Wildfire Smoke Threatens Health for Miles Around

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Smoke from the wildfires raging in California poses a serious health risk — even to those far away from the blazes, an expert warns.

“Smoke can present special health hazards to humans and pets, especially children, older adults and those with chronic respiratory problems such as emphysema, asthma, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and others,” said Dr. Zab Mosenifar, a lung specialist at Cedars-Sinai, in Los Angeles.

“Small particles in the air can travel hundreds of miles. While the immediate danger is within a 25-mile radius of a fire — depending on the winds — particles travel and float in the air for up to two weeks after the fire is out,” Mosenifar explained in a hospital news release.

Firefighters this month have been battling blazes from one end of California to the other. The whipping winds fanning the flames have helped distribute noxious particles far and wide.

The smoke can cause a number of health problems.

“When inhaled, smoke and small particles — which consist of water vapor, carbon monoxide and ash — can cause both short-term and long-term damage to the airways and lungs. Risks include irritation of the airways, inhalation of particles in the air and, of course, exposure to smoke if you are near the fires,” Mosenifar said.

Certain people should limit the amount of time they spend outside if there is wildfire smoke in their area, he said.

“Those with compromised immune systems — particularly people with lung disease or heart disease or the elderly or very young — should do their best to stay indoors. That goes for pets, as well. Animals, especially dogs, can have an even stronger reaction to smoky air than humans,” Mosenifar said.

“Even if you cannot see the smoke and particles, be aware that they are still there and still harmful,” Mosenifar warned.

Here’s what you can do to help protect yourself and your loved ones:

If you have an air filter at home or work, use it to protect indoor air quality. If you don’t have an air filter, setting an air conditioner to recirculate air can help with indoor air quality. Check that the air conditioner filters are clean.


Continue using inhalers if you have respiratory problems. This is crucial, Mosenifar emphasized.

If you have to go outside when there’s wildfire smoke in your area, wear a mask. It should be an N95 mask to keep particles out. If you don’t have a mask, cover your face with a wet towel.

“If you are suffering from persistent coughing, wheezing or an inability to catch your breath, it may be time to see a doctor, especially for those with respiratory problems. Watch for the same symptoms in pets. If they persist, seek veterinary assistance,” Mosenifar advised.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCE: Cedars-Sinai, news release, Oct. 28, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

E. Coli-Tainted Romaine Threatens Frail, Sick Most

By EJ Mundell

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) — U.S. health officials have warned all Americans to stay away from romaine lettuce this holiday season, due to potential contamination with E. coli.

So far, 32 people across 11 states have been sickened. Although no one has died, illnesses have been so severe that in 13 cases patients had to be hospitalized, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

So who’s most at risk from E. coli?

Dr. Robert Glatter is an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City who’s seen the effects of infection with the gastrointestinal bug firsthand. It’s not a minor ailment, he said.

“In general, symptoms of E. coli infection generally begin about three to four days after consuming the bacteria, and may include abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, and watery or bloody diarrhea, along with fever,” Glatter said.

And while healthy people who battle a bout of E. coli typically recover within five to seven days, the illness can be more protracted — and even deadly — for people already made vulnerable by chronic disease or advanced age.

“People with diabetes, kidney disease or those with cancer or autoimmune disease run the risk of a more severe illness,” Glatter explained.

The particular strain of E. coli detected in the current lettuce outbreak — E. coli O157:H7 — is particularly nasty, he noted.

“Most strains of E. coli do not actually cause diarrhea, but E. coli O157 produces a powerful toxin that injures the inner lining of the small intestine, leading to bloody diarrhea,” Glatter said. Even a tiny amount of ingested bacteria could spur this type of illness.

“It can make people much more ill, and may lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, in some cases,” he said.

Indeed, the CDC has reported one such case already in the latest outbreak.

In many cases, antibiotics are used to help beat back an E. coli infection, but these drugs can affect the kidneys, Glatter noted.

“Antibiotics may be necessary in certain cases, so it’s important to see your doctor if you have continued and severe symptoms such as fever, bloody diarrhea, and you are not able to eat or drink,” he said.


However, in the case of E. coli O157:H7, “taking antibiotics may actually increase your risk of developing kidney failure, so it’s important to speak with your health care provider if you should develop severe symptoms,” Glatter advised.

And if you do think you might be sick with E. coli, or any other foodborne illness, make sure you don’t spread it to those near you.

