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Paul Armentano

Entries by Paul Armentano

Alcohol or Cannabis? No Question Which Substance Poses a Greater Risk to Health

(609) Comments | Posted August 23, 2013 | 9:26 AM

The federal government is being roundly criticized, and rightly so, for its latest foray into the land of reefer rhetoric.

Specifically, representatives of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) -- the same agency that claims to sponsor 85 percent of the world's research...

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Want to Protect Kids From Potent Pot? Legalize It

(115) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 11:08 AM

The availability of highly potent strains of marijuana and marijuana-derived concentrates is nothing new. And neither are alarmist claims that these products pose unique dangers to public health. But such claims require clarification and context.

First some clarification. 'Wax' is slang...

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Elections Have Consequences: It's Time for the Obama Administration to Acknowledge That Marijuana Prohibition Doesn't Work

(669) Comments | Posted January 26, 2013 | 11:20 AM

Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation's nearly century-long experiment with pot prohibition and replacing it with regulation. The historic votes on Election Day in Colorado and Washington, where, for the first time ever, a majority of voters decided at the ballot box...

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What's Behind the Obama Administration's About Face Regarding Medical Marijuana?

(35) Comments | Posted May 5, 2011 | 9:30 PM

Here was the Obama administration's well publicized position on medical marijuana, circa 2009 (via the Ogden memo to all United States attorneys):

The prosecution of significant traffickers of illegal drugs, including marijuana, and the disruption of illegal drug manufacturing and trafficking networks continues to be a core priority in...

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Change We Can Believe In? Not for Medical Marijuana Research

(42) Comments | Posted February 16, 2011 | 9:09 AM

It was nearly two years ago that the Obama White House issued its "Scientific Integrity" memorandum stating, "Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration."

Those of us involved in marijuana law reform welcomed the memo -- which came just months after...

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Drug Czar Blames Rising Teen Pot Use on Medical Cannabis Laws Rather Than on His Own Failed Policies

(26) Comments | Posted December 14, 2010 | 4:27 PM

Since 1975 the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has been tracking students self-reported use of cannabis and other intoxicants, and every year their use of these substances trends either up or down from the prior survey. Predictably, when self-reported use goes down, drug war lackeys like Drug Czar Gil...

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Obama's DEA Nominee Pledges To Ignore Administration's Medical Marijuana Policy

(26) Comments | Posted November 19, 2010 | 10:03 AM

It was a little over a year ago when the United States Department of Justice announced that it would back away from pursuing cases against medical marijuana patients and providers who are acting in accordance with state and local laws.

"As a general matter, pursuit of [federal law enforcement]...

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Big-Pharma Backed Marijuana Spray Approved As Medicine, But Consumers Of The Natural Herb Still Face Jail

(11) Comments | Posted June 24, 2010 | 4:47 PM

British health 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 a treatment for symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The spray, which has been legally available to patients in...

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Pot Arrests Fueling Drug Treatment Gravy Train

(7) Comments | Posted May 26, 2010 | 2:53 PM

Marijuana prohibition continues to be a windfall for drug treatment providers. According to the most recent figures published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly six out of ten (57 percent) persons referred to treatment for marijuana as their 'primary substance of abuse,' were referred there...

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Associated Press: After 40 Years, $1 Trillion, US Drug War "Has Failed to Meet Any of Its Goals"

(2) Comments | Posted May 13, 2010 | 4:10 PM

Just days after the White House released their inherently flawed 2010 National Drug Control Strategy (Read NORML's refutation of it on the Huffington Post here and here.), and mere hours after Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske told reporters at the National Press Club, "I have read thoroughly the...

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Obama Administration 'Firmly Opposed' to Pot Legalization: Here's Why

(309) Comments | Posted May 12, 2010 | 1:55 PM

So this is your administration on drugs. Any questions?

Obama drug plan 'firmly opposes' legalization as California vote looms
via The Hill

The Obama administration said Tuesday that it "firmly opposes" the legalization of any illicit drugs as California voters head to the polls to consider...

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Latest CBS News Polls Finds Majority of Western Voters, Californians, Back Marijuana Legalization

(5) Comments | Posted April 26, 2010 | 11:10 AM

A majority of west coast voters, and Californians specifically, believe that the adult use of marijuana should be legal, according to the results of a pair of polls conducted on behalf of CBS News.

Fifty-six percent of Californians believe that "the state of California (should) legalize the use of marijuana,"...

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Why Students Hold the Key to Ending Marijuana Prohibition

(10) Comments | Posted March 19, 2010 | 1:57 PM

The following speech was given by NORML's Deputy Director before nearly 500 attendees on Saturday, March 13, at the opening plenary of Students for Sensible Drug Policy's 11th International Conference, at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. To read full coverage of the conference, please see DRCNet's...

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Are U.S. Pot Laws the Root Cause of Mexican Drug Violence?

(59) Comments | Posted March 17, 2010 | 5:38 PM

It was less than one year ago when acting U.S. DEA administrator Michelle Leonhart publicly declared that the escalating violence on the U.S.-Mexico border should be viewed as a sign of the "success" of America's drug war strategies.

"Our view is that the violence we have been seeing is...

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"Money Can Grow On Trees," Marijuana Legalization Group Announces

(3) Comments | Posted March 11, 2010 | 1:32 PM

"Money can grow on trees." That is the message of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Foundation (NORML) in a 15-second digital ad scheduled to debut in New York City's Times Square next week. The advertisement, produced and paid for by NORML's educational...

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Weeding Through the Hype: Interpreting the Latest Warnings About Pot and Schizophrenia

(33) Comments | Posted March 3, 2010 | 10:31 AM

Once again members of the mainstream media are running wild with the notion that marijuana use causes schizophrenia and psychosis.

To add insult to injury, this latest dose of reefer rhetoric comes only days after investigators in the United Kingdom reported in the prestigious scientific journal Addiction that...

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CBS Corporation Bans Ad Calling For Marijuana Legalization

(70) Comments | Posted February 10, 2010 | 4:23 PM

Representatives from the CBS Corporation and Neutron Media Screen Marketing have rejected a paid advertisement from the NORML Foundation, the educational arm of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), that was intended to appear on the CBS Super Screen billboard in New York...

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Behind the Lack of Medical Marijuana Research: Feds Disallowing Initiatives

(8) Comments | Posted January 28, 2010 | 1:21 PM

It's the "catch-22" that has plagued medical marijuana advocates and patients for decades. Lawmakers and health regulators demand clinical studies on the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis, but the federal agency in charge of such research bars these investigations from ever taking place.

But it took until now for...

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2009: The Year In Review - NORML's Top 10 Events That Shaped Marijuana Policy

(0) Comments | Posted January 4, 2010 | 12:31 PM

#1 Obama Administration: Don't Focus On Medical Marijuana Prosecutions
United States Deputy Attorney General David Ogden issued a memorandum to federal prosecutors in October directing them to not "focus federal resources ... on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for...

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'Reefer Mad' Mainstream Media Does It Again

(32) Comments | Posted December 29, 2009 | 1:46 PM

For anyone who missed the worldwide corporate media's hysterical anti-pot headlines last week, here's a sampling:

Cannabis more damaging to adolescent brains than previously known

via Emax Health
"New research shows that teens who consume cannabis daily can suffer anxiety and depression. Smoking marijuana can have long-term irreversible...

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