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Michael Komorn

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About Michael Komorn

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    Michael A. Komorn focuses on medical marijuana representation. He is the president of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association (MMMA), a nonprofit patient advocacy group with over 32,000 members, which advocates for medical marijuana patients and caregiver rights. Mr. Komorn is also an experienced defense attorney successfully representing many wrongfully accused medical marijuana patients and caregivers. He is a member of the Criminal Law and Marijuana Law Sections of the State Bar of Michigan.

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  1. Don’t Beauregard that joint my friend. Attorney General Jeff Sessions January 4th memo regarding marijuana enforcement is historic... and it should promptly be consigned to the dustbin of history. Mr. Session’s very name is a history lesson. Like his father and grandfather, he was named after Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederacy and P.G.T. Beauregard, the first prominent general of the Confederate Army. These were the men who lead the people of Alabama in their desire and purpose to join the “slave-holding states” to secede from the U.S. and form a government where “in no case shall citizenship extend to any person who is not a free white person.” See Alabama Ordinance of Secession. Mr. Sessions memo overturning Obama era guidelines for federal marijuana prosecutions is entirely consistent his historic roots. Here’s why. When the South failed in its quest to preserve the “peculiar institution” of slavery, Jim Crow and segregation followed. “Separate but equal” became the rallying cry to keep whiteness supreme. With Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this became impossible. American society convulsed. In 1968, Richard Nixon took the White House by appealing to the “silent (white) majority” and exploiting Southern fears of the recently empowered African-Americans. The South has been Republican ever since. Here’s how Nixon did it. He declared a War on Drugs. John Ehrlichman a Nixon staffer revealed the real roots of the criminal prohibition of marijuana and other substances: “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” By 1980 with the ascension of Ronald Reagan (and Nancy Reagan’s vacuous “Just Say No”), the drug war was hitting its stride. George H.W. Bush amended the Posse Comitatus Act to allow the military to be used as a domestic police force in the drug war, effectively para-militarizing police forces across the nation. In 1994, Bill Clinton passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. In the 22 years since the bill was passed, the federal prison population more than doubled. War is a bi-partisan vice, and scare-mongering reliably delivers votes. It is to this era that Mr. Sessions seeks to return us with his memo. That is because the war on drugs has been extraordinarily successful in its primary purpose: to vilify Blacks and the Anti-war left, arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and put them in jail. By 2000, incarceration numbers began to become available in parts of the South demonstrating that the drug war increasingly was a war on African Americans, particularly Black males of prime breeding age. One in three black men in the United States between the ages of 20 and 29 years old was under correctional supervision or control. Among the nearly 1.9 million offenders incarcerated on June 30, 1999, more than 560,000 were black males between the ages of 20 and 39. At those levels of incarceration, newborn Black males in this country had a greater than 1 in 4 chance of going to prison during their lifetimes, while Latin-American males have a 1 in 6 chance, and white males have a 1 in 23 chance of serving time. The United States was incarcerating African-American men at a rate that was approximately four times the rate of incarceration of Black men in South Africa. The rate of imprisonment for black women was more than eight times the rate of imprisonment of white women; the rate of imprisonment of Hispanic women was nearly four times the rate of imprisonment of white women. We can trace those disparities directly to discriminatory and selective enforcement of the drug laws. Most illicit drug users were white. There were an estimated 9.9 million whites (72 percent of all users), 2.0 million blacks (15 percent), and 1.4 million Hispanics (10 percent) who were illicit drug users. Yet, blacks constituted 36.8% of those arrested for drug violations, over 42% of those in federal prisons for drug violations and almost 60% of those in state prisons for drug felonies; Hispanics accounted for 22.5%. Drug laws had become the new Jim Crow. Texas was particularly bad. By 2000, there were more Texans under criminal justice control, 706,600 -- than the entire populations of Vermont, Wyoming or Alaska. Texas’s incarceration rate of 1,035 per 100,000 population tops every state but Louisiana. If Texas were a separate nation, it would have the world’s highest incarceration rate, well above the United States at 682 per 100,000 or Russia's 685. The state's prison population had tripled since 1990, rising more than 60 percent in the past five years -- from 92,669 to 149,684. Black Texans were incarcerated at a rate seven times that of whites -- and at a rate 63 percent higher than the national rate for blacks. Blacks supplied 44 percent of the inmates in Texas although they constituted only 12 percent of the state's population. More than half of all Blacks were in jail in Texas for nonviolent offenses. They ended up picking cotton, herding cattle or, contracted out as labor to assemble computers. Then came 9/11. Criminal justice reform took a backseat to terror wars until those wars too lost all legitimacy. It was not until the election of Barack Obama and the appointment of Eric Holder that the real roots of this massive, fraudulent, unjust war on drugs began to be addressed. Over the course of that presidency, states were allowed to advance their experiments with medicinal and later adult use marijuana. Civil asset forfeiture at the federal level was reigned in and the use of private, for-profit prisons was curtailed. A key part of this reform was a statement of guiding principles for federal prosecutors regarding marijuana. These guidelines allowed states to proceed with some predictability in their local marijuana programs. Mr. Sessions has undone all of this. Why is this important? Because the numbers have only grown worse. An African-American in Michigan is three times more likely to be arrested for violating marijuana laws compared to a white person, although surveys and research indicate little difference between usage rates between the two groups. In all, African-Americans comprise about 14 percent of Michigan's population, but 35 percent of marijuana arrests. Overall, African-Americans in Michigan are incarcerated at roughly five times the rate of whites. The numbers in the white flight counties of the Eastern District of Michigan are even more unconscionable. In St. Clair County, African-Americans make up 2.5% of the total population yet account for 43% of arrests for drug law violations. In Oakland County, African-Americans make up 14.4% of the population yet account for 48% of arrests for drug law violations. In Lapeer County African-Americans make up 1.2% of the population yet account for 10.4% of arrests for drug law violations. In Genesee County African-Americans make up 20% of the population yet account for 76% of drug arrests. This according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Medical marijuana patients and programs are squarely in the cross-fire of a war with deeply racial roots. We say that the only citizen more vulnerable to police misconduct than a young black male in Texas is a medical marijuana patient in Michigan. Mr. Sessions knows all of this. It is in his blood. In his name. This is not accidental. Mr. Sessions and his ilk want to return us to an age when names like Jefferson Davis and P.G.T. Beauregard are names to be proud of and ditzy slogans like “just say no” and “good people don’t smoke marijuana” substitute for real science. Mr. Sessions war is arbitrary, capricious, and racist. His dismissive memo merely enshrines the worst of policies and promotes selective and discriminatory enforcement of the law. Can a community that has been abused for years by a corrupt, federal, militarized police force that is selectively enforcing the law on the basis of race organize to end its oppression? Yes. See e.g. the American Revolution. In 1776, the British Redcoats had become a federal military police force with wide ranging powers to enforce the contraband laws Then, as now, most contraband consisted of drugs, primarily tea and tobacco. Then, as now, the police were allowed to issue “writs of assistance” (roving search warrants devoid of probable cause) allowing them to seize and keep the property of those persons believed to be illicitly trafficking. Then, as now, such power and temptation corrupted the police authorities, resulted in selective enforcement of the law and produced wide scale violations of God-granted liberties. Then, the community organized to resist. The Boston Tea Party, the American Revolution and the Bill of Rights ensued. Among the rights enshrined is the right to organize and to oppose abuses by a federal, corrupt, militarized police force. 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “I thought those guys (the KKK) were alright until I learned they smoke pot.” -- Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III
  2. The hemp industry is fighting the DEA again for its right to sell hemp products, including CBD. Members of congress have joined in the lawsuit against the DEA. Does the DEA even know what it is doing? Why did Eric Holder say hemp was schedule 1, prosecute hemp growers his entire tenure, only to retire and say that the laws should be changed? In Olsen v Holder 2009, some interesting facts about scheduling were reported: DEA Clarifies Status of Hemp in the Federal Register in 2001. What if you are unable to determine from reading the label and from asking the manufacturer or distributor whether the product contains THC? In such circumstances, if you wish to err on the side of caution, you may freely dispose of the product. As stated in the rules that DEA published on October 9, 2001, anyone who has purchased a food or beverage product that contains THC has 120 days (until February 6, 2002) to dispose of the product without penalty under federal law. Wait, Marijuana is the leaves and flowers and hemp is the stalks and seeds? What? Defining “Industrial Hemp”: A Fact Sheet The federal Congressional Research Service issued a report March 2017. Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity Renée Johnson Specialist in Agricultural Policy March 10, 2017 What about Cannabidiol? Since the DEA has been attacking Cannabidiol hemp products, some states have been claiming CBD is illegal. Department of Public Health Position Statement CBD Product Availability in Iowa Nebraska AG issued a memo on Cannabidiol products. Indiana AG issued an opinion of CBD , while the Indiana Governor said stores will have 60 days to destroy or remove CBD products from its stores. The FDA tested some CBD products and found some products contained no CBD, some contained higher than .3% THC and other products fluctuated with percentages of CBD. Also, the FDA has stated that because CBD is being investigated as a new drug, it cannot be marketed as a dietary supplement. The FDA is ignoring history when it says CBD is a "new drug". CBD was an ingredient of Extract of Cannabis, a formulation in the US Pharmacopia dating back to 1851. The fight against hemp, marijuana, cannabis continues. https://mjbizdaily.com/congress-members-defend-cbd-blast-deas-hemp-decision/ Congress members defend CBD, blast DEA’s hemp decision Published January 12, 2018 | By Kristen Nichols In a bold show of support for the hemp industry and CBD, 28 members of Congress are asking a federal appeals court to reject the Drug Enforcement Administration’s argument that cannabidiol is a Schedule 1 drug. The Congress members filed the brief Thursday in conjunction with a pending lawsuit against the DEA. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments in the case Feb. 15. The Congress members – 22 Democrats and six Republicans – argue that the DEA is “blatantly contrary” to the 2014 Farm Bill when it argues that CBD is a marijuana extract and therefore illegal. “The Farm Bill’s definition of industrial hemp includes any part of the plant, including the flower,” the Congress members argue in the brief. The members conclude that the federal agency’s rule about CBD was an “abuse of DEA’s administrative procedure and rulemaking authority.” The lawyer who wrote the brief for the Congress members, Steven Cash, told Marijuana Business Daily that Congress members took the extraordinary step of weighing in on the lawsuit in hopes of seeing the courts resolve the conflict between the Farm Bill and the DEA’s interpretation on the Controlled Substances Act. “Apart from arguing about the relative benefits, flaws and dangers of medical marijuana and hemp, it appears we’re going to solve this (conflict) through traditional avenues, the courts,” Cash said. The DEA said in late 2016 that because CBD cannot be easily extracted from non-flower parts of the cannabis plant, CBD should be considered a controlled substance. The decision brought a hasty lawsuit from the Hemp Industries Association and a CBD business. A lawyer for the hemp companies says the brief will show judges that Congress understood what it was doing when it authorized hemp production, meaning not just the stalks and seeds but the whole plant. “Congress has spoken, yet again,” Bob Hoban said in a statement. “The industrial hemp industry has seen exponential growth … and this case represents the most significant challenge the U.S. hemp industry has seen to date.”
  3. While private internet companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google censor marijuana on their various communication platforms, a publicly funded state university must adhere to the free speech first amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. In this case, Iowa State University objected to a NORML student group using the ISU mascot on their t-shirt. Read the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling here. Read the Iowa Board of Appeals Settlement plan here. Other case files can be found HERE. http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/40885/ Iowa State pays $343,000 for censoring pro-marijuana students – and it’s on the hook for ‘substantially’ more GREG PIPER - ASSOCIATE EDITORJANUARY 11, 2018 Legal fees for the trial portion haven’t been resolved It’s hard to think of a university that’s had a worse few years in court regarding a First Amendment dispute than Iowa State. It was slapped down for refusing to let a pro-marijuana student group use the university’s name on its club T-shirt (which included a pot leaf), when it let every other student group use its trademarks on their club gear. Last year a federal appeals court confirmed that individual university officials could be heldpersonally liable for violating the “clearly established” constitutional rights of students. Now Iowa taxpayers are finally footing the bill for the university’s litigation adventures – and they’re going to pay even more later. Courthouse News Service reports Iowa State is paying the plaintiffs and their lawyers $343,260 just for the appellate portion of the lawsuit: In other words, taxpayers are looking at a high six- to low-seven figure payout because the school was afraid people would think it institutionally endorsed pot smoking (inset, the shirt). The original lawsuit was filed more than three years ago. The state finally came to its senses, with the attorney general’s office telling the appeal board last week that it would cost even more to to endure “a trial solely on the question of damages.” The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that the ISU officials didn’t deserve “qualified immunity” for violating the students’ rights stands in stark contrast to the 10th Circuit’s recent ruling that gave immunity to a University of Kansas administrator for expelling a student based on a private tweet, saying First Amendment law wasn’t “clearly established.” Ari Cohn of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which sponsored the lawsuit against ISU, writes about the importance of courts holding individual administrators financially responsible: Cohn’s colleague Peter Bonilla noted the settlement was timed well with an upcoming ISU event on freedom of expression, featuring the chancellor of the University of California-Irvine, a staunch public defender of student free speech. Read the Courthouse News Service article and FIRE post.