The bacterium “can be transmitted person-to-person, so it’s vital that anyone who is potentially infected wash their hands thoroughly and not share utensils, cups or glasses,” Glatter said. “This also goes for bath towels. Linens also need to be washed in hot water and treated with bleach.”

He noted that “ground beef, unpasteurized milk, fresh produce, and contaminated water are common sources of E. coli bacteria.”

As for the current outbreak, cases have so far been reported in California (10 cases), Connecticut (1 case), Illinois (2 cases), Massachusetts (2 cases), Maryland (1 case), Michigan (7 cases), New Hampshire (2 cases), New Jersey (3 cases), New York (2 cases), Ohio (1 case) and Wisconsin (1 case).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted that romaine lettuce typically has a shelf life of about 21 days, so contaminated produce could still be on store shelves or in people’s refrigerators. For that reason, “consumers throughout the U.S. should not eat romaine lettuce until further notice,” the agency advised.

The exact source of the outbreak remains unclear, but tests are being done on romaine lettuce throughout the U.S. market.

“The quick and aggressive steps we’re taking today are aimed at making sure we get ahead of this emerging outbreak, to reduce risk to consumers, and to help people protect themselves and their families from this foodborne illness outbreak,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in an agency news release on Tuesday. “This is especially important ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, when people will be sitting down for family meals.”

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCES: Robert Glatter, M.D., emergency physician, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; news releases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

WebMD Health

AP News Briefs: Ohio Docs Can Apply To Recommend MMJ, Virginia Man Threatens to Shoot Congressman

Ohio doctors may now apply to recommend medical marijuana COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s medical board has begun accepting applications from doctors willing to recommend medical marijuana to patients once the state’s program is launched. The State Medical Board of Ohio says eligible applicants must hold an active, unrestricted license as a medical doctor or […]

Too Much Takeout Food Threatens Kids’ Health

FRIDAY, Dec. 15, 2017 — You can’t beat the convenience of ordering out, but a steady diet of takeout food could raise your child’s risk of heart disease and diabetes later in life.

That’s the word from British researchers who looked at the eating habits and health of more than 1,900 ethnically diverse children in England, ages 9 and 10.

The kids were shown photos of common foods to boost their recall and estimate portion size.

Twenty-eight percent said they had takeout food at least once a week. Almost half reported they had takeout less than once a week, and just over one-quarter said they never or rarely had takeout.

Children who regularly had takeout had higher measurements of body fat and blood cholesterol compared with those who rarely or never had takeout, said researchers led by Angela Donin of St. George’s University of London.

Those children were also more likely to consume too many calories and fewer vitamins and minerals, the study found.

The findings appear in the Dec. 14 online issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

“These results suggest that further increases in take-away meal consumption [and marketing directed at encouraging such increases] are likely to have adverse public health consequences and should be actively discouraged,” the researchers said in a journal news release.

Because the findings are based on interviews, the study cannot prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship. Still, the results suggest kids who eat takeout on a regular basis could be at risk for future health problems, the researchers said.

The higher cholesterol levels observed in the frequent takeout eaters, if sustained, are sufficiently large to increase long-term heart disease risk by around 10 percent, the researchers noted.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on children’s nutrition.

© 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: December 2017

Recommended for you – Daily MedNews

U.S. Postal Service Threatens Newspapers Over Marijuana Ads

The U.S. Postal Service issued a warning to media outlets last week: Do not attempt to mail any newspapers that contain advertisements for marijuana.

In a new memo dated November 27, USPS says that it is illegal to “place an ad in any publication with the purpose of seeking or offering illegally to receive, buy, or distribute a Schedule I controlled substance.”

The one-page document, prepared by the Postal Service’s Portland District office, was reportedly delivered to a number of news organizations in Oregon, where legal recreational marijuana sales began two months ago.

“It’s a large deal,” Steve Forrester, head of the EO Media Group, told The Bend Bulletin, which first reported about the memo.

Forrester’s company publishes several newspapers in Oregon and Washington State, some of which have a significant number of subscribers who receive their papers via mail carrier.

“If an advertisement solicits the mailing of controlled substances such as marijuana, it would violate USPS mailing standards,” the new memo says. “If an advertisement advocates the purchase of clinical marijuana through a Medical Marijuana Dispensary, it does not comply with” federal law.

