Tag Archives: cannabis

Indiana: Governor To Sign Bill Increasing Penalties For Marijuana

Indiana: Governor To Sign Bill Increasing Penalties For Marijuana
Submitted by steveelliott

With the rest of the United States moving toward relaxing the marijuana laws, Indiana seems to be bravely marching into the past. The Hoosier State’s penalties for marijuana are getting tougher after Gov. Mike Pence requested — and got — stricter laws for low-level cannabis offenders.

The bill, HB 1006, still has at least one committee hearing, then it goes to the full Senate for a vote, Skywolf Neal Smith of Indiana NORML told Hemp News on Wednesday. It could be changed in committee or on the Senate floor; if there are significant changes, it will have to go back through the House for approval of the Senate changes, Smith said.

The increased penalties come as part of an overhaul of Indiana’s criminal sentencing laws; possession of anything over about one-third of an ounce of marijuana is now a felony in Indiana. Pence said last week that he believed the bill would “send a message that the state is “tough on drug dealers.”

Another part of the new law would require that felons — which, of course, now include low-level pot possession defendants — serve at least 75 percent of their sentences, up from the 50 percent or less that inmates might now serve if they earn good time and education credits while in prison.

Why on earth would a state increase the penalties for cannabis, when the entire country is moving in the other direction? Two words, according to Grizzard at The Daily Kos: private prisons.

The private prison lobby makes big campaign contributions to politicians, in order to secure harsher penalties, The Daily Kos reports. Those private correctional companies need warm bodies inside those cells to turn a profit — and they can actually put people to work inside the prisons, in a form of legalized slave labopr.

Marijuana offenders, according to Grizzard, are “just the sorts of people these prison profiteers are looking for. They’re mostly non-violent people who will comply. They can be put to work without much worry.”

The private prison company called GEO Group — one of the largest such companies in the United States — has spent more than $3 million in direct campaign contributions, most of that going to Republicans.

GEO specifically contributed $12,500 to the 2012 Mike Pence campaign, making the private prison company one of the Governor’s top 30 contributors.

The group has also thrown money at Republican Brian Bosma, Speaker of the Indiana House, who has been quoted as saying “As an entry drug, I think marijuana is more powerful than it’s given credit for. I know some states have taken that step (to legalize it), but I don’t find it advisable at this point.”

When GEO built a 2,416-bed prison in New Castle, Indiana, the state signed a contract guaranteeing the for-profit prison company that 90 percent of the beds would stay filledSOURCE

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Rise in British Cocaine Use May Have Peaked…….maybe

Rise in use of cocaine has peaked, says EU drug agency report

Alan Travis,

According to the EU’s drugs agency, the rise in the use of cocaine across Europe over the past decade has peaked.

The relentless rise in the use of cocaine across Europe over the past decade has peaked as a result of the austere economic climate, according to the European Union’s drug agency.

However, the UK remains at the top of the European league table for cocaine use – as it has for seven out of the last eight years – despite the bubble bursting.

The annual report from the Lisbon-based European monitoring centre for drugs and drug addiction, published on Tuesday, shows illicit drug use across the EU relatively stable, with positive signs that cocaine use has peaked and cannabis use among young people continuing to decline.

But the agency says this encouraging picture is being offset by new threats from ‘legal highs’ and other synthetic drugs. It says that 39 new substances have been identified so far this year via the European early warning system on top of the 41 notified for the whole of 2010.

There are no signs of decline in their use and more than 150 new substances are being monitored by the authorities.

The EU drugs agency said this rapid appearance of new substances is being driven by a record 600 online retailers willing to despatch an order for what purports to be ‘psychoactive substances’ to at least one other EU state. The total includes 80 online shops selling mephedrone based in the UK.

The July survey that found these retailers also discovered a much wider variety of products. Many also displayed prominent disclaimers such as ‘not for human consumption’ or ‘for use only as plant food’. Others exercised caution by placing restrictions on delivery.

Ireland and Poland have both rapidly passed legislation limiting the open sale of ‘legal highs’. Health inspectors in Poland closed down 1,200 stores last year.

The report says cocaine has established itself over the past decade as the most popular stimulant drug across Europe with more than 4 million people using it every year.

“But the new data presented today raises the question as to whether its popularity has now peaked,
” it adds. “The financial burden associated with regular cocaine use may make it a less attractive option in countries where austerity is now the order of the day.”

Experts say the bubble has burst because the average retail price for cocaine has reached between 50 and 80 euros per gram. There is also a growing recognition of the problems linked to cocaine use that has tarnished its image as an affluent lifestyle drug.

The EU data shows cocaine use by young adults, aged 15 to 34, in the UK has dipped from 6.1% in 2009 to 4.8% in 2010, with similar declines in Spain, Italy and Denmark.

