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US CA: OPED: Grow Hemp, Make Money

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 26 Jun 2014 - After a 77-year break, hemp plants are growing in American soil again. Right now, in fact. If you hear farmers from South Carolina to Hawaii shouting "God bless America," the reason isn't because Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper (he did). Nor is it because the canvas that put the "covered" in pioneer covered wagons was made of hemp, nor that the hemp webbing in his parachute saved George H.W. Bush's life in World War II. Nope. It's because U.S. policy is finally acknowledging that hemp can help restore our agricultural economy, play a key role in dealing with climate change and, best of all, allow American family farmers to get in on a hemp market that, just north of us in Canada, is verging on $1 billion a year.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 06/26/2014 - 02:25

A Senate companion to the successful House DEA defunding amendment has been filed, New York becomes the 23rd medical marijuana state, a CBD bill is moving in North Carolina, Rhode Island retrenches, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]National

Last Thursday, US Sens. Rand Paul and Cory Booker cosponsored a DEA defunding amendment in the Senate. Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) have cosponsored an amendment to the Justice Department funding bill that would shield medical marijuana patients and providers from the attention of the DEA in states where it is legal. The House passed such an amendment at the end of last month. While an early vote was expected, conflicts between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have caused the overall appropriation bill to be delayed.

California

Last Tuesday, the Berkeley city council moved toward permitting a fourth dispensary. The council voted to adopt regulations promulgated by the Medical Cannabis Commission that will set up a process to select a fourth dispensary for the East Bay city of 115,000. This more than three years after voters approved Measure T in 2010, which called for allowing a fourth dispensary. The commission had recommended six dispensaries, but that was too much for the council, which approved one new one in principle and said it would review the situation in a year.

On Tuesday, the Drug Policy Alliance strongly criticized the statewide medical marijuana regulation bill. Senate Bill 1262, which was set to go before the Assembly Public Safety Committee the same day, would leave thousands of patients without access to their medicine, fails to establish effective statewide regulation, and doesn't deal with edibles, the group said in an analysis posted on the California legislature's web site. The bill has already passed the Senate, but still must get through the Assembly.

Also on Tuesday, Desert Hot Springs city leaders expressed support for allowing dispensaries and were quite frank in saying it was all about the tax revenues. The city has an existing moratorium that will have to be removed. Leaders set no timeline at Tuesday's city council meeting.

Also on Tuesday, Lake County supervisors placed a restrictive cultivation measure on the November ballot. The measure would ban collective gardens and limit outdoor parcels to four plants. It is being backed by a group called the Emerald Unity Alliance.

Also on Tuesday, Santa Clara County supervisors voted for a temporary moratorium on dispensaries. The move was in response to San Jose's new regulations on dispensaries and cultivation, which supervisors fear would push them out into the county. Supervisors want time to see how to respond and will revisit the issue at an August 5 meeting.

New York

Last Friday, New York become the 23rd medical marijuana state. The state legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (R) reached a last-minute compromise on medical marijuana, and the state Senate and Assembly approved the compromise bill, Program Bill 57. Gov. Cuomo says he will sign the bill into law, making New York the 23rd medical marijuana state. The bill is more limited than many patients and advocates would have preferred. It forbids smoking medical marijuana, although patients may vaporize or consume it in edibles. It also forbids using the raw plant. And it limits access to those with specified qualifying conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy.

North Carolina

Last Thursday, a limited CBD medical marijuana bill won House committee votes. A bill that would allow some patients to use a high-CBD cannabis oil was approved by the House Health Committee Wednesday and the House Finance Committee. The House approved the measure, House Bill 1220, in a floor vote on Friday.

On Wednesday, the limited CBD medical marijuana bill won a Senate committee vote. House Bill 1220 was approved by the Senate Rules and Operations Committee.

Rhode Island

Last Friday, the legislature amended the state's medical marijuana law. The legislature has amended the state's medical marijuana law to require national criminal background checks on all caregiver applicants and the mandatory revocation of the caregiver registry ID cards for those convicted of a felony. The bill, House Bill 7610, won final approval by the Senate last Friday. It also allows landlords not to lease to cardholders who want to grow and imposes weight, plant, and seedling limits on growing co-ops.

[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]

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House Committee Votes to Block DC Decrim

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 18:10

The GOP-dominated House Appropriations Committee stuck a thumb in the eye of democratic governance in the nations capital this morning.