USPS included references to a portion of the Controlled Substances Act that reads:

It shall be unlawful for any person to place in any newspaper, magazine, handbill, or other publications, any written advertisement knowing that it has the purpose of seeking or offering illegally to receive, buy, or distribute a Schedule?I controlled substance. As used in this section the term “advertisement” includes, in addition to its ordinary meaning, such advertisements as those for a catalog of Schedule?I controlled substances and any similar written advertisement that has the purpose of seeking or offering illegally to receive, buy, or distribute a Schedule I controlled substance. The term “advertisement” does not include material which merely advocates the use of a similar material, which advocates a position or practice, and does not attempt to propose or facilitate an actual transaction in a Schedule?I controlled substance.

It’s not clear what prompted USPS to draft the new memo, though Mark Scarborough, postmaster in Long Beach, Washington, said it was a “reminder of existing federal law” that “was not a directive,” according to the Bulletin.

As print media outlets across the country experience revenue shortfalls and go through rounds of layoffs, the burgeoning marijuana industry is seen as a potential source of crucial advertising dollars.

Members of Congress who support marijuana law reform took issue with the new threats. “Regardless of how you feel about our failed prohibition of marijuana, every American should agree that the U.S. Postal Service should not be censoring what is or is not published in newspapers,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) told via email.

The USPS memo isn’t the first time federal authorities have levied threats against news organizations for working with marijuana providers.

In 2011, a federal prosecutor in California cited the same law in a warning to media outlets that run ads for marijuana dispensaries.

“I’m not just seeing print advertising,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said at the time. “I’m actually hearing radio and seeing TV advertising. It’s gone mainstream. Not only is it inappropriate – one has to wonder what kind of message we’re sending to our children – it’s against the law.”

Duffy told a reporter for California Watch that she would be “going after these folks with … notification that they are in violation of federal law,” adding that her office has the power to seize property and assets in addition to launching prosecutions.

After the comments sparked widespread criticism in the media, Duffy walked them back, telling KPBS a few days later that going after newspapers for marijuana ads is “not the primary focus of our current enforcement activities.”

With respect to the new memo, the offices of Blumenauer and Sen. Ron Wyden, also a Democrat from Oregon, spoke with USPS about the issue by phone on Tuesday. It is unclear what those conversations entailed, but Blumenauer told that “Senator Wyden and I are working hard to get to the bottom of this and learn why this guidance was sent out.”

For now, publishers in the Northwest appear spooked.

“It is my understanding that they can cease [sic]your newspapers after a warning,”Laurie Hieb, executive director of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, wrote in an e-mail to publishers, according to Willamette Week. “And after that I am not sure what the punishment would be, but [I] don’t think any of us want to find out.”

Read the full USPS memo on marijuana ads below.


Gun-toting Colorado woman threatens boy over clarinet practice

Cheryl Pifer is pictured in this handout booking photo courtesy of the Mesa County Sheriff's Office. REUTERS/Mesa County Sheriff's Office

Cheryl Pifer is pictured in this handout booking photo courtesy of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

Credit: Reuters/Mesa County Sheriff’s Office

(Reuters) – Sheriff’s deputies in Colorado arrested a 60-year-old woman who pointed a rifle at her neighbor’s 11-year-old son as he played his clarinet in the backyard, authorities said on Friday.

Officers were called to an address in the Rocky Mountain city of Grand Junction after Cheryl Pifer allegedly told the boy, who was doing his music class homework for school, to “get his ass back inside,” the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said.

According to an arrest affidavit, there were five other children aged one to eleven in the backyard at the time of Wednesday’s incident, and it said the boy’s grandmother told them all to return to the house.

“When they were coming inside they saw Cheryl at the door with the gun aimed at them. (The boy) stated Cheryl yelled ‘fire in the hole.’ He stated all of the kids ran into the house and called 911,” the affidavit added.

The deputy who filed the report, who said she was “very familiar” with Pifer and her address, said the woman appeared drunk when officers arrived, and that they found a 7 mm Mauser rifle by the door with two rounds in its magazine.

She was booked into jail on four counts of felony menacing, seven counts of reckless child abuse/no injury, and one count of prohibited use of a weapon. She was released on a $ 5,000 bond on Thursday and is due to appear in court on Sept. 19.

(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by James Dalgleish)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Goldfish influx threatens to cloud pristine Lake Tahoe waters

Researcher Christine Ngai is seen with a Lake Tahoe goldfish in 2009, in this handout photo courtesy of the Tahoe Environmental Research Center at the University of California Davis. REUTERS/Tahoe Environmental Research Center/University of California Davis/Handout

Researcher Christine Ngai is seen with a Lake Tahoe goldfish in 2009, in this handout photo courtesy of the Tahoe Environmental Research Center at the University of California Davis.

