Legal Pot In Limbo 

Legal Pot In Limbo 
Posted by CN Staff on January 11, 2006 at 12:21:15 PT
Metroactive News & Issues
Source: Metro 
California -- So much for Prop. 215 as a medical-marijuana magic bullet. After the Supreme Court ruled in June that state law doesn't protect prescription-pot users from federal drug prosecution, advocates in cities statewide have seen their progress stall—and the prognosis is not good. Just ask Jim Lohse, who is trying to organize a patient cooperative in Santa Clara County, where there are virtually no legitimate channels to get medical marijuana.
Lohse recently met with San Jose Police Chief Rob Davis to see if he could work with the department in the hopes of keeping things clean. Davis, apparently, wasn't open to the idea, and he says he isn't even sure if state law on the subject is still valid after this summer's Supreme Court decision. "My attitude is that we need to wait and see what the federal government is going to do," the top cop told Fly. That approach doesn't sit well with Dale Gieringer, head of the statewide medical cannabis group California NORML. "When local police do that, they're trying to cop out of their responsibility and play the anti-drug game," he said. "State officials are supposed to enforce state law." But doesn't the real responsibility fall on City Hall? Gieringer says dozens of local governments have passed moratoriums on pot distribution efforts in the past six months. Federal raids have started to pick up after a lull in 2004 and 2005, during which time California encouraged patient collectives with S.B. 420. In December, the feds clamped down on a popular San Francisco dispensary just before the city began the process of licensing over 30 cannabis clubs. Meanwhile, San Jose officials have been very quiet on the issue. "Everyone is wondering how to handle this," said Davis, pointing to need for City Council to come forward. David Vossbrink, spokesman for Mayor Ron Gonzales said the council hasn't dealt with medical marijuana because it simply "hasn't come up." But while local leaders turn their heads the other way, South Bay advocates are growing more frustrated. "What are we supposed to do?" asked Mara, a five-year medical marijuana patient who asked not to give her full name. "They're running in circles with this." From the January 11-17, 2006 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.Source: Metro (San Jose, CA)Published: January 11, 2006Copyright: 2006 Metro Publishing Inc.Contact: letters metronews.comWebsite: NORML Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 11, 2006 at 13:36:24 PT
Coming Soon The War on Grogginess
Wake Up! Grogginess as Dangerous as Drunk Driving 
It's called sleep inertia, that sluggish, groggy feeling that waking up brings. A study is among the first to measure just how badly impaired the brain is when we first awaken. The findings show that for at least 20 minutes or so the effects of sleep inertia may be as bad or worse than being legally drunk.
 Even if we get a full eight hours of sleep, a Boulder study shows that when we awaken our brain does not wake up quickly or all at once. Kenneth Wright, PhD, the lead author on the study says that patients in the study had worse thinking skills than even those patients with 24 hours of sleep deprivation.The study involved patients who had eight full hours of sleep a night for a month, and no signs of any type of sleep disorder. A week before their sleep challenge, they were given a series of simple math addition problems to solve. The speed and accuracy of those results were compared to a test they took after being awakened during sleep and given the same set of problems.Based on the results, the researchers saw the most severe impairment within the first three minutes after awakening. The most severe deficits of grogginess went away within ten minutes, but the effects were detectable for up to two hours after awakening. Study subjects got the wrong answers more often, and went through the test much more slowly than in pre-awakening challenges.What does it mean? The study has big implications for those involved in occupations where they are roused by a beeper or called into action by an alarm of some sort. Doctors for instance who are called on to treat patients in crisis, including writing math-oriented dosages for drug orders. Medical residents who often work 80 hours a week could make easy math mistakes in drug doses if they've been awakened. For the general public, this study points to yet another reason why everyone needs to plan and practice in advance how they would get out of their home or apartment should a smoke detector alert them to a night time fire. Sherry Kenyon, a Fire Safety Educator with the Boulder Fire Department says, "We practice riding a bike, we practice playing ball, everyone needs to practice their fire escape route so it's just second nature to them. Most fires happen at home at night, while everyone is asleep; it's important to know what you're going to do if that happens."Anyone who's ever driven and has taken a quick nap along side the road to ward off sleepiness can learn something from this study. Dr. Wright says that's a case where drivers would be smart to take in some caffeine right before they begin their nap. Caffeine takes 30 to 40 minutes to get into the brain, just the right amount of time to help someone wake up from a good power nap. It also explains why we often feel awful after we've napped beyond 20 or 30 minutes. Dr. Wright says, the deeper the nap, the harder it is for the brain to become fully alert again--that's why post-nap grogginess can get in the way.So, how long does it take to let your brain wake up before you're back to your perky, smart self? Well, no one knows. Dr. Wright says that is the very subject of upcoming studies. He says research looking at the classic water splash to the face have shown it doesn't help quicken alertness. At this point nothing much does offer a quick fix. Even people who get plenty of sleep suffered the thinking problems of sleep inertia. The study may prompt some professions to adopt a different way of answering call though. As one study subject who plans on becoming a doctor says, it will make him ask his colleagues who are already awake, to double check his work on patients.The study was a coordinated effort by the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, where the subjects were tested in the sleep lab, and by The University of Colorado Integrated Physiology Department, which analyzed the data. The study was funded by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. It's tied to a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association published on January 11th.KUSA-TVJeff Webb , Webmaster  Last updated: 1/11/2006  
Copyright: 2006 WBIR-TV Knoxville
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