The Week in Weed 4-14-12 Cannabis News

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Cannabis, Marijuana

This Week: Auto Insurance Site Says Marijuana Users Are Safer Drivers; Huge Victory for Canadian Medical Marijuana Patients; Latin American Leaders Talk Drug Legalization; How the War on Drugs Hurts Everybody; CA State Athletic Commission Approves Amendment for Medical Marijuana Use; Cops Break Laws on Taxpayer Dime; AZ Governor Bans Medical Marijuana from College Campuses; New Trial for Grumbine/Byron; and more!

Unless you are a member of the “choir” (my affectionate name for the hard core cannabis activists who live this movement day in and day out), chances are you’re going to miss a lot of cannabis news.  It’s not that there isn’t any, things are happening in the word of marijuana all the time.  But the mainstream media never seems to make it a priority to report on it.

So, since I follow these things, and am on every cannabis mailing list imaginable, I thought it might be a good idea to do a weekly round-up of the compelling stories that came across my desk the week before.  Sometimes I might discover stories older than a week old but still timely, so I’ll pass them on too.  If you have suggestions for stories to be considered for inclusion in next week’s round up, use the Contact Us form here and let me know.

POLITICS/LEGAL

Auto Insurance Site Says Marijuana Users Are Safer Drivers— There’s yet another study now that concludes marijuana users are better drivers, especially when compared with those who use alcohol behind the wheel. Twenty years of study has concluded that marijuana smokers may actually be getting a bad rap and that they may actually have fewer accidents than other drivers.  The website 4AutoinsuranceQuote.org put a press release on the study, which “looks at statistics regarding accidents, traffic violations, and insurance prices,” and “seeks to dispel the though that ‘driving while stoned’ is dangerous.”

Huge Victory for Canadian Medical Marijuana Patients — In a huge victory for Canada’s medical marijuana patients, people authorized to use medicinal cannabis can use it in infused edibles and drink it in tea — not just smoke the dried flowers — the B.C. Supreme Court ruled on Friday.Justice Robert Johnston said the restriction to dried cannabis only in Health Canada’s Medical Access Regulations is unconstitutional, violating Section 7 of the Charter of Rights.

Latin American Leaders Talk Drug Legalization — Leaders from North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean will gather for the Summit of the Americas. There’s no official agenda, nor is there much word as to what definitely will be discussed beyond freer trade and “civil security.” But a flurry of editorials and articles stressing the need to acknowledge the elephant-in-the-room issue of the drug war have suddenly appeared. From The Guardian to The Miami Herald to The Huffington Post there are refrains from Latin American leaders (or articles weighty with references to their new views), all saying that it’s time we talk about this issue. Finally, the violence-spawning elephant is under discussion. Will President Barack Obama join the conversation?

How the War on Drugs Hurts Everybody —  Something as massive and amorphous as America’s War on Drugs can be difficult to imagine in concrete terms. This web of failed policies is so huge, so persistent and so deeply woven into the fabric of our nation that it’s hard to envision an alternative — or even appreciate what the conflict is currently siphoning resources away from.  That’s why the past week has been so important for the cause of ending the drug war — because it has provided three tragic examples of how that war harms not only its dead and/or incarcerated victims, but also how it makes society as a whole more susceptible to horrific crimes.

AZ Governor Bans Medical Marijuana from College Campuses  — The state of Arizona has opened a new front in the escalating war on medical cannabis, this time turning their attention directly at youth and students. On Tuesday, April 3, Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law that prohibits medical cannabis on college campuses in Arizona, despite the fact that state voters approved a medical marijuana law in November 2010.  This new law will prohibit anyone, including students and faculty, from possessing cannabis on an Arizona college campus, regardless of whether or that person is an approved medical marijuana patient.

IRS and Melinda Haag Goal to Wipe Out Medical Marijuana — The hypocritical attack by the IRS and US Attorney Melinda Haag against California medical cannabis dispensaries, particularly in Oakland, feels like it’s right out of a Kafka novel. On the one-hand, the feds (which include the IRS) adamantly maintain that the possession and sale of medical marijuana is illegal because pot is considered an unlawful controlled substance under federal law. But at the same time, the IRS maintains that any proceeds from the sale of medical pot by dispensaries to members of their cooperatives are taxable. On its face, this double standard is ridiculous. But the Internal Revenue Service’s mind-bending arguments don’t stop there.

CA State Athletic Commission Approves Amendment for Medical Marijuana Use —  The California State Athletic Commission voted on Monday to approve an amendment that allows therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for combat sports’ athletes who use drugs currently banned by the state agency for medical purposes, including testosterone and marijuana.To be adopted into state law, the amendment’s verbiage must now be reviewed and approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs and then the state’s Office of Administrative Law, a process that could take months or even years, if it passes at all.

Cops Break Laws on Taxpayer Dime — Cynthia Johnston’s insightful editorial on how law enforcement uses taxpayer money to break the law and target citizens and just what you, the taxpayer, gets for the tax dollars spent on the drug war.

New Trial for Grumbine/Byron — In a rare case of one judge calling out another’s misconduct publicly, Judge Joan Casaret-Cassani said she was “appalled” after reading the transcripts of the medical marijuana trial conducted by Long Beach, CA Superior Court Judge Charles Sheldon, and granted defendants Joe Grumbine and Joe Byron a new trial.

Worldwide Population of Legal Medical Marijuana Patients — For those who are curious, here are the stats.

Not My Kid Bemoans Teen Marijuana “Addiction” and 20 Culture— If you thought the laughable Reefer Madness hyperbole and tall tales were a thing of the past — a relic, perhaps, of your 20th Century schooling — think again.  The extremist anti-drug group “notMYkid,” just in time for the 4/20 holiday this year, is indulging in the same, lame rhetoric of the past century, darkly mentioning in a Tuesday press release, “With nearly 40,000 drug-related deaths each year, ‘National Weed Day’ can be the start down a tragic path.”

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