Above: A Higher Standard Chris Van Hook inspects an outdoor California medical garden. Crop certification programs and rising industry standards are helping to ensure cannabis integrity. Story in Science and Horticulture.
New position calls on DEA to look at rescheduling cannabis
By Kris Hermes Americans for Safe Access
The largest physician-based group in the country, the American Medical Association (AMA), voted Nov. 10 to reverse its long-held position that cannabis has no medical value. The AMA adopted a report drafted by its Council on Science and Public Health (CSAPH) entitled Use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes which affirmed the plant’s therapeutic benefits and called for further research.
The report concluded that “short-term controlled trials indicate that smoked cannabis reduces neuropathic pain, improves appetite and caloric intake especially in patients with reduced muscle mass, and may relieve spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis. The report urges
Read More: AMA now recognizes medical marijuana
By Stephen Gutwillig, Drug Policy Alliance*
CAPITOL IDEA — Proposed AB 390, sponsored by California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (at podium) to establish legal and regulated adult use of cannabis, was kicked off at a Oct. 28 press conference and committee hearing in Sacramento. From left to right: Rev. Mary Moreno Richardson, Allen Hopper of ACLU, Drug Policy Alliance staff attorney Tamar Todd, Cal NORML Director Dale Gieringer, Tom Ammiano, Aaron Smith of Marijuana Policy Project, and Steve Gutwillig, California State Director of DPA. Photo by Mikki Norris WEST COAST LEAF
Many Americans are following the escalating rhetoric over proliferating medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles. The Obama administration’s Oct. 19 announcement that the federal government will consider state laws got even more attention.
Around the same time, another kind of cannabis news was made in Sacramento. The Assembly Public Safety Committee convened an unprecedented public
Read More: Ammiano hearing marks a historic shift
HEMPSTALK FASHION —
The Portland Hempstalk Festival boasted its first hemp fashion and live art show at Kelley Point Park in Portland, Oregon. The show was a colorful success and is now scheduled to become an annual part of Hempstalk. Titled Hemp SIlk at Hempstalk, it was co-emceed by Pony Boy of Los Marijuanos and Angela of Sea of Green Art and featured hemp clothing by a number of designers including UrbAge Designs by Scott Gordon, the Hempstalk Vending Coordinator. Photos courtesy of Angela Fairless
By Anthony Papa, Drug Policy Alliance*
October 7, 2009 was an historic date for New York; Rockefeller Drug Law reforms kicked in, setting in motion the release of 1,500 low-level, nonviolent drug offenders. The new law restores judicial discretion to judges, who can again decide if people should get treatment for addiction instead of a jail cell. I went to Brooklyn’s Supreme Court and attended a public event to mark the milestone. The courtroom was full of activists, politicians and service providers who have been working for years to make this reform happen.
As an activist who has felt the sting of the Rockefeller laws firsthand — serving 12 years under a 15-years-to-life sentence for a first-time, nonviolent offense — I understand the full meaning of these changes. For years the Rockefeller Drug Laws became a political hot potato that was thoroughly debated, but nothing was ever done. Bills
Read More: New York drops ‘the Rock’– Rockefeller penalties
By Charmie Gholson, LEAP Staff Writer
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition staffer Tom Angell asked US Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske his thoughts last June on the recent discussion on drug legalization. He replied, “As regards to legalization, it’s not in the president’s vocabulary and it’s not in mine.” Four months later, a Washington Post op-ed by two prominent LEAP speakers, both Baltimore police veterans, garnered a response from Kerlikowske.
“Recently … members of a group called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition published an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for the legalization of drugs. They claimed that legalization would increase officer safety,” he wrote. Kerlikowske then quoted a letter by the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police, which the Post did not publish. “It’s increasingly difficult for the ‘drug czar’ to keep legalization out of his vocabulary when so many prominent people — especially police officers who have risked their lives
Read More: ‘Legalize’ inches its way into national dialogue
By Dale Gieringer, California NORML
The online payment company PayPal has shown that it is no pal of medical marijuana. It cut off service to California NORML for accepting listing fees at canorml.org from cannabis-recommending physicians.
PayPal first froze the NORML account in June, when it complained that on-line payments were being collected for listing fees by patient collectives. Paypal cited its Acceptable Use Policy: “You may not use PayPal in the purchase or sale of narcotics.” Although narcotics were not being sold through the NORML Web site, it reluctantly agreed to stop accepting payments from dispensaries, since they are against federal law. However, it continued to accept payments from doctors, attorneys and members, plus merchandise orders.
