Federal Interference with State 

Medical Cannabis Programs Costs Millions


Since states began adopting medical cannabis laws in 1996, the federal government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars interfering with the implementation of patient programs, according to report released by ASA last month.


The report, What's the Cost? The Federal War on Patients, details how the Department of Justice (DOJ) over three presidential administrations has expended nearly half a billion dollars to investigate, raid, arrest, prosecute, and imprison hundreds of medical marijuana patients and their providers. The report reveals that President Obama, despite his repeated pledges to not use DOJ funds to interfere with state programs, has dedicated nearly $300 million to an extensive crackdown on medical cannabis, including at least 270 SWAT-style raids at a cost to taxpayers of more than $8 million. In 2011 and 2012, the DEA spent 4% of its budget on enforcement activities targeting medical cannabis patients or providers.


The ASA report is part of the Peace for Patients campaign recently launched by ASA that shows Congress the cost, in both monetary and human terms, of continuing current policy. The report highlights the stories of


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Help Free Lori
Medical Cannabis Activist Twists Slowly in the Wind Awaiting Trial

Lori Duckworth is a Medical Cannabis Activist under attack.  She has earned this dubious honor by virtue of being so successful in helping people as she brings about change in the area that she has drawn the attention and ire of local Prohibitionists.  As a result she is awaiting trial on some two dozen charges related to Drug Dealing.


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Cultivating Local Medical Cannabis Systems Is the Way Forward - by Sunil Kumar Aggarwal


The message that the public receives from the American federal government -- specifically the DEA -- when it's petitioned to recognize marijuana's utility as a medicinal agent is that it cannot do so because marijuana lacks approval from the Food and Drug Administration for any indication. Nevermind scores of other botanicals are routinely used in standard mainstream medical practice such as aloe vera, saw palmetto, tea tree oil, Witch-hazel(main ingredient in Tuck's


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How Safe is Medicinal Cannabis? - David Bearman, M.D.


With cannabis poised to be legal for medicinal use in a twentieth state, it is timely to review the safety and side effect profile of cannabis.  Side Effects vs. Therapeutic Effects (Safety)

When considering the clinical use of a therapeutic agent, physicians approach the decision to use any medication by comparing the therapeutic effects to the side effects.


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Study: Marijuana Smoking Not Associated With Airway Cancers, COPD, Emphysema, Or Other Tobacco-Related Pulmonary Complications

 - Paul Armentano


Pulmonary complications associated with the regular smoking of cannabis are "relatively small" and far lower than those associated with tobacco smoking, according to a recent review published in the June edition of the scientific journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society.


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 * Volume 10, Issue 8  *  August  * 2013  *  www.MercyCenters.org  *


*  The MERCY News * 





The MERCY News Report is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit project to record and broadcast news, announcements and information about medical cannabis in Oregon, across America and around the World.


For more information about the MERCY News, contact us.


Via Snail Mail:

The MERCY News

1745 Capital St. NE, Salem, Ore., 97301






Or our WWW page:


Check it out!



MERCY On The Tube!

in Salem, Oregon area thru Capital Community Television, Channel 23.   Call In – 503.588-6444 - on Friday at 7pm, or See us on Wednesdays at 06:30pm, Thursdays at 07:00pm, Fridays at 10:30pm and Saturdays at 06:00pm. Visit –



About MERCY – The Medical Cannabis Resource Center


MERCY is a non-profit, grass roots organization founded by patients, their friends and family and other compassionate and concerned citizens in the area and is dedicated to helping and advocating for those involved with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP). MERCY is based in the Salem, Oregon area and staffed on a volunteer basis.


The purpose is to get medicine to patients in the short-term while working with them to establish their own independent sources. To this end we provide, among other things, ongoing education to people and groups organizing clinics and other Patient Resources, individual physicians and other healthcare providers about the OMMP, cannabis as medicine and doctor rights in general.


The mission of the organization is to help people and change the laws.   We advocate reasonable, fair and effective marijuana laws and policies, and strive to educate, register and empower voters to implement such policies.   Our philosophy is one of teaching people to fish, rather than being dependent upon others. 


Want to get your Card?  Need Medicine Now?  Welcome to The Club! MERCY – the Medical Cannabis Resource Center hosts Mercy Club Meetings every Wednesday at -  1745 Capital Street NE, Salem, 97301 – from 7pm to 9pm to help folks get their card, network patients to medicine, assist in finding a grower or getting to grow themselves, or ways and means to medicate along other info and resources depending on the issue.  visit – www.MercyCenters.org - or Call 503.363-4588 for more.


The Doctor is In ... Salem! * MERCY is Educating Doctors on signing for their Patients; Referring people to Medical Cannabis Consultations when their regular care physician won't sign for them; and listing all Clinics around the state in order to help folks Qualify for the OMMP and otherwise Get their Cards.  For our Referral Doc in Salem, get your records to – 1745 Capital Street NE, Salem, 97301, NOTE: There is a $25 non-refundable deposit required.  Transportation and Delivery Services available for those in need.  For our Physician Packet to educate your Doctor, or a List of Clinics around the state, visit – www.MercyCenters.org - or Call 503.363-4588 for more.


