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Obama is asked to defend his administration’s opposition to medical cannabis – He can’t

Regardless of one’s opinion of President Obama as a political figure, it is hard to deny his skill as an eloquent orator. So it is notable, even newsworthy, when the Commander-in-Chief is publicly at a loss for words.

Thanks for the tip, Joe!

Federal Survey: Teen Marijuana Use Flat, Use Of Alcohol, Cigarettes at Record Lows

Federal Survey: Teen Marijuana Use Flat, Use Of Alcohol, Cigarettes at Record Lows

NORML | September 17, 2015

Washington, DC: Current use of marijuana by those between the ages of 12 to 17 has remained largely unchanged over the past decade, while young people’s self-reported consumption of alcohol and cigarettes has fallen to record lows, according to federal data compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and released Friday.

According to…

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Student drug testing doesn’t work | Los Angeles Times

Between the years 2003 and 2008, the U.S. Department of Education awarded more than $36 million in taxpayer dollars to fund student drug-testing programs in public high schools, including several in Southern California. A study published this month in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence reveals that this was not money well spent.

[…] The study’s authors concluded: “The current research expands on previous findings indicating that school drug testing does not in and of itself deter substance use. … [D]rug testing should not be undertaken as a stand-alone substance prevention effort and that improvements in school climate should be considered before implementing drug testing.”

The study’s conclusions were hardly surprising. Despite claims that student drug-testing programs represent a potential "silver bullet” in society’s effort to reduce adolescent drug abuse, studies evaluating the effectiveness of such programs have consistently demonstrated the opposite. +

“Retired associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Lester Grinspoon, has studied both cannabis and schizophrenia for over 40 years, authoring the books Schizophrenia: Psychopharmacology and Psychotherapy and Marihuana The Forbidden Medicine. His expert opinion largely echoes the views of Drs. Holland and Earleywine.

‘Schizophrenia is largely a genetically determined disorder. However, not all people who have this genetic makeup develop the disorder. So, we have been searching for other variables that must be involved but so far with little success,’ he explains.  'Recently we have seen the publication of a number of papers that point the finger toward cannabis. Because my work in schizophrenia was first undertaken in the 1960s when marijuana was first observed to be increasingly widely used by young people, I was always careful to include the possibility that the patient had previously smoked marijuana in my history taking. I can’t tell you how many patients this involved, but it was certainly measured in the hundreds and not once did I find that it could be considered causal. Its use, on a few occasions, seemed like an attempt to alter an insufferable internal environment, much as people with schizophrenia often do with alcohol and tobacco.’”

– Debunking the Myth of a Link Between Marijuana and Mental Illness | AlterNet

Debunking the Myth of a Link Between Marijuana and Mental Illness | AlterNet

Health risks connected with drug use – when scientifically documented – should not be seen as legitimate reasons for criminal prohibition, but instead, as reasons for legal regulation. After all, there are numerous adverse health consequences associated with alcohol, and it’s precisely because of these effects that the product is legally regulated and its use is restricted to specific consumers and settings. Similarly, if there are legitimate mental health risks associated with use of cannabis by certain individuals then a regulated system would best identify and educate these people so that they may refrain from its use. Placed in this context, drug warriors’ fear-mongering surrounding the issue of marijuana and mental health does little to advance the cause of tightening prohibition, and provides ample ammunition to wage for its repeal. +

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Latest White House Drug Strategy Report Affirms Our Government Has Virtually No Interest In Actually Studying Marijuana | NORML

July 12th, 2011 - The White House yesterday, with little fanfare, issued its annual (and long overdue) 2011 National Drug Control Strategy report.

As usual, the White House’s official justification for the ongoing multigenerational drug war was light on facts and heavy on rhetoric, particularly as it pertained to the federal government’s fixation with criminalizing cannabis. + 

[The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011] would also permit states that wish to fully legalize (for adults) and regulate the responsible use, possession, production and intrastate distribution of marijuana to be free to do so without federal interference. In recent years, several states, including California and Massachusetts, have considered taking such actions either legislatively or by ballot initiative. It is likely that several additional states will be considering this option in 2012, including Colorado and Washington. The residents and lawmakers of these states should be free to explore these alternate policies, including medicalization, decriminalization and legalization, without running afoul of the federal law or the whims of the Department of Justice.