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.: Medicial Marijuana Policies

 

News2020 believes that the greatest harm associated with marijuana is prison. To this end, News2020 focuses on highlighting penalties for marijuana use, with a particular emphasis on making marijuana medically available to seriously ill people who have the approval of their doctors.''We did not view marijuana as a significant health problem--as it was not....Nobody dies from marijuana. Marijuana smoking, in fact, if one wants to be honest, is a source of pleasure and amusement to countless millions of people in America, and it continues to be that way.'' Peter Bourne, President Carter's Drug Czar

 

TO: News2020.com
FROM: Zane Hurst, MPP legislative analyst      

On May 23, the Connecticut House voted 89-58 in favor of HB 6715, the compassionate bill that will stop the criminalization of medical marijuana patients. Then, on June 1, the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 23-13. This is the first time in Connecticut that an effective medical marijuana bill has passed both the House and the Senate in the same session. Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R) is the last hurdle the bill needs to clear. But she has indicated that she might veto it. Please visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9883531 to send her a letter urging her to allow the bill to become law.

Last Friday, June 8, the bill was sent to the Secretary of State's Office. The Secretary of State has up to 10 days to prepare the bill for the governor, after which it will be sent to Gov. Rell. This means that within the next week, the bill will be officially sent to Gov. Rell.

When Gov. Rell receives HB 6715, she has 15 days to do one of three things:
1) Sign HB 6715 into law;
2) Do nothing and HB 6715 becomes law automatically after 15 days; or
3) Veto HB 6715.

We cannot allow her to veto this bill. If she vetoes the bill, two-thirds of those present in each chamber would have to vote to override the veto for the bill to become law. Although the bill passed both chambers by large margins, they were not large enough to override a veto. Medical marijuana patients across the state are counting on you to contact Gov. Rell and urge her to not veto this bill. Please take a moment to visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9883531 and send her a letter now. We have several form letters available for you to use, but please personalize your letter before sending it.

After you send Gov. Rell a letter, please take a moment to follow up with a phone call to her office. It will only take a couple minutes, but it could make all the difference for Connecticut's sick and dying patients. You can reach her office by calling (800) 406-1527. Please urge her to do the compassionate thing and pledge to protect patients from arrest. Remember to be polite and professional when speaking to the governor or her staff.

It's imperative that Gov. Rell hear from as many supporters as possible. Please pass this message on to your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and e-mail lists by visiting http://action.mpp.org/CTGovernor so that they too can stand up for Connecticut's seriously ill patients.

A Better Way Foundation and the Drug Policy Alliance are leading the effort to protect Connecticut's sick and dying patients. They have done a tremendous job in keeping the pressure on Gov. Rell. Please do your part by visiting https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9883531 and contacting Gov. Rell today. Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project and our allies.

===============================================================
The Marijuana Policy Project hopes that each of the 100,000 
subscribers on our national e-mail list will make at least one 
financial donation to MPP's work in 2007. Please visit http://
www.mpp.org/donate to donate now.

MPP will be able to tackle all of the projects in its 2007 strategic 
plan -- http://www.mpp.org/2007plan -- if you and other allies are 
generous enough to fund our work.

We are required by federal law to tell you that any donations you 
make to MPP may be used for political purposes, such as supporting or 
opposing candidates for federal office.

 

Dear News2020.com
FROM: Zane Hurst, MPP legislative analyst      

The Minnesota Legislature has adjourned for the year. Although the Senate passed S.F. 345, the medical marijuana bill, the House ran out of time before it could bring up H.F. 655, the companion bill to S.F. 345, for consideration on the House floor. We made incredible progress this year: This was the first session in which a medical marijuana bill passed a chamber in Minnesota, after only three years of MPP's lobbying.

We did not lose once -- the medical marijuana bill won in four committees in the Senate, on the Senate floor, in all five House committees of jurisdiction, and was pending on the House floor when the legislature adjourned. And because the Minnesota Legislature meets for two-year sessions, we do not lose any ground when they reconvene. The medical marijuana bill is still very much alive, and will be heard on the House floor next year.

However, it is clear that Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) constitutes the only real roadblock to this compassionate legislation. Despite bipartisan support for the bill in the legislature, the dedicated efforts of the House and Senate leadership, the endorsement of numerous medical groups including the Minnesota Nurses Association, and the 2-to-1 support for medical marijuana among Minnesotans, Gov. Pawlenty continues to listen only to the false arguments presented by law enforcement, and vowed to veto any medical marijuana legislation.

We have the next year to make clear to Gov. Pawlenty that protecting patients is a priority among Minnesotans, and we must begin today by visiting https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9794611 and sending him an e-mail. Medical decisions should not be made by law enforcement, but by doctors and patients.

In order for us to change the governor's mind on medical marijuana, we need to demonstrate that he is on the wrong side of both compassion and public opinion. Now is an excellent opportunity to visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=8507291 and send a letter to the editor of your local papers, expressing your displeasure that Gov. Pawlenty stands so firmly in the way of positive reform. We have provided you with some talking points to get you started, but please do not simply cut and paste them. Please visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=8507291 to send a letter to the editor now.

Then, please visit http://action.mpp.org/Pawlenty to forward this message to your friends and family, so they can get involved as well. It's imperative for Gov. Pawlenty to hear from as many people as possible.

The tremendous progress that we have made this year would never have been possible without the courage of those who risked so much to stand up and speak out: Shannon Pakonen, Devin Blundy, Darrell Paulsen, Don Haumant, Dr. Jacob Mirman, and the many doctors, nurses, and patients who submitted written testimony. Your bravery, sacrifice, and tenacity are inspiring to all of us.

MPP would also like to thank Sen. Steve Murphy (DFL-Red Wing) for taking the lead on this critical issue, along with co-sponsors Sens. Geoff Michel (R-Edina), Steve Dille (R-Dassel), Linda Higgins (DFL-Minneapolis), and Linda Berglin (DFL-Minneapolis); and Reps. Tom Huntley (DFL-Duluth), Steve Sviggum (R-Kenyon), Paul Thissen (DFL-Minneapolis), Chris DeLaForest (R-Andover), Leon Lille (DFL-North St. Paul), and all of the co-sponsors of H.F. 655 for sponsoring this compassionate legislation.

Be assured that the momentum is on our side, and your efforts have made, and will continue to make, an important difference. We have gained a tremendous amount of ground so far this session, and look forward to fighting for seriously ill Minnesota patients when the legislature reconvenes.

Please take action now so that the cruel policy of criminalizing seriously ill patients ends soon. Then, visit http://action.mpp.org/Pawlenty to forward this e-mail to your friends, family, neighbors, and e-mail lists so that they can take action now as well. Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project.

 

Dear News2020.com
FROM: Karen O'Keefe, MPP assistant director of state policies      

Tomorrow, the Rhode Island House is scheduled to vote on the medical marijuana bill that the Senate approved on May 3. Earlier this month, 84% of the House approved the House bill to make Rhode Island's medical marijuana law permanent. If the House also approves the identical Senate bill, the medical marijuana bill could be on Gov. Donald Carcieri's desk as soon as tomorrow afternoon.

Please make sure the governor hears from your before he decides whether to allow this compassionate law to be permanent. He vetoed the medical marijuana bill in 2005, but this year, his spokesperson told the Associated Press that he has not decided whether he will veto the bill or allow it to become law without his signature. Here's what you can do:

1. Visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9787326 to send a letter to Gov. Carcieri. Our automated system will make it quick and easy for you to send your message.

2. Follow up with a phone call to Gov. Carcieri at (401) 222-2080. You can keep the message short and to the point, urging him to allow the medical marijuana act to become law if it arrives on his desk. You can let him know that the medical community and the public are solidly behind the bill.