Other Medical Cannabis Resource NetWork Opportunities for Patients as well as CardHolders-to-be.  * whether Social meeting, Open to public –or- Cardholders Only * visit:  http://mercycenters.org/events/Meets.html    ! Also Forums - a means to communicate and network on medical cannabis in Portland across Oregon and around the world.  A list of Forums, Chat Rooms, Bulletin Boards and other Online Resources for the Medical Cannabis Patient, CareGiver, Family Member, Patient-to-Be and Other Interested Parties.  *  Resources > Patients (plus) > Online > Forums  *  Know any?  Let everybody else know!  Visit:  http://mercycenters.org/orgs/Forums.html   and Post It!

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Volume 10, Issue 8  *  August  * 2013





MEDICAL CANNABIS PROGRAMS COSTS MILLIONS, page 1 >  some of those who have been singled out by the federal government, such as Michigan organ-transplant recipient Jerry Duval, who surrendered to federal authorities last month. His 10-year prison sentence will cost taxpayers more than $1 million due to his serious medical conditions. His son Jeremy has also been sentenced to federal prison for helping patients under Michigan law, and the government is seizing the farm that has been theirs for generations, devastating the family. There were no allegations that the Duvals violated Michigan's medical marijuana law.


The seizure of the Duval family farm is not an isolated incident. The Obama Administration has aggressively targeted the property of patients, their providers, and the landlords who lease to licensed medical cannabis businesses. Hundreds of letters from U.S. Attorneys threatening asset forfeiture and criminal prosecution have shut more than 500 dispensaries in California, Colorado and Washington state. At least another 100 letters were sent to landlords in California during the preparation of the report. The Obama Administration has brought as many as 30 asset forfeiture lawsuits involving medical cannabis, three times as many as the two previous administrations combined, at a cost of more than $10 million. Federal law allows the government to seize property without charging or convicting anyone of a crime.


ASA’s report includes recommendations for Congress, such as amending an appropriations bill to prevent DOJ funds from being spent on enforcing federal marijuana laws against anyone in compliance with state medical cannabis programs. The report also calls for the compassionate release of medical marijuana patients currently serving prison sentences, as well as the passage of HR 689, federal legislation that would reclassify marijuana for medical use.


More information:

 ASA report on the costs of federal interference > http://americansforsafeaccess.org/downloads/WhatsTheCost.pdf

 Source material behind the numbers > http://www.americansforsafeaccess.org/whatsthecostreportestimates

 ASA's Peace for Patients campaign > http://peace4patients.org/

 California NORML report on DOJ enforcement > http://www.canorml.org/costs/Nearly_500_Years_Prison_Time_for_Medical_Marijuana_Offenses




California NORML contributed to ASA's "What's the Cost?" report and produced a related report showing the number of people prosecuted and imprisoned as a result of the Justice Department's enforcement efforts. Their report shows the war on medical cannabis has resulted in 332 people being charged with federal crimes, with 158 of them receiving prison sentences totaling more than 490 years.



<continued from HELP FREE LORI, page 1 >    ( See - Seventy (70) Drug Warriors Goose-Step Across Oregon in Crusade against Medical Cannabis Activists While 911 Dispatcher Tells Woman About To Be Sexually Assaulted There Are No Cops To Help Her Due To Budget Cuts and the stories, below)  They’ve raided this very public, unarmed and harmless person with a SWAT team mentality with the purpose of prejudicing the case and to bully and intimidate any potential witnesses; they shut down her place, denying her patients their medicine; split up her and her husband, and otherwise stripped this poor woman of any and all support she may have and STILL they keep piling it on.  They’ve spared no expense so far and boasted in the Media their intention to continue to do so.  See stories, below.


And, it isn’t going to be a fair trail by any stretch of the imagination.  It will be a process of them lying and, through legal technicalities disallowing any rebuttal of said lies.  They will make it a matter of the accused having to prove they didn’t do anything wrong, to prove they are innocent.  The exact opposite of the purported deal of innocent until proven guilty that We, the People, originally set up.


That’s the playing field the state has set up for “Queenpin” Lori.  Using power given to them to fight Cartels and real Drug Lords, who must surely be laughing their cuticles off as they plant more gardens and head down to the school yard to do more peddling while the Prohibitionists go after Lori.


What Can We Do?


Protest the Waste!  Tell Everybody You Know and then Everybody You Don’t Know … Yet.  Talk it up amongst family, friends, co-workers and neighbors.  Write to … Everybody: starting with Elected Officials - Legislators, Judges, DAs, Police Chiefs – and then Newspapers, Forums – LTEs, Blogs and such.


Organize and Event to Raise Funds and Awareness.


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*  The MERCY News * 




<continued from previous page>   Prepare to attend every hearing and court date, in force – proper and with class, but firm; bringing and being the Media to further get her story out.


Do your best to educate potential Jurors as to their ability to Nullify this Nonsense.  It would be so great to have the whole if not majority of the jury pool mutiny during voir dire and set Lori free.


Donate to Lori’s Defense.  Contact via e-Mail >> sonorml@gmail.com


Volunteer at the Center, help her Patients.  Or closest equivalent.


Protest the Wrong!  Prepare to de-elect, de-fund and otherwise dis-empower the Prohibitionists – and we mean down to the Judges, DAs, Police Chiefs level - that have now exposed themselves by ganging up on this good person for purely political purposes – at our expense.  Contrast this true victim of the Drug War versus the wasteful, self-and-Special-Interest-serving Bullies on a power trip.  Be advised you just may spark real change in your area and beyond.