Credit: Reuters/Tahoe Environmental Research Center/University of California Davis/Handout

VALLEJO, California | Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:18am EST

VALLEJO, California (Reuters) – Giant goldfish have mysteriously found their way into the famously crystalline waters of Lake Tahoe, the nation’s second-deepest lake, alarming researchers and raising questions about the invasive species’ long-term effects.

Goldfish weighing as much as 4 pounds and measuring up to a 1-1/2 feet in length have recently been caught in Tahoe, which straddles the California-Nevada border, and scientists say the influx threatens native species while posing a potential waste pollution problem.

“These fish are competing with the native fish, and that’s a big part of the problem,” said Heather Segale, spokeswoman for the Tahoe Environmental Research Center at the University of California at Davis.

A group of researchers from Davis, the University of Nevada at Reno, and the fish and wildlife departments of both California and Nevada were the first to study the presence of goldfish in Lake Tahoe, beginning an annual survey in 2006.

In 2011, the group began a project to reduce the number of goldfish and other non-native fish from the lake through “electrofishing,” dangling metal wires from the bottom of a boat to stun fish with electrical current, then capturing the fish as they float to the surface.

Researchers then sort the fish, releasing native species and sport fish such as trout, and removing the rest.

The project has rid the lake of 50 to 60 goldfish a year since 2011, but their foraging abilities and potential to multiply means removal efforts must continue to keep populations under control, said Christine Ngai of the University of Nevada.

The influx at Tahoe, at the base of a world-class ski area in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range, is believed to have originated from specimens dumped from a fish bowl by pet owners who no longer wanted them.

Some used as bait may also have escaped into the lake over time, Ngai said. Goldfish, members of the carp family, are known to grow in size when they inhabit larger environments.

While their precise numbers are difficult to track, the proliferation of large goldfish in the wild is not unique to Tahoe. James Schardt, an invasive species expert for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said he has received reports of giant goldfish in lakes from around the country, mostly from the Great Lakes.

“Goldfish are very good at getting what they need,” Ngai said. “They can potentially compete with native fish for food, vegetation and bugs.”

“Because they eat a lot, they also excrete a lot. They can transfer that into the water and encourage algae growth,” she added, saying that could create murky water.

With a maximum depth of 1,645 feet and an average depth of 1,000 feet, the 22-mile-wide lake is the nation’s deepest after Crater Lake in Oregon and the 10th deepest on Earth.

It is also one of the clearest in the world, with visibility recently measured to a depth of 70 feet, reduced from 100 feet when clarity readings were first taken in the 1960s, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

(Editing by Steve Gorman, Cynthia Johnston and Todd Eastham)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

UK Pot Group Threatens To Report Activist’s Wife To Employers


So where are MY threats of a lawsuit?

I’ve written far more harshly critical, and outright insulting things about you than just about anyone else. Really, I’m kind of disappointed. I’ll be looking forward to some nice fake complaint documents at this address forthwith, sir.

Don’t disappoint me Peter.

James J. Collins – Miscreant and Joker

Peter is a tough guy when he thinks he can stay on the offensive.  He isn’t so tough when you push back; then he just whines and claims everything everybody says is a lie. When they are quoting him, I suppose we can infer that means he is also lying. It’s hard to tell with Peter Reynolds, as I am not willing to stay drunk enough for long enough to truly get into his frame of reference.

Peter has at his beck-and-call a small number of yapping dogs who try to pass themselves off as men. Sycophants, yes-men, ass-kissers, we all know the sort, they gravitate to bullies like Peter Reynolds.

In science the phenomenon is known as like-object-attraction, the thing which makes pet hair form clumps on your carpet. It is the same process which is forming islands of plastic garbage in our oceans, and yes I did use the refuse example on purpose.

Now they have been sent out to do his dirty work, not because Peter is a clean sort of chap, but just because he is too lazy to bury the bones from his own closet. In a new turn of events, Peter Reynolds’ close associates are now trying to see their detractors’ wives persecuted for lobbing on behalf of cannabis.

Graham Smith of CLEAR emails Polish university to try to get the wife of one of Peter Reynolds’ critics dismissed from her job as lecturer.

According to Google Translate (which we suspect is what Graham Smith used) it translates:

Yes. That is what you just read.