3. Visit http://action.mpp.org/GovernorRI to pass this message on to your friends and family to ask them to do the same.

More than 260 seriously ill patients are protected from the arrest under the Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act. If the act is not renewed by June 30, all of these patients will have to choose between continuing to use their medicine and risking arrest, or suffering without their medicine.

You can also look up your House and Senate members and either thank them for voting to protect patients if they voted "yes," or ask them to reconsider their vote if they voted "no." You can visit http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/ to look up your legislators and their contact information, and you can visit http://ri.mpp.org/2007FloorVote to find how they voted.

Thank you for your support. Please pass this alert on to your neighbors, friends, and family so that together we can make sure that no Rhode Island patient risks arrest for using his or her medicine.

 

Dear News2020.com
FROM: Zane Hurst, MPP legislative analyst      

Rather than voting on HB 6715, the medical marijuana bill, the Connecticut House of Representatives referred it back to the Appropriations Committee yesterday. It has been scheduled for debate and vote in the committee on Monday, May 21.

Thank you to everyone who called and e-mailed your legislators over the last couple days. This contact is having a positive effect. But now we need to direct our calls and e-mails to the Appropriations Committee members.

If your legislator is on the Appropriations Committee, please take a moment to contact him or her now. You can visit http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/?lvl=L to find out who your state legislators are and then visit http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/MemberList.asp?comm_code=APP&doc_type = for the list of members on the Appropriations Committee.

If your representative is not on the Appropriations Committee, please take a moment to call the co-chairs and ranking members on the committee:

Sen. Toni Harp (D-New Haven), Co-Chair -- (860) 240-0393
Rep. Denise Merrill (D-Mansfield), Co-Chair -- (860) 240-0394
Sen. David Cappiello (R-Danbury), Ranking Member -- (860) 240-8875
Rep. Kevin DelGobbo (R-Naugatuck), Ranking Member -- (800) 842-1423

In your message to the committee members, please tell them that you support HB 6715 and urge them to pass it quickly.

This will be the last committee that the bill needs to clear before it receives a full floor vote in the House. We are getting very close to protecting medical marijuana patients in Connecticut, but we can't let up yet. So, please take a moment to call the legislators on the Appropriations Committee today.

A Better Way Foundation and the Drug Policy Alliance are leading the effort to pass HB 6715. Please pass this message along to friends, family, neighbors, and e-mail lists so that others can stand up for Connecticut's most vulnerable residents as well. Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project and all of our allies.

 

Dear News2020.com
FROM: Zane Hurst, MPP legislative analyst      


The conference committee working on S.7 reached a compromise on the legislation to improve Vermont's current medical marijuana law. Late Friday night, both chambers passed the compromise bill, which will expand the list of allowable conditions for medical marijuana use and improve access for patients by increasing the number of plants they're allowed to grow.

The bill is now awaiting action from Gov. Jim Douglas (R). When Vermont passed its medical marijuana law in 2004, Gov. Douglas let it become law without his signature. Medical marijuana patients need you to act now to ensure that he does not veto the improvement bill this year.

Please visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9752591 to send a letter to Gov. Douglas, urging him to let S.7 become law and protect more seriously ill Vermont residents. Remind him that there is strong bipartisan support for the bill and that sick and dying Vermont citizens are depending on him. Let him know that he should not stand in the way of giving these patients the relief they need and deserve.

Then, follow up your letter by calling the governor's office at (802) 828-3333. Please remember to be polite and professional when speaking to Gov. Douglas' staff.

We are very close to improving the law and protecting even more Vermont residents. Please take a moment to send a letter to Gov. Douglas now by visiting https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9752591 .

Thank you to everyone who has taken action over the last several months. The bill would not have made it this far without your help. But we need to make sure that Gov. Douglas gets the message that Vermonters support this sensible improvement to the law. So, please pass this message along to your friends, family, neighbors, and e-mail lists in Vermont. Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project.

 

Dear News2020.com

This has been an exciting, action-packed week for MPP's state legislative efforts.

Please read about our amazing progress in Rhode Island, Vermont, Minnesota, New York, and Illinois, and then visit http://www.kintera.org/TR.asp?ID=M7264258216723367945618565&af=y to donate to our lobbying juggernaut.

To start, the Rhode Island Senate just voted 28-5 to make Rhode Island's medical marijuana law permanent. This vote follows a 50-12 vote on the bill in the Rhode Island House of Representatives yesterday. The margin of victory in both votes is extremely important, as Gov. Donald Carcieri (R) has said he will veto the bill. Because our legislation has passed both chambers by a veto-proof margin, we hope that the veto and subsequent veto-override will occur before the current law is scheduled to expire on June 30. Visit http://ri.mpp.org/site/c.jkLSJ8MTKtH/b.1774155/apps/nl/content2.asp?content_id={C591158D-F868-4C10-8F73-1D2A5687E334}&notoc=1 to read some positive local news coverage of the votes.

Also yesterday, the Vermont House of Representatives gave final approval to the bill to improve Vermont's existing medical marijuana law. MPP has been coordinating the lobbying campaign for the bill, which would qualify patients suffering from conditions that cause nausea, wasting, chronic pain, or seizures; increase the number of plants that a qualifying patient may possess; and reduce the program registration fee from $100 to $50. Yesterday's House vote follows an overwhelming voice vote in favor of the bill in the Vermont Senate earlier this year. The bill will soon head to Gov. Jim Douglas (R), who we hope will let the bill become law without his signature, as he did with the original version of the bill that we enacted into law in 2004.

And this week, the Minnesota Senate twice voted in favor of our medical marijuana bill (35-29 today, and 33-31 on Tuesday), marking the first time that either chamber of the Minnesota Legislature has passed medical marijuana legislation. And a companion bill in the House has already passed four House committees and is now headed to its fifth and last. With various legislative leaders in Minnesota firmly committed to passing this bipartisan legislation, we're hopeful that our bill will soon head to the desk of Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R). Visit http://mn.mpp.org/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=epLIJQOuHmE&b=1772349&ct=3836615 to read some positive local news coverage of our bill.

Plus, our medical marijuana bill in New York passed an Assembly committee with a vote of 15-4 on April 14, and the Illinois Senate is soon expected to hold a floor vote on our medical marijuana bill, which recently received public endorsements from the Illinois Nurses Association and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Visit http://il.mpp.org/site/c.ijIQI0PIKqG/b.1771315/apps/nl/content2.asp?content_id={5FB790A9-D9F8-416C-BC06-F8FA6EB8626F}&notoc=1 to read some positive local news coverage that our Illinois bill has generated.

Please consider making a donation today at http://www.kintera.org/TR.asp?ID=M7264265116723367945618565&af=y to support MPP's state legislative efforts. We are getting closer to passing medical marijuana bills in five states this year.

As always, thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Rob Kampia
Executive Director
Marijuana Policy Project
Washington, D.C.

 

To: News2020.com
Karen O'Keefe, MPP assistant director of state policies    
 

Great work! In an 50-12 vote, the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted today to make Rhode Island's medical marijuana law permanent. Please help keep the momentum going ... Tomorrow afternoon, the Senate will vote on the Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act. Please call your state senator to ask him or her to vote to make the medical marijuana law permanent before it expires on June 30.

You can visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/directory/statedir.tt?state=RI to look up your state senator and his or her district phone number. When you call, you can keep your message simple. After saying your name and town, urge the senator to vote for S. 791, the Senate version of the medical marijuana act. You could also mention that the law is protecting very ill patients, without hurting anyone. Or, note that it is supported by the state medical society, the state nurses association, and 79% of voters.

