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United States: Year in Review - 2008 a Huge Year for Marijuana Reform

In this annual season of year-end reviews, marijuana policy reformers are counting 2008 as one of their most successful years ever. 2008 saw major progress on legal reforms plus a raft of new data that validated reformers' critiques of current marijuana laws.

Among the changes are marijuana decriminalization Massachusetts, the addition of Michigan as the nation's 13th medical marijuana state, and new research verifying that marijuana helps with pain relief.

Source: http://salem-news.com/articles/december162008/marijuana_success_12-16-08...

[Salem-News.com Medical Marijuana]

Canada: Researchers High On Ancient Pot Find

By Dean Beeby, Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Researchers say they have located the world's oldest stash of marijuana, in a tomb in a remote part of China.

The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly "cultivated for psychoactive purposes," rather than as fibre for clothing or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany.

The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China.

The extremely dry conditions and alkaline soil acted as preservatives, allowing a team of scientists to carefully analyze the stash, which still looked green although it had lost its distinctive odour.

"To our knowledge, these investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent," says the newly published paper, whose lead author is American neurologist Dr. Ethan B. Russo.

Remnants of ancient cannabis have been found in Egypt and other sites, and the substance has been referred to by authors such as the Greek historian Herodotus. But the tomb stash is the oldest so far that could be thoroughly tested for its properties.

The 18 researchers, most of them based in China, subjected the cannabis to a battery of tests, including carbon dating and genetic analysis. Scientists also tried to germinate 100 of the seeds found in the cache, without success.

California: A $100,000 Hemp Challenge

By Jack Herer

If all fossil fuel and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction, were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the Greenhouse Effect and stop deforestation; then there is only one known annually renewable, natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world's paper, plastics and textiles; meet all of the world's transportation, industrial and home energy needs; provide about 30% of the world's medicines, while reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil and cleaning the atmosphere, all at the same time…and that substance is the same one that has done it before, for the last five to 10 thousand years, until about 125 years ago…

CANNABIS HEMP!

No one has taken the $100,000 challenge to prove me wrong. Why? Because I am right. The U.S. government has been lying to us since the early 1900s. Do economic interests and the police have more to say than the people about the future of our planet? How angry are you for being lied to by the U.S. government about Cannabis Hemp? Are you willing to make a stand right now?

No one can dispute this information and knowledge. You have to join me in this fight. Either you are on the U.S. government's side or you are on the Earth's side with me!

Jack Herer

Source: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=71554350...

Montana: Ex-Missoula neurologist pens paper on old stash

By MICHAEL JAMISON, Missoulian

A 2,700-year-old bowl of marijuana, the world’s oldest pot stash, has been unearthed from a tomb in central China.

“The evidence all indicates that there was intent to utilize this cannabis for psychoactive purposes,” said Ethan Russo. “What we’ve found here is the oldest, clear-cut and proven sample of psychoactive cannabis in the world.”

Russo, who for 24 years worked as a neurologist in Missoula and still serves as a pharmacology faculty affiliate at the University of Montana was lead author on a paper describing the find, published this month in the peer-reviewed “Journal of Experimental Botany.”

The tomb, Russo said, belonged to “a shaman, or a chief, someone of extremely high stature.”

Found alongside the skeleton and the 2 pounds of marijuana were several other items, including horse bridles, archery equipment and a harp. (No pipes were found, however, and Russo remains uncertain as to whether the marijuana was to be smoked or ingested in the afterlife.)

The site is located amid the Yanghai Tombs, near Turpan in China’s Gobi Desert region. Locals stumbled across the sprawling graveyard some two decades back, while digging irrigation wells, but it was not until 2003 that formal archaeological investigations were launched.

To date, Russo said, only 500 or so of the 2,500 graves there have been excavated.

Norway: The History of Hemp in Norway

By Jan Bojer Vindheim

This article was previously published in The Journal of Industrial Hemp published by the International Hemp Association

In the Norwegian valley of Gausdal, people in the nineteenth century would lift their hats in greeting as they approached a field of hemp. The plant was known to house a vette, a nature spirit best treated with respect.

