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Marijuana

US CA: Column: Big Brands

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 23 Jun 2016 - Microsoft made some tech industry-sized waves this week with the announcement that it's diving into the marijuana business. Before you get too excited, don't expect to find any Windows 10 Kush in your next purchase of Microsoft Office.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Under Siege

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 23 Jun 2016 - Hey, what's all this about a company in Santa Rosa getting raided? I thought raids were a thing of the past? - -Lou Kout Sigh. You heard right. The CBD Guild (the company behind the brands Absolute Xtracts and Care By Design pills and tinctures) in Santa Rosa, was raided last week. According to reports, a disgruntled former employee went to the police and accused CBD Guild of making butane hash oil and concentrates. Using butane or other volatile solvent to make hash is illegal in California, although possessing or selling butane extracted marijuana concentrates is not illegal.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Tough On Hash

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
The Chico News & Review, 23 Jun 2016 - City Council Passes Law to Combat Rise of Butane Honey Oil Labs In an effort to combat a growing problem with concentrated cannabis oil, the Chico City Council voted unanimously to restrict the sale and possession of butane during its meeting on Tuesday (June 21).
Categories: Marijuana

US NV: Column: Not Him, Again!

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
Reno News & Review, 23 Jun 2016 - Nevada billionaire and Sands Las Vegas CEO Sheldon Adelson once proposed the U.S. nuke Iran, and donates to Republican Party candidates who share his uncritical and unwavering support for Israel. He has lobbied to expand the Interstate Wire Act to outlaw all online gambling instead of just sports betting. He is currently lobbying for a special session of the Nevada Legislature this summer to approve his scheme to bring the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas by an increase in the hotel room tax. If the new Las Vegas football stadium is such a great idea, why doesn't Mr. Adelson use some more of his own considerable fortune to build it? Mr. Adelson does not want marijuana to be legalized, even medical marijuana. He spent millions to defeat medical marijuana legalization in Florida in 2014. His views contradict the views of his beloved Israel, which has long championed medical marijuana research. In fact, the Sheldon Adelson Medical Research Foundation funded a study by the Weizmann Institute of Science that found medical marijuana eased the swelling in the spinal cords and brains of lab mice and could help multiple sclerosis sufferers.
Categories: Marijuana

US NV: Out Of Harm's Way

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
Reno News & Review, 23 Jun 2016 - There's An Antidote for Heroin Overdose, and a Former Addict Is Among Those Working to Spread It Far and Wide Joshua Livernois woke up hazy, sick and splashed with Dr. Pepper in a hospital bed in Salinas, California. He couldn't piece together the events of the previous day or so, and he's still not even sure which year it was, probably 2005 or '06. He'd been using heroin off and on for about 10 years and almost daily for five.
Categories: Marijuana

US OR: Column: Are Dispensary Owners Liable?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
Portland Mercury, 23 Jun 2016 - If a Customer Does Something Stupid, Are Business Owners to Blame? I own a marijuana dispensary. Will I get in trouble if a customer does something stupid after visiting my shop? I DON'T THINK SO, but anything is possible.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Numbers Of Teen Dope-Smokers Flat

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
New Zealand Herald, 23 Jun 2016 - Rates of cannabis use among Colorado's teenagers are essentially unchanged in the years since the state's voters legalised marijuana in 2012, new survey data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows. Last year, 21 per cent of Colorado youths had used marijuana in the past 30 days. That rate is slightly lower than the national average and down slightly from the 25 per cent who used marijuana in 2009, before legalisation. The survey was based on a random sample of 17,000 middle and high school students in Colorado.
Categories: Marijuana

In Exercise in Futility, Danish Cops Raid Christiania's Pusher Street (Again)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 22:09

Last Friday, more than a hundred Danish police swept into Copenhagen's hippy enclave of Christiania to attack the hash and weed sellers of the community's infamous Pusher Street. They tore down 37 stalls and arrested 18 people, carrying off nearly 10 kilos of cannabis by the time they were done.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]But it was an exercise in futility. Before police had even left the scene, new stalls had been constructed and new drug sales had taken place.

The raid, coming after previous raid after fruitless raid on Pusher Street, has re-ignited the ongoing debate about legalizing cannabis in Denmark, with members of law enforcement and parliament speaking out.

