Current – Compassion clubs and other medical marijuana distributors should have restrictions on them lifted, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge ruled. To the delight of a packed courtroom in Vancouver, Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg said federal regulations that limit people’s access to medicinal cannabis are “constitutionally invalid” and gave the government a year to amend the rules.
Los Angeles, CA: A University of California researcher who has performed US-government sponsored studies of marijuana and lung function for over 30 years says that pot should be legal.
In an interview with the McClatchy newspaper chain, Donald Tashkin of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, said: “[A]t this point, I’d be in favor of (marijuana) legalization. I wouldn’t encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But I don’t think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes far more harm (than marijuana).”
Tashkin said that when he began his work thirty years ago, he “opposed … legalization because [he] thought it would lead to increased use and that would lead to increased health effects.” However, he now admits that his decades’ worth of scientific research revealed an opposite conclusion.
In 2006, Tashkin led the largest population case-control study ever to assess the use of marijuana and lung cancer risk. The study, which included more than 2,200 subjects (1,212 cases and 1,040 controls), reported that marijuana smoking was not positively associated with cancers of the lung or upper aerodigestive tract – even among individuals who reported smoking more than 22,000 joints during their lifetime.
“What we found instead was no association and even a suggestion of some protective effect,” Tashkin told the newspaper chain, noting that cannabinoids cause “cells [to] die … before they age enough to develop mutations that might lead to cancer.”
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: email@example.com. For more information on marijuana smoke and cancer risk, please see: http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6891. A literature review of cannabinoids’ anti-cancer properties is available at: http://www.norml.org//index.cfm?Group_ID=7008.
Medical Marijuana Advocates Get Calif. DMV Change Qualified Patients No Longer Subject to Arbitrary License Revocation
The ASA legal team saw the fruits of another big victory for patients in March, when the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issued a new policy on driver’s licenses that ends discrimination against state medical marijuana patients.
ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford
As of March 2, the DMV Driver Safety Procedure Manual now says that “use of medicinal marijuana approved by a physician should be handled in the same manner as any other prescription medication which may affect safe driving.” The change means that medical marijuana use now “does not, in itself, constitute grounds for a license withdrawal action,” as it had in the past.
The change in DMV policy stems from a lawsuit filed by ASA on behalf of Rose Johnson, 53, whose driving license was revoked because she uses medical marijuana on the advice of her doctor. Despite having driven for 37 years without an accident or a ticket, the DMV revoked Johnson’s license last July. According to the DMV, Johnson was no longer able to safely operate a motor vehicle “because of…[an] addiction to, or habitual use of, [a] drug.” Their evidence? Her doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana.
ASA filed suit on Johnson’s behalf in November, and DMV announced their new policy in January, before her case was heard. Johnson was given a driving test, which she passed, and DMV reinstated her license.
“The new DMV policy is a significant change,” said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who handled the action. “Drivers will no longer have their licenses suspended or revoked simply because of their status as medical marijuana patients.”
ASA had reports that the DMV had targeted medical marijuana patients in at least eight California counties, including Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Glenn, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, and Sonoma. License suspensions and revocations by the DMV were done under cover of calling the drivers “drug abusers,” though they were based on nothing more than the person’s status as a state-qualified medical marijuana patient.
“This DMV policy change represents a victory for patients, which puts us closer to full implementation of California’s medical marijuana law,” said Elford.
Well Everyone, the green has gone boom alright in many senses… I’m so busy Ihave not had much time to even show up here at the ol’ home page.!