The fall in popularity also echoes recent trends in Canada and the US, which have cocaine popularity levels below those in Britain.

Cannabis remains Europe’s most popular illicit drug with 78 million – or 20% of all Europeans – having tried it. Around 22.5 million Europeans used cannabis in the last year but its popularity is in sharp decline among schoolchildren.

A link with declining levels of cigarette smoking, changing fashions and the easy availability of other drugs may all lie behind the decline, said the experts. The proportion of schoolchildren in England who have ever tried cannabis has almost halved from 40% in 2000 to 22% last year.

Wolfgang Gotz, the EU drugs agency director, said the drugs market was quick to adapt to threats and opportunities: “This is reflected, not only in the sheer number of new substances appearing on the market, but also in their diversity and in how they are produced, distributed and marketed,” he said.

“We need a proactive strategy that allows us to identify new drugs and emerging trends so that we can anticipate their potential implications.”

He warned that individual national efforts were likely to prove ineffective without a co-ordinated response across Europe.

SOURCE

The Marijuana Tax Act Changed Everything

74 Years Ago This Month, The Marijuana Tax Act Changed Everything

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By Jasen T. Davisharry

According to a report by Jon Gettman, who has a Ph.D. in public policy and regional economic development from George Mason University, the war on cannabis costs U.S. taxpayers $42 billion per year.

Gettman is also the leader of the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, and is the former head of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

He based his calculations on U.S. government statistics and official federal reports, concluding that the business of cannabis in the country is worth $113 billion dollars. If taxed, the potential revenue stream from taxing this local economy would be significant.

What this means is that every year, instead of using those billions to help the American people, the government spends billions monitoring, arresting and jailing its citizens . . . all because of The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

How did we get here? When America was first founded, hemp was cultivated by everyone—included George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Hemp was grown for rope and paper. Yes, the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp, and hemp’s relative, cannabis, was prescribed as a cure for a variety of medical ailments.

George Washington hempHemp grows at a faster rate than timber. Hemp paper is naturally non-polluting and acid free, since converting trees into paper requires a highly toxic procedure known as the wood pulp sulfide process.

One man, William Randolph Hearst, made quite a profit from his pulp timber and paper mills. Hemp paper was superior, but the process to produce it was labor-intensive. Hearst and the Dupont company, which held the patent on the wood pulp sulfide process, made a lot of money turning trees into paper.

When an invention called the decorticator began to catch on in America in 1935, Hearst and Dupont stood to lose a fortune. If hemp could be mass-produced because of the decorticator, which eliminated the need for hours of labor, timber paper would go the way of the dinosaurs.

At the time Dupont’s main source of finance was Mellon Bank. Andrew Mellon was chairman of Mellon Bank and the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. Pulling strings, he appointed Harry Anslinger as commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.

With Anslinger in place, Mellon had nothing to fear. Anslinger was married to his niece. Mellon began to appear before congress in dramatic hearing, citing dubious sources and appealing to prejudice, claiming that smoking cannabis caused everything from dementia to violence to rape.

This was fueled, naturally, by the propaganda campaign waged by Hearst. Even though government and medical studies at the time had long-reported the health benefits of cannabis consumption, Hearst used his publishing empire to generate reports fueled by racial prejudice and dumb hysteria to sway public opinion, and Congress effectively made hemp illegal on Aug. 2, 1937.

Today the same companies that stand to lose from the legalization of hemp and cannabis employ the same strategies to maintain their profit margins. Public opinion is changing, and the discussion to legalize the plant is a lot more mainstream than it once was.

With enough work, proponents for cannabis legalization could possibly overturn decades of ill-conceived legislation to finally make hemp legal again. Perhaps the curse of 1937 might be lifted, and a once-great source of revenue could once again benefit our country.

Voice of Reason

When Harry J. Anslinger was waging his war against cannabis, a cooler head prevailed in the form of New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, who was an opponent of the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. In response to reports of the “dangers” of marijuana, La Guardia in 1939 commissioned the New York Academy of Medicine to study the effects of smoking cannabis. In the end, the study (released in 1944) disproved all of the claims by Anslinger and all other pot propagandists.

Article from Culture Magazine

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Yes, We CAN-NABIS!

Cannabis plant extracts can effectively fight drug-resistant bacteria.

By NORA SCHULTZ

Substances harvested from cannabis plants could soon outshine conventional antibiotics in the escalating battle against drug-resistant bacteria. The compounds, called cannabinoids, appear to be unaffected by the mechanism that superbugs like MRSA use to evade existing antibiotics. Scientists from Italy and the United Kingdom, who published their research in the Journal of Natural Products last month, say that cannabis-based creams could also be developed to treat persistent skin infections.

