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
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?
The proliferation of dispensary-style medical marijuana operations in Oregon concerns the state’s new U.S. Attorney, but she said she’s unwilling to devote much time or money to prosecuting a criminal activity that’s low on her list of priorities.
U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall said the number of dispensaries in Oregon has been growing. Her office estimates the state hosts at least 100, most of which are in the Portland metro area.
In 2010, Marshall’s predecessor joined his counterparts in other medical marijuana states by sending warning letters to operations it felt were the most egregious offenders of the state’s medical marijuana law, threatening them — or their landlords — with civil asset forfeiture if they didn’t close shop.
The problem, Marshall said, is that Oregon’s medical marijuana law was passed without any enforcement power or extra money for local agencies to crack down on the worst actors.
“I don’t know that… Continue reading
Technological advancements have given today’s teenagers access to a lot of things their parents could hardly envision at that age: The Internet. iPads. And marijuana many times more powerful than what people smoked in the 1970s.
The rise in marijuana use among teens, as documented by recent national surveys, comes as particularly alarming to health advocates because marijuana is more potent than ever before, experts say. That means the pot youth are smoking today carries a greater risk of harm than what their parents might have experienced a generation ago.
“The people who are growing marijuana have improved their techniques,” Stephen Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership at Drugfree.org, said in phone interview. “Nobody’s cleaning seeds out of marijuana on a record album like they used to do in the old days.”
Counter-drug investigators say the trend is increasingly evident in North Carolina too, as… Continue reading
Fourteen months ago, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee decided to withhold issuing certificates of operation to three prospective compassion centers (dispensaries) chosen by the governor’s own health department. This decision, made unilaterally by the governor, was Chafee’s reaction to a letter from Rhode Island United States Attorney Peter Neronha. The letter – one of several sent by United States attorneys across the country – reiterated the federal prohibition on marijuana, including for medical use. Additionally, it said Neronha’s office could prosecute people who violate the Controlled Substances Act. This stalled years of work done by the Rhode Island Legislature to give patients safe, regulated access to medical marijuana.
Needless to say, that day about 14 months ago wasn’t a good one around the MPP offices. MPP began lobbying to protect Rhode Island’s medical marijuana patients in 2004 and worked to allow compassion centers in the state since 2008. The legislature… Continue reading
Medical marijuana advocates have a message for Democratic leaders and federal prosecutors with an eye on political office: Don’t mess with pot. Pushing back against a federal effort to stem the proliferation of medical marijuana operations, one of the nation’s largest drug policy groups claimed credit Wednesday for the defeat of a former federal prosecutor who was the early favorite to win the Democratic primary for Oregon attorney general.
As interim U.S. attorney, Dwight Holton called Oregon’s medical marijuana law a “train wreck” and oversaw efforts to crack down on medical marijuana clubs and grow operations that he said were fronts for illegal marijuana sales. Federal prosecutors have led similar crackdowns in other states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use.
“Drug war rhetoric and tactics will not be tolerated,” said Jill Harris, managing director for the campaign arm of Drug Policy Alliance.
Retired state appeals court judge Ellen Rosenblum… Continue reading
Posted: 14 May 2012 06:01 PM PDT
Smoking medical marijuana could help relieve some symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a small new study suggests. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, found that people with MS who smoked cannabis had decreased pain and muscle tightness, called spasticity. However, the researchers warned that smoking the cannabis also led to problems with focus and attention.
The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, included 30 people — 63 percent of them women — with an average age of 50. More than half the participants needed aids for walking, and 20 percent of them were in wheelchairs. Some of the study participants were randomly assigned to have the cannabis, while others received a placebo.
At the end of the study, researchers found that people who smoked the cannabis had lower numbers on a spasticity scale,… Continue reading