If you reach your senator, please e-mail me at karen@mpp.org to let us know any feedback you receive. With your help, we can make sure that Rhode Island patients will never again face arrest under state law for the doctor-advised medical use of marijuana.

Thank you so much to all of you who helped pass this bill through the House by an 81% veto-proof margin. Patients with Crohn's disease; multiple sclerosis; AIDS; intractable, excruciating pain; and other debilitating conditions testified at the legislative hearings and attended the vote. Several doctors and representatives of medical organizations added their voices to the call to pass this compassionate bill. And at least 70 of you took the time to contact your legislators.

Although this win is heartening, our work is not done. Please don't forget to call your state senator. Then, please visit http://action.mpp.org/RISenateVote to pass this message on to your friends and family to ask them to do the same. If you want to do even more to help out, you can visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9572161 and write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Thank you for your support and compassion.

To: News2020.com
Zane Hurst, MPP legislative analyst  
   

The Senate Finance Committee passed S.F. 345 in a voice vote today, marking the fourth and final committee hurdle that this legislation needed to clear. The bill is now headed to the Senate floor, and Minnesota's suffering patients need you to help in the following four ways to ensure that it passes.

1) Call your senator and urge him or her to vote in favor of S.F. 345. If you do not know who your state senator is, you can visit http://geo.commissions.leg.state.mn.us/districts/start.html to find out. Remember to be polite when talking to the senator or staff member. When you call, you can keep your message simple. After saying your name and town, please urge the senator to vote for S.F. 345, the medical marijuana bill.

2) Please visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9339171 to write a letter to your state senator, urging him or her to support the medical marijuana bill. With just a few clicks, our automated system will allow you to send a pre-written letter to your senator, or you can compose the letter yourself.

3) Visit http://action.mpp.org/MNSenateVote to forward this message to your friends, family, and neighbors in Minnesota. I know that many of you have already taken action. So, please ask your friends and neighbors to write and call their senators as well. It's imperative that senators hear from as many supportive people as possible.

4) Please visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9218486 to send a letter to the editor of your local papers, expressing your hope that lawmakers will end Minnesota's cruel policy of criminalizing the seriously ill. Our automated system will allow you to easily send a letter to newspapers in Minnesota. It takes only a few moments, but it can make a world of difference. Feel free to draw from the talking points that we have provided, but remember that a personalized letter is more likely to be published than a form letter.

Victory is within reach, but the fight for compassion in Minnesota is not over. Let's do all we can to make sure that the Senate passes S.F. 345 this year.

So, please pitch in to enact this compassionate bill: If you have not done so already, please visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9339171 to write your state legislators and visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9218486 to submit a letter to the editor of one or more local newspapers. Then, visit http://action.mpp.org/MNSenateVote to ask your friends and family to do the same. Thank you for your support and compassion.

 

To:News2020.com
From: Karen O'Keefe, MPP assistant director of state policies
     

The Rhode Island House vote on H. 6005 has been delayed until next Wednesday, May 2, to clarify a portion of the medical marijuana bill. Thank you so much to all 60 of you who have written your legislators. For those of you who haven't yet, this means you have an additional five days to make sure Rhode Island does not criminalize the terribly ill for treating their illnesses.

In 2005 and 2006, the General Assembly stood up for patients, overriding Gov. Donald Carcieri's veto of the medical marijuana bill. If you haven't done so already, please ask your legislators to continue showing their compassion by making the Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act permanent.

Here's what you can do to help make sure H. 6005 passes by a veto-proof margin:

1. Write your legislators, if you haven't done so already.

If you have not yet sent a letter to your legislators, please visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9542296 to do so. Our automated system will allow you to contact your legislators in just a few moments. You can send a pre-written letter or, for added effect, you can modify the letter or draft your own. Please remember to keep your letter focused on the issue legislators will be voting on -- the medical use of marijuana.

2. Call your representative, if you have not done so yet.

You can visit http://www.sec.state.ri.us/vic/ to look up your state representative and his or her number. When you call, keep your message simple. After saying your name and town, urge the representative to vote for H. 6005, the medical marijuana act. You could also mention that the law is protecting very ill patients, without hurting anyone. Or note that it is supported by the state medical society, the state nurses association, and 79% of voters.

3.  Visit http://action.mpp.org/RIHouseVote and urge your friends, colleagues, and family in Rhode Island to take action.

Although 60 letters is a great start, there are 75 state representatives. That means that some state representatives haven't received any constituent letters. Please consider asking other compassionate Rhode Islanders to write their legislators. With 79% popular support for allowing medical marijuana, chances are that your friends and family members support this law.

Thanks to many constituent voices, brave patients, and caring doctors and legislators, seriously ill patients are currently protected from arrest under Rhode Island law. More than 250 seriously ill Rhode Islanders are currently registered to use medical marijuana according to their doctors' recommendations. With your help, we can prevent this compassionate law from expiring. Thank you for your support.

To: News2020.com
From: Nathan Miller, MPP legislative analyst  
   

Next week, don't miss a chance to move Alabama closer to becoming the first Southern state to stop arresting seriously ill patients for using medical marijuana with their doctors' approval. On Wednesday, April 25, the House Judiciary Committee will be voting on HB206 - the Compassionate Care Act. Please, mark your calendars to join patients, medical professionals, and other advocates at the State House to show committee members that voters care about protecting medical marijuana patients.

Visit http://www.legislature.state.al.us/misc/visitorsguide/downtownmap.html for a map of the area.

The meeting starts at 9:00 a.m. and will be held in room 123 of the Alabama State House. You need to be there around 8:00 a.m. to ensure you are able to get a seat. The room is small and often filled with reporters, and no standing is allowed. Please dress accordingly so that we make the best possible impression.

You don't have to wait until Wednesday to move this humane bill forward. Please visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9577371 to send your legislators an e-mail before the House Judiciary Committee votes next Wednesday, urging them to support HB206.

Once you have e-mailed your legislators please call each of the committee members and ask them to vote "yes" on HB206:

Rep. Marcel Black -- chair (D) -- (334) 242-7667
Rep. Charles Newton -- vice chair (D) -- (334) 242-4460
Rep. Steve McMillan -- ranking minority member (R) -- (334) 242-7723
Rep. Spencer Collier (R) -- (334) 242-7719
Rep. Paul DeMarco (R) -- (334) 242-7740
Rep. Priscilla Dunn (D) -- (334) 242-7702
Rep. Chris England (D) -- (334) 242-7703
Rep. Tammy Irons (D) -- (334) 353-9032
Rep. Jamie Ison (R) -- (334) 242-7711
Rep. Marc Keahey (D) -- (334) 242-7748
Rep. John Robinson (D) -- (334) 242-7728
Rep. Yusuf Salaam (D) -- (334) 242-7746
Rep. Howard Sanderford (R) -- (334) 242-4368
Rep. Cam Ward (R) -- (334) 242-7750

HB206 is the result of efforts by the Drug Policy Alliance Network (DPA) and Rep. Laura Hall (D-Madison) to design a bill that would allow patients suffering from certain illnesses to use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. If you would like to contact DPA about this legislation, please send an e-mail to gsayegh@drugpolicy.org .

Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project and all of our allies. If you are a patient, a medical professional, a law enforcement official, or a clergy member -- or if you know somebody who benefits from medical marijuana -- we would especially like to hear from you, so please e-mail nmiller@mpp.org to see how you can be of help to this effort.

To: News2020.com
From: Zane Hurst, MPP legislative analyst
     

Yesterday, the Minnesota Senate Health and Human Services Budget Division passed Sen. Steve Murphy's (DFL-Red Wing) bipartisan medical marijuana bill, S.F. 345, in a 6-4 vote. The victory yesterday moves this compassionate legislation to the full Senate Finance Committee, and only one more committee win from the Senate floor. The House companion bill -- H.F. 655 -- is currently awaiting action in the House Finance Committee.