Cannabis has long been known to have antibacterial properties and was studied in the 1950s as a treatment for tuberculosis and other diseases. But research into using cannabis as an antibiotic has been limited by poor knowledge of the plant’s active ingredients and by the controversy surrounding its use as a recreational drug.

Now Giovanni Appendino of the Piemonte Orientale University, in Italy, and Simon Gibbons of the School of Pharmacy at the University of London, U.K., have revisited the antibiotic power of marijuana by systematically testing different cannabinoids’ ability to kill MRSA.

MRSA, short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a bacterium that can cause difficult-to-treat infections since it does not respond to many antibiotics. Many healthy people carry S. aureus on their skin, but problems arise when multi-drug-resistant strains infect people with weak immune systems through an open wound. In the worst cases, the bug spreads throughout the body, causing a life-threatening infection.

To make matters worse, resistance to antibiotics is rapidly increasing, and some strains are now even immune to vancomycin, a powerful antibiotic that is normally used only as a last resort when other drugs fail.

But when Appendino, Gibbons, and their colleagues applied extracts from five major cannabinoids to bacterial cultures of six strains of MRSA, they discovered that the cannabinoids were as effective at killing the bugs as vancomycin and other antibiotics.

The cannabinoids even showed exceptional activity against the MRSA strain that makes extra amounts of the proteins that give the bugs resistance against many antibiotics,” says Gibbons. These proteins, he explains, allow the bacteria to “hoover up unwanted things from inside the cell and spit them out again.”

Conveniently, of the five cannabinoids tested by the researchers, the two most effective ones also happen to be nonpsychoactive, meaning that they cannot cause a high. “What this means is, we could use fiber hemp plants that have no use as recreational drugs to cheaply and easily produce potent antibiotics,” says Appendino.

This isn’t the first time Marijuana has been shown to have medical benefits. Recently, the father of a 2 year old boy allegedly healed his son of brain cancer by feeding him medical marijuana.

In an attempt to discover how the cannabinoids kill MRSA, the team manipulated several chemical groups within the compounds. Most of the changes did not affect the antibiotic activity at all, and those that did seemed to influence only how well the cannabinoid is taken up by the bacterial cells.

“Everything points towards these compounds having been evolved by the plants as antimicrobial defenses that specifically target bacterial cells,
” says Gibbons. “But the actual mechanism by which they kill the bugs is still a mystery. We’ve tested whether the cannabinoids affect common antibiotic targets like fatty acid synthesis or the [DNA-bending enzyme] DNA gyrase, but they don’t. I really cannot hazard a guess how they do it, but their high potency as antibiotics suggests there must be a very specific mechanism.”

Appendino and Gibbons say that cannabinoids could quickly be developed as treatments for skin infections, provided the nonpsychoactive varieties are used. “The most practical application of cannabinoids would be as topical agents to treat ulcers and wounds in a hospital environment, decreasing the burden of antibiotics,” says Appendino.

Whether the cannabinoids could also be delivered in the form of an injection or in pills is less clear, the pair says, because they may be inactivated by blood serum.

Frank Bowling of the University of Manchester, who has had success treating MRSA-infected wounds with maggots, says that “any alternative treatment that removes MRSA from the wound and prevents it from spreading into the body is fantastic and preferable to using antibiotics that have strong side effects and against which resistance is already developing.” He cautions, however, that the researchers still need to show that the cannabinoids are safe to use.

This is not something that Appendino is too concerned about: “The topical use of cannabis preparations has a long tradition in European medicine, and no allergies have been reported.”

Mark Rogerson of GW Pharmaceuticals, a U.K.-based company that develops cannabinoid-based drugs to treat severe pain caused by multiple sclerosis and cancer, says that the discovery that cannabinoids kill MRSA “really underlines the potentially great diversity of medical applications that cannabis-based medicine can have. You can almost think of the cannabis plant as a mini pharma industry in its own right.” But Rogerson says that it is unlikely that existing cannabis-based medicines could be used to treat MRSA because the exact effect will depend on the correct combination and dosage of cannabinoids.

Meanwhile, Appendino and Gibbons hope that antibacterial effectiveness could also make cannabinoids suitable preservatives for cosmetics and toiletries. “The golden standards of preservatives are parabens and chlorinated phenols,” says Appendino, but these compounds do not degrade well in the environment and are strongly suspected to be hormonal modifiers. He also argues that, since all major cannabinoids are similarly effective, complete purification of a single compound isn’t necessary. So semipurified cannabinoid mixtures extracted from nonpsychoactive plants could make a cheap and easy alternative to conventional preservatives.