Guerilla Activism made Easy.  |  How?  Lotsa ways. NETWORK and Spread The Word, both On-Line and Off (!) ON-LINE, You can tell everybody in cyber-space by e-mailing a link to this website to them and/or (OFF-LINE> printing off this info and handing out where possible / necessary. Also phone call and read off and/or visit and hand deliver the info. You can take literature with you and approach businesses, organizations and even people on the street while you're out and about. Wear your pot-leaf shirt and register voters, as feasible. Gather signatures for any related petitions that are happening at the time as well. 


Displaying signage at street corners and over-passes (wear trenchcoat, fedora and sunglasses if afraid of exposure), and/or anonymously leaving literature and posting on-line at places where people are likely to find it. Coffeeshops are good places to leave printed material and you can go to the websites of the local newspapers to post items as well.


Distribute “Free Lori”-oriented medical cannabis brochures and other literature to your friends, family, local leaders and elected officials in an effort to educate the public and garner support. Educate your community by Printing, posting and handing out Flyers and other Printables in a mall, coffee shop, laundromat, college campus, lamp post, telephone poll, business window



(ask first), hospital, or anywhere people will see them.  If you're a talk radio listener, call in and express support for Lori and medical cannabis law reform. Even if the subject being discussed isn't explicitly about marijuana, many related issues can be a springboard for talking up Lori’s case and the Issue.


ACTIVATE. Facilitate Meetings and Meet-Ups in order to accomplish all the above as well as Gather Contact Info and Get people involved, especially to ORGANIZE -and- EVENT, See above.  Visit - http://www.so-norml.org/ - for more on SO-NORML.


Read more … and Spread the Word! >


* New Bill Legalizes Pot Shops | KOBI-TV NBC5 / KOTI-TV NBC2 >  Months after Medford police arrested Lori Duckworth for allegedly selling marijuana, a law is passed that her attorney says could have saved the years she might face behind bars.  Today is a huge day for people on the war against drugs," says Rosas.  Justin Rosas is Duckworth's attorney, he says even though his client is still in trouble, she's celebrating for others today.  "This is something they've hoped to champion for some time."  It'll be interesting to see how it affects the state prosecution."  >  http://www.kobi5.com/news/local-news/item/new-bill-legalizes-pot-shops.html


* Political Prosecutions Continue, Despite - or, even Because Of! - Legislation Allowing Medical Marijuana Retail Outlets | Two Oregon prosecutors say they are moving forward with criminal cases against people accused of selling medical marijuana at retail outlets, despite passage of a bill July 6 allowing such establishments to exist with state blessing. "This conduct was against the law at the time people committed the crime," said Bracken McKey, a senior deputy district attorney in Washington County. "We are expected to hold people accountable." Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris said his office also will continue its prosecution of an outstanding dispensary case from last year.  >>  http://www.mercycenters.org/news/2013/Political_Prosecutions_Continue.html


* Racketeering, other new charges filed in medical marijuana cases  |  Three people arrested in a series of medical marijuana dispensary raids will face racketeering and other new charges.  >> http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130617/NEWS07/306170342



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Volume 10, Issue 8  *  August   * 2013




<continued from previous page>  * Marijuana Legalization Activists – SONORML – Evicted | By the stroke of midnight this Sunday evening, Lori and Leland Duckworth, the couple that runs SONORML (Southern Oregon chapter for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) will be kicked to the curb from the building they have rented for the past four years, without incident. Evicted… no longer welcome.  >>  http://www.marijuana.com/news/2013/07/marijuana-legalization-activists-sonorml-evicted/


* In the weeds, Marijuana dispensary raids put state laws under the spotlight  | MailTribune.com >  A gaunt, anxiety-ridden Lori Duckworth spent Thursday cleaning the room where she stored and doled out medical marijuana to patients seeking relief from various ailments for the past five years.  She did this knowing there's a chance she will never run a medical cannabis dispensary again.   "If I'm convicted on all these charges, I will probably spend the rest of my life in prison," Duckworth said.  >>  http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130609/NEWS/306090318


* Southern Oregon Medical Marijuana Raids Were A Waste Of Tax Payer Resources | Carrying out raids, to make marijuana look scary or to discredit medical marijuana activists, is one of the few tools law enforcement has left in this civil rights ... The Medford Mail Tribune Editorial Board commented on the harsh treatment suffered by the Duckworths, stating, “it’s fair to say local police agencies displayed an excess of zeal”:  “After a two-year investigation, police could have raided the storefronts on any day they chose. The operations clearly weren’t going anywhere.  But police chose to make the arrests the day before a state furlough day, when the courts were closed, which in turn preceded a three-day weekend. With bail for the defendants set as high as $550,000, that meant they likely would spend at least four days in jail before a bail hearing could be held.


On Tuesday, a Jackson County Circuit judge refused to reduce the bail amounts. It wasn’t until Thursday that a second judge agreed to drastically reduced bail amounts — a full week after the arrests. This in a jail where people accused of more serious crimes are set free on a daily basis.”  Once again, the Medford Mail Tribune, as the publication has done a great job reporting on this case:  The raids occurred as lawmakers are set



to consider a bill that would increase state and city regulation of marijuana dispensaries.House Bill 3460 is expected to reach both the House and Senate floors for votes, according to its co-sponsor, Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland.  “One police officer can then walk into a dispensary and see if it is within the regulations,” Buckley said. “The idea that we have law enforcement spending two years in these raids that happened is an incredible waste. >>  http://www.theweedblog.com/southern-oregon-medical-marijuana-raids-were-a-waste-of-tax-payer-resources/