"I personally believe we should legalize the sale of cannabis because this is a fight we cannot win," said senior prosecutor Anne Birgitte Stürup from the Copenhagen Public Prosecutor Office (Statsadvokaten). "We've tried fighting this for so many years and have gotten nowhere. We cannot stop the use of cannabis by outlawing it. It is expensive and is of very little use," she continued.

The debate on cannabis legalization is nothing new. Pusher Street was for decades the center of the city's weed trade as Christiania, a former military base invaded by hippies in 1971, enjoyed existence as an autonomous community within greater Copenhagen. But conservative national governments in recent years have both ended Christiania's special status and regularly attacked Pusher Street, sending the weed trade to street corners around the city.

Copenhagen itself has repeatedly sought a trial program to legalize the trade in the city, with sales handled by public authorities, only to be blocked by the parliament. It's time to move forward with such plans, said former Copenhagen Police Chief Inspector Per Larsen.

"The money is going into the wrong hands today and I think it could be used for something much more positive, for example preventative measures and rehab for those suffering from cannabis psychosis," Larsen said.

Another former public prosecutor, Erik Merlung, agreed it was time to change course and accused members of parliament of "shutting their eyes to reality."

"You make huge raids on Christiania in which all of the stalls are torn down in the afternoon and then up and running again the next morning -- if not in Christiania, then other places in the city," he said, adding that the current prohibitionist strategy is "hopeless."

Even the cops involved didn't seem particularly enthused about their mission, as the video below from the scene makes clear. The video was shot by the Christiania-based documentary group Cadok:

Categories: Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 20:57

A bipartisan federal effort to open up research on medical marijuana is underway, it looks likely that Arkansas will be voting on medical marijuana in November, a New Jersey PTSD bill advances, and more.

[image:1 align:right]National

On Monday, congressional marijuana reform fans and foes said they were working together on a new research bill. Legalization opponent Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) is joining forces with Congress's "top legal pot advocate," Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to file a bill to overhaul federal policies on marijuana research. The bill would make it easier for scientists to conduct research on the medical use of marijuana. It hasn't been filed yet, but is expected this week.

On Wednesday, versions of the research bill were filed in the House and Senate. The bills announced earlier this week have been filed and given bill numbers. The House version, sponsored by Reps. Andy Harris (R-MD) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is HR 5549, while the Senate version, sponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) is S 3077.

Arkansas

On Monday, a medical marijuana initiative campaign handed in signatures. Supporters of the Arkansans for Compassionate Care medical marijuana initiative handed in more than 110,000 raw signatures to state officials in Little Rock Monday. The initiative only needs some 67,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. If as many as 30% of the signatures are found invalid, organizers would still have enough signatures to qualify.

California

As of Tuesday, a Northern California cannabis oil company was back in business after a misbegotten raid. Sonoma County's Care By Design (CBD) is already back in business after a massive raid including a hundred police officers and DEA agents last week. Business operator Dennis Franklin Hunter was released without charges after initially being held on a $5 million bond. Police raided the business thinking it was using a dangerous and illegal butane extraction process to make cannabis oil, but it was actually using a non-flammable CO2 extraction process. CBD is blaming the botched raid on a disgruntled former employee involved in a competing business.

New Jersey

Last Thursday, the Assembly passed a PTSD bill. The Assembly approved the bill, and a Senate committee approved a similar measure the same day. The bills would allow patients suffering from PTSD to use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.

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

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: MA Init Hands in Signatures, Uruguay's First Legal MJ Harvest, More... (6/22/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 20:45

Marijuana legalization efforts advance in California and Massachusetts, Iowa Democrats blow minds with a platform plank, Michigan's welfare drug testing pilot program scores a big fat zero, and more.

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

Gavin Newsom Warns California Pot People That Legalization Isn't a Done Deal. The state's pro-legalization lieutenant governor told attendees at the National Cannabis Industry Association conference in Oakland Tuesday that they need to get involved in passing the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) this November. "It's not a done deal by any stretch of the imagination," he said. "We need your help on the campaign." Newsom added that while tech billionaire Sean Parker is helping, "He's not going to fund the whole thing. If it is defeated, it will set back this movement in California… and nationally for years and years."

Massachusetts Legalization Backers Hand in Final Signatures. The Massachusetts Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Wednesday handed in some 25,000 raw signatures as the campaign moved toward the final step in placing its legalization initiative on the November ballot. The campaign only needs 10,792 valid voter signatures in this second round of signature gathering after the legislature failed to act when the campaign turned in more than 60,000 signatures last year.

