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CN ON: Check Out This Joint

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/28/2015 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 28 Apr 2015 - Vanier Business Owner Rolls Out Marijuana Lounge to Local Smokers The fuzz showed up at Wayne Robillard's new joint exactly when he was rolling it out to reporters Monday. Two polite cops walked into BuzzOn at 29 Montreal Rd. to collect information about the pot smoking "lounge" in Vanier.
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CN ON: Pot Lounge Braces For Crackdown

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/28/2015 - 07:00
The Observer, 28 Apr 2015 - OTTAWA - Wayne Robillard has opened a stoner lounge just east of downtown. It's hard to describe it any other way. Even Robillard, 51, acknowledges his business, BuzzOn, isn't exactly legal.
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Chronicle AM: WA MedMJ Regulation Bill Signed, National, MI, RI Pot Polls, More (4/27/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 21:13

A national poll and two state polls have majorities for marijuana legalization, a South Dakota initiative would treat alcohol and tobacco like marijuana, Indonesia appears set to execute three foreign drug offenders, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Fox News Poll Has Majority Support for Legalization Nationwide For First Time. Some 51% of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, according to a new Fox News Poll. This marks the first time a Fox News poll has reported a majority for legalization, but is up just one point from last year's Fox News poll, which had 50% support.

Michigan Poll Has Bare Majority for Legalization. A new Marketing Resource Group poll has support for legalization at 51%, with 45% opposed. The poll comes as several state groups are laying plans for a 2016 legalization initiative.

Ohio Attorney General Rejects Legalization Initiative Summary. Attorney General Mike DeWine last Friday rejected the ballot summary for a proposed 2016 legalization initiative backed by former Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl. The initiative is a response to the Responsible Ohio initiative, which would set up a 10-grower monopoly on commercial marijuana growing.

Rhode Island Poll Has 57% for Legalization. A New Public Policy Polling survey has support for legalization at 57%. The poll comes as the legislature considers bills that would legalize or decriminalize the herb.

South Dakota Initiatives Would Regulate Alcohol and Tobacco Like Marijuana. A pair of activists calling themselves Consistent South Dakota have crafted two initiatives that would criminalize the sale of alcohol and tobacco. "The state should not benefit from the transfer of two deadly drugs, while punishing the transfer of benign herbs," the group said. Legislators in Vermont have pulled a similar form of political ju-jitsu by introducing a bill to that effect.

Medical Marijuana

New York Now Accepting Applications for Medical Marijuana Licenses. The state Department of Health announced today that it is accepting applications from entities that want to register to grow or distribute medical marijuana. The state expects to announce the companies selected by July.

Washington Governor Signs Bill Folding Medical Marijuana Into Legal Marijuana System. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) last Friday signed into law Senate Bill 5052, which attempts to regulate the state's previously unregulated medical marijuana system and bring it into harmony with its legal marijuana system. The bill creates a voluntary registry system for patients that would allow them to possess more marijuana than others and face lower taxes. It will also eliminate the "collective gardens" that currently supply thousands of patients, although it will allow "cooperative gardens" for no more than four patients. Some collective gardens will be allowed to continue; they will be given priority in licensing if they have been good citizens.

Synthetic Drugs

Illinois Senate Approves Bill Targeting Synthetic Drugs. The Senate last Friday approved Senate Bill 1129, which attempts to go after synthetic drugs by targeting whole classes of synthetic cannabinoids and stimulants instead of individual formulations. The bill now heads to the House.

International

British Cannabis is Safer Than Alcohol Party Issues Manifesto. CISTA is running 32 candidates in the forthcoming elections on a pro-marijuana legalization platform. Its manifesto calls for a regulated marijuana market and a fundamental review of British drug policy.

Indonesia Announces Looming Execution of Three Foreign Drug Offenders. The Indonesian government announced Saturday that it will shortly execute two Australians and a Filipina for drug trafficking offenses. Six other foreigners are also on death row for drug offenses. The pending executions are moving forward despite intense international efforts to get the Indonesian government to reconsider.