Now that we are only one step from a Senate floor vote, it is imperative that all activists get involved. With your help, we can make Minnesota the 13th state to protect its seriously ill citizens from arrest and prosecution. If you have not already done so, please send a letter to your legislators by visiting https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9339171 and urging them to support the medical marijuana bills. We have several pre-written letters available for you, but a personally crafted letter is much more effective. Please take a moment to personalize your letter before sending it. If you need additional information about medical marijuana, you can visit http://www.mpp.org/library and use some material from our library.

Then, if you have not already done so, please take action now and visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9218486 to write a letter to the editor of your local paper. The opinion page is one of the most read parts of the newspaper and legislators often look to the opinion pages to see where their constituents stand on an issue. It's very important that they see supportive letters.

Medical marijuana legislation has not received a floor vote in either chamber of the Minnesota Legislature in recent history. Last session, the medical marijuana bill cleared four Senate committees, but did not receive a vote on the Senate floor. We are very close to making history, but we can't afford to let up now. Please take a moment to visit http://mn.mpp.org/site/c.epLIJQOuHmE/b.1772351/k.8E44/Take_Action/apps/nl/newsletter2.asp to take action now and do your part, so that seriously ill Minnesotans can finally get the protection they deserve.

Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project. Please pass this message along to friends, family, neighbors, and e-mail lists so that others can stand up for Minnesota's most vulnerable residents as well.

 

To: News2020.com
From: Nathan Miller, MPP legislative analyst  
   

The drug czar and his staff have been flying around the country holding summits to try to convince local educators to start testing students for drugs -- randomly and without cause. Of course, the drug czar is using the same old propaganda and fear tactics to push this ridiculous agenda.

So far, the drug czar has traveled to South Carolina, New Jersey, and Hawaii to spread his Orwellian philosophy on student drug testing. The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) has organized at each location to make sure that a voice of reason is heard and to balance out the drug czar's hysterical rhetoric.

Please join DPA, local activists, and other MPP members at the final regional student drug testing summit of the year, in Las Vegas on April 24, to counter the drug czar's deceptive presentations by asking questions and distributing literature.

The date and location of the summit are:

Tuesday, April 24, 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Cashman Center
850 N. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas

Please arrive in business casual attire to be most effective in communicating with educators.

If you would like to attend, please make sure you visit http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/meetings/index.asp?intappstate=31&campid=807&meetid=454 and register for the event on the summit Web site. Also, send an e-mail to jkern@drugpolicy.org to let DPA know that you are attending. DPA will send you additional materials and answer any questions you might have.

To prepare for the event, please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the issue. Begin by visiting http://www.drugpolicy.org/makingsense and reading DPA's booklet, Making Sense of Student Drug Testing: Why Educators Are Saying No. DPA also has an issue-specific web site, Drug Testing Fails at http://www.drugtestingfails.org/ , which also provides a wealth of information. Beyond Zero Tolerance at http://beyondzerotolerance.org/ presents a reality-based approach to drug education and student assistance programs. You can also visit http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/03_11_04can.cfm to check out DPA's online toolkit, which features questions to ask at the summit and other ideas for getting involved if you cannot attend the summit on April 24.

The drug czar's goal is to present himself as the single authority on student drug testing. Don't let him hit regional educators and run! Your participation will make an important difference in Nevada.

Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project and all of our allies. If you are a patient, a medical professional, a law enforcement official, or a clergy member, or if you know somebody who might benefit from medical marijuana, please e-mail Nathan Miller at Nathan@mpp.org to see how you can be of special help.

To: Goldenseed
From: Karen O'Keefe, MPP assistant director of state policies      

Good news for Rhode Island patients: In the past few days, bills to make the state's medical marijuana law permanent passed out of Senate and House committees by huge margins. The House Health, Education, and Welfare Committee voted to continue protecting patients in a 10-3 vote and the Senate Health and Human Services committee approved the legislation by 6-0.

Within the next several weeks, the full Senate and House will vote on these humane bills. If you haven't done so already, please make sure your state legislator has heard from you before casting his or her vote. Please visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9542296 to send a letter to your legislators. You can quickly and easily send our pre-drafted letter, or you can craft a message of your own. If you or someone you love could benefit from the medical use of marijuana, or if you are a medical professional, please work your story into your letter.

That's not all you can do to help. If you haven't done so already, please submit a supportive letter to the editor to your local paper. The opinion page is one of the most read parts of the newspaper. You can visit  https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9572161 to send a letter through our automated system. Please be sure to personalize your letter; newspapers do not print form letters.

The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act allows patients with cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other debilitating conditions to use medical marijuana. Qualified patients submit their doctors' written recommendations to the Department of Health. Then they receive a registry ID card that allows them to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for their medical use. So that patients will not have to go to drug dealers to get their medicine, they (or their caregivers) can grow up to 12 plants in a locked, indoor facility.

Unless the Rhode Island General Assembly renews the state's medical marijuana law, more than 240 Rhode Island patients will have to face a terrible decision on July 1. They will have to choose between continuing using the medicine that works best for them and risking arrest or sacrificing their health to maintain their freedom.

So, please pitch in to enact this compassionate bill: If you have not done so already, please write your state legislators and submit a letter to the editor of one or more local newspapers. Then, visit http://www.kintera.org/autogen/home/default.asp?ievent=231412 and ask your friends and family to do the same. Thank you for your support and compassion.

 

'a bill to protect medical marijuana patients from arrest and prison'
MPP
April 10th 2007

Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on S.F. 345, a bill to protect medical marijuana patients from arrest and prison. It is imperative that we have as many supporters at the Capitol as possible to show their support for this sensible legislation. If you can make it to the Capitol tomorrow, have questions, or would like additional information, please contact Rick Kelley in our Minnesota office by calling (612) 326-6690, ext. 801. If you are coming tomorrow, please remember to dress and act professionally.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 10 at 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Minnesota Capitol Building, Room 112, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul.
RSVP: Rick Kelley, (612) 326-6690, ext. 801

Even if you can't make it tomorrow, you can still influence your legislators to support medical marijuana legislation this year. One of the most important things you can do right now is visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9218486 and write a letter to the editor of your local papers in support of S.F. 345. It is imperative that lawmakers see examples of the widespread, statewide support this sensible legislation enjoys. While we have provided talking points for you to craft your letter, please try to personalize your letter as much as possible -- a personalized letter is always more likely to be printed than a form letter. You can also visit http://www.mpp.org/library to check out some of the material in our library.

If you have not done so already, please also take a moment to visit https://ssl.capwiz.com/mpp/issues/alert/?alertid=9339171 and send a letter to your state legislators. We have several form letters available to get you started, but please take a moment to personalize your letter before sending it to your legislators.

Our medical marijuana bills in both the House and the Senate are moving forward and could have floor votes in both chambers very soon. The Senate Health, Housing and Family Security Committee already passed S.F. 345, and the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on it tomorrow. Additionally, H.F. 655, the companion bill to S.F. 345, has cleared the House Health and Human Services Committee and the Public Safety and Civil Justice Committee, as well as the Health Care and Human Services Finance Division.

The momentum is clearly behind our bills. Please help maintain it by coming to the Capitol tomorrow.

Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project. Please pass this message along to friends, family, neighbors, and e-mail lists so that others can stand up for Minnesota's most vulnerable residents as well.

