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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 17 Nov 2015 04:20:21 PST

Hillary Clinton Calls For Rescheduling Cannabis

Orangeburg, SC: Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for amending the federal classification of cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II during a campaign stop this weekend.

Fellow Democrat presidential candidate Martin O'Malley had previously said that, if elected, he would move cannabis to Schedule II via executive order. Republican candidate Rand Paul (KY) is the co-sponsor of Senate legislation to reclassify the substance. Last week, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders introduced legislation, "The Ending Federal Prohibition Act of 2015," to remove marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act altogether.

In her remarks, Clinton alleged that scientists "haven't done any research" on the safety and potential therapeutic efficacy. However, a keyword search on National Library of Medicine database yields thousands of scientific papers specific to cannabis and its effects. The findings of a recent review of FDA-approved clinical trials assessing the safety and therapeutic efficacy of herbal cannabis in various patient populations reported, "Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking."

Commenting on Clinton's statements, NORML Political Director Danielle Keane said: "Rescheduling cannabis to Schedule II under the federal law would classify marijuana in a similar manner as cocaine. Such placement is inconsistent with the plant's safety profile and would largely continue its prohibitive status. Like alcohol and tobacco, cannabis ought to be descheduled, thus providing states the power to establish their own marijuana policies free from federal interference."

Report: One In Eight Federal Drug Prisoners Serving Time For Marijuana Offenses

Washington, DC: Over twelve percent of federal drug prisoners are incarcerated for marijuana-related violations, according to data compiled by US Bureau of Prisons and the United States Sentencing Commission and published by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Of the 94,678 federal inmates incarcerated for a drug violation as their most serious offense, 12.4 percent (11,533 persons) are serving time for violating marijuana laws. Most marijuana offenders are imprisoned for trafficking violations. The average length of prison for those incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses is 88 months.

Nearly half (44.3 percent) of federal marijuana inmates are offenders with minimal criminal histories who have not previously served time in prison. Eight-five percent of marijuana offenders did not possess a firearm.

Over a third (36.5 percent) of federal marijuana prisoners are age 40 or older. Thirty-five percent of federal marijuana prisoners are not US citizens.

The percentage of marijuana-related federal prisoners has remained virtually unchanged over the past decade.

Full text of the BJS report, "Drug offenders in federal prison: Estimates of characteristics based on linked data" @ https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/dofp12.pdf

DEA Chief: Marijuana As Medicine "A Joke"

Washington, DC: Herbal cannabis is not medicinal and should not be classified as such, according to public statements made last week by US Drug Enforcement Administration Director Chuck Rosenberg.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Rosenberg acknowledged that constituents in the plant possess "great promise" as potential therapies. But he dismissed the notion of the plant itself as medicinal. "That is a joke," he said.

Commenting on Rosenberg's remark's, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: "The DEA chief's statements are woefully out of touch with both public opinion and scientific consensus." He noted that 23 states and Washington, DC permit cannabis therapy by statute and that well over half of physicians with opinions on the matter say that it should be a legal option for patients.

According to the findings of a recent review of FDA-approved clinical trials assessing the safety and therapeutic efficacy of herbal cannabis in various patient populations, "[T]he Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking."

A change.org petition calling on the Obama administration to fire Rosenberg as DEA head has already gathered over 10,000 signatures.

Mexico: Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Plaintiffs' Right To Use Cannabis

Mexico City, Mexico: Mexico's Supreme Court ruled last week that federal anti-drug laws should not trump individuals' rights to grow and consume cannabis for their own personal use. However, the 4-1 decision only applies to the individual plaintiffs in the case, and does not amend Mexico's existing anti-marijuana laws.

Four representatives of the group Mexican Society for Responsible and Tolerant Consumption argued that laws prohibiting the personal use of cannabis were overly intrusive and unnecessarily infringed upon personal liberties. A majority of the Court's criminal chamber agreed that the ban is unconstitutional because it violates basic human rights.

Following the ruling, Mexican President Enrique acknowledged that he is open to debating cannabis policy but that he does not favor its legalization.

Mexican lawmakers decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis (five grams or less) and other drugs in 2009.

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