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Marijuana

US NY: Editorial: Stop Treating Marijuana Like Heroin

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 07:00
New York Times, 13 Aug 2016 - Supporters of a saner marijuana policy scored a small victory this week when the Obama administration said it would authorize more institutions to grow marijuana for medical research. But the government passed up an opportunity to make a more significant change. The Drug Enforcement Administration on Thursday turned down two petitions - one from the governors of Rhode Island and Washington and the other from a resident of New Mexico - requesting that marijuana be removed from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. Drugs on that list, which include heroin and LSD, are deemed to have no medical use; possession is illegal under federal law, and researchers have to jump through many hoops to obtain permission to study them and obtain samples to study. Having marijuana on that list is deeply misguided since many scientists and President Obama have said that it is no more dangerous than alcohol.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Federal, State Laws Clash On Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 07:00
The Dominion Post, 13 Aug 2016 - The United States Drug Enforcement Administration yesterday denied requests to stop classifying marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medical use, leaving users and businesses in limbo after many states have legalised it for medical or recreational purposes. The DEA though did relax certain restrictions on growing marijuana for research purposes.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Government Won't Reclassify Marijuana, Allows Research

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 07:00
Register Citizen, 13 Aug 2016 - WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration has decided marijuana will remain on the list of most dangerous drugs, fully rebuffing growing support across the country for broad legalization, but said it will allow more research into its medical uses. The decision to expand research into marijuana's medical potential could pave the way for the drug to be moved to a lesser category. Heroin, peyote and marijuana, among others, are considered Schedule I drugs because they have no medical application; cocaine and opiates, for example, have medical uses and, while still illegal for recreational use, are designated Schedule II drugs.
Categories: Marijuana

US OH: Board Says Attorneys Can't Help Marijuana Businesses

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 07:00
Morning Journal, 13 Aug 2016 - COLUMBUS (AP) - An Ohio board that oversees attorney conduct said Thursday that attorneys aren't allowed to help someone establish a legal medical marijuana-related business in the state because using, growing and selling marijuana remains a federal crime. The state Supreme Court's Board of Professional Conduct also said Ohio attorneys aren't legally permitted to use medical marijuana or to be personally involved in related businesses. Attorneys sought the opinion to determine whether a law barring employers from disciplining professionals from working with marijuana businesses applies to lawyers
Categories: Marijuana

US OH: Medical Marijuana Options On The Table

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 07:00
Morning Journal, 13 Aug 2016 - Sheffield Village Council will discuss Aug. 15 whether to prohibit the cultivation, processing and retail dispensing of marijuana for medical use in all its zoning districts during its regular meeting. Mayor John Hunter said the Council also will have another option: a moratorium for up to six months.
Categories: Marijuana

US AR: OPED: The Missing Case

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 08/13/2016 - 07:00
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 13 Aug 2016 - The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has just issued a helpful reminder to all Americans. In denying a petition to loosen restrictions on marijuana, the agency repeated that the drug has "no currently accepted medical use" in the United States. This may come as a surprise, given that some states already allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to treat maladies from PTSD to Alzheimer's disease. Yet the truth is, research has yet to find firm evidence that marijuana can alleviate physical suffering.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Clinton Renews Rescheduling Call, Kerry Gets MX Human Rights Letter, More... (8/12/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 20:18

The DEA's refusal to reschedule marijuana yesterday elicits reactions from Hillary Clinton and DC activists, a California bill to tax medical marijuana farmers dies in committee, Secretary of State Kerry gets a letter from Congress urging him to prioritize human rights when it comes to financing Mexico's drug war, and more.

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

In Wake of DEA Decision, Hillary Clinton Reiterates Call for Rescheduling Marijuana. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will move to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II substance, her campaign said in a statement after the DEA rejected reclassification Thursday. "As president, Hillary will build on the important steps announced today by rescheduling marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II substance. She will also ensure Colorado, and other states that have enacted marijuana laws, can continue to serve as laboratories of democracy," senior Clinton advisor Maya Harris said.