SOURCE

Boy, two, with brain cancer is ‘cured’ after secretly being fed medical marijuana by his father

Boy, two, with brain cancer is ‘cured’ after secretly being fed medical marijuana by his father

By Daily Mail Reporter

A desperate father whose son was suffering from a life-threatening brain tumour has revealed he gave him cannabis oil to ease his pain. And he has now apparently made a full recovery.

Cash Hyde, known as Cashy, was a perfectly healthy baby when he was born in June 2008 but became sick shortly before his second birthday.

At first he was misdiagnosed with glandular fever before his parents Mike and Kalli, from Missoula in Montana, were given the devastating news he had a serious brain tumour.

The little boy had to have arduous chemotherapy treatment to reduce the growth, which had drastic side effects including seizures and a blood infection.



Mike Hyde with his son Cash who was diagnosed with a severe brain tumour

Cash had to have high-dose chemotherapy which made him very ill

His distraught parents were repeatedly told he was likely to succumb to the illness because the condition was so bad.

After one bout of high-dose chemotherapy, Cash was so weak he could not lift his head and was too sick to eat any solid food for 40 days.

It was at this point that Mr Hyde decided to take action and go down the route of medical marijuana to try to help his young son.

Cash’s doctors refused to even discuss the option but his father went and sought authorisation elsewhere and then secretly administered it through his son’s feeding tube.

He also told doctors to stop giving Cash the cocktail of anti-nausea drugs he had been taking – although he never told them what he was doing.

Mr Hyde told KXLY News that his son started looking better right away.

Cash’s father secretly gave him medical marijuana through a feeding tube



The youngster with his older brother Colty as he is treated in hospital

Mr Hyde said: ‘He hadn’t eaten a thing in 40 days – and, it was really incredible to watch him take a bite of a piece of cheese. It shows that he wants to live’.

He credits the cannabis oil with helping his son get through the chemo, and say Cash has now been declared cancer free by doctors.

The boy is now back and home and living the life of a typical young boy, playing with his elder brother Colty.

Medical marijuana is legal in some states, including Montana, but its use for children is poorly understood and quite rate.

The US federal government does not recognise the legality of using the drug for medical reasons and frequently clashes with states over the issue.

Mr Hyde told KXLY: ‘It’s very controversial, it’s very scary. But, there’s nothing more scary than losing your child.’



Cash is now at home and able to live like a normal little boy

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1383240/Boy-brain-cancer-cured-secretly-fed-medical-marijuana-father.html#ixzz1LR3K6Irg

Run from the Cure: How Cannabis Cures Cancer

Run From The Cure: How Cannabis Cures Cancer And Why No One Knows

By Rick Simpson – Friday, March 7 2008

Cannabis sativa hemp, the miracle plant, contains the cure for cancer and other ailments

My name is Rick Simpson. I have been providing people with Hemp Oil medicines, at no cost, for about three years. The results have been nothing short of amazing. Throughout man’s history hemp has always been known as the most medicinal plant in the world. Even with this knowledge, hemp has always been used as a political and religious football. I want this knowledge out there for everyone to learn! Watch the documentary Run From The Cure to understand more about using cannabis as a cure for cancer and other medical problems!
The current restrictions against hemp were put in place and maintained, not because hemp is evil or harmful, but for big money to make more big money, while we suffer and die needlessly. Look at a proposal such as this; if we were allowed to grow hemp in our back yards and cure our own illnesses, what do you think the reaction of the pharmaceutical industry would be to such a plan?

Many large pharmaceutical companies that still exist today sold hemp based medicines in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. They knew then what I have recently found out. Hemp oil if produced properly is a cure-all that the pharmaceutical industry can’t patent.

To learn more about my and hemp oil, visit www.PhoenixTears.ca and watch the documentary Run From The Cure. Below the posted videos you will find more studies and research about cannabis curing cancer, and how to get these products for you from online providers, for example https://www.kushdispensary.ca/ is a dispensary with a good reputation.

Rick Simpson outside court, 2007Rick Simpson outside court, 2007RUN FROM THE CURE: A Film By Christian Laurette

After a serious head injury in 1997, Rick Simpson sought relief from his medical condition through the use of medicinal hemp oil. When Rick discovered that the hemp oil (with its high concentration of T.H.C.) cured cancers and other illnesses, he tried to share it with as many people as he could free of charge, curing and controlling literally hundreds of people’s illnesses… but when the story went public, the long arm of the law snatched the medicine – leaving potentially thousands of people without their cancer treatments – and leaving Rick with unconsitutional charges of possessing and trafficking marijuana!

Canada is in the middle of a CANCER EPIDEMIC! Meet the people who were not allowed to testify on Rick’s behalf at the Supreme Court of Canada’s Infamous Rick Simpson Trial on September 10, 2007… INCLUDING A MAN WHO WAS CURED OF TERMINAL CANCER USING HEMP OIL!

Watch the videos

http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/5169.html