Massachusetts voters approve marijuana for medicinal purposes

By Allison Linn, NBC News

Voters in Massachusetts approved a law Tuesday allowing people to use marijuana for medicinal purposes, NBC News projected.

It’s one of six states in which voters are being asked to decide on a wide array of laws around legalizing marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes.

In three of those states – Colorado, Oregon and Washington – voters were deciding whether to allow people over 21 to use marijuana for any purpose.

In addition to Massachusetts, voters in Arkansas also are being asked to approve the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. In Montana, they are being asked whether to revamp an existing law to make it more restrictive.

The laws legalizing marijuana for recreational or other purposes could face federal challenges, because marijuana possession is still a federal crime. But so far, the Justice Department has declined to discuss how it might react if the… Continue reading

“Should marijuana use be legalized?” US News & World Report Asks

Today’s installment of US News & World Report’s ‘Debate Club’ asks the question, “Should marijuana use be legalized?”


Participating in the round table and providing the ‘pro’ arguments are Alison Holcolm (New Approach Washington) and myself.

Participating on the con side are: Kevin Sabet and David Evans (Drug Free America Foundation).

Links for each commentary may be found below:

Armentano: Marijuana Regulation Works and Prohibition Fail

Holcolm: Marijuana Use Should Not Be a Crime

Sabet: There Are Smarter Ways to Deal With Marijuana Than Legalizatio

Evans: Marijuana Legalization Costs Outweighs Its Benefit

As in past editions of US News’ ‘Debate Club’, editors are asking visitors to the debate to vote ‘up’ the commentaries they like and to vote ‘down’ the arguments they oppose. Please feel free to vote and to share this link with others.

Regards, — Paul Armentano Deputy Director NORML | NORML Foundation… Continue reading



For Immediate Release:  Tuesday, October 30, 2012

For More Information:

Dan Viets 573-819-2669

Alexis Lyle 636-866-5350

The largest gathering of cannabis law reform advocates in Missouri this year will take place just three days before three states vote on legalization of marijuana for adults.  Colorado, Washington and Oregon voters will decide whether to legalize, and polls currently indicate that legalization is likely to pass in both Colorado and Washington.

On Saturday, November 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Allen Auditorium in the MU Arts & Science building at Ninth Street and Conley Avenue, activists will gather to lay plans for similar legislation in Missouri.  The morning will consist of presentations by leaders of NORML Chapters from St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield, as well as the MU NORML Chapter in Columbia.  Also speaking will be… Continue reading

Old Home Week at the NORML Conference

Tom Hayden, Paul Krassner

Trim, white-haired Tom Hayden gave a talk at the NORML conference in Los Angeles Oct. 4. NORML, the National Organization to Reform the Marijuana Laws, was founded in 1970  by Keith Stroup, who is now the group’s trim, white-haired general counsel.

Hayden had been invited and was introduced by Fort Lauderdale attorney Norm Kent, a NORML board member (and Counterpunch contributor) who recounted Tom’s resume from Freedom Rider at the start of the ’60s to California Assemblyman and State Senator from 1982 to 2000, and, most recently, a supporter of the Caravan for Peace.

Hayden congratulated NORML on its longevity. The early feminists didn’t live to see women get the vote, he observed.  “It seems to be a law of social change that it comes inch by inch. Each inch is sacred ground.”

Glass high-rises loomed above the Omni hotel in downtown L.A., where… Continue reading

Appeals Court to Consider DEA Classification of Marijuana

By Michael Doyle, McClatchy Newspapers

Medical marijuana users will get a long-awaited day in the nation’s second-highest federal court next week, when California-based activists argue for looser regulations.

While voters in Washington and two other Western states are preparing to vote on legalizing recreational pot use, the California activists hope to redefine how the federal government classifies the drug. The case, years in the making, could turn federal law enforcement on its head.

“It’s symbolic, and it’s extremely important,” Kris Hermes, spokesman for Americans for Safe Access, said in a telephone interview Friday, “and it will force the federal government to rethink how it addresses this issue.”

The drug regulation dispute will be taken up Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is influential because it oversees many federal agency decisions. The half-hour oral argument, pitting Americans for Safe… Continue reading

Study: Cannabis Agonists Produce Anti-Cancer Effects In Human Liver Cancer Cells

Tehran, Iran: The administration  of synthetic cannabinoid agonists reduce cell viability in human hepacarcinoma  cells and may be a potential option for the treatment of liver cancer,  according to preclinical data published online in the journal Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods.

Investigators  from the Tehran  University of Medical Sciences, Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology  assessed the anti-cancer properties of two synthetic cannabinoids, CB65 (CB2 receptor agonist) and  ACEA (CB1 receptor agonist) in human hepacarcinoma cells.

Authors  reported that the administration of cannabinoids reduced malignant cell  viability and cell invasion in a dose-dependent manner. “These data suggest ACEA and CB65 as an option for novel  treatment of hepatocellular cancer,” they concluded.

Previous studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids inhibit  tumor cell growth and selectively induced apoptosis by different cell signaling  pathways in various types of malignant cells, including gliomas (brain… Continue reading

Medical Marijuana Suit Reaches Federal Court: 1st Time In 20 Years

By Steve Elliott

Audiotape of October 4 teleconference briefing with researchers, legal counsel and lawsuit plaintiff now available

For the first time in nearly 20 years, a United States Court of Appeals is set to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medicinal value: Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration.

This historic case will force a federal court to finally review the scientific evidence regarding the therapeutic efficacy of marijuana.

During a press briefing on Thursday, plaintiffs in the case, along with leading medical researchers and clinicians, spoke about the necessity of the federal government recognizing current scientific data supporting marijuana rescheduling. Marijuana, incredibly, is currently classified in the same category as heroin despite calls from scientists, medical professionals, and policy makers to reschedule marijuana for medical use.

Under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Schedule I… Continue reading