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Chronicle AM: OR Dispensaries Patient Only, Only Pure Cocaine Weight for OH Sentences, More... (12/26/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 12/26/2016 - 21:54

A new study finds that traffic fatalities decline in medical marijuana states, the Ohio Supreme Court rules that only the weight of pure cocaine -- not filler -- can be used in sentencing determinations, the Republic of Georgia walks away from jailing pot smokers, and more.

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

Study: States With Medical Marijuana Laws See Decline in Traffic Deaths. A new study from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health finds that states that have passed medical marijuana laws have seen an 11% reduction in traffic fatalities since those laws went into effect. And those states have seen a 26% reduction in traffic fatalities compared to states where marijuana remains illegal.

Oregon Dispensaries Go Back to Selling Only to Patients Next Week. As of January 1, dispensaries will revert to selling only to card-carrying patients. The state had allowed dispensaries to sell to any adult while it set up a licensing scheme for retail pot shops, but that now ends, and that means Oregon pot consumers who are not patients will have fewer places to legally buy pot. There are some 300 dispensaries in the state, but only a hundred retail pot shops. Some dispensaries are moving to be licensed as retail shops.

Sentencing

Ohio Supreme Court Rules Cocaine Sentences Must Be Based on Weight of Cocaine, Not Filler. In a decision that could reopen the sentencing of people who were sent to state prison for possessing more than a hundred grams of cocaine, the state Supreme Court has ruled that sentences must be based on the amount of pure cocaine suspects had, not the entire amount of suspected drugs. "The state must prove that the weight of the actual cocaine, excluding the weight of any filler materials, meets the statutory threshold," Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger wrote for the 4-3 majority. The decision was based on the legislature's 1995 and 2011 rewriting of the state's drug laws, which defined cocaine as a drug by itself without adding any "mixture."

International

Georgia Constitutional Court Strikes Down Jail for Marijuana Possession. The Constitutional Court ruled last Thursday that possession and consumption of marijuana is no longer a jailable offense. "The Constitutional Court found that the norms referring to the use of a small amount of marijuana, as well as its purchase, storage and product on, are unconstitutional," it said in a statement. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by the Public Defender's Office, which called imprisoning people for pot "irrelevant, too strict, and degrading." Marijuana possession was not a criminal offense in Georgia until 2006, when then President Mikheil Saakashvili launched an anti-drug campaign. Last year, the Constitutional Court struck down a law that imposed a prison sentence of up to 12 years for possession.

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US PA: One Day In The Opioid Epidemic

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 12/26/2016 - 08:00
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 26 Dec 2016 - The 44-year-old mother who answered the door in Lincoln-Lemington on the evening of Dec. 15 had the "pin point" eyes of "someone who has recently used opioids," a Pittsburgh police officer wrote. The officer was responding to a 911 call suggesting child endangerment. "I do suffer from using heroin and I'm trying to stop, but I keep using," the woman admitted, according to the officer's affidavit. She led police to the makeup bag under the throw pillow, where they found six stamp bags of heroin and three hypodermic needles, the officer wrote.
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DC: Officials Warn Of Medical Cannabis Scammers

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 12/26/2016 - 08:00
Washington Post, 26 Dec 2016 - Packaging for medical marijuana is displayed at Vireo Health of New York, a dispensary in White Plains, N.Y. New York is loosening some restrictions in its year-old medical marijuana law to boost patient access, but to the dismay of some pot advocates, there is no sign the state is in any hurry to join seven other states in embracing full legalization. (AP Photo/Jennifer Peltz, File) (Jennifer Peltz/AP) Maryland patients are several months away from being able to legally obtain medical cannabis to treat chronic conditions. But scammers are already trying to make a buck off of patients desperate for the relief they seek from the drug, according to regulators and industry officials.
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NM: A 'Light At The End Of The Tunnel' For Long-Awaited Medical

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 12/26/2016 - 08:00
Albuquerque Journal, 26 Dec 2016 - Medical marijuana could finally become a reality next year in Maryland, one of the states slowest to make the drug available for purchase after legalizing sales. In 2016, regulators awarded long-awaited licenses to grow, process and sell cannabis while grappling with fallout from those shut out of the potentially lucrative industry. Now selected businesses are racing to set up facilities and pass final inspections so the first seeds can be planted and flowers can hit the shelves by the end of 2017, four years after lawmakers legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.
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