September 21, 2014

THC Keeps Monkeys Alive in AIDS Research Model

Recently, a Doctor came out against using Cannabis for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Among oncologists, his opinion is probably in the minority. This Doctor claims that no HIV patients he knows, would benefit from Cannabis. Unfortunately, the Doctor only discussed his opinion and did not site any current research from controlled studies to support his stance. Current research  in HIV/AIDS and cannabinoids has been promising– practically every clinical trial that has looked at HIV/AIDS and THC has shown that cannabinoids may help patients.

Some of the first patients that were infected with HIV were treated at San Francisco General Hospital.  It was probably there, that the medical staff first noticed patients who used Cannabis seemed to be doing better. Notably, cannabis became known as an effective treatment for HIV/AIDS wasting syndrome.  Among the medical staff, was Dr. Donald Abrams who recorded his observations and would later go on to conduct some of the most important clinical trials in the history of cannabinoid research. Dr. Abrams demonstrated that smoked Cannabis could effectively alleviate neuropathic pain in HIV/AIDS patients. Videos of Dr.Abrams presenting his results can be viewed here: Cannabis & Neuropathic Pain, Dr. Abrams, pt 1 and Cannabis & Neuropathic Pain, Dr. Abrams, pt 2

Later, other researchers would show, in a similar group of HIV patients, that smoked Cannabis can modulate pain where conventional opiates were ineffective. The beneficial effect of cannabis on HIV/AIDS symptoms in humans has inspired other researches to take a closer look at the mechanisms behind these effects.

A research team from Virginia Commonweatlh University showed that natural Delta9- THC and synthetic CP-55,940 could inhibit the HIV inflammatory response through the Cannabinoid Type II (CB2) Receptor. Once HIV invades a cell, the virus makes the cell secrete many proteins to attract other immune cells and this leads to the ongoing infection of other cells. One such protein called Tat is important for viral replication and gene expression; the effects of this protein on cell migration appear to be inhibited by both synthetic and natural cannabinoids. The main finding of these researchers is that cannabinoids can slow the migration of uninfected cells towards the Tat protein and thus could inhibit the HIV infection process and the associated inflammation.

Another research group also thought that the previous worked on HIV and cannabinoids was unbelievable. So, they sought to see if THC made the disease worse in monkeys. The researchers infected monkeys with SIV and studied them for 1 year. SIV is the equivalent of HIV in humans. Their research was published in September 2010 and the entire article can be found here:Molina Article on THC attenuates SIV.

Note that each monkey costs around $8,000.00 for the research study.

The researcher demonstrated that THC slows the progression of HIV in primates. See  Figure 4 below from the Article by Molina et al.

SIV THC Figure 4

In Figure 4, there are two groups of monkeys. The solid line is the THC group and the dotted line is the control group (no drug). Within 11 months, 80% of the control group died (dotted line). In the group that received the drug THC, no deaths were reported.

The authors conclude :”this study is the first to report in vivo experimental data demonstrating that chronic THC initiated prior to, and continued throughout the asymptomatic phase of SIV infection, does not impair the host’s ability to control viral load, and does not increase morbidity and mortality from the infection… THC treatment clearly did not increase disease progression, and indeed resulted in generalized attenuation of the classic markers of SIV disease (set point viral load/viral level in general)…based on our results and reports in the literature, we speculate that retention of body mass,attenuation of viral replication, and an overall immunosuppressant effect of cannabinoids may contribute to the amelioration of SIV disease progression seen in our study.”

However, THC is only part of the story. There are over 500 compounds on the Cannabis plant and some of these compounds may contain powerful medical properties which could treat a variety of diseases including Cancer and HIV/AIDS. For instance researchers have found that Cannabis extracts which contain Denbinobin can inhibit HIV replication in a petri dish. Denbinobin is found on the Cannabis and other plants as well.