  4. Marijuana makes drivers drive slower. That's about it. Read on to see the consensus from research spanning 50 years from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and everywhere else. Just under 300 studies along with independent and government reports were collected, yet the research keeps pointing to the same thing. People driving after using cannabis drive a little bit slower. States with Legalized and Medical Marijuana have fewer fatal car accidents. My guess is that the fewer fatal accidents are due to substituting alcohol and other medications for cannabis. Don't believe me, take the official government word directly from NIDA: NHTSA 2017 Marijuana-Impaired Driving A Report to Congress The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did its own tests in 2015 and found that THC showed no increased crash risk. Crash Fatality Rates After Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Washington and Colorado. CANNABIS USE AND DRIVING: Evidence Review Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) Simon Fraser University NHTSA The Incidence and Role of Drugs in Fatally Injured Drivers 1992 NHTSA Marijuana and Actual Driving Performance 1993 CRASH CHARACTERISTICS AND INJURIES OF VICTIMS IMPAIRED BY ALCOHOL VERSUS ILLICIT DRUGS University of Michigan Study 1997 CANNABIS: OUR POSITION FOR A CANADIAN PUBLIC POLICY REPORT OF THE SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ILLEGAL DRUGS 2002 Psychomotor Performance, Subjective and Physiological Effects and Whole Blood D9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol Concentrations in Heavy, Chronic Cannabis Smokers Following Acute Smoked Cannabis Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption See the full studies here: http://komornlaw.com/driving-research/
  5. Governments from around the world have conducted exhaustive studies on Marijuana / Hemp / Cannabis and have found the exact same results each and every time, consistently over the last 120+ years. Likewise, the governments have attacked, ignored, buried and outright shunned every one of these reports for the last 120 years. The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report India 1893-1894 The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report, completed in 1894, was a British India study of cannabis usage in India. The Commission report and all recorded testimony was over 3,000 pages long spanning 8 volumes. The Summary of conclusions regarding effects of cannabis is found in the first volume of the report, on pages 263 and 264. 552. The Commission have now examined all the evidence before them regarding the effects attributed to hemp drugs. It will be well to summarize briefly the conclusions to which they come. It has been clearly established that the occasional use of hemp in moderate doses may be beneficial; but this use may be regarded as medicinal in character. It is rather to the popular and common use of the drugs that the Commission will now confine their attention. It is convenient to consider the effects separately as affecting the physical, mental, or moral nature. In regard to the physical effects, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all. There may be exceptional cases in which, owing to idiosyncracies of constitution, the drugs in even moderate use may be injurious. There is probably nothing the use of which may not possibly be injurious in cases of exceptional intolerance. There are also many cases where in tracts with a specially malarious climate, or in circumstances of hard work and exposure, the people attribute beneficial effects to the habitual moderate use of these drugs; and there is evidence to show that the popular impression may have some basis in fact. Speaking generally, the Commission are of opinion that the moderate use of hemp drugs appears to cause no appreciable physical injury of any kind. The excessive use does cause injury. As in the case of other intoxicants, excessive use tends to weaken the constitu- tion and to render the consumer more susceptible to disease. In respect to the particular diseases which according to a considerable number of witnesses should be associated directly with hemp drugs, it appears to be reasonably estab- lished that the excessive use of these drugs does not cause asthma; that it may indirectly cause dysentery by weakening the constitution as above indicated; and that it may cause bronchitis mainly through the action of the inhaled smoke on the bronchial tubes. In respect to the alleged mental effects of the drugs, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs produces no inju- rious effects on the mind. It may indeed be accepted that in the case of special- ly marked neurotic diathesis, even the moderate use may produce mental injury. For the slightest mental stimulation or excitement may have that effect in such cases. But putting aside these quite exceptional cases, the moder- ate use of these drugs produces no mental injury. It is otherwise with the excessive use. Excessive use indicates and intensifies mental instability. It tends to weaken the mind. It may even lead to insanity. It has been said by Dr. Blanford that "two factors only are necessary for the causation of insanity, which are complementary, heredity, and stress. Both enter into every case: the stronger the influence of one factor, the less of the other factor is requisite to produce the result. Insanity, therefore, needs for its production a certain insta- bility of nerve tissue and the incidence of a certain disturbance." It appears that the excessive use of hemp drugs may, especially in cases where there is any weakness or hereditary predisposition, induce insanity. It has been shown that the effect of hemp drugs in this respect has hitherto been greatly exag- gerated, but that they do sometimes produce insanity seems beyond question. In regard to the moral effects of the drugs, the Commission are of opinion that their moderate use produces no moral injury whatever. There is no adequate ground for believing that it injuriously affects the character of the consumer. Excessive consumption, on the other hand, both indicates and inten- sifies moral weakness or depravity. Manifest excess leads directly to loss of self- respect, and thus to moral degradation. In respect to his relations with society, however, even the excessive consumer of hemp drugs is ordinarily inoffensive. His excesses may indeed bring him to degraded poverty which may lead him to dishonest practices; and occasionally, but apparently very rarely indeed, exces- sive indulgence in hemp drugs may lead to violent crime. But for all practical purposes it may be laid down that there is little or no connection between the use of hemp drugs and crime. Viewing the subject generally, it may be added that the moderate use of these drugs is the rule, and that the excessive use is comparatively exceptional. The moderate use practically produces no ill effects. In all but the most excep- tional cases, the injury from habitual moderate use is not appreciable. The excessive use may certainly be accepted as very injurious, though it must be admit- ted that in many excessive consumers the injury is not clearly marked. The injury done by the excessive use is, however, confined almost exclusively to the consumer himself; the effect on society is rarely appreciable. It has been the most striking feature in this inquiry to find how little the effects of hemp drugs have obtruded themselves on observation. The large number of witnesses of all classes who professed never to have seen these effects, the vague statements made by many who professed to have observed them, the very few witnesses who could so recall a case as to give any definite account of it, and the manner in which a large proportion of these cases broke down on the first attempt to examine them, are facts which combine to show most clearly how little injury society has hitherto sustained from hemp drugs. Letter from the American Medical Association 1937 Re: H.R. 6906 SENATOR BROWN: Before we adjourn, I desire to place in the record a letter regarding the pending bill addressed to Senator Harrison by Dr. William C. Woodward, of the American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill. American Medical Association Bureau of Legal Medicine and Legislation Chicago, July 10, 1937 Hon. Pat Harrison Chairman, Committee on Finance, United States Senate Washington D.C. SIR: I have been instructed by the board of trustees of the American Medical Association to protest on behalf of the association against the enactment in it present form of so much of H.R. 6906 as relates to the medicinal use of cannabis and its preparations and derivatives. The act is entitled "An Act to impose an occupational excise tax upon certain dealers in marihuana, to impose a transfer tax upon certain dealings in marihuana, and to safeguard the revenue therefrom by registry and recording." Cannabis and its preparations and derivatives are covered in the bill by the term "marihuana" as that term is defined in section 1, paragraph (b). There is no evidence, however, that the medicinal use of these drugs has caused or is causing cannabis addiction. As remedial agents, they are used to an inconsiderable extent, and the obvious purpose and effect of this bill is to impose so many restrictions on their use as to prevent such use altogether. Since the medicinal use of cannabis has not caused and is not causing addiction, the prevention of the use of the drug for medicinal purposes can accomplish no good end whatsoever. How far it may serve to deprive the public of the benefits of a drug that on further research may prove to be of substantial value, it is impossible to foresee. The American Medical Association has no objection to any reasonable regulation of the medicinal use of cannabis and its preparations and derivatives. It does pretest, however, against being called upon to pay a special tax, to use special order forms in order to procure the drug, to keep special records concerning its professional use and to make special returns to the Treasury Department officials, as a condition precedent to the use of cannabis in the practice of medicine. in the several States, all separate and apart from the taxes, order forms, records, and reports required under the Harrison Narcotics Act with reference to opium and coca leaves and their preparations and derivatives. If the medicinal use of cannabis calls for Federal legal regulation further than the legal regulation that now exists, the drug can without difficulty be covered under the provisions of the Harrison Narcotics Act by a suitable amendment. By such a procedure the professional use of cannabis may readily be controlled as effectively as are the professional uses of opium and coca leaves, with less interference with professional practice and less cost and labor on the part of the Treasury Department. It has been suggested that the inclusion of cannabis into the Harrison Narcotics Act would jeopardize the constitutionality of that act, but that suggestion has been supported by no specific statements of its legal basis or citations of legal authorities. Wm. C. Woodward, Legislative Counsel Whereupon at 11:37 AM Monday, July 12, 1937, the subcommittee adjourned. The marihuana problem in the city of New York 1944 by New York (N.Y.). Mayor's Committee on Marihuana In a 220 page report, the La Guardia Committee on Marihuana investigated marijuana users, school children, and even conducted clinical studies on the effects of cannabis on 77 humans. Conclusions From the foregoing study the following conclusions are drawn: 1. Marihuana is used extensively in the Borough of Manhattan but the problem is not as acute as it is reported to be in other sections of the United States. 2. The introduction of marihuana into this area is recent as compared to other localities. 3. The cost of marihuana is low and therefore within the purchasing power of most persons. 4. The distribution and use of marihuana is centered in Harlem. 5. The majority of marihuana smokers are Negroes and Latin-Americans. 6. The consensus among marihuana smokers is that the use of the drug creates a definite feeling of adequacy. 7. The practice of smoking marihuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word. 8. The sale and distribution of marihuana is not under the control of any single organized group. 9. The use of marihuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction and no effort is made to create a market for these narcotics by stimulating the practice of marihuana smoking. 10. Marihuana is not the determining factor in the commission of major crimes. 11. Marihuana smoking is not widespread among school children. 12. Juvenile delinquency is not associated with the practice of smoking marihuana. 13. The publicity concerning the catastrophic effects of marihuana smoking in New York City is unfounded. Marihuana users accustomed to daily smoking for a period of from two and a half to sixteen years showed no abnormal system functioning which would differentiate them from the nonusers. There is definite evidence in this study that the marihuana users were not inferior in intelligence to the general population and that they had suffered no mental or physical deterioration as a result of their use of the drug. Addiction and Tolerance As our group of subjects included 48 users of marihuana, opportunity was afforded for some conclusions concerning marihuana addiction and tolerance. Practically all of our group of users stated that they could and often did voluntarily stop the smoking for a time without any undue disturbance from the deprivation. In the sociologic study reported by Dr. Schoenfeld it was found that smokers had no compelling urge for marihuana. If "reefers" were not readily available there was no special effort made to obtain them from known sources of supply. Dr. Walter Bromberg, Psychiatrist-in-Charge, Psychiatric Clinic, Court of General Sessions in New York, states: "The fact that offenders brought up on marihuana charges do not request medical treatment on their incarceration (with its cessation of drug supply) argues for the absence of with drawal symptoms.''(1) From interviews with several hundred marihuana users he concludes that true addiction was absent. (1) Bromberg, W. "Marihuana: a psychiatric study." J.A.MA. 113:4, 1939.=20 The evidence submitted here warrants the conclusion that as far as New York City is concerned true addiction to marihuana does not occur. Drug addiction: crime or disease? Interim and final reports. USA 1961 Author: Joint Committee of the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association on Narcotic Drugs. In 1955-56 the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association appointed a Joint Committee on Narcotic Drugs to explore the problem. It issued a 173 page interim draft report of its findings in 1958, and sent it to the Bureau of Narcotics for review. In 1959, a comprehensive attack upon the ABA/AMA draft report was published by Harry J Anslinger at the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Titled "Comments on Narcotic Drugs: Interim Report of the Joint Committee of the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association on Narcotic Drugs" by Advisory Committee to the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, U.S. Treasury Department, Bureau of Narcotics. The Department of Treasury, after seeing the draft report conclusions contradicted their Bureau of Narcotics, then threatened the AMA, ABA and the funders of the study with losing their tax-exempt status and other threats if they dared to publish the study reports. Alfred R. Lindesmith , professor at the University of Indiana then published the report 3 years later in 1961. On the basis of its studies and deliberations, the joint committee has reached the following conclusions concerning narcotic addiction and methods of dealing with narcotic addicts, which it submits for the purpose of indicating the need for further studies along the lines recommended above, and with the hope that these conclusions, although subject to reappraisal in the light of additional data, will be serviceable guides: 1. There appears to have been a considerable increase in drug addiction in the United States immediately following World War II; the increase was most apparent in the slum areas of large metropolitan centers and especially among minority groups in the population. 2. As a result, the federal government and many states passed legislation imposing increasingly severe penalties upon violators of the drug laws, as a means of dealing with the apparent increase in addiction. 3. This penal legislation subjects both the drug peddler and his victim, the addict, to long prison sentences, often imposed by mandatory statutory requirements without benefit of the probation and parole opportunities afforded other prisoners. 4. Though drug peddling is acknowledged to be a vicious and predatory crime, a grave question remains whether severe jail and prison sentences are the most rational way of dealing with narcotic addicts. And the unusual statutory basis of present drug-law enforcement, substantial federal domination in a local police-power field established by means of an excise measure enforced by a federal fiscal agency, invites critical scrutiny. 5. The narcotic drug addict because of his physical and psychological dependence on drugs and because of his frequently abnormal personality patterns should be as much a subject of concern to medicine and public health as to those having to do with law enforcement. But the ordinary doctor is not presently well equipped to deal with the problems of the narcotic addict, and even his authority to do so is in doubt. 6. The role of medicine and public health in dealing with drug addiction and the drug addict should be clarified. There must be a new determination of the limits of good medical practice in the treatment of drug addiction, and an objective inquiry into the question whether existing enforcement policies, practices and attitudes, as well as existing laws, have unduly or improperly interfered with good medical practice in this area. As part of this evaluation, consideration should also be given to the possibility of helping both the addict and persons formerly addicted through open clinic facilities as well as in closed institutions such as Lexington and Fort Worth. 7. It can be stated emphatically that no acceptable evidence whatsoever points to the indiscriminate distribution of narcotic drugs as a method of handling the problem of addiction. On the contrary, the use of such drugs, except for legitimate medical needs, should be discouraged by the best available means. Individuals who have become addicted should be given the benefit of all known medical and paramedical procedures to encourage them to withdraw from dependence on narcotic drugs voluntarily; those who have withdrawn should be given psychiatric and social-agency help as long as necessary to assure against relapse. We need much more information than is presently available about the best means of handling addicts who, despite the best professional efforts, continue to be dependent on drugs. An experiment conducted by experts (as proposed above in this report) should be charged with getting information on this point. 8. There is a high rate of relapse on the part of addicts who have been in the care of narcotics hospitals and installations for the treatment of addiction. The real reasons for this must be determined. Factors to be considered include the physical and personality make-up of the individual, the social pressures applied to him, both adverse and constructive, and the attitude and sophistication of medicine and the law regarding addicts and addiction. 9. some responsible authorities state that the physical and psychological dependence of addicts on narcotic drugs, the compulsion to obtain them, and the high price of the drugs in the illicit market are predominantly responsible for the crimes committed by addicts. Others claim that the drug itself is responsible for criminal behavior. The weight of evidence is so heavily in favor of the former point of view that the question can hardly be called a controversial one.-But this point is so fundamental to the development of a sound philosophy of management of the problem that any residue of reasonable doubt must be resolved. )In this connection the joint committee deplores the hysteria which sometimes dominates the approach to drug addiction problems by persons in positions of public trust. In terms of numbers afflicted, and in ill effects on others in the community, drug addiction is a problem of far less magnitude than alcoholism. Crimes of violence are rarely, and sexual crimes are almost never, committed by addicts. In most instances the addicts' sins are those of omission rather than commission; they are ineffective people, individuals whose great desire is to withdraw from the world and its troubles into a land of dreams. 