Hypocrisy in America’s Favorite Pastime?

On May 5, the Orioles’ 2006 first round draft pick, Billy Rowell, tested positive for marijuana and received a 50-game suspension. Following the suspension, Billy called Major League Baseball “hypocritical” for their treatment of him. While that may not be the most appropriate word, the MLB policy on drugs and other illegal activity is certainly inconsistent.

In February 2011, Miguel Cabrera, the current Detroit Tigers’ third baseman, was arrested for DUI after being found in a disabled S.U.V. after he allegedly forced other vehicles off the road and threatened to blow up the bar he had been drinking at previously. While Cabrera rightly faced legal repercussions, the league was mysteriously quiet on the issue. Cabrera did not receive any disciplinary action from the league; he was not suspended, and he did not receive a fine. Cabrera also has a history of both alcohol abuse and violence. In 2009, he… Continue reading

Pot smoking may help relieve symptoms of MS

By Rachael Rettner MyHealthNewsDaily

Smoking marijuana may improve some symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a new study suggests.

Patients with multiple sclerosis in the study had less muscle tightness, also called spasticity, and less pain after they smoked marijuana, compared with after they took a placebo.

Spasticity is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS) and can cause exaggerated reflexes, spasms and problems walking. Existing medications can ease spasticity, but they cause side effects, and not all MS patients are helped by them.

However, patients in the study experienced short-term decreases in their abilities to pay attention and concentrate after they smoked marijuana. Patients also reported feeling “high” after smoking marijuana, and two patients withdrew from the study because they felt uncomfortably high.

More research is needed to confirm the findings and to investigate whether lower doses of marijuana may have similar benefits with fewer adverse effects, said study researcher… Continue reading

Drug Czar Being Disingenuous and Evasive. No Kidding.

At the Center for American Progress on May 1, Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske answered a question from MPP’s Steve Fox regarding marijuana prohibition. Or did he? What Steve essentially asked is that if a great many Americans use both marijuana and alcohol, and alcohol causes disease, violence and death while marijuana is not responsible for any of these problems, why are there laws prohibiting the use of marijuana, if alcohol is legal?

Now, with the exception of some brief gibberish about alcohol prohibition, the issue of allowing a harmful substance (alcohol) to be legally consumed by adults while outlawing a harmless substance (marijuana) was completely ignored. What was addressed, however, was the issue of prescription drugs.

The drug czar argued that there is no reason to tax, regulate, and control marijuana because legal prescription drugs take over 15,000 lives a year, saying, “we do a very poor job of keeping… Continue reading

Mexico’s drug war: No sign of ‘light at the end of the tunnel’

Mexico is struggling to contain a drugs war that has claimed more than 50,000 lives in less than six years. Msnbc.com’s F. Brinley Bruton spoke to NBC News contributor Jorge Castañeda, who is a former Mexican foreign minister and a New York University professor, about the problems he sees with the ongoing efforts to stamp out the illicit trade and possible ways out of the violence.

Q: An estimated 50,000 people have been killed in Mexico since 2006, the country is one of the most dangerous in which to be a journalist, and kidnapping and extortion are rife. Is Mexico teetering over into chaos.

Residents look at shoes of missing people that have been arranged to form the number 49 in memory of dozens of people whose bodies were found dumped near Mexico’s northern city of Monterrey on Sunday. The mutilated corpses of 43 men and six women, whose hands… Continue reading

Aspiring D.C. Pot Dealers Challenge Rejections

Johnnie Scott Rice has held a lot of titles in her life: director of constituent services, advisory neighborhood commissioner, D.C. Council candidate. But there is one title she covets that has eluded her: District pot dealer. Rice, 71, is part of the Green House, a self-proclaimed “group of old ladies,” that the city recently turned down for a license to sell medical marijuana. Three other rejected applicants, including a Bethesda eye doctor and a competitive bass fisherman, have gone to court in the past week to contest the city’s decision, said Ted O. Gest, spokesman for the D.C. Office of Attorney General. Many of those turned down have said the selection process is confusing and opaque. They contend the D.C. Health Department did not provide clear explanations for its decisions — an accusation city officials deny. Rice and her partners, who include a former lingerie store owner and a social… Continue reading

U.S. House Democrats Support Ending Federal Interference in Medical Marijuana States

Nearly Three Quarters of Democrats Break with Administration Policy, Vote to Prevent Federal Agencies from Targeting Individuals in Compliance with State Medical Marijuana Laws

Democrats in the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to approve an amendment to the FY 2013 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations bill late Tuesday that would effectively end the ability of federal agencies to enforce federal marijuana laws against individuals who are in compliance with state medical marijuana laws. The amendment stated that federal agencies may not use any funds to target individuals in states with medical marijuana laws, as long as those people are following the laws of their respective states. This amendment, which was debated five times last decade, was reintroduced after an increase in federal actions against state-legal medical marijuana providers throughout the country over the last year.

The amendment was supported by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California), Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-New York), Rep. Sam… Continue reading

Tell Congress to Stop Federal Interference with Medical Marijuana States

An amendment to the 2013 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations bill in the U.S. House that would effectively end federal interference in medical marijuana states is being considered today, and we need your help!

The Rohrabacher-Hinchey-Farr-McClintock Amendment would stop federal agencies from spending any funds to target individuals acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws. This would include patients and providers, so long as those providers were following the law within their respective states.

If this passes, providers will no longer have to live in fear that the businesses they worked hard to build and keep in compliance with their state and local laws will be arbitrarily raided and destroyed by federal agents. Patients will no longer be forced to buy inferior medicine from dangerous criminals at the whim of U.S. attorneys. States will finally be free to determine the marijuana policies that work best for the seriously ill… Continue reading