This Week In Cannabis 5/9

The Right to Know. The Right to Grow.

Minnesota Puffing Toward Medical Marijuana Legalization

Or are they? Strangely, the bill that recently passed in the State Senate (by a large majority of 48-18), which would legalize medical marijuana, specifically prohibits patients from smoking it. Rather, it has to be ingested in pill, oil, or vapor form.

It is the first state of those that have legalized medical marijuana to make this restriction. The House has yet to agree with the Senate’s bill and as it stands, the House’s alternative bill is looking to stop patients from carrying “raw crude marijuana” for medical use.

A Growing Concern

State law and federal law regarding medical marijuana have collided in rural Washington where the Harvey’s, a family who are legally using and growing medical marijuana under Washington state law, are in federal hot water.

Despite being in compliance with the state mandated law, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington is charging each family member with six felonies including manufacturing, possession and distribution of marijuana, as well as the possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. The litany of charges can carry sentences upwards of 40 years to life if the maximum penalty is imposed.

This tack is being taken despite Attorney General Eric Holder asking prosecutors not to adopt mandatory minimum sentences when charging nonviolent drug crimes, as well as not to go after sick users complying with state law.

There might be some good news, however, as there is move by a group of eight congressmen to introduce an appropriations bill amendment banning the use of federal funds in prosecuting cases like that of the Harvey’s.  Hopefully this bill will help protect patients who simply want safe, legal access to medicine.

Blown Off

Apparently Texas is OK with large groups of people showing up on state buildings’ steps and openly partaking. In fact, they were so okay with it the event didn’t even make the news.

A 2,000-strong protest, organized by the Dallas-Fort Worth NORML chapter, recently gathered as part of a nationwide marijuana march on a Fort Worth Courthouse to show their displeasure with local marijuana prohibition. Despite public consumption, with local law enforcement looking on, none of the major traditional news outlets deemed it newsworthy enough to cover. Maybe it just didn’t cut it as a Texas-sized story.

Clouding Judgment

Marijuana experts, the Weather Channel, have weighed in on marijuana and its uses, offering up 15 Shocking Facts You Don’t Know About Weed.

The craziest fact, and one sure to sway the different legalization and deregulation debates raging around the country, is that pigs in Bhutan eat the naturally growing plant. Taking note, a Washington state farmer started feeding it to his pigs to “infuse” flavor and also to try and fatten them up by giving them the munchies. Mind- blowing…

Other shocking truths includes no one has overdosed on marijuana and that mice who can get their paws on low doses of THC might not suffer long term cognitive damage related to injury from lack of oxygen, seizure or toxic drug. Yet, nowhere amidst these fun facts was there mention about the actual shocking decision by the federal government to relax its stance on the Schedule I substance, allowing studies into potential benefits of marijuana use on humans.