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US CO: Column: Council Delays Recreational-Marijuana Decision

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 25 Jun 2014 - Though the city of Colorado Springs previously allocated $250,000 for a November election - which it's estimated would cost between $465,000 and $700,000 - City Council decided Tuesday to put off discussion about allowing recreational-marijuana stores and potentially refer it to a crowded April ballot in order to save money. The ultimate decision of whether to act or not will have to come by the end of next January. "When I found out the cost of this, I was in sticker shock," said Council President Keith King. "I just felt that ... I would not want to support that kind of money."
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US CO: Food Safety A New Frontier For Legal Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 25 Jun 2014 - DENVER (AP) - The marijuana in those pot brownies isn't the only thing that can potentially make consumers sick. The industry and regulators are taking a closer look at how pot-infused edibles are made. The thriving edible-marijuana industry in Colorado is preparing for new testing requirements - due to take effect in October - to make sure the products are safe to eat and drink.
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US WA: Cowlitz PUD Approves Policy to Allow Power to Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 07:00
The Daily News, 25 Jun 2014 - Cowlitz PUD will let the lights shine on recreational marijuana businesses in the county, but with a caveat that might protect the district from prosecution and lawsuits and shield ratepayers from higher prices. The commissioners voted 2-1 at Tuesday's meeting to adopt a policy for marijuana growers, processors and retailers applying for PUD electricity. It provides an open door for those businesses, but puts them over a trap door in case the utility is threatened by federal prosecution or the loss of cheap energy.
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CN BC: B.C. Prevents Commercial Marijuana Grow-ops From

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 07:00
Prince George Citizen, 25 Jun 2014 - VANCOUVER - Medical marijuana producers setting up shop in British Columbia won't be able to claim a lucrative property tax break designed for farms and other agricultural operations, the provincial government said Tuesday. Mayors in B.C. have been warning for months that commercial grow-ops could get out of paying nearly 90 per cent of their property taxes if they're lumped together with farms, even if they're operating on expensive industrial land.
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CN BC: Marijuana Farms Denied Tax Break

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 25 Jun 2014 - Municipalities will be able to collect more revenue from growers who do not have the proper agricultural designation The B.C. government is denying medical-marijuana companies access to a property tax break intended for agriculture so that communities where the operations are located do not lose potential tax revenue.
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US DC: Column: A Scientist's View Of Pot Myths

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 25 Jun 2014 - From her perch as head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Nora Volkow watches anxiously as the country embarks on what she sees as a risky social experiment in legalizing marijuana. For those who argue that marijuana is no more dangerous than tobacco and alcohol, Volkow has two main answers: We don't entirely know, and, simultaneously, that is precisely the point.
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UK: Legalise Drugs, Says Former Ambassador

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 07:00
The Guardian, 25 Jun 2014 - The former UK ambassador to Afghanistan, Sir William Patey, has come out in favour of legalising drugs after acknowledging the failure of British-led efforts over the last 10 years to eradicate poppy crops in the country. Patey, one of the most experienced diplomats of his generation, with a string of postings that include Iraq, Sudan and Saudi Arabia, becomes one of the highest profile figures in Britain to back legalising and regulating drugs.
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US OR: Joint Venture: The Corporate Face Of Legalizing Pot Has Arrived

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 07:00
The Week, 25 Jun 2014 - Paul Stanford had to admit last week he was busted. For years, Stanford has been the face of the drive to legalize marijuana in Oregon, the man who may have done more to push for lawful pot than anyone else in the state.
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US WA: Washington State To Require Approval Of Packaging For Edible

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/25/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 25 Jun 2014 - SEATTLE - Washington State will require its approval of all packaging for edible marijuana products, Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday, a pre-emptory move to ban cartoons, toy images and any other labels that might appeal to children. Mr. Inslee announced the emergency set of rules on how marijuana-infused edible products are marketed and sold in retail shops as part of the state's response to reports of overdoses and under-age consumption in Colorado.
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Chronicle AM -- June 24, 2014

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 16:26

Your fearless reporter has been traveling, so the schedule is off, but the drug policy news continues. Paul Stanford calls it quits in Oregon, pot shops are coming within days in Washington, an Alabama drug task needs to reconsider its priorities (or maybe the people funding it need to reconsider theirs), and more. Let's get to it:

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

Paul Stanford Pulls Plug on Oregon CRRH Initiative. Paul Stanford, the man behind the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp legalization initiatives, announced Friday that had given up the effort to qualify for the November ballot. That leaves the New Approach Oregon initiative, which is well over 100,000 signatures. It needs some 87,000 valid voter signatures to qualify, and the campaign still has another week to get more signers.

