Marijuana Woes

Marijuana Woes
Posted by CN Staff on November 01, 2005 at 07:34:14 PT
By Vanessa Stumpf, Aggie City Editor
Source: California Aggie
USA -- The controversy of using marijuana medicinally continues to swell as rallies take place across the nation and a national advocacy group has called for a federal reclassification of the drug that would likely make it available on a prescription basis.Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I drug under U.S. law, and has been for over 30 years. This rating identifies marijuana among the most dangerous drugs, and according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, this classification is reserved for drugs that have no recognized medical use and a high potential for addiction or abuse. Marijuana shares placement in this category with heroin.
The federal scale, enacted by Congress under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, has five levels, with Schedule V being the least dangerous. According to Hilary McQuie, spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access, an Oakland-based advocacy group for medical marijuana, a placement into Schedule II would allow for marijuana to be available via pharmaceutical companies to the public for medical use as well as open the door for expanded scientific research. Casey McEnry, spokesperson for the San Francisco Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said that marijuana is considered a drug and not a medical tool and will be opposed as long as it holds a Schedule I classification. “Whether it should be used as a medicine should be determined by scientific fields, not by a drug legalization lobbyist,” McEnry said. McQuie also agreed that a classification of the drug should be based upon science, citing the 1970 decision as flawed. “Scientists didn’t come up with these categories; politicians did,” she said. Both entities concurred that scientific evidence should be the backbone of a reclassification or change in the standpoint on the effectiveness of the drug. There appears to be no definitive consensus from the greater medical community on the issue. The Food and Drug Administration acknowledged the uses of medical marijuana in a testimony dated Apr. 1, 2004 but remained neutral as to a position on the drug. “FDA has not approved marijuana for medical use in the United States,” said the testimony. “Despite its status as an unapproved new drug, there has been considerable interest in its use for the treatment of a number of conditions.” Currently, California holds the legal standpoint that the seriously ill can have access to medical marijuana with the recommendation of their physician. This action was the result of Proposition 215, the 1996 state initiative that passed with a 56 percent approval rate. California is among less than a dozen other states that allow some form of medical marijuana use, including Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Montana and Vermont. McQuie said a reconsideration of this rating will significantly aid the states that lack such medicinal marijuana laws, but are pursuing them, such as Pennsylvania and Texas. “The rescheduling is on behalf of the people who are in states that don’t have medicinal marijuana laws,” she said. Citizens of California experience a greater protection under Proposition 215, so a new classification, according to McQuie, would not affect California as heavily. Here, the vast majority of medical marijuana arrests are the result of state and local authorities. Several rallies are planned for November across the state.Note: Groups debate legal classification of drug.Source: California Aggie, The (UC Davis, CA Edu)Author:  Vanessa Stumpf, Aggie City EditorPublished: November 01, 2005Copyright: 2005 The California AggieContact: editor californiaaggie.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Americans For Safe Access Medical Pot Activists Stage Protest Rally Rally for a Dose of Their Own Medicine 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #17 posted by FoM on November 02, 2005 at 19:32:28 PT
Press Release from The Drug Policy Alliance
San Francisco Seeks Patient Protection in State Medical Marijuana ID ProgramWednesday, November 2, 2005The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday urging the city to delay its implementation of the statewide medical marijuana ID card program. Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi introduced the resolution in response to vocal concerns around confidentiality from medical marijuana activists.Implementing the statewide program would mean the end of the local ID card program San Francisco has run for several years. Stakeholders are gravely troubled by the failure of the statewide program to protect the anonymity of patients, caregivers and physicians. The Statewide regulations require the San Francisco Department of Public Health to maintain paper records of applications and medical documentation; currently the local program returns all documentation once the application is verified. The mandate to maintain records imposes a unacceptable risk of subpoena or seizure by federal officials.San Francisco was slated to join the statewide program in early November; however, following the Board’s resolution the Department of Public Health delayed implementation until January. Delaying implementation provides medical marijuana advocates time to petition the state to modify the protocols of its program to better protect patients and caregivers.The Drug Policy Alliance played a critical role in this important local victory through working with officials at the San Francisco Department of Public Health to organize a community forum informing the public of the confidentiality issues at stake in the implementation of the statewide program. The Alliance helped recruit local stakeholders to attend the forum and followed up with a letter to the Board of Supervisors summarizing the disturbing flaws with the State ID program and urging the Board to take action to protect and promote physician, patient and caregiver rights. In response to the community forum and Alliance's communications, the Board unanimously passed a resolution directing the county health department to refrain from implementing the State ID program pending further hearings. The Alliance is now using this momentum to create a coalition of counties and advocacy organizations, including the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project, to pressure on State officials to modify their ID program rules and procedures.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by runderwo on November 01, 2005 at 18:34:51 PT
