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Archive for April 14th, 2016

Portland Press Herald: Marijuana Doesn’t Belong on DEA’s ‘Most Dangerous’ List

MarijuanaBy Editorial Board
Portland Press Herald

Consensus is growing among Maine physicians that cannabis can effectively treat some medical conditions, and the number of people seeking prescriptions is rising right along with it.

But access to medicinal cannabis is still complicated by federal guidelines that hinder research on the effectiveness of medical marijuana and hamper the development of cannabis-based medications. Federal regulators should finally remove cannabis from the most dangerous class of drugs and enable thousands of doctors and patients to benefit from policymaking grounded in evidence, not outdated fears.

Over 300 doctors and nurse practitioners in Maine certify patients to use medical cannabis. Some have a background in holistic medicine, the Maine Sunday Telegram’s Gillian Graham reported this week. Others are skeptics swayed by improvements in patients who were able to trade hundreds of pills a month for medical cannabis.

Both advocates and providers say there aren’t enough caregivers willing to certify patients. Medical practices and doctors are concerned about the lack of evidence in favor of medical cannabis, as well as the lack of Food and Drug Administration approval for cannabis products, the Maine Hospital Association told the Telegram. And since health insurers don’t cover a medication unless it has the FDA’s endorsement, medical cannabis can be financially out of reach even for certified patients.

But the possibility of change is on the horizon. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced last week that it will decide by July whether to remove cannabis from its list of Schedule I drugs: dangerous substances, like heroin and LSD, without any “currently acceptable medical use.”

Of course, this status – which has been in place since 1970 – is self-perpetuating: It discourages scientists from doing the research on dosages, safety and effectiveness that’s needed for a medication to get federal approval. And it deters colleges and universities from funding studies that could be of value to millions.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Battled Encryption 13 Years Ago in Investigation of Animal Welfare Group

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When the FBI was investigating an animal welfare group accused of sabotaging a company that tests drugs on animals in early 2003, agents hit began intercepting call and e-mails of the activists.

But agents couldn’t read the e-mail because of software.

The New York Times reports that the FBI persuaded a judge to let agents install a software to bypass encryption on the group’s computers.

“This was the first time that the Department of Justice had ever approved such an intercept of this type,” an F.B.I. agent wrote in a 2005 document summing up the case.

The encryption helped prosecutors convict six activists with conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Protection Act.

The case is a precursor to the battle with Apple of encryption.

FBI Reveals Video of Ex-Charlotte Mayor Soliciting, Accepting Bribes

Screenshot of video of  former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon.

Screenshot of video of former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI released video that shows former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon soliciting and accepting bribes from agents masquerading as real estate developers.

The videos were key evidence in his arrest, conviction and 44-month prison sentence for accepting more than $50,000 from an undercover agent and a Charlotte businessman, the Charlotte Observer reports. 

“I felt sick when it happened,” said former Mayor Richard Vinroot. “I felt sick again when I saw something I have never seen, and never imagined would ever happen in this good city,” he said. “It’s funny, you read about it – and the documents read so graphically. But now you see it, and it’s almost like a movie – somebody you know, doing something so terrible, so despicable while holding the highest office in the city.”

The FBI released eight videotapes and three audio recordings, which is uncharacteristic.

“The feds don’t release evidence,” said Charlotte defense attorney Claire Rauscher. “Once it was out in the public domain, I don’t think they had much of a choice.”

Fifth High-Ranking NYPD Officer Disciplined in Wake of FBI Corruption Probe

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NYPD disciplined its fifth high-ranking officer in the wake of the ongoing FBI corruption scandal.

Deputy Chef Andrew Capul, 56, was “reassigned to an administrative position pending further review,” according to an NYPD statement published by the New York Daily News. 

Capul often frequented the Hudson River Cafe, where the owner, Hamlet Peralta, is under investigation and has been charged with running a $12 million Ponzi scheme.

Capul’s discipline is the latest move by NYPD following the widening corruption investigation centered around businessmen Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, who are accused of giving expensive gifts in exchange for police escorts and street closures for funerals and weddings.

Ex-FBI Agent Featured in Reality Show about Hunting for Priceless Sports Memorabilia

Football Hall of Fame.

Football Hall of Fame.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Kevin Barrows, a former FBI agent who helped bring down mobsters in the late 1990s and early 2000s, is on a new adventure.

Barrows is a private investigator who is searching for sports memorabilia as part of a new six-episode reality TV show, NJ.com reports. 

The show, “Sport Detectives,” will debut April 24 on the Smithsonian Channel and feature Barrows as he helps track down priceless memorabilia that never ended up in the Hall of Fame.

Among the items he’ll be searching for are the basketball from Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point NBA game and any bat used by Yankees legend Lou Gehrig.

Other Stories of Interest