Graham Smith — the blogger for CLEAR, a cannabis lobby group masquerading as a political party — is selling people out not because of some action they have taken, but because they are cannabis activists. You can see the email for yourself, sent to the employer of the wife of Kevin John Braid, one of the authors featured on Peter Reynolds Watch and Toke of the Town.
In this case, Kevin’s wife is not even an activist and doesn’t use cannabis; she just happens to be married to an activist who has dared to criticize Peter Reynolds.

The letter itself is ridiculous in its lack of specificity to begin with. To simply say somebody is involved with “Drugs Movement lobbying” is pretty damn vague. That could ultimately mean they are lobbying government to provide free drug treatment to HIV patients.

It could mean whatever you want it to, I suppose, which I imagine was Graham’s intent. He isn’t expressing genuine concern; he clearly has no direct or genuine interesting in the goings-on at a school in Poland.

From his writing style, his attitude and his behaviors, I would guess that Graham and any semblance of “education” parted company a long time ago. The letter is on par with running to the Mother Superior at school and screaming “he did a sin!” It isn’t the behavior of a man with a social conscience trying to do good in the world, that is certain if nothing else is.

Apparently Graham believes that all is fair in, well, just about anything I guess. This is the same man that once wrote a blog on the CLEAR site lambasting divisions amongst cannabis activists, only to spend the second half of his “can’t we all get along” speech by dividing people into groups who don’t get along. He’s a fascinating specimen. A specimen of what exactly I’m not sure, but many a scatological reference comes to mind.

I’m sure some people think that a response in kind would be appropriate. The problem with that perspective is two-fold in nature. To begin with, we don’t believe in running to the teacher every time the other kids won’t play the game by our arbitrary rules and claiming that they took our pudding.

Secondly, it would be hard to cause Graham trouble with his employer as the man is clearly unemployable. We just don’t do that kind of thing; we prefer to take our opinions out in the open rather than skulk about a dank and moldy flat dreaming up ways to screw people over for being more successful than ourselves.

This is the way of CLEAR. They are a group of petty people, with a website made by a person they threaten to sue on a regular basis, with no hope of accomplishing anything; and they think this entitles them to your money!

While America and other nations move towards decriminalization and even open legal cannabis consumption, the U.K. continues to wallow under an endless shadow of prohibition. Peter wants to claim credit for all the progress made on the anti-prohibition front. There it is, for all to see. If Peter Reynolds wants credit, he can have it, all the nothing you could possibly want.

They want you to believe they are making a difference, when really all they are doing is taking people’s money and wasting it bolstering the ego of one sad, pathetic little wreck of a man named Peter.

If Graham Smith, who would try to get an activists’ wife fired from her legitimate teaching position, is the sort of guy you want to keep company with, then CLEAR is your party. If you are looking for real activists, whose only agenda is to see cannabis legal in your lifetime, there is another game in town.

It’s your tenner, it’s your time, and it’s your effort. You have to decide whose play you want to back. Just remember, that donation is going to empower somebody; perhaps you need to consider what they might do with that power once they get their hands on it.

You should probably also consider your personal security. Apparently members of CLEAR will sell you or your spouse out to your employer for being a member of a drug reform group if you are to find yourself in disagreement with them or Peter Reynolds.

How outrageously hypocritical is that?

Toke of the Town

Police arrest 6-year-old who threatens, kicks principal

INDIANAPOLIS | Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:22pm EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – Police in a small Indiana town hauled a six-year-old from his elementary school and charged him with battery and intimidation after he kicked and threatened a principal, police said on Wednesday.

The incident followed one earlier in April where police handcuffed a 6-year-old girl who was screaming and crying and had injured a principal and damaged property at an elementary school in Milledgeville, Georgia. She was not charged.

The Indiana student, who had been suspended from school recently for biting and hitting a staff member, was arrested April 18 at Hendricks Elementary School in Shelbyville, which is about 30 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

“This was not an isolated incident,” Shelbyville Police Lieutenant Michael Turner said.

School officials called police, reporting that the student, who was not identified, had kicked Principal Patrick Lumbley and told him and Assistant Principal Jessica Poe that he was going to kill them, a Shelbyville police report said.

The student was yelling and screaming and lying on the floor of Poe’s office when police arrived, the report said.

Poe led the student to a police car where an officer placed him in the back seat, buckled him in and drove him to the police department, the report said. He was not handcuffed.

