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RainDog's Journal
RainDog's Journal
June 30, 2013

Marijuana Cannabis Use In Pregnancy Dr. Dreher

this is a video of Dreher's work (She's a nurse with a PhD, not a medical doctor, for the sake of clarity.) It's long - 30 minutes, from a professional conference.

Melanie Dreher is the dean of nursing at Rush Medical Center in Chicago.

here's a link to her published research.


thank you for the kind words.
June 28, 2013

U.S. House of Representatives Votes to Legalize Industrial Hemp

this is last week's news, but don't know if it was posted on DU, so here you go!


A new bi-partisan amendment to the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives today in support of industrial hemp by a vote of 225 to 200. Introduced by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), it allows colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp in states where it is already legal, without fear of federal interference.

According to a statement from the office of Rep. Polis, 19 states have passed pro-industrial hemp legislation. The following nine states have removed barriers to its production: Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

Democratic Rep. Polis issue this statement:

Industrial hemp is an important agricultural commodity, not a drug. My bipartisan, common-sense amendment, which I’ve introduced with Representatives Thomas Massie and Earl Blumenauer, would allow colleges and universities to grow and cultivate industrial hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes in states where industrial hemp growth and cultivation is already legal. Many states, including Colorado, have demonstrated that they are fully capable of regulating industrial hemp.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. The first American flag was made of hemp. And today, U.S. retailers sell over $300 million worth of goods containing hemp—but all of that hemp is imported, since farmers can’t grow it here,” explained Rep. Polis. “The federal government should clarify that states should have the ability to regulate academic and agriculture research of industrial hemp without fear of federal interference. Hemp is not marijuana, and at the very least, we should allow our universities—the greatest in the world—to research the potential benefits and downsides of this important agricultural commodity.
June 28, 2013

The anti-legalization crew among Democrats

There are Democrats who oppose legalization of marijuana. Unfortunately, the reasons for their opposition are grounded in the same lies that have been passed off as fact by the DEA and the Drug Czar office for years.

The face of this backward stance is Patrick Kennedy.


No stranger to substance abuse, Kennedy long ago made public his battle with depression and alcohol and drug abuse, including an addiction to the pain reliever OxyContin. In 2006, he fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed his car into a barrier near the U.S. Capitol. His problems forced him to retire from the House of Representatives.

“In spite of the fact that I’m also an asthmatic, I did try and experiment with marijuana, but I quickly migrated to other drugs and alcohol,” he said.

Mason Tvert, spokesman for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, called Kennedy a hypocrite.

“His family made millions off the sale of alcohol, and we hope that he and his organization recognize that marijuana is far less harmful and that adults should not face penalties just for using it,” said Tvert, adding that Kennedy wants to force marijuana users into “education camps.”

Kennedy claims SAM is a truth-telling organization. That's a lie.

One of many.

But here, I also have to point out Kennedy's basic ignorance.

Although they do not qualify as a scientific study, many marijuana users have found that cannabis actually helps rather than hurts their asthmatic symptoms. You can find statements to this effect online. I know about this from the personal experience of a friend with asthma. I would say to that person...why do you smoke cannabis when you have asthma? And he would say... strangely, my lungs function better than when I don't. At the time of these conversations, I would just think... well, he's just telling himself that because he likes to smoke marijuana.

But, it seems, there is medical proof to back up his and others' claims, as published in The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world.

...airway resistance, measured in a body plethysmograph, fell 38 per cent; the functional residual capacity remained unchanged (± 50 ml) throughout, and specific airway conductance increased 44 per cent. Flow-volume loops showed a 45 per cent increase in flow rate at 25 per cent of vital capacity. The low-dose group showed no increase in heart rate but significant, if lesser changes, in airways dynamics. Carbon dioxide sensitivity, measured by rebreathing remained unchanged in both groups.

Marihuana smoke, unlike cigarette smoke, causes bronchodilatation rather than bronchoconstriction and, unlike opiates, does not cause central respiratory depression. (N Engl J Med 288 85–989, 1973)


Steroid inhalers accomplish the same function, which is bronchodilatation.