* Oregon MMJ Raids a Bigger Priority than Stopping Rapes |  More than 70 law enforcement officers participated in raids against Lori Duckworth and other medical marijuana providers, but no officer could assist a woman who called 911 begging for help. ... how to move from being an activist to an ... >>  http://www.thecompassionchronicles.com/2013/05/26/oregon-medical-marijuana-raids-a-bigger-priority-than-stopping-rapes/


* Another Oregon medical marijuana advocate faces drug case | MEDFORD -- Lori Duckworth wasn't one to hide her marijuana activism. She was a regular at legislative hearings on medical marijuana bills. She operated a downtown storefront where thousands of dues-paying southern Oregon patients got cannabis.  >>   http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2013/05/another_oregon_medical_marijua.html


* Oregon Raids on Patient Resource Centers Target Activists for Medical Marijuana |  Lori Duckworth, Leland Duckworth, Dave Bond, Michael Schannom, Chelsea Hopkins and Jill Tanner were arrested in Oregon in a coordinated search warrant execution targeting the medical marijuana resource centers.  Lori Duckworth, Leland Duckworth, Dave Bond and Michael Schanno were arrested in Southern Oregon (SO-NORML); Chelsea Hopkins and Jill Tanner (The Greener Side) were arrested in Eugene according to ... >>  http://www.weedist.com/quicklink/oregon-raids-on-patient-resource-centers-target-activists-for-medical-marijuana/


* Southern Oregon NORML Activist Lori Duckworth Arrested Documentary | So Oregon Activist Lori Duckworth Arrested Documentary Medical ...


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*  The MERCY News * 




<continued from previous page>   Harvesting Medical Marijuana 2 Drying & Curing .mpg by MMMReport >>  www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsKIlpJNVXU  << 


Save Our Soul – Lori Duckworth Facing Life in Prison for Medical Marijuana | Lori Duckworth is a medicinal marijuana activist who is facing life in prison for giving away free medicinal marijuana to sick people.  >>  http://undergrounddocumentaries.com/save-our-soul-lori-duckworth-facing-life-in-prison-for-medical-marijuana/ -and-   http://banoosh.com/blog/2013/06/07/save-our-soul-lori-duckworth-facing-life-in-prison-for-medical-marijuana/


* Southern Oregon Justice? | National Cannabis Coalition > Recently, I blogged about the recent wasteful and harmful raids in Southern Oregon and am happy to update NCC readers with the news that all of those accused have finally been released from jail. The judge that set bail for David Bond and Lori & Lee Duckworth at over a half a million dollars a piece recused himself and a new judge reduced their bail. Unfortunately, Lori and Lee Duckworth are unable to have any contact with each other, the first time they have been apart for any significant amount of time in over two decades of marriage. Oregon activists have rallied around the Duckworths who have been unnecessarily targeted and treated badly, most likely because of their political activism. - Read more at: http://nationalcannabiscoalition.com/2013/06/southern-oregon-justice/#sthash.bmNTFTh8.dpuf


* Raids On Patient Resource Centers Target Activists For Medical Marijuana  |  Duckworth are long-time medical marijuana ... medical marijuana cards. Lori ... >>  http://www.examiner.com/article/raids-on-patient-resource-centers-target-activists-for-medical-marijuana


* DEA Raids Medical Marijuana Gardens in Oregon | Lori Duckworth, executive director of the Southern Oregon chapter of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, or SONORML, said DEA agents pulled 17 plants from a garden and are seeking a warrant to search the owner’s home in Ashland.  “The garden is on Tolo Road and it had been harvested,” Duckworth said.


“There were around 198 plants there, but after harvest there was only around 17 left.”  Duckworth said the cleaned and dried marijuana was at the grower’s home. The DEA searched his house and found some marijuana drying.  The DEA is seeking



to search his business.  “They asked him for consent to search his business but he did not consent,” Duckworth said. “But they were seeking a warrant at the time the grower was in my office today.”  The grower came to SONORML seeking advice on where to turn, Duckworth. She said the man is among several local growers who are disturbed by the recent raids.  “People are scared,” Duckworth said. “This is week four, the fourth raid in a row.”  The raid came one day after SONORML and its supporters staged a protest in downtown Medford decrying the raids.  “I guess they didn’t get the message,” Duckworth said. “All this is doing is leaving disabled people without their medicine.”  >>   http://420medicated.com/2011/dea-raids-medical-marijuana-gardens-in-oregon/

* Feds Shut Down Oregon Medical Marijuana Farm  |  Lori Duckworth, a medical marijuana activist who lives in Josephine County and works at a medical marijuana resource center in Medford, Oregon, said she was en route to Bowman’s operation to protest the federal government’s action.  “I am not on my way here to support James Bowman or High Hopes Farm,” she said. “I am here to protest if they seize any of the patients’ medicine.”  “These patients are now losing their medicine.”  Duckworth said she was not surprised by the crackdown on High Hopes.  “He was so large and so frank and so open about his operation that at some point he would be a target,” she said.   The feds are probably hoping the raids send a message to others to close up shop.  >>  http://www.thcfinder.com/marijuana-blog/medical-marijuana/2012/09/feds-shut-down-oregon-medical-marijuana-farm


* Hemp News - Hemp.Org, Campaign for the Hemp > Medical marijuana activist Lori Duckworth, 48, and her husband, Leland Duckworth, 49, on Thursday were raided at the Southern Oregon ... >>  hemp.org/news/category/cannabis/lori-duckworth


