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“As Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.’ Over the years, I’ve been moved by the brave patients and veterans who are fighting terrible illnesses. They need and deserve pain relief. This new [medical marijuana] law will provide that relief and help eligible patients ease their suffering…”

– Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, this morning.

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She’s back

Continuing on her crusade against marijuana as medicine (except when it’s sold by a company she works for), Andrea Barthwell has resurfaced in Ohio.

Dr. Andrea Barthwell says she’s seen marijuana shops pop up like liquor stores. “These people move in with a vengeance,” she says.

The former adviser to President George W. Bush is warning against legalizing the drug for medical purposes.

“It’s full of contaminates, bird droppings, animal carcases and it exposes the sick and dying to a number of potential problems,” Barthwell adds. [...]

They point to data from Colorado, which legalized medical marijuana in 2000. From 2006 to 2011, traffic fatalities from drivers testing positive for marijuana increased 46 percent. In 2011, drug usage among kids 12-17 was higher than the national average.

Barthwell’s goal is to stop all that from happening here in Ohio.

For those new to this blog, Andrea and I go way back.

In 2005, I broke the story about Andrea’s traveling con job, including the fact that she falsified sponsor information to suppport her Illinois Marijuana Lecture series.

I then covered her move as a Snake Oil Salesman, shilling for a company that sells medical marijuana while still going around opposing medical marijuana.

Later, Barthwell created an organization called “Coalition to End Needless Death on our Roadways,” publishing a “Fatal 15″ list each year which they promoted in the media (big scare stories) based on NHTSA data. The only problem is, they didn’t use the data properly and their results were completely false and misleading. I created this page to alert the media to the scam, and before long, her organization evaporated.

Andrea is a con artist who loves to see her name in print and can’t seem to do anything without lying or distorting the truth in some way.

Keep alert, Ohio.

[Thanks, Tom]

Update: Here’s another article:

“There is no instance where marijuana is superior to anything that is currently on the market,” said Dr. Andrea Barthwell, a former deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. “There is no need for it. There is no room for it. There is no place for it in the physicians’ toolbox.”

She claims there is not enough good medical research to show that marijuana has any positive effect except “an anecdotal finding that marijuana gives people the munchies.”

Barthwell worries that, if it is legalized in Ohio, we will see the drug become more easily available, especially to teens and children. She also argues that medical marijuana would set modern medicine back by over a century because it would open the door to letting ballot issues and lawmakers, not science and medical experts, determine what medicine should be on the market.

“Set modern medicine back by over a century.” Wow.

Now this particular article also has an anecdote from someone else (not Andrea) that really set me on edge…

At a Statehouse news conference, Coleman told the story of a client who explained the difference between drunk driving and drugged driving.

“With beer, you don’t see the red light. With marijuana, you see the red light, and you don’t care,” he said.


What a horrible (and inaccurate) distortion of my joke:

The drunk driver speeds through the stop sign without seeing it.
The stoned driver stops and patiently waits for it to turn green.

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I missed this one last week.

Representative Steve King speaking about… I don’t know… weightlifting?

“For every [undocumented immigrant] who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

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Positive movement in Illinois

Nice to see… finally…

Quinn to sign medical marijuana bill Thursday

One reason Quinn said he was giving legalized pot more thought was that he was impressed by an injured military veteran who maintained marijuana provided him relief from war wounds.

It’s not going to be easy — it’s touted as being the toughest medical marijuana law in the country (the only way they could get it passed). I think you already have to be dead with a coroner’s certificate to qualify (although in Chicago, that may not be too hard to get).

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World-wide cracks

The green shoots of recovery? Morocco considers the legalisation of marijuana cultivation

At least 800,000 Moroccans live off illegal marijuana cultivation, generating annual sales estimated at $10bn, or 10 per cent of the economy, according to the Moroccan Network for the Industrial and Medicinal use of Marijuana, a local charity.

Morocco, with a population of 32 million, is Africa’s sixth-largest economy. Legalisation would allow farmers to sell to the government for medicinal and industrial purposes rather than to drug traffickers. That could boost exports and help reduce a trade deficit that widened to a record 197 billion dirhams last year, about 23 per cent of gross domestic product. It could also help pacify inhabitants of a historically restive region after Arab Spring uprisings toppled regimes in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

Uruguay’s Marijuana Bill Faces Political, Economic Obstacles

If Uruguay’s proposal to regulate the production, sale and distribution of marijuana is properly implemented and overcomes political and economic hurdles, it could be the most important drug regulation experiment in decades. [...]

Unlike in the Netherlands, where cannabis cultivation is still technically banned, this will legalize and regulate every step in the process of marijuana production and distribution. [...]

It now appears set to pass the lower house in a July 31 vote with the support of the FA’s slim majority, despite the fact that public opinion remains mostly opposed to the measure.

The debate on this bill is going on now. It will then have to pass the Senate, which is likely.

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