Afterwards, PayPal told Cal NORML that it was terminating the account because NORML continued to accept listing fees from cannabis physicians.
Under a federal court ruling upheld by the Supreme Court (Conant
Read More: PayPal is no pal of reform
By Tamar Todd, Drug Policy Alliance Staff Attorney
With the passage of Prop 215, California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use. Many believed it would be a symbolic gesture; that in the face of federal government efforts to criminalize all use, state-based efforts to relax the law would never work. Now 12 states have followed this lead and have proved it to be a sensible approach that worked.
California once again appears poised to lead a serious move toward ending prohibition with a regulatory system. Some legislators and law enforcement officials still question whether it is possible for the state to legalize adult use in the face of federal law. The answer is the same one as 13 years ago when California led the way with prop. 215 — a simple, unqualified yes.
Opponents of reform typically raise a laundry list of constitutional provisions in an
Read More: California’s use of states’ rights changed the world
Regarding the Autumn 2009 issue of West Coast Leaf, Keith Stephenson was shown in the front page photo. Also, Steele Smith is not allowed to argue a “medical defense” per se in federal court, he simply will be allowed to explain in his own testimony on the stand that he grew for collective medical purposes.
The West Coast Leaf™ is a free speech publication owned and operated by Creative Xpressions. ISSN 1945-211X. Business license EC08-0002765. WCL fosters a socio-political community by providing photos, news, directories, features, and regional information for our readers. We invite your submissions and advertising. The Leaf supports tolerance and maintains that cannabis sales and cultivation should and will be legal for adult consumption. Special thanks to John Thomas Ellis and Jackie G. Wilson for their editorial assistance.
Chris Conrad, executive editor
Mikki Norris, managing editor PO Box 21106, El Sobrante CA 94820 WestCoastLeaf.com • 510-275-9311 Vol 2
Read More: Setting the record straight
Along with a much-needed policy change presented Oct. 19 by a more receptive White House, the year 2009 also saw an upswing in positive media, record high poll numbers on support for legalization — and record numbers of marijuana arrests around the country.
Now is the time to look ahead. We thank President Obama for his steps towards justice, but urge him to go further by issuing clemencies for cannabis POWs, backing Rep. Barney Frank’s decrim and hemp bills, and ordering the DEA to reschedule cannabis. NIDA should recognize that cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco and act on the AMA’s call for research. An election year, 2010 promises to be a pivotal time with vast potential for change. California voters may pass the TaxCananabis2010 initiative to allow adults to legally possess an ounce and grow a small, personal garden, and to allow cities and counties to tax
Read More: A new year brings high hopes
Los Angeles DA Steve Cooley, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, San Diego DA Bonnie Dumanis, Mendocino DA Meredith Lintott and other law enforcement officials stand figuratively on the courthouse steps blocking justice to the lawful cannabis community, with the secretive California Narcotics Officers Assn. pushing them. They remind us of Gov. George Wallace on the Birmingham, AL school house steps in 1963, wielding an axe in a futile effort to deny basic rights to Black children, backed by Sheriff “Bull” Connor and the secretive Ku Klux Klan. Prejudice is as ugly and offensive today as it was 47 years ago, and violating people’s rights under color of law is now a crime. It’s time for corrupt officials to follow laws that voters and legislators pass — or face grand jury prosecutions and Title 52 civil lawsuits . . . and be tossed into the trash bin of history.
By Samuel Janovici
Whether growing indoors or out, winter is a time for reflection and review. It’s a time to take stock of successes and correct past mistakes. Also, it’s the perfect time to learn and investigate new technologies. One should look hard at whether the process has maximized plant potential or squandered opportunities to perfect the craft.
Since there is no single-way to grow, gardeners must seek to understand all the modalities available to form a perfect union. Some believe in organics only. Still others think the right chemicals can produce any desired effect. Many have blended those techniques and have come up with ways to minimize the downside of chemical nutrition by supplementing with organic soils and natural fertilizers.
A few adherents practice on the cutting edge. One such grower was at this year’s NORML Conference, Kyle Kushman, the author of Veganics: Beyond Organics for Medical Marijuana.
Read More: A time for reflection . . . and indoor gardening