* Oregon: Medical Cannabis Advocate Accused of Selling |  Medical marijuana activist Lori Duckworth, 48, and her husband, Leland Duckworth, 49, on Thursday were raided at a downtown Medford storefront where thousands of ... >>  http://hemp.org/news/content/oregon-medical-cannabis-advocate-accused-selling-marijuana  * KDRV 12 - Medical Marijuana


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Volume 10, Issue 8  *  August   * 2013




<continued from previous page>  Suspects in Court | KDRV > Three of the four people arrested in a recent raid on medical marijuana storefronts ... Lori Duckworth says it has been ... and the other cannabis activists. >>  www.kdrv.com/medical-marijuana-suspects-in-court



<continued from CULTIVATING LOCAL MEDICAL CANNABIS SYSTEMS IS THE WAY FORWARD, page 1 >     pads), etc., without having achieved FDA-approval for any condition. Many doctors and patients prefer to use such medicinal plants for their superior side effect profile, low cost, and efficacy, and nobody is raising a huge fuss over this.


A number of years ago, however, the DEA decided to allow industrial, mass-produced, highly standardized marijuana produced by a British pharmaceutical company to be brought into the United States for a series of large clinical trials with the goal of getting the highly standardized marijuana product FDA-approved for interstate marketing. Since the company, GW Pharmaceuticals, has already won approvals from the national drug agencies of over 20 other countries, it is very likely that they would be able to do so in the U.S. With the company's stock now being traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange, it is clear that the company's fortunes and size, like the cannabis plants in their English greenhouses, are growing taller day-by-day.


What is interesting about this is that the DEA and former American Drug Czar office staffers who have been hired to tout the company have revealed a very core fact about what types of marijuana cultivation and utilization for medicinal purposes will be endorsed, supported, and financially rewarded and what types will be opposed, stymied, and criminally prosecuted. In this age of global warming and economic deprivation, what is being fostered by the DEA is the old industrial model of medicine: mass production, standardization, and monopoly production, allowing only a handful of employees of a single company the privilege to privately cultivate cumulatively thousands upon thousands of marijuana-cannabis plants, the starting seeds for which were obtained from a rich Dutch seedbank which had collected deposits from around the world.


The company's R&D program has brought a liquid carbon dioxide whole-plant extraction made from two cannabis strains, one high in THC and the other high in CBD, to American states that lack any kind of medical marijuana laws and allowed select patients with severe pain due to cancer the chance to utilize this marijuana when enrolled as part of a research study. The results of their studies do indeed show, in large, multicenter, randomized placebo-controlled trials -- exactly the kind that DEA says do not exist -- that marijuana works. At the same time, as more and more states attempt to


move forward with establishing their own local systems of cannabis production for medical purposes -- systems that have the potential to create local self-sufficiency for producing and supplying cannabis at reasonable cost and even empowering patients to be able to produce their own medicine through gardening -- the response from the DEA and DOJ is selective arrests, raids, intimidation, and asset forfeiture, resulting in increasingly restrictive laws, many of which now disallow patient cultivation and unfairly restrict eligible patient populations. Moreover, these laws allow no opportunities to support research and development to further improve cannabis medicines, mainly because of federal restrictions.


They do, however, give some patients needed relief, many of whom cannot and should not have to wait indefinitely for the federal solution to "the medical marijuana problem." Some apologists for the federal control model suggest that patients who have shown clear benefit from locally produced medical cannabis, such as those with severe neurological disorders documented by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN, be switched to some future pharmaceuticalized cannabis or to a federal supply of cannabis, such as from the federal farm in Mississippi, which supplies only four patients today who are grandfathered into a now-closed program. In other words, these apologists would tamper with a locally developed solution that is clearly successfully working for patients in order to preserve centralized control of cannabis production.


Why is the federal government not fostering local medicinal cannabis systems, and instead choosing to support the top-down, one-supplier model? Following the recommendations of the American Herbal Products Associations, we need to be decentralizing medical cannabis. This is the only way to ensure that most who need it will be able to access it at a reasonable cost and that discovery and innovation can be optimized. There is nothing inherently amiss with cannabis-based pharmaceutical production, but the operation of such industry and its eventual product approval should not be allowed to exclude or impede general medicinal access to the class of organic botanicals from which such preparations are ultimately derived.


If people understood that this decision to allow only 'the few' to legitimately produce cannabis rather than 'the many' was being made on their behalf, perhaps they would be compelled to stand up for a right that is essential for all: to farm and cultivate members of the Plant Kingdom in your locality.  About the Author - Sunil Kumar Aggarwal is Associate Member of the New York Academy of Medicine, Senior Resident Physician at Large Academic Medical Center in New York City; GET UPDATES FROM SUNIL KUMAR AGGARWAL, visit - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sunil-kumar-aggarwal/local-medical-cannabis_b_3782901.html



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<continued from CULTIVATING HOW SAFE IS MEDICINAL CANNABIS?, page 1 >    In considering recommending cannabis for therapeutic use, a physician applies the same factors as one would consider when giving patients any medical advice and/or writing any prescription. One must weigh the side effects vs. therapeutic effects, listen to the patient’s previous experience with medication for their condition, and factor in other medical conditions the patient has. We balance the agent’s side effects against its therapeutic effects.


Cannabis has a tremendous advantage over prescription drug options because it has a much safer side effect profile. It is a well known fact that no one, man, woman or child, has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. The scientific literature documents, that the safety and side effect profile of cannabis is amazing. That is why the DEA, in the person of Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis Young, found after a two-year rescheduling hearing in 1988, that cannabis is "one of the safest therapeutic agents known to man."