10. It appears that neither compulsory hospitalization of all addicts nor permanent isolation is practicable at the present time. Hospital facilities to deal with narcotic addicts are not adequate in numbers, staff or program, and the permanent isolation of addicts, even if feasible, would not be a solution but only a temporizing maneuver--the very antithesis of the medical and scientific approach to the physical and behavioral problems of man. The foregoing recommendation and report will be submitted to the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association with resolutions similar to those appended hereto, merely conformed to adapt the language of the resolutions to A.M.A. purposes. The object of the resolutions is to continue cooperation between the two associations in further mutual efforts along the lines suggested in this report and the joint committee's interim report. It is firmly believed by the joint committee that the work it has already done clearly indicates a need for further joint efforts, carried on by both associations through permanent instrumentalities which have greater continuity, more facilities, and a broader mandate than the joint committee. Accordingly, favorable action on this report and its appended resolutions is respectfully urged. Even though the AMA knows the "gateway theory" was false, they still used it in the above public service announcement against marijuana. These findings are consistent with the idea of marijuana as a "gateway drug." However, the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, "harder" substances. Wootton Commission Report UK 1968 SECTION VI GENERAL CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 67. The evidence before us shows that: An increasing number of people, mainly young, in all classes of society are experimenting with this drug, and substantial numbers use it regularly for social pleasure. There is no evidence that this activity is causing violent crime or aggression, anti-social behaviour, or is producing in otherwise normal people conditions of dependence or psychosis, requiring medical treatment. The experience of many other countries is that once it is established cannabis-smoking tends to spread. In some parts of Western society where interest in mood-altering drugs is growing, there are indications that it may become a functional equivalent of alcohol. In spite of the threat of severe penalties and considerable effort at enforcement the use of cannabis in the United Kingdom does not appear to be diminishing. There is a body of opinion that criticises the present legislative treatment of cannabis on the grounds that it exaggerates the dangers of the drug, and needlessly interferes with civil liberty. The Report of the Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs - Canada 1972 SUMMARY STATEMENT OF CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Although research has not clearly established that cannabis has sufficiently harmful effects to justify the present legislative policy towards it, there are serious grounds for social concern about its use, and this concern calls for a continuing police to discourage its use by means which involve a more acceptable cost, than present policies, to the individual and to society. The focus of our social concern should be the use of cannabis by adolescents, and the principal object of our social policy should be to restrict its availability to them as much as reasonably possible by the methods which appear to be most acceptable on a balance of benefits and costs. The only policy which can impose a significant restriction on availability is a prohibition of distribution. Under a system of administrative regulation or licensing, availability would be virtually unrestricted. A policy of making cannabis available to adults would have the effect of making it more available to minors. This is the lesson of our experience with alcohol. It would also make cannabis appear to be relatively harmless. Further, there is no reason to believe that we could effectively control potency and encourage moderate use by a system of administrative regulation or licensing. People will consume the quantities they require to achieve the desired level of potency or they will seek more potent forms, if necessary in the illicit market. Moreover, our present knowledge about cannabis would not permit a policy of legal availability that could be accompanied by suitable assurances as to what might constitute moderate and relatively harmless use 4. The costs to the individual and society of maintaining a prohibition of distribution are severe but they are justified by the probable effect of such a prohibition on availability and perception of harm, in contrast to the likely effect on both of a policy of legal availability. 5. The costs of a policy of prohibition of distribution are only acceptable, however, if the possible penalties for illegal distribution are reasonable in relation to the relative seriousness of the offence. Having regard to thc potential for harm of cannabis in relation to other drugs, the extent to which young people are involved in its distribution, and the general level of penalties in other countries, the present penalty structure for the illicit distribution of cannabis is grossly excessive. In some cases it does not leave the courts sufficient discretion, and in others it leaves them too much. 6. We recommend the following changes in the law respecting the illegal distribution of cannabis: (a) Importing and exporting should be included in the definition of trafficking as they are under the Food and Drugs Act), and they should not be subject to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment. It might be appropriate, however, to make them subject to somewhat higher maximum penalties than other forms of trafficking. (b) There should be an option to proceed by indictment or summary conviction in the case of trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking. (c) Upon indictment, the maximum penalty for trafficking or possession for the purpose of trafficking should be five years, and upon summary conviction, eighteen months. It should be possible in either case to impose fine in lieu of imprisonment. (d) In cases of possession for the purpose of trafficking it should be sufficient, when possession has been proved, for the accused to nise a reasonable doubt as to his intention to traffic. He should not be required to make proof which carries on a preponderance of evidence or a balance of probabilities. (e) Trafficking should not include the giving, without exchange of value, by one user to another of a quantity of cannabis which could reasonably be consumed on a single occasion. 7. The costs to a significant number of individuals, the majority of whom are young people, and to society generally, of a policy of prohibition of simple possession are not justified by the potential for harm of cannabis and the additional influence which such a policy is likely to have upon perception of harm, demand and availability. We, therefore, recommend the repeal of the prohibition against the simple possession of cannabis. The cultivation of cannabis should be subject to the same penalties as trafficking, but it should not be a punishable offence unless it is cultivation for the purpose of trafficking. Upon proof of cultivation, the burden should be on the accused to establish that he was not cultivating for the purpose of trafflcking, but it should be sufficient for him, as in the case of possession for the purpose of trafficking, to raise a reasonable doubt concerning the intent to traffic. 9. The police should have power to seize and confiscate cannabis and cannabis plants wherever they are found, unless the possession or cultivation has been expressly authorized for scientific or other purposes. John Munro was responsible for establishing the commission of inquiry in 1969. His public enthusiasm for decriminalization did not end up being "political suicide" -- just a blunder. His government ignored the Le Dain commission's report, and Munro went on to be minister of Labour and Multiculturalism, Indian and Northern Affairs and eventually head of Transport Canada. Marihuana: a signal of misunderstanding; first report 1972 by United States. Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse The Commission recommends only the following changes in federal law: • POSSESSION OF MARIHUANA FOR PERSONAL USE WOULD NO LONGER BE AN OFFENSE, BUT MARI- HUANA POSSESSED IN PUBLIC WOULD REMAIN CON- TRABAND SUBJECT TO SUMMARY SEIZURE AND FORFEITURE. • CASUAL DISTRIBUTION OF SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIHUANA FOR NO REMUNERATION, OR INSIG- NIFICANT REMUNERATION NOT INVOLVING PROFIT WOULD NO LONGER BE AN OFFENSE. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STATE LAW Private Activities • POSSESSION IN PRIVATE OF MARIHUANA FOR PER- SONAL USE WOULD NO LONGER BE AN OFFENSE. • DISTRIBUTION IN PRIVATE OF SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIHUANA FOR NO REMUNERATION OR INSIGNIF- ICANT REMUNERATION NOT INVOLVING A PROFIT WOULD NO LONGER BE AN OFFENSE. Public Activities • POSSESSION IN PUBLIC OF ONE OUNCE OR UNDER OF MARIHUANA WOULD NOT BE AN OFFENSE, BUT THE MARIHUANA WOULD BE CONTRABAND SUB- JECT TO SUMMARY SEIZURE AND FORFEITURE. • POSSESSION IN PUBLIC OF MORE THAN ONE OUNCE OF MARIHUANA WOULD BE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF $100. • DISTRIBUTION IN PUBLIC OF SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIHUANA FOR NO REMUNERATION OR INSIGNIF- ICANT REMUNERATION NOT INVOLVING A PROFIT WOULD BE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF $100. • PUBLIC USE OF MARIHUANA WOULD BE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF $100. • DISORDERLY CONDUCT ASSOCIATED WITH PUBLIC USE OF OR INTOXICATION BY MARIHUANA WOULD BE A MISDEMEANOR PUNISHABLE BY UP TO 60 DAYS IN JAIL, A FINE OF $100, OR BOTH. Drug use in America: problem in perspective; second report 1973 by United States. Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse The recommendations included: All public and private institutions should sponsor research and objective evaluation of drug-related issues, programs, and policies. Congress should create a single Federal drug agency. The accomplishments should be reexamined four years after its creation; and the agency, by law, should disband within five years. Each state should establish a unified drug agency on the same model as that proposed for the federal government. Congress should establish a commission four years hence to determine which measures have justified their costs and which have not and to propose new policies. The Single Convention Treaty should be redrafted to make clear that each nation is free to determine which domestic uses of drugs it will allow. Cannabis should be removed from the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), since this drug does not pose the same social and public health problems associated with the opiates and coca leaf products. The American Medical Association should determine cocaine's therapeutic benefits. If no unique therapeutic use remains, the government should eliminate manufacture altogether. Except where the Commission has specifically recommended a change, the present levels of control on availability of psychoactive substances should be maintained. With respect to the drug trafficking laws, the trafficking offenses and penalty structure presently in force should be retained. The unauthorized possession of any controlled substance except marihuana for personal use should remain a prohibited act. The primary purpose of the possession laws should be detection of those persons who would benefit by treatment or prevention services, rather than criminal punishment. Federal criminal investigative agencies should concentrate primarily on the top level of the illegal drug distribution network. State enforcement should concentrate on the lower levels of both licit and illicit distribution networks. Criminal investigation activities at the federal level should not have regional offices, as BNDD and Customs have now but instead should deploy strike forces. Each state should have a separate unit charged with the responsibility of investigating any evidence of corruption in drug law enforcement agencies. Local police should receive appropriate training in dealing with the medical needs of drug-dependent persons, including alcoholics. The government should continue to prohibit heroin maintenance. Each state should establish a comprehensive statewide drug dependence treatment and rehabilitation program, with confidentiality-of-treatment laws. Drug abusers who are suffering from emergency medical conditions should not be refused treatment in hospitals, solely because of their drug abuse. The states should provide by law for emergency detention and treatment of persons (not to exceed 48 hours) so incapacitated by use of a drug that they cannot intelligently determine whether they are in need of treatment. Drug use prevention strategy, rather than persuading or "educating" people not to use drugs, should emphasize other means of obtaining what users seek from drugs, means that are better for the user and better for society. The government role should be limited to providing accurate information regarding the likely consequences of the different patterns of drug use. A moratorium should be declared on the production and dissemination of new drug information materials, including all drug education programs in the schools. State legislatures should repeal all statutes which now require drug education courses to be included in the public school curriculum. Government should not interfere with private efforts to analyze the quality and quantity of drugs anonymously submitted by street users. The government should not support programs which compel persons to undergo drug testing, except in limited situations. Government should remove legal and bureaucratic obstacles to research into the possible therapeutic uses of currently prohibited substances, such as marihuana and hallucinogens. Schools of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and public health should include the social and medical aspects of drug use in their curriculum. Drug companies should end the practice of sending doctors unsolicited samples of psychoactive drugs. The business community should not reject an applicant solely on the basis of prior drug use or dependence, unless the nature of the business compels it. Industry should consider alternatives to termination of employment for employees involved with drugs. The business community should adopt "employee assistance" programs for drug problems. College and universities should make their policies and practices regarding drug use, including alcohol, explicit, unambiguous, and readily available to all students. Even those colleges and universities which strongly disapprove of student drug-use behavior should expand their counseling services rather than rely upon disciplinary measures alone. U.S. Senate Hearing on Juvenile Delinquency and Marijuana Decriminalization, including 4 years of research during 1971-1975. OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR BIRCH BAYH, CHAIRMAN Senator Bayh. We meet today to consider legislation relating to the appropriate legal sanctions for the private possession of small amounts of marihuana. Throughout the Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency's 4-year investigation of drug traffic and abuse I have noted with concern the growing number of arrests for marihuana possession. Arrests have increased from 188,682 in 1970 to 420,700 in 1973. It may go as high as 500,000 for 1974. This is not nearly as dramatic as the 1,000 percent increase between 1965-70 from 18,815 to 188,682; but it is rather astonishing that this 3-year increase of 232,018 is more than 12 times the total marihuana arrests just 10 years ago. Additionally, the number of marihuana arrests as a percentage of all drug arrests has increased substantially. In 1970 these arrests amounted to 45.4 percent of total drug arrest= During the 1970-73 period 1,127,389 of the total 2,063,900 drug arrests were for marihuana. And in 1973, the most recent year for which records are available, 67 percent of all drug arrests were for marihuana. Available studies and research to date have found that the majority of those arrested are otherwise law-abiding young people in possession of small amounts of marihuana. In fact, a Presidential commission found that the vast majority of users are essentially indistinguishable from their nonuser peers by any criteria other than its use. During these last 4 years, I have likewise been especially concerned about the ever-escalating level of serious crime. The recently released FBI report on the trends in crime for 1974 presents a frightening picture of the rising tide of criminal activity in America. Serious crime in the United States rose 17 percent last year, the highest, annual increase since the FBI began collecting data 45 years ago. In fact, the increase for the final quarter of 1974 had reached 19 percent. The suburban increase for last year was 20 percent while crime in rural areas increased by 21 percent. In smaller communities—under 10,000— crime increased by 24 percent last year while robbery alone went up 30 percent. ALLOCATING CRIME FIGHTING RESOURCES The rising tide of serious crimes inevitably raises the question of whether we are properly allocating our crime fighting resources and aggressively pursuing the arrest and criminal prosecution of the 13 million American users of marihuana. It is estimated that the prosecution of these cases costs $600 million annually. In 1969 and 1970 the subcommittee considered the adequacy of penalties for marihuana with the result that thenew Controlled Substances Act provided that simple possession or distribution of a small amount of marihuana for no remuneration were both designated misdemeanors, not felonieb. punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine. It was the view of many members that the sanctions should be further reduced. Some suggested that the sanction be eliminated for such conduct. In order to permit a thorough assessment of these issues the subcommittee recommended the creation of a Presidential commission. The Congress agreed and provided for the establishment of the Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse in part F of the Controlled Substances Act. This body known as the Sliafer Commission, after its distinguished chairman, conducted an in-depth study of the issues and concluded that marihuana was not dangerous enough to the user or to the general public for its private possession and use to remain a criminal offense. In the last several years a growing list of organizations and individuals have endorsed the Shafer Commission recommendations, including the following: American Bar Association. Consumer Union, publishers of Consumer Reports. National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. American Public Health Association. National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals. National Council of Churches. The Governing Board of the American Medical Association. National Education Association. B'nai B'rith. Canadian Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical use of Drugs [Le Dain Commission], San Franciso Committee on Crime. Mayor's Advisory Committee on Narcotics Addiction [Washington, D.C.]. John Finlator, retired Deputy Director, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, U.S. Department of Justice. William F. Buckley, Jr., syndicated columnist, author, TV host and editor of National Review. James J. Kilpatrick, syndicated columnist, Washington Evening Star. The subject of our hearing S. 1450, the "Marihuana Control Act of 1975" introduced by Senators Javits, Cranston, Brooke, and Nelson, reflects the general recommendation of the Shafer Presidential Commission. It adopts an approach similar to that undertaken by the State of Oregon which abolished criminal penalties for simple possession of marihuana and substituted a civil fine of up to $100 for possession and nonprofit transfers of up to 1 ounce of marihuana. Criminal penalties for sale of the drug for profit would remain intact. Thus, this approach maintains a policy of discouragement toward marihuana use while recognizing the current inappropriate use of law enforcement resources and the destructive impact of criminal records for such common conduct. Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drugs, Australia 1979 On page A63, the report states: At present it appears that intermittent use of cannabis in low dosages does not produce any permanent brain damage. While there is no definite proof, to date, that long-term chronic high dosages of cannabis produce any lasting brain impairment this needs further study. There have been suggestions that cannabis might cause prolonged abnormalities of mental function, including personality disorders and a cannabis psychosis. There is no proven evidence that such disorders are caused by cannabis. Acute Toxicity THC has a wide safety margin, much more so than does alcohol. It is almost impossible to get a lethal dose of THC from smoking marihuana joints. Tolerance and Physical Dependence Tolerance does occur if cannabis is administered regularly over a long interval. While mild withdrawal symptoms (such as irritability, restlessness and insomnia) occasionally develop in those who have regularly taken a high dose of THC, there is not a typical abstinence syndrome and there are no withdrawal effects from the usual low-dose, 'recreational' use of the drug. At the present time, it would not seem that infrequent 'recreational' use of cannabis produces any severe direct consequences to health. As already mentioned, there is impairment of driving ability. Higher doses and frequent chronic use may constitute a significant degree of risk to the user, but further research on this is needed. Later, in Book C, Page C215, the following is stated on cannabis and health. CANNABIS AND HEALTH Limitations on Scientific Investigation Mr A. W. Parsons, Director of the Cannabis Research Foundation, presented evidence to the effect that cannabis had been the subject of considerable scientific probing. He stated: Dr Lorna Cartwright, senior tutor in Pharmacy, University of Sydney, stated in her address to the 1977 Cannabis Conference that marihuana is one of the most thoroughly investigated drugs in the history of scientific research. Eighty-four years of scientific study has been unable to find any adverse health effects of moderate cannabis use which impel a particular legislative policy. This is not to say that more research is not needed. 1t is always possible that certain harmful side effects may be discovered, but considering the medical information at hand and the social costs of the present laws, scientific clairvoyance has been used for too long by the anti- marihuana lobby to justify the present laws pertaining to cannabis use. The Commonwealth Department of Health report previously mentioned stated that although prolonged cannabis psychosis has been reported in Eastern literature as occurring under conditions of unusually heavy use, it is often difficult to isolate the causative role of marihuana from that of pre-existing psychopathology or other drug use. Three research studies of heavy chronic users conducted in Jamaica, G·reece and Costa Rica failed to detect evidence of cannabis psychosis. However the small numbers in each sample and the comparative rarity of this syndrome may mean that such a consequence was missed (Open exhibit 636). Professor R. T. Jones stated that persons with schizophrenia show a marked psychosis when using marihuana but that this psychosis disappears when marihuana use is discontinued (OT 18132--33). Mr A. W. Parsons, Director of the Cannabis Research Foundation, agreed that marihuana impairs the ability to drive, but stated that the size of the threat which cannabis poses to road safety is a matter of conjecture (OT 2453). Mr J. Billington,founder of the Cannabis Research Foundation, said in evidence that while inexperienced user/drivers may cause problems for themselves and the rest of the community, the problems are nowhere as great with experienced user/drivers (OT 10839). Professor R. T. Jones (OT 18140--41) and Dr G. B. Chesher (OT 10474) agreed that more experienced users drive with less impairment than persons unfamiliar with the combination of marihuana and motor vehicles. Witnesses indicated that other possible medical applications of cannabis are being examined. Researchers are investigating anti-tumor activity, anti-anxiety and hypnotic effects, and analgesic and anti- depressant effects. Some investigators have speculated that cannabis may be useful in treating alcohol dependence. Professor N. Blewett, Past President of the South Australian Council for Civil Liberties summarised this line of argument succinctly in a paper entitled 'Marihuana: The Most Victimless Crime of All?'