Medical Marijuana

Congressional Medical Marijuana Research Bills Filed. The bills announced earlier this week have been filed and given bill numbers. The House version, sponsored by Reps. Andy Harris (R-MD) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), is HR 5549, while the Senate version, sponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), is S 3077.

Drug Policy

Iowa Democrats' Platform Includes "Legalize All Drugs" Plank. Hawkeye Democrats included the five-word item ("We support legalizing all drugs") as plank No. 293 in their platform, and that's raising eyebrows. But activists involved in the debate said that was shorthand for a policy that aims to treat and mitigate drug addiction instead of criminalizing it. "The brevity of the document doesn't encompass the true meaning,"said Shelly Van Winkle, a registered nurse from Muscatine and newly elected member of the party's state central committee who was active in the platform debate. Another delegate described it as a "divestment strategy in the drug war."

Drug Testing

Michigan Welfare Drug Test Program Generates Zero Positives. The state of Michigan has ordered 303 people seeking welfare benefits to undergo drug testing under a pilot program, and not a single one of them has tested positive for illicit drugs. Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who signed the program into law, declined to comment. Similar programs in other states have produced similar results, although not as dramatic as Michigan's In Tennessee, 65 out of 40,000 applicants tested positive; in Mississippi, two out of 3,656. In Michigan, the people tested were flagged as likely to be using drugs during an initial screening.

International

First Legal Pot Crop Being Harvested in Uruguay. Two companies responsible for marijuana production have begun their first legal harvest, and their product should be hitting the country's pharmacies "soon," said Juan Andres Roballo, head of the National Drug Board, which has oversight over the fledgling industry. By August, Uruguayans should be able to buy weed in five- or 10-gram packets, with the price set at $1.20 per gram.

Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Here's My Riff On A Whiff Of The Spliff

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 22 Jun 2016 - Stroll Yonge-Dundas Square near my place night or day and you'll confront the hidden horror of legalized pot. Phheww. Not for nothing do they call it "skunk." As our medieval marijuana laws lift, libertarians like me rejoice. Common sense finally wins out. A victimless "crime" is off the books. No harm, no foul. No foul? Take a whiff. My pal Al, passing Roy Thomson Hall en route from a Jays game, wrinkled his nose and remarked: "It's everywhere. My son really hates that smell. What's he going to do when it's legal?" Good question. Unless you have terminal nasal drip, you know the scent. If symphony goers are toking up in public, everyone is.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Wynne Wants Pot Restricted To LCBO

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 22 Jun 2016 - Ensuring recreational marijuana sales are restricted to the LCBO is a key priority for Ontario as the legalization of weed looms, says Premier Kathleen Wynne. Speaking to reporters Tuesday at Queen's Park, Wynne lamented that "we're in a grey area right now," which has enabled more than 100 illegal weed stores to open in Toronto in recent weeks.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Pot Groups Urged To Get In Fight

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 22 Jun 2016 - Newsom Tells Cannabis Industry to Help Pass November Ballot Initiative. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom warned a conference of cannabis industry representatives Tuesday that they need to get involved in passing a marijuana legalization measure on the November ballot or the cause will be set back nationally.
Categories: Marijuana

US MA: Pro-Pot Group Files Signatures For Ballot

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
Pawtucket Times, 22 Jun 2016 - BOSTON (AP) - A group seeking to legalize recreational marijuana in Massachusetts says it has collected more than 25,000 signatures as a final step toward securing a spot on the November ballot. Sponsors of ballot initiatives face a Wednesday deadline to submit at least 10,792 signatures of registered voters to city and town clerks around the state. Backers typically try to gather far more than that number to protect against duplicated signatures or ones that may be disallowed for other reasons.
Categories: Marijuana

US OH: Lawyers Share Questions Concerning Drug-Law Ethics

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 22 Jun 2016 - Ohio lawyers are inquiring about the legal ethics accompanying medical marijuana. A committee of the Board of Professional Conduct is examining the issue and expects to make a recommendation on an advisory opinion in August.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Could Next President Be Pot Shop Buzzkiller?