The therapeutic promise of this plant remains high and some states have medical laws allowing the use of Cannabis for HIV. Furthermore, Marinol or synthetic THC in a capsule remains available by prescription in the U.S. GW pharmaceuticals has an extract available for the treatment of HIV symptoms but it is not allowed in the United States. It is available in Canada, UK, Spain, and soon to be available in South America.

 

Want to learn more about HIV/AIDS and cannabinoids? Here are two new studies on HIV/AIDS and cannabinoids:

The Medical Use of Cannabis for Reducing Morbidity and Mortality in Patients with HIV/AIDS

The CB2 Receptor May Weaken HIV

 

Jahan Marcu, Ph.D, is currently investigating the pharmacology of cannabinoid receptors. He was working at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute when exciting discoveries were made showing enhanced anti-cancer effects with THC and CBD from the Cannabis plant. The findings were published in the Journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. In 2009 he received the Billy Martin Award from the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) and was named Cannabis Researcher of the year for 2012. Jahan is currently the vice-chair the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board at Americans for Safe Access (ASA). Questions?   Contact :science@freedomisgreen.com

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent any University, business or affiliates. While the information provided in this blog is from published scientific studies it is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

 

How Drug Busts Mean Big Money for Law Enforcement and Melinda Haag

 

I’ve been a long-time fan and Internet friend of Mr. Dan Carlin, a Libertarian-leaning journalist, commentator and historian who painstakingly crafts some of the best podcasts in podcast history. Hardcore History is a captivating look at historical events and should be a must-listen for any college student who is tired of history being flat and boring. (I’ve learned more from this program than all of my college years combined.)

Dan Carlin’s other podcast is Common Sense. This is where Dan gets down and dirty with current political events and their bigger implications on our individual freedom.

What does this have to do with medical marijuana?

His latest podcast called “Fearsome Safety” is an in-depth look at the local and federal incentives behind drug busts as well as the increasing militarization in our police forces.

To have a greater understanding of what’s going on behind-the-scenes in California as the federal authorities there continue to close established, law-abiding medical marijuana dispensaries by the dozens, listen to this first.

I’ll give you a little hint:

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, spearheading the most massive medical marijuana dispensary crackdowns in history. And laughing all the way to the bank with her cronies.

 

In short: the Feds reward police forces with money and equipment for drug raids – and have for a long  time. Due to forfeiture laws, police keep money and property seized as “suspected” drug proceeds. No conviction is required. Drugs destroyed, money kept.

In the US Attorney’s current “witch hunt” in California, the financial and political gains are multiplied exponentially. Millions of dollars are being seized and dispersed, with little to no accountability. Legal profiteering, plain and simple.

And even more insidious are the ultimate Big Brother goals, which are to rid the U.S. of these “mom and pop” dispensaries and replace them with Big Pharma companies hand-chosen by greedy politicians such as Haag.

And to put a cherry on top of this pile of…corruption is the oh-so-noble reason Haag gives for these relentless and needless crackdowns:

Come on, let’s say it together. You know the words: THE CHILDREN.

“The main theme that I was hearing from members of this community, members of our community in the northern district of California was a concern about children.” – Melinda Haag

So touching, her concern. I wonder if she can babysit for me tonight.

 

Listen to Dan’s Podcast Now!

Dan Carlin’s Facebook Page

Dan Carlin on Twitter

Dan Carlin on iTunes

Americans for Forfeiture Reform

Book suggestions by Dan Carlin on this topic:

(Click on books for purchase information – Amazon free!)

 

 

 

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished artist with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can be found surfing or singing karaoke at a local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com

 

Obama Speaks Out on Recent Medical Marijuana Raids in Rolling Stone Magazine

Barack Obama and his administration seem to be a bundle of contradictions when it comes to regulations surrounding the production of medical marijuana in our country. In turn, states have been stymied (or chosen to stonewall, as in the case of New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie) by the confusion, when attempting to enact their own state laws, fearing possible federal prosecution.

