Posts tagged ‘weed’

May 7, 2012

Forgotten for Days: $20 Million Claim Filed Against DEA


4/20 was a day to celebrate and surround yourself with like minded smokers for many, but for one UC San Diego student it was the start to nearly 5 terrible days that would culminate in a suicide attempt in a DEA holding cell.

Daniel Chong, after celebrating 4/20, was at a friend’s home on Saturday. The house was raided by the Drug Enforcement Agency, who found 18,000 ecstasy pills, along with guns and ammunition. DEA officials have said that the pills did not belong to Chong, and that his extended detainment was an accident, but that has been very little comfort to the student.

Daniel Chong was brought in by the DEA for questioning regarding the ecstasy bust, but was not charged or arrested, and was placed in a holding cell. He was told he would be released that same day. One officer reportedly offered him a ride home. He did not get to leave, however, on April 21st.

Daniel Chong was forgotten in the 5-foot-by-10-foot windowless DEA holding cell, and for nearly 5 days he screamed and cried for food, water, a toilet, but the DEA was deaf to his calls.

Chong told NBC he drank his own urine out of fear of dehydration, and was treated for near kidney failure when finally taken to a hospital. Chong was kept in Intensive Care for 3 days, also recovering from a torn esophagus after eating his own broken glasses in an attempt to end his life. He says hallucinations started on the 3rd day, and without food or water he was sure he would die in the DEA’s cell. He broke his glasses, and began to cut a message into his forearm, the shortest he could think of to express his condolences to his parents, “Sorry mom.”

DEA agents discovered Daniel Chong in their holding cell after more than 4 days unattended, and drove him to the hospital where they paid for his medical care. Special agent in charge of the San Diego division of the DEA, William Sherman, has extended his “deepest apologies [to] the young man,” adding that he ordered an “extensive review” of the DEA procedures leading up this this incident. Chong has filed a $20 million claim against the DEA following what he calls a “life-altering” ordeal.

The articles I found useful for this story:

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April 29, 2012

Dutch Court Upholds Law Banning Tourists from Purchasing Cannabis


On Friday, April 27, a Dutch court upheld a new law which prohibits tourists, or non-residents, from obtaining marijuana in any of the 600+ cannabis cafes around the Netherlands, but does not prohibit the visitors from consuming or possessing the plant. Attorneys defending some of the cannabis cafes argued in court that it has not been proven that foreigners are causing more of a public order problem than locals, but the Hague district court judge ruled the new law is legal, and come Tuesday, May 1st, 3 Southern border provinces must comply. The rest of the country will see the ban on selling to foreigners by the start of 2013.

Cannabis tourism is a long standing tradition and source of income to many, small amounts of pot have been legally sold to visitors since 1976.The ban is met with fierce opposition in cities like Amsterdam, places where cannabis tourism account for a large source of the income for the city. The legal sale of cannabis in the Netherlands is estimated to have a $2.6 billion yearly turnover and many cafe owners say they will disobey the new law. Michael Veling, 56, owner of the 420 Cafe and chairman of the Dutch Union of Cannabis Retailers told the Washington Post that shop owners in the city of Maastricht were planning to ignore “this ridiculous law” and were “ready to be arrested.” Maastricht is one of the 3 provinces where the ban begins on Tuesday.

Dutch residents are eligible for a “grass or weed pass” which the cannabis cafes are responsible for issuing and checking the validity of. On Friday, after the Dutch court’s ruling, attorneys defending some of the cafes vowed to appeal the case, Maurice Veldman among them. “We are not a free country anymore because our government asks us to discriminate” Veldman said.

Read through the articles I looked at regarding this story:

April 5, 2012

VIDEO: Oaksterdam Raided

Raid Coverage by Stuff Stoners Like…
More Raid Articles:…

February 8, 2012

Video: Medical Marijuana Laws Result in 5% Fewer Suicides

Thank you for watching this News Nug! More can be found at:

The Institute for the Study of Labor’s report can be read or downloaded at:

Steve Elliot’s Toke of the Town article is available at:

Regarding Alcohol Sales and Traffic Deaths:

February 8, 2012

Medical Marijuana Laws Result in 5% Fewer Suicides

The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) is back with another report showing more benefits for the states that have legalized medical marijuana . IZA reported in November in what Toke of the Town’s Steve Elliot called a “groundbreaking new study” that medical marijuana laws have resulted in a nearly nine percent drop in traffic deaths and a five percent reduction in beer sales in those states.

The private research institute has recently published a new report, this one cleverly titled “High on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide,” in which IZA explores the conflicting arguments used by proponents for, and in opposition of, medical marijuana. The author writes that “proponents argue that marijuana can be an effective treatment for bipolarism, depression, and other mood disorders,” while “opponents argue that the negative effects of marijuana are long-lasting and users are at risk of suffering from decreased psychological well-being later in life.” We are all familiar with the hysteria surrounding cannabis, and are often told use will trigger or enhance depression, anxiety, psychosis and schizophrenia.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and as this study’s authors write “while the majority of people who suffer from mental illness do not commit suicide, over 90 percent of those who do commit suicide have a diagnosable mental or substance use disorder.” IZA also reports that the “relationship between marijuana use and suicide-related outcomes has been studied extensively,” but those results are sometimes convoluted by hard to determine factors and users self-medicating. “Most studies had not adequately addressed the problem of reverse causation” they wrote, and more simply put by Steve Elliot “it appears that existing studies haven’t sufficiently examined the possibility that any association between cannabis and suicide is due to suicidally depressed people self-medicating with marijuana. IZA’s study goes on to say “there have been no previous attempts to estimate the effect of medical marijuana laws on completed suicides.”