Dr. Donald Tashkin has also addressed the counterintuitive but well-grounded scientific research that indicates marijuana inhalation actually results in fewer respiratory problems among subjects than those who have never used cannabis at all. Additional research, published last year, validates Dr. Tashkin's decades-long research into this issue.

Marijuana does not impair lung function—at least not in the doses inhaled by the majority of users, according to the largest and longest study ever to consider the issue, which was published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers working on a long-term study of risk factors for cardiovascular disease (the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults or CARDIA study) tested the lung function of 5115 young adults over the course of 20 years, starting in 1985 when they were aged 18 to 30.

They found that marijuana use was almost as common as cigarette smoking in the sample, which was designed to reflect the U.S. population. Among participants, the average marijuana user toked 2-3 times a month, while the average tobacco user smoked eight cigarettes a day. Those who smoked both tended to do so slightly more frequently than those who smoked only cigarettes or only marijuana.

The study was “well conducted” and is “essentially confirmatory of the findings from several previous studies that have examined the association between marijuana smoking and lung function,” says Dr. Donald Tashkin, professor of medicine at UCLA and a leading scientist in the area. He was not associated with the new research.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/10/study-smoking-marijuana-not-linked-with-lung-damage/#ixzz2XXpVAolY

Marmar posted about Tashkin's work here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/101645856

That thread includes video, in replies, featuring Tashkin speaking about his work.

Sadly, there are shills whose names are associated with Democratic Party politics who are working to uphold one of the most racist laws in this nation.

Because - here's the truth about Patrick Kennedy. He not only opposes legalization, he also opposes decriminalization - and, contrary to evidence, he also opposes medical marijuana.


"Medical marijuana has been a Trojan horse, really, for decriminalization and legalization. It’s the slippery slope toward legalization,” said Patrick Kennedy, a former congressman who’s the chairman of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), a national group that opposes legalization.

Kennedy said he regretted ever supporting medical marijuana and that he feared it would lead to more drug abuse among children.

So, in effect, Patrick Kennedy supports the racist application of the law in the U.S. that has resulted in 800,000 arrests, every year, for possession. He supports the anti-science, anti-civil rights action that is prohibition. He denies the thousands of studies that have indicated that marijuana has actual health benefits. He denies that a company, GW Pharma, is trying to market a product in the U.S. (it's already available in at least four nations) that is nothing but whole-plant cannabis in solvent that is inhaled and used to treat symptoms of MS. He denies that marijuana has been shown, in phase II clinical trials, to shrink gliomas (brain tumors.) He denies what epileptics have known, that cannabutter, taken at night, has stopped their seizures. He denies what HIV/AIDS patients found out, in the 1980s, that medical marijuana SAVED THEIR LIVES by allowing them to keep down their medicines and to not die from wasting away.

That's who Patrick Kennedy is - a person in denial.

On the other hand, various state party platforms have supported legalization as part of their campaign platforms - including Texas - and we have legislators at the state and federal level who are working to overcome the stupidity and backward thinking of other Democrats, like Patrick Kennedy.

This issue is a line in the sand.

Democrats should think long and hard before they start cozying up to Bush appointees like David Frum, as Patrick Kennedy has done. You will find yourselves on the wrong side of history. And, if you're Patrick Kennedy, you will find yourself lying about medical research in order to pay your salary. Pitiful.

June 25, 2013

U.S. Conference of Mayors asks Obama for flexibility on marijuana

Source: Raw Story

The United States Conference of Mayors unanimously passed a historic, bipartisan resolution Monday calling on the Obama administration to stop interfering with state and local efforts to deal with the problems caused by marijuana prohibition.

“This resolution will amplify the voices of local officials and voters who are sick and tired of President Obama’s administration doing the exact opposite of what candidate Obama said he was going to do, which was respect state marijuana laws,” Tom Angell, spokesperson for drug reform advocacy group Marijuana Majority, told Raw Story in an email.

It specifically focuses on the dominance of organized crime in the black market, racial disparities in arrest statistics, state laws that clearly express an unwillingness to continue marijuana prohibition and recent polling that favors letting states decide the matter.

The resolution adds that the mayors wish marijuana were reclassified under the schedule of controlled substances, which would allow more medical research into drugs based on marijuana and permit more finely tailored laws regulating production and sales. It also calls for the Controlled Substances Act to be amended so as to allow “states and localities” the autonomy to “set their own marijuana policies without federal interference.”

