Marijuana Ruling Worries Santa Cruz Group

  Marijuana Ruling Worries Santa Cruz Group

Posted by CN Staff on June 07, 2005 at 09:42:25 PT
By Ken McLaughlin, Mercury News 
Source: Mercury News 

Santa Cruz, Calif. -- Valerie Corral had already been up all night, caring for Wayne Meyer, a 53-year-old man who was dying of AIDS. The longtime member of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana took his last breath about 4 a.m. Monday.Hours later, Corral got more depressing news -- that the medicinal marijuana cooperative she and her husband, Mike, founded was once again a possible target because of Monday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing federal pot laws to trump state medicinal marijuana laws.
In September 2002, WAMM's medicinal marijuana garden near Davenport was raided, and the Corrals arrested -- triggering outrage in Santa Cruz's famed progressive community. Thumbing its nose at federal drug laws, the Santa Cruz City Council stood by on the steps of City Hall as WAMM members passed out marijuana to sick people.Corral said Monday that the death of Meyer -- the 155th WAMM member to die in the past 145 months -- was telling in weighing the importance of the issue.``He died a criminal,'' she said. ``It's the justice system at its worst.''Ray Miller, a former Baptist pastor who was diagnosed with bladder cancer Sept. 12, 2001, couldn't agree more.``It's a sad situation when the Supreme Court can overturn the judgment of my doctor when none of the justices has ever examined me,'' said Miller, who used marijuana to combat the nausea caused by chemotherapy.Hal Margolin, 72, who smokes marijuana for severe nerve and back pain, said he was just plain angry. ``This is my government, my country -- the country I fought in the Army for for two years,'' he said. ``What happened to the democratic process?''After the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Oakland's Angel McClary Raich in 2003, a judge issued an injunction preventing federal raids on WAMM while the case wound its way to the Supreme Court. With Monday's decision, legal experts say, that injunction will be removed.Santa Cruz County Supervisor Mardi Wormhoudt said she worried that the raid leaves WAMM ``extremely vulnerable'' to federal agents.Javier Peņa, Drug Enforcement Administration special agent in charge of the San Francisco field division, said he would not comment specifically on WAMM because of litigation stemming from the raid.But, he added, ``We've investigate the large marijuana traffickers in the past. And that priority will continue.''Staff Writer Howard Mintz contributed to this report. Note: Local medicinal marijuana providers, users fear being targeted by federal law agents.Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)Author: Ken McLaughlin, Mercury NewsPublished: Tuesday, June 7, 2005Copyright: 2005 San Jose Mercury NewsContact: letters sjmercury.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Sites:WAMM Raich v. Ashcroft News & News from WAMM Protest Medical Pot Users Disheartened by Decision Patients Remain Defiant

