New York Times Supports Legalization
Cannabis legalization gained a major proponent last week with the Sunday New York Times coming out with a strong editorial urging the federal government to lift prohibition. The White House had a response on its website by Monday night, saying that the New York Times “ignores the science and fails to address public health problems associated with increased marijuana use.” The Sunday editorial was just the first in a 6-part series about marijuana.
Cannabis Offenses = Half of all U.S. Drug Arrests
A comprehensive state-by-state analysis of cannabis arrests in the United States for 2012 was released by Shenandoah University professor Jon Gettman last week. It shows that cannabis offenses account for half of all drug arrests in the U.S. — except in California and Massachusetts, which are the two states that by 2012 made personal use possession a civil infraction.
In five states, cannabis arrests account for two-thirds or more of all drug arrest: Nebraska New Hampshire, Montana , Wyoming and Wisconsin. The full text of the study can be found at the website regulatingcannabis.com.
NY Governor Urges Speed in Implementing Medical Cannabis Laws
Finally this week New York Governor Andrew Cuomo – a former opponent of medical marijuana who recently signed a medical cannabis bill into law last month that won’t go into effect for at least another year and a half – sent a letter to the Department of Health urging it to accelerate the process for “the children of our state living with epilepsy.” Gov. Cuomo was impelled by the recent deaths of two children with epileptic seizure disorders whose conditions could be alleviated with medical cannabis
Doctor Punished for Raising Concerns Over Another Prisoner’s Health
Now we turn from statistics to stories of actual cannabis prisoners.
Mollie Fry was recently confined to solitary confinement due to her concern for another inmate’s health. Mollie Fry is a medical doctor, breast cancer survivor, and a founding member of the society of cannabis clinicians. She and her husband, an attorney, both began there sentences in May 2011 for a federal raid in 2005 that confiscated 34 cannabis plants.
She wrote to a friend that she was concerned about a fellow inmate, a 67-year-old woman who had a history of heart issues and was complaining of cardiac symptoms including dizziness, fatigue, nausea. Dr Mollie Fry wrote:
“I took her pulse twice a day for several days and determined it to be between 40-42 beats/minute, which is extremely low. I told her to insist that they send her out for a consultation with a cardiologist when she saw the physician assistant, we rarely see a real MD. At sick call she was again ignored and told that there was nothing wrong with her.
“Desperate to attain competent evaluation she told them at I (a doctor) had said her condition needed to be evaluated. That was all it took, I found myself in handcuffs and dragged off to the Special Housing Unit (SHU) for discipline confinement. In the SHU, I was fed through a slot in the door and locked in 24/7. Eight days later, I was returned to camp with a warning “you can not practice medicine in prison.” I lost my stuff, my room, my roommate and five pounds, for expressing my concern over her safety. She still has not gotten to see a cardiologist.”