   To: News2020
From: Anthony Wagenseil, MPP legislative analyst  


H.B. 1534 would provide Texas' medical marijuana patients with a level of protection they do not have under current Texas law. The bill would give patients an "affirmative defense," meaning that if arrested and brought to court for marijuana, patients could demonstrate that the marijuana was out of medical necessity. Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-149) recently signed on as a joint author of the bill, which was introduced by Rep. Elliott Naishtat (D-49). Visit http://tx.mpp.org/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=cnJEKONsFmG&b=1774635&ct=3573085 to view H.B. 1534.

The bill now sits in the House Committee on Public Health, where it awaits a hearing. The bill author has asked the committee chair, Rep. Dianne Delisi (R-55) to schedule a hearing for H.B. 1534 -- but it still has not been scheduled. Please take a moment to contact Chairwoman Delisi and urge her to schedule H.B. 1534 for a hearing as soon as possible. She can be reached at (512) 463-0630 or (254) 774-9888. If you are unable to make a phone call, you may e-mail her at dianne.delisi@house.state.tx.us , but please keep in mind that legislators receive countless e-mails a day and that a phone call has much greater impact.

If you have a few minutes, please also contact the committee members and ask them to urge Chairwoman Delisi to schedule the bill for a hearing. Legislators especially like to hear from their own constituents, so if you recognize any of these names as your representative, please start with him or her. If you do not know who your state representative is, you can visit http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/welcome.php to find out. If none of the committee members represent you, please just contact as many as you can.

Jodie Laubenberg -- vice-chair -- (512) 463-0186 or jodie.laubenberg@house.state.tx.us
Jim Jackson -- budget & oversight chair -- (512) 463-0468 or jim.jackson@house.state.tx.us
Ellen Cohen -- (512) 463-0389 or ellen.cohen@house.state.tx.us
Garnet Coleman -- (512) 463-0524 or garnet.coleman@house.state.tx.us
Veronica Gonzales -- (512) 463-0578 or veronica.gonzales@house.state.tx.us
Susan King -- (512) 463-0718 or susan.king@house.state.tx.us
Dora Olivo -- (512) 463-0494 or dora.olivo@house.state.tx.us
Vicki Truitt -- (512) 463-0690 or Vicki.truitt@house.state.tx.us

Seriously ill medical marijuana patients deserve a hearing on H.B. 1534, so we must demonstrate to the committee members that there is public interest for the bill. Please call or e-mail today.

Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project. Please forward this alert to your friends and family in Texas, so that they, too, may become involved in reform.

 

GW signs Otsuka as cannabis drug partner
Pharmaceutical.com
March 17th 2007

GW Pharmaceuticals has signed Japanese company Otsuka Pharmaceutical as a partner to help develop and market its cannabis-based cancer pain drug Sativex.
The deal will see UK-based GW receive milestone payments of up to $273 million, including a signature fee of $18 million from Otsuka. In addition, Otsuka will bear the costs of all US development activities for Sativex. Otsuka will have an exclusive license to develop and market Sativex in the US. Sativex is in late stage development in the US for the treatment of pain in patients with advanced cancer that has not been adequately relieved by opioid medications, and is already approved in Canada for pain relief in multiple sclerosis. GW and Otsuka currently plan for the first US pivotal efficacy clinical trial to be a phase II/III cancer pain dose ranging study, to commence this year.
The companies are also in discussions to start a cannabinoid research collaboration in central nervous system disorders and cancer treatment.
Russell Portenoy, principal investigator of the first planned US Sativex study, said: "Although opioids are highly effective analgesics, studies suggest that as many as one-third of patients with pain due to advanced cancer do not obtain adequate relief and new treatments are needed. Cannabinoid formulations may represent an important option in the future and the information obtained from clinical trials of Sativex will be critical in defining their role."

 

MAPS Members, Supporters, and Friends,

MAPS has been attempting for years to put marijuana through FDA-approved clinical trials to resolve the controversy over medical marijuana's safety and efficacy, with the aim of distributing and developing as a prescription medicine if its meets the FDA's standards.

In light of our recent hard-won victory in Prof. Craker's lawsuit against the DEA, we're ramping up for a lobbying campaign of unprecedented significance and scale. Shortly after March 26, when DEA's lawyers submit their objections to DEA Administrative Law Judge Bittner's recommendation that DEA issue a license to Prof. Craker for a MAPS-sponsored medical marijuana production facility, we are planning to initiate a new Congressional sign-on letter campaign aimed at pressuring DEA to accept Judge's Bittner's recommended ruling.

Meanwhile, MAPS' psychedelic research agenda continues to make leaps (see Items 3-10).

If you are a MAPS member, we are deeply grateful for your support and glad to have you on our team.  We couldn't do our work without you. If you are not a MAPS member, please consider joining us. Reading updates about the burgeoning renewal of psychedelic therapy research is way more fulfilling when you know that you are helping to make it happen.



Please visit http://www.maps.org/donate to become part of this force today!

Read on:

1. Update on Craker/DEA Lawsuit for MAPS-Sponsored Marijuana Production Facility
2. MAPS and Chemic Labs Negotiate Vaporizer Protocol
3. Ninth Circuit Court Rejects Raich Medical Marijuana Right-to-Life Case
4. Ethics Committee Meeting for Historic Swiss LSD/End-of-Life Anxiety Study
5. Crucial Media Provision Approved on Appeal by IRB for Dr. Mithoefer's MAPS-Sponsored MDMA/PTSD Study
6. Final Five Subjects Recruited for Dr. Mithoefer's Flagship MDMA/PTSD Study
7. Second Subject Treated in Dr. Oehen's Swiss MDMA/PTSD Study
8. MAPS Funds Secondary Study Measuring EEG/ERP for Subjects in Dr. Oehen's MDMA/PTSD Study
9. MAPS-Sponsored LSA/Cluster Headache Study Receives Conditional Approval from IRB
10. Iboga Therapy House Now Recruiting Patients; MAPS-Sponsored Observational Case Study Poised to Begin
11. MAPS/Heffter-Sponsored Ketamine Research Published
12. The Women's Visionary Congress — Web Site and Registration Now Available
13. Raffle for MindStates Costa Rica
14. Pioneering Psychedelic Researcher Duncan Blewett Passes On


For MAPS memberships, special donations, merchandise, books, artwork, and more:
http://www.maps.org/catalog


1. Update on Craker/DEA Lawsuit for MAPS-Sponsored Marijuana Production Facility

In light of our recent hard-won victory in Prof. Craker's lawsuit against the DEA, we're ramping up for a lobbying campaign of unprecedented significance and scale. MAPS must show DEA that there is substantial public support for scientific freedom in marijuana research. That's why MAPS is coordinating a lobbying campaign aimed at pressuring DEA to actually accept Judge Bittner's recommended ruling.

On March 26, DEA's lawyers will submit their critique to DEA Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Mary Ellen Bittner's  recommended ruling that DEA grant a Schedule I license to Prof. Lyle Craker for his proposed MAPS-sponsored production facility. On May 4, our lawyers will submit a reply to the DEA lawyers' critique, and then within a few weeks the ALJ will formally submit her recommendation and the dueling comments from the two legal teams to DEA. The DEA has an unlimited amount of time to make a final ruling.

MAPS has already utilized over $250,000 in resources to help Prof. Craker win his lawsuit against DEA, mostly in the form of pro bono legal services. Now, we must harness the momentum from this victory to demonstrate to DEA that the public wants to see the safety and efficacy of marijuana determined by rigorous scientific research, not by the vested political interests of NIDA and DEA. The opportunity to resolve the controversy over medical marijuana through FDA-approved clinical trials hangs in the balance.

We estimate that the odds of prevailing over DEA are 2-1 against us — in other words, more favorable than many of MAPS' long-shot efforts. Even if we lose, we win in some important ways. If the DEA rejects the ALJ's recommendation, it will highlight DEA obstruction of FDA-approved research and will help build support for state-level medical marijuana reform efforts.

