Top Prosecutor, Advocacy Attorney Debate Marijuana
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Top Prosecutor, Advocacy Attorney Debate Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on April 08, 2009 at 18:09:32 PT
By Josh Richman, Oakland Tribune
Source: Oakland Tribune 
San Francisco, CA -- Sparks flew Wednesday as Northern California's top federal prosecutor squared off in a debate against a national medical marijuana advocacy group's attorney.U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello and Joe Elford, chief counsel of Berkeley-based Americans for Safe Access, agreed on little, often challenging each other on the history of the federal marijuana ban and pressing each other for details of how best to reconcile that ban with California's law allowing medical use of the drug.
"We are not interested in users. "... We're not even interested in people who have a legitimate claim to being compassionate providers," Russoniello said during the hourlong forum at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. "But we differentiate between those people who are claiming such conduct and those who are cultivating, who are distributing, who are trafficking marijuana for profit."U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said in recent weeks that federal agents will no longer raid medical marijuana distributors who are in compliance with state laws, and Russoniello agreed "there is little likelihood that federal enforcement efforts will be focused on them." But "if you're in the business of selling marijuana for profit, you're in harm's way."Elford retorted "a 'little likelihood' gets us somewhere, but it doesn't get us to where we need to be," especially in an atmosphere in which a federal prosecutor's judgment of whether a marijuana cooperative violates state law will land that cooperative's officials in federal court — where state law doesn't apply.Elford said in many California locales, local law enforcement agencies that disagree with the voters' will in enacting Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, often call in federal authorities to bust cooperatives that are abiding by state law. In some cases, these raids result in seizure of marijuana and other property, with no arrests ever made or charges filed.Russoniello acknowledged, "Local law enforcement may have its prejudices.""It may even have a cynical view of Proposition 215, and I share that cynical view — I make no bones about it," the prosecutor said, making clear his opinion that the medical marijuana debate is nothing more than a stalking horse for decriminalizing recreational use of the drug.Russoniello criticized the often slapdash manner in which people obtain doctors' recommendations to use marijuana as medicine; Elford replied the federal government — by ignoring past research and stonewalling new studies that could lead to loosening the federal ban — ensures marijuana can't be obtained through the traditional prescription process.Read the Political Blotter at: Oakland Tribune (CA)Author: Josh Richman, Oakland TribunePublished: April 8, 2009Copyright: 2009 MediaNews Group, Inc. URL: jrichman bayareanewsgroup.comCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #7 posted by Had Enough on April 09, 2009 at 11:29:41 PT
Ex-pot crusader tired, resigned
Ex-pot crusader tired, resigned
'Flawed' system leaves Krieger a hermit with dogs
 By Robert Remington, Calgary HeraldApril 5, 2009As expected of someone who indulges in the medicinal use of marijuana, Grant Krieger is a gentle soul. His dogs, not so much.Upon arrival at Krieger's house, visitors are greeted by a pack of six barking hounds. One, a half-wolf named Shifty, stays in the background, swaying back and forth. Before long, the dogs settle. They surround the visitor, seeking pats on the head, shakes of outstretched paws and an irresistible scratch behind the ear. All, that is, but the wary Shifty, who dares to enter the room only after nearly an hour and remains aloof.The home has a lived-in, bachelor look: the TV is on, there's an ironing board in the living room, DVDs are lined up on the floor, tattered throws cover furniture in a futile effort to protect them against fur. On the kitchen table is the beginning of a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of a snow leopard. A treadmill sits in the middle of another room, where a rowing machine is propped against a wall.Krieger offers herbal tea. We sit in the room with the TV blaring and begin to talk of his 13-year legal struggle as a medicinal marijuana advocate, which the multiple sclerosis sufferer ended this week by signing a legal document pledging to not engage in any cultivation or distribution.The windows are covered to block natural light, the