Three Things That Separate Great Medical Sales Reps From Average Reps

1450 BC - Book of Exodus References Holy Anointing Oil Made from Cannabis "Holy anointing oil, as described in the original Hebrew version of the recipe in Exodus (30:22-23), contained over six pounds of kaneh-bosem, a substance identified by respected etymologists, linguists, anthropologists, botanists and other researchers as cannabis, extracted into about six quarts of olive oil, along with a variety of other fragrant herbs. The ancient anointed ones were literally drenched in this potent mixture." "Was Jesus a Stoner?," High Times Magazine, Feb. 10, 2003 "Marijuana proponents suggest that the recipe for the anointing oil passed from God to Moses included cannabis, or kaneh-bosm in Hebrew. They point to versions calling for fragrant cane, which they say was mistakenly changed to the plant calamus in the King James version of the Bible." 30 - Jesus Allegedly Uses Anointing Oil Made with Cannabis "In the Bible’s New Testament, Jesus... anointed [his disciples] with [a] potent entheogenic [psychoactive substance] oil, sending out the 12 apostles to do the same [around the year 30 AD]... Likewise, after Jesus' passing, James suggests that anyone of the Christian community who was sick should call to the elders to anoint him with oil in the name of Jesus..."   "Was Jesus a Stoner?," High Times Magazine, Feb. 10, 2003 "So, did Jesus use cannabis? I think so. The word Christ does mean 'the anointed one' and Bennett contends that Christ was anointed with chrism, a cannabis-based oil, that caused his spiritual visions. The ancient recipe for this oil, recorded in Exodus, included over 9lb of flowering cannabis tops (known as kaneh-bosem in Hebrew), extracted into a hin (about 11? pints) of olive oil, with a variety of other herbs and spices. The mixture was used in anointing and fumigations that, significantly, allowed the priests and prophets to see and speak with Yahweh.Residues of cannabis, moreover, have been detected in vessels from Judea and Egypt in a context indicating its medicinal, as well as visionary, use. Jesus is described by the apostle Mark as casting out demons and healing by the use of this holy chrism. Earlier, from the time of Moses until the later prophet Samuel, holy anointing oil was used by the shamanic Levite priesthood to receive the 'revelations of the Lord'. The chosen ones were drenched in this potent cannabis oil." Graecus 1 der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, 1998 "Pedanius Dioscorides (circa AD 40-90), a Greek physician who was a Roman army doctor and traveled widely on campaigns throughout the Roman empire, studied many plants, gathering his knowledge into a book he titled De Materia Medica ( On Medical Matters). Published about AD 70 it became the most important medical tome of the next 1500 years. Irrefutably included in it was cannabis, both kannabis emeros and kannabis agria, the male and female respectively. Dioscorides stated bluntly that the plant which was used in the making of rope also produced a juice that was used to treat earache and suppress sexual longing." "Thackeray et al. reported in the South African Journal of Science the results of chemical analyses of plant residues in 'tobacco pipes' from Stratford-upon-Avon and environs, dating to the early 17th century... The pipe bowls and stems had been obtained by Thackeray on loan from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon. Several of the pipes had been excavated from the garden of William Shakespeare. Results of this study (including 24 pipe fragments) indicated Cannabis in eight samples, nicotine (from tobacco leaves of the kind associated with Raleigh) in at least one sample, and (in two samples) definite evidence for Peruvian cocaine... Thackeray (unpublished manuscript) suggests that Shakespeare preferred Cannabis as a stimulant which had mind-stimulating properties." Page from George Washington's diary dated Aug. 1765. Click picture for full page. Source: Library of Congress (accessed Aug. 31, 2011) 1774-1824 - Thomas Jefferson Grows Hemp at Monticello "Thomas Jefferson did grow hemp [as noted in his farming diaries from 1774-1824], but there is no evidence to suggest that Jefferson was a habitual smoker of hemp, tobacco, or any other substance. Some have pointed to a supposed reference in Jefferson's Farm Book to separating male and female hemp plants as evidence that he was cultivating it for purposes of recreational smoking; no such reference exists in Jefferson's Farm Book or any other document, although George Washington did record such a thing in his own diary..." Indian Hemp Commission Mentions Several Medical Uses of Cannabis "Concern about cannabis as an intoxicant leads the government of India to establish the Indian Hemp Commission of 1893-1894 to examine the question of cannabis use in India." The report mentions the use of cannabis as an "analgesic, a restorer of energy, a hemostat, an ecbolic [to induce contractions], and an antidiaretic." Cannabis is also "mentioned as an aid in treating hay fever, cholera, dysentery, gonorrhea, diabetes, impotence, urinary incontinence, swelling of the testicles, granulation of open sores, and chronic ulcers. Other beneficial effects attributed to cannabis are prevention of insomnia, relief of anxiety, protection against cholera, alleviation of hunger and as an aid to concentration of attention." 1906 - Pure Food and Drugs Act Requires Labeling of Medicine, Including Cannabis Label for Piso's Cure, a cannabis-based medicine, after the passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act Source: (accessed Dec. 12, 2011) "[O]n 30 June 1906 President Roosevelt signed the Food and Drugs Act, known simply as the Wiley Act... The basis of the law rested on the regulation of product labeling rather than pre-market approval."   "FDA History - Part I," FDA website (accessed Dec. 28, 2011) "An Act for preventing the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated or misbranded or poisonous or deleterious foods, drugs, medicines, and liquors, and for regulating traffic therein, and for other purposes... That for the purposes of this Act an article shall also be deemed to be misbranded... if the package fail to bear a statement on the label of the quantity or proportion of any alcohol, morphine, opium, cocaine, heroin, alpha or beta eucaine, chloroform, cannabis indica, chloral hydrate, or acetanilide, or any derivative or preparation of any such substances contained therein." 1911 - Massachusetts Becomes First State to Outlaw Cannabis "Bolstered by Progressive Era faith in big government, the 1910s marked a high tide of prohibitionist sentiment in America. In 1914 and 1916, alcohol prohibition initiatives would make the state ballot. Meanwhile, the legislature was tackling such morals issues as prostitution, racetrack gambling, prizefighting, liquor, and oral sex. Amidst this profusion of vices, Indian hemp [aka cannabis] was but a minor afterthought… states banned cannabis in the 1910s: Massachusetts in 1911 (150 KB); Maine, Wyoming and Indiana in 1913; New York City in 1914; Utah and Vermont in 1915; Colorado and Nevada in 1917. As in California, these laws were passed not due to any widespread use or concern about cannabis, but as regulatory initiatives to discourage future use." Contemporary Drug Problems, Summer 1999 Jan. 1915 - President Woodrow Wilson Source: (accessed Aug. 30, 2011) "Representative Francis B. Harrison (D-NY) introduced three bills in 1913 to remedy the [drug] problem by controlling the domestic manufacture of opium and by regulating the international opium trade. According to his bills, opium could be imported or exported only for medicinal purposes. Harrison also proposed that the government '...impose a special tax upon all persons who... sell, distribute or give away opium or coca leaves...' President Woodrow Wilson signed all three of Harrison's measures into law by Jan. 1915. The Harrison Act, as the final proposal was known, required every physician who prescribed opium or any of its derivatives to put a serial number, which could only be obtained from the Internal Revenue Department, on each prescription... Every doctor who wished to prescribe narcotics was required to register annually with the federal government." Although it does not apply to marijuana, the Harrison Act becomes the model for drug regulation on the federal level and is considered the basis for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. 1918 - US Pharmaceutical Farms Grow 60,000 Pounds of Cannabis Annually "Up to World War I, pharmaceutical supplies of cannabis indica were entirely imported from India (and occasionally Madagascar), in accordance with the U.S. Pharmacopoeia, which specified that it come from flowering tops of the Indian variety... Finally, in 1913, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Bureau of Plant Industry announced it had succeeded in growing domestic cannabis of equal quality to the Indian. When foreign supplies were interrupted by World War I, the United States became self-sufficient in cannabis. By 1918, some 60,000 pounds were being produced annually, all from pharmaceutical farms east of the Mississippi." Contemporary Drug Problems, Summer 1999 Feb. 19, 1925 - League of Nations Sign Multilateral Treaty Restricting Cannabis Use to Scientific and Medical Only At the Second Opium Conference and the International Opium Convention, sponsored by the League of Nations and signed in Geneva on Feb. 19, 1925, Egypt proposes that hashish (cannabis resin) be added to the list of narcotics covered by the convention. The convention authorizes the use of "Indian hemp" (cannabis) only for scientific and medical purposes. Restrictions on importing and exporting cannabis resin are put into place. This convention is the first multilateral treaty that deals with cannabis. New York Times, July 29, 2014 1933 - William Randolph Hearst Plays Role in Denouncing Marijuana "[I]n 1933, marijuana became the target of government control. Sensationalistic stories linked violent acts to cannabis consumption... Many of the most outlandish stories appeared in newspapers published by William Randolph Hearst. Hearst reportedly had financial interests in the lumber and paper industries. He may have sought to eliminate competition from hemp." Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence, 2005 "The first laws against cannabis in the United States were passed in border towns with Mexico... William Randolph Hearst was an up-and-coming newspaper tycoon, owning twenty-eight newspapers by the mid-1920s... Hearst then dropped the words cannabis and hemp from his newspapers and began a propaganda campaign against 'marijuana,' (following in Anslinger's footsteps)..." 1936 - Bureau of Narcotics Urges Federal Action to Control Marijuana "It is difficuly to know precisely the extent of marihuana use in the 1930s. The Narcotics Bureau itself never provided any official estimate. The Bureau spoke only of 'widespread use...'  [Commissioner Harry] Anslinger maintained that all drug use was a plot of 'civic corruption,' a public enemy seeking to destroy the community... During 1936 the Bureau headlined the marihuana danger in its report ["Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs," 1936]. For the first time it urged federal controls and presented a description of the vice, describing dire mental and moral changes among users." 1936 - Original movie poster for Source: (accessed Dec. 15, 2011) "Reefer Madness is a morality tale of how Reefer Addiction ruins the life of its young protagonist and gets a lot of other people killed, sexually compromised and committed to lunatic asylums... Reefer Madness began its cinematic life as a 1936 cautionary film entitled Tell Your Children. It was financed by a small church group, and was intended to scare the living bejeezus out of every parent who viewed it. Soon after the film was shot, however, it was purchased by the notorious exploitation film maestro Dwain Esper (Narcotic, Marihuana, Maniac), who took the liberty of cutting in salacious insert shots and slapping on the sexier title of Reefer Madness, before distributing it on the exploitation circuit... Today, the film is a cult phenomenon dwarfed only by The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and 'Reefer Madness' is a bona fide catch phrase." American Medical Association Opposes the Proposed Marihuana Tax Act and Supports Research on Medical Cannabis "Hearings on the proposed taxation of marihuana were held before the Committee on Ways and Means between 27 April and 4 May 1937. The last witness to be heard was Dr. William C. Woodward, legislative counsel of the American Medical Association (AMA). He announced his opposition to the bill... [and] sought to dispel any impression that either the AMA or enlightened medical opinion sponsored this legislation. Marihuana, he argued, was largely an unknown quantity, but might have important uses in medicine and psychology."  "The Federal Prohibition of Marihuana," Journal of Social History, Autumn 1970 "There is nothing in the medicinal use of Cannabis that has any relation to Cannabis addiction. I use the word 'Cannabis' in preference to the word 'marihuana', because Cannabis is the correct term for describing the plant and its products. The term 'marihuana' is a mongrel word that has crept into this country over the Mexican border and has no general meaning, except as it relates to the use of Cannabis preparations for smoking... To say, however, as has been proposed here, that the use of the drug should be prevented by a prohibitive tax, loses sight of the fact that future investigation may show that there are substantial medical uses for Cannabis." Oct. 1937 - Commissioner Harry J. Anslinger inspects a drug seizure. Source: DEA exhibit "Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause," posted on (accessed Aug. 31, 2011) "Spurred by spectacular accounts of marijuana's harmful effects on its users, by the drug's alleged connection to violent crime, and by a perception that state and local efforts to bring use of the drug under control were not working, Congress enacted the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Promoted by Harry Anslinger, Commissioner of the recently established Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the act imposed registration and reporting requirements and a tax on the growers, sellers, and buyers of marijuana. Although the act did not prohibit marijuana outright, its effect was the same. (Because marijuana was not included in the Harrison Narcotics Act in 1914, the Marihuana Tax Act was the federal government’s first attempt to regulate marijuana.)" "By the time the federal government passed the Marihuana Tax Act in [Oct.] 1937, every state had already enacted laws criminalizing the possession and sale of marijuana. The federal law, which was structured in a fashion similar to the 1914 Harrison Act, maintained the right to use marijuana for medicinal purposes but required physicians and pharmacists who prescribed or dispensed marijuana to register with federal authorities and pay an annual tax or license fee...After the passage of the Act, prescriptions of marijuana declined because doctors generally decided it was easier not to prescribe marijuana than to deal with the extra work imposed by the new law." Journal of Public Health Policy, 2002 Oct. 2, 1937 - Mug shot of Samuel R. Caldwell. Source: (accessed Feb. 21, 2012) "On the day the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act was enacted -- Oct. 2, 1937 -- the FBI and Denver, Colo., police raided the Lexington Hotel and arrested Samuel R. Caldwell, 58, an unemployed labourer and Moses Baca, 26. On Oct. 5, Caldwell went into the history trivia books as the first marijuana seller convicted under U.S. federal law. His customer, Baca, was found guilty of possession...    Caldwell was sentenced to four years of hard labour in Leavenworth Penitentiary, plus a $1,000 fine. Baca received 18 months incarceration. Both men served every day of their sentence. A year after Caldwell was released from prison, he died." [Editor's Note: Read more about the LaGuardia Report on our page on US Government Reports] 1950-1969 Boggs Act Establishes Minimum Prison Sentences for Simple Possession "In 1951, Congress established mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug crimes. Named for its sponsor, Representative Hale Boggs (D-La.), the Boggs Act imposed two-to-five year minimum sentences for first offenses, including simple possession. The Act made no distinction between drug users and drug traffickers for purposes of sentencing. The driving force behind the Boggs Act was a mistaken belief that drug addiction was a contagious and perhaps incurable disease and that addicts should be quarantined and forced to undergo treatment." 1961 - UN Convention Provides Basis for Future Federal Prohibition of Marijuana The 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs establishes the following rule in Article 49: "The use of cannabis for other than medical and scientific purposes must be discontinued as soon as possible but in any case within twenty-five years..."  (500 KB),1961"In 1961, the United Nations adopted the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the terms of which state that each participating country could 'adopt such measures as may be necessary to prevent misuse of, and illicit traffic in, the leaves of the Cannabis plant.' Congress approved participation in the convention in 1967 and three years later passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, which provides the basis for current federal prohibitions regarding marijuana use."  span> "Marijuana," DEA website (accessed June 17, 2011) "The Congress asked the Department of Health, Education and Welfare for their recommendation where marijuana should be placed in the Controlled Substances Act. The response, by letter of 8/14/70, of the Assistant Secretary for Health and Scientific Affairs [Roger O. Egeberg] is as follows: '...Some question has been raised whether the use of the plant itself produces "severe psychological or physical dependence" as required by a schedule I or even schedule II criterion. Since there is still a considerable void in our knowledge of the plant and effects of the active drug contained in it, our recommendation is that marihuana be retained within schedule I at least until the completion of certain studies now underway to resolve the issue. If those studies* make it appropriate for the Attorney General to change the placement of marihuana to a different schedule, he may do so in accordance with the authority provided under section 201 of the bill..'"   "Marijuana's Dependence Liability - 1970," (accessed Dec. 12, 2011) [Editor's Note: *"Those studies" were concluded in the 1972 Schafer Commission report, which recommended removing marijuana from the scheduling system and decriminalizing it. President Nixon rejected their recommendation.] 1970 - NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) Founded NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, is founded in 1970 as a nonprofit public-interest advocacy group whose mission is to end marijuana prohibition. May 1, 1971 - Nixon Says He Will Not Legalize Marijuana Despite Shafer Commission President Nixon had a meeting with Elvis Presley, who sought to be appointed as a Federal Agent-at-Large in the US Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, in 1970. Source: National Archives and Records Administration (accessed Aug. 31, 2011) In a televised news conference on May 1, 1971, responding to question about the White House Conference on Youth, which had voted to legalize marijuana, President Nixon said:      "As you know, there is a Commission that is supposed to make recommendations to me about this subject; in this instance, however, I have such strong views that I will express them. I am against legalizing marijuana. Even if the Commission does recommend that it be legalized, I will not follow that recommendation... I can see no social or moral justification whatever for legalizing marijuana. I think it would be exactly the wrong step. It would simply encourage more and more of our young people to start down the long, dismal road that leads to hard drugs and eventually self-destruction." June 17, 1971 - At a June 17, 1971 press conference, President Nixon said: "America's public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive. I have asked the Congress to provide the legislative authority and the funds to fuel this kind of an offensive. This will be a worldwide offensive dealing with the problems of sources of supply, as well as Americans who may be stationed abroad, wherever they are in the world... I have brought Dr. [Jerome H.] Jaffe into the White House, directly reporting to me [as Special Consultant to the President for Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs], so that we have not only the responsibility but the authority to see that we wage this offensive effectively and in a coordinated way." 1972 - National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse ("Shafer Commission") Recommends Decriminalizing Marijuana "The bipartisan Shafer Commission [National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse], appointed by President Nixon at the direction of Congress [and chaired by former Pennsylvania Governor Raymond Shafer], considered laws regarding marijuana and determined that personal use of marijuana should be decriminalized. Nixon rejected the recommendation, but over the course of the 1970s, eleven states decriminalized marijuana and most others reduced their penalties."   "Busted: America's War on Marijuana," (accessed July 21, 2010)"Possession of marihuana for personal use would no longer be an offense, but marihuana possessed in public would remain contraband subject to summary seizure and forfeiture. Casual distribution of small amounts of marihuana for no remuneration, or insignificant remuneration not involving profit would no longer be an offense." 1972 - NORML Petitions DEA to Reschedule Marijuana In 1972, NORML files an administrative petition with the DEA. "NORML's petition called on the federal government to reclassify marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule II drug so that physicians could legally prescribe it. Federal authorities initially refused to accept the petition until mandated to do so by the US Court of Appeals in 1974, and then refused to properly process it until again ordered by the Court in 1982... Fourteen years after NORML's initial petition, in 1986, the DEA finally held public hearings on the issue before an administrative law judge. Two years later [on Sep. 6, 1998], Judge Francis Young ruled [in the matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition, Docket No. 86-22] that the therapeutic use of marijuana was recognized by a respected minority of the medical community, and that it met the standards of other legal medications." The final ruling in the case was made Feb. 18, 1994. 1974 - NIDA Established, Placed in Charge of Contracts to Grow Marijuana for Research Purposes "Since its inception in 1974, NIDA [National Institute on Drug Abuse] has been the sole administrator of a contract to grow cannabis (marijuana) for research purposes and the only legal source for cannabis in the United States... Because of international treaty agreements (Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961) which prohibit entities other than the Federal Government from legally supplying cannabis, NIDA has remained its only legal source..."The University of Mississippi is contracted by NIDA to grow either 1.5 or 6.5 acres of cannabis, or to not grow any at all, depending on research demand. The Research Triangle Institute (RTI) has a contract to manufacture and distribute cannabis cigarettes (joints). American Journal of Public Health, May 2004 Nov. 24, 1976 - Robert Randall Source: (accessed Aug. 31, 2011) "In November, 1976, a Washington, DC man [Robert Randall] afflicted by glaucoma employed the little-used Common Law Doctrine of Necessity to defend himself against criminal charges of marijuana cultivation (US v. Randall). On November 24, 1976, federal Judge James Washington ruled Randall's use of marijuana constituted a 'medical necessity...' Judge Washington dismissed criminal charges against Randall. Concurrent with this judicial determination, federal agencies responding to a May, 1976 petition filed by Randall, began providing this patient with licit, FDA-approved access to government supplies of medical marijuana. Randall was the first American to receive marijuana for the treatment of a medical disorder." High Times Magazine, July 1994 (700 KB) on New Mexico's medical marijuana program.] 1980 - Marinol, a Synthetic Version of THC, and Smoked Marijuana Tested on Cancer Patients "In 1980, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) began experimental distribution of a new drug called Marinol, an oral form of THC (the primary active ingredient in marijuana), to cancer patients in San Francisco. Simultaneously, six states conducted studies comparing smoked marijuana to oral THC in cancer patients who had not responded to traditional antivomiting medication. These state-sponsored studies revealed that thousands of patients found marijuana safer and more effective than synthetic THC. Meanwhile, the NCI experiments showed that some patients responded well to Marinol... Confronted with two different medical recommendations, the government chose to dismiss the state studies and give Marinol the green light." Anti-Drug Abuse Act Increases Penalties for Marijuana Possession and Dealing President Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, instituting mandatory sentences for drug-related crimes. In conjunction with the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, the new law raised federal penalties for marijuana possession and dealing, basing the penalties on the amount of the drug involved. Possession of 100 marijuana plants received the same penalty as possession of 100 grams of heroin. A later amendment to the Anti-Drug Abuse Act established a "three strikes and you're out" policy, requiring life sentences for repeat drug offenders, and providing for the death penalty for "drug kingpins." Dec. 30, 1989 - DEA Administrator Overrules Francis Young and Orders That Cannabis Remain a Schedule I Controlled Substance "In December 1989, DEA Administrator Jack Lawn overruled the decision of one administrative law judge [Francis Young] who had agreed with marijuana advocates that marijuana should be moved from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act. This proposed rescheduling of marijuana would have allowed physicians to prescribe the smoking of marijuana as a legal treatment for some forms of illness. Administrator Lawn maintained that there was no medicinal benefit to smoking marijuana... [and] that marijuana should remain a Schedule I controlled substance." Journal of Public Health Policy, 2002 June 1991 - Federal Government Suspends IND Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Program "A federal program that has provided free marijuana to the seriously ill is being phased out by Health and Human Services officials who have concluded it undercuts official Bush administration policy against the use of illegal drugs, according to HHS officials. While a small number of patients already receiving marijuana will continue to do so, new applicants will be encouraged to try synthetic forms of delta-9-THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, rather than the weed itself, according to a new policy directive signed by James O. Mason, chief of the Public Health Service... 'If it's perceived that the Public Health Service is going around giving marijuana to folks, there would be a perception that this stuff can't be so bad,' said Mason. 'It gives a bad signal.'... While only six people had received marijuana under the program, the FDA has received 28 applications in the past year, and was concerned that it would be swamped with hundreds more in coming months, officials said." July 1991 - 53% of Oncologists Surveyed Say Cannabis Should Be Available by Prescription "A random-sample, anonymous survey of the members of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) was conducted in spring 1990 measuring the attitudes and experiences of American oncologists concerning the antiemetic use of marijuana in cancer chemotherapy patients. A surprising proportion of respondents (432, 44%) said they had recommended marijuana to at least one patient... Six hundred eight respondents (63%) agreed with the statement affirming the efficacy of marijuana in the treatment of emesis... and 77 respondents (8%) disagreed... Of the 599 respondents with opinions, 53% favored making marijuana available by prescription." Scientists Discover First Endocannabinoid Anandamide neurotransmitter molecule. The atoms are color-coded as carbon (light blue), hydrogen (yellow), nitrogen (dark blue) and oxygen (red). Source: (accessed Dec. 15, 2011) "Twenty-eight years after discovering THC, in 1992, Dr. Mechoulam, along with Dr. William Devane and Dr. Lumir Hanus, identified the brain's first endogenous cannabinoid (or endocannabinoid) - the brain's natural version of THC -which they called 'anandamide,' from the Sanskrit word 'ananda,' which means 'eternal bliss' or 'supreme joy.' Vigorous exercise stimulates the release of anandamide, and the sense of euphoric well-being that comes with a healthy workout - what jogging enthusiasts refer to as a 'runner's high' - is due to elevated levels of endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system in the brain is also believed to help mediate emotions, consolidate memory, and coordinate movement." Mavericks of Medicine, 2006 IND Compassionate Use Program Officially Terminated; 13 Existing Patients Continue to Get Government Marijuana "In March 1992, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services decided that NIDA would not provide marijuana for single-patient INDs except to those patients who were receiving marijuana at the time... When the program was terminated, 27 additional single-patient INDs that had received FDA approval were canceled and the patients were not supplied with marijuana."   "Report 10 of the Council on Scientific Affairs," 1997 "The thirteen patients receiving medical Cannabis from the Feds would be 'grandfathered in,' and continue to be supplied. Five had AIDS; three had glaucoma; Barbra Douglas had MS; George McMahon had Nail-Patella Syndrome; I had Multiple Congenital Cartilaginous Exostosis and a variant of Pseudo Pseudo Hypoparathyroidism; and two had chosen to remain anonymous.HHS Secretary Louis Sullivan signed the order ending the Compassionate Care INDs on March 19, 1992." Feb. 18, 1994 - Final Decision in 1972 Court Battle over Marijuana Rescheduling Keeps Marijuana in Schedule I "In 1972, a petition was submitted to the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (now known as the Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA) to reschedule marijuana to Schedule II, enabling legal physician prescription. A series of court battles ensued pertaining to this petition for the next 22 years. A final decision was not rendered until February 18, 1994, by the US Court of Appeals (DC Circuit) in which the DEA's decision to keep marijuana in Schedule I was upheld. While the petition eventually failed, it created an environment of uncertainty regarding the potential federal scheduling of marijuana that persisted throughout the 1970s and early 1980s." Journal of Public Health Policy, 2002 Mid-July 1994 - Assistant Secretary of Health Announces Final Decision Not to Reopen IND Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Program "As you may recall, in 1992, the Assistant Secretary of Health in the Bush Administration, Dr. James Mason, shut down the FDA's Single Patient IND Program (Compassionate Access) for medical marijuana patients because it was growing too large, too visible, too expensive and too time- consuming for the FDA to administer. Over the course of the last year, the current Assistant Secretary of Health, Dr. Philip Lee, has been pressed by various congresspeople to review Dr. Mason's decision. In a letter sent in mid-July to Representative Barney Frank and the other congresspeople and senators who contacted him about this issue, Dr. Lee announced that he has finally reached a decision concerning his course of action... Dr. Lee indicated that he has decided not to reopen the Compassionate Access Program. According to Dr. Lee, the fatal flaw of that program was that it did not generate data that could be submitted to the FDA to either support or reject the hypothesis that smoked marijuana had a safe and efficacious medical use. Dr. Lee did not offer any government funds for research, yet indicated that only FDA-approved research could resolve this controversy." Marijuana as Medicine: Beyond the Controversy, 2001 [Editor's Note: Ballot Proposition 215 was approved on Nov. 5, 1996 by 56% of voters and became effective on Nov. 6, 1996. Read more about California's medical marijuana laws.] Jan. 30, 1997 - Logo for the New England Journal of Medicine, founded in 1812. Source: (accessed Dec. 14, 2011) The New England Journal of Medicine publishes an editorial written by Jerome P. Kassirer, MD, titled "Federal Foolishness and Marijuana." The article states: "Federal authorities should rescind their prohibition of the medicinal use of marijuana for seriously ill patients and allow physicians to decide which patients to treat. The government should change marijuana's status from that of a Schedule 1 drug (considered to be potentially addictive and with no current medical use) to that of a Schedule 2 drug (potentially addictive but with some accepted medical use) and regulate it accordingly." Sep. 1998 - Former US Congressman (L-GA) Bob Barr at a Sep. 5, 2008 event in Washington, DC. Source: "In September 1998, the House debated and passed a resolution (H.J.Res. 117) declaring that Congress supports the existing federal drug approval process for determining whether any drug, including marijuana, is safe and effective... under the heading 'Not Legalizing Marijuana for Medicinal Use.' In a separate amendment to the same act, Congress prevented the District of Columbia government from counting ballots of a 1998 voter-approved initiative that would have allowed the medical use of marijuana... The amendment [known as the Barr Amendment for its sponsor Bob Barr of Georgia] was challenged and overturned in District Court, the ballots were counted, and the measure passed 69% to 31%. Nevertheless, despite further court challenges, Congress continued to prohibit implementation of the initiative..." Nov. 3, 1998 - Alaska, Oregon, and Washington Become 2nd, 3rd, and 4th States to Legalize Medical Marijuana "Fifty-eight percent of voters [in Alaska] approved Ballot Measure #8 on November 3, 1998. The law took effect on March 4, 1999. It removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician advising that they 'might benefit from the medical use of marijuana...' Fifty-five percent of voters [in Oregon] approved Measure 67 on November 3, 1998. The law took effect on December 3, 1998. It removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a signed recommendation from their physician stating that marijuana "may mitigate" his or her debilitating symptoms... Fifty-nine percent of voters [in Washington] approved Measure 692 on November 3, 1998. The law took effect on that day. It removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess 'valid documentation" from their physician affirming that he or she suffers from a debilitating condition and that the "potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks.'" [Editor's Note: Read more about the medical marijuana laws in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington.] Nov. 11, 1998 - UK House of Lords Committee Recommends Legalizing Medical Marijuana "The Government should allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for medical use: this is the conclusion of a report by the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, published today [Nov. 11, 1998]. Lord Perry of Walton, chairman of the inquiry said: 'We have seen enough evidence to convince us that a doctor might legitimately want to prescribe cannabis to relieve pain, or the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), and that the criminal law ought not to stand in the way. Far from being a step towards general legalisation, our recommendation would make the ban on recreational use easier to enforce. Above all, it would show compassion to patients who currently risk prosecution to get help.'" Jan. 1997-Mar. 1999 - Cover of the IOM report Source: (accessed Jan. 3, 2012) "In January 1997... the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (the federal drug czar) commissioned the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences to review the scientific evidence on the potential health benefits and risks of marijuana and its constituent cannabinoids. Begun in August 1997, IOM's 257-page report, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base, was released in March 1999... For the most part, the IOM Report straddled the fence and provided sound bites for both sides of the medical marijuana debate... In general, the report emphasized the need for well-formulated, scientific research into the therapeutic effects of marijuana and its cannabinoid components on patients with specific disease conditions." Nov. 7, 2000 - Colorado and Nevada Become Seventh and Eighth States to Legalize Medical Marijuana "Fifty-four percent of voters [in Colorado] approved Amendment 20 on November 7, 2000, which amends the state’s constitution to recognize the medical use of marijuana. The law took effect on June 1, 2001. It removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician... The law establishes a confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients...  Sixty-five percent of voters [in Nevada] approved Question 9 on November 7, 2000, which amends the states' constitution to recognize the medical use of marijuana. The law took effect on October 1, 2001. The law removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who have 'written documentation' from their physician... The law establishes a confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients." [Editor's Note: Read more about the medical marijuana laws in Colorado and Nevada.] May 14, 2001 - Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative logo Source:, July 12, 2006 The Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, organized to distribute marijuana to qualified patients for medical purposes, was sued by the US government to force the Cooperative to cease operations. A district court rejected the Cooperative's defense that the marijuana was medically necessary, but its rejection was overturned by the Ninth Circuit. On May 14, 2001, the US Supreme Court rules 8-0 that "there is no medical necessity exception to the Controlled Substances Act's prohibitions on manufacturing and distributing marijuana." Close-Up of Debris from Three NIDA Cannabis Cigarettes Source: Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, Jan. 2002 The only study conducted on the FDA's IND Program determines that "NIDA cannabis is shipped to patients in labeled metal canisters containing 300 cigarettes, and material is frequently two or more years old upon receipt... A close inspection of the contents of NIDA-supplied cannabis cigarettes reveals them to be a crude mixture of leaf with abundant stem and seed components." The study concludes that "cannabis smoking, even of a crude, low-grade product, provides effective symptomatic relief of pain, muscle spasms, and intraocular pressure elevations..." and that "clinical cannabis patients are able to reduce or eliminate other prescription medicines and their accompanying side effects." According to the study, "clinical cannabis provides an improved quality of life in these patients... The side effect profile of NIDA cannabis in chronic usage suggests some mild pulmonary risk."The authors of the study recommend reopening the Compassionate IND program or amending laws to allow access to clinical cannabis. Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, Jan. 2002 Sep. 2002 - DC Court Blocks Proposed Medical Marijuana Initiative "Proposed legislation to allow marijuana for medical purposes was… blocked in Washington, DC. In September of 2002, a federal appeals court overturned, without providing any rationale, a previous court ruling that had cleared the way for a medical marijuana initiative to be considered by voters in an election. Interestingly, this was the second time that the measure had been blocked in DC. In 1998, voters approved a medical marijuana initiative by a vote of 69% to 31%, but Congress prevented the law from going into effect." Oct. 29, 2002 - Conant v. Walters That Gov't Cannot Revoke Physician Licenses Solely for Recommending Medical Marijuana After California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, the US government threatened to take away the medical licenses of physicians who recommended the use of marijuana. On Oct. 29, 2002, a US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit 3-0 ruling (80 KB) in the case Conant v. Walters prohibited "the federal government from either revoking a physician's license to prescribe controlled substances or conducting an investigation of a physician that might lead to such revocation, where the basis for the government's action is solely the physician's professional 'recommendation' of the use of medical marijuana." The US Supreme Court denied an appeal, so physicians maintained the right to discuss marijuana with their patients. [ Editor's Note: The Oct. 29, 2002 Ninth Circuit ruling upheld the Sep. 7, 2000 permanent injunction (75 KB) issued by the US District Court for the Northern District of California, which had already issued a temporary injunction (110 KB) on Apr. 30, 1997.] July 23, 2003 - US House of Representatives Rejects Amendment to Stop Federal Raids on Medical Marijuana Patients "Today [July 23, 2003] the House of Representatives rejected an amendment aimed at stopping federal raids on patients who use marijuana and people who provide it to them in states that recognize the drug as a medicine. Sponsored by Reps. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) and Dana Rohrabacher (R.-Calif.), the amendment would have forbidden the Justice Department (which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration) from spending money to tear up plants, close down clubs, or arrest patients or providers. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 273 to 152, which is closer than might have been expected. The vote in favor of a 1998 House resolution condemning state medical marijuana laws was 310 to 93." Aug. 26, 2003 - Jari Dvorak, with his first supply of medical marijuana grown by the Canadian government. Source:, Aug. 27, 2003 On Aug. 26, 2003, Canadian HIV-patient Jari Dvorak, age 62, becomes the first Canadian patient to receive government-grown marijuana. The program is in response to an Ontario court order for the Canadian government to make a legal supply of marijuana available to authorized patients. He is "one of several hundred Canadians authorized to use medical marijuana for pain, nausea and other symptoms of catastrophic or chronic illness." Qualified patients are approved through Health Canada, and the marijuana is distributed through the patients' physicians. Jan. 1, 2004 - California Places Limits on Medical Marijuana Possession California's medical marijuana law is amended by Senate Bill 420. The bill requires the State Department of Health Services to "establish and maintain a voluntary program for the issuance of identification cards to qualified patients." It creates possession limits of "no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana per qualified patient" and "no more than six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants per qualified patient." SB 420 also states that qualified patients and caregivers "who associate within the State of California in order collectively or cooperatively to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes, shall not solely on the basis of that fact be subject to state criminal sanctions." Dec. 18, 2004 - AARP Poll Finds That 72% of Seniors Support Medical Marijuana Nearly three-fourths of Americans middle age and older support legalizing marijuana for medical use, according to a poll taken for AARP...  Among the 1,706 adults age 45 and older who were polled in November, opinions varied along regional and generational lines and among the 30 percent of respondents who said they had smoked marijuana. AARP members represented 37 percent of the respondents. Over all, 72 percent of respondents agreed 'adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if a physician recommends it.'" Gonzalez v. Raich "California's [1996 medical marijuana] law conflicted with the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which banned possession of marijuana. After the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized doctor-prescribed marijuana from a patient's home, a group of medical marijuana users sued the DEA and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in federal district court. [Gonzalez v. Raich, docket no. 03-1454]  The medical marijuana users argued the Controlled Substances Act - which Congress passed using its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce - exceeded Congress' commerce clause power. The district court ruled against the group. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and ruled the CSA unconstitutional... the Ninth Circuit ruled using medical marijuana did not 'substantially affect' interstate commerce and therefore could not be regulated by Congress...      In a 6-3 opinion delivered by Justice John Paul Stevens [on June 6, 2005], the Court held that the commerce clause gave Congress authority to prohibit the local cultivation and use of marijuana, despite state law to the contrary... The majority argued that Congress could ban local marijuana use..." Dec. 12, 2005 - DEA agents seized marijuana during the Dec. 12, 2005 raids. Source: Associated Press/Ben Margot "[On Dec. 12, 2005] [f]ederal and local law enforcement officers Monday conducted what activists called the most widespread raid on medical marijuana dispensaries anywhere in California. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and two area police agencies raided 11 marijuana dispensaries in San Diego and two in San Marcos, questioning employees and customers and carting off documents. The agents also seized an unknown quantity of marijuana. No arrests were made. Authorities said the investigation was aimed at determining how much marijuana was being sold and who was supplying it." Jan. 1, 2006 - Oregon's Medical Marijuana Law Amended to Exclude Affirmative Defense for Exceeding Possession Limits On Jan. 1, 2006, Senate Bill 1085 takes effect in Oregon as an amendment to the state's medical marijuana law. Qualified patients who possess cannabis in amounts exceeding the state guidelines of 24 ounces of usable marijuana and 24 plants (18 immature, 6 mature) will no longer retain the ability to argue an "affirmative defense" of medical necessity at trial. Patients who fail to register with the state, but who possess medical cannabis in amounts compliant with state law, still retain the ability to raise an "affirmative defense" at trial. The law also redefines "mature plants" to include only those cannabis plants that are more than 12 inches in height and diameter, and establish a state-registry for those authorized to produce medical cannabis to qualified patients. Rhode Island Becomes 11th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana after Legislature Overrides Governor's Veto Rhode Island's Senate Bill 0710 (the Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act) takes effect immediately upon passage on Jan. 3, 2006. The law removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess "written certification" from their physician... [and] establishes a mandatory, confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients. The bill was passed by the House 52-10 on June 24, 2005, and by the Senate 33-1 on June 28, 2005. On June 29, 2005, Gov. Carcieri vetoed the bill. The Senate overrode the veto on June 30, 2005 (28-6) and the House overrode the veto on Jan. 3, 2006 (59-13), at which point the law took effect. Mar. 16, 2006 - Marijuana-laced candy products seized by the DEA included Puff-A-Mint Pattie and KeefKat. Source: (accessed Dec. 29, 2011) "On March 16, 2006, DEA arrested 12 individuals on charges of distribution of marijuana. As a result of searches in the San Francisco Bay area conducted at the time of the arrests, law enforcement seized four sophisticated indoor marijuana grows, thousands of marijuana plants, a large amount of US currency, two semi-automatic weapons, one revolver, and hundreds of pot-laced candy and soft drinks. This investigation began in October 2005, when the DEA obtained information that Beyond Bomb, a manufacturer of marijuana candy in Oakland, CA, was in operation. The marijuana-laced candy and other edibles manufactured by the company mimicked the name and appearance of well known name brand candies and products, such as Stoney Ranchers, Munchy Way, Rasta Reece's. Buddafingers, and Pot Tarts."  "A History of the DEA: 2003-2008,", Jan. 1, 2010 Bruce Margolin, director of Los Angeles NORML -- National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws -- called the arrests aggressive and "uncalled for.""There are a lot of people depending on [marijuana products] for their health and safety and welfare," he said. "What do they want, for them to be buying off the street?" Apr. 20, 2006 - FDA Confirms Opposition to Smoked Marijuana for Medical Purposes On Apr. 20, 2006, the FDA releases a statement titled "Inter-Agency Advisory Regarding Claims That Smoked Marijuana Is a Medicine." The FDA states that "there is currently sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful. A past evaluation by several Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies... concluded that no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use... FDA, as the federal agency responsible for reviewing the safety and efficacy of drugs, DEA as the federal agency charged with enforcing the CSA, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as the federal coordinator of drug control policy, do not support the use of smoked marijuana for medical purposes." "2007 Regular Session: SB 523," (accessed Dec. 14, 2011) Feb. 15, 2008 - Nation's 2nd Largest Physician Group Calls for Marijuana Reclassification and Supports Nonsmoked Forms of Medical Marijuana In a paper released on Feb. 15, 2008, the American College of Physicians (ACP) stated its support for the use of nonsmoked forms of THC, research on the benefits of medical marijuana, review of the federal scheduling of marijuana, and exemption from criminal prosecution. The ACP said, in part: "Position 1: ACP supports programs and funding for rigorous scientific evaluation of the potential therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana and the publication of such findings. Position 1a: ACP supports increased research for conditions where the efficacy of marijuana has been established to determine optimal dosage and route of delivery. Position 1b: Medical marijuana research should not only focus on determining drug efficacy and safety but also on determining efficacy in comparison with other available treatments. Position 2: ACP encourages the use of nonsmoked forms of THC that have proven therapeutic value. Position 3: ACP supports the current process for obtaining federal research-grade cannabis. Position 4: ACP urges review of marijuana’s status as a schedule I controlled substance and its reclassification into a more appropriate schedule, given the scientific evidence regarding marijuana’s safety and efficacy in some clinical conditions. Position 5: ACP strongly supports exemption from federal criminal prosecution; civil liability; or professional sanctioning, such as loss of licensure or credentialing, for physicians who prescribe or dispense medical marijuana in accordance with state law. Similarly, ACP strongly urges protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients who use medical marijuana as permitted under state laws." May 22, 2008 - California Court Rules Possession Limits on Medical Marijuana Unconstitutional "The Second District of California Court of Appeals ruled [3-0 on May 22, 2008] that the state limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation established under state law SB 420 are unconstitutional. In the case People v. Patrick Kelly, the court overturned defendant's conviction for possessing 12 ounces of dried marijuana plants on the grounds that the prosecutor had improperly argued that the defendant was guilty because he possessed more than the 8-ounce limit established in Health & Safety Code Sec. 11362.77 and did not have a doctor's recommendation authorizing more... The Attorney General's office announced that it would appeal the Kelly ruling." Aug. 25, 2008 - Former California Attorney General Jerry Brown. Source: AP Photo,, July 26, 2010 On Aug. 25, 2008, then-California Attorney General Jerry Brown issues guidelines for law enforcement and medical marijuana patients to clarify the state's laws. The non-binding 11-page document states, "In light of California’s decision to remove the use and cultivation of physician recommended marijuana from the scope of the state’s drug laws, this Office recommends that state and local law enforcement officers not arrest individuals or seize marijuana under federal law when the officer determines from the facts available that the cultivation, possession, or transportation is permitted under California’s medical marijuana laws." Two Pounds of Cannabis Found Buried in 2,700-year-old Chinese Tomb Tomb M90 of the Yanghai Tombs, in which cannabis from 2,700 years ago was found. Source:, Mar. 28, 2009 "The Yanghai Tombs near Turpan, Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region, China have recently been excavated to reveal the 2700-year-old grave of a Caucasoid shaman whose accoutrements included a large cache [789 grams, or about two pounds] of cannabis... The cannabis was presumably employed by this culture as a medicinal or psychoactive agent, or an aid to divination. To our knowledge, these investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent, and contribute to the medical and archaeological record of this pre-Silk Road culture." Oct. 19, 2009 - US Attorney General Announces That DOJ Will Not Prioritize Prosecution of Legal Medical Marijuana Patients On Oct. 19, 2009 the US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a memo, known subsequently as the Ogden memo, to "provide clarification and guidance to federal prosecutors in States that have enacted laws authorizing the medical use of marijuana." In an effort to make the most efficient use of limited resources, the DOJ announced that prosecutorial priorities should not target "individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana." Specifically, individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use medical marijuana and the caregivers who provide the medical marijuana in accordance with state law should not be the focus of federal prosecution. The memo clarified that "prosecution of commercial enterprises that unlawfully market and sell marijuana for profit continues to be an enforcement priority." It is also explicitly stated that the memo "does not 'legalize' marijuana or provide a legal defense to a violation of federal law." Nov. 3, 2009 - Maine's Medical Marijuana Law Amended to Provide for Dispensaries "Maine has allowed prescribing, and limited possession, of medical marijuana since 1999 but the law lacked any distribution mechanism and questions arose of noncompliance with federal law and of how patients could legally obtain the prescribed marijuana... On November 3, 2009 Maine voters approved Question 5 (135 KB), which enacted the citizen-initiated bill, 'An act to establish the Maine Medical Marijuana Act'... Maine is the fifth state to provide for dispensaries of medical grade marijuana for persons with debilitating and chronic medical conditions. These not-for-profit dispensaries will be licensed and regulated by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services." Nov. 10, 2009 - AMA Softens Position on Scheduling of Marijuana The American Medical Association softens its position on medical marijuana in a policy statement released Nov. 10, 2009. The statement read in part: "Our AMA urges that marijuana's status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods. This should not be viewed as an endorsement of state-based medical cannabis programs, the legalization of marijuana, or that scientific evidence on the therapeutic use of cannabis meets the current standards for a prescription drug product." Prior to the Nov. 10, 2009 position quoted above, the AMA had recommended that marijuana be retained in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act pending the outcome of further studies. , Nov. 10, 2009 [Editor's Note: Lisa Lecas from the AMA Media Relations department sent a Nov. 12, 2009 email to with the following statement explaining the policy change: "To help facilitate scientific research and the development of cannabionoid-based medicines, the AMA adopted new policy urging the federal government to review marijuana's status as a Schedule I substance. Despite more than 30 years of clinical research, only a small number of randomized, controlled trials have been conducted on smoked cannabis. Federal drug approval is achieved after appropriate scientific and regulatory review to establish safety and efficacy. The limited nature of rigorous scientific studies on the therapeutic use of cannabis is insufficient to satisfy the current standards for a prescription drug product."] 2010-present New Jersey Becomes 14th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana "The New Jersey Legislature approved a measure on Monday [Jan. 11, 2011] that would make the state the 14th in the nation... to legalize the use of marijuana to help patients with chronic illnesses. The measure — which would allow patients diagnosed with severe illnesses like cancer, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis to have access to marijuana grown and distributed through state-monitored dispensaries — was passed by the General Assembly and State Senate on the final day of the legislative session. Gov. Jon S. Corzine has said he would sign it into law before leaving office next Tuesday." New York Times, Jan. 11, 2011 Jan. 21, 2010 - California Supreme Court Affirms Ruling That Possession Limits Are Unconstitutional On Jan. 21, 2010, the California Supreme Court affirms 7-0 the May 22, 2008 Second District Court of Appeals ruling in People v. Kelly. The original ruling was that the possession limits set by SB 420 violate the California constitution because the voter-approved Prop. 215 can only be amended by the voters. "We conclude as follows: To the extent section 11362.77 (together with its quantitative limitations) impermissibly amends the CUA by burdening a defense that would be available pursuant to that initiative statute, section 11362.77 is invalid under California Constitution article II, section 10, subdivision (c)." Apr. 1, 2010 - Washington Governor Christine Gregoire after signing a bill (not medical marijuana-related) on Feb. 13, 2012. Source: "More medical professionals will be allowed to authorize the use of medical marijuana for qualified patients under a measure signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire. Gregoire signed the bill Thursday [Apr. 1, 2010] and it takes effect June 10. It adds physician assistants, naturopaths, advanced registered nurse practitioners and others to the list of those who can officially recommend marijuana for patients under the state's medical marijuana law. Under previous law, only physicians were allowed to write the recommendation.The medical marijuana measure is Senate Bill 5798." June 7, 2010 - Colorado's medical marijuana law is amended by House Bill 1284 (50 KB). Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed the bills into law and stated the following in a June 7, 2010 press release: "House Bill 1284 provides a regulatory framework for dispensaries, including giving local communities the ability to ban or place sensible and much-needed controls on the operation, location and ownership of these establishments. Senate Bill 109 will help prevent fraud and abuse, ensuring that physicians who authorize medical marijuana for their patients actually perform a physical exam, do not have a DEA flag on their medical license and do not have a financial relationship with a dispensary." "Press Release: Strengthens Medical Marijuana Oversight," Office of Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., June 7, 2010 July 27, 2010 - Plaque at the entrance to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Source:, Nov. 5, 2010 The US Department of Veterans Affairs releases a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) directive (15 KB) on July 22, 2010 saying that veterans who participate in legal state medical marijuana programs will no longer be disqualified from "substance abuse programs, pain control programs, or other clinical programs." July 27, 2010 - Medical Marijuana Becomes Legal in DC "Medical marijuana is now legal [as of Jul 27, 2010] in the District after the Democrat-controlled Congress declined to overrule a D.C. Council bill that allows the city to set up as many as eight dispensaries where chronically ill patients can purchase the drug... Although the bill has now cleared Congress, patients will likely have to wait at least several months before they can obtain the drug from a city-sanctioned dispensary... The law allows patients with cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS and other chronic ailments can possess up to four ounces of the drug...The law caps a years-long struggle to act on a 1998 referendum in which 69 percent of District residents voted for to allow medical marijuana. Until last year, Congress blocked the city from enacting the referendum." Arizona Republic, Nov. 13, 2010 Mar. 1, 2011 - Package of Spice, a synthetic cannabinoid. Source:, Feb. 26, 2011 "The Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is issuing this [Mar. 1, 2011] final order to temporarily place five synthetic cannabinoids into the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) pursuant to the temporary scheduling provisions... This action is based on a finding by the Administrator that the placement of these synthetic cannabinoids into Schedule I of the CSA is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety... The popularity of these THC-like synthetic cannabinoids has significantly increased throughout the United States, and they are being abused for their psychoactive properties as reported by law enforcement, the medical community, and through scientific literature. Some of the product names include, but are not limited to, 'Spice,' 'K2,' and many more." Billings Gazette, July 1, 2011 July 8, 2011 - DEA Denies 2002 Request to Reclassify Marijuana out of Restrictive Schedule I Category "The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) ruled on Friday [July 8, 2011] that marijuana has "no accepted medical use" and should therefore remain illegal under federal law — regardless of conflicting state legislation allowing medical marijuana and despite hundreds of studies and centuries of medical practice attesting to the drug's benefits. The judgment came in response to a 2002 petition by supporters of medical marijuana, which called on the government to reclassify cannabis, which is currently a Schedule I drug — like heroin, illegal for all uses — and to place it in Schedule III, IV or V, which would allow for common medical uses... The government had long delayed making a judgment on the petition, but now that it has, it makes it possible for advocates to appeal it in federal court. Now, that process can be set in motion." (430 KB) from DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart said marijuana 'has a high potential for abuse,' 'has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States' and 'lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision.' The letter was officially published in the Federal Register on July 8, 2011. TIME, Dec. 2, 2011 Israeli Government Arranges to Supply Medical Marijuana Cannabis plants at a growing facility for Tikun Olam, the Israeli Health Ministry's official grower and supplier of medical marijuana. Source:, Aug. 22, 2010 "The [Israeli] Cabinet today [Aug. 7, 2011] approved arrangements and supervision regarding the supply of cannabis for medical and research uses. This is in recognition that the medical use of cannabis is necessary in certain cases. The Health Ministry will – in coordination with the Israel Police and the Israel Anti-Drug Authority – oversee the foregoing and will also be responsible for supplies from imports and local cultivation." "Cabinet Approves Arrangements for the Use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes," Israeli Prime Minister's website, Aug. 7, 2011 [Editor's Note: Medical marijuana in Israel was previously supplied by private growers.] Aug. 8, 2011 - DEA Again Rejects Craker's Application to Grow Marijuana for Government DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart upheld her earlier decision in an Aug. 8, 2011 ruling, stating: "Lyle E. Craker, PhD (Respondent) hasrequested that I reconsider the Final Order I issued on January 7, 2009, which denied his application to become registered as a bulk manufacturer of marijuana... Respondent has failed to demonstrate that the Final Order contains any erroneous material findings of fact or conclusions of law. Accordingly, Respondent's motion for reconsideration does not provide a basis for altering the decision in the Final Order to deny his application." Nov. 2011 - Study Finds Legal Medical Marijuana Reduces Fatal Car Accidents "States that legalize medical marijuana see fewer fatal car accidents, according to a [Nov. 2011] new study (300 KB) , in part because people may be substituting marijuana smoking for drinking alcohol... Comparing traffic deaths over time in states with and without medical marijuana law changes, the researchers found that fatal car wrecks dropped by 9% in states that legalized medical use — which was largely attributable to a decline in drunk driving...The authors also found that in states that legalized medical use, there was no increase in marijuana smoking by teenagers — a finding seen in other studies as well. But, in many cases, the laws were linked with an increase in marijuana smoking among adults in their 20s; this rise was accompanied by a reduction in alcohol use by college age youth, suggesting that they were smoking weed instead..." New York Times, Nov. 30, 2011 [Editor's Note: Read more about the reclassification petition.] Feb. 28, 2012 - Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Government for Its Raids on Medical Marijuana Clinics "When federal prosecutors in California announced a crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries last fall, pot suppliers and their advocates claimed in a series of lawsuits that the Obama administration broke a promise to leave them alone if they complied with state law... [A] federal judge in Sacramento has become the first to dismiss one of them, saying the Justice Department remains free to enforce federal drug laws... The suits were filed in November by marijuana suppliers and patients in each of the state's four federal judicial districts. They relied on the Justice Department's October 2009 memo to federal prosecutors [known as the Ogden memo] that said they should concentrate on drug trafficking networks, and 'should not focus federal resources' on individuals who followed their state's medical marijuana law... But US District Judge Garland Burrell of Sacramento said Tuesday the Justice Department memo was a statement of priorities, not a binding commitment, and did not exempt dispensaries from the federal laws against marijuana cultivation and distribution." Feb. 28, 2012 May 11, 2012 - US Court of Appeals Hears Oral Arguments in Lyle Craker's Federal Lawsuit against the DEA "On May 11, 2012, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, Mass., heard oral arguments (150 KB) in the case of Lyle E. Craker v. Drug Enforcement Administration. The arguments are the culmination of 11 years of administrative and legal proceedings in response to the DEA's denial of a license to Craker to start a production facility under contract to MAPS to grow marijuana exclusively for privately funded, federally regulated medical research. Craker's attorney from Washington, D.C., law firm Covington & Burling LLP, which is representing Craker pro bono, clarified the issues facing the court and urged the judges to require the DEA to issue Craker's license. Lyle Craker v. Drug Enforcement Administration,", May 11, 2012 May 31, 2012 - Connecticut Becomes 17th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana Connecticut becomes the 17th state to legalize medical marijuana when Governor Dannel P. Malloy signs HB 5389 into law. The law "allows licensed physicians to certify an adult patient's use of medicinal marijuana after determining that the patient has a specified debilitating disease or medical conditions and could benefit from its regulated treatment." Patients with a written certification who register with the Department of Consumer Protection "may obtain marijuana from certified pharmacists at licensed dispensaries, who will obtain it from licensed producers." The bill was passed by the House of Representatives 96-51 and by the Senate 21-13. "Bill Status H.B. No. 5389," Connecticut General Assembly website (accessed June 1, 2012) July 24, 2012 - LA City Council Bans Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Unanimous Vote Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck (center) spoke at the City Council meeting about the proposed ban on July 24, 2012. Medical marijuana supporters sit behind him. Source: Reuters "[T]he [Los Angeles] City Counted voted 14-0 Tuesday [July 24, 2012] to ban pot shops. Under the ban, each of the 762 dispensaries that have registered with the city will be sent a letter ordering them to shut down immediately. Those that don’t comply may face legal action from the city... In a seemingly contradictory move, the council also voted to instruct city staff to draw up an ordinance that would allow a group of about 170 dispensaries that registered with the city several years ago to remain open." Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2012 "After Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signs the ordinance as expected, pot shops will have 30 days to shut down... As many as 900 dispensaries will be affected by the new ordinance, but it's unclear what will happen if they disobey the order. Legal questions remain unanswered by the state's highest court.... The ban allows hospices and home health agencies to provide medical pot. Letters will be sent to the dispensaries advising them of the ban... Los Angeles passed an ordinance two years ago that was supposed to shutter hundreds of pot dispensaries while capping the number in operation at 70. But legal challenges from collectives and that ordinance's expiration last month led to another surge of pot shops.City officials said 762 collectives have registered with the city and as many as 200 more could exist." Oct. 16, 2012 - Federal Court Hears Case to Change Schedule I Status of Marijuana "The US Court of Appeals is reviewing the Drug Enforcement Administration's 2011 rejection of a 2002 petition seeking to reclassify marijuana's status in the Controlled Substances Act. Cannabis is currently a Schedule I narcotic – a classification reserved for substances with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse... Pot advocacy group Americans for Safe Access opened the hearing in Washington, DC Monday [Oct. 16, 2012] by arguing that the DEA demonstrated a 'bias' against pot by downplaying its medicinal efficacy while embellishing its alleged danger... To varying degrees, the three-justice panel questioned whether they had the authority to overturn the DEA's rejection of the rescheduling petition...The significance of this review is heightened by the U.S. Court of Appeals being among the most influential courts in the nation, with the power to set legal precedent in many cases." Nov. 6, 2012 - Massachusetts Becomes 18th state to Legalize Medical Marijuana Voters in Massachusetts approved Ballot Question 3 by a vote of 63% to 37%, "allowing doctors to prescribe the drug to patients suffering serious medical problems... In Massachusetts, a doctor who has a 'bona fide' relationship with a patient would have to certify the patient suffered 'a debilitating medical condition, such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV-positive status or AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, ALS, or multiple sclerosis.'... And Arkansas voters narrowly said no to a medical marijuana referendum similar to the one that passed in Massachusetts." July 23, 2013 - New Hampshire becomes the 19th state to legalize medical marijuana when Governor Maggie Hassan signs (215 KB) into law on July 23, 2013. The bill authorizes the use of therapeutic cannabis in New Hampshire, establishes a registry identification card system, allows for the registration of up to four non-profit alternative treatment centers in the state, and establishes an affirmative defense for qualified patients and designated caregivers with valid registry ID cards. HB 573 also calls for the creation of a Therapeutic Use of Cannabis Advisory Council, which in five years will be required to "issue a formal opinion on whether the program should be continued or repealed." Aug. 8, 2013 - Dr. Sanjay Gupta Source: Hamilton Nolan, "New Surgeon General: Dr. Sanjay Gupta,", Jan. 6, 2009 "I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have 'no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.' They didn't have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications...We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that." Aug. 29, 2013 - "Today [Aug. 29, 2013], the U.S. Department of Justice announced an update  (525 KB) to its federal marijuana enforcement policy in light of recent state ballot initiatives that legalize, under state law, the possession of small amounts of marijuana and provide for the regulation of marijuana production, processing, and sale... [T]he federal government has traditionally relied on state and local authorizes to address marijuana activity through enforcement of their own narcotics laws. This guidance continues that policy.For states such as Colorado and Washington that have enacted laws to authorize the production, distribution and possession of marijuana... [b]ased on assurances that those states will impose an appropriately strict regulatory system, the Department has informed the governors of both states that it is deferring its right to challenge their legalization laws at this time." Feb. 14, 2014 - New Federal Guidelines Allow Banks to Provide Financial Services to Legal Marijuana Sellers "The Obama administration on Friday [Feb. 14, 2014] gave banks a road map for conducting transactions with legal marijuana sellers so these new businesses can stash away savings, make payroll and pay taxes like any other enterprise... Marijuana businesses that can't use banks may have too much cash they can't safely put away, leaving them vulnerable to criminals. And governments that allow marijuana sales want a channel to receive taxes... Currently, processing money from marijuana sales puts federally insured banks at risk of drug racketeering charges, so they've refused to open accounts for marijuana-related businesses. Friday's move was designed to let financial institutions serve such businesses while ensuring that they know their customers' legitimacy and remain obligated to report possible criminal activity, said the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN. But in response, the American Bankers Association said 'guidance or regulation doesn't alter the underlying challenge for banks. As it stands, possession or distribution of marijuana violates federal law, and banks that provide support for those activities face the risk of prosecution and assorted sanctions.'... The guidance provided the banks with more than 20 'red flags' that may indicate a violation of federal law. Among them: if a business receives substantially more revenue than its local competitors, deposits more cash than is in line with the amount of marijuana-related revenue it is reporting for federal and state tax purposes, or experiences a surge in activity by third parties offering goods or services such as equipment suppliers or shipping services." May 29, 2014 - Minnesota Becomes 22nd State to Legalize Medical Marijuana Minnesota becomes the 22nd state to legalize medical marijuana when Governor Mark Dayton signs SF 2470 (200 KB) into law on May 29, 2014. The bill allows oil, pill, and vaporized forms of medical marijuana but prohibits smoked marijuana. Conditions approved for use are cancer (if the underlying condition or treatment produces severe or chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting), glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette's syndorme, ALS, seizures/epilepsy, severe and persistent muscle spasms/MS, Crohn's disease, and terminal illness with a life expectancy of under one year. Oct. 28, 2014 - US Justice Department Will Not Enforce Federal Marijuana Laws on Native American Reservations "Opening the door for what could be a lucrative and controversial new industry on some Native American reservations, the Justice Department... will tell U.S. attorneys to not prevent tribes from growing or selling marijuana on the sovereign lands, even in states that ban the practice. The new guidance, released in a memorandum, will be implemented on a case-by-case basis and tribes must still follow federal guidelines, said Timothy Purdon, the U.S. attorney for North Dakota and the chairman of the Attorney General's Subcommittee on Native American Issues... Purdon said in an interview that the majority of Native American tribes, mindful of the painful legacy of alcohol abuse in their communities, appear to be against allowing marijuana use on their territory. The federal government will continue to legally support those tribes that wish to ban marijuana, even in states that now permit its sale, Purdon said." Dec. 17, 2014 - New Law Bans Justice Department from Using Funds against Medical Marijuana in States Where It Is Legal "The $1 trillion spending bill that passed last week [and was signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 17, 2014] included a provision that blocks the Justice Department from spending any money to enforce a federal ban on growing or selling marijuana in the 23 states that have moved to legalize it for medical use. It marks a huge shift for Congress, which for years had sided with federal prosecutors in their battle with states over the liberalization of drug laws... Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California, was one of the authors of the medical-use provision, and he made the case to his colleagues on grounds that many conservatives can understand: states' rights. In a statement, he said his amendment would force the federal government to 'respect state sovereignty' on the question of medical marijuana." The Atlantic, Dec. 17, 2014 [ Editor's Note: On Dec. 18, 2015, Congress passed the FY2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill and President Obama signed it into law. A provision in the bill extended the medical marijuana protection for another year.] May 3, 2015 - Governor of Puerto Rico Legalizes Medical Marijuana in the US Territory "Puerto Rico's governor on Sunday [May 3, 2015] signed an executive order to authorize the use of medical marijuana in the U.S. territory in an unexpected move following a lengthy public debate. Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said the island's health secretary has three months to issue a report detailing how the executive order will be implemented, the impact it will have and what future steps could be taken. The order went into immediate effect."  this week [on Apr. 4, 2016], the DEA says it plans to release a decision on rescheduling marijuana 'in the first half of 2016.' Cannabis is currently classified in federal drug laws under Schedule I, the most restrictive level. Moving marijuana to a less-restrictive schedule would boost research on the drug and the development of marijuana pharmaceuticals that doctors could prescribe, experts said.But it would be unlikely to make raw marijuana possession or cultivation by individuals any less illegal under federal law. And it likely would do little to end the standoff between the feds and the states that have legalized cannabis."

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