Last week, our lobbying campaign received a big boost with news that MAPS has been awarded a grant of $45,000 from the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). Over the next few weeks, we'll be formulating a strategy. Then, we'll ask MAPS members and many others to contact their Congressional legislators to request that they write to DEA urging the agency to accept the ALJ's recommendation.

For background information on the case and Prof. Craker's proposed facility, see: http://www.maps.org/mmj/DEAlawsuit.html


2. MAPS and Chemic Labs Negotiate Vaporizer Protocol

On February 16, MAPS President Rick Doblin met with Joe St. Laurent and Scott Goodrich, the founders of Chemic Labs, the analytical laboratory that has conducted prior MAPS/CaNORML-funded vaporizer research. They discussed the development of a new vaporizer research protocol to submit to NIDA for review, once again seeking to purchase 10 grams from NIDA and seeking DEA permission to import 10 grams of high THC/high CBD marijuana from the Netherlands, with a cannabinoid content that NIDA doesn't have available. The design work and the study itself, should we eventually obtain approval from NIDA, will be co-funded by MAPS and CaNORML, as have all our previous vaporizer research projects.

This new protocol seeks to analyze the constituents of the vapor produced in the Volcano vaporizer, from samples of NIDA marijuana that contain THC and samples of imported marijuana that contain both THC and CBD. During the meeting at Chemic, we reviewed in detail the critiques of the original vaporizer research protocol that the PHS/NIDA reviewers offered back in August 2005 [link to critique]. We will make a few changes in the protocol so that this will be a new submission and we will respond in detail to each critique. The proposed methodology will call for testing at various temperatures, and will measure for carbon monoxide levels, cannabinoids and certain particulates.

PHS/NIDA's handling of the original version of this protocol was another classic case of the dysfunctional nature of NIDA's monopoly on research-grade marijuana. After waiting for more than two years for PHS/NIDA to review the protocol, during which time we unsuccessfully sued NIDA for unreasonable delay in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the critique that was finally issued contained several important misunderstandings and seemed to come from people who had barely even read the protocol. Chemic filed a response to the critiques in September 2005, which PHS/NIDA has totally ignored for more than 17 months. There seems to be no appeal process at all in the PHS/NIDA review of medical marijuana research proposals and there are certainly no deadlines that compel PHS/NIDA to respond within any reasonable period of time. This is in contrast to FDA, which must reply to protocol submissions within 30 days and has a clearly defined and prompt appeal process. Chemic's critique of NIDA's rejection is posted online at: http://www.maps.org/mmj/chemic_letter_9.9.05.pdf

The new vaporizer protocol will be submitted to NIDA in April. Then, we anticipate a long wait. NIDA has successfully ignored Chemic's response to its critiques but it will be more difficult for NIDA to ignore a new protocol submission.

For background on MAPS' vaporizer research efforts, see http://www.maps.org/mmj/vaporizer.html


3. Ninth Circuit Court Rejects Raich Medical Marijuana Right-to-Life Appeal

Earlier today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected (3-0) an appeal by medical marijuana patient Angel Raich, ruling that the 10th amendment does not protect her right to use medical marijuana and that there is no constitutional right to use marijuana to treat pain and suffering. MAPS and MPP had submitted an amicus curiae brief for the appeal, as well as for Raich's previous cases, detailing the federal government's obstruction of medical marijuana research. Raich, a mother of two, uses marijuana to treat severe chronic pain, an inoperable brain tumor, wasting syndrome, and seizures.

Judge Harry Pregerson wrote, "We agree with Raich that medical and conventional wisdom that recognizes the use of marijuana for medical purposes
is gaining traction in the law as well. But that legal recognition has not yet reached the point where a conclusion can be drawn that the right to use medical marijuana is ‘fundamental' and ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.'

In Raich's 2005 US Supreme Court case, Gonzalez v. Raich , medical marijuana suffered a judicial setback when the Court ruled that the federal government can continue arresting patients who use medical marijuana legally under their state laws. Almost a year ago, on March 27, 2006, Raich returned to the Ninth Circuit Court in Pasadena, California, with a new legal strategy. Her attorney, Prof. Randy Barnett, emphasized that the case was about Raich's "fundamental right to life," arguing that her right to use marijuana is constitutionally protected under the 5th & 9th amendments and by the common law doctrine of medical necessity.

During oral arguments last year, Justice Arlen Beam cited the MAPS/MPP amicus curiae brief. However, the Judge did not cite the primary message of the brief -- that the federal government has obstructed research, hence making state reform efforts necessary -- instead, to our disappointment, he only focused on the brief's acknowledgment that there is not enough current clinical research for the FDA to approve marijuana for prescription use.

MAPS/MPP amicus curiae brief:
http://www.maps.org/mmj/mpp_amicus_11.30.05.pdf

With Raich's appeal lost, one more potential door to federally-legal medical marijuana is firmly shut, making the route through FDA even more necessary than before. There is no constitutional refuge for medical marijuana patients. The federal government is using its full authority to crack down on medical marijuana users and providers, even in medical marijuana states, while also making sure patients stay criminals by obstructing FDA-approved research.


4. Ethics Committee Meeting for Historic Swiss LSD/End-of-Life Anxiety Study

On March 8, the Ethics Committee (Swiss IRB equivalent) for Dr. Peter Gasser's proposed MAPS-sponsored LSD-assisted psychotherapy study met to review his protocol. The committee is writing him a letter with their decision later this week. During the meeting, Dr. Gasser answered questions for 40 minutes. According to Peter, the meeting went well, and the committee seemed comfortable with the doses and the size of the study. Most of the information they requested was about videotaping and protecting the privacy of the subjects. One member of the committee did express some worries about the overwhelming power of the LSD experience itself. These concerns were addressed by Dr. Gasser, who stressed the psychological preparation of the subjects, the controlled clinical setting, and the supportive relationship with the therapists as being the key ways that the power of the LSD experience can be utilized in a therapeutic and beneficial manner.

This was the first of three formal regulatory reviews for the protocol to obtain full government approval. Depending on the outcome of the Ethics Committee evaluation, and the subsequent reviews by SwissMedic (Swiss FDA) and BAG (Swiss DEA), we could be ready to begin the study by this summer. The study is budgeted at $180,000 - MAPS has already raised $50,000 so far, but we need your help to bring the final $130,000 to fruition. Once approved and completed, this study will be the first government-approved study in over 35 years evaluating LSD's therapeutic applications.

For more information of Dr. Gasser's proposed LSD psychotherapy study, see: http://www.maps.org/research/cluster/psilo-lsd/#swlsd


5. Crucial Media Provision Approved on Appeal by IRB for Dr. Mithoefer's MAPS-Sponsored MDMA/PTSD Study

After several years of effort, three rejections, and an appeal, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Dr. Michael Mithoefer's flagship MAPS-sponsored US MDMA/PTSD study approved an amendment to the study's protocol. The IRB decided that it will not object to subjects speaking with the media and/or documentary filmmakers following completion of each subject's participation in the study. The IRB originally insisted that patients not speak with the media even after the entire study is complete. After years of careful consideration, the IRB has now determined that it has no jurisdiction to control subjects' decisions about whether or not to speak to the media.

Due to the resolution of  the media policy, we are now ready to move forward with our 12-month follow-up evaluations, which the IRB has previously approved.


6. Final Five Subjects Recruited for Dr. Mithoefer's Flagship MDMA/PTSD Study

Another encouraging advancement is that we may be close to enrolling the final five subjects needed to complete Dr. Mithoefer's study. We've focused more attention on recruitment with ads on various psychedelic-related websites and websites for PTSD support groups and currently have more than five subjects going through the screening process. Two of these potential subjects are Iraq War veterans.

