TX NORML open meeting notes, September 1, 2010
During last month’s meeting we covered these stories:
– WA Proposed Marijuana Legalization Initiative Will Not Qualify For 2010 Ballot
– Experienced Marijuana Consumers Exhibit Virtually No Change In Cognitive Task Performance After Smoking
– Oregon: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Measure Certified For November Ballot
– Marijuana Use Seldom Associated With ER Visits
– V.A. Easing Rules for Users of Medical Marijuana
– Congress declines to overturn DC’s Dispensary Law
– Oakland City Council Approves Regulations For First-In-The-Nation Industrial Marijuana Production Facilities
– NORML Accepting Registrations For National Conference
– Texas’ upcoming Legislative Session & Medical Marijuana Bill
– Chris Diaz’s case in Brownwood, TX, which is still going on, you can learn more at, I Am Sovereign DOT ORG
Recap of last month’s events:
– Friday, August 6th, at Club Encore, Red River Reggae, with McPullish, Tuskani, & Selektah Remedy
– Thursday, August 12th, at SpiderHouse, Happy Hempy Hour, with Brian Ashley Jones, hit some snags including BAJ unable to attend due to an sudden death in family, McPullish filled in
Now for the news from the past month:
House Passes National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2010
Washington, DC: The US House of Representatives last week passed legislation, HR 5143, that seeks to establish a national commission to “undertake a comprehensive review of the criminal justice system.”
House Bill 5143 is the companion bill to Senate Bill 714, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2010. It would establish a blue-ribbon commission to assess US criminal justice policies and make recommendations to Congress.
The companion version of the bill awaits action from the full Senate.
Marijuana Compound Halts Breast Cancer Tumor Growth
Madrid, Spain: The administration of THC reduces the tumor growth of metastatic breast cancer and “might constitute a new therapeutic tool for the treatment” of cancerous tumors, according to preclinical data published online in the journal Molecular Cancer.
Investigators from Complutense University in Madrid assessed the anti-tumor potential of THC and JWH-133, a non-psychotropic CB2 receptor-selective agonist, in the treatment of ErbB2-positive breast tumors – a highly aggressive form of breast cancer that is typically unresponsive to standard therapies.
Researchers reported, “[B]oth Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol … and JWH-133 …reduce tumor growth [and] tumor number [in mice]. … [T]hese results provide a strong preclinical evidence for the use of cannabinoid-based therapies for the management of ErbB2-positive breast cancer.”
In 2007, investigators at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute reported that the administration of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid CBD limited breast cancer metastasis in a manner that was superior to comparable synthesized agents.
Previous preclinical studies assessing the anticancer properties of cannabinoids have shown that they inhibit the proliferation of a wide range of cancers, including brain cancer, prostate cancer, oral cancers, lung cancer, skin cancer, pancreatic cancer,biliary tract cancers, and lymphoma.
Spain Approves Marijuana Spray As Medicine
Madrid, Spain: Spanish regulators have approved the sale and marketing of Sativex, an oral spray consisting of natural cannabis extracts (primarily the plant cannabinoids THC and cannabidiol aka CBD) as an adjunct therapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. (MS).
The approval comes some two months after British health regulators legalized the drug. Separate regulatory approval remains pending in several additional European markets, including France, Germany, and Italy.
Sativex was approved in Canada in 2005.
In clinical trials, Sativex has been demonstrated to reduce MS-associated spasticity, pain, and incontinence. Long-term investigational trials indicate that consistent use of the cannabis-based medicine may also slow the progression of the disease.
Clinical trials to assess the use of Sativex to treat cancer pain are pending in the United States.
Rasmussen Poll: Fewer Than One In Five Americans Say Marijuana Is More Dangerous Than Booze
Ashbury Park, NJ: Fewer than one in five Americans nationwide believe that consuming marijuana is more dangerous than drinking alcohol, according to a national telephone poll of 1,000 likely voters by the polling firm Rasmussen Reports.
Fifty percent of respondents, including the majority of those who said that they drank alcohol, rated the use of marijuana to be less dangerous than booze. Only 17 percent of those polled said that cannabis is the more dangerous of the two substances.