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/24/u-s-conference-of-mayors-asks-obama-for-flexibility-on-marijuana/

June 22, 2013

Action, Jackson! Mayor's Conference Marijuana


This weekend (June 21st to June 24th) mayors from across the country will convene at the 81st annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, held in Las Vegas. One of the topics up for discussion is a resolution “in support of states setting their own marijuana policies without federal interference”. The proposal – introduced May 22nd – is sponsored by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and 8 other mayors from cities across the country: Aurora (CO), Berkeley (CA), Binghamton (NY), Glendale (CO), Oakland (CA), San Leandro (CA), Seattle (WA), and Tacoma (WA).

The resolution was approved by its initial Conference of Mayors committee today, and will be up for a full vote on Monday.

Here's a site with a petition you can sign and send to your mayor:


June 21, 2013

A Life Sentence...for pot.


The top federal prosecutor in Montana — Mike Cotter, the U.S. Attorney appointed by President Obama in 2009 — (...raided Montana medical marijuana greenhouse and dispensaries, ALL OPERATING UNDER STATE GUIDELINES, and...) charged the growers, their greenhouse workers, their bookkeepers, some of their spouses, and even their landlords who had simply provided buildings to the growers, with decades in prison and in some cases virtual life sentences, all under federal drug trafficking statutes.

The growers all noted they were operating under state guidelines and following the lead of the Ogden Memo.

The defendants pointed to dozens of statements made by Holder and even the President, and specifically the now-infamous Ogden Memo. This was a publicly released document in 2009 document, written by David Ogden, Eric Holder’s deputy, that instructed federal law enforcement officers nationwide to leave medical marijuana growers alone as long as they were abiding by state law. This memo was reported in the national press, and local papers too, as a virtual ceding of jurisdiction by the federal government. U.S. Won’t Prosecute in States that Have Medical Marijuana, heralded a New York Times headline.

...A policy might not have the force of law, but I would argue that a policy is most definitely a promise, especially if it is reasonably interpreted by citizens who are looking for guidance as to how to proceed, and particularly in a case where the Attorney General states that a new set of laws–state laws, as opposed to federal laws–will now serve as the governing code for assessing the legality of a citizen’s conduct. And just because the feds can prosecute, doesn’t mean they should.

So, Cotter believes, against the advice of doctors and scientists, that marijuana is a dangerous drug with no medical benefits. Based upon this erroneous belief, he confiscated property of landlords, after threatening to put them in jail for 20 years. Cotter has no scientific evidence on his side - but he has drug war laws that remain on the books - even if they're not on the books in Montana (he couldn't demonstrate anyone had broken state law.)

THIS is why we cannot exist in this gray area regarding marijuana legalization... because of assholes like Cotter who will do what they can to ruin lives because of their own stupid vendettas brought on by their own reefer madness.

Cotter is not finished. In recent weeks, his office has asked a federal appeals court to increase the sentences of many of the caregivers he put away. They were originally charged with around 80 years in prison; when they pled guilty, Cotter sought to cement the agreements with sentences in the 5-10 year range; but the court would not go along with it in many of the cases, and gave some defendants 18 months or less. Cotter is seeking to have the appellate court overturn these sentences for their leniency. He wants more punishment.

Obama should 86 this asshole.
June 11, 2013

America: the land of the abusive prison colony

As civil rights groups have noted, the U.S. has more prisoners per capita than China. We spend billions of dollars to maintain a prison population and have laws designed to imprison nonviolent offenders, such as those arrested for marijuana possession, that can lead to life imprisonment. For possession of pot. A Democrat in Louisiana tried to reform its marijuana sentencing laws recently. After two votes, the measure failed. Louisiana is one of those states in which you can be sentenced to life in prison for a third conviction for possession of marijuana.

So, what's going on in those prisons in which those arrested for simple possession of marijuana make up 12% of the prison population? What's going on with the billions spent to arrest, convict and imprison Americans arrested for possession (among other things, of course, but the reality is that this nation is a place where you can be forced to spend the rest of your life in prison for doing the equivalent of drinking a glass of wine. Reminds me of Saudi Arabia, in that regard.)