Fifteen out of 20 subjects have completed the experimental procedures and their final follow-up evaluation session. Efficacy data at this stage is promising, so far making a strong case for continuing the research into FDA Phase 3 studies.

Wondering what an FDA Phase 3 study is?
FDA: http://www.fda.gov/cder/handbook/phase3.htm
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_trial#Phase_III

For more information on Dr. Mithoefer's MDMA/PTSD protocol see: http://www.maps.org/mdma/protocol/index.html


7. Second Subject Treated in Dr. Oehen's  Swiss MDMA/PTSD Study

Dr. Peter Oehen's MAPS-sponsored study evaluating MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for subjects with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been making swift progress. Last Thursday, March 8, the second subject in Dr. Oehen's study underwent the second experimental treatment session. The third subject will undergo the first experimental session later this week, and the fourth and 5th subjects have already been recruited.

Dr. Oehen's MDMA/PTSD protocol: http://www.maps.org/mdma//swissmdmaptsd/protocol1608.pdf


8. MAPS Funds Secondary Study Measuring EEG/ERP for Subjects in Dr. Oehen's MDMA/PTSD Study

MAPS has committed $5,300 to Dr. Franz Vollenweider at the Psychiatric University Hospital in Zurich to co-sponsor a secondary study that will gather data for physiological assessments of subjects in Dr. Oehen's MDMA/PTSD study. The additional study will use several different measures to assess the psychophysiology of PTSD by using EEG/ERP and other biological measures such as heart rate variability (HRV) and pre-pulse inhibition (PPI). These parameters will be measured before and after the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to allow researchers to evaluate changes in various areas of the brain and body. We expect  that this additional neurophysiological and biological data will document the efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. The amendment to Dr. Oehen's protocol to include Dr. Vollenweider's research was previously approved by Dr. Oehen's Ethics Committee (IRB) in September 2006.

For more on this study, see Dr. Oehen's article in the Fall 2006 MAPS Bulletin : http://www.maps.org/news-letters/v16n2/mdma_ptsd_swiss.pdf


9. MAPS-Sponsored LSA/Cluster Headache Study Receives Conditional Approval from IRB

Earlier today, R. Andrew Sewell, M.D., received conditional approval from an IRB, pending a few minor changes in  the informed consent form , for his protocol for a case series of the effects of LSA-containing seeds (morning glory, Hawaiian baby woodrose, or Rivea corymbosa) on cluster headache. The study, funded by a donation to MAPS from Seth Hollub, collects reports from people with cluster headache who have tried to treat this extremely painful condition through the use of seeds that contain this psychedelic compound.

For more about this study, see the Memorandum of Understanding between MAPS and Dr. Sewell at: http://www.maps.org/MOUSewell.htm


10. Iboga Therapy House Now Recruiting Patients; MAPS-Sponsored Observational Case Study Poised to Begin

MAPS Clinical Research Associate Valerie Mojeiko is in Vancouver, Canada this week to conduct a study initiation visit for a MAPS-sponsored observational case study evaluating the long-term efficacy of ibogaine-assisted therapy in participants seeking treatment for opiate addiction at the Iboga Therapy House. 

If you are interested in receiving ibogaine therapy, you can learn more about the Iboga Therapy House and apply to their program at:  http://www.ibogatherapyhouse.net/cms


11. MAPS/Heffter-Sponsored Ketamine Research to be Published March 31

Evgeny M. Krupitsky, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Research Laboratory at St. Petersburg Regional Center of Addictions and Psychopharmacology, will publish "Single Versus Repeated Sessions of Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy for People with Heroin Dependence" in the March 31 issue of the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs . Krupitsky and his team found that multiple sessions of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy were more effective than single sessions, helping take an important step forward from the "magic bullet, miracle cure" theory.

Unfortunately, since this research was conducted, all ketamine research in Russia has been halted by its increasingly repressive regime, although heroin-related harm has risen considerably in recent years.


12. Women's Visionary Congress: Web Site and Registration Now Up!

The Women's Visionary Congress is a gathering of healers, activists, researchers and artists who are redefining the use of entheogens. This is a rare opportunity to meet the women doing critical work in the entheogenic, medical cannabis and harm reduction communities. The event will feature 25 mostly women speakers including Val Corral, Earth and Fire Erowid, Amanda Feilding, Carolyn (Mountain Girl) Garcia, Kathleen Harrison, Mariavittoria Mangini, Hilary McQuie, Annie Mithoefer, Cindy Palmer, Steph Sherer and Annie Sprinkle. The V Congress is a benefit for the Women's Entheogen Fund (WEF) which was created in 2002 to support the work of women who spend a significant portion of their professional lives researching psychoactive plants and chemicals. MAPS is the non-profit fiscal sponsor for WEF.

Co-sponsored by The Sibyl Society and MAPS, the V Congress will take place at Wilbur Hot Springs in Northern California from July 27-29th. Tickets are $375 and include the cost of all events, meals, camping and yoga classes. A limited number of rooms are available at the Wilbur Hot Springs Hotel for an additional cost. This event is open to both women and men.

For more information and to register, visit the V Congress Web site at http://www.visionarycongress.org or call MAPS Membership and Sales Manager Sarah Hufford at (831) 252-0023.


13. Raffle for MindStates Costa Rica

Want to win a trip to the Mind States Costa Rica seminar, June 13-17, 2007?  Try your luck and support MAPS by purchasing a ticket for the MindStates raffle! Raffle tickets are $20.00 each, and winning tickets are worth approximately $2,100 in event costs and airfare. Ten percent of the price of each raffle ticket goes to MAPS.

To purchase a raffle ticket, see http://www.mindstates.org/maps-raffle.html

Winner(s) airfare (up to $700), attendance fee, food, and resort room costs will all be covered. Seminar presenters include Joe Coleman, Erik Davis, Earth Erowid, Fire Erowid, Stanislav Grof, Jon Hanna, Liz McIntyre, Mark Pesce, Alexander Shulgin, Ann Shulgin, and Margaret Wertheim, with Holotropic Breathwork offered by Sheelo Bohm.

For more information on the event, see http://www.mindstates.org


14. Pioneering Psychedelic Researcher Duncan Blewett Passes On

On February 24, Duncan Blewett died at Nanaimo Hospital, British Columbia, after two years of loving post-stroke care at his home on Gabriola Island. Dr. Blewett was an athlete, husband, father, PHD from University of London (UK), WWII veteran, founding chairman of University of Saskatchewan's department of Psychology, and one of the earliest western scientists to study the effects and therapeutic applications of psychedelics. Blewett published numerous books, such as Handbook for the Use of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-25: Individual and Group Procedures and The Frontiers of Being .

Handbook for the Use of LSD-25... is available in electronic format in the "Free Books" section of the MAPS website: http://www.maps.org/freebooks.html

Blewett and a team of forward-thinking research psychologists were recruited to work at the U. of Saskatchewan's (later known as the U. of Regina's) Weyburn Hospital by Dr. Humphrey Osmond in the early 1950s, where they conducted a wide variety of patient studies and observations. Osmond, of course, is known for introducing Aldous Huxley to psychedelics (as described in The Doors of Perception ) and for coining the term "psychedelic," in addition to his myriad research.

According to the Gabriola Sounder , Duncan "lived his life fabulously in the moment to the very end: the power of his joy will resonate on for many lifetimes ... The afterlife just got a little lighter."

Following Duncan's death, Larry Schor wrote:

“Duncan was a trickster, a magician, an alchemist. In his company and under his spell, you could almost witness reality and imagination dancing together on the head of a pin. With Duncan by your side, you were always capable of more. More love. More compassion. More courage. One of his favorite quotes was of the Chinese philosopher Mencius, who said, ‘The ways are but two, love and want of love.' For Duncan, the only path was love.”