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CN BC: Column: Feds Should Get Off Their High Horse Over Drug Use

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 07:00
Metro, 27 Apr 2015 - Rona Ambrose doesn't want Vancouver to discuss regulating medical marijuana dispensaries at Tuesday's city council meeting - as she made eminently clear in a stern letter to Vancouver's Mayor Robertson, who may have paused to wonder what the honourable health minister may have been smoking when she wrote it. We shouldn't be surprised the federal government wants to harsh Vancouver's mellow. The Conservatives have been against Vancouver's progressive drug policies since Insite - North America's first safe-injection site - opened 10 years ago. But that didn't stop us from continuing the fight and becoming international leaders in saving lives through a harm-reduction model.
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US: Lawyers Turn To Business Of Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 27 Apr 2015 - Legalization Brings Need for Advisement SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Lawyers and pot dealers have long intersected in criminal court, but as marijuana goes mainstream, attorneys have been working to keep sellers and growers legit.
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US FL: Professor Proposes Test Of Medical Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 27 Apr 2015 - As the state's efforts to get a noneuphoric medical-marijuana oil to severely epileptic children move forward, the University of Florida is proposing a study to answer a key question: Does it even work? Dr. Paul Carney, professor at the UF Department of Pediatrics and Neurology, has sent a research proposal to the Florida Department of Health to start finding out. The department is reviewing the requests.
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Indonesia: Despite Protests, Indonesia Moves Forward to

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 04/26/2015 - 07:00
New York Times, 26 Apr 2015 - JAKARTA, Indonesia - Two are young Australians portrayed back home as generally good lads. One is a Brazilian who is mentally ill. There are four Nigerian men, a female migrant worker from the Philippines and an Indonesian laborer. They come from diverse backgrounds and circumstances, but all nine were convicted of drug crimes in Indonesia. And all are scheduled to die soon in a mass execution on a remote island off the southern coast of Java.
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US WA: Washington State Revisits Rules on Use of Marijuana As

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 04/26/2015 - 07:00
New York Times, 26 Apr 2015 - OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Nearly two decades after voters passed a medical marijuana law that often left the police, prosecutors and even patients confused about what was allowed, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill on Friday that attempts to clean up that largely unregulated system and to bring it in line with Washington's new recreational marijuana market. Among the law's many provisions, it creates a voluntary registry of patients and, beginning next year, eliminates what have become in some cases large, legally dubious "collective gardens" providing cannabis to thousands of people. Instead, those patients will be able to buy medical-grade products at legal recreational marijuana stores that obtain an endorsement to sell medical marijuana, or they will be able to participate in cooperatives of up to four patients.
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US: Michael Botticelli Is a Drug Czar Who Knows Addiction

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 04/26/2015 - 07:00
New York Times, 26 Apr 2015 - BALTIMORE - Six recovering substance abusers sat in an inner-city treatment center, sharing their stories. When Michael's turn came around, he spoke of his former drug of choice, alcohol, and mentioned the night years ago when he drove drunk on the Massachusetts Turnpike, caused an accident and was arrested before passing out. Michael then pulled out a picture of a friend's brother who recently died from mixing prescription painkillers with alcohol. He described his grief and visceral connection with the struggles of substance abusers in recovery.
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US NM: Task Force Targets Illegal Painkiller Sales

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 04/26/2015 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 26 Apr 2015 - NM Is No. 2 in the U.S. for Overdoses From Heroin, Opioids At the age of 53, barely literate and morbidly obese, Crystal Staggs hardly cut the figure of a drug dealer as she drove her white 13-year-old BMW around Albuquerque.
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CN BC: Vancouver Mayor Waves Off Health Minister's Warning

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 04/25/2015 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 25 Apr 2015 - Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has rejected a warning from the federal Health Minister to scrap a proposal to regulate marijuana dispensaries. The proposal would create a new class of business licence for the operations while imposing hefty fees and restricting where they can be located.
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US WA: Lax Medical-Pot Rules to Go As Inslee Signs Overhaul

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 04/25/2015 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 25 Apr 2015 - Recreational Shops to Sell Medical Products Cooperative Grows Limited to No More Than 4 Patients OLYMPIA (AP) - Nearly two decades after voters passed a medical-marijuana law that often left police, prosecutors and even patients confused about what was allowed, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Friday attempting to clean up that largely unregulated system and harmonize it with Washington's new market for recreational pot.
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Chronicle AM: MT Forfeiture Reform Passes Legislature, IL Pot Decrim Passes House, More (4/24/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 22:17

Decrim advances in Illinois, an Ohio legalization initiative is rolling along, asset forfeiture reform passes in Montana and is now under consideration in Michigan, Vancouver will regulate its dispensaries, and more.

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

Illinois House Passes Decriminalization Bill. The House Thursday approved House Bill 218, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Cassidy (D-Chicago). The bill would make possession of 15 grams or less an infraction punishable only by a fine of no more than $125. Under current law, people face up to a year in jail for simple possession. The bill now goes to the state Senate.