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Comment #11 posted by jose melendez on June 07, 2005 at 13:37:53 PT
the news is covering this . . .
great job runderwo!Here's something that might make FoM a bit happy: Files Served Jun 06, 2005 149,721BTW, my friend tells me Fox News' news ticker placed the SCOTUS decision immediately prior to a headline describing a ONE BILLION DOLLAR fraud investigation into pharmaceutical companies . . . Apparently, we are all singing from the same sheet of music.
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Comment #10 posted by runderwo on June 07, 2005 at 12:58:48 PT
response to wastler article
Allen,Thanks for a clear-headed argument in your 6/7 article "Marijuana
legalization could make billions of dollars". I have two issues with
your article.The most severe is near the end. In the last paragraph, you write:
  You can't tell me pot smoke is any better than tobacco smoke
  ... and I still get irate about some of my hefty health-care
  premiums going to pay for somebody who couldn't muster the
  willpower to quit smoking."The claim that pot smoking is equivalent or worse than tobacco smoking
to the body is rooted in "common sense", and seems to be supported by
the cough and bronchitis that occurs in chronic, heavy users, but in
fact it has been called into question by every scientific inquiry into
the matter - limited as such inquiry has been due to DEA obstruction.
Have a look at the following studies (note that not all are published in
peer-reviewed journals):Huber, G.L. et al, "The Effects of Marihuana on the Respiratory and
    Cardiovascular Systems," pp 3-18 in G. Chesher et al (eds),
    Marijuana: an International Research Report, Canberra:
    Australian Government Publishing Service (1988).Tashkin, D.P. et al, "Longitudinal Changes in Respiratory Symptoms and
    Lung Function in Non-smokers, Tobacco Smokers, and Heavy,
    Habitual Smokers of Marijuana With or Without Tobacco," pp 25-36
    in G. Chesher et al (eds), Marijuana: an International Research
    Report, Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service
    (1988).Sherrill, D.L. et al, "Respiratory Effects of Non-Tobacco Cigarettes: A
    Longitudinal Study in General Population," International Journal
    of Epidemiology 20: 132-37 (1991).Fligiel, S.E.G. et al, "Bronchial Pathology in Chronic Marijuana
    Smokers: A Light Electron Microscope Study," Journal of
    Psychoactive Drugs 20:33-42 (1988).Doblin, R., "The MAPS/California NORML/Marijuana Waterpipe/Vaporizer Study,"
    Newsletter of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic
    Studies 5,1 (Summer 1994).The above studies are summarized here: P. Morgan testified before the Senate that cannabis smoking does
not cause life-threatening pulmonary disease: decades of revisionism and cover-up, a study from the 70's that
showed the active ingredient in cannabis (a member of a family of
cancer-fighting compounds known as anti-oxidants) to be effective in
shrinking certain tumors finally had its results independently
reproduced: of Califonia at Los Angeles, Dr. Donald Tashkin
Tashkin, studying the effects of cannabis smoking at UCLA on an ongoing
basis since 1982, made the claim that it is impossible for cannabis
smoking to cause emphysema or chronic obstructive lung disease, and he
has yet to be refuted.A study which is escaping me at the moment found that smokers of both
tobacco and cannabis had lower incidence of lung disease than
tobacco-only smokers. This would seem to suggest that cannabis either
has some expectorating or anti-cancerous effect on the lungs, or that
cannabis functions as a substitute for tobacco, causing the user to
smoke less of the harmful tobacco. However, no evidence has been
produced that shows cannabis to be a tobacco substitute. When a tobacco
user is craving a smoke, nicotine is the only fix. Therefore, it seems
likely that cannabis is somehow mitigating the effects of tobacco on the
users in this study.Intuitively, the medical benefits of cannabis against glaucoma, asthma,
and high blood pressure can be explained by the dilation effect of THC on
blood vessels (observable through the bloodshot eyes of someone who is
intoxicated).Even if you distrust the scientific analyses, one has to question - if
over 40% of the adult population has used cannabis at one point or
another in their lives, and if smoking is by far the most popular manner
of consumption, where are all the bodies from the sick and dying cannabis
smokers? If they exist, is every one simply blamed on tobacco? That is
difficult to swallow. If there were proof that someone became ill and
died due to cannabis use, I'm certain the ONDCP, DFAF, or similar
propaganda mills would have jumped at the opportunity to scare us some
more instead of simply shrugging the shoulders and chalking the death up
to tobacco. You are likely to be less cynical on the matter than I.I invite you to ponder on the following further curiosities regarding
cannabis versus tobacco:
- Why is cannabis effective for treating asthma even as a smoked substance?
- Why does even chewed tobacco cause cancer?
- What are the relative effects of radioactive polonium-210 and
 nitrosamines, two carcinogens which are present in tobacco but not in
 cannabis?In one of the only real similarities between the effects of cannabis and
the effects of tobacco, I would concede that the risk of heart attack
immediately after smoking cannabis is higher than normal. The origin of
this risk is the carbon monoxide present in any burning material. Not
to downplay any risks inherent in smoking, but remember that far less
material is smoked by the average cannabis smoker than the average
tobacco smoker. Also note that, similar to tobacco, smoke-free
alternative consumption methods such as vaporizers, inhalers, and baked
goods are available and just as effective (though not as convenient or
discreet as smoking). Still unknown is how the removal of stress due to
cannabis intoxication plays a role in overall cardiovascular health.My final caution on this point is to lend special skepticism to studies
that come from the UK. Many studies supposedly study "cannabis", when
in fact "cannabis" is a slang term in the UK for a mix of cannabis and
tobacco. You will find if you continue research in this area that
coming from the UK are the only studies affirming heart disease,
emphysema and other maladies caused by "cannabis" - but curiously, these
are the same maladies caused by tobacco smoking. I think the poor
terminology is leaving us with some terrible confusion in this area.All in all, cannabis is not shown to be a significant contributor to the
use of medical resources for cardiovascular disease and/or cancer. If
it is, its contribution is not on the same order of magnitude as
tobacco. Warranting more attention are the problems of cannabis
habituation and its effects on mental health, a highly contested area no
doubt, but of far more significant impact on policy than any other
health issues associated with cannabis use.---------------------------------------------------------------------Lastly, as a minor point of contention, I dispute the claim that the
push for rescheduling cannabis is nothing more than a Trojan horse for
legalization (if a regulated form of the latter were necessarily a bad
idea).For example: Montel Williams, who has recently come out strongly in
favor of moving cannabis to Schedule II so that doctors can legally
prescribe it (not just "recommend" it as the Supreme Court ruling
allows), has repeatedly stated that he has no opinion on the
recreational use of cannabis, does not use it recreationally himself,
and does not support any legalization initiatives. He is motivated by
self-interest and by compassion for others. Many med-pot advocates are
similarly motivated by compassion, even if self-interest does not drive
them.Certainly, there are those in favor of full-on legalization who support
any move in that direction, which would include re-legitimizing cannabis
as medicine. But does it somehow undermine the motives of those
activists motivated by compassion when a full-on legalizer happens to
agree with them? In general, does it undermine my position if someone I
disagree with on a broader area happens to agree with me in a more
specific area? I don't think so.Thanks for your article and your time,
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by Taylor121 on June 07, 2005 at 11:15:53 PT
MPP to Sue Oregon and Alaska 
Oregon and Alaska are the only two states that have reacted by slicing their medical marijuana I.D. programs. In response, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) today promised to sue.
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Comment #8 posted by Taylor121 on June 07, 2005 at 11:01:41 PT
Media Quotes
I have a blog post with media quotes about the case:From "There's no question that there are clear therapeutic indications for medical marijuana," said Steven Childers, a pharmacologist at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and a member of an Institute of Medicine panel that reviewed medical use of marijuana in 1999. "The big issue is whether the current legal drugs are better or worse than medical marijuana."In Washington, Walters, the anti-drug czar, saw the ruling as a rejection of the idea that marijuana is a proven pain reliever."The medical marijuana farce is done," he said. " I don't doubt that some people feel better when they use marijuana, but that's not modern science. That's snake oil."
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Comment #7 posted by Taylor121 on June 07, 2005 at 10:59:31 PT
Rhode Island Governor Vows to Veto :(
"If legislation to allow sick and dying people to use marijuana as medicine became law, "marijuana farms could sprout up anywhere in Rhode Island" and state efforts to stop children from using pot "and other narcotics" might be "seriously undercut," so Gov. Donald Carcieri would veto the bill in its current form, his spokesman said Monday."
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on June 07, 2005 at 10:50:28 PT
News Article from
Marijuana: The DopeMark Peplow June 7, 2005 
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled on 6 June that medical use of marijuana is illegal under federal law, even though 11 individual states allow it. The judgement is the result of an appeal by Bush's government over a case against two women in California who use the drug medicinally. The pair may now be arrested. Technically, the ruling means that federal authorities may prosecute the doctors, patients and suppliers involved in medicinal marijuana use, although lawyers point out that federal enforcement is likely to be lax.The ruling is seen as a victory by those who dispute the medical benefits of marijuana use. "The medical marijuana farce is done," says John Walters, the White House's anti-drug tsar. "I don't doubt that some people feel better when they use marijuana, but that's not modern science. That's snake oil," he says.Patients' advocates hope that things won't change much for those who use the drug and find it helps with their illnesses. They note that Congress has the capacity to change the law to allow medical use of marijuana.Complete Article:
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on June 07, 2005 at 10:48:09 PT:
Hunker down, and drive on!
As has been pointed out, the only thing that has changed in the last 48 hours has been the date and nothing else. The States can still make their own MMJ legislation. They can still extend protection against State laws. The Feds are still too few in number to do what they want, despite their quiet gloating at our pain. And a terrible decision from the Supremes has opened a can of worms that will keep courts busy for a time when those court costs cannot be borne by Uncle, himself. This was a singularly stupid move from some of the Supremes, and will lead to challenges of all kinds. As for us? We do what we've always done...when the going got tough, we kept on anyways. As we will. Until we eventually win. Economics favor us (the DrugWar is becoming ever more visible as a target for financial bloodletting as the revenues from payroll taxes drop through the floor thanks to the recession). Public opinion favors us. State legislators chafing at Fed over-reach favor us. Organizations wary of Federal power favor us. And now a window of opportunity is opening with Hinchey/Rohrabacher. Once again, the iron is hot, the anvil awaits...and the Supremes have just handed us the hammers. Time to strike by calling your legislators and telling them about this bill, and demand their support.If enough people do so, they'll get the idea. Ring their damn phones off the hook. Let them know how many of us there are...and we're, as the old saying goes, "mad as Hell and we're not going to take it anymore!"
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on June 07, 2005 at 10:07:15 PT
All I can do today is be very, very, very sad. I'll get over it and bounce back but it's hitting me like a ton of bricks right now.
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Comment #3 posted by cannaman on June 07, 2005 at 09:58:53 PT
planting plants
I dont know about anybody else but that supreme court ruling just motivated me to plant more plants and keep the underground alive, busy, and fully functional hope everyone else feels the same because its time to get busy people!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on June 07, 2005 at 09:52:52 PT