entrance-way dark. The room has the mood and feel of a comfortable cave."I've become a hermit," says the gaunt 54-year-old. "I don't even like to leave the house anymore be-cause I don't like police officers."Krieger's crusade has cost him a marriage, the estrangement of family, his driving privileges and debt. It is the sad and tragic story of an individual fighting a system stacked against him, a system that never tolerated his in-your-face defiance of what he felt were unjust laws.One could argue that he became his own worst enemy. If Krieger had simply stuck quietly to his personal use of medicinal marijuana, as he was legally allowed to do, he might have escaped the torment of enforcement officials and a judiciary that treated him like a pusher. Instead, Krieger listened to the call of his kind heart.His sin, in the minds of the authorities, was running a compassion club to assist other sick people by supplying them with pot--not to smoke, but to make into a mild cannabis butter to be ingested, and without using what he calls the toxic, low-grade government skunkweed grown for medicinal use in an abandoned Manitoba mine.Click to see the rest…
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on April 09, 2009 at 10:15:57 PT
Big Pharma
Museman I had the same reaction to reading this garbage.I just watched "The Medicated Child" on PBS a couple nights ago. At one point you can actually watch as a doctor meets with some low-income woman and her son. She tells the doctor that it's usually really hard to get the boy ready for school in the morning - he gets anxious and runs around. The doctor immediately responds by urging her to add a little Xanax in the morning to the kid's other meds.It's unbelievable! True 1984 Orwellian stuff. Meanwhile we see California where armed thugs are used to beat down people for trying to get a medicinal herb to the sick and desperate. This situation can only been as rational through the application of Doublethink.It makes me go back to a lot of the stuff I wrote here years ago about "levers of control". None of this stuff is in the history books. The truth is that we had a huge Social Revolution in the 60s's and 70's. Many of the old ways used by the elite to control the population were removed - religion, sexism and paternalism, racial persecution, mass ignorance driven by lack of education in poor areas of the South.But the power of the elite and the political class servant never wavered, in fact it's increased dramatically in the last 30-40 years. The sheer size of the federal government has grown 10 TIMES since the Nixon administration!It's a new world and the ways they use to control and exploit the lower classes are new. They use control over the financial system and currency to convert the entire country into a "company town". Real estate prices are driven through the roof, turning families into indentured servants. Rebellious or nonconformist behavior is indentified at a young age and neutralized with drugs and/or armed thugs and jails. Look at one example - the Catholic Church scandal. Up until the 90's their raw power was so strong that they could literally rape children by the hundreds without any blowback from the general population, the media, or the government. That is some serious control over people by religious power, especially young people.Today their power's been taken away along with the general abandonment of religion after the Social Revolution. So now instead of raw power they use economic and phamaceutical power. Both parents are away at work, constantly working to pay off the enormous debt they now have. Any kids that show signs of trouble are drugged 24 hours a day with multiple meds. The rest spend adolescence hiding in the woods (the only way to assemble) and running from armed thug police. It's part of the conditioning that's needed to control the population.The other night Bill Maher cited a great statistic - in 2001, the upper 1% of all income earners in the US earned 8% of total income in the US.In 2008, the upper 1% received 23% of all all income in the US. That is a complete re-arrangement of the class structure in this country, yet again you won't hear a word about it from either Repubs or Dems or the mainstream media.
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Comment #5 posted by Had Enough on April 09, 2009 at 09:38:24 PT
Monsters on the loose - re: comment #3
Steppenwolf…agrees…The masses have been warned for many years…but they just can’t hear it…************Steppenwolf - Monster
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Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on April 09, 2009 at 09:18:07 PT
Hey Museman, good comment!
I really like all your comments, great insight!
On a mission from God!
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Comment #3 posted by museman on April 09, 2009 at 08:36:23 PT
You know, years ago I came to the personal conclusion -based on research, experience, and a lot of prayer, that cannabis was a sacrament, and to degrade it to the level of commodity and product, was one sure way to dirty up your cannabis Kharma.I still feel this way, however, I feel a lot stronger about some fap telling me how I can do essentially the same thing as all the pharmas out there -with considerably less damage to individuals and the environment- but because its not some chemical, synthesized, or derived, that employs thousand of sweat-shop workers worldwide, that big pharma can then SELL SELL SELL, if I make any 'profit' on it , then I am essentially right back in the war that THEY DECLARED.Ya, we don't want poor people who aren't part of the status-quo club to get any money out of their efforts, or heaven forbid, enough to make the fat cats worried about their station and position in life.Ya, theres gangs and 'cartels' out there profitting in some bad ways off of the drug war, but only because of the legal status of cannabis -which makes it very profitable to run on the black market.Of course they aren't 'interested in the users' -thats a literal statement if I ever heard one. They could care less about people, unless they are somehow challenging the status quo -then they are interested.Bunch of thieves, liars, and hypocrits. I don't think we can expect much more out of Holder than we got from mr pee. Its still about 'the rule of law' and the protection of the rich at the expense of the entire planet and all life on it.I like Obama, but his choices of cabinet, and other appointees is beginning to put the lie to all the wonderful expectations he raised in the world.This is a world I will see crumble and cease to exist. I am not responsible in any way for its demise, I wish I could take credit, it would be an honor. The days are numbered.No matter how much propping up is done, the horse is dead, and it ain't coming back to life.And all who foolishly continue to buy into the false power and authority will find themselves in a very uncomfortable place, if they haven't already.Can't deny the coin of Caesar, its in our face, but there is no 'law' or scriptural commandment that states we must believe in it, give it our number one consideration every day of our lives. Just because its a gun in our face surely does not make it right, ethically, morally, or any way at all.Wake up america! You're a beast that is ravaging the earth and all its inhabitants, and if you defend the status quo slavery of the nine-to-five, or the false authority of an unjust, immoral, unethical, government that openly supports wealth and power, but though lip service is given to the concept of 'the people', the people all over
the planet are languishing in various stages of suffering because america -the 'leader' of the world, is leading the world to disaster of biblical proportion.Nature is coming unglued. It has been rather quiescent for quite a while, holding back in the Hope and Grace that enough of humanity would get their shit together. Well unfortunately what the status quo considers as 'having the shit together' is just shit, plain and simple, and it stinks.All the token efforts by the mainstream to appear as if they are doing something about the mess they made (hybrids, a lot of talk ab out alternmative energy -and absolutely no action of any import-) are all a joke, and an insult to intelligent minds. (not that there are a lot of those around apparently.)Obama is not the antichrist, but the office of the president of the united states IS (currently) the throne of the antichrist, so I can see how people are making the mistake of thinking of Obama in that way. Profit- a word that attempts to cover up the real meaning of the word; GREED.FREE -as in non-gratis, liberation, availability, and INHERENT IN OUR YAH GIVEN IHERITANCE as human beings on planet earth - CANNABIS FOREVER
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 09, 2009 at 07:33:10 PT
Gulf Onshore Announces Name Change to Cannabis Science, Inc. and Selection of Its First Pharmaceutical Cannabis Product for FDA TestingThursday, April 09, 2009 Gulf Onshore Inc (OTCBB: GFON) has changed its name to Cannabis Science, Inc., reflecting its new business mission, and has requested a new stock trading symbol, which will be will be assigned by NASDAQ OMX in the near future. Cannabis Science Inc. has also launched its new website reflecting its new name.URL:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 08, 2009 at 19:23:00 PT
Just a Comment
Since I don't understand how Prop 215 is suppose to work or at least it doesn't seem like I know considering how it is these days I just hope they can get it together so we can move on to other states. So many states need reform.Excerpt: "We are not interested in users. "... We're not even interested in people who have a legitimate claim to being compassionate providers," Russoniello said during the hourlong forum at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. "But we differentiate between those people who are claiming such conduct and those who are cultivating, who are distributing, who are trafficking marijuana for profit."
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