Turner said he hoped the filing of juvenile charges would help get the child needed help.

“Putting him into the system can open up avenues perhaps the parents don’t have,” Turner said.

(Reporting by Susan Guyett; Editing by David Bailey and Leslie Gevirtz)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

OP-ED: THQ and Ignition Troubles Show That Gamer Taste Threatens the Industry

This week was not kind to video game publishers. THQ announced plans for 240 lay-offs amidst the board of directors and CEO giving themselves a 50% paycut. Meanwhile, Disney bought a controlling stake in India-based UTV Ignition — a publisher which went through its own set of lay-offs and restructuring last year — for an undisclosed sum after the Indian government approved the deal which had reportedly been in the works since at least last summer. Disney plans to use the firm to expand their own presence in the Asian market. Neither company revealed how the changes would impact Ignition’s gaming division. It’s entirely possible that it will have little or no effect, but that seems unlikely given the troubles the company endured last year. THQ ran into financial trouble after relying on licensed properties and kids and family titles, specifically uDraw, whereas Ignition announced they would shift their focus to downloadable titles last year after a series of poorly performing games.

These two publishers are hardly the only ones publicly struggling. Various factors, including high-cost HD development, have led to a shakeout amongst small and medium sized publishers like Eidos, Gamecock, Midway, and others while Activision rakes in massive profits. Of course, this is normal, companies that fail to adapt die. However, THQ’s and Ignitions’s recent troubles stem from a disturbing trend in game consumers, not from development or publishing difficulties. It seems that players are spending more time playing games, but paradoxically spending that extra time with fewer titles. Game makers have never in the forty-year history of the medium had such a massive consumer base to sell to, but players have never been so unwilling to try new experiences.


Obama Administration Threatens R.I. Over Medical Marijuana

?Add Rhode Island to the list of states that have received threatening letters from the federal government on the issue of medical marijuana in recent weeks.

“That likely means that this legal advice was not solicited by the Rhode Island government, marking an escalation in the feds’ aggressiveness on this issue,” media relations director Tom Angell at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) told Toke of the Town Friday evening.

To date, U.S. Attorneys have only weighed in with threat letters after being contacted by state and local officials.

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha delivered a letter to Gov. Chafee, reiterting the DOJ’s policy on medical marijuana, reports Megan Hall at WRNI. Although the feds have a state policy of not focusing their priorities on prosecuting patients in medical marijuana states, it will go after what it claims are “large scale drug traffickers.”

Unfortunately, it seems the Obama DOJ now puts dispensaries — or, as they’re known in Rhode Island, compassion centers — in that category.

Jim Martin with the U.S. Attorney’s Office wouldn’t answer most of WRNI’s questions, saying “the letter speaks for itself” — but he wouldn’t give reporter Hall a copy of the letter.

He assured Hall that the text is “very similar” to this one [PDF] sent to Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington state.
Gov. Chafee’s office was finally able to give Hall a copy of the letter [PDF], “but not much of a response,” she reports: “The letter in question from the U.S. Attorney’s Office was received today, and is under review.”

One of the key paragraphs from the U.S. Attorney’s letter calls the establishment of Rhode Island’s three compassion centers “contrary to federal law, and thus undermines the federal government’s efforts to regulate the possession, manufacturing and trafficking of controlled substance. Accordingly, the Department of Justice could consider civil and criminal legal remedies against those individuals and entities who set up marijuana dispensaries as such actions are in violation of federal law.”

More links from around the web!

Toke of the Town

U.S. Atty. Threatens ‘Quick, Direct Action’ Against Dispensaries

?”We are preparing for quick and direct action against the operators of the stores. We intend to use the full extent of our legal remedies to enforce the law.”~ U.S. Attorney Michael C. OrmsbyA U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington decided to throw his weight around Wednesday, announcing that he’s notified landlords that “marijuana stores” are illegal, and warning them of the penalties they may face.The strong-arm tactics by U.S. Attorney Michael C. Ormsby, an Obama appointee, seemed designed to intimidate landlords into evicting medical marijuana dispensaries who are tenants. The dispensaries have become increasingly common in Washington state, with one count placing their number above 120 and rapidly rising.Marijuana continues to be prohibited for any purpose by federal law, and according to Ormsby, dispensaries are “specifically” subject to “enforcement action and stringent federal penalties.”

Continue reading “U.S. Atty. Threatens 'Quick, Direct Action' Against Dispensaries” >

Toke of the Town