A new Gallup and USA Today poll indicates that for the first time ever there is a super-majority of Americans public who want the feds to back off and let the states decide on how to deal with marijuana themselves. Via Raw Story:
A whopping 64 percent told Gallup that the federal government should not move to intervene in Colorado and Washington’s forthcoming marijuana regulations, which voters approved by wide margins on Election Day. Just 34 percent told pollsters they think the federal government should take action.
“This isn’t the first poll that shows voters want the government to let the states move forward,” Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Raw Story. “We’re talking about multiple polls now, and they’re making it clear that most Americans do not want the federal government interfering in the implementation of state laws making marijuana illegal for adults.”
Pollsters segregated respondents into two groups: those in favor of keeping marijuana illegal, and those opposed. In the results, there appears to be some crossover from those who favor the drug war but also favor states rights, a key moral sticking point for many conservatives.
Interestingly, of those who still support prohibition, 43 percent said that the states should be left alone. A full 87 percent of those who oppose prohibition said they would rather the feds stay out of the states’ business.
Overall, Gallup said 48 percent of Americans think marijuana should be taxed and regulated for adult use, versus 50 percent who favor prohibition. Though that number is unchanged from Gallup’s 2011 poll on the same topic, it represents a dramatic shift from just 2005, when only about 35 percent of Americans favored legalization.
It’s starting to look like it’s high time for the Obama administration and the DoJ to step off. A slew of law-abiding, tax-paying cannabis dispensaries were closed down recently in downtown Los Angeles and Eagle Rock. It’s getting ridiculous. Furthermore, it’s clearly not politically advantageous with numbers like these to side against the will of the people, so why are they bothering?
It’s worth noting that George Bush was pretty non-committal during his two terms, when the medical marijuana movement really picked up steam. Obama needs to heed these polls and simply do the same, i.e. nothing. Letting legal cannabis flourish is a revenue enhancing move; it increases the tax base and creates new jobs. It frees up police resources, there all kinds of reasons to not make this an issue.
The main one is that no one is ever going to stop smoking pot because it’s illegal in the first place. Everyone knows this! It’s so easy for them to just do nothing.
New York City resident and pot activist Kenny Toglia wants to inspect your moldy pot. Here’s why:
The problem with New York City street pot, says Toglia, comes from a cancer-causing fungus with the tongue-twisting name Aspergillus fumigatus, found commonly in soil and rotting vegetable matter and alarmingly in pot that’s been stored a long time before smoking.
To combat the threat, which Toglia claims affects one-third of relatively low-cost city pot, he has formed a nonprofit with the major purpose of educating marijuana smokers, especially those with compromised immune systems. Each Thursday at 6 p.m. Toglia and his crew will inspect your pot for the dangerous fungus for no cost at 130 E. Seventh St., at Avenue A. The location is known as the Muhammad Salahuddeen Memorial Jazz Theatre, named after a late East Village legend who combined squatting, jazz and community service in his University of the Streets near Tompkins Square Park.
Brazilian artist Fernando de la Rocque “paints” with marijuana smoke stencils. The stencils used are usually of religious or political figures to piss off the weed haters and get some controversy going. Fernando de la Rocque tokes up and then blows the smoke onto stencils placed on paper.
From the artist:
More important than freedom to smoke marijuana is the freedom to think about it and make art with it.
Polemic issues divide opinions, forcing people to think and debate. Inertia is useless when we want to overcome something.
Jason David, a 35-year-old single father from Modesto, showed up at Harborside in June 2011, desperately looking for a new treatment for his son. Jayden, now five and a half, has Dravet Syndrome, a severe, rare epilepsy sub-diagnosis that affects infants and children. When he was four months old, he started having seizures. Anything could set them off, including laughing and playing. “When he’d see a bounce house,” David recalled, “he’d get so happy he’d have a seizure.”
Only about eight hundred children in the world are thought to have Dravet. By the age of four and a half, Jayden was having three hundred to five hundred myoclonic seizures per day. He also was taking 22 different medications, including powerful anti-psychotics and anti-seizure drugs that are dangerous even for adults. “When you look at the side effects you think — pardon my language, but — you think they’re fucking safe? No fucking way. Half of them read: ‘committing suicide, dreams, yelling, screaming, going crazy, pain, suffering, seeing things, delusions, hallucinations.’
