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Marijuana

US NJ: A Patient's Path To Medical Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 04/03/2016 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 03 Apr 2016 - Awful Pain, but Still She Struggled With Decision. Dana Kelley recalls the exact moment when her neurologist suggested she try medical marijuana. The retired Army Intelligence linguist said it caused her emotional upheaval and led her to question her willingness to continue living in constant pain.
Categories: Marijuana

US MO: Violence In St. Louis Traced To Cheap Mexican Heroin

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 04/03/2016 - 07:00
New York Times, 03 Apr 2016 - ST. LOUIS - Clara Walker, a mother of nine and grandmother of eight, was peering out the window of her home three years ago after hearing what she initially thought were gunshots from a television crime show. But at that moment, Anthony Jordan, who the authorities say was a gang enforcer known as "Godfather," was spraying gunfire on the street outside, and two bullets struck Ms. Walker, killing her.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Life And High Times

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 04/03/2016 - 07:00
New York Times, 03 Apr 2016 - Picture a mood-lit Las Vegas casino, at first glance indistinguishable from any other pleasure palace on the Strip: salarymen hunch over $20 blackjack tables as waitresses with plunging necklines circle the floor. Instead of bourbon-and-sodas, however, these waitresses are carrying trays full of vaporizers and water pipes. The games themselves have names that sound more like Cypress Hill songs: "Craps and Blunts," "Roll and Roulette."
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US CA: Column: A Pot Habit Can Make You A Loser

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 04/03/2016 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 03 Apr 2016 - There's a new report out on longtime marijuana use. And it's bad news for habitual stoners. In summary: The more pot you smoke, the more apt you are to be a loser. And it's not so much that losers toke weed. It's that toking a lot of weed over several years turns someone into a loser. It's not really a chicken or egg thing.
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US CO: High Hopes For Marijuana Mini-Mall

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 04/03/2016 - 07:00
The New Mexican, 03 Apr 2016 - Just north of the New Mexico state line, developers plan to turn Trinidad, Colo., center into a one-stop shop for pot tourism On the first day the state of Colorado allowed the sale of recreational marijuana, Chris Elkins waited two hours in the freezing cold to buy weed.
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US VA: Column: Coming Out Of The Drug-War Haze?

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 04/03/2016 - 07:00
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 03 Apr 2016 - President Obama's recent speech on the opioid overdose epidemic offers a ray of hope that the country's approach to drugs might one day adopt what has been called the first rule of American business: When all else fails, try doing it right. Noting with considerable understatement that "treatment is underfunded," the president proposed $ 1.1 billion for expanded opioid- addiction treatment. This is a good step in the right direction. But it is still $ 50 billion less than the U. S. will spend this year alone on its current, fatally flawed policy of the war on drugs, and only onethird of what the federal government allocates to lock up drug criminals - whose incarceration accounts for half of the entire Bureau of Prisons budget.
Categories: Marijuana

US PA: Editorial: Hip To Hemp

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 04/03/2016 - 07:00
Republican & Herald, 03 Apr 2016 - The biggest news in Pennsylvania involving marijuana is the new law authorizing its use as medicine, which was long overdue. But a bill also is pending in the Legislature that would authorize something involving the plant that is even more overdue. It would allow farmers to grow industrial hemp.
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Colombia: Drug Trade Complicates Colombia's Talks to End Civil

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 04/03/2016 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 03 Apr 2016 - With Peace at Hand, Coca Farmers and Traffickers Consider Their Futures If Their Cash Crop Is Eradicated LA GABARRA, Colombia - Daniel Duarte has thick, rough hands and the burned scalp of someone who has spent more than two decades under the sun tending coca crops. Toiling over a few acres in a remote northeastern part of Colombia, Duarte says the bright green shrub is the only plant that has allowed him to feed his family, even as neighbors go broke trying to get their bulky yucca and plantain crops to market.
Categories: Marijuana

US NV: OPED: Legal Pot - Bad For Nevada

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 04/02/2016 - 07:00
Elko Daily Free Press, 02 Apr 2016 - Out-of-state pot industry promoters are pouring millions of dollars into Nevada to legalize recreational marijuana in this state. To qualify for the ballot, these promoters raised nearly $800,000, with 60 percent from outside Nevada - given by pot industry corporate donors from California, Colorado, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, Missouri, Massachusetts - and including $250,000 from the Washington D.C. pro pot lobby group, Marijuana Policy Project. Nevadans need to know what this initiative is NOT. This initiative is NOT a Nevada-based libertarian "live and let live" effort to permit limited "backyard marijuana grows." Instead, the initiative will require the Nevada Department of Taxation to be radically transformed into a massive bureaucracy and become the single most powerful agency in state government.
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Chronicle AM: NE Pot Politics, DEA Drug Plane Scandal, FL Forfeiture Reform Signed, More.... (4/1/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 04/01/2016 - 20:59

Marijuana politics is hopping in New England, decrim goes into effect in Tampa, the DEA gets raked for wasting tens of millions on an anti-drug plane that never flew, Florida's governor signs an asset forfeiture reform bill, and more.

