cocaine

New Jersey: Gov. Christie Calls Marijuana Legalization 'Beyond Stupidity'

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called the push for cannabis legalization “beyond stupidity,” adding that it’s “not time for use to be cool and say, ‘Pot’s OK,’” during a forum on substance abuse hosted by the New Jersey Hospital Association, NJ.com reports.

“We are in the midst of the public health crisis on opiates,” Christie said during his remarks. “But people are saying pot’s OK. This is nothing more than crazy liberals who want to say everything’s OK. Baloney.”

Christie rallied against pro-legalization politicians, including Democrat Phil Murphy who is the favorite in this year’s gubernatorial campaign in the state.

“People like [Rep.] Nick Scutari and [Senate President] Steve Sweeney and Phil Murphy want to bring this poison, legalized, into this state under the premise that, well, it doesn’t matter because people can buy it illegally anyway,” Christie said in the report. “Then why not legalize heroin? I mean, their argument fails just on that basis. Let’s legalize cocaine. Let’s legalize angel dust. Let’s legalize all of it. What’s the difference? Let everybody choose.”

Democrat Scutari is the main sponsor of legalization legislation expected to be introduced in the legislature next year. Sweeney has indicated he would support the bill.

U.S.: DHS Chief Kelly Reverses Marijuana Comments

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly reversed comments he recently made on marijuana Tuesday in his first major speech since being sworn in.

Just two days before, in an interview on "Meet the Press", Kelly said that marijuana is not “a factor in the drug war.”

“Yeah, marijuana is not a factor in the drug war,” Kelly told host Chuck Todd on NBC’s Sunday show, saying that meth, heroin and cocaine are the three main drugs that have played a role in the U.S. drug crisis that killed more than 52,000 people in 2015.

But during his speech Tuesday, Kelly vowed that Department of Homeland Security staff would continue to investigate and arrest those involved in illegal trade of the drug and called marijuana “a potentially dangerous gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs.”

"... Its use and possession is against federal law and until the law is changed by the U.S. Congress we in DHS are sworn to uphold all the laws on the books," he added.

"DHS personnel will continue to investigate marijuana’s illegal pathways along the network into the U.S., its distribution within the homeland, and will arrest those involved in the drug trade according to federal law. [Customs and Border Protection] will continue to search for marijuana at sea, air and land ports of entry and when found take similar appropriate action.

U.S.: John Kelly Says Marijuana 'Not A Factor' In Drug War

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday that marijuana is "not a factor" in the war on drugs. He added that solving the nation's drug problem does not involve "arresting a lot of users."

Kelly appeared on NBC's "Meet The Press" and discussed his work to stop the flow of drugs into the United States from Central America and Mexico. Host Chuck Todd asked whether legalizing marijuana would help or hurt his work.

"Yeah, marijuana is not a factor in the drug war," Kelly responded, adding later: "It's three things. Methamphetamine. Almost all produced in Mexico. Heroin. Virtually all produced in Mexico. And cocaine that comes up from further south." He said that in 2015 those three drugs, plus opiates, were responsible for the deaths of 52,000 people in the United States and cost the country $250 billion.

Kelly said the solution is to lower demand in the United States.

"The solution is a comprehensive drug demand reduction program in the United States that involves every man and woman of goodwill. And then rehabilitation. And then law enforcement. And then getting at the poppy fields and the coca fields in the south."

U.S.: Pharma Company That Spent $500,000 To Fight Marijuana Legalization Just Got DEA Approval For Synthetic Marijuana

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Insys Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company that was one of the chief financial backers of the opposition to marijuana legalization last year in Arizona, just received DEA approval for Syndros, a synthetic marijuana drug.

Insys donated $500,000 to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy last year, the group opposing marijuana legalization in Arizona. The donation amounted to roughly 10 percent of all money raised to fight marijuana legalization in Arizona, a fight which they ultimately won.

Syndros is a synthetic formulation of THC, marijuana's psychoactive component. It was approved by the FDA last summer to treat nausea, vomiting and weight loss in cancer and AIDS patients. The DEA approval places Syndros and its generic formulations in Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act, indicating a “high potential for abuse.” Other Schedule II drugs include morphine, cocaine and many prescription painkillers.

Insys was the only pharmaceutical company known to be giving money to oppose legalization last year. “It appears they are trying to kill a non-pharmaceutical market for marijuana in order to line their own pockets,” a spokesman for Arizona's marijuana legalization campaign said last year.

U.S.: DEA Ignores Science, Refuses To Reshedule Marijuana

The DEA announced there will be no rescheduling of marijuana; it's still Schedule I.

By Derrick Stanley
Hemp news

The Drug Enforcement Administration's much-anticipated decision on rescheduling marijuana came a bit early, late on Wednesday instead of Thursday as promised. Perhaps they were eager to reveal their plan -- to change nothing.

In spite of the fact that half of our 50 states in the U.S now recognize medical marijuana as a useful, beneficial substance for multitudes of people, the DEA will not reschedule the plant.

Contrary to the clear wishes of a majority of American citizens, as many recent polls have shown, the DEA will not reschedule this plant.

In total disregard of the recommendations and advice of scientists, doctors, and researchers, the DEA is not rescheduling marijuana.

It remains a Schedule I drug in the eyes of the federal government, a drug with no medical benefits and a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin and LSD. Cocaine, methamphetamines, and opioids are classified Schedule II because they have some accepted use in medication.

"This decision isn't based on danger," DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg told NPR. "This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine, and it's not."

