The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation
By Alicia Robinson, The Press-Enterprise
Riverside could become one of the only Inland cities where patients could legally obtain medical marijuana, if registered nurse and activist Lanny Swerdlow opens a patient collective in September as he is determined to do.
Swerdlow threw down the gauntlet last week, telling city officials he will open a facility, "and you do not have the right to prevent us from doing so."
Riverside officials disagree, maintaining that the city's general plan bans any place that distributes medical marijuana.
The patient collective would be a next step for Swerdlow, a resident of Whitewater in eastern Riverside County who in 2008 opened THCF Medical Clinic in Riverside. At the clinic, people can seek a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana. Although the drug remains illegal under federal law, state law allows patients to legally possess and use it if a doctor recommends it.
But the clinic doesn't dispense any drugs, and Palm Springs appears to be the only Inland city where zoning allows collectives to offer marijuana. That can force patients to travel long distances to get their medicine or buy it illegally, said Wanda Smith, a Phelan resident who has used medical marijuana for two years.
By Karen Auge, The Denver Post
There's a young woman with a French-tip pedicure and a toddler on her hip. Next comes a 20-something data analyst in pain from an infection. And a 60-year-old guy limping around in what appears to be a medieval torture device screwed into his leg in an effort to re-fuse shattered bones.
They all came to the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation's Wheat Ridge clinic one morning last week seeking the same thing: medical marijuana.
Odds are they'll get it. First off, they've been highly screened. Secondly, a whole lot of people in Colorado are getting medical marijuana these days: In the past year, the number of people on the state's medical-marijuana registry has nearly tripled.
And in a development that has health officials on edge, a growing number of those on the registry are men under the age of 30, diagnosed with severe pain. At the end of last year, that category accounted for 18 percent of those on the registry. Now, they make up 24 percent.
The explosion of consumer demand for medical marijuana has spawned concern among some but represents opportunity for others to move medical marijuana into the mainstream.
"It's a growing area, a growing field," said Brian Vicente, director of Sensible Colorado, a pro-marijuana advocacy group.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff
Three events are taking place this weekend that give a glimpse into how far we have come in the fight for the freedom of Hemp and Cannabis. First, this Friday, August 14th marks the 500th episode of the show Cannabis Common Sense (CCS), the show that tells the truth about marijuana and the politics behind its prohibition.
Over the years, CCS has featured such guests as Josh Tickell, Filmmaker; Keith Stroup, Founder of NORML; Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of NORML; Madeline Martinez, Director of Oregon NORML; Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator; Elvy Musikka, Medical Marijuana Activist; John Trudell, Musician/Activist; Jack Herer, Hemp Activist; Dr. Tod Mikuriya; Dr. Phillip Leveque; Dennis Kucinich, US House of Representatives; Tim Pate, Musician/Activist; and more.
CCS airs Friday nights at 8pm PST live from Portland Community Media in Portland, Oregon (channel 11), also rebroadcast across Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, and brought to you by The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (also the main sponsor of this weekend’s Seattle Hempfest— http://hempfest.org) and our political committee Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH), advocating decriminalization of marijuana for medicinal, industrial, and recreational use. CRRH has developed a legislative model to legally regulate marijuana production and sales to adults called the Cannabis Tax Act.
The conclusion of a two-part series about the impact of the medical marijuana law.
By Anne Stanton, Northern Express
Last week, Northern Express profiled two pot growers who have a “passion” for marijuana. They love to grow it, they love to smoke it. They believe it can make people feel better and even cure them.
One of the growers, Archie, made a decision to come out publicly as a legal “caregiver” who supplies marijuana for patients. Under the law, he is allowed to grow the plants and be compensated for the cost of growing (lights, energy and the plants themselves).
The law is a bit gray, and written in a way that obtaining starter plants might require an illegal sale. Area law enforcement officials, however, said they aren’t planning to target caregivers or patients.
