Author: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Appeals Court To Review DEA’s Dismissal Of Cannabis Rescheduling Petition

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear opening arguments next week in a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s refusal to consider reclassifying cannabis as a schedule I prohibited substance under federal law. At issue in the case is whether the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) acted appropriately when the agency last year denied an administrative petition – initially filed by a coalition of public interest organizations, including NORML, in 2002 – that called on the agency to initiate hearings to reassess the present classification of cannabis. Under […]

Federal Cannabis Prohibition Turns 75-Years-Old Today

In a milestone that will no doubt go largely unnoticed by the mainstream media, today marks the 75th anniversary of the enactment of federal marijuana prohibition. On October 1, 1937, the US government criminally outlawed the possession and cultivation of cannabis — setting into motion a public policy that today results in some 850,000 arrests per year and has led to more than 20 million arrests since 1965. But times are changing. Now, for the first time, a majority of Americans say that they favor replacing this failed policy with […]

Connecticut’s Medical Cannabis Law Takes Effect Today

This morning Connecticut officially became the 17th state since 1996 to allow for the physician-authorized use of cannabis as a therapeutic option for qualified patients. House Bill 5389 — the Palliative Use of Marijuana Act — which was signed into law on by Democrat Gov. Dan Malloy on June 1, took effect today. Online registration for qualifying patients and their physicians is now available from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection here. Applicable qualifying medical conditions under the law include: cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired […]

Last Chance To Register For NORML’s 41st Annual National Conference

These are the last days to register online to attend NORML’s 2012 national conference, ‘The Final Days of Prohibition,’ taking place Thursday, October 4th through Saturday, October 6th at The Omni Los Angeles Hotel. Former CA Assemblyman and peace activist Tom Hayden will speak on Thursday morning. Best-selling travel author and TV host Rick Steves and NORML Founder Keith Stroup will address attendees at Friday’s Keynote luncheon, "Observations on the Final Days of Prohibition". Round-table sessions and plenary speeches at NORML’s 41st annual conference include: Pot-n-Politics 2012: A Review of […]

Most Statewide Marijuana Initiatives Lead Solidly In Polls

Four of the six statewide marijuana initiatives appearing on the November 2012 ballot are solidly favored among likely voters. Voters in six states – Arkansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Montana, Oregon, and Washington – will be deciding on marijuana-specific ballot measures this November. In Massachusetts, voters will decide on Question 3, a statewide proposal that seeks to allow for the physician-recommended possession and state-licensed distribution of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Arkansas voters will decide on a similar measure, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act of 2012. Montana voters will decide on Initiative Referendum […]

Montana: Supreme Court Says Patients Possess No Fundamental Right To Cannabis

Members of the Montana Supreme Court ruled 6 to 1 on Tuesday that patients do not possess a fundamental right to access and consume cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The decision reverses a District Court ruling enjoining the state from enforcing various provisions of a 2011 state law that limits the public’s access to medical marijuana. “In pursuing one’s health, an individual has a fundamental right to obtain and reject medical treatment,” Justice Michael Wheat opined for the majority. “But, this right does not extend to give a patient a fundamental […]

Michigan: Four Cities To Decide On Marijuana Depenalization Ordinances

Voters in four Michigan cities will decide this November on municipal ordinances seeking to legalize or depenalize local marijuana offenses. City officials in Flint, Michigan most recently approved a citizens initiative to amend the city code so that the possession on private property of up to one ounce of marijuana or cannabis paraphernalia by those age 19 or older is no longer a criminal offense. Proponents of the ordinance submitted over 1,000 signatures from registered Flint voters to place the proposal on the November ballot. Voters in Detroit will similarly […]

Study: Non-Psychotropic Cannabinoid “Proven To Be Safe” In Humans

The oral administration of the non-psychotropic cannabis plant constituent cannabidiol (CBD) is safe and well tolerated in humans, according to clinical trial data published online by the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design. Investigators at Kings College in London assessed the physiological and behavioral effects of CBD and THC versus placebo in 16 healthy volunteers in a randomized, double-blind, crossover trial. Investigators reported that the oral administration of 10 mg of THC was associated with various physiological and behavioral effects – such as increased heart rate and sedation – whereas the oral […]

Latest Media Buzz Regarding Pot’s Potential Impact On IQ Misses The Bigger Issue

The mainstream press has been abuzz in recent days regarding the findings of a recent study suggesting that early-onset, persistent cannabis exposure by those under age 18 could potentially pose adverse effects on intelligence quotient. Yet, absent from the media’s discussion of the study — a discussion that has even included some fairly critical reviews of the study’s methodology (See here and here for just two examples.) — is any talk of the role that marijuana prohibition plays in inadvertently steering young people toward cannabis, an issue I address in […]

Michigan: Grand Rapids Voters Will Decide On $25 Fine-Only Offense For Pot Possession

Voters in Grand Rapids, Michigan will decide this November on a municipal measure to depenalize marijuana possession offenses to a non-criminal, fine-only offense. The City Commissioner’s office has approved the measure, Proposal 2, which seeks to allow local law enforcement the discretion to ticket first-time marijuana offenders with a civil citation, punishable by a $25 fine and no criminal record. The city of Ann Arbor enacted a similar municipal ordinance in the early 1970s. That ordinance remains in effect today. Proponents of the Grand Rapids initiative collected over 10,000 signatures […]