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The California Medical Association, in a press release dated October 16, has made a recommendation for legalization and regulation of marijuana official policy. The CMA, which represents more than 35,000 physicians, is the largest group of its kind and the first statewide organization to push for legalization.

Doctors, though, aren’t necessarily making the recommendation as an endorsement of marijuana’s health benefits. “There simply isn’t the scientific evidence to understand the benefits and risks of medical cannabis,” said Paul Phinney, M.D., CMA Board Chair. “In order for the proper studies to be done, we need to advocate for the legalization and regulation.”

Physicians also feel stuck in a gray area, being allowed to “recommend” medical cannabis, but not to actually prescribe it. Nor do they have control over the concentration of doses patients receive at medical marijuana dispensaries.

Another issue is the conflict between state and federal law. “California has decriminalized marijuana, yet it’s still illegal on a federal level,” says James T. Hay, M.D., President-elect of the CMA. “That puts physicians in an incredibly difficult legal position, since we’re the ones ultimately recommending the drug.”

John Lovell, spokesman for the California Police Chiefs Association, expressed dismay with the recommendation and seemed to challenge the authority of doctors in the practice of medicine as compared to police in an interview with the LA Times. “Given everything that we know about the physiological impacts of marijuana — how it affects young brains, the number of accidents associated with driving under the influence — it's just an unbelievably irresponsible position.”

The fight between those in favor of marijuana and those opposed is heating up in San Diego. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith announced another 16 lawsuits against cannabis collectives believed to be in violation of zoning law, bringing the total number of sites facing legal challenges to 28. San Diego now has about 187 operating dispensaries, a number that continues to rise in the absence of concrete zoning guidelines.

Pictured: Paul Phinney

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Comments

DonDig Oct. 17, 2011 @ 4:39 p.m.

Cannabis is a medical miracle waiting to be fully deployed, and has been proven to kill cancer cells in lab tests without harming the healthy cells present. http://www.gsalternative.com/2010/05/cannabinoids-kill-cancer/

Dave Triplett (and others) have used cannabis oil (topically) to cure melanoma as he shows in this 9 minute movie. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tghUh...

And, many, many people with cancer and varied illnesses have seen similar results, including a number of stage 4 cancer sufferers given ‘hemp oil’ by Rick Simpson in Canada, who discovered this cannabis oil methodology. They were cured by ingesting it. (Rick said there was about a 70% recovery rate in the stage 4 folks that came to him, many after being told that there was nothing else to be done, and they should go home and get their affairs in order!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0psJhQ... http://phoenixtears.ca/

Sign a White House petition regarding cannabis at this link: https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petitions Select the drop-down menu for ‘search’, (on the little gray banner), type in the word ‘cannabis’, and you can review and sign a number of petitions, (there are ten at the moment), that may get responses from the White House. The ‘legalize cannabis like alcohol’ petition has over 57000 signatures (and counting until Oct 22) at this point, and only needed 5000 to get a formal answer from the White House. Perhaps this is why the administration is suddenly getting tough on dispensaries, etc., hoping to find illegal smoking guns to defend their prohibition, and invalidate these petitions.

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Ponzi Oct. 17, 2011 @ 4:43 p.m.

"John Lovell, spokesman for the California Police Chiefs Association, expressed dismay..."

"..“Given everything that we know about the physiological impacts of marijuana — how it affects young brains, the number of accidents associated with driving under the influence — it's just an unbelievably irresponsible position.”

Alcohol is by far worse than marijuana. Alcohol kills thousands of people every day. Lives and families are torn apart because of drunken driving accidents... every day. Actually, only drugs that are worse than alcohol should be illegal. Alcohol is the bar that our country has set for acceptable method of becoming intoxicated.

As far as the cop-mouth (John Lovell), who cares what cops have to say about pot? Most cops are just dumb, high school educated bullies. They do not have medical degrees and only make themselves look more stupid by arguing with a body of licensed medical doctors.

Alcohol abuse kills some 75,000 Americans each year and shortens the lives of these people by an average of 30 years, a U.S. government study concluded. Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States after tobacco use and poor eating and exercise habits.

Yet alcohol is legal and even encouraged… like “red wine is good for your heart!”

The local trifecta of buffoons includes Laura Duffy, Bonnie Dumanis and Jan Goldsmith. These knuckleheads call marijuana a “dangerous drug” while they drink vodka martinis at lunch.

The real danger to society is the hypocritical knuckleheads that need to be removed from political office.

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DonDig Oct. 17, 2011 @ 4:56 p.m.

Welcome to the Law Offices of John Lovell. During the twenty years our firm has been in existence over 99% of the bills we have lobbied for have been signed into law in the California State Legislature. The short and simple truth is, our effectiveness is unparalleled.
(from his website) http://www.johnlovell.com/

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Ponzi Oct. 17, 2011 @ 5:01 p.m.

