Why Medicinal Marijuana Is Here to Stay

6 06 2011

“We are not far from a time when pot will be hailed as a wonder drug.”

The following is the text of a speech by Lester Greenspoon, M.D. recently delivered to the 2011 NORML conference.

Lester Grinspoon on Medicinal MarijuanaIn 1967, because of my concern about the rapidly growing use of the dangerous drug marijuana, I began my studies of the scientific and medical literature with the goal of providing a reasonably objective summary of the data which underlay its prohibition.  Much to my surprise, I found no credible scientific basis for the justification of the prohibition.  The assertion that it is a very toxic drug is based on old and new myths.  In fact, one of the many exceptional features of this drug is its remarkably limited toxicity.  Compared to aspirin, which people are free to purchase and use without the advice or prescription of a physician, cannabis is much safer: there are well over 1000 deaths annually from aspirin in this country alone, whereas there has never been a death anywhere from marijuana.  In fact, when cannabis regains its place in the US Pharmacopeia, a status it lost after the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, it will be seen as one of the safest drugs in that compendium.  Moreover, it will eventually be hailed as a “wonder drug” just as penicillin was in the 1940s.  Penicillin achieved this reputation because it was remarkably non-toxic, it was, once it was produced on an economy of scale, quite inexpensive, and it was effective in the treatment of a variety of infectious diseases.  Similarly, cannabis is exceptionally safe, and once freed of the prohibition tariff, will be significantly less expensive than the conventional drugs it replaces while its already impressive medical versatility continues to expand.

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Lester Grinspoon – How Medical Marijuana helped his sick son

24 05 2011

Moving story by Lester Grinspoon – Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School – how Medical Marijuana helped his sick son .





First Coffeeshop opened in the United States of America

18 11 2009

Good news has reached us. In the city of Portland the first “Amsterdam” style Cannabis Café has been opened. Portland has (sort of) legalized the possession of  Marijuana under an ounce(a little under 30 grams).

The Cannabis Café has opened it’s door at precisely 4:20 p.m. last Friday afternoon and is the first coffee house in Oregon catering to licensed users of medical marijuana.

The new cafe, run by the Oregon branch of NORML, went into operation just weeks after the Justice Department announced that people who use marijuana for medical purposes and those who distribute it to them will not face federal prosecution, provided they act according to state law.

It looks like nearly every other coffeehouse in town, with Wi-Fi access, Coffee, soft drinks, trays of Marsee Bakery pastries and sandwiches. The only difference is that shiny silver Volcano vaporizers are plugged into outlets lining the tiled bar and the familiar smell of medical marijuana patients using their “medicine”.

The comparison to an Amsterdam coffeeshop doesn’t really hold up, as you can’t actually buy your weed IN the Cannabis Café. Anne Saker from oregonlive.com explains:

“The only people permitted in the Cannabis Café are those licensed to smoke who also hold membership in the lobbying group Oregon NORML. Patrons will be charged $5 a day. They can bring their own or smoke donated marijuana. Oregon law says medical marijuana may not be sold.”

Does this mean that for $5 a day a member gets free “donated” weed? So without actually buying the weed you still get to smoke weed? Great!

Below a video of the opening of the Cannabis Café in Portland.





Jack Herer suffers heart attack!

17 09 2009

News has reached us that the world-renowned author, activist and marijuana anti-prohibitionist Jack Herer suffered a heart attack this weekend.  Emergency crews were called in as he collapsed in his chair after delivering a fiery speech at the Portland Hempstalk Event at Kelly Point Park. After spending a lengthy amount of time stabilizing Jack at the scene, he was transported to the Emanuel Trauma Center in Portland in critical condition with his son at his side. Soon after that, his family were told that he was the victim of a heart attack, a result of arterial blockage.

Jack Herer, Marijuana Activist, Hero, Cannabis, The Emperor Wears No Clothes

Jack is arguably the best-known person in the world on the subject of marijuana; he is an icon of popular culture and his book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” is the largest and first account of the real story of marijuana and the techniques used by big money corporations to demonize and criminalize it.

Jack suffered a stroke a few years ago that had left him somewhat challenged in terms of speaking, but those who heard him speak at the rally on Saturday afternoon noted that his speech was much clearer than it had been in many years.

In an ironic twist, an interview recorded 2 hours before the heart attack with friend Dr. Phillip Leveque of Salem-News.com, hears Jack explaining how he has been feeling better recently, stating: “I’m healthier than I’ve been in ages… in 10 years!”

Last night the doctors put him in an induced coma and lowered his body temperature with ice. They are keeping him this way for 48 more hours. His heart is doing well for now so they think he will be ok soon. Early reports that he underwent angioplasty are unfounded.

There are no equals to Jack Herer; he is a massive inspiration to us all – we have a huge amount of respect for his dedication to the cause; he is an inspirational figure and a genuine trailblazer. We wish Jack all the best and we hope that he makes a full and complete recovery. At this time, our thoughts go out to his son and wonderful wife Jeannie Herer.

Source: www.Salem-News.com

UPDATE (17/09/09): Jack has been taken off of the medications that were keeping him in a state of induced coma. He is not awake yet and the doctors are saying that it may be a few days before …he comes out of the coma. Jack swallowed some fluid into his lung’s during the heart – attack and this caused a minor infection. He is considered stable at this time just in a comatose state.  Good luck Jack – we’re all rooting for you friend!

UPDATE (15/04/10): In memoriam: Jack Herer (1939 – 2010)





The Dutch Cannabis-selling Cafes

10 12 2008

norml

The people over at norml.org have posted a very interesting article on their blog. It starts of with the following quote.

“Coffee Shops Will Disappear Within Two Years… The Netherlands Can’t Continue To Tolerate Existence of Coffee Shops Because Of International Opposition.”

– Henk van de Bunt, Professor of Criminology at Erasmus University (Radio Netherlands, Nov. 10, 2008)

We would like to add to this statement that the Dutch have had international pressure for years on this topic, the real factor is the way the current government chooses to deal with this pressure. It is true that the decriminalisation policy in the Netherlands is hard to sell internationally, but we don’t we understand why. The level of soft- and harddrugs users is very low in the Netherlands compared to other countries, so obviously the policy works, although it is not perfect. There are some forces in the Dutch governement that seem to be determined to get rid of the coffeeshops alltogether.

The rest of the article on norml.org goes as follows:

In the last few weeks, NORML has received numerous inquiries from international and American media, and concerned NORML members, regarding the current and future legal status of The Netherlands’ tolerant and pragmatic cannabis policies. Recent news headlines have concentrated on minority Dutch parties and academics (many of whom have historically opposed the ‘coffee shop’ model) that have been able to persuade coalition government parties (who favor cannabis tolerance) in making two small concessions on where cannabis-selling cafes can be located in the country:

*43 of 228 cannabis-selling cafes in the city of Amsterdam will have to close by the end of 2011 because they are located less than 275 yards from a secondary school. One of the unfortunate victims of this political and zoning concession is the famous Bulldog Café on the Leidseplein.

*In the border city of Maastricht, in an effort to assuage neighboring countries, the city council has voted to remove coffee shops from the center city area (however, allowing them in the suburbs and neighborhoods).

Read the rest of the article.








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