Grow Love

Thursday, June 29, 2006

articles from the O'Shaunessy

Spring 2006
Journal of the California Cannabis Research Medical Group

Cloning Made Simple

By Andrew Glazier
A horticulturist with a special interest in cacti, Glazier teaches a class on how to grow cannabis at an East Bay dispensary.
I always tell beginners looking for info, “It’s not a drug, it’s a plant,” and “We don’t grow the plant, the plant grows itself.”
The plant comes first, then the flowers. It’s good to remember this as you learn to garden. I was lucky enough to grow up in a house with a mother who actively gardened. When I opened a bag of herb one day and I saw seeds I knew what to do.
For many years, I would sprout seeds and wait for the inevitable male plants to crash the party. I would kill them and even after the males were gone, the remaining “females” would often throw off a few male parts. The Crying Game indeed. After hermaphrodites were removed, the remaining plants were pure females.
By the late ’80s, I was taking early flowering females and I would suspend their branches in a fish tank, which had chicken wire on top. The warm oxygenated water would provide a nice home for the individual branches to sprout roots. What were once branches of the same plant were now by definition, individual plants.
Some I would move out in the yard to continue growing and others would be placed under lights for 18 hours of light per day and would become “mother” plants which would then bear more branches and the cycle would repeat itself. Theft from neighbors was never a problem as I was sure to give them a few clones so they would be too busy guarding their own crop to think about stealing mine.
Today in California, medical patients can buy pure female clones. By learning how to make more clones, we lessen our dependence on others for our medicine. Never before have we had so much of the work done for us. When I talk to older growers, they are amazed how far we have come.
First we purchase a clone from our dispensary. We place it in a two-gallon pot. We buy organic soil from the local garden store. Tell the people you want the best soil for tomatoes. If you think about how expensive medical cannabis is, at $20/gram, a $12 bag of soil is a good investment. The better the soil, the better the results. This is not something to be skimpy about.
The plant is placed under a grow light, which is left on 18 hours a day. A timer is used to accurately control the settings. After a few weeks we are ready to take some clones.
A six-inch branch tip is cut from the plant and placed in water with rooting hormones added. I prefer Dip ‘n Grow brand because you can add it to water and do a lot or a few clones.
After soaking for a few minutes, the clone is re-cut using a single sided razor blade. It is then quickly added to rock wool, which is a sterile medium for rooting plants. Floral foam will work just as well.
The clone is placed in a tray with a plastic lid and placed on a heat mat with a thermostat set at 85 degrees. The lid is raised once or twice a day for fresh air. It is quickly replaced to keep humidity high. A cardboard box and cellophane will work well, also.
After seven to ten days, the clone will grow roots. It is now ready to be repotted. Clones without roots can be left and will root in a few days. By learning how to grow, we can reproduce —exactly— plants that exert the medicinal effect we seek.
The author can be contacted at