“My son would be crying and laughing at the same time,” David continued. “I have video of him screaming and tripping out of his mind. We had to get his liver tested every six months. The medicine was killing him. He’d had a grand mal seizure that lasted an hour and a half. He’d been in an ambulance 45 times in the last year. Seeing your son in an ambulance — it just kills you. I lost my ex-wife, my car, my business, my family, my life.”
David told his story to Andrew DeAngelo, the younger brother of Stephen DeAngelo, founder of Harborside. Andrew DeAngelo is a manager at Harborside who leads a monthly support group for seniors and families using medical marijuana. Jayden’s doctors at UC San Francisco had referred David to Harborside. “They told me, ‘Yeah you should try medical marijuana,’” David said. He was one of many parents quietly being referred to Harborside by UCSF for treatment of serious illnesses and symptoms that don’t respond to modern medicine.
Mainly, it was for appetite stimulation for kids with cancer, and pain management in paraplegic children, Andrew DeAngelo recalled. There’d be no smoking or vaporizing for the kids, of course. DeAngelo recommended edible cannabis or tinctures — extractions of the plant in glycerin or alcohol. Kids need just a drop. Many of the tinctures are barely psychoactive. DeAngelo started seeing parents who had kids with epilepsy, or autism, or a combination of both. “When I met Jason, he was the parent that was suffering the most out of all the parents I had met so far,” DeAngelo said.
Harborside gave David a tincture that was supposedly high in cannabidiol. Abbreviated as CBD, cannabidiol is produced by pot plants and has a multitude of medicinal properties. It’s anti-inflammatory, for example. And the federal government has patented it as a neuroprotectant for strokes. But it hasn’t been developed by pharmaceutical companies. You can’t buy a CBD pill at Walgreens.
Marijuana that contains CBD seems to modulate the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis — that is, an internal balance. It’s been used since biblical times to treat nervous disorders like epilepsy. It’s thought to help restore balance in the nervous system as well as the immune and digestive systems. According to lab research, CBD dampens the activity of the human nervous system at the site of what are called the “CB1” and “CB2” nerve cell receptors. These receptors are spread throughout the body’s nervous system.
Marijuana with high levels of cannabidiol also worked for David’s son. CBD is thought to act like a precision-guided warm blanket, calming Jayden’s overactive nervous system at key receptor sites. “Jayden had a seizure every day of his life, until the first day I gave him CBD,” David said. “It was the first four days in his life that he had went seizure-free. I was crying. I was happy crying instead of sad crying, which was new.”
The tincture worked for four months, but the second batch from the same tincture-maker didn’t work. “For two months my son started getting bad,” David said. Jayden’s doctors thought it might be a case of “honeymoon stage”: Some mainstream drugs are known to quell seizures for a month or two, and then seem to lose effectiveness.
But David had another idea. What if Harborside tested the tincture to make sure it was the same one as before? “I had done my research,” he said. “I knew they tested.”
In fact, it was one of the few places in the world where such a thing was possible.
They’ve done tests on lab rats using marijuana to mitigate and control induced seizures going at least as far back as 1977. It’s absurd that something like this—success where nothing else was working for this little boy—is being interfered with by the Feds in 2012, especially when examples like Jayden’s story show what possibilities cannabis has for medical science! This kid got his life back. He really doesn’t have to take 22 pharmaceuticals per day!
What would do if you were in Jason David’s shoes? I know what I’d do. Luckily Mr. David lives here in California. What about families in similar situations elsewhere? Should their children be forced to suffer because of brain-dead, antiquated drug laws from the 1930s when an organic substance that humankind has thousands of years of experience with could make their lives better? For what compelling reason? The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Obama administration need to check their heads on the matter. Michelle Leonhart, that fucking half-wit who runs the DEA needs to be pushed aside pronto. The American public at the very, very least deserves a competent DEA administrator Someone capable of a complex thought… or even a simple one. That’s not Leonhart’s strong suit, thinking, is it?
It’s TIME. As remarkable stories like Jayden David’s get around and as more and more people read about these kinds of benefits occurring with intelligent and intuitive medical cannabis treatment, it seems to me that the tipping point on marijuana law reform will be reached quite soon.
Below, Jayden David and his dad, Jason on Weed Wars.
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