Washington State Liquor Control Board Says First Marijuana Retail Stores Will Open July 8. The board, which is charge of legal marijuana commerce, said it will issue the first licenses July 7, but that the licensees would have to spend that first day getting their product into their store tracking programs.

Medical Marijuana

Rhode Island Legislature Amends Medical Marijuana Law. The legislature has amended the state's medical marijuana law to require national criminal background checks on all caregiver applicants and the mandatory revocation of the caregiver registry ID cards for those convicted of a felony. The bill, House Bill 7610, won final approval by the Senate last Friday. It also allows landlords not to lease to cardholders who want to grow and imposes weight, plant, and seedling limits on growing co-ops.

Collateral Consequences

Missouri Governor Signs Bill to End Food Stamp Ban for Drug Felons -- With Conditions. Gov. Jay Nixon signed into a law a bill that would allow people with drug felonies to obtain food stamps, but only if they submit to drug tests and an assessment to see if they need drug treatment, which they must enroll in and complete if they are determined to need it. The bill is Senate Bill 680. The 1996 federal welfare reform law banned drug felons from obtaining food stamps, but allowed states to opt out. By now, more than 30 have.

Opiates

Federal Bill Targeting Heroin, Prescription Opiates Filed. US Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) have filed legislation that seeks to respond to rising levels of opiate use by creating a "Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force" to develop prescribing practices that aim to ensure "proper pain management for patients, while also preventing prescription opioid abuse." Along with federal agencies such as HHS, Defense, the VA, and the DEA, the task force would include treatment providers, people from pain advocacy groups and pain professional organization, and experts in pain research and addiction research. Pain advocates will be watching carefully. The bill, Senate Bill 2504, would also provide grants to expand prescription drug monitoring programs.

Law Enforcement

Texas to Spend $1.3 Million a Week on "Border Surge" Aimed at Immigrants, Drugs. Using the influx of underage immigrants across the US-Mexican border as a jumping off point, Texas authorities announced last week they plan to spend $30 million this year tightening border security, with a major emphasis on law enforcement and cutting drug flows. Gov. Rick Perry (R) has also asked President Obama to send a thousand National Guard troops, to be joined by hundreds of Texas troopers Perry is deploying to the border. What this will mean on the ground is more troopers patrolling the highways, more surveillance, more undercover operations -- in an area already sinking under the weight of the billions spent beefing up border security since 9/11.

Alabama Drug Task Force Gets Busy With Chump Change Drug Round-Up. The West Alabama Narcotics Task Force based in Tuscaloosa arrested 24 people last Friday in a round-up that "stemmed from multiple ongoing investigations." But they were almost entirely charges like "unlawful sale of marijuana within three miles of a school" ($30,000 bond), "unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia" ($5,000 bond), and "unlawful possession of marijuana" ($15,000 bond). Only five of the charges didn't involve marijuana, and of those, three were for possession of a controlled substance, two were "unlawful sale of cocaine within three miles of a school," and one was for "interfering with government operations."

International

Vietnam Upholds Death Sentences for 29 Drug Smugglers. A Vietnamese appellate court last Thursday upheld the death sentences for 29 people convicted. The court reduced one other death sentence in the case to life in prison. The sentences came in what is Vietnam's largest heroin case ever, with 89 defendants and 1.5 tons of heroin involved.

Bolivia Coca Cultivation Drops to 11-Year Low. Coca cultivation declined 9% in Bolivia last, reaching the lowest level since 2002, according to the annual Bolivian coca survey conducted by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). This is the third straight decline, in line with the Bolivian government's commitment to reduce production to 50,000 acres by 2015. The 2013 crop was about 55,000 acres.

British Medical Association to Debate Legalizing Marijuana. Britain's largest doctors' organization will debate a motion calling on it to legalize marijuana as its Annual Representatives Meeting continues this week after a weekend hiatus. "The current law isn't working and only by adopting a different approach can we regulate, educate and exert a level of quality control," the motion says. "Cannabis use should be treated primarily as a health issue, not a criminal justice issue."