“Some of these people are nervous that we are out to get them, looking over their shoulders, looking in the bushes, all paranoid,” said Grand Traverse County Sheriff Tom Bensley. “Is this public enemy Number One for us? No, but if we come across it, we will deal with it. It’s not changing the way we do business.”
But why was the law written this way?
“I’ve seen a lot of news stories coming out of Michigan, I guess we never did a good a job explaining it,” said Dan Bernath of the Marijuana Policy Project, a nonprofit based in Washington D.C. “Federal marijuana policy is why the law was written that way.”
Confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers - Exit 307 off I-5
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Some Oregon lawmakers are ready to legalize. But with their leadership lacking, change rests with us.
By James Pitkin, wweek dot com
Last month, when CNN’s Anderson Cooper needed a place other than overhyped California to film a series about legalizing pot, his producers called the head of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre knew just where to send them—Oregon.
“Oregon is second fiddle to California,” St. Pierre told WW in a phone interview from NORML’s office in Washington, D.C. “But it’s really the only other instrument in the orchestra.”
National officials such as White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske are now admitting the drug war has failed. And even Republicans like California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are calling for a serious debate on legalizing pot. But Oregon leaders seem content to stick with the status quo—consigning hundreds of thousands of cannabis users in Oregon to spend their lives locked in a proverbial smoke-filled closet.
Odd, perhaps, given that it wasn’t long ago Oregon was the pioneer of cannabis reform.
In 1973, then-Gov. Tom McCall signed a bill making Oregon the first state to “decriminalize” cannabis. Possession of a small amount became an infraction rather than a crime. Twelve other states have since followed Oregon’s lead.
Advocates discuss grow techniques at public meetings; charges are dropped against medicinal marijuana users
By Eartha Jane Melzer, Michigan Messenger
TRAVERSE CITY — In the three months since medical use and cultivation of marijuana was made legal in the state of Michigan, around 2,000 patients have registered with the state, hundreds of others have signed up to grow and provide marijuana for them and the War on Drugs seems to be entering a mellower phase. Marijuana advocates and public officials are talking about how to build trust and cooperate as they work together to implement the state’s medical marijuana law approved by wide margins by Michigan voters in last fall’s election.
The change in tone is evident in the public meetings of support groups for medical marijuana users and caregivers that are taking place in at least 23 communities around the state.
At a Compassion Club meeting held in a bookstore in downtown Traverse City last month, a dozen people passed around a book about how to make the traditional marijuana-based drug hashish.
By Grants Pass Daily Courier
The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation in Portland has opened a permanent medical marijuana clinic in Grants Pass.
The clinic, at 558 N.E. F St., No. 1, in Colonial Plaza, is the first permanent medical marijuana clinic in Oregon outside Portland.
Retired heart surgeon Dr. Thomas Orvald of Portland has been traveling to Grants Pass to see patients about three times a month in rented facilities, said Henrik Rode, the foundation's regional director, who organizes satellite clinics and helps set up permanent clinics around the country.
The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation's mission is to help patients with qualifying medical conditions obtain a permit to grow and use marijuana to treat their symptoms, Rode said. Another goal is to educate people about the medicinal, social and industrial uses for cannabis to increase hemp cultivation.
Rode said medical marijuana treats a wide range of symptoms such as nausea in cancer or AIDS patients, as well as the chronic pain people suffer from medical conditions or as a result of a serious accident.
Rode said the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation already runs permanent clinics in Bellevue, Wash., Riverside, Calif., Denver and Detroit. He expects to open additional permanent clinics in Bend, Eugene and Spokane, Wash., in coming months. The foundation also holds a traveling clinic in Brookings every few months.
For more information, go to http://www.thc-foundation.org online.
By By Andrea Calcagno, KDRV
GRANTS PASS, Ore. - There is now a clinic in Southern Oregon where patients can potentially qualify for medical marijuana cards.