News Article from Snipped Source
High Court's Pot Mistake
Lost in Supreme shuffle: $14 billion in benefits we're missing by not legalizing and taxing pot.June 7, 2005NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Pot should be legal. We could use the money. But that's getting ignored in the wake of this week's Supreme Court decision. That decision, if you missed it, essentially said that federal law trumps state law and since the Feds say no pot, then no pot. It's a frightening decision on a constitutional level. I've never been a fan of the idea that people in places like California and Mississippi should have a say in how I choose to pursue happiness in New Jersey. And if my state says I can smoke a doobie -- okay, smoke one if a doctor says I need to smoke one -- what gives people in an entirely different state, through our federal system, the right to say I can't? Thomas Jefferson would tell me to fire up. But the Supreme Court said no, based on the interstate commerce clause. You see, the feds can regulate a local activity, like growing pot in your backyard, if it can conceivably affect an interstate market, like the $10.5 billion market for marijuana. Hey, the argument is as honest as the pothead contingent arguing that this case was only about using marijuana to ease the pain and suffering of disease-stricken people. Once doctors can write prescriptions for pot, the market is de facto legalized. 
Complete Article:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 07, 2005 at 09:46:52 PT

News from The Cato Institute
Up in Smoke: Federal Marijuana Ban Overrules State Laws
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