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Chronicle AM: Obama Commutes More Drug Sentences, Iran Hangs More Drug Prisoners, More... (1/17/17)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 01/17/2017 - 21:49

As his term winds down, President Obama continues to free more drug prisoners; New Jersey Dems plan a legalization bill, Wisconsin Dems plan a medical marijuana bill, and more.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy

New York Times Editorial Board Calls on Feds to Remove Barriers to Marijuana Research. In a Tuesday editorial, the Times cited last week's report from the National Academy of Sciences as it called on the federal government to reschedule marijuana out of Schedule I or, at least, remove regulatory barriers to further research on it. Marijuana "does not belong with LSD and heroin on Schedule I," the Times declared, but "even if Mr. Trump and Congress are unwilling to reclassify marijuana, they could remove the regulatory barriers to research and let scientists get to work."

New Jersey Democrats Prepare Legalization Bill, Despite Christie's Opposition. State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D) said Monday that he and other Democrats will introduced a legalization bill in February, despite the opposition of Gov. Chris Christie (R). But Christie will be gone after the next election, and the legalization bill will still be there.

Medical Marijuana

Wisconsin Democrats to File Medical Marijuana Bill. State Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D) and Rep. Chris Taylor (D) are circulating a medical marijuana after Republican Assembly Speak Robin Vos said he would be open to the idea. Republicans control both houses of the state legislature, and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is not in favor. The Democratic pair have until January 26 to come up with cosponsors and file the bill.

Sentencing

Obama Commutes Sentences for Another 200+ Drug Offenders, and Chelsea Manning, Too. President Obama Tuesday announced he has commuted the sentences of 209 federal prisoners, nearly all drug offenders, as well as imprisoned leaker Chelsea Manning. Tuesday's actions bring to 1,385 the number of sentences commuted under Obama, far exceeding the number of commutations granted by any modern president.

International

Iran Hangs 14 More Drug Prisoners. At least 14 people were hanged at Karaj Central Prison on drug-related charges in the past week, Iran Human Rights reported Tuesday. The group named 10 of the executed: Mohammad Soleimani, Ali Ebadi, Ali Reza Moradi, Majid Badarloo, Omid Garshasebi, Ali Yousefi, Seyed Ali Sorouri, Ebrahim Jafari, Ali Mohammad Lorestani, and Mohsen Jelokhani. The continuing executions come even as the Iranian parliament considers ending the death penalty for drug offenses.

Brazil Approves First Marijuana-Based Medicine. Brazil's National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa)has issued a license for Metavyl, a drug containing 27 milligrams of THC and 25 milligrams of CBD per milliliter. The drug will be available as an oral spray. But Anvisa has designated Metavyl a "black label" drug, meaning it can only be used by patients who have not responded to conventional medicines.

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US PA: Legal Pot Grower Looks To The Poconos For Growing Facility

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/17/2017 - 08:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 17 Jan 2017 - A California company hopes to grow medical marijuana in Pocono Township. The company, CannaMed of Thousand Oaks, has asked the Monroe County township's Board of Supervisors to clarify its zoning definitions to allow it to start up a processing operation, PennLive.com reported.
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Chronicle AM: More Obama Commutations Coming, HIA Sues DEA Over CBD, More... (1/16/17)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 01/16/2017 - 22:02

President Obama will commute more drug sentences before he leaves office this week, the hemp industry sues the DEA over its new CBD rule, New York's governor wants to fix his state's decriminalization law, and more.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

New York Governor to Propose Clarifications to State's Decriminalization Law. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has announced plans to remove a loophole in the state's decades-old decriminalization law that lets police charge people with a criminal offense for possession in "public view." That loophole has been applied mainly against racial minorities. Governor Cuomo pushed heavily for closing that loophole in 2014 but was blocked by Senate Republicans who opposed a measure that would have standardized the penalty for all low-level possession as a violation, which would have resulted in a fine instead of arrest.

Medical Marijuana

HIA Sues DEA Over CBD. The Hemp Industries Association filed a judicial review action against the DEA last Friday over the agency's new rule establishing coding for marijuana derivatives such as CBD cannabis oil. The DEA overstepped its bounds and put at risk a booming cannabis and hemp industry, the suit alleges.

North Dakota Bill Would Delay Medical Marijuana Implementation. State Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) has introduced a bill, Senate Bill 2154, that would suspend implementation of parts of the state's new voter-approved medical marijuana law until the legislature could write a comprehensive law to govern medical marijuana in the state.

