Fresno Medical Marijuana Could Go Up In Smoke | Fresno News – abc30.com.

My favorite quote:

Markhan Kirsten: “One hundred years ago everybody used to use opium for anything that ails you. It’s not an innocent drug.”

Ummm. Yeah, now they use opium derivatives and synthetics instead. Hello? Maybe if people used more cannabis, they’d need less “innocent” morphine and Vicodin.

Georgia Lawmaker Calls For Caning, Executing Marijuana Offenders | NORML Blog.

Great. Next time somebody talks to this guy, ask him whether he would have preferred that Abraham Lincoln and George Washington be executed or just caned.

Then again, this guy being from Georgia, we might not like his answer. Gosh… what a great American. Or something.

Cannabis may prevent osteoporosis | BBC News

The study found that while the drug may reduce bone strength in the young, it could protect against osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones, in later life.

California sprouts ‘green rush’ from marijuana | Yahoo! News.

I feel very strongly that any legalize-and-tax law MUST include an exemption for medical patients.Many are using cannabis because pharmaceutical solutions are either ineffective or more harmful. They would not have to pay taxes on those medications, so medicinal cannabis should not be taxed either.

THAT SAID, I think we all know that only a portion of the “card-holding community” in California actually got their card for a legitimate medical purpose. As long as having a card makes the difference between being arrested and not being arrested, I have always believed it is better to turn a blind eye to the deceit that goes on in the med-rec industry, because the alternative is the arrest and prosecution of innocent, nonviolent people who just want to smoke a freaking bowl after work. Whatever.

But if the referendum passes and any adult can use cannabis recreationally without penalty, what is to stop people from still trying to go that extra mile and get a medical card so they won’t have to pay the tax?

I strongly support Ammiano’s bill over the 2010 referendum. This is not just because of the article I posted earlier today. I am and will always be firmly opposed to the initiative / referendum process unless the proposed law originated in the legislature. Lay-written laws are written by people with 1) hidden or blatant conflicts of interests, and 2) virtually no experience in legislation and no concept (or care) of how these laws will interact with laws already on the books. That’s not to say that politicians don’t have hidden agendas or that they can’t make mistakes – but politicians can be held accountable, and they face consequences if they mess things up. That’s not true of initiative drafters. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Don’t get me wrong – Prop 215 was nice, and all, and I’m pretty sure that was the last initiative that actually did something good for this state – but it was incomplete, and it complicated things.

Ammiano’s bill includes an exemption for medical patients, which the initiative does not, to the best of my knowledge. Still, reform is needed on the patient side as well. If Ammiano’s bill passes, then when current patients’ recs expire, in order to renew they need to be able to show a medical history that would warrant their recommendation. “Pot-doctors” must be required to ask for documentation of diagnoses instead of just taking people’s word when it comes to diagnoses and symptoms.And they need to be barred from charging more than your average primary care practitioner would charge for a cash-rate patient. The more doctors can charge for issuing recs, the more lax they will be on requiring proof.

And general practitioners MUST, MUST, MUST become more willing to write recommendations for their EXISTING patients instead of driving them away, right into the arms of those same “pot-doctors” they will see exactly once a year. Right now my guess is that the customers of “pot doctors” are split between those who are not really sick, and those who cannot ask or are afraid to ask their doctor for a recommendation, even though they already have a diagnosis and are being treated by their primary doctor. College students are included in this group as well. Many student health centers claim they cannot give recommendations because cannabis is not FDA approved. Yet, in my day I knew plenty of student health center doctors who suggested dietary changes, alternative medicine, and herbal supplements. Doctors need to understand the difference between a “prescription” and a “recommendation” so that they will not get caught up in the debate over whether cannabis needs to be approved by the FDA before it’s used for medical purposes. There are millions of herbal supplements out there which are used for medical purposes even though they carry a warning label that they are not approved by the FDA. Cannabis is no different.

Again – tax exemption for medical patients is crucial for a fair and ethical cannabis legalization and taxation process. But it can be neither fair nor ethical as long as recreational users can get medical recs purely for the purpose of tax evasion.

I would love to hear your thoughts on reforming the medical cannabis system.

Oaksterdamn U wants to tax marijuana without limit | Santa Cruz County Drug Policy Examiner

An important perspective on the difference between the potential 2010 cannabis referendum and Tom Ammiano’s AB 390. This is exactly why laws should be written by legislators and not by laypeople.

[In the interest of disclosure, this is a link to one of my other sites.]

URLsell.net | Themed Domain Names For Sale:

There’s a very long list of domains available, with some overlap across categories. I hope you will take a look and contact me if you are interested in purchasing some of the domain names!

L.A. pot dispensaries seek to stay in business by asking to be taxed | Los Angeles Times.

Let’s do it! A cannabis tax won’t save the state but it certainly could help to alleviate this crisis. Next up: HEMP FARMING, DAMMIT!

For what it’s worth, I think the discrepancy between the “$14 billion” and Kleiman’s estimate could come from the difference between street sales and dispensary sales.

Medical marijuana science, through the smoke – Los Angeles Times.

Bottom line: From a purely medical, not political, point of view, my take is that if I had medical problems that other medications did not help and that marijuana might, I’d try it — in vaporized form.

I would really like to see research performed via vaporizing or ingestion, and see if the numbers come up the same regarding breathing problems and exposure to carcinogens.

July 21st, 2009 [General, Medicinal Cannabis ]

Need Medical Marijuana? Yep, iPhone’s Got an App For That | PC World.

All they need now is an app where you hold the phone up to the smoke for 20 seconds and it identifies the strain… =)

Star Tribune | 3 myths about marijuana

The article is great. The comments will make you want to hit people. :-/