Friday, February 27, 2009

US Attorney General Eric Holder: Ending Medical Marijuana Raids now US Policy

Speaking at a press conference on Feb 25 with DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, and reiterating a position made by the White House following DEA raids in California on February 4, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters that ending federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries "is now American policy." The Attorney General's comments are the latest sign of a sea change in federal policy that prohibits the use of medical cannabis in the thirteen states that have enacted such laws.


U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is sending strong signals that
President Obama - who as a candidate said states should be allowed to
make their own rules on medical marijuana - will end raids on pot
dispensaries in California.

Asked at a Washington news conference Wednesday about Drug
Enforcement Administration raids in California since Obama took
office last month, Holder said the administration has changed its policy.

"What the president said during the campaign, you'll be surprised to
know, will be consistent with what we'll be doing here in law
enforcement," he said. "What he said during the campaign is now
American policy."

Bill Piper, national affairs director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a
marijuana advocacy group, said the statement is encouraging.

"I think it definitely signals that Obama is moving in a new
direction, that it means what he said on the campaign trail that
marijuana should be treated as a health issue rather than a criminal
justice issue," he said.

Piper said Obama has also indicated he will drop the federal
government's long-standing opposition to health officials'
needle-exchange programs for drug users.

During one campaign appearance, Obama recalled that his mother had
died of cancer and said he saw no difference between
doctor-prescribed morphine and marijuana as pain relievers. He told
an interviewer in March that it was "entirely appropriate" for a
state to legalize the medical use of marijuana "with the same
controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors."

After the federal Drug Enforcement Agency raided a marijuana
dispensary at South Lake Tahoe on Jan. 22, two days after Obama's
inauguration, and four others in the Los Angeles area on Feb. 2,
White House spokesman Nick Schapiro responded to advocacy groups'
protests by noting that Obama had not yet appointed his drug policy team.

"The president believes that federal resources should not be used to
circumvent state laws" and expects his appointees to follow that
policy, Schapiro said.

The federal government has fought state medicinal pot laws since
Californians voted in 1996 to repeal criminal penalties for medical
use of marijuana.

President Bill Clinton's administration won a Supreme Court case,
originating in Oakland, that allowed federal authorities to shut down
nonprofit organizations that supplied medical marijuana to their
members. Clinton's Justice Department was thwarted by federal courts
in an attempt to punish California doctors who recommended marijuana to
their patients.

President George W. Bush's administration went further, raiding
medical marijuana growers and clinics, prosecuting suppliers under
federal drug laws after winning another Supreme Court case and
pressuring commercial property owners to evict marijuana dispensaries
by threatening legal action.

The Bush administration also blocked a University of Massachusetts
researcher's attempt to grow marijuana for studies of its medical
properties. Piper, of the Drug Policy Alliance, said he hopes Obama
will reverse that position.

"If you removed the obstacles to research," he said, "in 10 to 15
years, marijuana will be available in pharmacies."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Prometeus - The Media Revolution

Towards the tipping point? This fantasy video is still a killer 3 years later and some of it's predictions have already become true. Food for thought.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Juan Enriquez: Tech evolution will eclipse the financial crisis

Even as mega-banks topple, Juan Enriquez says the big reboot is yet to come. But don't look for it on your ballot -- or in the stock exchange. It'll come from science labs, and it promises keener bodies and minds. Our kids are going to be ... different.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Anonymity Project - Spring 2009 Digital Ethnography Preview

For the Spring 2009 Digital Ethnography course led by Michael Wesch. This is a compilation of trailers created by students for their Spring 2009 projects. For more information about our project, visit our research hub: There you will find links to student blogs, our wiki, our diigo links, notes, and other materials.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Joshua Fouts: Online Diplomacy

Joshua Fouts: "If you're a diplomat or NGO trying to reach out to other communities, you better be aware that the places where new ideas are forming aren't necessarily going to be in the physical world."

This Carnegie Council event took place on January 29, 2009. For the complete video, audio, and transcript, go to

Rita King: Nonviolence in Virtual Worlds

Rita King: "Physical harm is impossible in a virtual world, which makes it the ideal medium for conducting sensitive and controversial discussions about cultural issues that are quagmires in the physical world."

This Carnegie Council event took place on January 29, 2009. For the complete video, audio, and transcript, go to

Singularity University Presentation

"The Singularity University aims to assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies and apply, focus and guide these tools to address humanitys grand challenges."