Finally, Obama speaks directly in a recent Rolling Stone interview, clarifying his position:

In the Rolling Stone interview, Obama said his view has not changed. He noted that the raids in California have focused on large-scale commercial operations that fall outside the scope of doctors prescribing medical cannabis.

“What I specifically said was that we were not going to prioritize prosecutions of persons who are using medical marijuana,” Obama said. “I never made a commitment that somehow we were going to give carte blanche to large-scale producers and operators of marijuana — and the reason is, because it’s against federal law.”

Obama also pointed to presiding over a change in federal sentencing guidelines that shrank the disparity between mandatory penalties for crack and powder cocaine users. Crack users have long been hit with far harsher sentences, disproportionately affecting the minorities who are far more likely to use crack than powder cocaine.

 

http://www.safeaccessnow.org/

 

 

 

 

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished artist with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can be found surfing or singing karaoke at a local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at } freedomisgreen.com

 

CONSTITUTIONAL LAWSUIT FILED OVER FAILED NJ MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 4, 2012

ATTORNEYS WILLIAM H. BUCKMAN AND ANNE M. DAVIS

CONTACT: Anne Davis Esq. 732 477 4700, William Buckman Esq. 856 608 9797 or Chris Goldstein 267 702 3731

CONSTITUTIONAL LAWSUIT FILED OVER FAILED NJ MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM

Trenton- Today a lawsuit was filed against the State of New Jersey over the failure to implement the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. Named in the suit are the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Commissioner Mary O’Dowd and the newly appointed director of the Medicinal Marijuana Program John O’Brien.

Civil rights attorneys William H. Buckman of Moorestown and Anne M. Davis of Brick brought the suit on behalf of a New Jersey medical patient who would qualify for cannabis access. The suit also represents one of the few medical doctors who have registered with NJ to recommend medical marijuana.

The compassionate use law was passed in January 2010 with a six-month implementation timeline. But since 2010 a series of politically motivated regulatory, legislative and bureaucratic delays have kept the program from operating at all. None of the six approved Alternative Treatment Centers have been fully permitted by DHSS to open.

“We represent a patient who suffered actual damages as a result of these delays,” said Anne Davis, “He cannot utilize the cannabis because New Jersey’s lack of a working program means he could lose his disability pension if he tested positive for cannabis.”

Davis continued, “Our neighbors with AIDS, cancer, MS and the worst of medical conditions have testified before the legislature and changed the law. Now, patients and doctors have to go to court to win the rights that they should have already been afforded.”

The lawsuit gathers more than two years of facts demonstrating that those in charge of the implementation process for New Jersey’s medical marijuana program have been unable or unwilling to put the law into place.

“Today we are filing suit to require the DHHS to do what every other citizen must do – follow the law,” said William Buckman, “We are also insisting that pursuant to the legislature’s will, sick people have access to medical marijuana without fear of arrest.”

For more information about this advisory please contact Anne M. Davis Esq. 732 477 4700, William H. Buckman Esq. 856 608 9797 or Chris Goldstein 267 702 3731

 

NJ Gov Chris Christie Plays Medical Marijuana Doctor on Radio

3/1/2012 - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took calls and emails on NJ 101.5 last night. One of the emails asked if he would consider clemency for medical marijuana patient John Ray Wilson. In his answer Christie relied heavily on a report from his Counsel’s office.

Apparently, just one briefing from his in-house attorneys was enough to make Governor Christie an expert on the proper amounts of medical marijuana for patients and the complex disease of multiple sclerosis.

Here’s a transcript of the exchange:

NJ 101.5 - [John Ray Wilson]  was caught growing marijuana in Somerset county.  He suffers from MS …says he was growing for it for his own use for his symptoms. There was nothing really presented governor that would indicate that this guy was a drug dealer….he’s in jail for 5 years… do you disagree with that?

Christie –I do. And I’ve been briefed..

NJ 101.5 – You think John Ray Wilson was a drug dealer?