The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation Clinic is the first of its kind in the region. Dr. Thomas Orvald lives in the Pacific Northwest and makes trips to Grants Pass to see patients about four times a month. Clinic staff screen a patient's medical records before making an appointment. A patient must have a serious medical condition in order to be issued the paperwork for a medical marijuana card.
It costs $200 to make an appointment. There is a $60 discount for anyone on food stamps, the Oregon Health Plan, or other government assistance.
Clinic representatives say they've seen between 75 and 100 patients a month since it opened in April.
Oregon law states that once a patient acquires a marijuana license, they can then grow or obtain marijuana from a licensed grower.
Watch the Video: http://kdrv.com/news/local/132334
Every man-made fiber we wear, sit on, cook with, drive in, are by-products of the petroleum industry -- all of which could be replaced by hemp.
By Dara Colwell, AlterNet
As the recession renews interest in the growing hemp marketplace as a potential boon for the green economy -- even Fox Business News has touted it -- hemp is becoming impossible to ignore.
But the plant's potential extends far beyond consumer-generated greenbacks. A low-input, low-impact crop, industrial hemp can play a significant role in our desperate shuffle to avoid catastrophic climate change.
"In terms of sustainability, there are numerous reasons to grow hemp," says Patrick Goggin, a board member on the California Council for Vote Hemp, the nation's leading industrial-hemp advocacy group.
Goggin launches into its environmental benefits: Hemp requires no pesticides; it has deep digging roots that detoxify the soil, making it an ideal rotation crop -- in fact, hemp is so good at bioremediation, or extracting heavy metals from contaminated soil, it's being grown near Chernobyl.
Hemp is also an excellent source of biomass, or renewable, carbon-neutral energy, and its cellulose level, roughly three times that of wood, can be used for paper to avoid cutting down trees, an important line of defense against global warming.
By Mark Reimers, Tribune reporter
LYNDEN – On May 9, officers from the Lynden Police Department visited a house in town and discovered a number of marijuana plants growing under lights in the basement.
The residents of the house did not attempt to hide the plants and the police issued no citations.
No one was arrested — it was all legal.
In 1998, 59 percent of Washington voters approved Initiative 692, which allowed marijuana to be grown and used for certain medical conditions.
For law enforcement agencies, encountering medical marijuana now requires them to step lightly.
“We work very closely with the prosecutor’s office,” said Lynden Deputy Chief John Billester. “We don’t want to cross a line and step on someone’s rights.”
Even though originally the law outlined only a legal defense for medical growers and users to use in court, law officers aren’t likely to make an arrest if they suspect the case will get thrown out of court.
Billester said it can make for an uncomfortable situation when people ask officers why they are taking away someone’s medication.
Working closely with the prosecutor’s office is the preferred course for most law enforcement agencies in Whatcom County, in order to make sure any case brought forward is clear-cut.
Sumas Police Chief Chris Haugen said his department recently assisted federal customs agents who encountered someone with medical marijuana.
By Jennifer Chambers, The Detroit News
Madison Heights -- Declaring Michigan's medical marijuana act the "worst piece of legislation he has ever seen in his life," an Oakland County judge dismissed felony drug charges against a Madison Heights couple who asserted a medical defense.
Torey Clark and Bob Redden jubilantly walked out of a Madison Heights district court just after noon today after 43rd District Court Judge Robert Turner said the defendants were entitled to have their case dismissed after their attorneys presented an affirmative defense that included testimony from their physician who qualified the pair to legally obtain the marijuana under the state's new law to treat their illness.
Clark and Redden were charged with growing marijuana after Madison Heights police raided their home March 30 and found 21 marijuana plants. They had faced up to 14 years in prison because they had prior drug offenses.
After the case was dismissed, the couple hugged their lawyers and embraced a small group of medical marijuana supporters who had come to court Wednesday to watch the outcome of the case.
Clark, who has ovarian cancer, said the judge's decision brought her immense relief after weeks of worry and stress over going to prison.