Categories: Marijuana

US TX: Give Adults Freedom Of Choice On Pot Use

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 07:00
Austin American-Statesman, 24 Jun 2014 - Re: June 9 commentary, "Pot isn't harmless; making it legal would be a disaster." I agree that legalizing cannabis would be a disaster for professional drug war cheerleader Calvina Fay because she would be unemployed. I'd like to add that the cannabis legalization issue is not whether cannabis is completely safe for everybody, including children and adolescents; it is not. The issue is freedom of choice for adults. Children have died from eating peanuts and peanut butter but we don't cage peanut growers, sellers or consumers. One in thirteen children suffer from food allergies, yet we have no foods that are outlawed. And the voters of Colorado and Washington state have decided that we should not cage cannabis growers, sellers or consumers. Texas adults have the freedom of choice of whether or not to consume legal alcohol. Shouldn't they have the same freedom of choice regarding legal cannabis? KIRK MUSE,
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US TX: Cannabis Brownies Leave Teen Facing Life

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 07:00
The Press, 24 Jun 2014 - A Texas teenager could face up to 99 years in prison for making and selling brownies infused with cannabis, despite the product being legal elsewhere in the United States. Jacob Lavoro, 19, was arrested on April 14 after a neighbour smelled suspiciously pungent smoke and called the police. The authorities allege that after entering his apartment they found an illicit baking operation that included the brownies, a pound of cannabis, hash oil and US$1675 (NZ$1900) in cash.
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CN ON: Column: Cheech and Cons: Up In Smoke Not A Laughing Matter

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 07:00
Northumberland Today, 24 Jun 2014 - Good people of Scarborough-Agincourt, we give you Liberal Party candidate Arnold Chan. You should vote for him not so much for what Arnold has done - but for what the Conservative Party hasn't. To be precise, the Conservative Party hasn't behaved itself in the Toronto riding, which was formerly the domain of one Jim Karygiannis. This week, the ruling party circulated noxious flyers all over Scarborough-Agincourt, much in the way the Axis used to drop propaganda leaflets on advancing Allied troops. As in that case, the Tory propaganda is unlikely to defeat the Grit forces.
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US MN: Medical Marijuana -- What You Need To Know

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 07:00
Post-Bulletin, 23 Jun 2014 - Medical marijuana is coming to Minnesota next summer. Rather than joints or other illicit forms of the street drug, medical pot will be made into oils, vapors or pills by two Minnesota manufacturers to be chosen by the state yet this year.
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CN AB: Users Say Feds Blowing Smoke With New System

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 07:00
Metro, 23 Jun 2014 - Medical marijuana consumers complaining about Health Canada's attempt to criminalize home grows Few suppliers and a lack of willing doctors are among the concerns being raised by Alberta medical marijuana users testing a new federal system for supplying the drug.
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CN ON: Column: Cheech and Cons: Up In Smoke Not A Laughing

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 07:00
North Bay Nugget, 23 Jun 2014 - Good people of Scarborough-Agincourt, we give you Liberal Party candidate Arnold Chan. You should vote for him not so much for what Arnold has done - but for what the Conservative Party hasn't. To be precise, the Conservative Party hasn't behaved itself in the Toronto riding, which was formerly the domain of one Jim Karygiannis. This week, the ruling party circulated noxious flyers all over Scarborough-Agincourt, much in the way the Axis used to drop propaganda leaflets on advancing Allied troops. As in that case, the Tory propaganda is unlikely to defeat the Grit forces.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Cheech and Cons: Up In Smoke Not A Laughing

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 06/23/2014 - 07:00
The Expositor, 23 Jun 2014 - Good people of Scarborough- Agincourt, we give you Liberal Party candidate Arnold Chan. You should vote for him not so much for what Arnold has done - but for what the Conservative Party hasn't. To be precise, the Conservative Party hasn't behaved itself in the Toronto riding, which was formerly the domain of one Jim Karygiannis. This week, the ruling party circulated noxious flyers all over Scarborough- Agincourt, much in the way the Axis used to drop propaganda leaflets on advancing Allied troops. As in that case, the Tory propaganda is unlikely to defeat the Grit forces.
Categories: Marijuana
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