The Week in Weed 3-9-13 Cannabis News

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Cannabis Cheri Sicard

Cheri Sicard

This Week: Leahy Says Sequesters Should Halt Federal Marijuana Raids; Pot Smoke Not Linked to Lung Problems, May Help Lungs; International Money and Torture in the Name of Drug Treatment; Cannabis and Canines; Legalization Advocates Criticize Ex DEA Chiefs; Florida TV Station Censors Pro Pot Message; Boxer Fined $900,000 for Testing Positive for Pot; and more.

MEDICAL/HEALTH

Pot Smoke Not Linked to Lung Problems, May Help Lungs — 20-Year study found no decline in lung function for occasional cannabis smokers; lung function of most marijuana smokers improves over time.

Cannabis for Canines — Julia Szabo reports on rogue veterinarians and pet owners who risk arrest to ease the pain of sick dogs.

POLITICS/LEGAL

International Money and Torture in the Name of Drug Treatment — The extent of torture and ill-treatment in the war on terror is well known. It has been the subject of campaigns, court cases, news features, enormous public attention, and, rightly, prosecutions. Torture and ill-treatment in the war on drugs is also widespread, but is often invisible, hidden behind a narrative of existential threat, and behind the systematic dehumanisation and marginalisation of people who are drug dependent.

Leahy Says Sequesters Should Halt Federal Marijuana Raids — The Obama Justice Department is still trying to figure out how to handle the legalization of marijuana possession in Colorado and Washington state, but one senator on Wednesday said that in an era of stretched budgets, the feds should back off.  “I would suggest there are more serious things than minor possession of marijuana,” Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Judiciary Committee chairman, told Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

Legalization Advocates Criticize Ex DEA Chiefs — Eight former U.S. drug chiefs warned the federal government Tuesday that time is running out to nullify Colorado and Washington’s new laws legalizing recreational marijuana use, and a United Nations agency also urged challenges to the measures it says violate international treaties.  But legalization advocates are firing back.

Florida TV Station Censors Pro Pot Message — Robert Platshorn spent 30 years in prison for marijuana, becoming the longest-serving pot prisoner in United States history, but today he can’t get 30 minutes on an Orlando, Florida television station to air Should Grandma Smoke Pot?, his infomercial about the benefits of medicinal cannabis.  Platshorn was willing to pay for the air time, but the station decided it didn’t want his money, reports Jason Parsley at South Florida Gay News.

This is How the Army Talks to Soldiers About Pot — While the rest of the nation is slowly but surely relaxing its stance on marijuana, the U.S. Army is here to remind soldiers that the ultra-conservative never goes out of style with a pamphlet titled Marijuana: Stone-Cold Stupid. It’s just one of many alarmist offerings from Prevention & Treatment Resource Press that is sure to make you nostalgic for your last midnight screening of Reefer Madness.

TAKE ACTION OPPORTUNITY

Petition to Drop the Charges Against Julio “Caesar” Chavez, Jr. — The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) fined former middleweight champion boxer Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. $900,000 and suspended him for nine months simply because he tested positive for marijuana.  The NSAC would never punish a fighter so severely for using alcohol, yet marijuana is an objectively less harmful product. It is less toxic, less addictive, and it does not contribute to assaults and other violent crimes like alcohol does. The commission’s harsh marijuana penalties do nothing to promote the health and safety of athletes. If anything, they put them in danger by steering them toward using alcohol and away from making the safer choice to use marijuana instead.

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