. This paper, which was part of a submission by the Council to the South Australian Royal Commission into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs, later incorporated into the transcript of evidence of this Commission, said: The law is simply an ass if, in seeking to protect a person from his own actions, it imposes upon him far greater agreed harm than anything likely to result from the prohibited actions. Medical Use Some witnesses argued that the existing laws had the effect of preventing the use of cannabis for legitimate scientific and medical purposes. On behalf of the Cannabis Research Foundation, Mr A. W. Parsons stated: We have had personal reports from patients who need cannabis, particularly those suffering from internal cancer, epileptics and patients suffering from glaucoma. We have had approaches from their doctors saying, 'We need cannabis because none of the other drugs work and this does. We are in a drought situation. The Health Department will not give us any, nor will the Drug Squad. What can you do for us?' This is ridiculous when they are handing out amphetamines and such things---it is ridiculous that we cannot get hold of cannabis for simple therapeutic use. (OT 2480) The potential medical application of cannabis has been discussed already in this chapter. It has also been noted that the law permits the use of cannabis for legitimate scientific research. After finding that cannabis is non-toxic, non-addictive, has no evidence of any harms WHATSOEVER, has medical value in a number of different diseases, the committee said that cannabis should be prohibited forever. As you can see, the science, logic, reasoning, and evidence is ignored, buried, shunned and attacked. The fact that Australians must bear in mind is that a decision now to remove the prohibition against cannabis can never, from the practical point of view, be reversed. Book C, page C269. An Analysis of Marijuana Policy National Research Council of the National Academy of Science. 1982 At the same time, the effectiveness of the present federal policy of complete prohibition fails far short of its goal--preventing use. An estimated 55 million Americans have tried marijuana, federal enforcement of prohibition of use is virtually nonexistent, and 11 states have repealed criminal penalties for private possession of small amounts and for private use. It can no longer be argued that use would be much more widespread and the problematic effects greater today if the policy of complete prohibition did not exist; The existing evidence on policies of partial prohibition indicates that partial prohibition has been as effective in controlling consumption as complete prohibition and has entailed considerably smaller social, legal, and economic costs. On balance, therefore, we believe that a policy of partial prohibition is clearly preferable to a policy of complete prohibition of supply and use. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration In The Matter Of MARIJUANA RESCHEDULING PETITION Docket No. 86-22 OPINION AND RECOMMENDED RULING, FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DECISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE FRANCIS L. YOUNG, Administrative Law Judge DATED: SEPTEMBER 6, 1988 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDED DECISION Based upon the foregoing facts and reasoning, the administrative law judge concludes that the provisions of the Act permit and require the transfer of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. The Judge realizes that strong emotions are aroused on both sides of any discussion concerning the use of marijuana. Nonetheless it is essential for this Agency, and its Administrator, calmly and dispassionately to review the evidence of record, correctly apply the law, and act accordingly. Marijuana can be harmful. Marijuana is abused. But the same is true of dozens of drugs or substances which are listed in Schedule II so that they can be employed in treatment by physicians in proper cases, despite their abuse potential. Transferring marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II will not, of course, make it immediately available in pharmacies throughout the country for legitimate use in treatment. Other government authorities, Federal and State, will doubtless have to act before that might occur. But this Agency is not charged with responsibility, or given authority, over the myriad other regulatory decisions that may be required before marijuana can actually be legally available. This Agency is charged merely with determining the placement of marijuana pursuant to the provisions of the Act. Under our system of laws the responsibilities of other regulatory bodies are the concerns of those bodies, not of this Agency, There are those who, in all sincerity, argue that the transfer of marijuana to Schedule II will "send a signal" that marijuana is "OK" generally for recreational use. This argument is specious. It presents no valid reason for refraining from taking an action required by law in light of the evidence. If marijuana should be placed in Schedule II, in obedience to the law, then that is where marijuana should be placed, regardless of misinterpretation of the placement by some. The reasons for the placement can, and should, be clearly explained at the time the action is taken. The fear of sending such a signal cannot be permitted to override the legitimate need, amply demonstrated in this record, of countless suffers for the relief marijuana can provide when prescribed by a physician in a legitimate case. The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record. The administrative law judge recommends that the Administrator conclude that the marijuana plant considered as a whole has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, that there is no lack of accepted safety for use of it under medical supervision and that it may lawfully be transferred from Schedule I to Schedule II. The judge recommends that the Administrator transfer marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. Dated: SEP 6 1988 Francis L. Young Administrative Law Judge Legislative options for cannabis use in Australia Commonwealth of Australia 1994 No best single option for cannabis legislation exists. What is most appropriate will depend upon what goals both policy makers and the community are seeking to achieve. Our review suggests that two of the five legislative options discussed above are inappropriate in contemporary Australian circumstances. They are the options which we have characterised as total prohibition and free availability. Australia experiences more harm, we conclude, from maintaining the cannabis prohibition policy than it experiences from the use of the drug. We also reject the legislative option of the free availability of cannabis. Our society is one that accepts that governments and others have both the right and the responsibility to intervene in diverse ways to protect people from harm and to advance the common good. It would be unreasonable, therefore, to argue that cannabis should be available in an uncontrolled manner. We conclude that cannabis law reform is required in this country. Many options for policy, legislation and implementation processes exist within the broad categories of prohibition with an administrative decision that it is inexpedient to prosecute people for minor cannabis offences, prohibition with civil penalties, partial prohibition and regulated availability. We believe, on the available evidence, that widely accepted social goals, well attuned to the needs of contemporary Australian society, will be attained through the adoption and implementation of policies which lie within these options. CANNABIS: OUR POSITION FOR A CANADIAN PUBLIC POLICY REPORT OF THE SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ILLEGAL DRUGS 2002
  6. Minor in Possession (of alcohol) was never supposed to put the minor in jail. It has been a travesty of justice for at least the past 20 years that minors and adults 18-20 were thrown in jail solely for drinking alcohol. Even in 2004 , the law was not supposed to put minors in jail. But judges found ways around the laws to put minors in jail for this offense. The legislature changed the MIP law, over and over again in attempts to keep minors out of jail for this offense, to no avail. THE APPARENT PROBLEM: Currently, it is a misdemeanor for a person under 21 years of age to consume, purchase, or possess alcohol (or attempt to do the same) or to have any bodily alcohol content. (“Any bodily alcohol content” is defined to mean 0.02 grams or more per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath or per 67 milliliters of urine or any presence of alcohol within a person’s body resulting from the consumption of alcoholic liquor, with the exception of alcohol consumed as part of a generally recognized religious service or ceremony.) The penalty for a conviction or juvenile adjudication can include a fine (up to $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and $500 for a third or subsequent offense), community service, substance abuse prevention or treatment and rehabilitation services, and/or substance abuse screening and assessment (at the offender’s own expense). Persons convicted of a repeat offense can go to jail if they violate probation conditions. Meant to deter underage drinking, an unfortunate and unintended result of the penalties is that minors who believes they, or friends, are suffering a medical crisis due to alcohol consumption is less likely to call 9-1-1 or to go to an emergency room because of the fear of arrest and the associated penalties if convicted. Every year, teens and young adults die from alcohol poisoning—a dangerous condition that requires immediate medical attention. One solution that has been proposed is to create medical amnesty by which a minor who sought treatment or treatment for another person who had consumed too much alcohol would be insulated from an arrest under the minor in possession (MIP) law. It is believed that codifying the amnesty provision will encourage underage drinkers to call for medical assistance sooner when it appears excessive drinking may have put someone at risk for alcohol poisoning. In a separate but related matter, district court judges have found some flaws in the construction of the MIP statute they feel need addressing. For instance, a court may send to jail an offender who fails to pay a court-ordered fine or who fails to complete community service or get screened or treated for substance abuse. However, this only applies to persons who have a prior conviction. Since first offenders are eligible to have their case deferred and later discharged and dismissed if they meet all probation conditions (meaning they do not have a “conviction” on their records), it may not be until a third or subsequent offense that a judge can use the threat of jail to force compliance with probation orders. By that time, a young person can have a well-established substance abuse problem. Judges have requested that the language be revised to reflect what is believed to be the true intent of the MIP law – that sanctions be based on the number of offenses committed rather than the number of convictions. The ACLU wrote up a guide for knowing your rights in relation to Minor in Possession of alcohol. Last year, Senator Rick Jones made a bill to change the law from a misdemeanor to a Civil Infraction for 1st offense. In my opinion this was done because someone’s Rich and Important child got in trouble and finally this terrible law was changed for everyone, not just the rich and powerful. LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday signed Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to make Minor in Possession (MIP) a civil fine for the first offense. “This reform balances the need to deter young people from drinking with the understanding that kids make mistakes,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “On some college campuses, students were stopped while walking home, given a breathalyzer and then charged with MIP. “As a former sheriff, I know all about the terrible and often tragic effects of underage drinking, but this was always about fairness and smarter justice. With this change, students who make a mistake will not end up with criminal records that follow them for the rest of their lives.” Under Senate Bills 332 and 333, now Public Acts 357 and 358 of 2016, the first violation by a person under age 21 for purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol or having any bodily alcohol content will be a civil infraction of $100 rather than a misdemeanor. Repeat MIP violations will remain misdemeanor offenses. A second offense will be punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $200 fine. The penalties will increase to up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine for subsequent violations. At each time, the judge will be able to order substance abuse treatment or community service. “The problem with the old Minor in Possession law was that it was clogging up our courts, putting kids in jail and jeopardizing the chances of some young people to get into college or get a job,” Jones said. “Under this new law, we will give young people one — and only one — chance to get their lives in order and avoid a criminal record.”
  7. The Michigan State Police are hiring! They are looking for a “Narcotics Intelligence Analyst” to “Focus on providing assistance to the Medical Marihuana Investigation Section (MMIS) with marihuana investigations related to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, and Marihuana Tracking Act.” There is also a position available for a combination Marihuana and Tobacco Tax Investigation Section within the State Police. One of the duties of this MSP Trooper Tax Enforcer position is to coordinate with Federal enforcement agencies and prosecutors. Maintain a working relationship with courts, prosecutors and other enforcement agencies at federal, state and local levels. Initiate positive interaction with court personnel, federal, county and state prosecutors. Assist federal, state and local law enforcement agencies on complaints related to theft of cigarettes and all tobacco smuggling. It is interesting that the Michigan State Police are now getting on board with Medical Marihuana in Michigan. Official statements and policy by the MSP in the past have all been against the MMMA and MMFLA at multiple points. https://www.southbendtribune.com/news/local/new-laws-in-michigan-shake-up-the-marijuana-industry/article_21fd1838-50a3-5281-a65a-06ebba9ca838.html http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/01/01/medical-marijuana-enforcement-grants-michigan/109087886/ When the MMMA became law, police officers were not trained how to handle medical marijuana situations. Ken Stecker from the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan authored a reefer madness type propaganda power point presentation around the state explaining the MMMA to various law enforcement agents and organizations. Ken Stecker included propaganda such as this in his “updated presentation” on Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Program. Why was a person, not affiliated in any way with the State of Michigan, going around doing talks with local, county and state police officers about a medical law? What is this Medical Marijuana Investigation Section? The House Legislative Analysis explains what HB 4209 (Public Act 281 of 2016) aka the MMFLA does for law enforcement: The Department of State Police (MSP) would provide 34.0 FTEs for criminal enforcement activities related to medical marihuana at an annual cost of $6.0 million. This assumption is based on the personnel employed by the MSP to provide criminal enforcement activities for the Michigan Casino Gaming Board (MGCB). The Department of Attorney General (AG) would provide 4.0 FTEs for legal and prosecutorial support related to medical marihuana at an annual cost of $500,000. After being against the MMMA, the MMFLA, patients, caregivers, and everything possibly to do with medical marijuana, the Michigan State Police now have to regulate and enforce it. Compliance Checks? Marijuana Tracking ACT ? The Seed to Sale , or Marijuana Tracking ACT is a law in Michigan to track and report all sales, transfers, processes, manufacturing and cultivation within the MMFLA. It allows law enforcement agencies to verify and enforce regulations in the MMFLA, including the tracking of patient and caregiver purchases within the retail state-licensed MMFLA dispensaries. Ultimately, the police have inserted themselves between you and your doctor. The police asked for these regulations during the MMFLA law drafting committees and senate and house hearings on these bills. The police want to look at the MMFLA registry and if you have bought too much marijuana from the system within some random arbitrary window of time, they are going to want to investigate you. Just for the medical use of marijuana as granted by the State of Michigan. It is sad that the police are enforcing patient’s medication with jail time.
  8. Just two days after Christmas, the Lt. Governor signed SB 0274, a bill to limit opioid based pain prescriptions for people in “acute pain”. http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2017-SB-0274 http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/27/calley-signs-opioid-bills/108948644/ According to Poison Control, adults aged 45–54 had the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in 2015. http://www.poison.org/poison-statistics-national Key findings Data from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2015 (16.3 per 100,000) was more than 2.5 times the rate in 1999 (6.1). Drug overdose death rates increased for all age groups, with the greatest percentage increase among adults aged 55–64 (from 4.2 per 100,000 in 1999 to 21.8 in 2015). In 2015, adults aged 45–54 had the highest rate (30.0). In 2015, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths among non-Hispanic white persons (21.1 per 100,000) was nearly 3.5 times the rate in 1999 (6.2). The four states with the highest age-adjusted drug overdose death rates in 2015 were West Virginia (41.5), New Hampshire (34.3), Kentucky (29.9), and Ohio (29.9). In 2015, the percentage of drug overdose deaths involving heroin (25%) was triple the percentage in 2010 (8%). Deaths from drug overdose have been identified as a significant public health burden in the United States in recent years (1–4). This report uses data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to highlight recent trends in drug overdose deaths, describing demographic and geographic patterns as well as the types of drugs involved. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db273.htm With the current nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse, dependence, and fatalities, clinicians are being asked by federal agencies and professional societies to control their prescribing of narcotic medications for pain. Federal guidelines emphasize tapering, discontinuing, and limiting initiation of these drugs except in provision of end-of-life care. Reducing reliance on opioids, however, is a massive task. According to one estimate, more than 650 000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed each day in the United States. Unless the nation develops an increased tolerance to chronic pain, reduction in opioid prescribing leaves a vacuum that will be filled with other therapies. Enter cannabis. As of August 2016, the District of Columbia and 25 states have legalized cannabis for medical use. Recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in 4 of these states and Washington, DC, and like initiatives are pending in other states. The mandated transition to limit use of opioids, paired with the current climate around liberalizing cannabis, may lead to patients’ formal and informal substitution of cannabis for opioids. Observational studies have found that state legalization of cannabis is associated with a decrease in opioid addiction and opioid-related overdose deaths https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5332546/ The Institute of Medicine in a 1999 report, the same report that the people of Michigan described when creating the MMMA, declared that cannabinoids from the marijuana plant, could be useful for patients “who have developed tolerance to opioids”. President Trump’s ONDCP task force on the opioid prescriptions crisis has recommended calling for a national emergency. Due to the interim report, President Donald J. Trump has instructed his Administration to use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic. 8-10-2017 In Medical Marijuana states, overdoses on opioid prescription painkillers are reduced by 25%. Using data on all prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees from 2010 to 2013, we found that the use of prescription drugs for which marijuana could serve as a clinical alternative fell significantly, once a medical marijuana law was implemented. The CDC has declared opioid prescription overdoses an epidemic. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html President Obama at the National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit made similar comments on opioids. President Trump has a plan to limit opioid prescriptions. President Obama and President Trump have instructed the FDA and DEA to limit opioid based prescription painkillers. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2503508 April 19, 2016 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain—United States, 2016 Deborah Dowell, MD, MPH. Tamara M. Haegerich, PhD. Roger Chou, MD. JAMA. 2016;315(15):1624-1645. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.1464 Governor Rick Snyder and Michigan Attorney Bill Schuette also are working to reduce opioid addiction, abuse and overdoses. https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/among-veterans-opioid-prescription-requests-down-in-step-with-rise-in-medical-pot/article30285591/ Of course medical marijuana can be used as a painkiller in the states with working medical marijuana laws. What about the people who don’t know about medical marijuana? Unfortunately, the limits, burdens and tightening of the rules for doctors and pharmacists to prescribe and dispense pain medication have caused patients’ quality of life to drop. Due to these new rules, patients have been dropped by physicians, denied prescriptions at pharmacies and have been forced to turn to heroin just to attain pain relief. Thousands of people have signed this petition to have some of these rules rescinded so they can get their medications back, to no avail. The reports detailing denials of pain medications were posted to the change.org petition. The reports are heartbreaking. These patients need a replacement therapy after they have been denied prescription opioid analgesics by their physicians and pharmacists. https://www.change.org/p/congress-ease-the-dea-s-grip-on-doctors-allowing-chronic-pain-patients-to-get-the-medications-we-need Marijuana can prevent the intensity and amount of migraines. Marijuana is also useful as an adjunct therapy to opioid prescriptions because it allows the patient to use fewer opioids to achieve the same pain relief.