Twenty-six percent of respondents said that both substances are equally dangerous.
Respondents also agreed, by a nearly two-to-one majority, that marijuana was far less dangerous than smoking cigarettes.
A majority of respondents (65 percent) said that they believed that marijuana would be legal in the United States within ten years.
Effects Of Random Student Drug Testing Programs Limited, Education Department Study Says
Alexandria, VA: Students subjected to random high school drug testing programs express the same willingness to use illicit drugs in the future as do students who are not exposed to testing, according to the findings of July study published by the US Department of Education.
Investigators assessed the self-reported usage of illicit substances among students in 36 high schools. Half of the schools assessed had administered federally funded high school drug testing programs, while half had not.
Researchers reported that the impact of the testing programs on student’s self-reported use of illicit drug appeared to be limited and temporary.
The study found that students who engaged in extracurricular activities and were subjected to random testing were less likely than their peers at schools without drug testing to self-report having used drugs in the previous thirty days. However, the apparent deterrent effects were not long lasting, as students subjected to drug testing were no less likely than their non-exposed peers to admit that they intended to use illicit substances within the next 12 months.
Investigators also failed to find any ‘spillover effects’ attributable to random drug testing. Researchers reported that the overall rates of self-reported drug use among the entire student body were similar in schools with and without drug testing. (By law, only students that participate in athletics or other extracurricular activities may be subjected to suspicionless drug testing in public school.)
A previous 2007 study of mandatory student drug testing programs published in the Journal of Adolescent Health reported that programs that target high school athletes do not reduce self-reported drug use and may encourage greater risk-taking behaviors.
Commonly Prescribed Medications Often Trigger ‘False Positive’ Results On Urine Drug Screens, Study Says
Tulsa, OK: Prescribed medications commonly trigger ‘false positive’ results for illicit substances on urine drug screens, according to a review published in the August 15th edition of the Journal of the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists.
Investigators at the University of Oklahoma, College of Pharmacy conducted a comprehensive literature review assessing the likelihood of ‘false positive’ drug test results for 116 separate medications.
“Reports of false positive UDS (urine drug screens) result were found for 25 (21.5 percent) of the 116 formulary medications,” authors found.
Prescribed medications were most likely to yield false positive results for amphetamine or methamphetamine, the study reported.
Medications were far less likely to positive for marijuana. Nevertheless, researchers concluded that “acute or chronic ibuprofen use” was occasionally associated with false positive cannabinoid results. However, these results were only documented on the enzyme-mediated immunoassay (EMIT) test.
*We are unable to get the full list of those medications without paying for a subscription to the publishing journal*
Detroit: Marijuana Depenalization Measure In Litigation
Detroit, MI: Proponents of a proposed municipal ballot measure to prohibit the criminal prosecution of adults who possess minor amounts of marijuana are appealing a city election commission ruling that would bar voters from deciding on the proposal this November.
Members of the Coalition for a Safer Detroit had collected over 6,000 signatures from registered voters to qualify the measure for the 2010 ballot. The Detroit Election Commission certified the signatures in June. However, last week the Commission voted 3 to zero to remove the proposal from the ballot – claiming that, if passed, the ordinance would be in conflict with state law.
Coalition representatives are appealing the ruling. A hearing on the matter in Wayne County Circuit Court is scheduled for Thursday, August 26.
Proponents of the measure say that they will appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court, if necessary. They note that in 2004 Detroit voters approved Measure M, which amended the Detroit city criminal code so that local criminal penalties would no longer apply to any individual “possessing or using marijuana under the direction … of a physician or other licensed health professional.”
The Detroit Election Commission made no effort to legally challenge that measure.
California: Latino Voters League, Black Police Officers Endorse Marijuana Depenalization Initiative
Sacramento, CA: Representatives from the Latino Voters League (LVL) and the National Black Police Association have offered formal endorsements of Proposition 19, The Regulate, Control & Tax Cannabis Initiative of 2010. If passed, the measure would legalize the private adult possession and cultivation of marijuana, and allow local government the option to regulate the plant’s commercial production and sale.
