Medicinal cannabis patients classed as ‘drug addicts’ by Oregon sheriffs

13 04 2011

Despite the amount of illegal firearms and genuinely harmful drugs that America seems to be knee-deep in, police in Oregon are concerned that card-holding medicinal marijuana users might be legally carrying guns.

Under the U. S. Gun Control Act of 1968, guns may not be sold to drug addicts. Most people would agree that this is a good idea, as the mental image of a ‘drug addict’ is almost always negative: shaking, dirty, paranoid, and incapable of rational thought. Nobody wants to arm that person.

An elderly medicinal marijuana user

An elderly medicinal marijuana user in Oregon (image courtesy of NORML)

Concealed Handgun Permits are refused

The sheriffs of Oregon, however, are classing medicinal cannabis users as drug addicts and refusing to issue concealed handgun permits to them. The sheriff’s office, by state law, should not refuse to grant such a license provided a list of conditions is met. These conditions usually  include U.S. citizenship, completing  a gun safety course, no criminal record, no mental illness or substance abuse problems. Again, these are all reasonable requirements, but the medicinal cannabis patients who fulfill them are still being refused the permit.

Use of prescribed marijuana should not limit a person’s rights

Retired school bus driver Cynthia Willis is one such patient, and along with three co-plaintiffs she is part of a potentially landmark case currently under consideration by the Oregon Supreme Court. Cynthia likes to carry a Walther P-22 automatic pistol, which she says she’s never had to draw, for self-defense. She also uses cannabis to control muscle spasms and pain from her arthritis, but says she never uses it when she plans to carry her gun (or drive). So far she’s won two court cases on the argument that prescribed drug use does not disqualify a person from holding a concealed gun permit, and medicinal cannabis is a prescribed drug like any other.

Outdoor medicinal marijuana

An outdoor medicinal marijuana crop in America

More at stake than the right to carry a concealed firearm

What is at stake here is not just the right of medicinal cannabis users to carry (concealed) firearms: by Oregon law, if someone doesn’t have a concealed gun permit but does have a gun license, they can simply carry the gun openly, as Cynthia plans to do if she loses her case. Given the tragic events in Alphen aan den Rijn on Saturday as the latest in a long line of horrific shootings by licensed gun owners throughout the world,  it can be argued that gun licenses should be revoked altogether.

How do you abuse your own medicinal cannabis crop?

The underlying issue of concern in Oregon is the classification of medical marijuana patients as ‘drug addicts’, with all the negative connotations of this epithet. Although cannabis seeds have never been illegal in Oregon, and it was the first state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of bud back in 1973, courts recently decided that employers had the right to fire medicinal cannabis users. The sheriffs of this county openly argue that the majority of medicinal card holders are abusing the right to use ganja as a medicine, despite the fact that buying, selling, and dispensaries are still prohibited so patients must grow their own (or have someone grow it for them without profit) in order to do so.

Flyer for the Oregon NORML Cannabis Cafe, with buds

NORML is active in Oregon, which was the first state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis.

Defending the rights of medical marijuana users

Executive Director of NORML Allen St. Pierre is focused on defending the right of every medicinal marijuana card holder to be treated like any other citizen: “A person who uses medical cannabis should not have to give up their fundamental rights as enumerated by the Constitution,”‘ St. Pierre said.

Source material for this article here .





French newspaper Le Figaro warns of cannabis cyber-police and fictional worldwide cannabis seed shipping

31 03 2011

In these times of increasing repression in France, national daily ‘Le Figaro’ shows its true colours as a propaganda tool rather than a source of factual information.

An article published on the website of Le Figaro last week (23rd March 2011)  aroused our curiosity as, in addition to vague threats about cyberpolice, it mentioned the well-known cannabis seed company Sensi Seeds on several occasions.

Picture used to illustrate what you can buy online, according to the paper

Fact or propaganda? An extract from the beginning of the article states:

“ [Based] In the Netherlands, the Sensi Seed website unapologetically advertises their ‘cannabis seedbank’ in all languages. They sell complete culture tents, similar in size  to wardrobes, ‘bloom boosters’ and even teach how to ‘grow with the Moon,’ to optimize growth according to the lunar calendar. From “Shiva Shanti” at 20 euros for ten seeds to the “Marley’s Collie”, 120 euros, “a strain of ganja celebrated by the great Bob Marley”, the bank offers hundreds of varieties. And even accessories: caps, t-shirts, playing cards. Everything is available worldwide, sent in express parcels.” Read the rest of this entry »





Czech police wants to use seized cannabis for treatment

2 02 2011

Well it’s definitely an idea only a cop could come up with, but while being surrealistic, it seems to reignite the debate on medical cannabis in a country where all drugs are already decriminalized in small amount.