  9. As this news hit in the last throes of 2017, it seems appropriate to take a step back and understand why exactly marijuana was banned all of those years ago. Please continue reading to find the answers on this long and weird journey through time. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/22/572844666/elderly-couple-stopped-in-nebraska-with-60-pounds-of-weed-for-christmas-presents With the help of the county’s canine unit, deputies searched the Toyota Tacoma. When they looked under the pickup topper, deputies found 60 pounds of marijuana, as well as multiple containers of concentrated THC. “They said the marijuana was for Christmas presents,” Lt. Paul Vrbka told the York News-Times. The department estimated the street value of the pot at over $300,000. The Jirons now face felony charges of possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver and no drug tax stamp. (Nebraska law requires marijuana dealers to purchase drug tax stamp from its Department of Revenue as evidence that the state’s drug tax has been paid.) For the friends and family in New England who expected a bag of weed in their stocking this year, it looks like it won’t be a green Christmas, after all. Marijuana (also known as cannabis sativa or cannabis indica or hemp) has been a medicine for thousands of years. Marijuana is found in all recorded history, on every continent as a medicinal crop. Egypt to China to India to Assyria (Iraq) and Arabia. From the Greeks and Romans to present day. In the early USA, hemp was an integral part of life. George Washington grew hemp and many colonists grew hemp for cordage and canvas, including ropes and sails for ships. Newspapers in 1841 went into great detail on how to cultivate hemp, including separating the male plants from the female plants. Many papers also reported stories about having a laugh while smoking hemp, as is the case with this 1850 report from a Paris correspondent for the Medical Times. (click for a larger view) There are many examples in American newspapers including poems, insults, references and propaganda on the subject of hasheesh (the old timey spelling of hashish), marijuana, cannabis and hemp. Just look at this article from 1908, they found marihuana in this man’s pocket! 1906 – The Pure Food and Drugs Act Requires Labeling of ingredients of Medicine, Including Cannabis. Previous to the Pure Food and Drugs Act, many medicines were treated the way Coca-Cola is today. “A secret formula” or “A proprietary blend” of spices and medicines and even poisons including arsenic and strychnine. Writing cannabis on a label did not ban cannabis related medications. Many major pharmaceutical companies which are still around today, used to sell cannabis based medicines. Pharmacists used to make cannabis based compounds and elixirs and extracts and pills as well. Newspapers had been printing a lot of yellow journalism on the subject of marijuana over a number of years. Articles were passed around from newspaper to newspaper, with editors changing and inserting local opinion into the reprinted stories. Sample Articles from Chronicling America: These are only a handful of articles, more comprehensive research must be done. “Senseless Brutality. A Mexican Priest Flogs the Corpse of a Dead Wizard.,” The Memphis Appeal(Memphis, TN) , April 18, 1887, Page 1, Image 1, col. 6. “Victims of a Mexican Drug. From the Mexican Herald.,” The Sun (New York, NY), August 12, 1897, Page 6, Image 6, col. 5. The New York Sun relays a report from the Mexican Herald that “Marihuana, our local hasheesh, continues to impel people of the lower orders to wild and desperate deeds.” “Stronger Than Opium. Attempt to Smuggle Mariguana into Yuma Prison.,” Tombstone Prospector(Tombstone, AZ), September 15, 1897, Page 4, Image 4, col. 4. “Across the border. Mexican Herald.,” The Oasis (Arizola, AZ), July 15, 1899, Page 6, Image 6, col. 1. A report from the Mexican Herald of a scene in a civil registry office: “A marihuana fiend suddenly appeared in the office brandishing a knife, declared that he was Herod and his mission was the extermination of new-born infants.” “Across the border. Two Republics.,” The Oasis (Arizola, AZ), December 30, 1899, Page 10, Image 10, col. 1. “Dangerous Mexican Weed to Smoke,” Phipllipsburg Herald (Phillipsburg, KS), August 18, 1904, Page 8, Image 8, col. 3. “Teacher Starr of Chicago Man of Sensations,” San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), August 25, 1905, Page 8, Image 8, col. 2. “Stops Sale of Maddening Drug,” New-York Tribune (New York, NY), December 24, 1905, Page 3, Image 3, col. 4. “War on Marihuana Smoking. Mexican Government Wants to Exterminate a Weed That Crazes,” The Sun(NewYork, NY), May 26, 1907, Page 17, Image 17, col. 4. “Use for Deadly Weed. Mexican Marihuana Plant to be Grown in Texas for Drug Purposes.,” Florida Star(Titusville, FL), October 16, 1908, Page 3, Image 3, col. 4. The Florida Star reports that James Love, who operates an agricultural experimental station in Texas, has received permission from the state agricultural department to plant in Texas ten pounds of marihuana seed he has imported from Mexico. The article states Mr. Love’s belief is that the plant “can be put to good commercial use as a drug.” “Goats that Feed on Dope,” New-York Tribune (New York, NY), April 11, 1909, Page 55, Image 55, col. 5. A fanciful tale of an alleged Mexican goat-herder whose goats have become addicted to marihuana. “Yerbas Medicinales [Marihuana advertised for sale],” La Revista de Taos (Taos, NM), February 7, 1913, Page 4, Image 4, col. 7. “On Account of His Oriental Nature the Mexican’s Mind is a Puzzle to the Foreigner,” The Sun (New York, NY), May 17, 1914, Page 37, Image 37, col. 1. “Marihuana Sale Now Prohibited. Council Passes Emergency Ordinance to Stop Sale of Mexican Drug.,” El Paso Herald (El Paso, TX), June 3, 1915, Page 6, Image 6, col. 3. “New Anti-marijuana Ordinance Very Stringent,” El Paso Herald (El Paso, TX), June 7, 1915, Page 9, Image 9, col. 3. The El Paso Herald reports concern from local physicians and pharmacists over El Paso’s prospective anti-marihuana law. The Herald’s article states that “It is put up by the foremost drug manufacturers in the country and is frequently prescribed, as it is a sedative of value.” “Is the Mexican Nation ‘Locoed’ by a Peculiar Weed?,” The Ogden Standard (Ogden City, UT), September 25, 1915, Page 13, Image 13, col. 1. Mexican “bandits” are being emboldened to take on Uncle Sam by the intoxicating effects of marihuana. “Marihuana Smokers Shut Off from their ‘Makins’,” El Paso Herald (El Paso, TX), September 13, 1917, Page 6, Image 6, col. 3. “The One Wicked Drug the Lawmakers Forgot,” The Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, UT), December 24, 1922, Page 24, Image 24, col. 1. The Mexican Revolution in 1910 caused many Mexicans to move to the USA. Racism and xenophobia increased in the bordering states. Residents and leaders wanted any and all excuses to jail and deport Mexicans. According to various timelines of the history of marijuana, the first anti-marijuana laws started in individual southern states bordering Mexico. Racism was used against marijuana during international treaties and drug control laws as well. Historians cannot find the reason why Canada banned cannabis in the 1920s, except for racism against the Chinese. Cannabis prohibition was based on and helped by alcohol prohibition. Alcohol prohibition, largely thought of as targeting alcohol itself, was chiefly about prohibiting saloons. The Saloons of the 1800s and 1900s also hosted gambling, dancing with women, vaudeville, musical shows and frequently employed saloon girls to entice and encourage alcohol consumption. “The Saloon Must Go” was the Anti Saloon League’s motto. “That prohibition of the sale of liquor would reduce the prevalence of commercialized prostitution is evident from the efforts which have been made to separate the sale of liquor from the prostitution in certain cities which tolerated vice or segregated districts.” says George J Kneeland (Social Hygiene ,Jan 1916.) Music, dancing, girls and musicians? Sounds very similar to the REEFER MADNESS propaganda against Jazz Clubs in the 1930s. From the Senate Hearing on Juvenile Delinquency and Marijuana Decriminalization, including 4 years of research during 1971-1975, no clues were found to explain why marijuana was banned. Why was marijuana banned? Racism against blacks, Mexicans and “undesirables” Harry J Anslinger was a racist and a liar. Marijuana continues to be banned because: Selective police action enforces racism Competition from pharmaceutical companies Nixon hated protesting hippies. Competition from the Alcohol industry Police and Prison guard unions want marijuana prisoners Uninformed do-gooders like MADD, who have not seen the statistics of lower alcohol driving deaths in states that have legalized marijuana. Evangelical Christians, Catholics and other religious groups. Jeff Sessions and Chris Christie.
  10. http://reason.com/blog/2018/01/08/gop-state-rep-steve-alford-of-kansas-say GOP State Rep. Steve Alford of Kansas Says Marijuana Was Outlawed Because 'the African Americans...Responded the Worst...Just Because of their Character Makeup, Their Genetics' Brian Doherty |Jan. 8, 2018 5:55 pm Interestingly appalling views on the racist roots of pot prohibition, from Kansas state GOP Rep. Steve Alford (R–District 124). The video below originally posted by a local paper, the Garden City Telegram. The comments were made Saturday during a Legislative Coffee session at St. Catherine Hospital. After saying the smell of pot in the air "takes away his freedom," Alford speculates on, you know, the real reasons we outlawed pot. Here's the lesson in pharmacology and history Rep. Alford presented to some of his constituents: "Any way you say it, marijuana is an entry drug into the higher drugs," Alford said. "What you really need to do is go back in the '30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs...What was the reason why they did that?" Gee, Rep. Alford, I guess we just don't know! "One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that. And so basically what we're trying to do is we're trying to do a complete reverse with people not remembering what has happened in the past." I don't necessarily believe he hated to say it, but perhaps Alford will grow to have hated he said it. Here's the video: Some more nuanced background from Jacob Sullum at Reason on the racist roots and practice of drug prohibition. According to the Garden City Telegram, no one in the room when Alford said this was African-American. Remember that the US Govt says there is no gateway theory. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-gateway-drug Read more on the racist reasons why marijuana was banned
  11. Marijuana makes drivers drive slower. That's about it. Read on to see the consensus from research spanning 50 years from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and everywhere else. Just under 300 studies along with independent and government reports were collected, yet the research keeps pointing to the same thing. People driving after using cannabis drive a little bit slower. States with Legalized and Medical Marijuana have fewer fatal car accidents. My guess is that the fewer fatal accidents are due to substituting alcohol and other medications for cannabis. Don't believe me, take the official government word directly from NIDA: NHTSA 2017 Marijuana-Impaired Driving A Report to Congress The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did its own tests in 2015 and found that THC showed no increased crash risk. Crash Fatality Rates After Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Washington and Colorado. CANNABIS USE AND DRIVING: Evidence Review Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) Simon Fraser University NHTSA The Incidence and Role of Drugs in Fatally Injured Drivers 1992 NHTSA Marijuana and Actual Driving Performance 1993 CRASH CHARACTERISTICS AND INJURIES OF VICTIMS IMPAIRED BY ALCOHOL VERSUS ILLICIT DRUGS University of Michigan Study 1997 CANNABIS: OUR POSITION FOR A CANADIAN PUBLIC POLICY REPORT OF THE SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ILLEGAL DRUGS 2002 Psychomotor Performance, Subjective and Physiological Effects and Whole Blood D9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol Concentrations in Heavy, Chronic Cannabis Smokers Following Acute Smoked Cannabis Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption See the full list of studies here: http://komornlaw.com/driving-research/
  12. Governments from around the world have conducted exhaustive studies on Marijuana / Hemp / Cannabis and have found the exact same results each and every time, consistently over the last 120+ years. Likewise, the governments have attacked, ignored, buried and outright shunned every one of these reports for the last 120 years. The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report India 1893-1894 The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report, completed in 1894, was a British India study of cannabis usage in India. The Commission report and all recorded testimony was over 3,000 pages long spanning 8 volumes. The Summary of conclusions regarding effects of cannabis is found in the first volume of the report, on pages 263 and 264. 552. The Commission have now examined all the evidence before them regarding the effects attributed to hemp drugs. It will be well to summarize briefly the conclusions to which they come. It has been clearly established that the occasional use of hemp in moderate doses may be beneficial; but this use may be regarded as medicinal in character. It is rather to the popular and common use of the drugs that the Commission will now confine their attention. It is convenient to consider the effects separately as affecting the physical, mental, or moral nature. In regard to the physical effects, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all. There may be exceptional cases in which, owing to idiosyncracies of constitution, the drugs in even moderate use may be injurious. There is probably nothing the use of which may not possibly be injurious in cases of exceptional intolerance. There are also many cases where in tracts with a specially malarious climate, or in circumstances of hard work and exposure, the people attribute beneficial effects to the habitual moderate use of these drugs; and there is evidence to show that the popular impression may have some basis in fact. Speaking generally, the Commission are of opinion that the moderate use of hemp drugs appears to cause no appreciable physical injury of any kind. The excessive use does cause injury. As in the case of other intoxicants, excessive use tends to weaken the constitu- tion and to render the consumer more susceptible to disease. In respect to the particular diseases which according to a considerable number of witnesses should be associated directly with hemp drugs, it appears to be reasonably estab- lished that the excessive use of these drugs does not cause asthma; that it may indirectly cause dysentery by weakening the constitution as above indicated; and that it may cause bronchitis mainly through the action of the inhaled smoke on the bronchial tubes. In respect to the alleged mental effects of the drugs, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs produces no inju- rious effects on the mind. It may indeed be accepted that in the case of special- ly marked neurotic diathesis, even the moderate use may produce mental injury. For the slightest mental stimulation or excitement may have that effect in such cases. But putting aside these quite exceptional cases, the moder- ate use of these drugs produces no mental injury. It is otherwise with the excessive use. Excessive use indicates and intensifies mental instability. It tends to weaken the mind. It may even lead to insanity. It has been said by Dr. Blanford that "two factors only are necessary for the causation of insanity, which are complementary, heredity, and stress. Both enter into every case: the stronger the influence of one factor, the less of the other factor is requisite to produce the result. Insanity, therefore, needs for its production a certain insta- bility of nerve tissue and the incidence of a certain disturbance." It appears that the excessive use of hemp drugs may, especially in cases where there is any weakness or hereditary predisposition, induce insanity. It has been shown that the effect of hemp drugs in this respect has hitherto been greatly exag- gerated, but that they do sometimes produce insanity seems beyond question. In regard to the moral effects of the drugs, the Commission are of opinion that their moderate use produces no moral injury whatever. There is no adequate ground for believing that it injuriously affects the character of the consumer. Excessive consumption, on the other hand, both indicates and inten- sifies moral weakness or depravity. Manifest excess leads directly to loss of self- respect, and thus to moral degradation. In respect to his relations with society, however, even the excessive consumer of hemp drugs is ordinarily inoffensive. His excesses may indeed bring him to degraded poverty which may lead him to dishonest practices; and occasionally, but apparently very rarely indeed, exces- sive indulgence in hemp drugs may lead to violent crime. But for all practical purposes it may be laid down that there is little or no connection between the use of hemp drugs and crime. Viewing the subject generally, it may be added that the moderate use of these drugs is the rule, and that the excessive use is comparatively exceptional. The moderate use practically produces no ill effects. In all but the most excep- tional cases, the injury from habitual moderate use is not appreciable. The excessive use may certainly be accepted as very injurious, though it must be admit- ted that in many excessive consumers the injury is not clearly marked. The injury done by the excessive use is, however, confined almost exclusively to the consumer himself; the effect on society is rarely appreciable. It has been the most striking feature in this inquiry to find how little the effects of hemp drugs have obtruded themselves on observation. The large number of witnesses of all classes who professed never to have seen these effects, the vague statements made by many who professed to have observed them, the very few witnesses who could so recall a case as to give any definite account of it, and the manner in which a large proportion of these cases broke down on the first attempt to examine them, are facts which combine to show most clearly how little injury society has hitherto sustained from hemp drugs. Letter from the American Medical Association 1937 Re: H.R. 6906 SENATOR BROWN: Before we adjourn, I desire to place in the record a letter regarding the pending bill addressed to Senator Harrison by Dr. William C. Woodward, of the American Medical Association, Chicago, Ill. American Medical Association Bureau of Legal Medicine and Legislation Chicago, July 10, 1937 Hon. Pat Harrison Chairman, Committee on Finance, United States Senate Washington D.C. SIR: I have been instructed by the board of trustees of the American Medical Association to protest on behalf of the association against the enactment in it present form of so much of H.R. 6906 as relates to the medicinal use of cannabis and its preparations and derivatives. The act is entitled "An Act to impose an occupational excise tax upon certain dealers in marihuana, to impose a transfer tax upon certain dealings in marihuana, and to safeguard the revenue therefrom by registry and recording." Cannabis and its preparations and derivatives are covered in the bill by the term "marihuana" as that term is defined in section 1, paragraph (b). There is no evidence, however, that the medicinal use of these drugs has caused or is causing cannabis addiction. As remedial agents, they are used to an inconsiderable extent, and the obvious purpose and effect of this bill is to impose so many restrictions on their use as to prevent such use altogether. Since the medicinal use of cannabis has not caused and is not causing addiction, the prevention of the use of the drug for medicinal purposes can accomplish no good end whatsoever. How far it may serve to deprive the public of the benefits of a drug that on further research may prove to be of substantial value, it is impossible to foresee. The American Medical Association has no objection to any reasonable regulation of the medicinal use of cannabis and its preparations and derivatives. It does pretest, however, against being called upon to pay a special tax, to use special order forms in order to procure the drug, to keep special records concerning its professional use and to make special returns to the Treasury Department officials, as a condition precedent to the use of cannabis in the practice of medicine. in the several States, all separate and apart from the taxes, order forms, records, and reports required under the Harrison Narcotics Act with reference to opium and coca leaves and their preparations and derivatives. If the medicinal use of cannabis calls for Federal legal regulation further than the legal regulation that now exists, the drug can without difficulty be covered under the provisions of the Harrison Narcotics Act by a suitable amendment. By such a procedure the professional use of cannabis may readily be controlled as effectively as are the professional uses of opium and coca leaves, with less interference with professional practice and less cost and labor on the part of the Treasury Department. It has been suggested that the inclusion of cannabis into the Harrison Narcotics Act would jeopardize the constitutionality of that act, but that suggestion has been supported by no specific statements of its legal basis or citations of legal authorities. Wm. C. Woodward, Legislative Counsel Whereupon at 11:37 AM Monday, July 12, 1937, the subcommittee adjourned. The marihuana problem in the city of New York 1944 by New York (N.Y.). Mayor's Committee on Marihuana In a 220 page report, the La Guardia Committee on Marihuana investigated marijuana users, school children, and even conducted clinical studies on the effects of cannabis on 77 humans. Conclusions From the foregoing study the following conclusions are drawn: 1. Marihuana is used extensively in the Borough of Manhattan but the problem is not as acute as it is reported to be in other sections of the United States. 2. The introduction of marihuana into this area is recent as compared to other localities. 3. The cost of marihuana is low and therefore within the purchasing power of most persons. 4. The distribution and use of marihuana is centered in Harlem. 5. The majority of marihuana smokers are Negroes and Latin-Americans. 6. The consensus among marihuana smokers is that the use of the drug creates a definite feeling of adequacy. 7. The practice of smoking marihuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word. 8. The sale and distribution of marihuana is not under the control of any single organized group. 9. The use of marihuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction and no effort is made to create a market for these narcotics by stimulating the practice of marihuana smoking. 10. Marihuana is not the determining factor in the commission of major crimes. 