Ohio Legalization Initiative Making Progress on Signature-Gathering. The Responsible Ohio legalization initiative campaign has gathered more than 180,000 signatures in its effort to put its initiative before voters in November. Buckeye State initiatives need 305,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot, so the group probably needs to gather something like 400,000 signatures to ensure that disqualifications don't knock it off the ballot. Responsible Ohio says it is aiming even higher -- for 700,000 signatures. They have until July to gather them. A second legalization initiative, aiming at 2016, Ohioans To End Prohibition, is just in the initial phase of its campaign, while a third effort, led by the Ohio Rights Group, says it will not manage to qualify this year and has filed Election Commission complaints claiming that people associated with Responsible Ohio have interfered with its efforts.

Heroin

Heroin Use Up Sharply in Past Decade, SAMSHA Says. The number of heroin users in the country was stable at around 400,000 between 2002 and 2007, but began increasing in 2008 and reached 681,000 by 2013, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). But that's still less than one-third of 1% of the population. Another 11 million people, or 4% of the population, used prescription pills for off-label reasons.

Asset Forfeiture

Michigan Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Package Filed. A bipartisan package of eight asset forfeiture reform bills was filed Wednesday with support from the legislature's Republican leadership. One bill would create uniform, mandatory reporting requirements and raise the standard of evidence needed for a seizure from "a preponderance" to "clear and convincing." Another bill would bar seizures of vehicles used by someone buying an ounce of pot or less. The package doesn't include a bill to ban civil asset forfeiture outright, but it's a start.

Montana Legislature Passes Bill Ending Civil Asset Forfeiture. A bill that would end civil asset forfeiture passed the House Thursday. House Bill 463 had already passed the Senate and now heads for the governor's desk. New Mexico and Wyoming have both passed similar laws this year; the New Mexico governor signed hers, but the Wyoming governor vetoed his.

Drug Testing

Florida ACLU Targets Police Field Drug Tests. The ACLU of Florida is investigating the presumptive field test kits police use to make drug arrests. The move comes just a day after Hillsborough County Public Defender called them "faulty" and "inaccurate." Scientists have reported that kits like the Nark 2 are unreliable, but thousands of people have been arrested on the basis of their field test results.

Louisiana Bill Would Let Employers Drug Test Hair. The House Health Committee Wednesday approved House Bill 379, which would allow employers to use hair drug tests on potential hires. Hair drug tests can detect use going back as far as three months. The bill now heads for a House floor vote.

Law Enforcement

Seattle Doing Mass Arrests to Clean Up Downtown Drug Dealing Police in Seattle have arrested more than a hundred people in two days in a push to clean up open-air drug dealing downtown. The arrests involved undercover officers making marijuana, heroin, meth, and cocaine buys. Prosecutors said they would seek judicial orders barring those people from returning to the area, but that they would seek diversion programs in other cases.

International

Vancouver Moves to Regulate Marijuana Stores; Ottawa Not Happy. Vancouver has announced plans to regulate the more than 80 unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries operating in the city, making it the first city in Canada to do so. But the federal Health Minister is warning the city not to do it, saying it would "normalize" marijuana sales.

Drug Cartel Violence Flares in Mexican Border State. Gun battles and arson attacks flared for the second time in a week in Tamaulipas, just across the Rio Grande River from Texas border towns such as Harlingen and Brownsville. The brouhaha broke out after police captured four alleged Gulf Cartel members and included blockades in the town of Altamira. At least two people were killed. Earlier this month, major violence broke out in Reynosa after the arrest of a Gulf Cartel leader. More than 100,000 people are estimated to have been killed in prohibition-related violence since 2006.

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Canada: Feds Concerned Over Marijuana Zoning Rules

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 07:00
Prince George Citizen, 24 Apr 2015 - VANCOUVER - The federal government is telling the City of Vancouver it does not have the authority to legitimize pot with its proposal to regulate "illegal" medical marijuana dispensaries. Health Minister Rona Ambrose sent a letter to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson on Thursday saying she was "deeply concerned" by the city's plans to discuss regulation at an upcoming council meeting.
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CN NS: Medical Pot Users Try Class Action After Health Canada Privacy

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 07:00
Chronicle Herald, 24 Apr 2015 - Lawyers will go before a Federal Court judge in Halifax in June to ask the court to certify a proposed class action on behalf of 40,000 medical marijuana users whose privacy was breached by Health Canada in 2013. There are 2,105 Nova Scotia class members in the case.
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Chronicle AM: Another CA Init Filed, AL MedMJ Advances, Irish Ponder Decrim, More (4/23/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 22:15

The legalization initiatives are piling up in California, and we're still waiting for the big one; Rick Perry talks states' rights on pot, an Alabama medical marijuana bill is actually moving, so is a California asset forfeiture reform bill, and more.