Obviously the Justice Minister of the Czech Republic sees in this idea an opportunity to lower costs for his ministry not to dismiss it, but the expert quoted in the original article is right about the quality of the cannabis grown in illegal operations. It’s just not grown for such purpose.

cannabis farm police
Rather than seizing it, why not grow it?

The junior government Czech Public Affairs (VV) party supports the idea of marijuana being legalised for for medical purposes. But while first thinking about importing  cannabis from Holland, they now appear to be tempted by the cut in costs such initiative would create, not seeing any troubles in using weed from the black market to provide for patients’ treatment .

Maybe this is the opportunity to think about the legislation in a different way for medical marijuana since more and more Czech state institutions and politicians support the use of hemp for medical purposes.

Well even if the idea is not a safe one for patients, at least it opens the debate on medical cannabis. Let’s just hope this will lead to a new law legalising the medical use of cannabis in yet an other European country. And if police wants to help, they could provide with the grow equipment from previous seizure rather than the weed itself.

Sources: Cannabis Culture





Once upon a time, booze was banned and weed wasn’t

17 01 2011

Reviewed: Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, by Daniel Okrent, Scribner, 468 pages, $30 Source: Cannabisnews.

What Can Today’s Crusaders Against Prohibition Learn From Their Predecessors Who Ended the Alcohol Ban?

Of the 27 amendments to the U.S.  Constitution, the 18th is the only one explicitly aimed at restricting people’s freedom.  It is also the only one that has ever been repealed.  Maybe that’s encouraging, especially for those of us who recognize the parallels between that amendment, which ushered in the nationwide prohibition of alcohol, and current bans on other drugs.

But given the manifest failure and unpleasant side effects of Prohibition, its elimination after 14 years is not terribly surprising, despite the arduous process required to undo a constitutional amendment.  The real puzzle, as the journalist Daniel Okrent argues in his masterful new history of the period, is how a nation that never had a teetotaling majority, let alone one committed to forcibly imposing its lifestyle on others, embarked upon such a doomed experiment to begin with.  How did a country consisting mostly of drinkers agree to forbid drinking?

The short answer is that it didn’t.  As a reveler accurately protests during a Treasury Department raid on a private banquet in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, neither the 18th Amendment nor the Volstead Act, which implemented it, prohibited mere possession or consumption of alcohol.  The amendment took effect a full year after ratification, and those who could afford it were free in the meantime to stock up on wine and liquor, which they were permitted to consume until the supplies ran out.  The law also included exceptions that were important for those without well-stocked wine cellars or the means to buy the entire inventory of a liquor store ( as the actress Mary Pickford did ).  Home production of cider, beer, and wine was permitted, as was commercial production of alcohol for religious, medicinal, and industrial use ( three loopholes that were widely abused ).  In these respects Prohibition was much less onerous than our current drug laws.  Indeed, the legal situation was akin to what today would be called “decriminalization” or even a form of “legalization.” Read the rest of this entry »





Drug offences and death penalty…

26 07 2010

Drug dealer on his way to his execution in China Source: deathpenaltynews.blogspot.com

An interesting study was released in April this year about the legitimacy of the death penalty being pronounced for drug offenders:

From Amicus Journal (2010) Issue 21, p 21-28.

This article provides an in-depth analysis of the international law ramifications of applying the death penalty for drug offences.  It reviews the the ‘most serious crimes’ threshold for the lawful application of capital punishment as established in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  It then explores the question of whether drug offences meet this threshold by examining the issue through the lenses of international human rights law, the domestic legislation in retentionist states, international narcotics control law, international refugee law and international criminal law.  The article  concludes that drug offences do not constitute ‘most serious crimes’, and that executions of people for drug offences violates international human rights law.

Read the whole article on: A Most Serious Crime – R Lines 2010





Cannabis legal in the Czech Republic?!

28 12 2009

Legalize-cannabisThe Czech Republic is bringing in some very interesting legislation in 2010.

From January 1st, individuals in possession of 15 grams of cannabis or less will not be charged with a crime in the Czech Republic. The new laws, which decriminalize the possession of ‘small amounts’ of most currently illegal drugs, are based on a  Justice Ministry proposal which was approved by the Czech government earlier this month.

Previously, there were few clear definitions of what level of drug possession was treated as ‘small’, since standards were based on internal police directives and could change from region to region. The new legislation clearly defines how much of each substance is considered a ‘small amount’ under the law. Individuals in possession of this amount or less will not be charged with a crime.

Additionally, the new laws seem to make it possible for individuals to grow up to five cannabis plants. However, if current Dutch legislation is anything to go by, this may not necessarily include indoor growing with lamps, nor allow households with several adults to grow five plants each.
In any case, this new legislation is a big step in the right direction and we hope that other European countries will be inspired by the Czech move towards a sane drug policy.

Source:  ceskenoviny.cz








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