Rhode Island General Assembly overwhelmingly decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana

Earlier this evening, June 5, 2012, the Rhode Island General Assembly overwhelming approved twin bills that would – for most offenses – remove the threat of jail time for the simple possession of marijuana. The companion bills – S2253/H7092 – would replace the current criminal charge for simple possession – up to a year in jail and/or up to a $500 fine – with a $150 civil offense. Individuals under the age of 18 would be subject to the same civil violation and would also be required to attend a drug education course as well as perform community service. A third marijuana possession offense within 18 months could result in a misdemeanor conviction punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500. The twin bills must now each get a vote in the other legislative chamber. Then, they will go to Gov. Lincoln Chafee… Continue reading

NORML Tennessee Chapter Monthly Meeting

Elected President, 2 VP’s and a treasurer. Our board of director’s is:

  • Doak Patton – President
  • Justin Morrison – Vice President
  • Brett Andrews – Secretary
  • Carla Chamberlain – Treasurer

Other discussions were about funding and design of a billboard downtown promoting Medical Marijuana and NORML.

Other ideas concerning fundraising were discussed…more to follow as well.

There was a guest from East Tennessee drive all the way here to support our chapter. He had some good ideas and a few good stories. Suggestions were passed about a Chattanooga chapter.

There was quite an age mix at the meeting so it was clear that this is an issue for all ages.

NORML will have a monthly meeting on the 1st Sunday at 2pm at the Sunset Grill. It will be posted with details and a Google map, on the Calendar button above. Open to all.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has signed HB 5389, officially making Connecticut the 17th medical marijuana state!

Gov. Dannel Malloy has signed HB 5389, officially making Connecticut the 17th medical marijuana state!

The bulk of the bill will go into effect on October 1, 2012. After that, qualifying patients will be able to obtain temporary registrations to possess marijuana.

To qualify, a patient must have a doctor’s written certification and one of the following conditions: glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord damage causing spasms, epilepsy, cachexia, wasting syndrome, Crohn’s disease, PTSD, or a condition added by the Department of Consumer Protection.

HB 5389 provides for access through licensed dispensaries, which only pharmacists will be allowed to file applications for. Dispensaries may obtain marijuana from licensed producers, who will pay an application fee of at least $25,000.

Click here to read MPP’s summary of the new law.

This victory follows years of hard work from several organizations, seriously ill patients, legislators, and advocates. Congratulations to… Continue reading

Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Lower Mortality Risk In Patients With Psychotic Disorders

Baltimore,  MD:  The use of cannabis is  associated with lower mortality risk in patients with schizophrenia and related  psychotic disorders, according to a forthcoming studyto be published in the  Journal of Psychiatric Research.

An international team of investigators  from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Inje University in South  Korea assessed the impact of a lifetime history substance use on mortality in  762 subjects with schizophrenia or related disorders.

Researchers reported, “[W]e observed a  lower mortality risk-adjusted variable in cannabis-users compared to cannabis  non-users despite subjects having similar symptoms and antipsychotic  treatments.”

Authors speculated that the association  between marijuana use and decreased mortality risk may be because “cannabis  users may (be) higher functioning” and because “cannabis itself may have some  health benefits.”

They concluded:  “To our knowledge, this is one of the… Continue reading

A Judge’s Plea for Pot

Three and a half years ago, on my 62nd birthday, doctors discovered a mass on my pancreas. It turned out to be Stage 3 pancreatic cancer. I was told I would be dead in four to six months. Today I am in that rare coterie of people who have survived this long with the disease. But I did not foresee that after having dedicated myself for 40 years to a life of the law, including more than two decades as a New York State judge, my quest for ameliorative and palliative care would lead me to marijuana.

My survival has demanded an enormous price, including months of chemotherapy, radiation hell and brutal surgery. For about a year, my cancer disappeared, only to return. About a month ago, I started a new and even more debilitating course of treatment. Every other week, after receiving an IV booster of chemotherapy drugs that… Continue reading

Obama’s Hypocritical War on Marijuana

A forthcoming biography on President Obama is making headlines, with new details about the president smoking marijuana with his teenage friends in Hawaii.

David Maraniss’ book, Barack Obama: The Story, describes Obama as a marijuana enthusiast: “When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted ‘Intercepted!’ and took an extra hit,” Maraniss writes. Maraniss also describes Obama’s technique of “roof hits” while hot-boxing cars. “When the pot was gone, they tilted their heads back and sucked in the last bit of smoke from the ceiling,” he writes. Obama has been less than shy about his drug use in the past, writing about the topic in Dreams from My Father, “Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it,” he writes in the memoir.

While Obama’s term began with great promise for drug policy reformers, in the past… Continue reading

Obama Still Intercepting Marijuana

A sneak peak at a new biography of President Obama revealed some interesting things about his marijuana use that are pretty sad when you look at his track record on the issue of medical marijuana.

From the biography:

Barry also had a knack for interceptions. When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted “Intercepted!,” and took an extra hit. No one seemed to mind.

Now, some may look at this and ask how the president could possibly be so against marijuana reform that he laughs at the mere suggestion? How could a (former?) marijuana user continue to advocate putting other marijuana users in jail?

If you really think about it, though, Obama hasn’t changed at all. His behavior now is merely an extension of his behavior as a young marijuana user. He has no problems with his own… Continue reading