“The so called ‘war on drugs’ has been a gigantic failure, and approving Proposition 19 in November in California will hasten its demise,” Antonio Gonzalez, coordinator of the Latino Voters League (LVL), announced at an August 13 press conference. “[A]pproving Proposition 19 will strike a blow to violent gangs and Mexican cartels that prey on our communities by removing their profit incentive. Parents worried about drug use today among their teenage children should support Proposition 19 because it will reduce the availability of cannabis among underage persons by controlling it and regulating it in the same way alcohol is controlled.”
The LVL is a “nonpartisan organization dedicated to mobilizing Latino voters around progressive issues.”
Last week, at its national conference in Sacramento, The National Black Police Association also endorsed the measure. The National Black Police Association has some 15,000 members nationwide. “[Passage of Prop. 19] means that we will be locking up less African American men and women and children who are using drugs,” the group’s Executive Director Ron Hampton said. “[Under the present policy,] blacks go to jail more than whites for doing the same thing.”
According to a report published in July, African Americans are arrested for marijuana possession offenses in California’s 25 largest counties at more than twice the rate of Caucasians.
The California state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had previously expressed its “unconditional support” for Prop. 19.
California voters will decide on the measure this November. According to the most recently released statewide poll on the measure, 50 percent of Californians support Prop. 19 while 40 percent oppose it.
Barry Cooper’s charges dropped, then 2 days later his home is raided by SWAT, again for a misdemeanor charge
Barry N. Cooper, a former narcotics law enforcement officer turned marijuana activist, said he was charged on Thursday with conducting private investigations without a license, a Class A misdemeanor.
The charge appeared to be related to Cooper’s “Kopbusters” hoaxes in which he videotapes various police departments seeking to find what he terms police corruption.
Department of Public Safety officials said the charge was filed in Williamson County, but the affidavit for his arrest could not be obtained late Monday afternoon.
Cooper said by phone Monday that he was arrested by a SWAT team at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday. He said he was released after more than 10 hours in jail on $10,000 bond.
The arrest came just two days after Ector County prosecutors said they would not pursue misdemeanor charges filed by the Texas Rangers in connection with a December 2008 Kopbusters hoax in Odessa in which Cooper set up a faux marijuana grow house. He had been charged with filing a false report to a peace officer.
Cooper said he plans to hold a press conference Wednesday at the state capitol to address his most recent arrest. Cooper also faces misdemeanor charges of filing a false report in connection with another Kopbusters hoax in Williamson County and possession of marijuana.
Upcoming Events & Alerts
– San Marcos River Reggae Fest, Labor Day, San Marcos Plaza Park, 206 North C.M. Allen Parkway, San Marcos, TX, 1:00-11:00pm, All Ages event, Kids under 12 free, $10 advance tickets, $12 day of. Event features The Original Wailers, The Movement, Full Service, Ashes of Babylon, Tin Can Phone, Chris Boomer, and more!
– 39th Annual National NORML Conference in Portland, OR, Sept. 8-11th.
– There will be a “Free Marc Emery” rally in Austin on Sept. 18th, at Wooldridge Square Park, from 2:00pm till 4:20pm
– Our friend and promoter, Episode Phive, has a couple shows scheduled in September, the 17th & 24th (both Friday night), called Red River Reggae Rock, at Club Encore.
– Red River Reggae, the night before our 5th Annual 6th St Smokeout, at Club Encore, with Tribal Seeds, Ashes of Babylon, Mystic Roots, & DJ Ivor, $8 advance tix, $10 day of
– 5th Annual 6th Street Smokeout, Saturday, October 2nd, 7:00pm-2:00am, featuring Asylum Street Spankers, Jabarvy, Jiminy Crisket, Paul Bullock, and more! Will have food available for your munchies.
– Next monthly meeting Wednesday, October 6th.
– Texas NORML is happy to announce that we once again will be the beneficiary of the “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is” Disc Golf Invitational Tourney in Round Top, TX. For complete info, check with one of our Board Members, become a member, or sign up for our e-mail listserve if you haven’t already.
Questions or comments/ anything left out?