The Institute used state-level data from 1990-2007, and found that passing a medical marijuana law was associated with an almost five percent decrease in the amount of suicides committed. Among males ages 20-29 suicide rates dropped eleven percent, and the rates for males ages 30-39 fell nine percent following passage of medical marijuana laws. The authors note the previous study of IZA’s which found a reduction in beer sales and traffic deaths as a result of medical marijuana laws, writing “there is a strong association between alcohol consumption and suicide-related outcomes,” and perhaps this was associated with the declining suicide rates.

The authors of the study write that “the negative relationship between legalization and suicides among young adult males is consistent with the argument that marijuana can be used to cope with such shocks” that might alternatively lead someone taking their own life. It leads to an improvement in psychological well-being, and that’s reflected in fewer suicides. Regulating your endocannabinoid system is vital to life, and it is more clear with each study coming forward that individuals and communities are benefiting from safe access to cannabis.


The Institute for the Study of Labor’s report can be read or downloaded at:

Steve Elliot’s Toke of the Town article is available at:

Regarding Alcohol Sales and Traffic Deaths:

News Nug, December 1, 2011

January 17, 2012

45 Day Warnings Echoed in Colorado


Read more here.

January 15, 2012

45 Day Warnings Echoed In Colorado

Back in October the California medical marijuana industry was issued a stern warning by the 4 U.S. attorneys in the state. Landlords were threatened with property seizures and long prison sentences for harboring those dealing with federally controlled substances, regardless of the city or state laws and ordinances that have protected medical marijuana for 16 years in California. The results have been cloudy at best, with clubs in many cities closing down rather than face federal opposition, and the public outrage high.

On Thursday, January 12, following a December filled with rumors that the federal crackdown would spread, Colorado’s U.S. attorney John Walsh sent out 23 letters to dispensaries located within 1,000 feet of schools, mirroring California’s warnings of 45 days to shut down or face severe legal prosecution. Colorado approved a constitutional amendment in November 2000, removing “state-level penalties for the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician affirming that he or she suffers from a debilitating condition and advising that they might benefit from the medical use of marijuana.” The state has since implemented some of the most rigorous regulations of any industry in Colorado, overseeing cannabis from seed to sale.

Representative Jared Polis (D-Colorado) had hoped his state’s commitment to seeing medical cannabis well regulated would provide a safeguard amongst a series of closures and threats in Washington, Montana and California. Colorado has live video feeds monitoring the medical marijuana dispensaries, employees must wear visible badges when working the plant, and background checks are routine for anyone hired to work in the dispensaries. The state has regulations for the disposal of unsold pot, and guidelines for the safe production of hash. Colorado’s U.S. attorney John Walsh insists his state’s voters “could not have anticipated that their vote would be used to justify large marijuana stores within blocks of our schools,” yet medical cannabis was approved and existed without the 1,000 foot regulation for a decade before Colorado passed the rule and grandfathered in existing dispensaries.

One problem with the federal government stepping into Colorado to measure clubs’ distances from schools is that they’ve brought their own ruler, and it’s not quite the same as the state’s. While Colorado approved regulations measuring the distance of the dispensary’s front door to the edge of school properties, the federal government uses  the measurement of property line to property line, “as the crow flies.” This will mean that some dispensaries that had otherwise been told they are clear of the 1,000 foot zone now face moving or closing down completely.

Rob Corry, a lawyer representing some of the dispensaries in Colorado has called the crackdown “a colossal bluff on the part of our U.S. attorney,” saying “I don’t think he has the stomach or the resources for this kind of battle.” Corry encourages his clients to ignore the threats, and while I agree that the dispensaries should have no intentions of moving or closing, ignoring the threats won’t be enough. States need to join together to provide a strong front to our federal government that where medical cannabis has been approved and allowed, it will remain. California, Washington, Montana, and perhaps most clearly in Colorado voters have agreed upon regulations to keep their communities safe, and the federal government should be reconsidering any commitment to this crackdown.

Our battle for legalization is far from over while the medical marijuana communities we have established are threatened.


Websites I referred to while writing this:

Extensive Colo. pot rules don’t prevent crackdown – The Denver Post

16 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC – Medical Marijuana –

Colorado favors gay marriage, marijuana use, loves Tebow – Public Policy Polling

Medical Marijuana: Federal Crackdown, Similar To That In California, Begins In Colorado

December 9, 2011

Attorney General Affirms Medical Marijuana States are “Low Priority”


This full story can be found at The Huffington Post.

December 7, 2011

Wisconsin, Florida, Missouri and the 2012 Elections


More information regarding Wisconsin.
More information regarding Florida.
More information regarding Missouri.


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