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

Maine Marijuana DUID Bill Killed. The House voted unanimously and without debate Thursday to kill LD 1628, which would have set a standard of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood to prove a driver was impaired on marijuana. The smack down of the bill came after concerns were raised that there wasn't science to support the limit. The effort is now dead at least until next year.

Connecticut Hearing on Marijuana Legalization Set for Next Week. State Reps. Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven) and Toni Walker (D-New Haven) are hosting an information hearing on legalization next week. Candelaria is the lead sponsor of a legalization bill, House Bill 5209. The session is set for next Tuesday afternoon at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

Vermont House Hears Testimony on Legalization Bill. More than 50 people testified about Senate Bill 241 at a hearing at the statehouse Thursday night. The marijuana legalization bill has already passed the Senate and has the support of Gov. Peter Shumlin (D). The first House committee vote on the bill is expected next week. If the bill passes, Vermont will be the first state to have legalized marijuana through the legislative process.

Vermont Libertarian Party Calls for Legalization Bill to Include Home Cultivation. The party says "the absence of a home growing provision will limit the bill's chances to decrease the black market" and that "legalization of marijuana is NOT all about tax revenue." The party also says that legal home cultivation "will allow Vermonters to develop their cannabis cultivation skills to support an artisan cannabis industry." The legalization bill originally contained a provision for allowing up gardens of up to 100 square feet per household, but that was stripped out after powerful politicos objected.

Decrim Goes Into Effect in Tampa, Volusia County. Marijuana decriminalization ordinances approved by governing bodies in Tampa and Volusia County, Florida, earlier this year are now in effect. In Tampa, people caught with 20 grams or less will face only a $75 ticket; in Volusia County, it's 20 grams and a $100 fine.

Asset Forfeiture

Florida Governor Signs Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill. Gov. Rick Scott (R) Friday signed into law a bill designed to reform civil asset forfeiture in the state. The bill, Senate Bill 1044, had been approved unanimously by both houses. It will require the seizing agency to make a "probable cause" determination that there is "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" that the seized goods were used in a crime.

Tennessee House Approves Civil Asset Forfeiture Reporting Bill. The House unanimously approved House Bill 2176, which will require annual reporting on law enforcement agency property seizures. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure in coming day.

Law Enforcement

DEA Spent $86 Million for Anti-Drug Plane It Never Used. The DEA procured the plane seven years ago to fly surveillance and counter-narcotics missions in Afghanistan and spent $86 million to upgrade it with surveillance capabilities -- four times the initial estimated cost -- but the plane has never left the ground and will likely never fly in Asia, the Justice Department's inspector general said in a scathing report. "Our findings raise serious questions as to whether the DEA was able to meet the operational needs for which its presence was requested in Afghanistan," the review said. The plane could be ready to fly next year, but the DEA pulled out of Afghanistan last year.

Sentencing

Petitioners Urge Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to Allow Vote on Sentencing Bill. Sentencing refom activists handed in more than 30,000 petitions to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Tuesday demanding that he allow the Senate to vote on the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (Senate Bill 2123). The bill would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for some drug offenses and give judges greater discretion to sentence below the guidelines.

International

IDPC Reviews What Was and Wasn't Gained at the CND. The International Drug Policy Consortium last year elaborated five main "asks" it was seeking at the looming UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs, and now, in the wake of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) meeting in Vienna last month, produced a sort of scoresheet on the progress made. It's a worthy read.