11. Marihuana smoking is not widespread among school children. 12. Juvenile delinquency is not associated with the practice of smoking marihuana. 13. The publicity concerning the catastrophic effects of marihuana smoking in New York City is unfounded. Marihuana users accustomed to daily smoking for a period of from two and a half to sixteen years showed no abnormal system functioning which would differentiate them from the nonusers. There is definite evidence in this study that the marihuana users were not inferior in intelligence to the general population and that they had suffered no mental or physical deterioration as a result of their use of the drug. Addiction and Tolerance As our group of subjects included 48 users of marihuana, opportunity was afforded for some conclusions concerning marihuana addiction and tolerance. Practically all of our group of users stated that they could and often did voluntarily stop the smoking for a time without any undue disturbance from the deprivation. In the sociologic study reported by Dr. Schoenfeld it was found that smokers had no compelling urge for marihuana. If "reefers" were not readily available there was no special effort made to obtain them from known sources of supply. Dr. Walter Bromberg, Psychiatrist-in-Charge, Psychiatric Clinic, Court of General Sessions in New York, states: "The fact that offenders brought up on marihuana charges do not request medical treatment on their incarceration (with its cessation of drug supply) argues for the absence of with drawal symptoms.''(1) From interviews with several hundred marihuana users he concludes that true addiction was absent. (1) Bromberg, W. "Marihuana: a psychiatric study." J.A.MA. 113:4, 1939.=20 The evidence submitted here warrants the conclusion that as far as New York City is concerned true addiction to marihuana does not occur. Drug addiction: crime or disease? Interim and final reports. USA 1961 Author: Joint Committee of the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association on Narcotic Drugs. In 1955-56 the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association appointed a Joint Committee on Narcotic Drugs to explore the problem. It issued a 173 page interim draft report of its findings in 1958, and sent it to the Bureau of Narcotics for review. In 1959, a comprehensive attack upon the ABA/AMA draft report was published by Harry J Anslinger at the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Titled "Comments on Narcotic Drugs: Interim Report of the Joint Committee of the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association on Narcotic Drugs" by Advisory Committee to the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, U.S. Treasury Department, Bureau of Narcotics. The Department of Treasury, after seeing the draft report conclusions contradicted their Bureau of Narcotics, then threatened the AMA, ABA and the funders of the study with losing their tax-exempt status and other threats if they dared to publish the study reports. Alfred R. Lindesmith , professor at the University of Indiana then published the report 3 years later in 1961. On the basis of its studies and deliberations, the joint committee has reached the following conclusions concerning narcotic addiction and methods of dealing with narcotic addicts, which it submits for the purpose of indicating the need for further studies along the lines recommended above, and with the hope that these conclusions, although subject to reappraisal in the light of additional data, will be serviceable guides: 1. There appears to have been a considerable increase in drug addiction in the United States immediately following World War II; the increase was most apparent in the slum areas of large metropolitan centers and especially among minority groups in the population. 2. As a result, the federal government and many states passed legislation imposing increasingly severe penalties upon violators of the drug laws, as a means of dealing with the apparent increase in addiction. 3. This penal legislation subjects both the drug peddler and his victim, the addict, to long prison sentences, often imposed by mandatory statutory requirements without benefit of the probation and parole opportunities afforded other prisoners. 4. Though drug peddling is acknowledged to be a vicious and predatory crime, a grave question remains whether severe jail and prison sentences are the most rational way of dealing with narcotic addicts. And the unusual statutory basis of present drug-law enforcement, substantial federal domination in a local police-power field established by means of an excise measure enforced by a federal fiscal agency, invites critical scrutiny. 5. The narcotic drug addict because of his physical and psychological dependence on drugs and because of his frequently abnormal personality patterns should be as much a subject of concern to medicine and public health as to those having to do with law enforcement. But the ordinary doctor is not presently well equipped to deal with the problems of the narcotic addict, and even his authority to do so is in doubt. 6. The role of medicine and public health in dealing with drug addiction and the drug addict should be clarified. There must be a new determination of the limits of good medical practice in the treatment of drug addiction, and an objective inquiry into the question whether existing enforcement policies, practices and attitudes, as well as existing laws, have unduly or improperly interfered with good medical practice in this area. As part of this evaluation, consideration should also be given to the possibility of helping both the addict and persons formerly addicted through open clinic facilities as well as in closed institutions such as Lexington and Fort Worth. 7. It can be stated emphatically that no acceptable evidence whatsoever points to the indiscriminate distribution of narcotic drugs as a method of handling the problem of addiction. On the contrary, the use of such drugs, except for legitimate medical needs, should be discouraged by the best available means. Individuals who have become addicted should be given the benefit of all known medical and paramedical procedures to encourage them to withdraw from dependence on narcotic drugs voluntarily; those who have withdrawn should be given psychiatric and social-agency help as long as necessary to assure against relapse. We need much more information than is presently available about the best means of handling addicts who, despite the best professional efforts, continue to be dependent on drugs. An experiment conducted by experts (as proposed above in this report) should be charged with getting information on this point. 8. There is a high rate of relapse on the part of addicts who have been in the care of narcotics hospitals and installations for the treatment of addiction. The real reasons for this must be determined. Factors to be considered include the physical and personality make-up of the individual, the social pressures applied to him, both adverse and constructive, and the attitude and sophistication of medicine and the law regarding addicts and addiction. 9. some responsible authorities state that the physical and psychological dependence of addicts on narcotic drugs, the compulsion to obtain them, and the high price of the drugs in the illicit market are predominantly responsible for the crimes committed by addicts. Others claim that the drug itself is responsible for criminal behavior. The weight of evidence is so heavily in favor of the former point of view that the question can hardly be called a controversial one.-But this point is so fundamental to the development of a sound philosophy of management of the problem that any residue of reasonable doubt must be resolved. )In this connection the joint committee deplores the hysteria which sometimes dominates the approach to drug addiction problems by persons in positions of public trust. In terms of numbers afflicted, and in ill effects on others in the community, drug addiction is a problem of far less magnitude than alcoholism. Crimes of violence are rarely, and sexual crimes are almost never, committed by addicts. In most instances the addicts' sins are those of omission rather than commission; they are ineffective people, individuals whose great desire is to withdraw from the world and its troubles into a land of dreams. 10. It appears that neither compulsory hospitalization of all addicts nor permanent isolation is practicable at the present time. Hospital facilities to deal with narcotic addicts are not adequate in numbers, staff or program, and the permanent isolation of addicts, even if feasible, would not be a solution but only a temporizing maneuver--the very antithesis of the medical and scientific approach to the physical and behavioral problems of man. The foregoing recommendation and report will be submitted to the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association with resolutions similar to those appended hereto, merely conformed to adapt the language of the resolutions to A.M.A. purposes. The object of the resolutions is to continue cooperation between the two associations in further mutual efforts along the lines suggested in this report and the joint committee's interim report. It is firmly believed by the joint committee that the work it has already done clearly indicates a need for further joint efforts, carried on by both associations through permanent instrumentalities which have greater continuity, more facilities, and a broader mandate than the joint committee. Accordingly, favorable action on this report and its appended resolutions is respectfully urged. Even though the AMA knows the "gateway theory" was false, they still used it in the above public service announcement against marijuana. These findings are consistent with the idea of marijuana as a "gateway drug." However, the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, "harder" substances. Wootton Commission Report UK 1968 SECTION VI GENERAL CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 67. The evidence before us shows that: An increasing number of people, mainly young, in all classes of society are experimenting with this drug, and substantial numbers use it regularly for social pleasure. There is no evidence that this activity is causing violent crime or aggression, anti-social behaviour, or is producing in otherwise normal people conditions of dependence or psychosis, requiring medical treatment. The experience of many other countries is that once it is established cannabis-smoking tends to spread. In some parts of Western society where interest in mood-altering drugs is growing, there are indications that it may become a functional equivalent of alcohol. In spite of the threat of severe penalties and considerable effort at enforcement the use of cannabis in the United Kingdom does not appear to be diminishing. There is a body of opinion that criticises the present legislative treatment of cannabis on the grounds that it exaggerates the dangers of the drug, and needlessly interferes with civil liberty. The Report of the Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs - Canada 1972 SUMMARY STATEMENT OF CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Although research has not clearly established that cannabis has sufficiently harmful effects to justify the present legislative policy towards it, there are serious grounds for social concern about its use, and this concern calls for a continuing police to discourage its use by means which involve a more acceptable cost, than present policies, to the individual and to society. The focus of our social concern should be the use of cannabis by adolescents, and the principal object of our social policy should be to restrict its availability to them as much as reasonably possible by the methods which appear to be most acceptable on a balance of benefits and costs. The only policy which can impose a significant restriction on availability is a prohibition of distribution. Under a system of administrative regulation or licensing, availability would be virtually unrestricted. A policy of making cannabis available to adults would have the effect of making it more available to minors. This is the lesson of our experience with alcohol. It would also make cannabis appear to be relatively harmless. Further, there is no reason to believe that we could effectively control potency and encourage moderate use by a system of administrative regulation or licensing. People will consume the quantities they require to achieve the desired level of potency or they will seek more potent forms, if necessary in the illicit market. Moreover, our present knowledge about cannabis would not permit a policy of legal availability that could be accompanied by suitable assurances as to what might constitute moderate and relatively harmless use 4. The costs to the individual and society of maintaining a prohibition of distribution are severe but they are justified by the probable effect of such a prohibition on availability and perception of harm, in contrast to the likely effect on both of a policy of legal availability. 5. The costs of a policy of prohibition of distribution are only acceptable, however, if the possible penalties for illegal distribution are reasonable in relation to the relative seriousness of the offence. Having regard to thc potential for harm of cannabis in relation to other drugs, the extent to which young people are involved in its distribution, and the general level of penalties in other countries, the present penalty structure for the illicit distribution of cannabis is grossly excessive. In some cases it does not leave the courts sufficient discretion, and in others it leaves them too much. 6. We recommend the following changes in the law respecting the illegal distribution of cannabis: (a) Importing and exporting should be included in the definition of trafficking as they are under the Food and Drugs Act), and they should not be subject to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment. It might be appropriate, however, to make them subject to somewhat higher maximum penalties than other forms of trafficking. (b) There should be an option to proceed by indictment or summary conviction in the case of trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking. (c) Upon indictment, the maximum penalty for trafficking or possession for the purpose of trafficking should be five years, and upon summary conviction, eighteen months. It should be possible in either case to impose fine in lieu of imprisonment. (d) In cases of possession for the purpose of trafficking it should be sufficient, when possession has been proved, for the accused to nise a reasonable doubt as to his intention to traffic. He should not be required to make proof which carries on a preponderance of evidence or a balance of probabilities. (e) Trafficking should not include the giving, without exchange of value, by one user to another of a quantity of cannabis which could reasonably be consumed on a single occasion. 7. The costs to a significant number of individuals, the majority of whom are young people, and to society generally, of a policy of prohibition of simple possession are not justified by the potential for harm of cannabis and the additional influence which such a policy is likely to have upon perception of harm, demand and availability. We, therefore, recommend the repeal of the prohibition against the simple possession of cannabis. The cultivation of cannabis should be subject to the same penalties as trafficking, but it should not be a punishable offence unless it is cultivation for the purpose of trafficking. Upon proof of cultivation, the burden should be on the accused to establish that he was not cultivating for the purpose of trafflcking, but it should be sufficient for him, as in the case of possession for the purpose of trafficking, to raise a reasonable doubt concerning the intent to traffic. 9. The police should have power to seize and confiscate cannabis and cannabis plants wherever they are found, unless the possession or cultivation has been expressly authorized for scientific or other purposes. John Munro was responsible for establishing the commission of inquiry in 1969. His public enthusiasm for decriminalization did not end up being "political suicide" -- just a blunder. His government ignored the Le Dain commission's report, and Munro went on to be minister of Labour and Multiculturalism, Indian and Northern Affairs and eventually head of Transport Canada. Marihuana: a signal of misunderstanding; first report 1972 by United States. Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse The Commission recommends only the following changes in federal law: • POSSESSION OF MARIHUANA FOR PERSONAL USE WOULD NO LONGER BE AN OFFENSE, BUT MARI- HUANA POSSESSED IN PUBLIC WOULD REMAIN CON- TRABAND SUBJECT TO SUMMARY SEIZURE AND FORFEITURE. • CASUAL DISTRIBUTION OF SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIHUANA FOR NO REMUNERATION, OR INSIG- NIFICANT REMUNERATION NOT INVOLVING PROFIT WOULD NO LONGER BE AN OFFENSE. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STATE LAW Private Activities • POSSESSION IN PRIVATE OF MARIHUANA FOR PER- SONAL USE WOULD NO LONGER BE AN OFFENSE. • DISTRIBUTION IN PRIVATE OF SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIHUANA FOR NO REMUNERATION OR INSIGNIF- ICANT REMUNERATION NOT INVOLVING A PROFIT WOULD NO LONGER BE AN OFFENSE. Public Activities • POSSESSION IN PUBLIC OF ONE OUNCE OR UNDER OF MARIHUANA WOULD NOT BE AN OFFENSE, BUT THE MARIHUANA WOULD BE CONTRABAND SUB- JECT TO SUMMARY SEIZURE AND FORFEITURE. • POSSESSION IN PUBLIC OF MORE THAN ONE OUNCE OF MARIHUANA WOULD BE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF $100. • DISTRIBUTION IN PUBLIC OF SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIHUANA FOR NO REMUNERATION OR INSIGNIF- ICANT REMUNERATION NOT INVOLVING A PROFIT WOULD BE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF $100. • PUBLIC USE OF MARIHUANA WOULD BE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF $100. • DISORDERLY CONDUCT ASSOCIATED WITH PUBLIC USE OF OR INTOXICATION BY MARIHUANA WOULD BE A MISDEMEANOR PUNISHABLE BY UP TO 60 DAYS IN JAIL, A FINE OF $100, OR BOTH. Drug use in America: problem in perspective; second report 1973 by United States. Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse The recommendations included: All public and private institutions should sponsor research and objective evaluation of drug-related issues, programs, and policies. Congress should create a single Federal drug agency. The accomplishments should be reexamined four years after its creation; and the agency, by law, should disband within five years. Each state should establish a unified drug agency on the same model as that proposed for the federal government. Congress should establish a commission four years hence to determine which measures have justified their costs and which have not and to propose new policies. The Single Convention Treaty should be redrafted to make clear that each nation is free to determine which domestic uses of drugs it will allow. Cannabis should be removed from the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), since this drug does not pose the same social and public health problems associated with the opiates and coca leaf products. The American Medical Association should determine cocaine's therapeutic benefits. If no unique therapeutic use remains, the government should eliminate manufacture altogether. Except where the Commission has specifically recommended a change, the present levels of control on availability of psychoactive substances should be maintained. With respect to the drug trafficking laws, the trafficking offenses and penalty structure presently in force should be retained. The unauthorized possession of any controlled substance except marihuana for personal use should remain a prohibited act. The primary purpose of the possession laws should be detection of those persons who would benefit by treatment or prevention services, rather than criminal punishment. Federal criminal investigative agencies should concentrate primarily on the top level of the illegal drug distribution network. State enforcement should concentrate on the lower levels of both licit and illicit distribution networks. Criminal investigation activities at the federal level should not have regional offices, as BNDD and Customs have now but instead should deploy strike forces. Each state should have a separate unit charged with the responsibility of investigating any evidence of corruption in drug law enforcement agencies. Local police should receive appropriate training in dealing with the medical needs of drug-dependent persons, including alcoholics. The government should continue to prohibit heroin maintenance. Each state should establish a comprehensive statewide drug dependence treatment and rehabilitation program, with confidentiality-of-treatment laws. Drug abusers who are suffering from emergency medical conditions should not be refused treatment in hospitals, solely because of their drug abuse. The states should provide by law for emergency detention and treatment of persons (not to exceed 48 hours) so incapacitated by use of a drug that they cannot intelligently determine whether they are in need of treatment. Drug use prevention strategy, rather than persuading or "educating" people not to use drugs, should emphasize other means of obtaining what users seek from drugs, means that are better for the user and better for society. The government role should be limited to providing accurate information regarding the likely consequences of the different patterns of drug use. A moratorium should be declared on the production and dissemination of new drug information materials, including all drug education programs in the schools. State legislatures should repeal all statutes which now require drug education courses to be included in the public school curriculum. Government should not interfere with private efforts to analyze the quality and quantity of drugs anonymously submitted by street users. The government should not support programs which compel persons to undergo drug testing, except in limited situations. Government should remove legal and bureaucratic obstacles to research into the possible therapeutic uses of currently prohibited substances, such as marihuana and hallucinogens. Schools of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and public health should include the social and medical aspects of drug use in their curriculum. Drug companies should end the practice of sending doctors unsolicited samples of psychoactive drugs. The business community should not reject an applicant solely on the basis of prior drug use or dependence, unless the nature of the business compels it. Industry should consider alternatives to termination of employment for employees involved with drugs. The business community should adopt "employee assistance" programs for drug problems. College and universities should make their policies and practices regarding drug use, including alcohol, explicit, unambiguous, and readily available to all students. Even those colleges and universities which strongly disapprove of student drug-use behavior should expand their counseling services rather than rely