Clearly it's a decision not based on science or the wishes of the American public.

California: U.S.-Mexico Tunnel Found; 7 Tons Marijuana, 1 Ton Cocaine Seized

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Authorities announced Wednesday that they found a half-mile long, cross-border tunnel that ran from a Tijuana house to a lot in San Diego that was advertised as a wooden pallet business. More than a ton of cocaine and 7 tons of marijuana were seized.

The narrow tunnel was about 3 feet wide, and equipped with a rail system, lighting, and ventilation.

It was the 13th sophisticated secret passage to be found along the California-Mexico border since 2006. Three others have been discovered on the same short street in San Diego that runs parallel to a border fence with a densely populated residential area on the Mexican side.

Laura Duffy, U.S attorney for the Southern District of California, said the tunnel was unusual because it was used to smuggle cocaine, not just marijuana. Tunnels are often used to smuggle marijuana because its odor and bulk make it easier to be detected by border inspectors than cocaine and other drugs.

The house in Tijuana had an elevator big enough for 8-10 people, Duffy said. It was located in the house where floors were strewn with mattresses.

The tunnel zig-zagged for 874 yards to the fenced commercial lot in San Diego, where the exit was covered by a large trash bin.

New York: MarijuanaDoctors.com Van Busted; Staff Arrested For Cocaine, Ecstasy

JasonDraizin(CEO-MarijuanaDoctors.com)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The CEO of a New York-based firm which refers patients to doctors authorizing medical marijuana has been arrested on felony drug charges, Lake Success Village police said on Friday.

Jason Draizin, 35, founder of MarijuanaDoctors.com, was arrested on August 22 along with three others after the van in which they were traveling was stopped on the Long Island Expressway in Great Neck, reports Thomas Maier at Newsday.

A black van promoting MarijuanaDoctors.com was pulled over after allegedly improperly entering the left lane of the Long Island Expressway while headed to a cannabis-related business event in New Jersey, according to Lt. Mark Staniszewski, deputy commanding officer with the Lake Success Police Department.

Police said they found "a sizable amount" of cocaine, Ecstasy and marijuana inside the van. All four in the vehicle were charged with felony drug possession.

Photo: Daily Chronic

U.S.: Oregon Congressman Blasts Drug Official For Marijuana Cluelessness

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An Oregon Congressman on Tuesday blasted the deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy after failing to get a straight answer to his question about the supposed dangers of marijuana.

When Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), a friend to the cannabis community for more than 40 years, asked chief deputy drug czar Michael Botticelli for the number of fatal cannabis overdoses for the past five years, Botticelli replied, "To my knowledge, I don't know if there have been instances of specific overdose-related deaths."

Rep. Blumenauer continued pressing Botticelli in the House Oversight Committee hearing, asking him whether marijuana is more dangerous and addictive than cocaine or methamphetamine, reports Travis Gettys at The Raw Story.

"I don't think that anyone would dispute the fact that there's relative toxicity related to those drugs," Botticelli said in a classical political non-answer. Understandably, Rep. Blumenauer -- who voted to make Oregon the first state to decriminalize marijuana, back in 1973, when he was a state representative in Salem -- wasn't satisfied.

U.S.: Patrick Kennedy Crusades Against Marijuana Legalization

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, suggesting his own past drug use gives him the moral authority to speak out against marijuana, railed against pot on the June 14 episode of "Real Time with Bill Maher."

Kennedy, a former eight-term U.S. Representative from Rhode Island, leads Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), an organization which opposes cannabis legalization. He is an admitted former OxyContin addict, alcoholic, and cocaine abuser.

On Maher's show, Kennedy claimed studies show a link between marijuana and schizophrenia. He also suggested "heavy use" of pot by teenagers can lead to an IQ drop.

"Your reasoning is, 'You shouldn't do things because kids might,' " Maher pointed out. "Adults shouldn't have fires or drive cars. Kids might do all kinds of bad things."

"This is like global warming denying," Maher said. "This is the kind of stuff we heard years and years ago... It just seems so un-Kennedy-like to bge against what I said a couple of weeks ago was the new gay marriage. The next civil rights movement is to get equality under the law for people."

Kennedy has admitted he was treated for cocaine use during his teenager years. He also acknowledged he abused drugs and alcohol while he was a student at Providence College.

Colombia: Capital City Trying Marijuana Cure For Hard Drug Addicts

(Photo: Juan Arrendondo/Fotovisura)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The old Reefer Madness theory that marijuana was a "gateway" to hard drugs has been discredited by scientific studies. Now, as anecdotal evidence continues to pile up, cannabis is looking more and more like an exit from, rather than an entrance to, the world of addiction.

Bogota, the capital city of Colombia, is embarking on a public health project where it will supply marijuana to 300 "bazuco" addicts, reports Jim Wyss at The Miami Herald. Bazuco is a cheap cocaine derivative also known as cocaine paste; it generates crack-like highs and is considered as addictive as heroin.

About 7,500 of Bogota's 9,500 homeless people are bazuco addicts, according to Ruben Dario Ramirez, director of the Center for the Study and Analysis of Coexistence and Security, which is leading the marijuana project.

Bazuco addicts have turned portions of Bogota into wastelands where groups of users huddle to smoke cocaine, Ramirez said. In the past three years, 277 homeless people have been murdered.

Bazuco, made from the residue left over after processing cocaine, is often tainted with kerosene and sulfuric acid. It provides a powerful but brief high similar to that prized by crack addicts in the U.S.

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