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
Spokesman-Review, 22 Jun 2016 - WASHINGTON - Mark Kleiman, who served as Washington state's top pot consultant after voters legalized the drug in 2012, says it would be easy for the next president to get rid of the nation's marijuana shops. "Look, a President Trump could shut down the legal cannabis industry everywhere in the country with the stroke of a pen," said Kleiman, who's now a professor of public policy at New York University's Marron Institute of Urban Management. "All you have to do is take a list of the state-licensed cannabis growers and sellers into federal district court and say, 'Your Honor, here are the people who have applied for and been given licenses to commit federal felonies.' "
Categories: Marijuana

Thailand: Editorial: Let's Kick The 'War On Drugs' Habit

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
The Nation, 22 Jun 2016 - Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya's Readiness to Declassify Yaba Signals a Sounder Strategy If national governments have learned nothing from the futility of waging a "war on drugs", in some countries at least, common sense seems to be finally seeping in.
Categories: Marijuana

US NY: Locked Out Over Marijuana, Gardeners Watch Brooklyn

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
New York Times, 22 Jun 2016 - There are rabbits with silken pelts and guinea pigs with curly hair, a flock of chickens, crops of eggplant, corn, apples and even a banana tree - all thriving in one of the grittiest neighborhoods in New York City. James McCrae and a group of volunteers have spent two decades cultivating this once-barren stretch of Glenmore Avenue in East New York, Brooklyn, making it one of the city's most resplendent community gardens, raising a grassy lawn to replace broken pavement and planting herbs for cooking. Shady benches sit under flowering bowers inside the garden, where the gardeners used to sit, reaching up occasionally to pluck wine grapes overhead. But today, they spend their days hunkered on folding chairs on the sidewalk outside the gates, watching the flowers wither and the blueberries rot.
Categories: Marijuana

US MI: Column: Marijuana: The Painkiller Alternative

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
Metro Times, 22 Jun 2016 - "I had a run-in with Vicodin; that turned into a habit that I had to kick," said Laurent. "Opiate withdrawal - I never want to deal with that again." Laurent isn't this Detroiter's real name. He didn't want to use it because he uses marijuana both medically and recreationally, and because he's young and hopes to become a social worker - maybe a substance abuse counselor - and doesn't want this column to pop up in some employer's search.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: New Orleans "Decrim" in Effect, Philippine Drug Executions Accelerate, More... (6/21/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 20:57

The Big Easy goes easy on marijuana possession, a California medical marijuana business is back in operation after a misbegotten raid, Danish cops raid Christiania to little effect, suspected drug dealers are being killed in the Philippines, and more.

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

Maine Legalization Foes Unveil New Website. Anti-legalization forces operating as Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities have launched a new website aimed at doing in the legalization initiative from the Maine Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. A drop-down menu on the website provides an indication of their approach, with buttons for "Pot Shops on Main Street," "Marijuana Candy," and "Big Marijuana."

New Orleans "Decriminalization" Ordinance Goes Into Effect. A newly passed city ordinance allowing police to cite and fine instead of arrest people caught with small quantities of pot is now in effect in the Big Easy. But not everybody will get a ticket. Those caught with pot in a drug free zone, such as a city park, school, or church will still be charged and jailed.

Medical Marijuana

After Misbegotten Raid, California Medical Marijuana Company Open for Business Again. Sonoma County's Care By Design (CBD) is already back in business after a massive raid including a hundred police officers and DEA agents last week. Business operator Dennis Franklin Hunter was released without charges after initially being held on a $5 million bond. Police raided the business thinking it was using a dangerous and illegal butane extraction process to make cannabis oil, but it was actually using a non-flammable CO2 extraction process. CBD is blaming the botched raid on a disgruntled former employee involved in a competing business.

International

Danish Cops Raid Christiania's Pusher Street, To No Avail. Police last Friday marched into the Copenhagen hippy enclave, tore down 37 marijuana and hash sales stands, and arrested 18 people, but new stands went up and pot sales recommenced before police even left the scene. The raid is sparking new discussion on marijuana legalization, including from a senior prosecutor in the Copenhagen prosecutor's office. I personally believe we should legalize the sale of cannabis because this is a fight we cannot win," Anna Birgitt Sturup said.

Philippines in Drug Dealer Killing Frenzy. Under the new presidency of Rodrigo Duterte, who earned a reputation as a crime fighter and death squad organizer as the long-time mayor of Davao City, killings of alleged drug dealers are surging. Duterte has vowed to eradicate drugs and other crime within six months and even offered to give medals to citizens who kill them. Police reported killing 11 suspected drug dealers over the weekend, saying they resisted arrest, with more than 40 killed since Duterte was elected on May 9.

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