And his current clients are:

California Police Chiefs' Association California Narcotic Officers Association California Association of Code Enforcement Officers California Correctional Supervisors Organization

With legal pot, these jobs would be in less demand. So he is not lobbying for health, he is lobbying for their jobs.

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dwbat Oct. 17, 2011 @ 6:12 p.m.

Why is the U.S. Dept. of Justice NOT listening to the Occupy movement? Wall Street criminals should be indicted instead of spending time and resources going after marijuana dispensaries, as well as prosecuting growers in Northern California. Timothy Leary is rolling over in his grave (figuratively speaking).

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philbu Oct. 17, 2011 @ 9:30 p.m.

Hi, this is the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, currently operating in Fairfax, California. Over the past two weeks, our owner, Lynnette Shaw has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, from CBS and FOX Business News to NPR and the LA Times. We're now fighting the battle for the medicinal use of marijuana on two fronts. On March 1, 2011, MAMM was the first licensed dispensary to receive an IRS determination disallowing our business tax deductions. We have filed taxes since 1997 and our books are transparent, as required by our permit. Though the IRS has advised us for years on ways to save money on MAMM's business taxes, it now intends to force us to close our doors.

At the same time, MAMM's landlord has received a letter from Melinda Haag, the San Francisco-based U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California warning him that his property may be seized and he may be prosecuted if the Marin Alliance does not halt the dispensing of medical marijuana on his property within 45 days. Our landlord is in his seventies, which could make any jail time a death sentence.

We see our defenses against the IRS and DOJ as high profile test cases and believe the future of patient access to medicinal marijuana across the nation lies in the balance. If you would like more information, please visit http://www.cbcmarin.com to learn how you can help.

Thanks so much.

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Radical Uterus Oct. 17, 2011 @ 10:51 p.m.

How many of these Doctors are seeing Medicare Patients?

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malcolmkyle Oct. 18, 2011 @ 3:47 a.m.

The illegal drug trade is now estimated to be somewhere in the region of $400 billion a year ( equal to the defense budget ). This "former land of the free" arrests 1.5 million of it's citizens a year for drug law violations, half for marijuana alone, The majority of the 2.2 million inmates in the USA are incarcerated because of this insane drug war (Prohibition 2) at a staggering cost to all taxpayers and trauma to their families.

Prisons have been filled to capacity. Violent criminals, murderers, rapists and child molesters are released early to create space for these so called drug offenders. Half of court trial time and also a huge chunk of police officers time is pointlessly wasted. Enormous untaxed profits from illegal drugs fund multi-national criminal empires which bribe law enforcement authorities and spread corruption faster than a raging bush fire. These laws take violent criminals and turn them into multi-billionaires whilst corrupting even entire countries such as Columbia, Panama, Mexico and Afghanistan. The extreme violence on and south of the border is drug gangs fighting for turf in this lucrative business. The drug laws are also funding the Taliban whose illegal opium profits allow it to buy weapons and pay it's fighters more than $300 a month, compared with the $14 paid to an Afghan policemen.

When governments prohibit drugs they effectively and knowingly hand a monopoly on their sale to dangerous criminals and terrorists. Without a legal framework in which to operate, these black-market entities can always be expected to settle their disputes violently, while terrorizing many peaceful and innocent citizens in the process. Were the users of alcohol to blame for the St Valentines massacre in the US in 1929? Of course not! It is just as naive to assume that one can compel all the users of Marijuana or Cocaine to simply quit, as it is to assume that all the users of Alcohol should have stopped drinking after the introduction of alcohol prohibition in 1919.

The definition of insanity is great folly, madness, extreme senselessness, lunacy. Prohibition can be described as being all of the above and may therefor, along with all it's supporters, be deemed insane.

Each day you remain silent, you help to destroy the Constitution, fill the prisons with our children, and empower terrorists and criminals worldwide while wasting hundreds of billions of your own tax dollars. Prohibition bears many strong and startling similarities to Torquemada­’s inquisition­, it’s supporters are servants of tyranny and hate who’s sole purpose is to make the rest of us suffer their putrid legacy of incalculable waste and destruction.

Protect our Children; Legalize, Regulate & Tax!

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KarmaRadio Oct. 18, 2011 @ 10:44 a.m.

The local trifecta of buffoons includes Laura Duffy, Bonnie Dumanis and Jan Goldsmith. These knuckleheads call marijuana a “dangerous drug” while they drink vodka martinis at lunch.

Why are they not getting a DUI and why do they get away with local pay offs...?

Duffy smokes the 420...oh yes she does

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