Medical Marijuana

If at First You Don’t Succeed …

July 31st, 2008 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Good news for people who don’t like their local governments wasting time and money challenging laws they don’t like in futile court battles: For the second time, a California court — in this case, the Fourth District Court of Appeals — has tossed challenges to the state’s medical marijuana laws by the counties of San Diego and San Bernardino.

San Bernardino taxpayers had already footed the bill for about $60,000 in salaries alone for this misguided legal adventure when it got tossed the first time way back in December 2006.

San Diego has refused to offer any idea how much they’ve spent on this boondoggle, but according to a January 2006 Evans/McDonough random poll of 500 likely San Diegan voters MPP commissioned, 80% of telephone respondents agreed the Board of Supervisors was wasting money on the lawsuit.

Theoretically, they could take the case to the state Supreme Court, but wouldn’t be nice if they just obeyed the law, issued the required medical marijuana I.D. cards to qualifying patients, and stopped throwing tax dollars down the sewer?

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Video

Profiles in Marijuana Reform: Milton Friedman, Part 2

July 31st, 2008 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

This is the exclusive second part to our Profiles in Marijuana Reform interview with Milton Friedman, available only on tv.mpp.org.

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Video

Profiles in Marijuana Reform: Milton Friedman, Part 1

July 31st, 2008 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Part 1 of our sit-down interview with Nobel Prize winning economist, Milton Friedman. Click here for the second part of our interview available exclusively at tv.mpp.org.

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Prohibition

Don’t Worry, This Went Exactly As Planned

July 31st, 2008 7 Comments Kate Zawidzki

So police discover a package of marijuana apparently shipped to the mayor of a small town in Prince George’s County and respond by sending a SWAT team to pounce on the unarmed man as he returns from work, killing his two Labradors for good measure. The police then handcuff him and his mother-in-law next to their pets and interrogate them for hours as blood pools on the floor. And a PG police spokesman says the raid was carried out properly according to their policies.

I’m sure it was. Does anybody else see anything wrong with our policies?

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Medical Marijuana

Radio Public Service Ads Tackle Marijuana Controversies

July 31st, 2008 2 Comments Kate Zawidzki

 We distributed MPP Foundation’s new radio public service announcements today to stations nationwide, aiming to educate the public about the effects of U.S. marijuana laws, and about recent developments regarding medical marijuana. The ads feature Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, and California Superior Court Judge Jim Gray.

You can listen to the new spots here. And if you happen to work at a radio station, you’re welcome to download and air them anytime.

           

The new spots follow a previous set of MPP Foundation radio PSAs released in 2005, featuring TV talk show host Montel Williams, author Tom Robbins, and U.S. Supreme Court medical marijuana plaintiff Angel Raich. That series of spots received over 11,000 plays on stations in all parts of the country, including seven of the top 10 markets.

 

 

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Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

Reformers’ Press Conference Gets Under ONDCP’s Skin

July 30th, 2008 3 Comments Kate Zawidzki

This morning’s press conference, at which MPP and other marijuana policy reformers joined U.S. Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) to call for an end to federal criminal penalties for marijuana possession, was a rousing success, as this CNN story shows.

And apparently it got under the skin of our overlords at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Having not gotten much media pickup on their preemptive press release issued yesterday — filled with the usual half truths and deception they’re rightly famous for — ONDCP sent David Murray and two other staffers to the news conference to try to convince everyone that marijuana is “the greatest cause of illegal drug abuse.” That CNN seems to have ignored him can’t be a good sign for ONDCP, but Raw Story has this rather amusing take on Murray’s appearance.

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Research

Legal Drug Watch: Deadly Medication Errors Skyrocket

July 29th, 2008 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

A new study just published in Archives of Internal Medicine shows a 360.5% increase in the death rate from fatal medication errors (FMEs) from 1983 to 2004, vastly outstripping most other causes of death. Notably, most of the increase in deaths took place at home, not in medical settings or other locations. FMEs are defined as deaths from mistakes involving medications: accidental overdoses, the wrong drug being taken, etc. They do not include deaths from “adverse reactions” (side effects) involving drugs taken correctly.

While the sharpest increase was among medication errors in which alcohol and/or street drugs were also involved, this figure was still well under half the number of FME deaths without alcohol or street drug involvement. While the data analyzed by researchers do not include the exact medications or other drugs involved, the researchers note that use of illicit drugs did not rise during theperiod studied, and the death rate from alcohol or street drugs increased only modestly in the period studied.

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Video

Profiles in Marijuana Reform: Rick Steves

July 28th, 2008 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

MPP-TV recently had a chance to sit down with travel guru and author Rick Steves to discuss marijuana policy both here and abroad. Here’s what he had to say…

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Prohibition

War on Marijuana Users Claims Another Victim

July 28th, 2008 1 Comment Kate Zawidzki

Rachel Hoffman
ABC’s “20/20” aired this story Friday about Rachel Hoffman, a young Florida woman who was murdered by drug dealers after Tallahassee police pressured her into acting as an informant to avoid minor marijuana charges.

It would be easy to blame this on the extraordinary cowardice and ineptitude of the Tallahassee Police Department, but cowardice and ineptitude are inherent in our country’s war on marijuana users.

Tragedies like this one will remain routine, hideous occurrences as long as we treat innocent Americans like Ms. Hoffman as criminals.

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Medical Marijuana

The Press Notices the Charles Lynch Trial

July 27th, 2008 1 Comment Kate Zawidzki

Saturday’s Los Angeles Times does a pretty good story on this unfolding medical marijuana case, focusing on the bizarre dance defense attorneys must do to help the jury understand what’s really going on, having been barred from using the phrase “medical marijuana” — which is, of course, a nonexistent concept under federal law. 

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