Sentencing

Obama Set to Commute Sentences for Hundreds More This Week. As the clock ticks down on his term, President Obama is set to keep on granting clemency to drug offenders up until the last minute. Justice Department officials say he will grant hundreds more commutations this week. He has already cut the sentences of more than 1,100 nonviolent drug offenders, more than any president in modern history.

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CN MB: Cannabis Users Voice Highs, Lows Of Report

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/16/2017 - 08:00
Metro, 16 Jan 2017 - A local marijuana advocate is compiling criticism against Ottawa's task force report on legalization in order to make sure Manitoba's cannabis community "has a voice." Steven Stairs, a medical marijuana user and grower who helps organize Winnipeg's 420 rallies, said he reached out to Kildonan MLA Nicholas Curry to talk about the highs and lows of the report.
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CN AB: Pot Policy In The Works

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/16/2017 - 08:00
Metro, 16 Jan 2017 - Local businesses concerned over medical marijuana in the workplace Edmonton's Chamber of Commerce is developing a policy to deal with medical marijuana in the workplace as concerns mount among employers and workers.
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US FL: Marijuana Laws Flummox Doctors

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 01/15/2017 - 08:00
Orlando Sentinel, 15 Jan 2017 - TALLAHASSEE -- Even as the state prepares to carry out a constitutional amendment authorizing medical marijuana, a lack of guidance from health officials could create a "very murky and dangerous legal area" for patients and doctors. Authors of the amendment, industry insiders and legislative leaders have called on the Department of Health to clarify what doctors and dispensing organizations can legally do under existing state laws and the voter-approved amendment that went into effect Tuesday.
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US CA: Border Tunnels Left Unfilled On Mexican Side Pose Security

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 01/15/2017 - 08:00
Los Angeles Times, 15 Jan 2017 - [photo] A cross-border drug smugglers' tunnel that had been shut down but left unfilled on the Mexican side was found to be back in operation in December, officials said. (Mexico attorney general's office / Associated Press) Mexican drug cartels have burrowed dozens of tunnels in the last decade, outfitted them with rail and cart systems to whisk drugs under the U.S. border and, after being discovered by authorities, abandoned them.
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US CA: This Roadside Salesman Outside Kabul Is Known For Selling The

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 01/15/2017 - 08:00
Los Angeles Times, 15 Jan 2017 - [photo] At a roadside restaurant outside Kabul, Gula Jan, far left, sells hashish to a wide array of clients. (Sultan Faizy / For The Times) Gula Jan ground a small amount of hashish, about the size of a marble, in his hand. He mixed it with tobacco and carefully rolled it into a cigarette. Then he smiled.
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US KY: Mother Fighting To Save Daughter Through Medical Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 01/14/2017 - 08:00
Lexington Herald-Leader, 14 Jan 2017 - Tiffany Wigginton Carnal is in the fight of her life to save her daughter. Lyndi Carnal, 17, has Crohn's Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. Lyndi was diagnosed when she was 14. Since that time, she and her mother have spent three Christmases, three New Year's Days and countless other days at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
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US MA: Marijuana Legalization, Opioid Crisis Come To An Awkward

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 01/14/2017 - 08:00
Boston Globe, 14 Jan 2017 - [photo] A marijuana bud. Across New England, two issues appear to be driving legislatures this year - - and they both have to do with drugs. States are grappling with the emergence of marijuana legalization. But the region is also the epicenter of the opioid crisis, with overdose rates in New Hampshire among the highest in the country.
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Chronicle AM: Abuse-Resistant Oxycontin Tied to Heroin ODs, S. America Coca News, More... (1/13/17)

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 21:30

A new study from the Rand Corporation links the introduction of abuse-resistant Oxycontin in 2010 to the rise in heroin overdose deaths, Bolivia and Colombia take different approaches to coca, a Georgian political party office gets raided, and more.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy

New Mexico Legalization Bill Filed. State Rep. Bill McCamley (D-Las Cruces) has filed House Bill 89, the Cannabis Revenue and Freedom Act. It would allow the possession of up to two ounces by adults at home and one ounce outside the household, the cultivation of up to six plants (or 12 per household) and the possession of a harvest up to eight ounces. The measure would revamp the state's existing medical marijuana system and allow for marijuana sales beginning in 2019.

Medical Marijuana

Georgia House Forms Medical Marijuana Study Committee. House Speaker David Ralson (R-Blue Ridge) announced Wednesday that a medical marijuana study committee had been formed with Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) as its chair. Peake is the author of the state's current limited medical marijuana law and has already announced plans for legislation this year.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

RAND: Introduction of Abuse-Deterrent Oxycontin Led to Rise in Heroin Overdose Deaths. In a new working paper released this week, the RAND Corporation looked at supply-side attempts to limit access to opioids and found unintended consequences. Focusing on the 2010 introduction of abuse-resistant Oxycontin, the RAND analysts found "large differential increases in heroin deaths immediately after reformulation in states with the highest initial rates of OxyContin misuse" and concluded that "a substantial share of the dramatic increase in heroin deaths since 2010 can be attributed to the reformulation of OxyContin."