Christie –This is what I believe…I believe John Ray Wilson… that there are a lot of questions that have yet been answered about John Ray Wilson’s activity. The amount of pot that he was growing was well beyond the amount of pot you would need for medicinal use for yourself. Um yaaa know… His diagnosis um has been has brought into question…to whether he really does have MS or not. Umm I asked my counsel’s office which I said at one of my town hall meetings to review this umm and I’m not gonna talk about all the things that they raised with me. But I will tell you that based on the things that they raised with me and the report, the briefing that they gave me that I am not inclined to give any clemency to John Ray Wilson.

NJ 101.5 – So as far as you’re concerned that’s a dead issue?

Christie – I mean unless something new comes up I think he’s gotta go to jail – And stay there.

Full video from NJ101.5 here.

Prosecutors attempted to bring Wilson’s MS diagnosis into question during his trial but were unsuccessful. When he was jailed in 2010, before being released pending appeal, prison authorities set up medical treatments for Wilson’s MS symptoms.

John Wilson was prosecuted by the New Jersey’s Office of the Attorney General. Usually such marijuana cultivation cases are prosecuted by the municipality.

Ken Wolski is a registered nurse an executive director of The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey. Wolski has been helping Wilson with his case since it began.

“On 1/26/12 I faxed to NJ Dept. of Corrections Commissioner Gary Lanigan a copy of Mr. Wilson’s most recent MRI,” Wolski said, “This MRI clearly documents the progressive nature of his MS lesions, and is entirely consistent with his clinical symptoms.”

John Ray Wilson’s family allowed Freedomisgreen.com to review his latest MRI report. Performed on 12/1/2011 it states the following:

“The lesions are considerably more extensive than that seen in 2002. Findings are consistent with demyelinating disease as can be found in patients with multiple sclerosis.”

Wolski also pointed out that there were experts willing to come forward in this case, “Dr. Denis Petro, a Board Certified Neurologist stands ready to testify to Wilson’s diagnosis and marijuana’s usefulness for it, but Dr. Petro’s testimony was not allowed by the trial judge.”

The amount of medical marijuana patients are allowed varies from state to state. At the time Wilson cultivated the seventeen plants there was no medical marijuana law in New Jersey. He grew the plants outdoors so there may have been some reasonable planning for the crop to last into the next year’s growing season.

Wolski had this to say about the not-so-transparent briefing from the Governor’s Counsel: “Gathering secret information on citizens is no way to make a decision about whether or not they received justice in a courtroom.”

On February 16, 2012 the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee passed a resolution urging Governor Christie to grant John Ray Wilson clemency. SCR89 could still go to the Senate floor for a vote in March.

 

CMMNJ – http://www.cmmnj.org

Support John Ray Wilson on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-John-Ray-Wilson-New-Jersey-MS-Patient/104540271138

CALL or TWEET to Governor Chris Christie 609-292-6000 or @GovChristie – ask him to “Pardon medical marijuana patient John Ray Wilson!”

Read more at Freedomisgreen.com

IMPORTANT - Full Text: Department of Justice Memo on Medical Marijuana

Freedom Buzz

Maryjane’s Corner

Sensible Science

Chris Goldstein is a respected marijuana reform advocate. As a writer and radio broadcaster he has been covering cannabis news for over a decade. Questions?  chris@freedomisgreen.com


 

 

 

New Jersey: Camden Will Consider Medical Marijuana Centers at Land-Use Hearing

2/6/2012 – A zoning hearing will be held before the Land-Use Board of Camden New Jersey on Monday February 6, 2012. These are normally rather dull meetings but on the agenda this week is a variance to allow one of the six state-approved medical marijuana Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs). Several municipalities around the state have already turned down the facilities. This has left the Garden State medical cannabis law completely stalled as none of the ATCs can find a home.