Urziceanu Ruling Protects Sales, Distribution

By Pebbles Trippet
Voters passed Prop 215 in 1996, establishing the explicit right to grow or obtain medical cannabis with a doctor’s authorization —but not to sell or distribute it. SB 420 expanded the protections to include sales and distribution by means of “collective cooperative cultivation projects.” This is the gist of a unanimous ruling in September 2005 by the 3rd District California Court of Appeals in People v. Urziceanu (132-CalApp4th747).
Michael Urziceanu (Ur-zi-see-on-oo), a qualified patient (and former corrections officer), was the founder of FloraCare, a dispensary in Citrus Heights, near Sacramento. He and partner Susan Rodger enlisted several hundred medical-cannabis users in what they defined as a cooperative. Urziceanu and staff grew cannabis and occasionally bought pounds from other growers to meet members’ demand. Members reimbursed FloraCare by making “suggested donations.”
FloraCare was first raided Sept. 18, 2001. It reopened and was raided again.
A jury trial in Sacramento Superior court in Fall 2003 resulted in acquittal for Urziceanu on marijuana cultivation and sales charges but a conviction for conspiracy to sell. He received a three-year sentence.
The Appeals Court reversed and remanded for a new trial on improper jury instructions on conspiracy and mistake of law, as well as search and seizure procedures. The ruling stated (page 49):
“This new law (SB420) represents a dramatic change in the prohibitions on the use, distribution and cultivation of marijuana for persons who are qualified patients or primary caregivers. Its specific itemization of the marijuana sales law indicates it contemplates the formation and operation of medicinal marijuana cooperatives that would receive reimbursement for marijuana and their services provided in conjunction with the provision of that marijuana.
“ Contrary to the People’s argument, this law (SB420) did abrogate the limits expressed in (previous) cases... which took a restrictive view of the activities allowed by the Compassionate Use Act.”
The Urziceanu court negated its own “restrictive views of the activities allowed” under Prop 215. It clarified the meaning of “primary caregiver” for qualified patients.And it laid out a detailed legal alternative to the club model of medical access, based on “collective cooperative cultivation projects” (as per SB420) rather than profit.
SB420 provides no definition of “collective,” or “cooperative,” but legal cooperatives have financial disclosure requirements that collectives do not.
The court lists seven statutory exemptions, not just the two stated in Prop 215 (possession and cultivation) and a series of principles and protections for primary caregivers who form voluntary associations using a state ID in compliance with SB420.
The Medical Marijuana Program Act (SB 420) contains section 11362.775, which states, “Qualified patients... and the designated primary caregivers of qualified patients... who associate within California in order to collectively or cooperatively cultivate marijuana for medical purposes, shall not solely on that basis be subject to state criminal sanctions under sections 11357, 511358, 11359, 11360, 13366, 11366.5, or 11570...
“This section extends the protections of the Compassionate Use Act tothe additional crimes related to marijuana: possession for sale (11359), transportation or furnishing marijuana (11360), maintaining a location for unlawfully selling, giving away or using controlled substances (11366), managing a location for the storage or distribution of any controlled substance for sale (11366.5) and the provisions declaring a building used for reselling, storing, manufacturing and distributing a controlled substance to be a nuisance (11570).”
Senate Bill 420, as unanimously interpreted by the Urziceanu judges, went beyond the right of Prop 215 patients to a defense at trial —a minimalist approach. It applies to the medical access process as a whole and acknowledges that that SB420 allows for expenses, provision of medicine and related services, including salaries:
“ This section thus allows a primary caregiver to receive compensation for actual expenses and reasonable compensation for services rendered to an eligible qualified patient, i.e., conduct that would constitute sale under other circumstances...
“ The Medical Marijuana Program Act (420) expressly expands the scope of the Compassionate Use Act (215) beyond the qualified defense to cultivation and possession of marijuana...
“ This section extends the protections of the Compassionate Use Act to additional crimes related to marijuana: possession for sale, transportation, furnishing, maintaining a location for selling... managing a location for distribution.”
There is no limit on the total number of patients who can authorize a primary caregiver to cultivate for them and provide their medicine, as long as there are sufficient physician recommendations to cover the quantity and as long as the medicine-providing processes are collectively or cooperatively organized.
Since it is generally estimated that 90-95 % of cannabis patients are unable to grow for themselves, primary caregivers are the key to true medical access in the future.
The California courts are leading the way, building bridges to safe, affordable medicine, delivering what the voters intended —that marijuana for medical purposes not be a crime but rather a health matter between doctor and patient and a statutory “right” under state law.
The California Supreme Court ruled in Mower (2002) that people who use marijuana for medical purpose are “no more criminal than” (exactly equal to) people who use prescription medicines. The Urziceanu Appeals Court (2005) applied the Mower principle and medicalized the entire production and distribution process —from cultivating, trimming and transporting to selling, distributing and managing a warehouse for storage and distribution.
If properly used and if not overturned, the Urziceanu ruling fulfills the rights of cannabis patients and caregivers to due process and medical access. A rational future is now visible, with protections for cannabis patients that were largely unthinkable 10 years ago and are now the law of the state.
A new group, Healing Alternatives Association (HAA), consisting of cannabis patients and caregivers organized collectively or cooperatively, has formed. If you would like to get more information, including the by-laws, contact HAA, po box 2555, Mendocino CA 95460, or call the Medical Marijuana Patients Union at 707-964-YESS.

The Urziceanu ruling protects primary caregivers as follows:
1) Two or more people (patients and/or caregivers)
2) Can engage in “collective cooperative cultivation” of marijuana for medical purposes and not for profit.
3) State law allows “reimbursement” for expenses and services related to provision of medicine (including reasonable salaries).
4) If the primary caregiver is providing for more than one patient (there is no limit to the number of patients a caregiver may provide for), the number of doctor approvals has to be sufficient to authorize the quantity being grown or otherwise provided.
5) The collective or cooperative or their representative registers the garden with the California Medical Marijuana Program Act, which issues ID cards through county health departments, thus extending SB420 protections to that patient or primary caregiver.

Advantanges of Orally Ingested Cannabis

By Mollie Fry, MD
As I have monitored my patients’ cannabis use over the last seven years, it has become apparent that there are two fundamentally different groups. The first group is in the minority, representing approximately 15%. Patients in this group require immediate and short-term relief from the drug. They are medicating to treat primarily psychiatric issues: depression, panic, anxiety, and anger.
The second, much larger group of patients, are primarily interested in longterm relief of serious physiological problems. These patients suffer from conditions such as chronic pain, glaucoma, and diabetes, as well as autoimmune disorders — lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and chronic fatigue syndrome. For these patients, the oral route of administration —in which cannabis passes through the digestive tract and is broken down by the liver— is of great benefit.
One of THC’s metabolites (compounds to which it is transformed in the liver), 11-hydroxy, is now known to be four times more potent than THC itself, and has an effective half-life of approximately eight hours. The longer duration of effect makes oral cannabis preferable for those who are using it to treat sleep disorders.
Just as patients using smoked cannabis learn to inhale as needed to achieve and maintain their desired effect, patients who use oral cannabis can employ an analogous titration process. I advise figuring out what amount of a given edible preparation — say, an olive-oil extract— will bring on the desired effect without over-sedation. This is termed the “loading dose.” By determining how long it takes for the effect to come on and begin to wear off, patients can schedule a subsquent “maintenance dose” to keep on an even keel.
The sedation that may be perceived as a negative side effect during waking hours is precisely the effect that chronic pain patients and others require for a good night’s sleep.
Given the appropriate strain and dosage, cannabanoids can exert their effects for close to eight hours —adequate sleep for most patients— eliminating the need for a maintenance dose in the middle of the night.
In summary: both higher levels of cannabinoids in the blood and longer-lasting, more effective doses may be achieved by using oral marijuana in chronically ill patients.
Prohibitionist policies have limited research by preventing growers from developing strains in which cannabinoids other than THC predominate. CBD (cannabidiol) is said to have more sedative properties.


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