Asset Forfeiture

North Dakota Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Filed. Eight state legislators jointly filed House Bill 1170 last week. The bill would prohibit the seizure of property without a criminal conviction in most cases. The measure would also require that most proceeds from forfeitures go into the state's general fund; currently, law enforcement agencies can keep up to 100% of the proceeds. The bill would also ban passing busts off to the feds in a bid to evade state restrictions.

International

Bolivia Government Files Bill to Expand Coca Production. The bill would expand legal coca production from 30,000 acres to 50,000 acres. But not all coca growers are happy because some regions are getting more expansion than others.

Colombia Starts Spraying Glyphosate on Coca Crops Again. Colombia recommenced the controversial program on January 2, but this time, it's not using airplanes. Instead, the spraying is being conducted by hand. The aerial spraying campaign had been ended in 2015 over health and environmental concerns, but faced with an increasing amount of coca under cultivation, the government is now resorting once more to the herbicide.

Republic of Georgia Police Raid Party Office, Seize Pot Plants. Georgian police raided the office of the Girchi Party Wednesday, seizing 84 marijuana seedlings that had been planted New Year's Day in a bid to gain publicity for drug decriminalization. Police had threatened party activists with up to 12 years in prison for drug cultivation, but so far have only seized the plants. "This is the price of the action, that something like this would have consequences. Let's see what level this absurdity will reach. I worry about the plants. I am not sure if they will take proper care on them," Iago Khvichia, a member of the party's political council said.

Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: 'Incredible Benefit' To Overdose-Prevention Sites, Ask

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 08:00
Kamloops This Week, 13 Jan 2017 - There's been an "incredible benefit" to last month's creation of overdose-prevention sites in Kamloops, said Bob Hughes, something that goes beyond ensuring drug users are safe - many of them are talking with the medical staff there about some of the reasons they are in their lifestyles. The executive director of ASK Wellness Centre said that as staff hand out safe drug-use equipment - a program the agency has done for years to help combat infections and other diseases associated with drug use - they're also looking for opportunities to ask clients about housing needs other health issues and whether they're ready to try rehabilitation programs or other services that might see them make changes in the way they live.
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CN BC: Shades Of Grey In The Green

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 08:00
Penticton Western, 13 Jan 2017 - A new marijuana dispensary will soon be joining the two permitted operations in Penticton. "We've retained legal counsel and we are going to open our doors," said Robert Jaenicke, manager of the Okanagan Cannabis Solutions Society outlets. He plans to open his doors on Jan. 16, even without a permit from the city.
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US MD: U.S. Government Won't Reclassify Marijuana, Allows Research

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 08:00
Baltimore Sun, 13 Jan 2017 - [photo] Marijuana plants are seen nearly ready for harvest at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill., on Sept. 15, 2015. (Seth Perlman, AP) The Obama administration has decided marijuana will remain on the list of most-dangerous drugs, fully rebuffing growing support across the country for broad legalization, but said it will allow more research into its medical uses.
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Canada: Report Spurs Call To Study Pot's Potential In Opioid-Crisis

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 13 Jan 2017 - A new U.S. government-funded report showing clear evidence cannabis is an effective remedy for those with chronic pain underscores the need for more research into how marijuana can help fight the deadly opioid crisis ravaging North America, according to one of Canada's leading pain researchers. A report released Thursday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine outlined nearly 100 conclusions about the benefits and harms of cannabis on a range of public health and safety issues.
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Gang Life No Good Life

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 08:00
Penticton Herald, 13 Jan 2017 - Former gang member shares harrowing tales with students from South Okanagan schools If you don't think gangs have a presence in your small community, think again. "Street-level drug trafficking groups in Williams Lake or Osoyoos don't have the ability to import kilos of cocaine from Mexico or Central America," said Staff-Sgt. Lindsey Houghton of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, which fights gang activity across B.C.
Categories: Marijuana

US MA: Holyoke Mayor Sees Future In Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 08:00
Boston Globe, 13 Jan 2017 - Holyoke has a number of old mill buildings that Mayor Alex B. Morse believes would make an excellent location for the industry. HOLYOKE - Vacant mill buildings along a series of canals serve as constant reminders of this impoverished city's halcyon days as the Paper City of the World. But the mayor has a distinctly 21st-century plan for the old factories.
Categories: Marijuana

