United States

Medical advocates: Obama has authority over cannabis classification

Posted on January 31st, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

medical marijuanaMedical marijuana advocates are telling President Barack Obama he has the power to reclassify cannabis after he said Jan. 31 it is up to Congress. In an exclusive CNN interview, Obama responded to a question about the federal cannabis classification by saying that, "what is and isn't a Schedule I narcotic is a job for Congress." Responded Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA): "President Obama just told the nation during his State of the Union address that because Congress has been unable to act, he would take executive action where he could on behalf of helping the American people,. The president has the authority to reclassify marijuana and could exercise that authority at any time."

New York governor announces medical marijuana pilot program

Posted on January 10th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

medical marijuanaNew York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced during his State of the State address on Jan. 8 plans for a medical marijuana pilot program that would permit up to 20 hospitals to distribute cannabis to patients with serious illnesses. According to a press release, the pilot program "will allow qualified eligible participants to seek relief for their symptoms in a safe and legal manner, while also evaluating the effectiveness and feasibility of a medical marijuana system," with the findings of the program to help shape future policy. The plan creates the program within current New York statutory authority—specifically, the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act of 1980, which allows the state to establish medical marijuana research programs in hospitals. Critics have claimed that the reliance on this statute is unworkable in the long-term. (Jurist, Jan. 9)

NYC: police slaying survivors protest return of Bill Bratton

Posted on December 28th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

New York CitySome hundred New Yorkers gathered in the bitter cold Dec. 27 in front of the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building in Harlem to protest mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's appointment of Bill Bratton as police commissioner. Nicholas Heyward is leading the effort to remind New York City of Bill Bratton's record the last time he ran the NYPD, from 1994 to 1996. During that time period, an officer of the Housing Police shot and killed Heyward's 13-year-old son, Nicholas Jr, as he held a toy rifle while playing cops-and-robbers in the  stairwell of his apartment building in Brooklyn's Gowanus Houses in September 1994. Said  Heyward: "It was painful for me to hear [de Blasio] chose William Bratton, who was police commissioner when my son was murdered. I cannot accept that he will be police commissioner again... Under William Bratton there was over 30 innocent unarmed people that were killed from 1994 to 1996 in New York City. And Bill Bratton failed to hold any of those officers accountable."

Khat-terrorism connection raises its dubious head —again

Posted on December 27th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

khatMuslim community leaders in Texas are protesting the latest outbreak of the perennial hype over the khat plant and its supposed links to terrorism. It began when a traffic stop near Houston last year turned up two men chewing the midly psychoactive but thoroughly illegal leaf. This sparked a year-long investigation involving local, state and federal agencies that has so far resulted in more than a half-dozen arrests. The Texas Department of Public Safety took the opportunity to link khat to terrorism in its statewide threat assessment. The statement referred to the "chewable narcotic plant grown in the Horn of Africa whose sale abroad is suspected to benefit Africa-based terrorist organizations such as al-Shabaab." That assessment, the Austin American-Statesman reported last month, was based on Congressional testimony given more than a decade ago by Steven McCraw—then-FBI-assistant director, now DPS director—who said it is likely that khat proceeds "pass through the hands of suspected [Islamic militants] and other persons with possible ties to terrorist groups."

Cannabis classification as botanical medicine restored

Posted on December 12th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

medical marijuanaIn an historic move, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) released the first installation of a two-part Cannabis Monograph (PDF) Dec. 10 that classifies marijuana as a botanical medicine, alongside many other widely accepted "Complementary and Alternative Medicines." Written and reviewed by leading experts, the monograph brings together an authoritative compendium of scientific data, including long-awaited standards for the plant's identity, purity, quality and properties. The monograph provides a foundation for health care professionals to integrate cannabis therapy into their practices on the basis of a full scientific understanding of the plant, its constituent components, and its biologic effects.

Cannabis kayak seized off California

Posted on November 23rd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

CaliforniaFour kayakers attempting to smuggle nearly 300 pounds of cannabis into the US were arrested at sea on the morning of Nov. 22, federal authorities announced. US Customs and Border Patrol agents saw four men in separate kayaks "navigating the ocean" at about 4 AM, agency spokesman Ralph DeSio told the press. The men, all Mexican nationals, had entered US waters off Imperial Beach when authorities dispatched a helicopter and boat to intercept them, DeSio said. The men jumped out and tried to swim for it, but the helicopter used a spotlight to track them so the boat could find them in the dark waters. All the men were taken into custody and turned over to the San Diego Maritime Task Force. Agents found 99 bundles of cannabis in the kayaks, estimated to be worth $178,200.  

CBD derivative gets 'orphan drug' status

Posted on November 18th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

THCBritish firm GW Pharmaceuticals has won "orphan drug status"—a special category for agents developed to treat rare diseases—from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Epidiolex, a derivative of cannabidiol (CBD), to treat Dravet syndrome, a severe form epilepsy. In Utah, parents who are lobbying to import CBD-rich cannabis strains from Colorado, say they will keep up their campaign. "This changes nothing" in regard to children being able to access CBD, said Jennifer May, mother of 11-year-old Stockton, who suffers from Dravet syndrome. "On the other hand, it does lend credibility to the potential of CBD as a treatment."  Like many Dravet patients, Stockton has tried dozens of pharmaceutical fixes, and run out of options. He can no longer use the toilet and has to be fed from a tube. "Orphan drug" designation qualifies GW for tax credits and exclusive rights to the drug if approved. But FDA approval for Epidiolex could take a year or more. (Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 18)

Urban Shield police confab protested in Oakland

Posted on November 2nd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

CaliforniaHundreds of police officers, sheriffs' deputies and military servicemen from across the country—many donning battle fatigues—converged on downtown Oakland's Marriott Hotel Oct. 25 for the opening of the Urban Shield security confab and weapons show. National and international law enforcement agencies joined with defense industry contractors to attend seminars and display wares for three days. Outside the Marriott, scores of community activists protested the event. United under the name Facing Urban Shield, the coalition said the militarist tone of the event highlighted the worsening human rights records of police forces around the US, and the waste of billions of tax-dollars on prisons. They also charged that the showcasing of arms dealers undercut crime-plagued Oakland's efforts to stem gun violence.

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