In Norwegian folklore hemp cloth symbolized the beginning and end, and it was the first as well as the last in which people were swathed in in this life. These traditions may be relics from a time when hemp had a religious function in the pre-Christian religion, but the central use of hemp in Norway for the last thousand years has been as a source of fibre.

Hemp may have been grown in Norway in pre-historic times. Pollen samples suggest hemp growing in the vicinity of the Oslo fjord in the Roman Iron Age, around the beginning of the Christian era.

All this is, however, uncertain. The first certain proof of hemp in Norway is from the Viking age. Woven textiles of hemp were placed in graves in Southwestern Norway around the year 1000. They were probably fragments of sail. Otherwise the usual material for Viking ship sails was wool or nettle fibre.

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Paul Stanford




APn  09/01/95         Grandmother's Marijuana

   SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- A 72-year-old woman with flowers on her porch could
lose her home because of forbidden plants in the basement.
   Law enforcement officials say one of Florence Hart's grandchildren grew the
marijuana, but she knew about it and looked the other way.
    They want to seize her $50,000 home as a drug-related asset and sell it at
auction, with proceeds given to drug-enforcement agencies.
   "I guess it's time for me to move," the silver-haired woman said, glancing
around her cluttered living room. "I don't know what to get rid of and what to
keep."
   Then she added, "Where am I going to live?"
   Hart has no criminal record and was not arrested when a regional drug task
force raided the home April 13. Agents found 126 plants -- mostly behind a
makeshift curtain and locked door -- a scale, special lights and packaging
materials.
   Investigators believe the operation netted $150,000 to $200,000 over more
than two years it had been running.
    One grandson, 25-year Michael Sears, took responsibility for the pot. He has
pleaded guilty to federal drug charges and is awaiting sentencing. His brother,
Aaron Sears, 24, was arrested but was not charged.
   Relatives say Hart was an unwitting accomplice, blinded by love for her
grandchildren.
   "She didn't know what was going on. Her basement is always full of people's

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Hemp News No. 16

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Paul Stanford



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APn  09/18/93      Pot Customs

   BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) -- A woman who has federal permission to smoke
marijuana for her glaucoma was refused admission into Canada.
   Elvy Musikka, 48, of Hollywood, Fla., is one of nine people with U.S.
government permission to use the drug as medicine.
   Musikka and four other members of the Cannabis Action Network were stopped
Wednesday while driving to Vancouver, British Columbia, as part of a three-month
trip promoting the legalization of marijuana.
   Al Watt, Canada Customs chief of traffic operations at the Blaine crossing,
 said neither the marijuana nor T-shirts and tapes that the group sells at events
were declared on entry.
   "She tried to smuggle in some marijuana and she got caught and arrested. The

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UPwe 11/10/92 2213  Judge to decide on probation termination

   SAN DIEGO (UPI) -- A judge said Wednesday he will consider terminating the
probation of a man infected with the AIDS virus who cultivated and used
marijuana to stop nausea and other symptoms of the deadly disease.
   Samuel Skipper, 39, of La Mesa, pleaded guilty in 1991 to cultivating
marijuana and was placed on three years probation. Skipper said he and his male
lover had AIDS and used the drug for treatment.
   As a condition of his probation, he was ordered not to use marijuana.
   But Skipper continued to use the drug and was charged again with marijuana
cultivation. He was acquitted Oct. 15 marijuana cultivation charges after he
used the "medical necessity" defense.
    Skipper's attorney told San Diego Municipal Court Judge Charles Rogers that
Skipper should be allowed to cultivate marijuana since the jury accepted his
explanation that he needs the drug.
   "All Mr. Skipper wants is to be left alone," argued Juliana Humphrey. "This
is a very unique situation."
   Deputy District Attorney David Williams told the judge not to terminate the
remaining year of probation.
   The judge will make his decision on December 10.



RTec 12/05/92 0958  DUTCH PREMIER SLAMS FRENCH MINISTER FOR DRUGS ...

DUTCH PREMIER SLAMS FRENCH MINISTER FOR DRUGS COMMENTS
    THE HAGUE, Dec 5, Reuter - Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers condemned as
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