohol addictions, 66 percent said they used marijuana instead of prescription drugs, and 26 percent said marijuana helped them stay off harder “street” drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

Photo: Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana
Plant limits may become a thing of the past in California.

​A California court of appeals in San Diego has ruled that the amount of marijuana a medical user can legally possess is a question jurors should decide, and using limits defined in state law is improper.

The unanimous ruling could change the way many medical pot cases are handled at the trial stage, according to legal experts. A ruling is expected soon from the California Supreme Court that deals with a similar issue, SignOnSanDiego reports.
Medical marijuana patient Nathaniel Archer of San Diego was arrested by San Diego police with 98 pot plants in his home, along with 1.72 pounds of dried marijuana. He was convicted in 2007 for cultivating and possessing marijuana and sentenced to probation.

Photo: Polluxx
Not in Norco, or you may get Narco’d.

​Norco, Calif., is proposing a local law against selling drug paraphernalia.

Doing so is already against both state and federal law, but having a city law on top of that would “make it easier for authorities to enforce the regulation,” Norco officials claimed, according to the Press-Enterprise.
Norco officials admit there isn’t a problem with drug paraphernalia being sold in the city. Nobody in recent history has even been cited for the offense. But the bright idea of putting a local law on the books just seemed irresistible after officials noticed neighboring town Corona had passed its own local law.
“The councils of Norco and Corona have been trying to coordinate their responses to regional issues, and drugs are currently a regional issue,” said Lt. Ross Cooper of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Norco station. (Blah, blah, blah.)
Cooper said other cities also have adopted similar ordinances, and Norco wants to spread the anti-drug message. Great idea, Lt. Cooper. Show what a moron you are by wasting the city’s scarce resources going after potheads.
The ordinance would echo a California Health and Safety Code section making it unlawful to sell drug paraphernalia, including water and ceramic pipes, scales and balances, and roach clips for joints.
If passed, the ordinance would become law in 30 days.

Photo: Matt Wright, Wikimedia Commons
Denver is now collecting 3.9 percent tax on medical marijuana sales.

​The Mile High City started collecting sales tax on medical marijuana today.

The City of Denver expects every medical marijuana dispensary in the city to pay 3.6 percent sales tax starting Dec. 1, reports Patricia Calhoun in Westword.
“Tax revenue agents will be meeting with all dispensaries, giving them the information,” said City Attorney David Fine.

Photo: Coaster420
Nugs like this Purple Kush beauty could be legal for medical use if Pennsylvania legislators show some leadership.

​A public hearing on legalizing medical marijuana is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 2, in Harrisburg, Pa., before the House Health and Human Services committee.

Discussed will be House Bill 1393, introduced in April by State Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Philadelphia. According to Cohen, the bill aims to ease the lives of suffering patients, take money away from the illegal drug trade and create about $25 million a year in tax revenue from the sale of marijuana.
“The bill has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming law, but I think that health care groups will lean toward it,” Cohen told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Artwork by Jim Wheeler
Medical marijuana patients win another battle in San Diego

​The manager of a San Diego medical marijuana dispensary was acquitted today of five charges of possessing and selling marijuana for profit.

Jovan Jackson, 31, was convicted, however, of possession of ecstasy and Xanax, according to SignOnSanDiego News Services.
Jackson, who was arrested after a pair of raids at Answerdam Alternative Care in Kearny Mesa last year, began to weep quietly as the verdicts were read in the courtroom of Judge Cynthia Bashant.
The verdicts ended a weeklong trial in San Diego Superior Court. According to SignOnSanDiego, the jury foreman said afterward that the lack of clarity in California’s medical marijuana law was a major reason for the acquittals.
Medical marijuana advocates said the verdicts were a rebuke to San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and local law enforcement. Aggressive medical marijuana enforcement has been a priority for Dumanis’ office.

Wikimedia Commons
Maine is one of only three states — along with Rhode Island and New Mexico — authorizing state-run marijuana dispensaries.

​A new task force is studying how, when and where medical marijuana will be distributed in Maine, WABI TV 5 reports.

The 14-member committee, assigned by Gov. John E. Baldacci after voters approved marijuana dispensaries in last month’s election, will advise the governor on how to implement the law with safeguards to protect public health and safety.
The rules are supposed to be in effect in 120 days. According to task force member Attorney General Janet Mills said “this time period is unrealistic.”


A newly surfaced home movie shows movie icon Marilyn Monroe apparently smoking marijuana, according to Reuters.

The movie was retrieved from an attic some 50 years after it was filmed.
The color film, taken at a private home in New Jersey, has no sound. It was recently bought by collector Keya Morgan from the anonymous person who took the film.
Reuters said new owner Morgan and the original person who shot the film gave the news organization permission to use it in digital form. The copyright will be auctioned on eBay later this week, Morgan said.


Wikimedia Commons
Federal pot policy is based on 70-year-old superstitions.

​Why does the U.S. federal government keep pushing outdated lies about marijuana’s health consequences and potential for addiction?

Because it’s a lucrative business, according to Paul Armentano of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
In an op-ed piece over at AlterNet, Armentano, deputy director of NORML, points out that the feds are wasting their time — and your money — researching what must be the Loch Ness Monster of the drug policy world (as in nobody can prove it exists), “marijuana addiction.”
Yes, you read that right. “Marijuana addiction.”
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Cannabis related disorders (CRDs), including cannabis abuse or dependence and cannabis induced disorders (e.g., intoxication, delirium, psychotic disorder, and anxiety disorder) are a major public health issue.”

“Jephthath’s Sacrifice” by Maciejowski (c. 1250)
If you sell pot on the Gaza Strip, be careful or you could lose your head.

​Selling pot can now officially get you killed in Gaza City — by the government, that is.

Despite the area’s proud tradition of fine hashish (Blond Lebanese, anyone?) the Hamas-run government of Gaza has approved a law that will allow for the execution of “convicted drug dealers,” its attorney general said today, according to the Associated Press.
The Islamist government ruling Gaza is taking a page from the tired old playbook of drug prohibitionists in America and worldwide — that imposing draconian sentences will reduce drug smuggling and discourage drug use. The policy, in place for close to a century in many parts of the world, has proved to be a colossal failure.
Hamas has cracked down on drugs, saying it has arrested more than 100 drug dealers and users. Dozens of pounds of contraband, mostly marijuana, have been seized.
Blithely undeterred by the facts, Gaza’s attorney general blamed the Israeli government for not punishing potheads severely enough (or killing them quickly enough). If the intent is to prove governments in the Middle East can have drug policies even dumber than those of the United States, then mission accomplished!