Medical Marijuana, Research

The Drug Czar’s Response to Our Letters

July 30th, 2009 97 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Last week, several thousand MPP members called and e-mailed the White House to express outrage at drug czar Gil Kerlikowske’s statement that “marijuana is dangerous and has no medical benefit.” A big thanks to everyone who took action!

This week, the White House started sending out a form letter in response to our concerns. As you can see from the letter, the old half-truths and outright lies from the Bush administration still infect the drug czar’s position on marijuana.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Aaron Smith Criticizes Marijuana Eradication Efforts on KTVU-TV 07/29/2009

July 30th, 2009 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

MPP spokesperson F. Aaron Smith responds to a raid on an illicit marijuana growing operation in Sonoma, CA. These raids usually target operations run by Mexican drug cartels and are the direct result of the prohibition of marijuana. He compares them to alcohol bootleggers and asserts that taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol will put these criminals out of business and save police time and money. 07/29/2009

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Prohibition, Tax and Regulate

Here we go again…

July 28th, 2009 52 Comments Kate Zawidzki

It’s already that time of the year again: CAMP season — when law enforcement agents, donned in paramilitary gear, set out on the hunt for marijuana in the California wilderness. And prohibitionists are already touting massive plant seizures as a victory for their cause.

Over the past decade, CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) seizures have increased by 2,000 percent but marijuana use and availability have remained relatively stable. And besides being futile, this “eradication” program actually drives illegal marijuana farms further into hard-to-find wilderness areas that are the most ecologically sensitive. Read the rest of this entry »

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MPP’s 4th Annual Party at the Playboy Mansion

July 28th, 2009 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

Check out the highlights of MPP’s 4th Annual Party at the Playboy Mansion, from June 4, 2009.

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Rob Kampia on Fox Happy Hour 07/24/2009

July 27th, 2009 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia appears on Fox Business News “Happy Hour” to discuss efforts in California to tax and regulate marijuana, and how it will help the state’s revenue problems. 07/24/2009

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Tax and Regulate

MPP’s Rob Kampia on Fox Business News Friday

July 23rd, 2009 43 Comments Kate Zawidzki

TiVo alert! MPP executive director Rob Kampia will be on the Fox Business News program “Happy Hour” this Friday, July 24, discussing the economics of taxing and regulating marijuana. The show airs from 5 to 6 p.m. Eastern time.

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Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss?

July 23rd, 2009 60 Comments Kate Zawidzki


Is there something in the water over at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy that turns every new drug czar into a babbling idiot? If not, how else can one explain the latest statement from new ONDCP honcho Gil Kerlikowske? Has he somehow been possessed by the spirit of his predecessor, John Walters?

While never a reformer, Kerlikowske had a reputation for being pretty rational while he was police chief in Seattle. But a story in Wednesday’s Fresno Bee quotes the drug czar as saying, “Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Dan Bernath on Russia Today 07/23/2009

July 23rd, 2009 No Comments Kate Zawidzki

MPP spokesperson Dan Bernath appears on Russia Today to discuss the failure of marijuana prohibition and the move in California toward taxing and regulating the substance as a way to help the suffering economy. 07/23/2009

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Does Treatment for “Marijuana Abuse” Drive People to Drink?

July 22nd, 2009 42 Comments Kate Zawidzki

That would seem to be the implication of a new study just published online by the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. But the study’s authors aren’t so sure.

The study measured drinking patterns in individuals who enrolled in treatment for marijuana dependence as part of a study designed to test different treatment methods. Participants greatly reduced their marijuana use, but 73 % also increased the number of days on which they drank alcohol by at least 10%. Most also increased the amount they drank on those drinking days. This seems like prima facie evidence of a substitution effect — alcohol being substituted for marijuana.

The researchers, surprisingly, don’t draw that conclusion, based on the fact that drinking behavior did not seem to change in proportion with marijuana use. Instead, they write, “We are left with a mystery.”

It seems to me that, in the absence of another plausible cause, substitution of booze for marijuana still looks like the most likely explanation, though more research is absolutely needed. Given what’s known about the much more serious health risks of alcohol as compared to marijuana, this ought to cause at least some unease regarding the 140,000-plus Americans forced into treatment for alleged marijuana problems by the criminal justice system each year.

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Another Prohibitionist Comes Around on Marijuana

July 22nd, 2009 19 Comments Kate Zawidzki

Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.) said there is merit to the idea of legalizing marijuana on Monday, a surprising statement from a law-and-order Republican who once tried to ban any dietary supplement that makes you happy.

In 1995, then-Senator D’Amato introduced legislation to classify any “dietary supplement that claims to produce euphoria, heightened awareness or similar mental or psychological effects” as a drug. The legislation’s intent was to combat the popularity of ephedrine-based herbal supplements by banning them, the same logic he applied to marijuana prohibition as an ardent supporter of our current laws.

D’Amato now appears to have changed his position, telling Howard Stern on Monday “there’s some merit to” the idea of legalizing marijuana. If only he had come to that conclusion while he had the power to do something about it.

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