But in Camden there are some new factors to the attempt that could yield a different outcome. Instead of one of the multi-million dollar ATCs seeking permission this time it is an individual going before the local zoning board.  Frank Fulbrook has owned property in Camden since the 1960’s. He is also a local activist and a meticulous scholar. This writer interviewed Fulbrook in 2007 after he mapped all of the open-air drug markets in Camden – a rather large and risky task.

Fulbrook is considered an expert in the local planning code; he actually sat on Camden’s Land-Use Board for many years. Now Fulbrook has partnered up with a friend who owns a warehouse, they will seek the zoning approval on their own and then lease the space to one of the ATCs. Rather than coming in from outside the community asking to open such an innovative business Fulbrook and his partner are super-locals, which should give them a much better shot.

Even with all of these ducks in a row there are other factors. If you have never been to New Jersey you have still probably heard of Camden. The city sits across the Delaware River from Philadelphia and remains a sore spot in the state. Yes there are happy seals barking from the gleaming NJ Aquarium, a bustling Rutgers Campus and some strips of success. But recent budget cuts have escalated the violence and blight across 95% of the already impoverished community.

Governor Chris Christie and the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) have severely altered the plans for the cannabis program. Among the buffet of new restrictions was the elimination of the provisions that allowed for the home delivery of  NJ’s medicinal cannabis. This means that patients or their designated caregiver must visit the ATCs in person. Although Camden is centrally located and has ample connections to public transportation, seriously ill NJ residents may not want to venture into the dangerous city for their legal marijuana.

Another interesting note is that half of the Camden police force was recently laid off. This has led to a sharp increase in the presence of federal agents – mainly in the Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA. If the ATC is approved in Camden there may be some friction between a warehouse growing marijuana for half of South Jersey’s patients and the DEA.

Still Fulbrook is hopeful for success, “This is a good place for one of these Alternative Treatment Centers. It’s the largest population concentration in South Jersey and all roads lead to Camden. It’s hub of highways and mass transit. But there are people right in Camden that have serious medical problems like HIV/AIDS …there are a lot of people right here who can benefit from marijuana as medicine. And this can create jobs.”

The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey (CMMNJ) is planning to have advocates at the hearing to testify.

Read more at Freedomisgreen.com

Maryjane’s Corner

Sensible Science

Chris Goldstein is a respected marijuana reform advocate. As a writer and radio broadcaster he has been covering cannabis news for over a decade. Questions?  chris@freedomisgreen.com

 

 


New Jersey Medical Marijuana Patient Released

John Ray Wilson in 2010

10/6/2011 - John Ray Wilson has been granted bail by the New Jersey Appellate Division pending his final appeal to the State Supreme Court. Although the New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Russell Curley requested $150,000 cash, the judge set $15,000 and allowed a posting of 10 percent.

His family moved quickly to secure Wilson’s release. In a phone call this week John said he was glad to be home, “My grandma needs a lot of help right now, so at least I can be there for her.”

In January 2010, just as the NJ medical marijuana law was passed, Wilson was convicted of growing 17 cannabis plants. Wilson lives with multiple sclerosis and without health insurance. He has always maintained that the marijuana was cultivated for his personal medical use.

This is the second time that Wilson has been incarcerated and bonded out as his case continues through the courts.

MS is one of the few recognized medical conditions under the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. Cannabis treats muscle spasticity in MS patients and been shown to slow the progression of the disease.

New Jersey’s medical marijuana program remains in trouble. Delays and added restrictions imposed by Governor Chris Christie have kept state-sanctioned cannabis from being grown or distributed. Patients with qualifying conditions have only the illegal, underground market for access.

Wilson may not use cannabis while on bail and has gone back to using bee-sting therapy.

The NJ Appellate Division ruled that “manufacturing” marijuana can never be considered for personal use (medical or otherwise).

Legal observers note that granting bail may hint that the state’s highest court may take up the case.

