Medical Marijuana Does Not Increase Teen Drug Use

Marijuana use among teens has been on the rise for some time–it’s become more popular than smoking cigarettes in recent years–but a provocative new study shows that legalizing pot for medical purposes doesn’t increase the chance that teens will abuse it or certain other drugs.

“There is anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana is finding its way into the hands of teenagers, but there’s no statistical evidence that legalization increases the probability of use,” Daniel I. Rees, an economics professor at the University of Colorado Denver who worked on the study, said in a written statement.

Rees and his team looked at nationally representative data from high school students from 1993 through 2009–medical marijuana was legal in 13 states during that time–and found that legalization didn’t affect marijuana use at school. According to study co-author Benjamine Hansen, assistant professor of economics at the University of Oregon, the data showed the opposite:… Continue reading

AG Eric Holder Urged To Oppose MJ Ballot Issue

A Colorado committee formed to defeat a marijuana issue on the November ballot has asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to weigh in with his opposition.

Amendment 64 would allow adults statewide to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana for recreational use.

The measure is opposed by a citizens group called Smart Colorado, which is represented by the Denver law firm of Holland & Hart.

In a letter to Holder, Smart Colorado attorney Jon Anderson noted that Colorado’s ballot measure “parallels” a California measure, Proposition 19, that voters there defeated in 2010.

The Department of Justice “aggressively” opposed that measure, Anderson said, and Smart Colorado wants the department to do the same in Colorado.

“As you know, Colorado has the most expansive medical marijuana industry in the country,” he wrote Holder. “To further expand their drug profits, this industry will invest enormous sums of money to erase all state… Continue reading

Hemp Activist Arrested Near White House

The Plant Is a Raw Material, Not Pot, Head of Soap Company Says

David Bronner locked himself in a metal cage Monday outside the White House with a stash of hemp plants and equipment, hoping to make enough hemp oil to spread on a piece of French bread.

Bronner, president and chief executive of Dr.  Bronner’s Magic Soaps, never got to finish the oil-pressing process or to have his usual breakfast.

D.C.  police and firefighters used a chain saw to cut open the steel cage door and arrest him.  Bronner was charged with possession of marijuana and blocking passage.

Bronner, whose Californiabased company uses hemp oil in its soap products, pleaded with President Obama – via microphone – to allow hemp harvesting in the United States.

Bronner was moved to protest after a recent 28,000-signature petition asking for hemp legalization didn’t get the response he wanted, according… Continue reading

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signs marijuana decriminalization bill

Today, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) signed legislation (PDF) into law that will reform how Rhode Island penalizes the simple possession of up to an ounce of marijuana (PDF). Currently, simple possession can be penalized with a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $200-$500 criminal fine. Under the provisions of the new law – which will take effect on April 1, 2013 – most violations of possession of up to an ounce of marijuana will be penalized with a simple civil fine of $150!

Rhode Island is the 15th state to remove the threat of jail time for the simple possession of marijuana. Other states are considering enacting similar laws or improving their existing ‘decriminalization’ laws. Where one stands on marijuana policy has become a deciding issue at the polls lately, and support for reform is winning out. Colorado and… Continue reading

Congress Members Responsible For Marijuana Prohibition May Soon Be Able To Obtain It For Medical Use

It’s unfortunate that chronic pain isn’t a qualifying condition under D.C.’s medical marijuana law because prohibitionists in Congress have been getting beaten up pretty badly lately (metaphorically, of course). Late yesterday afternoon, the District of Columbia Department of Health announced the prospective operators eligible to register as medical marijuana dispensaries and begin distributing medical marijuana to patients in the fall. The announcement comes on the heels of Rhode Island’s legislature passing a decriminalization bill, and both Connecticut and New Hampshire’s legislatures passing medical marijuana legislation.

Ironically, that means medical marijuana will soon be available just blocks from Congress, which is responsible for prohibition and for holding up D.C.’s program for more than a decade. Despite nearly 70% of D.C. voters approving a medical marijuana initiative in 1998, Congress put a hold on D.C.’s appropriations bill that prevented the District from implementing the law. That hold was finally lifted in… Continue reading

Tommy Chong Cancer: ‘Cheech And Chong’ Star Battling Prostate Cancer

Actor Tommy Chong is battling prostate cancer, he revealed to CNN’s Don Lemon on Saturday night.

The 74-year-old is best known for his stoner-comedy routine alongside Cheech Marin, as the comedy duo “Cheech and Chong.”

Chong told CNN he was diagnosed about a month ago and that the cancer is currently in a “slow stage one.” He revealed he first noticed symptoms nearly eight years ago during his nine-month sentence at Taft Correctional Institution in California, adding that he believes the prison caused his health to take a turn for the worse.

Tommy Chong“The prison is built on toxic waste. I also got gout from the food there,” he told CNN.

The actor and comedian revealed his condition during an interview about his support for decriminalizing marijuana use and sales, so it’s not surprising how he plans on treating his illness.

“I’ve got prostate cancer, and I’m treating it… Continue reading

Country Music Television Embraces Marijuana

During the 2012 CMT Music Awards, Willie Nelson, a country music legend and well-known marijuana supporter, performed his song, “Roll Me up,” a marijuana ballad whose refrain is “roll me up and smoke me when I die,” a clear allusion to marijuana. Joining Mr. Nelson in singing verses of the popular song were some of country music’s best and brightest: Darius Rucker, Toby Keith, Zac Brown, and Jamey Johnson.

It is refreshing to see mainstream musicians that are thought to cater to a relatively conservative fan base singing in support of marijuana. More than that, by singing “Roll Me Up” in a venue that is seen by so many and considered family-friendly, these artists are removing the stigma from the marijuana discourse. They are not debating the use or legality of the drug; they are simply singing a song about marijuana, taking for granted that the subject matter is perfectly… Continue reading