***************************************************************************************

The power is in our hands to create our future, and the future of psychedelics.

Now that MAPS' agenda is gathering momentum, your support is more important than ever.  If you are a MAPS member, we are deeply grateful for your support and glad to have you on our team. We couldn't do our work without you. If you are not a MAPS member, please consider joining us.

For MAPS memberships, special donations, merchandise, books, artwork, and more:
http://www.maps.org/catalog


Happy Spring!

Jag


Jag Davies
Director of Communications
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
MAPS :: 10424 Love Creek Road :: Ben Lomond, CA 95005
Tel. 831.336.HEAL (4325) :: Cel. 831.252.0023 :: Fax. 831.336.3665
jag@maps.org

 

Medical marijuana debate returns to state Capitol
Journalinquirer.com
March 14th 2007

HARTFORD -Rep. Penny Bacchiochi, R-Somers The question over whether to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes is back before state legislators. The question, which has produced some rousing floor debates over the past four years, never has made it to the governor's desk.
But Rep. Penny Bacchiochi, R-Somers, one of its leading advocates, says she's optimistic that could change this time around. "When you first hear about something you're unfamiliar with, there's a natural tendency to stay away," said Bacchiochi, who testified in favor of the measure recently before the General Law Committee. "But I think people have had a chance to understand this a little better now." The bill pending this year would allow residents with certain debilitating medical conditions to both cultivate and use marijuana to ease their pain - provided a doctor provides an opinion that this would outweigh the health risks.
Connecticut has had a law since 1981 that allows marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes, but doesn't allow patients to grow it. The only way for them to obtain it, therefore, is to purchase it illegally. Bacchiochi, who has co-sponsored bills to legalize such use since she entered the legislature in 2003, says there is evidence of growing public acceptance. The number of states allowing marijuana use for medicinal purposes has grown since 2003 from four to 11, Full Story.....

 

 

'marijuana identification cards from $53 to $106'
Redding.com
March 8th 2007

Shasta County supervisors voted 4-1 today to raise the application fees for medical marijuana identification cards from $53 to $106.
Supervisor Les Baugh dissented, arguing the program has failed to draw the number of applicants that had been expected. Shasta County has 50 cardholders, far short of the 300 that had been predicted. Baugh also said he disagrees with condoning marijuana use while the county spends hundreds of thousands of dollars stopping marijuana growers. Other board members said they were merely complying with state law.
The increase results from the state’s decision to raise its application fee from $13 to $66. The county’s $40 fee is unchanged.

It's Official: Marijuana Can Reduce Pain
Counterpunch.org
March 5th 2007

The journal Neurology on Feb. 13 published an article by UCSF's Donald I. Abrams, MD, and colleagues establishing that smoked cannabis relieves neuropathic pain (an intense tingling or burning sensation usually occurring in the feet). Abrams et al conducted a study at San Francisco General Hospital with 50 patients whose neuropathy was HIV-related. (Neuropathic pain can also result from diabetes, trauma, and other causes.) Another type of pain was induced by applying capsaicin to a patch of each patient's skin.
The study participants were randomly divided into two groups -one that smoked cannabis (3.5% THC, provided by the National Institute on Drub Abuse), and one that smoked placebo joints from which the cannabinoids had been extracted (also from NIDA). Patients smoked three times a day for five days. Those getting the real thing reported a 34 percent reduction in pain whereas the placebo smokers reported a 17 percent reduction. Capsaicin-induced inflammation was reduced, too. "These results provide evidence that there is a measurable medical benefit to smoking cannabis for these patients," says Abrams, Full Reduction.....

Research, not rhetoric: Marijuana can save lives
David Ostrow
Suntimes.com
March 6th 2007

As Illinois legislators prepare to debate a new, practical plan for legalizing the medical use of marijuana (the Legislature actually passed a medical marijuana bill in 1971 but that flawed measure was never put into practice), they should consider a new study, published in the journal Neurology last month.
That Feb. 13 study, conducted by Dr. Donald Abrams of the University of California at San Francisco, found smoked marijuana to be safe and effective at treating peripheral neuropathy, which causes great suffering among HIV/AIDS patients. This type of pain, caused by damage to the nerves, can make patients feel like their feet and hands are on fire, or being stabbed with a knife. Similar pain occurs in a number of other illnesses, including multiple sclerosis and diabetes, and responds poorly to conventional pain medications -- even addictive, dangerous narcotics.
Abrams' study matches my own experience in studying the natural history of AIDS. This experience has led me to focus on complementary medications for treatment of peripheral neuropathy, taking leads from my own patients who have used marijuana for pain relief even though this exposed them to possible arrest and imprisonment, Full Rhetoric....

"If you want to stand on your principles..
Sheffieldtoday.net
March 6th 2007

2 ageing hippies have escaped jail sentences for their part in a cannabis co-operative run by women in a South Yorkshire village who smoke 'joints' to ease their painful joints.
Jacqueline Bell and Valerie Owen were among a circle of six friends aged from 42 to 70 living in Highfields, Doncaster, who clubbed together to buy the drug because of their various medical conditions.
And today they vowed to carry on smoking dope even though they risk going to prison for ignoring a sentence imposed by a judge at Doncaster Crown Court.
Recorder Peter Kelson QC said he realised they would carry using cannabis because they had strong feelings about it and told them: "If you want to stand on your principles you can take your prison sentence - it's your choice."
Bell, aged 53, was given three months for possession with intent to supply and Owen, 46, received one month for possession, both suspended for 51 weeks. They will also be tagged to stay at home under curfew every night for the next six months.
The court was told how drugs squad officers found two blocks of cannabis weighing 716 grams in a wardrobe and 11 other pieces in various parts of the terraced house in South Street, More Principles

The wonder Drug
Uncivildefence
March 6th 2007

Yet another study has come out showing the overall efficacy of marijuana as a palliative medicine, especially in the realm of neuropathy related pain control. Lester Grinspoon, MD had an Op/Ed piece in the March 1st edition of the Boston Globe that addressed the new study and made the case for renewed study and use of cannabis as medicine. This isn't the first time that a study has been made into the efficacy of marijuana as a reliable and effective medicine for the treatment of the pain associated with the various types of neuropathic myopathy. Nor is it the first call for reform where medical marijuana is concerned.

I've touched on this before, and likely will again in the future. Medical marijuana is a subject that needs to be in the forefront of alternative treatments. Too many of the treatments for neuropathic pain do not work and have potentially serious side effects, like opiates. I had to watch my mother deal with the devastating effects of diabetic myopathy and got to see first hand how little conventional medicine was able to do for her condition. At times she was relegated to a wheel chair when she went out. She, and thousands of others like her, was relegated to a world of unending and agonising pain tat could have been alleviated by the simplest of actions. Lighting and smoking a joint. This latest study, Full Study....

'inhalation room'
Cbc.ca
March 7th 2007

A Regina man has opened an inhalation room in his hemp store for people who can legally use medical marijuana, but questions are swirling about its legality.
Dean Foster said he made numerous calls to the authorities, but still doesn't know whether authorities will consider it legal.
"We've contacted the RCMP, we've contacted the city police, the integrated drug squad, the City of Regina, the Province of Saskatchewan and all the way to Ottawa," he said. "Not one person anywhere has said it's illegal and not one person anywhere will tell me it's legal."
Foster has fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by chronic pain. He's one of about 40 people in Saskatchewan licensed to use marijuana to ease his suffering and has formed a group called the Medical Marijuana Compassionate Club, Full Tale....

 

 

 

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