Categories: Marijuana

US OH: Medical-marijuana Backers Seek Signatures

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 04/01/2016 - 07:00
Dayton Daily News, 01 Apr 2016 - Ohio Ballot Board Gives Go-Ahead to Secure Names Before Election. A skeptical Ohio Ballot Board on Thursday gave supporters of a medical marijuana constitutional amendment the go-ahead to begin collecting signatures for the fall election.
Categories: Marijuana

US CT: Union: State Shouldn't Have Fired Man for Smoking Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 04/01/2016 - 07:00
The Middletown Press, 01 Apr 2016 - HARTFORD (AP) - The Connecticut Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Thursday on whether a state employee who was fired for smoking marijuana on the job was punished too harshly and should be reinstated. Gregory Linhoff was fired from his maintenance job at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington in 2012 after a police officer caught him smoking pot in a state vehicle. He had no previous disciplinary problems since being hired in 1998 and had received favorable job evaluations, according to his labor union. He was arrested, but the charges were later dismissed.
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US CA: Legal Challenge to Ballot Arguments Against Medical Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 04/01/2016 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 01 Apr 2016 - A supporter of Yuba County's medical marijuana dispensary initiative has filed a court action to remove portions of opposition ballot arguments against the June measure. The Yuba County Superior Court complaint filed on behalf of Terry Comer claims "false and misleading statements" were made in a sample ballot argument opposing the initiative and in a related rebuttal. Comer is one of four people listed as official proponents to Measure B on the June 7 countywide ballot.
Categories: Marijuana

US CT: Panel Shows It Takes a Community to Fight Opioid

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 04/01/2016 - 07:00
The Day, 01 Apr 2016 - Old Lyme - As speakers at a community forum Thursday evening shared their or their loved ones' stories of recovering from heroin addiction, they were met with a standing ovation by more than 100 attendees. The forum at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, organized by the Community Action for Substance Free Youth under the Lymes' Youth Service Bureau, focused on treatment and prevention of opioid addiction.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Research Links Genetics to Marijuana Dependence, Depression

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 04/01/2016 - 07:00
Register Citizen, 01 Apr 2016 - NEW HAVEN - Dependence on marijuana may have a genetic basis, according to research at Yale University. The study of more than 14,000 persons also found that a risk for dependence on marijuana may mean a higher chance of inheriting major depression, according to a release.
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US CT: Column: Respondents Face Off on Legalizing Pot, How to

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 04/01/2016 - 07:00
New Haven Register, 01 Apr 2016 - Thanks, all of you spirited online commenters and phone-callers, for your varied and assertive messages reacting to my column last week in which I endorsed a proposed state law to legalize marijuana in the Nutmeg state. Somebody called me a "liberal" (ouch!) and hung up. Another person branded me "a well-known leftist" (I plead guilty to that, too) who has "a false regard for mankind, coupled with the usual cynical disregard for what your proposed policies would do to real living and breathing people."
Categories: Marijuana

US: Legalize It All

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 04/01/2016 - 07:00
Harper's Magazine, 01 Apr 2016 - How to Win the War on Drugs In 1994, John Ehrlichman, the Watergate co-conspirator, unlocked for me one of the great mysteries of modern American history: How did the United States entangle itself in a policy of drug prohibition that has yielded so much misery and so few good results?
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: DC Smoke-In Saturday to Press Obama, VT Legalization Bill Hearing, More... (3/31/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 03/31/2016 - 20:56

DC activists plan to smoke-out the White House Saturday, Vermont's legalization bill gets a hearing this evening, California's historic Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana will soon be able to reopen, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

DC Rally Saturday Will Feature Smoke-In, Mass Civil Disobedience. DC marijuana activist Adam Eidinger, the man behind the District's successful marijuana legalization initiative, is leading a protest Saturday in front of the White House to protest President Obama's lack of action on undoing pot prohibition. "Obama - he smokes, maybe not now, but he did smoke," Eidinger said. "So for him to oversee an enforcement regime that has arrested five million people for marijuana... I'm very motivated because I think it's a discriminatory practice." Eidinger and the DC Cannabis Campaign have moved their 4/20 celebration to 4/02 because Obama is "a big zero" on further marijuana reforms. They will be marching to the White House with a 51-foot joint and will engage in mass pot smoking at 4:20pm.

Vermont Legalization Bill Gets Hearing This Evening. The House Judiciary and Government Operations committees will be hearing testimony on the legalization bill, Senate Bill 241, between 5:00pm and 7:00pm this evening. Each speaker will be limited to two minutes. The bill passed the Senate last month, and Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) says he supports the measure.

Washington State Legal Marijuana Sales Exceeded $700 Million Last Year. The marijuana market research group ArcView has pegged the state's legal marijuana sales at $709 million in 2015. That accounts for nearly half of legal adult use sales nationwide.

Medical Marijuana

California Historic Marin County Dispensary Cleared to Reopen. The Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana has won a federal court case that should clear the way for it to reopen soon. The dispensary, the first to operate in the state under the auspices of Proposition 215, was forced to shut down in 2011 during an offensive by then US Attorney Linda Haag. But in a Monday ruling, US District Judge Charles Breyer held that the injunction used to close it is unenforceable because it conflicts with a 2014 budget amendment approved by Congress that bars the Justice Department from going after law-abiding marijuana operations in states where they are legal.