"In strict medical terms, marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating ten raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. [...] Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care." 1
Chief DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young in September 1988, after reviewing all the evidence on rescheduling cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II.


In their federally funded seminal 1999 report the Institute of Medicine concluded that while "marijuana is not a completely benign substance," that "except for the harms associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range of effects tolerated for other medications." 2 These side effects include the occasional dysphoria and the even rarer panic attacks. This is most likely to occur in novice users or with a high dose of THC and low dose of CBD.


NOTE: As it turns out, according to a NIDA funded study done by Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA, the harms associated with smoking are cough, increased sputum production and bronchial irritation. He found that cannabis smokers have a lower chance of getting lung cancer than non-smokers. This is likely



due to cannabis’ well-documented anti-proliferative (e.g., anti-cancer) effect. The safety of cannabis and cannabinoids is also borne out by the FDA approved warning for delta 9 THC (trade name Marinol, generic name dronabinol). Delta 9 THC is the principle euphorogen in cannabis. The FDA warning found on the package insert and in the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR), "Warning do not drive, operate heavy equipment or engage in dangerous activities UNTIL (caps mine) you determine if Marinol interferes with these activities" allows people to drive, operate heavy equipment, and engage in dangerous activity, so long as the medication (delta 9-THC) does not interfere with the performance of these activities.

Just as significant the FDA approved a phase III clinical study for Sativex (tincture of cannabis). This means the FDA found tincture of cannabis safe for testing in humans. That study, done in upstate New York, demonstrated the value of tincture of cannabis in treating intractable pain. It should be no surprise that this tincture of cannabis pharmaceutical has been approved by twenty governments in the world including Canada, UK, NZ, Spain, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden and Denmark. Sativex, tincture of cannabis, is for sale in those countries as a prescription medication.


"Unlike many of the drugs we prescribe every day, marijuana has never been proven to cause a fatal overdose." - Joycelyn Elders, M.D. (former Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service) 3


Some worry about euphoria. While some patients do get euphoria, few get dysphoria. High CBD strains damp down the euphoria one can get from THC. As Dr. Donald Abrams, an oncologist at UCSF School of Medicine, has written and said, "In my patient population, a little euphoria isn’t a bad thing."


(1) Young 1988, op cit.
(2) Joy 1999, op cit. "Executive Summary" IOM Report
(3) Elders, Joycelyn, MD. "Myths About Medical Marijuana." The Providence Journal. Providence, RI: 26 March 2004.


SOURCE = American Alliance for Medical Cannabis  (AAMC). JULY 2013 Newsletter *  Contact them at 44500 Tide Ave · Arch Cape, OR 97102  or by visiting - http://www.letfreedomgrow.com



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Volume 10, Issue 8  *  August   * 2013




<continued from MARIJUANA SMOKING NOT ASSOCIATED WITH AIRWAY CANCERS, COPD, EMPHYSEMA, OR OTHER TOBACCO-RELATED PULMONARY COMPLICATIONS, page 1 >  The paper - authored by Donald P. Tashkin, MD, emeritus professor of medicine and medical director of the Pulmonary Function Laboratory at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles - is "the most comprehensive and authoritative review of the subject ever published," according to an accompanying commentary. Donald Tashkin conducted US-government sponsored studies of marijuana and lung function for over 30 years.


His review finds that although smoking cannabis may be associated with symptoms of chronic bronchitis, studies do not substantiate claims that it is positively associated with the development of lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, or bullous lung disease.


"[H]abitual use of marijuana alone does not appear to lead to significant abnormalities in lung function," Tashkin writes. "[F]indings from a limited number of well-designed epidemiological studies do not suggest an increased risk of either lung or upper airway cancer from light or moderate use. … Overall, the risks of pulmonary complications of regular use of marijuana appear to be relatively small and far lower than those of tobacco smoking."


Writing in an accompanying commentary, McGill University’s Dr. Mark Ware concludes: "Cannabis smoking is not equivalent to tobacco smoking in terms of respiratory risk. … [C]annabis smoking does not seem to increase risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or airway cancers. In fact, there is even a suggestion that at low doses cannabis may be protective for both conditions. … This conclusion will affect the way health professionals interact with patients, parents with teenagers, and policy makers with their constituents. … Efforts to develop cleaner cannabinoid delivery systems can and should continue, but at least for now, [those] who smoke small amounts of cannabis for medical or recreational purposes can breathe a little bit easier."


Full text of the study, "Effects of marijuana smoking on the lung," appears in Annals of the American Thoracic Society.  Source > http://blog.norml.org/2013/07/09/study-marijuana-smoking-not-associated-with-airway-cancers-copd-emphysema-or-other-tobacco-related-plumonary-complications/   *   SOURCE = American Alliance for Medical Cannabis  (AAMC). JULY 2013 Newsletter *  Contact them at 44500 Tide Ave · Arch Cape, OR 97102  or by visiting - http://www.letfreedomgrow.com


New York Senate Scuttles Medical Cannabis Bill


New York politics appeared to get the better of the latest version of a medical cannabis bill. Passed by the state Assembly, the bill stalled in the Senate after Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) expressed opposition and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomburg mocked the bill.


The bill was sponsored by Sen. Diane Savino, an "independent Democrat" and a member of the Senate's leadership team, who told the press, “there was overwhelming support for medical marijuana and that didn't move forward, because the governor didn't want to do it."


Mayor Bloomberg made headlines late last month by telling a radio show that medical cannabis is “one of the great hoaxes of all time."


