Author: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

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 […]

Study: Cannabis May Mitigate Traumatic Memories In Patients With PTSD

[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 use of cannabis and cannabinoids appears to mitigate symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a new review of clinical and preclinical evidence published online in the scientific journal Drug Testing and Analysis. An international team of investigators from Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom reported that the use of cannabis to “dramatically reduced” PTSD […]

Scientific Journal: Cannabis’ “Schedule I Classification Is Not Tenable”

The present classification of cannabis and its organic compounds as schedule I prohibited substances under federal law is scientifically indefensible, according to a just published review in The Open Neurology Journal. Investigators with the University of California at San Diego and the University of California, Davis reviewed the results of several recent clinical trials assessing the safety and efficacy of inhaled or vaporized cannabis. They concluded: “Evidence is accumulating that cannabinoids may be useful medicine for certain indications. Control of nausea and vomiting and the promotion of weight gain in […]

Chicago: City Council Votes To Remove Criminal Misdemeanor Penalties For Pot Possession

The American public is fed up with the criminalization of cannabis. And now, more and more politicians are finally starting to get the message. This afternoon, members of the Chicago City Council voted overwhelmingly to halt the practice of arresting minor marijuana offenders. By a vote of 43 to 3, members of the Council approved a new municipal ordinance that reduces most marijuana possession offenses to a ticket-like offense — no arrest, no jail, and no criminal record. Under present law, the possession of any amount of marijuana is defined […]

New Hampshire: Governor Rejects Medical Marijuana Measure; Do Lawmakers Have The Votes To Override His Veto?

As anticipated, Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, today vetoed Senate Bill 409, which sought to allow for the personal possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis by qualified patients. The measure now returns to House and Senate lawmakers, who have the power to enact SB 409 absent the Governor’s approval. On Wednesday, June 27, both chambers will vote on whether or not to override the Governor’s veto. Gov. Lynch’s actions, though disappointing, were anticipated. The four-term governor, who recently announced that he would not be seeking re-election in 2012, had previously […]

Study: Medical Marijuana Legalization Is Not Accompanied By Increases In Teen Cannabis Use

[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 legalization of cannabis for therapeutic purposes is not associated with increases in the use of marijuana or other illicit substances among adolescents, according to discussion paper commissioned by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Germany. Economists from Montana State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of Colorado, Denver examined the relationship between state medical […]

Michigan: Supreme Court Says Detroit Voters Can Decide On Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measure

The Supreme Court for the state of Michigan has ruled that city election officials cannot prevent Detroit voters from deciding on a municipal ballot measure that seeks to remove marijuana possession penalties for those age 21 or older. The Court refused to review an appeal brought by the Detroit City Clerk’s office and the Detroit Election Commission that sought to strike down the proposed ballot question, sponsored by the group Coalition for a Safer Detroit. In 2010, the Coalition collected over 6,000 signatures from registered voters to place the measure […]

Study: Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Not Associated With Neighborhood Crime

The establishment of medical cannabis dispensaries does not adversely impact local crime rates, according to a federally funded study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Investigators at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) examined whether the proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries is associated with elevated crimes rates. Researchers assessed the spatial relationship between density of medical marijuana dispensaries and two types of crime rates (violent crime and property crime) in 95 census tracts in Sacramento, California, during the year 2009. Researchers reported: “There were no […]

New Hampshire Lawmakers Send Medical Marijuana Legalization Measure To Governor’s Desk

Less than one week after Connecticut became the 17th state to legalize the therapeutic use of cannabis, lawmakers in the New Hampshire House and Senate late today affirmed their support for legislation to allow for the personal possession, cultivation, and use of the plant for medicinal purposes. This afternoon, House lawmakers on a voice vote reaffirmed their prior support for Senate Bill 409, which they had previously approved last month by a veto-proof super-majority. Members of the Senate then approved the measure by a vote of 13-9 — a gain […]

Breaking: Rhode Island General Assembly Overwhelmingly Backs Marijuana Decriminalization Measures

By a vote of more than 2 to 1, members of the Rhode Island General Assembly today approved legislation to significantly reduce the state’s criminal marijuana possession penalties. Members of the House and Senate passed twin bills, House Bill 7092 and Senate Bill 2253, which amend state law so that the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by an individual 18 years or older is reduced from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by one year in jail and a $500 maximum fine) to a non-arrestable civil offense — punishable […]