upon disciplinary measures alone. U.S. Senate Hearing on Juvenile Delinquency and Marijuana Decriminalization, including 4 years of research during 1971-1975. OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR BIRCH BAYH, CHAIRMAN Senator Bayh. We meet today to consider legislation relating to the appropriate legal sanctions for the private possession of small amounts of marihuana. Throughout the Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency's 4-year investigation of drug traffic and abuse I have noted with concern the growing number of arrests for marihuana possession. Arrests have increased from 188,682 in 1970 to 420,700 in 1973. It may go as high as 500,000 for 1974. This is not nearly as dramatic as the 1,000 percent increase between 1965-70 from 18,815 to 188,682; but it is rather astonishing that this 3-year increase of 232,018 is more than 12 times the total marihuana arrests just 10 years ago. Additionally, the number of marihuana arrests as a percentage of all drug arrests has increased substantially. In 1970 these arrests amounted to 45.4 percent of total drug arrest= During the 1970-73 period 1,127,389 of the total 2,063,900 drug arrests were for marihuana. And in 1973, the most recent year for which records are available, 67 percent of all drug arrests were for marihuana. Available studies and research to date have found that the majority of those arrested are otherwise law-abiding young people in possession of small amounts of marihuana. In fact, a Presidential commission found that the vast majority of users are essentially indistinguishable from their nonuser peers by any criteria other than its use. During these last 4 years, I have likewise been especially concerned about the ever-escalating level of serious crime. The recently released FBI report on the trends in crime for 1974 presents a frightening picture of the rising tide of criminal activity in America. Serious crime in the United States rose 17 percent last year, the highest, annual increase since the FBI began collecting data 45 years ago. In fact, the increase for the final quarter of 1974 had reached 19 percent. The suburban increase for last year was 20 percent while crime in rural areas increased by 21 percent. In smaller communities—under 10,000— crime increased by 24 percent last year while robbery alone went up 30 percent. ALLOCATING CRIME FIGHTING RESOURCES The rising tide of serious crimes inevitably raises the question of whether we are properly allocating our crime fighting resources and aggressively pursuing the arrest and criminal prosecution of the 13 million American users of marihuana. It is estimated that the prosecution of these cases costs $600 million annually. In 1969 and 1970 the subcommittee considered the adequacy of penalties for marihuana with the result that thenew Controlled Substances Act provided that simple possession or distribution of a small amount of marihuana for no remuneration were both designated misdemeanors, not felonieb. punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine. It was the view of many members that the sanctions should be further reduced. Some suggested that the sanction be eliminated for such conduct. In order to permit a thorough assessment of these issues the subcommittee recommended the creation of a Presidential commission. The Congress agreed and provided for the establishment of the Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse in part F of the Controlled Substances Act. This body known as the Sliafer Commission, after its distinguished chairman, conducted an in-depth study of the issues and concluded that marihuana was not dangerous enough to the user or to the general public for its private possession and use to remain a criminal offense. In the last several years a growing list of organizations and individuals have endorsed the Shafer Commission recommendations, including the following: American Bar Association. Consumer Union, publishers of Consumer Reports. National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. American Public Health Association. National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals. National Council of Churches. The Governing Board of the American Medical Association. National Education Association. B'nai B'rith. Canadian Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical use of Drugs [Le Dain Commission], San Franciso Committee on Crime. Mayor's Advisory Committee on Narcotics Addiction [Washington, D.C.]. John Finlator, retired Deputy Director, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, U.S. Department of Justice. William F. Buckley, Jr., syndicated columnist, author, TV host and editor of National Review. James J. Kilpatrick, syndicated columnist, Washington Evening Star. The subject of our hearing S. 1450, the "Marihuana Control Act of 1975" introduced by Senators Javits, Cranston, Brooke, and Nelson, reflects the general recommendation of the Shafer Presidential Commission. It adopts an approach similar to that undertaken by the State of Oregon which abolished criminal penalties for simple possession of marihuana and substituted a civil fine of up to $100 for possession and nonprofit transfers of up to 1 ounce of marihuana. Criminal penalties for sale of the drug for profit would remain intact. Thus, this approach maintains a policy of discouragement toward marihuana use while recognizing the current inappropriate use of law enforcement resources and the destructive impact of criminal records for such common conduct. Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drugs, Australia 1979 On page A63, the report states: At present it appears that intermittent use of cannabis in low dosages does not produce any permanent brain damage. While there is no definite proof, to date, that long-term chronic high dosages of cannabis produce any lasting brain impairment this needs further study. There have been suggestions that cannabis might cause prolonged abnormalities of mental function, including personality disorders and a cannabis psychosis. There is no proven evidence that such disorders are caused by cannabis. Acute Toxicity THC has a wide safety margin, much more so than does alcohol. It is almost impossible to get a lethal dose of THC from smoking marihuana joints. Tolerance and Physical Dependence Tolerance does occur if cannabis is administered regularly over a long interval. While mild withdrawal symptoms (such as irritability, restlessness and insomnia) occasionally develop in those who have regularly taken a high dose of THC, there is not a typical abstinence syndrome and there are no withdrawal effects from the usual low-dose, 'recreational' use of the drug. At the present time, it would not seem that infrequent 'recreational' use of cannabis produces any severe direct consequences to health. As already mentioned, there is impairment of driving ability. Higher doses and frequent chronic use may constitute a significant degree of risk to the user, but further research on this is needed. Later, in Book C, Page C215, the following is stated on cannabis and health. CANNABIS AND HEALTH Limitations on Scientific Investigation Mr A. W. Parsons, Director of the Cannabis Research Foundation, presented evidence to the effect that cannabis had been the subject of considerable scientific probing. He stated: Dr Lorna Cartwright, senior tutor in Pharmacy, University of Sydney, stated in her address to the 1977 Cannabis Conference that marihuana is one of the most thoroughly investigated drugs in the history of scientific research. Eighty-four years of scientific study has been unable to find any adverse health effects of moderate cannabis use which impel a particular legislative policy. This is not to say that more research is not needed. 1t is always possible that certain harmful side effects may be discovered, but considering the medical information at hand and the social costs of the present laws, scientific clairvoyance has been used for too long by the anti- marihuana lobby to justify the present laws pertaining to cannabis use. The Commonwealth Department of Health report previously mentioned stated that although prolonged cannabis psychosis has been reported in Eastern literature as occurring under conditions of unusually heavy use, it is often difficult to isolate the causative role of marihuana from that of pre-existing psychopathology or other drug use. Three research studies of heavy chronic users conducted in Jamaica, G·reece and Costa Rica failed to detect evidence of cannabis psychosis. However the small numbers in each sample and the comparative rarity of this syndrome may mean that such a consequence was missed (Open exhibit 636). Professor R. T. Jones stated that persons with schizophrenia show a marked psychosis when using marihuana but that this psychosis disappears when marihuana use is discontinued (OT 18132--33). Mr A. W. Parsons, Director of the Cannabis Research Foundation, agreed that marihuana impairs the ability to drive, but stated that the size of the threat which cannabis poses to road safety is a matter of conjecture (OT 2453). Mr J. Billington,founder of the Cannabis Research Foundation, said in evidence that while inexperienced user/drivers may cause problems for themselves and the rest of the community, the problems are nowhere as great with experienced user/drivers (OT 10839). Professor R. T. Jones (OT 18140--41) and Dr G. B. Chesher (OT 10474) agreed that more experienced users drive with less impairment than persons unfamiliar with the combination of marihuana and motor vehicles. Witnesses indicated that other possible medical applications of cannabis are being examined. Researchers are investigating anti-tumor activity, anti-anxiety and hypnotic effects, and analgesic and anti- depressant effects. Some investigators have speculated that cannabis may be useful in treating alcohol dependence. Professor N. Blewett, Past President of the South Australian Council for Civil Liberties summarised this line of argument succinctly in a paper entitled 'Marihuana: The Most Victimless Crime of All?'. This paper, which was part of a submission by the Council to the South Australian Royal Commission into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs, later incorporated into the transcript of evidence of this Commission, said: The law is simply an ass if, in seeking to protect a person from his own actions, it imposes upon him far greater agreed harm than anything likely to result from the prohibited actions. Medical Use Some witnesses argued that the existing laws had the effect of preventing the use of cannabis for legitimate scientific and medical purposes. On behalf of the Cannabis Research Foundation, Mr A. W. Parsons stated: We have had personal reports from patients who need cannabis, particularly those suffering from internal cancer, epileptics and patients suffering from glaucoma. We have had approaches from their doctors saying, 'We need cannabis because none of the other drugs work and this does. We are in a drought situation. The Health Department will not give us any, nor will the Drug Squad. What can you do for us?' This is ridiculous when they are handing out amphetamines and such things---it is ridiculous that we cannot get hold of cannabis for simple therapeutic use. (OT 2480) The potential medical application of cannabis has been discussed already in this chapter. It has also been noted that the law permits the use of cannabis for legitimate scientific research. After finding that cannabis is non-toxic, non-addictive, has no evidence of any harms WHATSOEVER, has medical value in a number of different diseases, the committee said that cannabis should be prohibited forever. As you can see, the science, logic, reasoning, and evidence is ignored, buried, shunned and attacked. The fact that Australians must bear in mind is that a decision now to remove the prohibition against cannabis can never, from the practical point of view, be reversed. Book C, page C269. An Analysis of Marijuana Policy National Research Council of the National Academy of Science. 1982 At the same time, the effectiveness of the present federal policy of complete prohibition fails far short of its goal--preventing use. An estimated 55 million Americans have tried marijuana, federal enforcement of prohibition of use is virtually nonexistent, and 11 states have repealed criminal penalties for private possession of small amounts and for private use. It can no longer be argued that use would be much more widespread and the problematic effects greater today if the policy of complete prohibition did not exist; The existing evidence on policies of partial prohibition indicates that partial prohibition has been as effective in controlling consumption as complete prohibition and has entailed considerably smaller social, legal, and economic costs. On balance, therefore, we believe that a policy of partial prohibition is clearly preferable to a policy of complete prohibition of supply and use. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration In The Matter Of MARIJUANA RESCHEDULING PETITION Docket No. 86-22 OPINION AND RECOMMENDED RULING, FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DECISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE FRANCIS L. YOUNG, Administrative Law Judge DATED: SEPTEMBER 6, 1988 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDED DECISION Based upon the foregoing facts and reasoning, the administrative law judge concludes that the provisions of the Act permit and require the transfer of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. The Judge realizes that strong emotions are aroused on both sides of any discussion concerning the use of marijuana. Nonetheless it is essential for this Agency, and its Administrator, calmly and dispassionately to review the evidence of record, correctly apply the law, and act accordingly. Marijuana can be harmful. Marijuana is abused. But the same is true of dozens of drugs or substances which are listed in Schedule II so that they can be employed in treatment by physicians in proper cases, despite their abuse potential. Transferring marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II will not, of course, make it immediately available in pharmacies throughout the country for legitimate use in treatment. Other government authorities, Federal and State, will doubtless have to act before that might occur. But this Agency is not charged with responsibility, or given authority, over the myriad other regulatory decisions that may be required before marijuana can actually be legally available. This Agency is charged merely with determining the placement of marijuana pursuant to the provisions of the Act. Under our system of laws the responsibilities of other regulatory bodies are the concerns of those bodies, not of this Agency, There are those who, in all sincerity, argue that the transfer of marijuana to Schedule II will "send a signal" that marijuana is "OK" generally for recreational use. This argument is specious. It presents no valid reason for refraining from taking an action required by law in light of the evidence. If marijuana should be placed in Schedule II, in obedience to the law, then that is where marijuana should be placed, regardless of misinterpretation of the placement by some. The reasons for the placement can, and should, be clearly explained at the time the action is taken. The fear of sending such a signal cannot be permitted to override the legitimate need, amply demonstrated in this record, of countless suffers for the relief marijuana can provide when prescribed by a physician in a legitimate case. The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record. The administrative law judge recommends that the Administrator conclude that the marijuana plant considered as a whole has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, that there is no lack of accepted safety for use of it under medical supervision and that it may lawfully be transferred from Schedule I to Schedule II. The judge recommends that the Administrator transfer marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. Dated: SEP 6 1988 Francis L. Young Administrative Law Judge Legislative options for cannabis use in Australia Commonwealth of Australia 1994 No best single option for cannabis legislation exists. What is most appropriate will depend upon what goals both policy makers and the community are seeking to achieve. Our review suggests that two of the five legislative options discussed above are inappropriate in contemporary Australian circumstances. They are the options which we have characterised as total prohibition and free availability. Australia experiences more harm, we conclude, from maintaining the cannabis prohibition policy than it experiences from the use of the drug. We also reject the legislative option of the free availability of cannabis. Our society is one that accepts that governments and others have both the right and the responsibility to intervene in diverse ways to protect people from harm and to advance the common good. It would be unreasonable, therefore, to argue that cannabis should be available in an uncontrolled manner. We conclude that cannabis law reform is required in this country. Many options for policy, legislation and implementation processes exist within the broad categories of prohibition with an administrative decision that it is inexpedient to prosecute people for minor cannabis offences, prohibition with civil penalties, partial prohibition and regulated availability. We believe, on the available evidence, that widely accepted social goals, well attuned to the needs of contemporary Australian society, will be attained through the adoption and implementation of policies which lie within these options. CANNABIS: OUR POSITION FOR A CANADIAN PUBLIC POLICY REPORT OF THE SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ILLEGAL DRUGS 2002
  13. Minor in Possession (of alcohol) was never supposed to put the minor in jail. It has been a travesty of justice for at least the past 20 years that minors and adults 18-20 were thrown in jail for solely drinking alcohol. Even in 2004 , the law was not supposed to put minors in jail. But judges found ways around the laws to put minors in jail for this offense. The legislature changed the MIP law, over and over again in attempts to keep minors out of jail for this offense, to no avail. THE APPARENT PROBLEM: Currently, it is a misdemeanor for a person under 21 years of age to consume, purchase, or possess alcohol (or attempt to do the same) or to have any bodily alcohol content. (“Any bodily alcohol content” is defined to mean 0.02 grams or more per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath or per 67 milliliters of urine or any presence of alcohol within a person’s body resulting from the consumption of alcoholic liquor, with the exception of alcohol consumed as part of a generally recognized religious service or ceremony.) The penalty for a conviction or juvenile adjudication can include a fine (up to $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and $500 for a third or subsequent offense), community service, substance abuse prevention or treatment and rehabilitation services, and/or substance abuse screening and assessment (at the offender’s own expense). Persons convicted of a repeat offense can go to jail if they violate probation conditions. Meant to deter underage drinking, an unfortunate and unintended result of the penalties is that minors who believes they, or friends, are suffering a medical crisis due to alcohol consumption is less likely to call 9-1-1 or to go to an emergency room because of the fear of arrest and the associated penalties if convicted. Every year, teens and young adults die from alcohol poisoning—a dangerous condition that requires immediate medical attention. One solution that has been proposed is to create medical amnesty by which a minor who sought treatment or treatment for another person who had consumed too much alcohol would be insulated from an arrest under the minor in possession (MIP) law. It is believed that codifying the amnesty provision will encourage underage drinkers to call for medical assistance sooner when it appears excessive drinking may have put someone at risk for alcohol poisoning. In a separate but related matter, district court judges have found some flaws in the construction of the MIP statute they feel need addressing. For instance, a court may send to jail an offender who fails to pay a court-ordered fine or who fails to complete community service or get screened or treated for substance abuse. However, this only applies to persons who have a prior conviction. Since first offenders are eligible to have their case deferred and later discharged and dismissed if they meet all probation conditions (meaning they do not have a “conviction” on their records), it may not be until a third or subsequent offense that a judge can use the threat of jail to force compliance with probation orders. By that time, a young person can have a well-established substance abuse problem. Judges have requested that the language be revised to reflect what is believed to be the true intent of the MIP law – that sanctions be based on the number of offenses committed rather than the number of convictions. The ACLU wrote up a guide for knowing your rights in relation to Minor in Possession of alcohol. Last year, Senator Rick Jones made a bill to change the law from a misdemeanor to a Civil Infraction for 1st offense. In my opinion this was done because someone’s Rich and Important child got in trouble and finally this terrible law was changed for everyone, not just the rich and powerful. LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday signed Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to make Minor in Possession (MIP) a civil fine for the first offense. “This reform balances the need to deter young people from drinking with the understanding that kids make mistakes,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “On some college campuses, students were stopped while walking home, given a breathalyzer and then charged with MIP. “As a former sheriff, I know all about the terrible and often tragic effects of underage drinking, but this was always about fairness and smarter justice. With this change, students who make a mistake will not end up with criminal records that follow them for the rest of their lives.” Under Senate Bills 332 and 333, now Public Acts 357 and 358 of 2016, the first violation by a person under age 21 for purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol or having any bodily alcohol content will be a civil infraction of $100 rather than a misdemeanor. Repeat MIP violations will remain misdemeanor offenses. A second offense will be punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $200 fine. The penalties will increase to up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine for subsequent violations. At each time, the judge will be able to order substance abuse treatment or community service. “The problem with the old Minor in Possession law was that it was clogging up our courts, putting kids in jail and jeopardizing the chances of some young people to get into college or get a job,” Jones said. “Under this new law, we will give young people one — and only one — chance to get their lives in order and avoid a criminal record.”