 A recent survey of 1,400 physicians, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that 76 percent of international doctors surveyed would recommend medical cannabis.


More Information:

Medical Cannabis in NY  >




Hawaii Legislature Approves Program Changes


Hawaii’s Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law two changes in the state’s medical cannabis program. HB 668 shifts its supervision from law enforcement to public health officials; SB 642 expands the amount and types of usable cannabis patients may possess.

 The effective date for switching the program from the Department of Public Safety, Narcotics Enforcement Division (NED) to the Department of Health (DOH) is not until January 2015, to give the agencies time to manage the transition.


SB 642 increases the amount of medical cannabis a patient or caregiver can grow and possess from one ounce and three mature and four immature plants to four ounces and seven plants whether immature or mature. The bill also stipulates that recommendations must be from the patient’s primary care physician. SB 642 will also take effect January 2015. Hawaii’s program enjoys strong public support. A recent statewide poll found that 81% support


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*  The MERCY News * 




<continued from previous page>  access to medical cannabis, and 78% support a dispensary system.


More Information

 Hawaii SB 642 > http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/SB642_CD1_.htm

 Hawaii HB 668  > http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/bills/HB668_CD1_.htm



SOURCE = Americans for Safe Access (ASA) - Monthly Activist Newsletter - JULY 2013; Volume 7, Issue 11 * * 1322 Webster Street, Ste. 402 * Oakland, CA 94612 * info@AmericansForSafeAccess.org* 510-251-1856 * AmericansForSafeAccess.org 



Two Dispensaries Open in Vermont


Medical cannabis patients in Vermont now have access to their medicine in Burlington and Montpelier, after dispensaries opened there last month. A third dispensary is slated for Brandon.


Vermont lawmakers established a medical cannabis program two years ago. The program requires dispensaries to grow their own cannabis in a secure environment. Qualifying Vermont patients can make an appointment to acquire their medicine.


The Burlington dispensary currently provides two strains of cannabis in three different potencies and offers a sliding scale to patients in need. The Montpelier dispensary is growing more than a half-dozen different varieties.


More Information:

Medical Cannabis in VT > http://mercycenters.org/links/Vermont.html



New Jersey Legislature Sends Bill on Minors to Governor


The New Jersey state legislature late last month approved legislation to make it easier for minors to access and use medical cannabis. The bill is before Gov. Chris Christie (R), who has expressed concern about it.


If enacted, the bill would make the medical approval process for minors similar to adults. Instead of requiring three physicians, one of whom must be a psychiatrist, minors would only need one doctor’s approval. The Assembly also approved edible forms of medical cannabis, which are easier to use in treating children. A restriction on the number of



strains that can be cultivated by licensed facilities in New Jersey would also be lifted. The bill has already passed in the state Senate.  The bill was inspired by two-year-old Vivian Wilson, who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy. Wilson's family has had difficulty obtaining approval of a psychiatrist and says the strain of cannabis most likely to help her is not grown in New Jersey.


If the measure is vetoed, an override is unlikely. The legislation received one vote more than needed to override in the Assembly but was three short in the Senate.


More Information

 New Jersey A4241 / S2842  > http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2012/Bills/S3000/2842_I1.HTM



Conference of U.S. Mayors Says End Crackdown on Medical Cannabis


The 81st Conference of US Mayors passed a resolution last month urging the federal government to stop interfering in state and local medical cannabis programs. The resolution "in support of states setting their own marijuana policies without federal interference" was introduced by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and co-sponsored by eight other mayors from across the country.


"Local and state governments can develop, adopt, and implement public health laws without heavy-handed interference by the federal government," said Steph Sherer, ASA Executive Director. "This resolution reflects the frustration of local and state officials, which will continue until the federal government ends its attacks on medical marijuana."


The mayors said that despite differing views on how to regulate cannabis in their cities, they believe "states and localities should be able to set whatever marijuana policies work best to improve the public safety and health of their communities." Specifically, the resolution calls for an end to "federal interference," and "urges the President of the United States to reexamine the priorities of federal agencies to prevent the expenditure of resources on actions that undermine the duly enacted marijuana laws of states."


Cosponsoring the resolution were the mayors of Berkeley, Oakland and San Leandro, California; Aurora and Glendale, Colorado; Binghamton, New York; and Seattle and Tacoma, Washington.


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More than 100 million people, or 34 percent of Americans, currently live in states with medical cannabis laws.


The most recent resolution follows a similar one last year, in which the mayors called for an end to the state-federal conflict on marijuana policies that "frustrates our citizens, costs cities significant time and resources to address, and prevents the establishment of a regulated and safe system to supply patients." A resolution in 2007 from the 75th U.S. Conference of Mayors declared the war on drugs a failure and called for "a health-centered" approach to drug policy.


Mayors and other local officials committed to ensuring and regulating access in their communities have resisted federal interference directly. When the DOJ filed an asset forfeiture lawsuit last July against the landlords of Harborside Health Center, California's largest dispensary, the City of Oakland counter-sued to stop the government's actions. When prosecutors filed a forfeiture lawsuit against the landlord of Berkeley Patients Group (BPG), one of California's oldest and most respected dispensaries, the city’s mayor and four city council members condemned the action, along with a host of other elected officials, and committed the city to intervene in support of BPG and its patients.


