Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Roundup: Alligator Found Guarding Pot Farm

By David Downs
Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 9:49 AM

1) More on SF's allegedly dirty drug cops.

2) On the East Coast, the gal who played the character "Snoop" in The Wire will play "Felicia Pearson" in real life, arrested on weed and heroin dealing.

3) Did you hear about the "watchgator" guarding pot in Hemet? They should team up with the watchbears.

4) The RAND corporation did a study on who is getting marijuana recommendations in California.

"A) very few of those who sought a recommendation had cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, or multiple sclerosis; B) most applicants presented with chronic pain, mental health conditions, or insomnia; and C) half of the applicants reported using marijuana as a substitute for prescription drugs."

Speaking of prescriptions, drug companies are freaking out that their patents are expiring, and probably a little bummed they can't patent a plant.

5) "Longtime Portland marijuana activist Paul Stanford has been arrested for tax fraud, according to a news release from the Oregon Department of Justice. ... The IRS last year revoked the tax-exempt status of Stanford's Portland-based clinic, The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation.

6) And from the Multi-Disciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, more trouble scoring research weed:

“MAPS has been challenging the federal government's monopoly on marijuana for research by supporting one scientist's efforts to start his own marijuana farm. Yesterday, that scientist and his lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union and Washington, D.C., law firm Jenner & Block submitted their final brief in their marathon lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Right now, a lab at the University of Mississippi is the only facility in the U.S. with a license to grow marijuana for research. Any scientist who proposes a study of marijuana must purchase it from this lab, whether they're interested in its risks or in its medical uses. Unfortunately, the National Institute on Drug Abuse—which funds the lab and therefore decides which studies get marijuana and which do not—only supports research into the potential harms of marijuana. That makes it practically impossible to do the research with the greatest potential for helping actual patients.

The only way to change the situation is to end NIDA's monopoly, which is exactly what MAPS and Professor Lyle Craker, Director of the Medicinal Plant Program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, have been trying to do for nearly ten years. We're expecting the FDA to allow us to proceed with our proposed study of the safety and effectiveness of smoked and/or vaporized marijuana for PTSD in war veterans, and NIDA (and its parent agency the Public Health Service) are the only ones standing in its way.”

7) Lastly, for the wonks, the highly respected and influential right-leaning Council on Foreign Relations in Washington D.C. says "legalize it!" — sorta. Two key excerpts from a new paper:

*Reevaluate U.S. Drug Policy*
The U.S. Congress should commission an independent advisory group to examine the fiscal and social impacts of drug legalization as well as other alternative approaches to the war on drugs. The commission should be provided adequate funding—-at least $2 million—-to provide a comprehensive review of existing policies and develop realistic, clearly defined, and achievable policy recommendations for reducing the harms caused by drug consumption and abuse.

*Shift U.S. Counter-Drug Priorities to Focus on Major Sources of Illicit Income*
To allow policy experimentation, the federal government should permit states to legalize the production, sale, taxation, and consumption of marijuana. While testing this policy shift, authorities should redirect scarce law enforcement resources to focus on the more damaging and socially unacceptable drugs (like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine) from which Mexican DTOs derive more than 70 percent of their drug proceeds.

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