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

Third California Legalization Initiative Filed. And then there were three. Two previously unknown activists, Chad and Marinda Hanes, have filed The Responsible Use Act of 2016 with state officials. It would allow for the personal possession of up to 24 ounces and the cultivation of up to 12 mature plants. The initiative also envisions marijuana commerce regulated by a Cannabis Control Board. If qualified for signature-gathering, the initiative would need slightly more than half a million valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Rick Perry Says Marijuana Legalization is a States' Rights Issue. The former Texas governor and potential GOP presidential contender told conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt Tuesday that legalization should be up to the states. "Well, I'm a big believer in the 10th Amendment," he said. "I don't agree with those decisions that were made by... the state of Colorado or Washington, but I will defend it to my death, if you will, to allow them to make those decisions. So you know, I think I'm closer to Ted [Cruz] there than I am to Chris [Christie]. I just happen to think that that's one of those that maybe the federal government got wrong to begin with from the standpoint of you've got to have some, you've got to have, you either believe in the 10th Amendment or you don't, is kind of where I come down on it."

Pacific Northwest Voters Still Happy With Legalization. A new Oregon poll has 53% of voters still supporting legalization, while a Washington poll has support at 51%. In both states, support has declined slightly from Election Day (56% in Oregon and 54% in Washington), but is still above 50%.

Medical Marijuana

Alabama Medical Marijuana Bill Wins Committee Vote. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a medical marijuana bill Wednesday on a 4-3 vote. The measure is Senate Bill 326, sponsored by Sen. Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro).

Florida Medical Marijuana Effort Dead for This Session. Sunshine State patients will get no relief from Tallahassee this year. Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg), who has been pushing to quicken the implementation of last year's CBD cannabis oil law, said Wednesday that even that effort is dead. The Senate postponed Senate Bill 7066 Wednesday, and Brandes said he didn't think either chamber would take it up again this year.

Asset Forfeiture

California Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Wins Committee Vote. The Assembly Public Safety Committee Tuesday approved Senate Bill 443, which would rein in civil asset forfeiture abuses. It now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The sponsor is Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles).

International

Ireland to Consider Marijuana Decriminalization. Incoming Minister of State with Responsibility for the Drug Strategy Aodhan O'Riordain will examine the possibility of decriminalizing marijuana, he said today. "I think people -- guards, the prison service -- will probably agree with me on that," he said. "We have an opportunity through the legislation that is forthcoming the Misuse of Drugs Act to investigate that. I am going to make any hard calls on that but the difference between decriminalization and legalization is quite different. We need to have a proper discussion before we set up alarm bells in people's heads."

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Column: That's Not a Skunk, It's Grass

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 07:00
Maple Ridge Times, 23 Apr 2015 - There's not much that you can experience that's more satisfying than sitting in your own backyard on a sunny weekend like the one just past. You can just sit in your lawn chair, drinking in the sights and sounds and smells of spring bursting all around you.
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Canada: Former Top Public Servant Smokes Out Local Opportunity

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 23 Apr 2015 - A former senior manager at Health Canada's Medical Marijuana Program has been named CEO of a private medical marijuana education centre opening two Ottawa locations in the coming months. Gulwant Bajwawas announced as the new CEO for National Access Cannabis (NAC), a private company helping clients obtain medical marijuana legally on Wednesday.
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US AZ: Legal Theft Part I

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 23 Apr 2015 - Owner of 420 House files a lawsuit against TPD claiming illegal forfeitur e On a May evening about two years ago, Ron Johnson claims he woke up to someone banging at his front door. He dragged himself out of bed and opened up. Before he could even ask what was going on, a Tucson Police officer handcuffed and shoved him in the back of a patrol car for the next six hours.
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US NJ: Column: Sign Of The Times

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 07:00
The Trentonian, 23 Apr 2015 - I have a dilemma: Good Troopers In these times of altercations recorded on cell phone cameras and Internet hashtag campaigns against police abuse, I have a different dilemma: I can't commend the good officers for fear of getting them in trouble. I'm now being treated very well by New Jersey police - and I can't really write about it because I don't want to screw them up. I want good cops to prosper and weed out (pun intended) the bad ones.
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