More information:

 U.S. Conference of Mayors resolution  >  http://americansforsafeaccess.org/downloads/Resolution_US_Mayors_Conference_2013.pdf




California Lobby Day by ASA


Americans for Safe Access and its coalition partners at Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana (CRMM) have announced a citizen lobby day at the state Capitol for Monday, August 12. The lobby day comes at a crucial juncture in the legislative process when lawmakers are considering bills affecting patients.


The bill with the largest impact is SB 439, sponsored by President Pro-Tem Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Senator Leno (D-SF), which clarifies the protections afforded by the state’s medical cannabis laws. SB 439 would recognize the legitimacy of storefront dispensaries and expand protections to employees who work there.



SB 283, a bill by Senator Hancock (D-Berkeley), would allow Californians convicted of medical cannabis-related and certain other drug-related offenses in state or federal court to receive public assistance, a benefit they are currently denied. Other legislation affects foster parents and credentialed teachers who legally use medical cannabis (AB 787 and AB 375, respectively).


For everyone who registers for the August 12 Lobby Day, ASA will make an appointment with their state Assembly member and Senator. This is a strategic moment for lobbying, as bills already approved by the Senate are in Assembly committees, and bills approved by the Assembly are in Senate committees. The legislature reconvenes from their summer break on August 12 to get bills out of committee and to the floor for a vote.


Register now online or download a mail-in registration form before August 2. ASA will make appointments for you, brief and train you to be an effective advocate, and provide you with professional lobby-day materials to take with you. If you can’t make it to Sacramento August 12, you can sponsor others to attend, or make a donation to ASA to support this event.


More Information

 CRMM Aug 12 Lobby Day online registration > http://americansforsafeaccess.org/CASummerLobbyDay

 CRMM Aug 12 Lobby Day flyer & registration form >  http://safeaccessnow.org/downloads/Registration_Form.pdf

 California SB 439 (dispensaries) > http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB439

 California SB 283 (previous convictions) > http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_0251-0300/sb_283_bill_20130214_introduced.htm

 California AB 787 (foster parents) > http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB787&search_keywords

 California AB 375 (teachers)  >  http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB375


SOURCE = Americans for Safe Access (ASA) - Monthly Activist Newsletter - JULY 2013; Volume 7, Issue 11 * * 1322 Webster Street, Ste. 402 * Oakland, CA 94612 * info@AmericansForSafeAccess.org* 510-251-1856 * AmericansForSafeAccess.org 



503.363-4588 * www.MercyCenters.org                                                   11


!Action Alerts: Inform Congress,  Support MMJ POW!


Inform Congress That Obama's Administration Spends Over

 $100 Grand A Day On

Medical Marijuana Enforcement!


As part of our ongoing Peace for Patients campaign, ASA is fighting hard to end the federal war on medical cannabis patients ... but we can't do it without your help! This summer, Congress has the power to cut the Department of Justice's (DOJ) budget on all medical cannabis enforcement, essentially calling a temporary ceasefire in the war on medical cannabis.


Throughout the month of August while Congress is on summer recess, organizers across the country will be meeting with their electeds in their home districts to lobby for a cut to the DOJ's budget. To make the biggest impact, ASA needs your help informing Congress that Obama is wasting over $100,000 a day by dropping off a 100 Grand postcard and candy bar to your Senators’ and Representatives’ offices.


ASA's staff has made it super easy to participate in this action by creating a Campaign Toolkit so that you have all the resources you need to be successful. Incldued in the toolkit:


 *  100 Grand Postcard to drop off

 *  Policy Agenda to leave with congressional staff

 *  Easy Talking Points for you to use when meeting with staff


Everything in the toolkit is downloadable, but you can also request printed copies be mailed to you at action@safeaccessnow.org


Please help put an end to the federal war on patients by joining the Peace for Patients campaign right now! The website is full of easy ways to get involved, including signing a petition, utilizing our form-letter to send emails to your Members of Congress, and instructions on how to participate in the 100 Grand action.


Remember to share this news with friends and stay tuned for more campaign updates in the future ...



Support MMJ POW Jerry Duval's Request For Compassionate Release Before His Health

Deteriorates Further!


Last month, on June 11th, Michigan medical marijuana patient Jerry Duval surrendered to federal authorities to serve a whopping 10-year prison sentence, even though he was never in violation of the state’s medical marijuana law. Jerry is a kidney-pancreas transplant recipient who also suffers from heart disease and glaucoma. Nevertheless, the Obama Administration saw fit to arrest, prosecute, and imprison Jerry at a cost of more than $1 million.


Watch a video by Jerry's Stepson Justin Marr about Jerry and the Prisoners of the Medical Marijuana War


This is not just a tragedy for the Duval family, though they were hit hard (as a result of the same case, Jerry’s son Jeremy is serving 5 years and the Duvals lost their family farm to forfeiture). Since surrendering, Jerry's health has been deteriorating quickly due to lack of access to medication and adequate medical care, despite being an inmate in a Federal Medical Center.


In light of the unique medical needs that are clearly not being met by FMC Devens, Jerry has submitted a Compassionate Release request so that he can serve out the rest of his sentence under house arrest and continue his medical treatment with doctors capable of properly monitoring his advanced medical needs.


Read Jerry's Compassionate Release Request here


Here's a few easy ways to support Jerry's request for Compassionate Release:


  1. Fax the Director of the Bureau of Prisons
  2. Sign the Change.org petition
  3. Host a free fundraiser event.


Thank you in advance for your help in saving Jerry's life ...


* The MERCY News > mercycenter@hotmail.com  > (503) 363-4588 < www.MercyCenters.org *