It has been an extraordinary three weeks in the history of the American penal system, perhaps one of the darkest periods on record. In four states, from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, the systemic abuse and neglect of inmates, and especially mentally ill inmates, has been investigated, chronicled and disclosed in grim detail to the world by lawyers, government investigators and one federal judge. The conclusions are inescapable: In our zeal to dehumanize criminals we have allowed our prisons to become medieval places of unspeakable cruelty so far beyond constitutional norms that they are barely recognizable.

But hey, it's all good! Like our intelligence gathering, prisons are private enterprise! Everyone knows, because of Saint Ronnie Reagan, that the govt. is the problem and private corporate ownership of Americans via their taxpayer dollars is the answer.

First, on May 22, the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department released a report highlighting the unconstitutional conditions of a county prison in Florida. Then, on May 30th, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit alleging atrocious conditions at a state prison in Mississippi. One day later, the feds again sounded out on behalf of inmates, this time against profound abuse and neglect at a Pennsylvania prison. Finally, last week, a federal judge issued an order describing the unconstitutional "brutality" of the prison in Orleans Parish, Louisiana.

There were many common themes in the reports. In each instance, the mistreatment of mentally ill inmates was highlighted. Prison officials have failed to provide a constitutional level of care in virtually every respect, from providing medication and treatment to protecting the men from committing suicide. In the Louisiana court order, one prison expert is quoted by the judge as describing an "extraordinary and horrific" situation with the prison there. In the Florida investigation, federal investigators noted that local prison officials "have elected to ignore obvious and serious systemic deficiencies" in the jail's mental health services.

...while it's reasonable to applaud the focused federal effort to protect the constitutional rights of mentally ill state prisoners around the country, it's hard to fathom or accept why the Justice Department has been so tepid in its protection of mentally ill federal prisoners. Based upon the evidence already publicly available in the Colorado civil rights cases against the Bureau of Prisons, it is beyond doubt that federal prison practices and policies would similarly fail to meet basic constitutional standards if they were subject to the same review the Civil Rights Division has used to evaluate state and local facilities.

June 6, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a bill- Vermont the 17th state to decriminalize mj

BREAKING NEWS: Gov. Peter Shumlin just signed a bill making Vermont the 17th state to decriminalize or legalize marijuana!


Vermont Marijuana Decriminalization Signed Into Law, Reduces Penalties For Possession Up To An Ounce

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed a bill on Thursday decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, will remove criminal penalties on possession of up to an ounce of cannabis and replace them with civil fines.

“I applaud the Legislature’s action to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana," Shumlin said last month, announcing his support for the bill. "Vermonters support sensible drug policies. This legislation allows our courts and law enforcement to focus their limited resources more effectively to fight highly addictive opiates such as heroin and prescription drugs that are tearing apart families and communities."

According to the new measure, first-time offenders will not get more than a $200 fine for possession. The fine will increase for repeat offenders. Under the law, marijuana possession will no longer result in the creation of a criminal record.

June 6, 2013

Lawmakers to Vote on Hemp Amendment to Farm Bill


It is possible that, for the first time ever, the United States Senate will vote to approve industrial hemp cultivation in the coming days. Please take a moment of your time to encourage your Senator to support this measure. You can easily do so by clicking here: http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51046//p/dia/action3/common/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=9865

Senator Ron Wyden has introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 3240, the Senate version of this year's federal farm bill, that requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only trace (less than one percent) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis.

The amendment language mimics the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013," which remains pending as stand-alone legislation in both the House and Senate but has yet to receive a legislative hearing. Senator Wyden's provision to the Senate's Farm Bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. The measure grants state legislatures the authority to license and regulate the commercial production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity.

Eight states -- Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia -- have enacted statutory changes defining industrial hemp as distinct agricultural product and allowing for its regulated commercial production. Passage of this amendment would remove existing federal barriers and allow these states and others the authority to do so without running afoul of federal anti-drug laws.

The U.S. is the only developed nation without an industrial hemp agriculture. The reason for this is reefer madness on the part of the Federal Govt.

Please call or sign the petition to let Congress know you support sane and sensible policy. The vote on this bill will likely be held in the next few days.

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