  14. The Michigan State Police are hiring! They are looking for a “Narcotics Intelligence Analyst” to “Focus on providing assistance to the Medical Marihuana Investigation Section (MMIS) with marihuana investigations related to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, and Marihuana Tracking Act.” There is also a position available for a combination Marihuana and Tobacco Tax Investigation Section within the State Police. One of the duties of this MSP Trooper Tax Enforcer position is to coordinate with Federal enforcement agencies and prosecutors. Maintain a working relationship with courts, prosecutors and other enforcement agencies at federal, state and local levels. Initiate positive interaction with court personnel, federal, county and state prosecutors. Assist federal, state and local law enforcement agencies on complaints related to theft of cigarettes and all tobacco smuggling. It is interesting that the Michigan State Police are now getting on board with Medical Marihuana in Michigan. Official statements and policy by the MSP in the past have all been against the MMMA and MMFLA at multiple points. https://www.southbendtribune.com/news/local/new-laws-in-michigan-shake-up-the-marijuana-industry/article_21fd1838-50a3-5281-a65a-06ebba9ca838.html http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/01/01/medical-marijuana-enforcement-grants-michigan/109087886/ When the MMMA became law, police officers were not trained how to handle medical marijuana situations. Ken Stecker from the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan did a reefer madness type propaganda power point presentation around the state explaining the MMMA to various law enforcement agents and organizations. Ken Stecker included propaganda such as this in his “updated presentation” on Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Program. Why was a person, not affiliated in any way with the State of Michigan, going around doing talks with local, county and state police officers about a medical law? What is this Medical Marijuana Investigation Section? The House Legislative Analysis explains what HB 4209 (Public Act 281 of 2016) aka the MMFLA does for law enforcement: The Department of State Police (MSP) would provide 34.0 FTEs for criminal enforcement activities related to medical marihuana at an annual cost of $6.0 million. This assumption is based on the personnel employed by the MSP to provide criminal enforcement activities for the Michigan Casino Gaming Board (MGCB). The Department of Attorney General (AG) would provide 4.0 FTEs for legal and prosecutorial support related to medical marihuana at an annual cost of $500,000. After being against the MMMA, the MMFLA, patients, caregivers, and everything possibly to do with medical marijuana, the Michigan State Police now have to regulate and enforce it. Compliance Checks? Marijuana Tracking ACT ? The Seed to Sale , or Marijuana Tracking ACT is a law in Michigan to track and report all sales, transfers, processes, manufacturing and cultivation within the MMFLA. It allows law enforcement agencies to verify and enforce regulations in the MMFLA, including the tracking of patient and caregiver purchases within the retail state-licensed MMFLA dispensaries. Ultimately, the police have inserted themselves between you and your doctor. The police asked for these regulations during the MMFLA law drafting committees and senate and house hearings on these bills. The police want to look at the MMFLA registry and if you have bought too much marijuana from the system within some random arbitrary window of time, they are going to want to investigate you. Just for the medical use of marijuana as granted by the State of Michigan. It is sad that the police are enforcing patient’s medication with jail time.
  15. A lot of people are going to be in a lot of pain. The suicide rate will rise with these new unscientific regulations. http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2017-SB-0274 Sec. 7333b. (1) Beginning July 1, 2018, if a prescriber is treating a patient for acute pain, the prescriber shall not prescribe the patient more than a 7-day supply of an opioid within a 7-day period. (2) As used in this section, “acute pain” means pain that is the normal, predicted physiological response to a noxious chemical or a thermal or mechanical stimulus and is typically associated with invasive procedures, trauma, and disease and usually lasts for a limited amount of time. http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/27/calley-signs-opioid-bills/108948644/ Lansing — Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signed a 10-bill package Wednesday aimed at reducing Michigan’s rapidly growing opioid addiction by requiring doctors and the state to better track and control the flow of opioid-based prescription drugs. Calley signed six bills that will collectively require doctors to use a new online prescription tracking state database, set up a legitimate doctor-patient relationship and limit the number of pills dispensed in a given seven-day period. It comes as the number of heroin and prescription opioid overdose deaths in Michigan has doubled during the past five years. Health and addiction experts have long urged the medical industry to adopt new prescription opioid standards. Many heroin addicts start out using legal painkillers first, and even people who take such drugs as directed by a doctor can still wind up addicted. Calley and other public officials have called for legislation to stop “pill mills,” or unscrupulous doctors who authorize too many prescription painkillers and end up feeding addiction. “It’s now claiming more lives than car accidents each year,” Calley said at a Wednesday press conference. In 2015, 1,275 people died from heroin and opioid-related overdoses — 884 were caused by prescription opioids and another 391 from heroin, according to the most recent data from the state Department of Health and Human Services. By comparison, 963 people died in car accidents in 2015, according to the Michigan State Police. The 2015 heroin and prescription opioid overdose deaths represented a nearly 100 percent increase over the 639 deaths in 2010 — 195 from heroin overdoses and another 444 from prescription opioid overdoses. “This will make a huge difference. It’s about earlier detection and prevention,” Calley said about the legislation. “We’ve done a lot of great work to try and save lives after a person becomes addicted,” said the lieutenant governor, who chairs Gov. Rick Snyder’s task force on opioids. “What we’re doing now is the work to prevent the addiction from happening in the first place and to detect it earlier in the process and get ahead of this epidemic.” In overall Michigan drug poisonings, 1,981 people died in 2015, according to the state, a 12 percent rise from the 1,745 fatalities from the year before. What legislation does One of the bills Calley signed Wednesday was by Sen. Tanya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, and requires that doctors review a patient’s history on a new online database called MAPS before prescribing opioids. The measure was recommended by Snyder’s task force. Calley said Schuitmaker’s bill is “very central to making progress in the fight against the addiction epidemic that has swept across this state and across the nation.” He also praised a bill from state Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing, for expanding treatment options for Medicaid recipients in need of opioid addiction help. Lawmakers need to keep working to expand treatment, “but it seems like there’s never enough,” Calley said. “At the end of the day, the most important aspect for whether a person recovers, the first thing is wanting to get better. And there’s so much more awareness today; there’s so much more acceptance among people to seek treatment than what we saw a few years ago. That makes me hopeful that we can turn this around.” A related bill from Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, requires the state to record opioid prescriptions in MAPS in an effort to keep tabs on doctors who prescribe too much. It’s also meant to help doctors know when patients are hopping from office to office to get too many pills. According to the report, every state except Missouri has a prescription drug tracking system for pills. MAPS came online in 2002 but experienced a major upgrade in April that lawmakers and health professionals hailed as a cornerstone of the state’s opioid epidemic battle. The legislation Calley signed Wednesday also would stop a prescriber other than veterinarians from distributing opioids without first looking into a patient’s prescription history on MAPS. Other bills would require a “bona fide” patient-doctor relationship before a doctor could prescribe opioids and limit the supply of opioids. Legislation signed last year by Snyder allotted $2.5 million for a new cloud-based database and did not require doctors to check the system before prescribing addictive painkillers to patients. Although some in the industry say the system could help fight the state’s opioid-abuse epidemic, the Michigan State Medical Society has voiced strong concerns that requiring use of the new system would be time consuming and add more work for doctors. As of Tuesday, 24,639 licensed doctors and pharmacists have voluntarily signed up to use the state’s drug tracking database and more than 4,000 nurses or office managers on behalf of licensed medical professionals, according to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan CEO Daniel Loepp in a Wednesday statement called the package “a strong step forward that strengthens Michigan’s efforts to reduce addiction and abuse.” According to Poison Control, adults aged 45–54 had the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in 2015. http://www.poison.org/poison-statistics-national Key findings Data from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2015 (16.3 per 100,000) was more than 2.5 times the rate in 1999 (6.1). Drug overdose death rates increased for all age groups, with the greatest percentage increase among adults aged 55–64 (from 4.2 per 100,000 in 1999 to 21.8 in 2015). In 2015, adults aged 45–54 had the highest rate (30.0). In 2015, the age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths among non-Hispanic white persons (21.1 per 100,000) was nearly 3.5 times the rate in 1999 (6.2). The four states with the highest age-adjusted drug overdose death rates in 2015 were West Virginia (41.5), New Hampshire (34.3), Kentucky (29.9), and Ohio (29.9). In 2015, the percentage of drug overdose deaths involving heroin (25%) was triple the percentage in 2010 (8%). Deaths from drug overdose have been identified as a significant public health burden in the United States in recent years (1–4). This report uses data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to highlight recent trends in drug overdose deaths, describing demographic and geographic patterns as well as the types of drugs involved. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db273.htm With the current nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse, dependence, and fatalities, clinicians are being asked by federal agencies and professional societies to control their prescribing of narcotic medications for pain. Federal guidelines emphasize tapering, discontinuing, and limiting initiation of these drugs except in provision of end-of-life care. Reducing reliance on opioids, however, is a massive task. According to one estimate, more than 650 000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed each day in the United States. Unless the nation develops an increased tolerance to chronic pain, reduction in opioid prescribing leaves a vacuum that will be filled with other therapies. Enter cannabis. As of August 2016, the District of Columbia and 25 states have legalized cannabis for medical use. Recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in 4 of these states and Washington, DC, and like initiatives are pending in other states. The mandated transition to limit use of opioids, paired with the current climate around liberalizing cannabis, may lead to patients’ formal and informal substitution of cannabis for opioids. Observational studies have found that state legalization of cannabis is associated with a decrease in opioid addiction and opioid-related overdose deaths https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5332546/ The Institute of Medicine in a 1999 report, the same report that the people of Michigan described when creating the MMMA, declared that cannabinoids from the marijuana plant, could be useful for patients “who have developed tolerance to opioids”. All of the currently available analgesic (pain-relieving) drugs have limited efficacy for some types of pain. Some are limited by dose-related side effects and some by the development of tolerance or dependence. A cannabinoid, or other analgesic, could potentially be useful under any of the following circumstances: • There is a medical condition for which it is more effective than any currently available medication. • It has a broad clinical spectrum of efficacy and a unique side effect profile. • It has synergistic interactions with other analgesics. • It exhibits "side effects" that are considered useful in some clinical situations. • Its efficacy is enhanced in patients who have developed tolerance to opioids. President Trump’s ONDCP task force on the opioid prescriptions crisis has recommended calling for a national emergency. The first and most urgent recommendation of this Commission is direct and completely within your control. Declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act. With approximately 142 Americans dying every day, America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks. Due to the interim report, President Donald J. Trump has instructed his Administration to use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic. 8-10-2017 In Medical Marijuana states, overdoses on opioid prescription painkillers are reduced by 25%. Conclusions and Relevance Medical cannabis laws are associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates." Using data on all prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees from 2010 to 2013, we found that the use of prescription drugs for which marijuana could serve as a clinical alternative fell significantly, once a medical marijuana law was implemented. The CDC has declared opioid prescription overdoses an epidemic. Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid. Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) quadrupled. From 2000 to 2015 more than half a million people died from drug overdoses. Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html President Obama at the National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit made similar comments on opioids. It's important to recognize that today we are seeing more people killed because of opioid overdose than traffic accidents. President Trump has a plan to limit opioid prescriptions. Reduce the amount of Schedule II opioids (drugs like oxycodone, methadone and fentanyl) that can be made and sold in the U.S. President Obama and President Trump have instructed the FDA and DEA to limit opioid based prescription painkillers. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2503508 April 19, 2016 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain—United States, 2016 Deborah Dowell, MD, MPH. Tamara M. Haegerich, PhD. Roger Chou, MD. JAMA. 2016;315(15):1624-1645. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.1464 Governor Rick Snyder and Michigan Attorney Bill Schuette also are working to reduce opioid addiction, abuse and overdoses. Fewer Canadian veterans have sought prescription opioids and tranquillizers in recent years, while at the same time prescriptions for medical marijuana have skyrocketed. It is not clear whether the two are related, but the trend echoes what researchers have found in U.S. states with medical-cannabis laws. New data provided to The Globe and Mail by Veterans Affairs Canada show that over the past four years, the number of veterans prescribed benzodiazepines – with brands such as Xanax, Ativan and Valium – had decreased nearly 30 per cent. Opioid prescriptions also shrank almost 17 per cent during that same period. https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/among-veterans-opioid-prescription-requests-down-in-step-with-rise-in-medical-pot/article30285591/ Of course medical marijuana can be used as a painkiller in the states with working medical marijuana laws. What about the people who don't know about medical marijuana? Unfortunately, the limits, burdens and tightening of the rules for doctors and pharmacists to prescribe and dispense pain medication have caused patients’ quality of life to drop. Due to these new rules, patients have been dropped by physicians, denied prescriptions at pharmacies and have been forced to turn to heroin just to attain pain relief. Thousands of people have signed this petition to have some of these rules rescinded so they can get their medications back, to no avail. The reports detailing denials of pain medications were posted to the change.org petition. The reports are heartbreaking. These patients need a replacement therapy after they have been denied prescription opioid analgesics by their physicians and pharmacists. David Jasko Hackensack, NJ Apr 27, 2017 “Tired of being treated as a "drug seeker," when pain medications are requested. Since I have been in chronic pain, 9 of 10 doctors have refused pain medication, leaving me unable to walk 90% of the time.“ Sharron Rishling Las Vegas, NV Apr 27, 2017 “My daughter had had this terrible pain disease CRPS (Chronic Reflex Pain Syndrome) which is disabilitating. She is totally disabled and they are not letting her have her pain medication.“ nathan luse Wyoming, MI May 14, 2017 “I have chronic lower back pain, and chronic pain in my feet, pain meds got taken away, and there is no surgery to fix me. shots have zero effect, had a specialist notarized this. only thing that works and gets me out of bed is medication. Been cut-off since december.” Susan Pare Otisville, MI Feb 1, 2017 “I have been in severe, chronic pain of one form or another since I was two years old. I will be 64+ later this year. There has been almost no time in that period where I have been free of pain. I recall having to beg my doctor to prescribe more than 15 days of Vicodin at a time and that had to last me SIX MONTHS. Granted this was 20 years ago, but suddenly it is like living that time all over again. Surely there must be a happy medium between me and the neighborhood dealer.” Ariel G Baraga, MI Jan 28, 2017 Signing this because I deal with pain everyday that doctors do not help because they think I'm a drug seeking addict. Deborah Palomarios Onaway, MI Jan 2, 2017 I have severe pain. I have had 4 back surgeries. The last two I was only given 10 days of pain meds then no more. Its barbaric! Scott Behler Ann Arbor, MI Dec 18, 2016 Dealing with chronic pain for the last 19 years. I am a restaurant manager by career, and often am walking, standing, for 12 hours a day. Had the ability to manage my pain, and be successful in my position until about a year ago, when my doctor of many years cut me way back, and every time I see him now, directs me to see a different orthopedic or pain management clinic, who continually suggest additional surgeries (I've already had 7 of them, one more painful and longer recovery time than the next), or more injections ( I've had multiple spinal, steroid, cortisone, synvisk, etc., that have worked for very short periods). I understand the issues with recreational usage problems, but let the people who are in legitimate pain and need them to survive get them! Sad when some of us chronic pain patients start thinking about finding street drugs such as heroin just to be able to live a somewhat "normal" life. I've also heard of chronic pain patients that just give up and commit suicide. This is something that my faith would forever restrict me from doing, but I can understand giving up on life because what kind of life is it when you are continually suffering? https://www.change.org/p/congress-ease-the-dea-s-grip-on-doctors-allowing-chronic-pain-patients-to-get-the-medications-we-need
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