Author: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Scientific Review: “There Is Now Clear Evidence That Cannabinoids Are Useful For The Treatment Of Various Medical Conditions”

For the second time in recent months, a scientific paper published in a peer-reviewed journal has thoroughly rebutted the present Schedule I status of cannabis under US federal law, which states that the plant and its organic constituents possess a “high potential for abuse,” and that they lack “accepted medical use” and “accepted safety … under medical supervision.” According to a just published review in the German scientific journal Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, scientific findings from over 100 controlled clinical trials involving either cannabis or its constituents provide “clear evidence that […]

California Congresswoman Introduces ‘Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act’

United States Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), along with eight co-sponsors, has introduced legislation — House Bill 6335, the Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act — which seeks to amend the federal Controlled Substances Act so as to “exempt real property from civil forfeiture due to medical-marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by State law.” Representative Lee’s bill, the first of its kind ever introduced in Congress, is a direct response to Justice Department’s increased and arbitrary use of the civil asset forfeiture statute to sanction property owners whose tenants are in […]

DEA’s Cannabis Crop Seizures Down 35 Percent From Previous Year

[Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s news alerts and legislative advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up here.] Total seizures of cultivated cannabis plants fell an estimated 35 percent between the years 2010 and 2011, according to statistics provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and published in the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics. Data for the year 2011 indicates that some 6.7 million cannabis plants were eradicated nationwide under the DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program, which […]

Does Science Matter?

As I wrote last week in an op/ed for The Sacramento Bee, when it comes to the federal government’s policy on marijuana, not so much. Viewpoints: Science supporting medicinal pot is clear via The Sacramento Bee A dozen years ago, California lawmakers did something extraordinary. They authorized investigators throughout California to conduct a series of FDA-approved, gold standard trials to assess whether cannabis is safe and effective as a medicine. In all, researchers conducted more than a dozen clinical studies examining whether cannabis could meet objective standards of safety and […]

Alternet: “Five Scientific Conclusions About Cannabis That The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Want You To Know”

Writing in the journal Science some four decades ago, New York State University sociologist Erich Goode documented the mainstream media’s complicity in maintaining cannabis prohibition. He observed: “[T]ests and experiments purporting to demonstrate the ravages of marijuana consumption receive enormous attention from the media, and their findings become accepted as fact by the public. But when careful refutations of such research are published, or when later findings contradict the original pathological findings, they tend to be ignored or dismissed.” A review of today’s mainstream media landscape indicates that little has […]

The Daily Caller: “Regulations, Not Criminal Prohibition, Best Address Concerns Regarding Cannabis”

Last week Charles Stimson, a senior legal fellow at the Washington, DC think tank The Heritage Foundation, took to the opinion pages of the conservative-leaning DC publication, The Daily Caller, to opine “why we shouldn’t legalize marijuana.” Stimson’s commentary predictably contained various inaccuracies and outright falsehoods — including the unfounded allegations that marijuana use inspires violence, that the areas around medicinal cannabis clubs have experienced “exponential increases in crime rates,” (A recently published UCLA study and several others eviscerate this claim.) and that the daily consumption of alcohol “has been […]

Study: Cannabis Extracts Mitigate Muscle Stiffness In Multiple Sclerosis Patients

[Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s news alerts and legislative advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up here.] The oral administration of cannabis extracts significantly reduces muscle stiffness in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to just published clinical trial data published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. Investigators at the University of Plymouth, Clinical Neurology Research Group, in the United Kingdom assessed the use of cannabinoids versus placebo in 279 subjects with MS over a […]

Congressional Lawmakers Reintroduce Truth In Trials Act

A bipartisan coalition of Congressional lawmakers yesterday reintroduced federal legislation to provide state-authorized medical marijuana patients and their providers with an affirmative defense from federal prosecution. The legislation, H.R. 6134 –- The Truth in Trials Act (Read the text of the bill here.) –- would allow certain federal defendants the opportunity to “introduce evidence (at trial) demonstrating that the marijuana-related activities for which the person stands accused were performed in compliance with state law regarding the medical use of marijuana.” It states, “It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution […]

Feds Target Harborside Health Center — California’s Largest, Most Prominent Medical Cannabis Dispensary

Many of California’s most prominent and well-respected medical cannabis dispensaries and related facilities — including Oaksterdam University, Berkeley Patients Group, and Harborside Health Center (HHC) — flourished under the George W. Bush administration. But they’ll be lucky to survive President Barack Obama’s first term. On Tuesday, federal prosecutors targeted Harborside Health Center in Oakland, as well as its sister facility in San Jose, for closure and civil asset forfeiture. In court papers filed by the US Attorney for the northern district of California, Melinda Haag, the federal government alleges that […]

US News & World Report: ‘Is It Time To Scale Back The War On Drugs?’

The editors at US News & World Report are asking the question, ‘Is it time to scale back the war on drugs?’ They’ve assembled a round-table of participants to respond. Arguing in favor politics as usual are Kevin Sabet, former Senior Policy Adviser to President Obama’s Drug Czar and David Evans, Special Adviser to the Drug Free America Foundation. Predictably, neither author’s platitudes are resonating with US News readers. (Both Evans and Sabet have only 15 ‘up’ votes combined, versus some 650 ‘down’ votes.) Myself, Aaron Houston (Executive Director: Students […]