“We think that the appellate decision is misguided,” said Wilson’s attorney William Buckman, “we are hoping that the Supreme Court will set the record straight that New Jersey doesn’t want to put sick people or simple individual marijuana users into prison at the cost of $35,000 a year.”

Read more at Freedomisgreen.com

IMPORTANT - Full Text: Department of Justice Memo on Medical Marijuana

Freedom Buzz


 

New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Centers Struggle to Locate

9/2/2011 – Several news sources offered conflicting reports that one of New Jersey’s first Alternative Treatment Centers for cannabis was going to start building a facility.

Fox29 in Philadelphia declared:

The Garden State’s first medical marijuana growing center is on its way to Chesterfield Township, Burlington County. Read full

But the local Burlington County Times found out that the plans were not so firm:

Representatives from a West Trenton-based alternative treatment center have informed officials that they’re scouting locations in the township for a growing facility, but have not named a specific location nor submitted a site plan application to the Planning Board.

Compassionate Care Foundation Inc. canceled plans to appear before the Township Committee several weeks ago and has not communicated since, said Mayor Larry Durr, acknowledging the many unanswered questions about the plan. Read full

Chesterfield is a rural, farming community near McGuire Air Force Base.

Gov. Christie’s administration removed plans for home delivery of medical marijuana. Unless that restriction is lifted, patients or a designated caregiver must go to an ATC to pick up medicine.

This isn’t the first time that Compassionate Care Foundation has run into location issues. In March the company had announced plans to build in Bellmawr, NJ. That was apparently shocking news the mayor and local officials, who eventually turned away the ATC.

Having a relationship with the local community was supposed to be an important part of the scoring process for the NJ ATC applicants.

A prominent member of Compassionate Care Foundation’s Board of Trustees, David Knowlton, was an acting Commissioner of the state Department of Health and Senior Services.  NJ DHSS is the oversight entity for the medical marijuana program. Knowlton was also a member of Chris Christie’s gubernatorial transition team.

In fact, three of the six ATCs have very close ties back to Governor Christie, who has stated many times that he does not like the safe access law.

Gov. Christie suspended the operations at all of the ATCs for several months. Then, at a widely covered press conference on July 19th, Christie promised that state-regulated cannabis would be available to patients by December 2011.

In order to reach that goal the ATCs would need to start growing in the next eight weeks. As of this writing, none of the six ATCs have confirmed a physical location.

One ATC, Greenleaf Compassion Center, has plans to build in Montclair, NJ. On the surface they seem to have the most local support. Former mayor Jerry Fried, Montclair State University and some sitting city council members have all backed the concept. Still, an actual location for Greenleaf has not been announced.

The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was signed into law in January 2010. Since that time the underground cannabis market and secretive, personal cultivation remain the only points of access for NJ residents with qualifying medical conditions.

Read more at Freedomisgreen.com

IMPORTANT - Full Text: Department of Justice Memo on Medical Marijuana

Freedom Buzz

Maryjane’s Corner

Sensible Science

Chris Goldstein is a respected marijuana reform advocate. As a writer and radio broadcaster he has been covering cannabis news for over a decade. Questions?  chris@freedomisgreen.com

 

New Jersey MS Patient Sent to Prison over Medical Marijuana

John Ray Wilson in 2010

8/24/2011 - John Ray Wilson was taken into custody today at the Somerset County Courthouse. He will begin serving a 5-year prison sentence. The 38-year-old MS patient was found with seventeen cannabis plants in 2008.  After serving five weeks in prison in 2010, Wilson was allowed to remain with his family pending an appeal. The NJ Appellate Division upheld his conviction and sentence in late July. Wilson appeared before Superior Court Judge Angela Borkowski in a hearing today to consider a continuation of his bail.

Judge Borkowski ruled that her court was not an appropriate jurisdiction to deviate from the trial decision and appellate court affirmation. Any bail appeal should be made to the Appellate Division. Wilson’s attorney, William Buckman of Moorestown, said that he will file for bail immediately.