Kansas Protest for Veteran Whose Kids Were Taken Away Over Medical Marijuana Use. US Navy veteran Raymond Schwab, who lost custody of his five kids after his mother-in-law took them and reported them as abandoned to state officials, told a crowd of supporters Wednesday at the state capital in Topeka that he lost custody because of his use of medical marijuana to treat PTSD, not because of minor legal scrapes. Schwab accused the state of "illegally kidnapping" his kids as he was preparing to move his family to neighboring Colorado, where medical marijuana is legal. He said the state has ordered him not to use medical marijuana for four months if he wants the kids back. Schwab is now two weeks into a 30-day vigil at the statehouse. He isn't the only medical marijuana parent to face problems in the state; just last week, Garden City resident Shona Banda sued the state, the city, and the police department over the seizure of her son after he spoke out in school about his mother's medical marijuana use.

Categories: Marijuana

US VT: Analysis: How Vermont Could Change the Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 03/31/2016 - 07:00
Keene Sentinel, 31 Mar 2016 - Over the past four years, marijuana legalization has come to the United States at a relatively fast pace, thanks to overwhelming support for it among young adults. But up until now, change has mostly come from the voters - sometimes in spite of lawmakers' wishes. That balance could be shifting toward legislators, at least in one state: Vermont. In the next few weeks, Vermont could become the first state legislature to legalize marijuana. At Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin's urging, a bill to make Vermont the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana passed the state Senate in February and is being debated in the state House.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: More Obama Commutations, SC Town Pays Big for Killing Teen in Pot Bust, More... (3/30/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 03/30/2016 - 20:55

The president has commuted sentences for another 61 federal drug offenders, Maine legalizers are fighting to get their signatures validated and their initiative on the ballot, a South Carolina town pays out big for the death of a local teen in a small-time pot bust, and more.

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

Maine Senate Approves Marijuana DUID Bill. The Senate voted 19-14 Wednesday to pass LD 1628, which establishes a blood level for THC over which the driver is presumed to be impaired. The bill sets the limit at 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood, the same as the states of Colorado and Washington. The bill now goes to the House.

Maine Legalization Campaign Gets Hearing On Invalidated Signatures. At a court hearing Wednesday, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol fought to get more than 17,000 invalidated signatures reinstated. The campaign accused Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap of using an "unconstitutionally vague" interpretation of election laws to invalidate the signatures -- all of which were notarized by the same person. Dunlap said the notary's signature didn't match his on-file signature. By invalidating the 17,000 signatures, Dunlap ensured that the initiative campaign would not qualify for the November ballot. The court has until April 11 to render a decision.

Oregon Governor Signs Marijuana Edibles Bill. Gov. Kate Brown Tuesday signed into law Senate Bill 1511, which allows people 21 and over to purchase edibles and extracts at dispensaries. The bill also allows recreational pot stores to sell medical marijuana tax-free to registered patients.

Medical Marijuana

Rhode Island Patients Protest Proposed Medical Marijuana Tax. Protestors gathered at the State House Tuesday to just say no to Gov. Gina Raimondo's (D) plan to impose a tax on patient and caregiver growers. "We have pain, we have cancer, taxing us is not the answer," they chanted. Under her plan, caregivers would have to pay $350 per plant and patients who grow their own would have to pay $150. The protest took place just before the House Finance Committee took up the proposal.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Full Transcript of President Obama's Atlanta Remarks on Heroin and Pain Pills. The White House has released the full transcript of the discussion panel in which President Obama took part Tuesday as part of the National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta. Click the title link for the transcripts.

Law Enforcement

Family of Zach Hammond Settles Police Killing Lawsuit. The South Carolina teenager was shot and killed by police last summer as he sat in his pick-up truck. The teenage girl who was his passenger was the target of an attempted bust over the sale of a bag of weed, and police shot Hammond as he attempted to pull away from the scene. His family has settled the lawsuit for $2.1 million. State investigators last year concluded that the killing was justified, but the city has just paid up.

Sentencing

Obama Pardons More Drug Offenders. President Obama today granted clemency to 61 more federal drug offenders, more than a third of whom were serving life sentences. That brings to 248 the number of sentences commuted by Obama, more than the six previous presidents combined. He was also set to meet today with people whose sentences had been commuted by previous presidents to discuss their experiences with reentry and how the process can be strengthened. On Thursday, he will hold a Life After Clemency briefing at 2:00pm EDT, which can be viewed live at www.whitehouse.gov/live.

Categories: Marijuana
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