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California’s largest doctor group calls for marijuana legalization

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The California Medical Association, the state’s largest doctor group, on Friday adopted a resolution to support the legalization of marijuana for medical uses, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The group’s support of medical marijuana comes after U.S. prosecutors in California threatened to seize the properties of licensed California marijuana dispensaries if they don’t close up shop within 45 days. U.S. attorneys in California have also threatened to target newspapers, radio stations and other media outlets that advertise for dispensaries.

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The California Medical Association said the discrepancy between state and federal law created an untenable situation for physicians. The use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal under California law, but the drug is still classified as a Schedule I substance under federal law, a classification reserved for dangerous drugs with no real medicinal value.

“It’s an uncomfortable position for doctors,” said Dr. Donald Lyman, the physician who wrote the new policy. “It is an open question whether cannabis is useful or not. That question can only be answered once it is legalized and more research is done. Then, and only then, can we know what it is useful for.”

In August, the California Medical Association issued recommendations for physicians on medical marijuana, saying that the drug “may be effective for treatment of nausea, anorexia, pain and other conditions (i.e., spasticity), but that more clinical research is needed regarding specific indications, dosing, and the management of side effects.”

The group is skeptical of marijuana’s medical value, but believes the drug’s criminalization has “proven to be a failed public health policy.” They would like to see marijuana regulated in a manner similar to tobacco and alcohol, and no longer classified as a Schedule I substance.

But the Drug Enforcement Administration denied a nine-year-old petition to initiate proceedings to reschedule marijuana in late June, claiming that, “marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision.” The medical marijuana advocacy groups Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC) have filed a lawsuit against federal agency over the issue.

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The use of medical marijuana has been legalized in 16 states and the District of Columbia. But, according to the DEA, marijuana cannot be considered to have medicinal value because there is a lack of scientific studies assessing its safety and efficacy as a medicine.

The American Medical Association, the largest physician’s organization in the U.S., adopted a resolution in 2009 calling on the DEA to reclassify marijuana to facilitate research on marijuana-based medicines.

“Results of short term controlled trials indicate that smoked cannabis reduces neuropathic pain, improves appetite and caloric intake especially in patients with reduced muscle mass, and may relieve spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis,” the AMA’s resolution (PDF) reads.

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New York Times editorial board asks Trump if he didn’t do anything wrong — why he won’t let witnesses testify

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The New York Times editorial board issued a scathing op-ed Sunday detailing the ways in which President Donald Trump is destroying one of the key branches of the United States government.

While many presidents battle with Congress, Trump has taken his "obvious contempt" to a whole new level. But if he was truly innocent of the accusations he's facing, then why is he hiding so much.

"If Mr. Trump is so clear in his own mind that he didn’t try to pressure the Ukrainian government to interfere in the 2020 election, why won’t he send the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to testify under oath that there was no quid pro quo?" asked The Times. "Instead, he has issued a blanket refusal to allow officials of his administration to testify or submit documents demanded by Congress. His approach is pitting Republican House members’ fealty to him against their respect for their own institution. They are making a fateful choice to diminish the House."

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Trump busted for acting like the Saudi’s ‘press secretary’ after Florida naval yard shooting

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Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot blasted President Donald Trump for essentially becoming a "press secretary" for the Saudi Arabian government in wake of the Pensacola, Florida mass shooting.

In his column Sunday, Boot noted that the typical mass shooting sentiments like "thoughts and prayers" were absent Friday when Trump discovered that the shooting was done by a Muslim.

"It turns out that Trump actually has a triple standard, because he treats attacks by Saudis differently than those from other Muslim nations," Boot observed. "On Friday, a Saudi air force officer studying at the Naval Air Station Pensacola shot dead three Americans and wounded eight others. Instead of expressing outrage or vowing vengeance, or even waiting for all the facts to come in, Trump sounded as if he were auditioning for the job of press secretary at the Saudi Embassy."

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McConnell blocked by his own party from calling impeachment witnesses Trump wants for Senate trial: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is finding his hands tied by members of his own party who are skeptical over the appropriateness of calling some of the witnesses Donald Trump  -- and a few of his House Republican enablers  -- want to appear.

As the Times notes, "While Democrats who control the House are focused on a swift impeachment vote by year’s end, the White House is almost entirely consumed by the trial that would follow in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Mr. Trump’s team believes he would have the chance to defend himself and where Democrats would almost certainly fall short of the two-thirds vote they would need to remove him from office."

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