Medical Marijuana, Research

DEA Rogues Test Obama’s Authority. And Resolve.

January 29th, 2009 15 Comments Kate Zawidzki

I’m a city boy, so this could be a rural legend, but I’ve heard that when you cut off a chicken’s head, its body continues to run around, wildly and aimlessly.

I hope that’s the case with the DEA right now, where holdovers from the previous administration are continuing their war on medical marijuana patients and scientific research as though Bush were still in the White House. Read the rest of this entry »

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Medical Marijuana

Californians still begging for change

January 23rd, 2009 18 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Yesterday, DEA agents – still under the direction of Bush appointees – raided Patient-to-Patient Collective, a South Lake Tahoe, California, medical marijuana dispensing collective which operated under voter-supported state laws.

President Obama pledged to end such raids throughout his campaign. However, four top positions at the DEA are still filled by Bush cronies, who are attempting to undercut the that pledge.

If you’re like me and desperate for a change, use MPP’s online form to contact President Obama and ask him to appoint new leadership to the DEA quickly, so they get the message loud and clear.

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Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

CNBC’S Marijuana Blind Spots

January 23rd, 2009 28 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Last night, CNBC aired its much-touted documentary, “Marijuana Inc.” It was a decidedly mixed bag.

It was a portrait of an industry that is huge and thriving, despite the energetic efforts of assorted law enforcement agencies to “eradicate” it. No sane person could watch the program and come away thinking that present government efforts to curb marijuana production or use are working.  With California’s Mendocino County as the focus, the crashing failure of the war on marijuana was on vivid display.

What was missing was context. Read the rest of this entry »

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Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

MPP’s Aaron Houston on CNBC Tonight

January 22nd, 2009 31 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Tonight at 8:40 p.m. Eastern time, MPP director of government relations Aaron Houston will debate former Drug Enforcement Administration chief Asa Hutchinson on “CNBC Reports.” The debate airs right before the premier of CNBC’s documentary about the marijuana business, “Marijuana Inc.: Inside America’s Pot Industry.” The live debate will only be shown once (the documentary will repeat at 1 a.m. Eastern), but will also be available on CNBC’s Web site.

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Medical Marijuana

Your tax dollars at work!

January 22nd, 2009 3 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Unfazed by three consecutive legal defeats, the California counties of San Bernardino and San Diego last week asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their legal challenge to the state’s 12-year-old medical marijuana law. The 47-page petition – drafted on the public’s dime – is a last ditch effort by the two embattled counties to continue their policy of arresting medical marijuana patients even when the patients are in full compliance with state law.

Their reasoning? Well, all marijuana is illegal under federal law and states do not have the authority to set their own marijuana policies – according to these two rogue counties anyway. Never mind the fact that not a single judge has sided with the counties and that the U.S. Supreme Court has recently denied review of another California ruling which held that local police should enforce state – not federal – law.

This ongoing lawsuit is clearly unpopular with California voters, who overwhelmingly support medical marijuana access. Indeed, scores of citizens have pled with both county boards of supervisors urging them to drop the challenge over the years, and 78% of San Diego voters thought the lawsuit was a waste of money before it was even filed. But these local politicians have apparently determined that fighting this uphill battle is a wise use of public funds, regardless of California’s unprecedented budget crisis.

It does look like the San Bernardino supervisors might be becoming wary of defending their legal challenge, as it appears they violated California’s open meetings law in order to avoid explaining themselves to the public.

San Bernardino’s supervisors are no strangers to controversy. In fact, former supervisor and outspoken opponent of medical marijuana Bill Postmus is currently facing charges for methamphetamine possession.

Oh, the irony!



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Marijuana Two-Minute Truths: The Truth About Marijuana Rehab

January 22nd, 2009 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Join Nydia as she answers your questions about marijuana.

Do you have questions about marijuana? E-mail them to with the subject line “Ask Nydia” and we’ll film an answer.

Have you signed up for our free national alerts? Visit to sign up!

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Medical Marijuana

Dear President Obama…

January 21st, 2009 22 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Dear President Obama:

Like millions of Americans, I choked up watching you take office Tuesday. And like hundreds of millions — maybe billions — around the world, I watched and listened to your inaugural address, riveted by the moment.

One line jumped out at me: “We will extend a hand,” you said, “if you are willing to unclench your fist.” Your words were directed at hostile governments around the world, but they also embody how hundreds of thousands of suffering Americans view their own government. Read the rest of this entry »

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Marijuana Two-Minute Truths: How Can I Help?

January 21st, 2009 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Join Nydia as she answers this week’s question: How can I help end the war on marijuana users? Do you have a question about marijuana? E-mail it to with the subject line “Ask Nydia.”

Have you subscribed to our free national alerts? We’ll keep you updated on the latest-breaking marijuana-related news nationwide. Check it out:

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Prohibition, Research

MPP’s Pen Pal

January 20th, 2009 17 Comments Kate Zawidzki

You wouldn’t know it from their Web site, but it turns out the White House drug czar’s office is legally required to provide the public with facts that are, well, factual. Under the Data Quality act, all government agencies, including the Office of National Drug Control Policy, are responsible for “ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information.”

You could print out the material on ONDCP’s site, throw a dart at the printout, and probably hit an assertion that’s at least suspect. We picked one we found particularly egregious – the demonstrably false title of the drug czar’s publication, “Marijuana: The Greatest Cause of Illegal Drug Abuse.”

On Oct. 16, 2008, my colleague, Nathan Miller, an attorney here, filed a petition calling on the drug czar to correct the title, which obviously refers to the long discredited “gateway theory” fantasy (see Question 6). Read the rest of this entry »

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Medical Marijuana, Tax and Regulate

Marijuana legalization is the top idea on

January 15th, 2009 33 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Voting on’s “Ideas for Change in America” came to a close today with “Legalize the Medical and Recreational Use of Marijuana” coming in as the most popular idea. The top ten ideas will be presented to President-elect Obama during a press conference on Friday., Obama’s official transition Web site, has twice opened up voting in a similar feature called “Open for Questions.” Each time, a question about marijuana policy reached the top ten. And each time, the transition team brushed off the question by simply stating that “President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.” It will be interesting to see how he responds this time, as the question includes medical marijuana, something Obama has been fairly supportive of in the past.

As of 5:00 p.m. today, the marijuana policy question had received 19,530 votes – 4,500 more than “Appoint Secretary of Peace in Department of Peace and Non-Violence,” which came in second on the list.

In addition, has opened voting in a new online forum called the “Citizen’s Briefing Book.” “Ending Marijuana Prohibition” is currently the most popular idea.

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