US MD: Experts Have Only A Hazy Idea Of Marijuana's Myriad Health

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 08:00
Baltimore Sun, 13 Jan 2017 - Marijuana's health effects A new report says the precise health effects of marijuana on its users remain something of a mystery. (Jan. 13, 2017) More than 22 million Americans use some form of marijuana each month, and it's now approved for medicinal or recreational use in 28 states plus the District of Columbia. Nationwide, legal sales of the drug reached an estimated $7.1 billion last year.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: NAS Report on MedMJ Released, WA Home Cultivation Bill Filed, More... (1/12/17)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 22:37

The National Academy of Sciences releases a report finding marijuana is medicine, Rhode Island legislators aim to get pot legal in a hurry, a new bill in Washington state would allow home cultivation, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Maine Bill Would Impose One-Year Moratorium on Legal Marijuana Sales. State Senate President Mike Thibodeau (R) is leading an effort to delay key provisions of the Question 1 legalization initiative. He is sponsoring a bill that would enact a one-year moratorium on pot sales to adults and prohibit the sale of marijuana edibles. "This is not trying to circumvent what the voters passed at the ballot box," he claimed. The bill is not yet available on the legislative website.

Rhode Island Legislators Unveil Legalization Plans. In a proposal unveiled Wednesday, lawmakers came out for a quick move to legal marijuana sales by allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana six months after a bill passes. The legalization proposal would also limit home cultivation to one plant, which must be tagged for tracking purposes. The bill is not expected to be filed until next week at the earliest.

Washington State Bill Would Allow Home Cultivation. State Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo) has introduced House Bill 1092, which would allow adults to grow up to six plants at home, as long as the yield is less than 24 ounces. Homes with more than one adult grow produce a total of 12 plants for up to 48 ounces of usable weed. Washington is the only legalization state that does not allow for home cultivation.

Medical Marijuana

National Academy of Sciences Finds Conclusive Evidence Marijuana is an Effective Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences Thursday released a groundbreaking report, "The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research. The report finds there is conclusive evidence that marijuana can be used as a medicine, though it didn't find clinical evidence for all conditions marijuana treatment is often associated with. The report does recognize the efficacy of marijuana for treating many medical conditions, including chronic pain, chemo-induced nausea and vomiting, and multiple sclerosis spasticity.

Arkansas Regulators Set Number of Dispensaries at 32. The state Medical Marijuana Commission announced Tuesday that it will issue up to 32 licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries. The commission now has until March 9 to come up with rules for dispensary licensing.

Arkansas Bill to Delay Dispensary Rule-Making Advances. A bill that would delay the creation of rules for licensing dispensaries passed the House Select Committee on Rules Wednesday. Authored by state Rep. Douglas House (R-North Little Rock), House Bill 1026 would give the state Medical Marijuana Commission an extra 60 days beyond March 9 to craft rules and another 30 days before entities can apply for licenses.

Connecticut Doctors' Panel Recommends Adding Four Qualifying Conditions. The state's panel of physicians charged with reviewing requests for adding new qualifying conditions for the state's medical marijuana program decided Wednesday to add fibromyalgia, muscular dystrophy, shingles, and rheumatoid arthritis to the list.

Georgia Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), sponsor of a bill last year that allows for the use of CBD cannabis oil, has now filed a full-fledged medical marijuana bill, but it's not yet available on the legislative website. Stay tuned.

Industrial Hemp

Arizona Industrial Hemp Bill Filed. State Sen. Sonny Borrelli (R-Lake Havasu City) has filed a bill to allow for the production of industrial hemp. The measure is Senate Bill 1045, which would exempt any cannabis plants containing less than 0.3% from the state's marijuana laws.

International

Argentines Move to Crack Down on Cocaine Paste. The Argentine government of President Mauricio Macri has submitted plans to modify the country's drug laws to substantially increase penalties for the production and sale of "paco" (cocaine paste). Current law specifies a four-to-six year prison term, while the proposed change would see terms increase to 15-to-18 years. Small-time dealers would between one and four years, while users would face forced drug treatment.

Categories: Marijuana

US NC: Pew Research Center Poll Finds Two-thirds Of Cops Think

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 08:00
Charlotte Observer, 12 Jan 2017 - A Pew Research Center survey of nearly 8,000 police officers finds that more than two-thirds of them say that marijuana use should be legal for either personal or medical use. The nationally representative survey of law enforcement, one of the largest of its kind, found that 32 percent of police officers said marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use, while 37 percent said it should be legal for medical use only. Another 30 percent said that marijuana should not be legal at all.
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