During the brief hearing the prosecutor, Deputy Attorney General Russell Curley, argued that Wilson should begin serving his sentence today. The judge agreed. John was taken into custody in the courtroom and is currently being held at the Somerset County jail.

“We think that the appellate decision is misguided,” said Wilson’s attorney William Buckman, “we are hoping that the Supreme Court will set the record straight that New Jersey doesn’t want to put sick people or simple individual marijuana users into prison at the cost of $35,000 a year.”

Buckman has filed a notice of petition to the Supreme Court to appeal the “manufacturing” conviction. The Appellate Division ruled that there was no consideration that the cannabis plants were only for Wilson’s “personal” use.

Ken Wolski, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey (CMMNJ) was in the courtroom today.

“CMMNJ is still hopeful there is a chance for justice in the state Supreme Court. But we are very disappointed that John is back in jail.”


Read more at Freedomisgreen.com

IMPORTANT - Full Text: Department of Justice Memo on Medical Marijuana

Freedom Buzz

Maryjane’s Corner

Sensible Science

Chris Goldstein is a respected marijuana reform advocate. As a writer and radio broadcaster he has been covering cannabis news for over a decade. Questions?  chris@freedomisgreen.com


 

 

New Jersey MS Patient Appeals Marijuana Cultivation to State Supreme Court

Attorney Bill Buckman at the PhillyNORML Freedom Forum 2009

8/16/2011 – Criminal defense attorney William Buckman of Moorestown, NJ has filed an appeal to the state’s highest court for John Ray Wilson. The 38 year old man was convicted on the second-degree felony of “manufacturing” marijuana for growing seventeen cannabis plants.  Last month an appellate court upheld Wilson’s 5-year prison sentence, saying that he could not claim that the plants were for “personal” use.

John Wilson lives without healthcare and battles the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. His conviction in January 2010 came just as the Garden State’s compassionate use law was passed. However, it was the first medical marijuana law in the country that continues to prohibit home cultivation.

In a press release today Buckman said, “New Jersey already has some of the most draconian laws in the nation with respect to marijuana, costing taxpayers outrageous sums to incarcerate nonviolent, otherwise responsible individuals– as well as in this case — the sick and infirm.”

Local cannabis advocates have supported John, demonstrating in front of the Somerset County Courthouse throughout his trial.

Ken Wolski, the Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey said, “This case has shocked the conscience of the community. Wilson was unable to present his only defense to the jury–that he used cannabis to treat his multiple sclerosis (MS).”

NJ Governor Chris Christie lifted his suspension of the medical marijuana program in July. But the six Alternative Treatment Centers are not likely to open until 2012. The ATCs have millions of dollars in backing from powerful groups of investors.  They will farm thousands of cannabis plants and the sell the products to registered patients, including those with MS.

Wolski pointed out, “These ATCs were not available to John in 2008. Cultivation was the only way that he could afford to gain access. We hope that the Supreme Court will provide justice in this case.”

During his trial, Wilson testified that he told the NJ State Police that he was going to keep all of the marijuana. Wilson also described his medical condition to officers as they searched his home.

Bill Buckman is a member of the national NORML Legal Committee and the immediate past president of the NJ Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is a fierce trial lawyer who won a landmark case against the NJ State Police surrounding the the issue of racial profiling in traffic stops.

“As it stands, the case now allows a person who grows marijuana to be exposed to up to 20 years in jail, even if that marijuana is strictly for his or her own medical use,” said Buckman, “No fair reading of the law would ever sanction this result.”

William Buckman - http://www.whbuckman.com

Read more at Freedomisgreen.com

IMPORTANT - Full Text: Department of Justice Memo on Medical Marijuana

Freedom Buzz

Maryjane’s Corner

Sensible Science

Chris Goldstein is a respected marijuana reform advocate. As a writer and radio broadcaster he has been covering cannabis news for over a decade. Questions?  chris@freedomisgreen.com