Freedom Fighter of the Month
July 2010 – Paul Armentano
NORML’s Deputy Director
By Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator
If there is a published study on cannabis released anywhere on the planet, you can bet this month’s Freedom Fighter has already read it and explained it to the cannabis community.
Paul Armentano serves as NORML’s Deputy Director and publishes our most compelling analyses on cannabis and marijuana law reform. His annually-updated Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis & Cannabinoids is a scientific defense of medical marijuana. Real World Ramifications of Cannabis Legalization and Decriminalization examines the results of marijuana law reform worldwide. Breathe, Push, Puff? Pot Use and Pregnancy: A Review of the Literature has allayed the fears of many expectant mothers and Cannabis and Driving: A Scientifc and Rational Review tackles a controversial subject with reason and calm.
In addition to his scholarly works, Armentano also finds time to submit testimony and sometimes appear personally at state legislatures that are considering marijuana law reforms. He is also frequently sought out as an expert witness in court, particularly on the topic of drug testing. Armentano’s review and analysis of the scientific data have led to reduced sentences and even acquittals for cannabis defendants, including one Los Angeles woman on probation who had failed nine consecutive urinalyses for marijuana metabolites. Armentano explained the clinical evidence that frequent cannabis users can test positive for metabolites weeks after ceasing cannabis use and can even fail a urinalysis after successfully passing a series of them due to the fluctuating rate at which THC-COOH is flushed from the system.
Armentano lives in the Bay Area of California with his wife and baby and can also be found lecturing as a member of the faculty at the famous Oaksterdam University in Oakland. He is also co-author of the popular polemic Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? available through Chelsea Green Publishing.