"The Justice Department says DMT can lead to depression, intense anxiety, disorientation and psychosis and that the drug is a particular danger to children."Oh noes! In other news, cannabis leads to decreased motivation (relaxation), obesity (the munchies), deafness (increased music enjoyment), anxiety (why does society persecute me?), paranoia (are the cops after me?), psychosis (diverging from the consensus), schizophrenia (I have a different personality when high), on and on. It's funny that a simple change of verbage can transform a desirable effect into a menace. And of course they don't mention that such "problems" exist for the duration of intoxication only. Without selective truths, their propaganda wouldn't be quite as compelling.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by runderwo on November 01, 2005 at 18:26:25 PT
"Roberts, Supreme Court May Allow Religious Use of Hallucinogen"That should better be phrased as "Roberts, Supreme Court May Uphold Constitution And Human Right Of Self-Determination"
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by siege on November 01, 2005 at 15:17:59 PT
Pass the weed, Dad
Parents are smoking dope with their kids. What are they thinking?MARNI JACKSON"It was a little weird, seeing my parents stoned," Tom confesses. The Toronto high school student was describing the first time he'd smoked marijuana -- at home last spring, just after turning 17, when he shared a joint with his hard-working, middle-class parents. "But I had an amazing, fantastic connection with my dad, and it was a good experience for all of us. They showed me how to take the seeds and stems out of the pot. Then, basically, we ate.Should Canada loosen laws governing marijuana use and possession?
  No, leave the laws alone
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by FoM on November 01, 2005 at 14:31:56 PT
A Comment About the Tea
I do hope it works out for the church.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by Dankhank on November 01, 2005 at 14:10:27 PT
more on SCOTUS
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by FoM on November 01, 2005 at 13:23:08 PT
I can't wait. I don't watch Conan but I will this whole week with NY on. Conan is a big NY fan.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by siege on November 01, 2005 at 13:22:08 PT
Rev Jim
You can get your lungs full of fresh air walking though the cannabis/hemp Field's of canada and it feels sooo good, and the brids sing they little songs. and the cannabis stands 3 to 5 feet above you head...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by Jim Lunsford on November 01, 2005 at 13:00:23 PT
First Cannabist Church
likes Roberts now! :) Thanks for that post, Siege. It's definitely a good day for us. I wonder how much closer that moves the "when" Cannabis is free from it's jail. Imagine: Hemp: From sea to shining seaRev Jim LunsfordFirst Cannabist ChurchLaw: How the weak steal from the strong (old scottish quote, whose name I forgot years ago)
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by Truth on November 01, 2005 at 12:52:13 PT
heads up
Neil Young on Conan tonight : )
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by siege on November 01, 2005 at 12:09:48 PT
27 minutes ago
Roberts, Supreme Court May Allow Religious Use of HallucinogenNov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. led a chorus of Supreme Court skepticism aimed at a Bush administration effort to bar a 130-member New Mexico church from using a hallucinogenic tea in religious ceremonies.Roberts today was one of several justices who suggested that a U.S. religious-freedom law trumped the Justice Department's contention that hoasca is dangerous and illegal under both a federal controlled-substances law and a treaty. Roberts questioned the government's argument that it needs to bar all use of hoasca to prevent diversion to non-religious uses.``Your approach is totally categorical,'' Roberts told government lawyer Edwin Kneedler during a one-hour argument session in Washington. If a religious group used only one drop of the drug a year, ``your position would still be the same,'' Roberts said.The case poses the first religious-freedom test during Roberts's watch as chief justice. It pits the Bush administration against religious groups including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Association of Evangelicals.The case centers on the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which says the U.S. government can't restrict religious activities except to meet a ``compelling interest.''Congress passed the law in reaction to a 1990 Supreme Court ruling that said governments could enforce generally applicable laws, even if they incidentally restricted religious practices. That ruling, which involved a different hallucinogen known as peyote, limited the scope of the constitutional clause that protects the free exercise of religion.Brazilian ChurchThe Justice Department says it nonetheless can block hoasca use by a Santa Fe branch of O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal, an 8,000-member Brazilian church that mixes Christian theology and indigenous South American beliefs. The church's U.S. branch is led by Jeffrey Bronfman, a second cousin of Warner Music Group Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr.Kneedler said the government has a compelling interest in ``uniform enforcement'' of its drug laws.He drew resistance from both the liberal and conservative wings of the court. Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the 1990 decision, pointed to an exception Congress made for peyote in American Indian religious ceremonies.``It's a demonstration you can make exceptions without the sky falling,'' Scalia said.Justice John Paul Stevens followed up by asking whether the use of peyote indicated that ``maybe it's not all that compelling.''Kennedy SupportOf the nine justices, Anthony Kennedy offered the strongest support for the government's position.``It seems to me at the very least there should be a presumption that there is a compelling interest,'' Kennedy told Nancy Hollander, the church's lawyer.Hollander argued that the government must show a compelling interest in enforcing its drug laws specifically against the church's members.``Congress's policy is that religious freedom and religious liberty shall not be burdened unless and until the government meets its burdens,'' she argued.Several justices, including Scalia and Roberts, questioned Hollander's contention that hoasca is exempted under the 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which aims to bar trade in illicit drugs. The U.S. is among more than 160 signatories to that treaty.Trump the TreatyBoth Scalia and Roberts, however, said Congress has the authority to override a treaty through domestic law.``Isn't it well established that statutes trump treaties?'' Scalia asked.Hoasca contains dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, a hallucinogenic substance restricted under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. The Justice Department says DMT can lead to depression, intense anxiety, disorientation and psychosis and that the drug is a particular danger to children.The dispute began in 1999, when Customs inspectors intercepted a shipment from Brazil of three drums that contained the drug. Authorities later searched Bronfman's home and seized 30 gallons of hoasca.The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on an 8-5 vote, concluded that the Justice Department hadn't met its burden under the religious-freedom law. The appeals court upheld a temporary order barring the government from taking action against the church for its religious use of hoasca.The case is Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal, 04-1084.Criminal CaseThe court today separately reviewed the power of police officers to question criminal suspects. The Maryland case involves a 17-year-old murder suspect who originally told police he wanted to see a lawyer.He changed his mind and agreed to talk after being told he might face the death penalty and after an officer told him, ``I bet you want to talk now.''The case is Maryland v. Blake, 04-373.The justices are scheduled to decide both cases by July.To contact the reporter on this story:
Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by Jim Lunsford on November 01, 2005 at 10:59:00 PT
On the scientific evidence
I think there has been enough to demonstrate cannabis is more effective than many other medicines. More scientific studies would simply broaden the range of medicinal uses. It would also lead to an even greater level of frustration with the government, since the citizens would realize the depth of the betrayal of them by their "representatives." It still astounds me though that the number of cannabis users believe that we will never be legal. The claim that too many people with money will prevent it is no longer the case. It is no longer a question of "if" Cannabis will be legalized, but how soon will it be legalized. I, for one, don't believe that it will ever be regulated in a manner consistent with any other product. After all, it is a weed, and a very tough one. But, I am wondering what it would be like to stand in a grove of organic open field plants, that aren't chopped off. I've seen photos of individual ones over 20 feet tall, I can only imagine (for now anyway) what a grove of good grade smoke would look like. It's nice in my world! Peace, JimAlso, has anyone heard anything of the Supreme Court case for today concerning religious use of controlled substances? My congregation would like to know if man's law follows our God's law.Rev Jim LunsfordFirst Cannabist ChurchJustice: Rarely found in US courts
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by Had Enough on November 01, 2005 at 10:53:05 PT
“Whether it should be used as a medicine should be determined by scientific fields, not by a drug legalization lobbyist,” McEnry said.McQuie also agreed that a classification of the drug should be based upon science, citing the 1970 decision as flawed.“Scientists didn’t come up with these categories; politicians did,” she said.Well how about it. Let's get on with the program
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by FoM on November 01, 2005 at 10:41:01 PT
That's ok. I was just wondering what you meant. Gotcha now.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by siege on November 01, 2005 at 10:09:48 PT
Sorry Fom 
the wrong spelling PROHIBITONIST 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 01, 2005 at 10:04:39 PT
What do you mean proabortionist? I am pro choice since no one has a right to tell a woman what she can do with her own body but I don't believe in abortion.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by siege on November 01, 2005 at 09:59:52 PT
No compassion
It appears that Hilary McQuie has joined the ranks of the proabortionist and pharmaceutical companies too be on the safe side...
there gos the little people again to having to spend big dollars for there medication that God give to the people... In there news letter they say she would be good for Americans for Safe Access, just another proabortionist in our ranks at the worst time, cannabis is for everyone not just the sick, the government has made everyone sick with there FDA. and there bad food, so let have some compassion here for all the people...
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment