Posts Tagged ‘posted on’

California pot growers shifting crop to private farmlands – Politics Wires –

Friday, December 9th, 2011

WASHINGTON — California’s commercial pot growers are moving plots from national forests to Central Valley farmland, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims told senators Wednesday.

Citing a “conspicuous shift” in drug cultivation tactics, Mims added that growers also are increasingly using the “guise” of medical marijuana in an effort to protect their work that, arrest records show, frequently relies on illegal immigrants.

“Rather than growing marijuana in the relative secrecy and anonymity afforded by remote public lands, many moved illicit operations onto private agricultural lands,” Mims advised the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, which held a hearing Wednesday on marijuana cultivation on public lands.

Fresno County has seen a drop in marijuana plots on public lands. In 2009, for instance, law enforcement investigators identified 81 marijuana-growing sites on public lands in Fresno County. In 2010, the number fell to 19. This year, only eight have been found.

via California pot growers shifting crop to private farmlands – Politics Wires –

Marijuana, Narcotics Help Patients Reduce Chronic Pain, Study Finds

Friday, December 9th, 2011

WASHINGTON — A new study out of UC San Francisco has found that medical marijuana, combined with certain opiates, appears to be a safe and effective treatment for patients with chronic pain.

The study, published this month in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, found that patients who use cannabinoids inhaled through a vaporizer, combined with long-acting morphine or long-acting oxycodone, experienced a greater reduction of pain than those who used opiates alone.

The 21 chronic pain patients involved in the study were split into two groups. Those who combined four consecutive days of exposure to vaporized cannabis with morphine experienced a 33 percent reduction in pain, while those who combined it with oxycodone saw a drop in pain of 20 percent. The study is the first to examine the combined effect of these drugs on humans.

via Marijuana, Narcotics Help Patients Reduce Chronic Pain, Study Finds.

California Marijuana Dispensary Trades Pot for Food to Feed the Hungry – ABC News

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Medical marijuana users are accustomed to the munchies sending them on a hunt for food. Now they have a place where giving their food away can score them some pot.

For the second year in a row, one California medical marijuana dispensary is doing its part to feed the hungry by offering their patients a trade: one free joint for every six cans of donated food.

“We’re in a really controversial industry, and we wanted to show that we’re here for good,” says Nancy Black, sales manager at the Granny Purps dispensary in Soquel, Calif.

The dispensary is running its unique food drive for the second year in a row, trading joints — Black calls them “pre-rolls”– for donated food.

There is no limit to the number of free joints a single customer can receive.

“We’ve given away 50, 60, pre-rolls at a time to one person for the amount of cans they’ve brought in,” Black said.

via California Marijuana Dispensary Trades Pot for Food to Feed the Hungry – ABC News.

Colorado to join other states asking feds to reclassify marijuana | The Washington Independent

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffee and Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire have petitioned the federal government to change the schedule of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, a move they claim will remove the conflict between federal and state drug laws, which will in turn allow for the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries. Colorado will file its own request before the end of the year.

Shortly after filing the petition, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed on as well. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper apparently has no plans to sign the petition, but Colorado will file its own request to reclassify marijuana.

Currently, marijuana is listed as Schedule I by the Drug Enforcement Administration alongside heroin and LSD, which means that the federal government considers marijuana to have no accepted medical use.

“This is a good first step, in that it shows that politicians are catching up with the scientific consensus, which is that marijuana has medical value,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “If it succeeds, federal law will finally acknowledge that fact. Rescheduling marijuana, however, will not change the federal penalties for possessing, cultivating, or distributing medical marijuana,” he said in a prepared statement. “That is the change we really need. These governors should be insisting that the federal government allow them to run their medical marijuana operations the ways they see fit, which should include selling medical marijuana through state-licensed dispensaries.”

via Colorado to join other states asking feds to reclassify marijuana | The Washington Independent.

‘Weed Wars’ Goes Inside Medical Marijuana Dispensary | Fox News

Friday, December 9th, 2011

The issue of legal medical marijuana isn’t disappearing in a cloud of smoke, as Discovery Channel’s “Weed Wars” proves.

The four-part series premiering Thursday goes inside controversial business of medical cannabis by following Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, the nation’s largest medicinal cannabis dispensary, serving over 94,000 patients. The man behind the pot-centric business is Steve DeAngelo, who hopes that the show will educate Americans on the regulation, taxation and sale of medicinal cannabis.

“We wanted to be a model to other dispensaries, most of who have a media phobia. We wanted to tell our story and we gave Discovery complete access so that people could make up their own minds,” DeAngelo told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “There are a lot of stereotypes about who comes to these dispensaries, but viewers will see our customers cover a huge cross-section of the population – age, race and economic classes. They will also see how Harborside treats cannabis as a medicine, and we have a high standard of medical care.”

via ‘Weed Wars’ Goes Inside Medical Marijuana Dispensary | Fox News.

Does Long Beach Really Have to Ban Marijuana Dispensaries? – Orange County News – Navel Gazing

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Ever since a pair of Long Beach medical-marijuana smokers won a Sept. 24 ruling that threw the city’s ordinance regulating cannabis clubs into doubt, rumors have abounded that Long Beach, whose 2010 ordinance allowed pot clubs to operate if they won a $14,000 permit, will soon ban all dispensaries. Cities throughout the state are watching to see what happens as they decide how to respond, and the Long Beach City Council is expected to hear an update on a proposed ban at its Dec. 12 meeting.

Not so fast, argues the Long Beach Collective Association, a group of local dispensaries that yesterday handed the council a document detailing how the city can change its ordinance to comply with state law.

According a story yesterday in Village Voice Media’s marijuana blog, Toke of the Town, the group believes that while the court ruling — known as the Pack decision and named after one of the plaintiffs, Ryan Pack — may not allow the city to issue permits requiring dispensaries to cultivate a plant that’s illegal under federal law (this is what Long Beach’s ordinance effectively did), the ruling doesn’t necessarily mean the city has to shut the clubs down.

via Does Long Beach Really Have to Ban Marijuana Dispensaries? – Orange County News – Navel Gazing.

Latham introduces legislation banning “synthetic marijuana”

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Legislation that would essentially ban the sale of “synthetic marijuana” has cleared the U.S. House. The measure, cosponsored by Iowa Congressman Tom Latham, would make it illegal to possess or sell substances such as K-2. The drugs are often labeled as bath salts or incense and can be found in convenience stores or so-called “head shops.”

Latham, a Republican from Ames, credited a family from Indianola for bringing the issue to light. In July 2010, 18-year-old David Rozga shot himself after smoking K-2. “In response to the tragedy, David’s parents Mike and Jan have led a campaign to outlaw synthetic drugs like K2,” Latham said.

Mike Rozga testified before a U.S. Senate panel about the dangers of K-2 earlier this year. The drug can lead to serious illness, extreme paranoia and thoughts of suicide. Latham said K-2 continues to be a serious problem in Iowa, despite the publicity and efforts to remove designer drugs from store shelves.

“In Polk County, three teens were involved in a high speed crash after smoking one of these substances,” Latham stated on the House floor. “In central Iowa, a teenage boy was hospitalized after taking synthetic drugs and becoming violently ill, having seizures, vomiting and hallucinations.”

The Synthetic Drug Control Act was approved in the House on a 317 to 98 vote. Companion legislation awaits action by the U.S. Senate.

via Latham introduces legislation banning “synthetic marijuana”.

DEA: Crackdown Pushing Pot Growers North | NBC San Diego

Friday, December 9th, 2011

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) believes a crackdown on illegal pot growers in the backcountry is pushing the farmers out of San Diego County and into larger counties, according to a spokesperson for the DEA.

Click here for photos of recent raids

Every year the DEA scours the backcountry, searching for outdoor plots of land where illegal marijuana is being grown. But this year they’re seeing a drop.

Special agents destroyed nearly 200,000 marijuana plants found in San Diego County this year, according to the DEA. That’s fewer than last year, which was already down from 2009.

“The traffickers have learned that if they see helicopters overhead, that’s a really bad thing for them and we have helicopters flying overhead every day so I think that’s what’s driving them north,” said Bill Sherman from the DEA San Diego Field Division.

Sherman says avocado farmers are often helpful because they notice when an illegal grower is still their area and then they notify the authorities.

The DEA arrested 107 illegal growers in 2011.

via DEA: Crackdown Pushing Pot Growers North | NBC San Diego.

Sacramento supervisors outlaw medicinal pot dispensaries in the county – Marijuana –

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Sacramento County supervisors said they wanted to make it unambiguous that they won’t permit medical marijuana dispensaries.

So board members passed a county zoning amendment that fails to include the words “medical” or “marijuana” or “dispensaries.”

Instead, supervisors are seeking to bring an end to the county’s once teeming medical marijuana trade by denying business permits to establishments that conflict with “either state or federal law, or both” under a new policy approved Tuesday.

The board’s action comes after aggressive code enforcement efforts – and threats of federal prosecution or property seizures – shuttered all but a handful of marijuana stores in the county’s unincorporated communities.

via Sacramento supervisors outlaw medicinal pot dispensaries in the county – Marijuana –

Emergency Summit Tackles Synthetic Cannabis Use | Midwest | United States | Epoch Times

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

CHICAGO—Drugs designed to mimic the effects of marijuana have been sold in tobacco shops, gas stations, and convenience stores across the country for much of the last decade. While these products have managed to elude attempts at regulation, the number of users continues to grow.

In an effort to limit access to synthetic cannabis, federal and state authorities recently convened at an emergency summit in Illinois, organized by state Attorney General Lisa Madigan. The event aimed to raise awareness of the dangers of these drugs and, according to Madigan, “formulate a coordinated, statewide response to fight back.”

Best known as Spice or K2—in reference to the world’s second highest mountain—the drug is found under a variety of brand names and is much easier to obtain than the illegal plant it’s designed to imitate. Despite this easy availability, authorities warn of serious health risks associated with K2 consumption.

“The fact that anyone can walk into a store and purchase synthetic drugs gives teens and young adults the illusion that these substances are safe,” Madigan warned officials in Springfield, Ill.

For years, K2 was believed to be a natural product—a proprietary blend of mildly euphoric flowers and leaves each with its own history of traditional use. But a 2008 analysis discovered that the chemicals responsible for the product’s high aren’t found in nature.

Although K2 products largely consist of plant material, they are laced with synthetic compounds designed to produce the same feel-good effects as marijuana, but without the threat of breaking the law.

While synthetic cannabinoids were originally developed by researchers in an attempt to slow tumor growth, the compounds were later co-opted for recreational use. However, authorities say these drugs are extremely dangerous because users can’t really be sure of the chemicals they’re ingesting.

K2 products feature a vast range of different chemical formulations and potencies, some of which can be two to 500 times stronger than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the natural psychoactive chemical found in cannabis.

Although K2 is legal, the Illinois Poison Center says it causes far more side effects than marijuana. Users have reported increases in heart rate and blood pressure, as well as vomiting, panic attacks, hallucinations, seizures, and more.

via Emergency Summit Tackles Synthetic Cannabis Use | Midwest | United States | Epoch Times.