In Wake of DEA Decision, Emergency Demonstration at the White House Tonight. Washington, DC, DCMJ legalization activists are gathering in front of the White House tonight at 8:20 PM to protest the DEA's refusal to move marijuana from Schedule I, the same schedule as heroin. "Here we are, 43 years and millions of marijuana arrests later, and we being told that cannabis is still as dangerous as heroin. WHAT THE HELL?!?!" organizers wrote on Facebook. "The Obama Administration's DEA thinks Americans should go to jail for a non-toxic plant. WE THINK OTHERWISE!"

Medical Marijuana

California Medical Marijuana Tax Bill Dies in Committee. A bill that would have imposed a tax on commercial medical marijuana growers has been killed in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Assembly Bill 2243 would have imposed a tax of up to $9.25 per ounce of marijuana buds, $2.75 for pot leaves, and $1.25 for immature pot plants. The panel killed the bill after patient advocates said it would impose a burden on patients.

International

Canadian Medical Marijuana Patients Will Be Able to Grow Their Own. Health Canada said Thursday that medical marijuana patients will be able to grow limited amounts for themselves or have a caregiver do so. The move comes as the government attempts to comply with a federal court ruling that struck down the previous Conservative government's ban on patients growing their own. Patients would also still have the option of buying from one of 34 producers licensed by the federal government.

Congresspersons Sign Letter to Secretary of State Kerry Urging That US Prioritize Human Rights in Mexico. Some 68 members of Congress have signed onto a letter urging Kerry to make human rights a priority in US relations with Mexico. The letter expresses concern over the "27,000 unresolved cases of people who have disappeared in Mexico since 2007, and the slow pace of reforms in the military, law enforcement and justice sectors," as well as the persistent use of torture in criminal investigations. It calls for US support for the ongoing investigation and search for the 43 disappeared students from the Ayotzinapa rural teachers' college. And it reiterates the need for accountability and justice in the cases of grave abuses committed by Mexican security forces in Oaxaca and Tlatlaya. The letter comes as the State Department is reviewing the Mexican government's compliance with human rights conditions attached to US anti-drug funding.

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org"s lobbying arm, the 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

DEA's Marijuana Rescheduling Rejection Is Disappointing, But Doesn't Have Much Impact [FEATURE]

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 16:56

This article was produced in collaboration with AlterNet and an earlier version appeared here.

The DEA's decision Thursday not to move marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) ended months of speculation about whether the agency would finally act in accordance with an ever-increasing mountain of evidence of marijuana's medicinal utility and either schedule it less restrictively or deschedule it altogether.

[image:1 align:right]Supporters of more enlightened marijuana policies were disappointed, but not surprised. After all, the DEA has a long history of rejecting and impeding science when it comes to marijuana. But even had DEA acted (it did ease the University of Mississippi's monopoly on growing marijuana for research purposes), the most likely move would have been grudgingly incremental, shifting marijuana from a schedule where it is grouped with heroin down to Schedule II, where it would be grouped with cocaine and methamphetamines, and still not prescribable absent FDA approval.

Or the agency could have taken some other largely unpalatable stance, such as making cannibidiol a Schedule III substance (like synthetic Marinol) while leaving the whole plant Schedule I. In any case, any move short of descheduling it entirely and treating it like alcohol and tobacco, would have left marijuana medicalized, but not normalized.

The article below was written days before the DEA's decision, but we think the discussion remains germane for understanding the issues around rescheduling and why most reformers are disappointed, but not devastated by the agency's stubborn refusal to budge.

While the DEA may move to reschedule marijuana to a lesser schedule, keeping it within the purview of the Controlled Substances Act means that it would still be illegal, even for medical use in the absence of FDA approval. Even with FDA approval, a years-long process, it would still require a prescription to obtain, which would do nothing to address legal adult marijuana sales, production, or possession in the states. Removing it from the CSA, or descheduling, is what consumers and the industry are calling for, but that is the unlikeliest outcome, even though that's how we deal with the two most commonly used recreational drugs in the United States, alcohol and tobacco.

Schedule I is reserved for substances that have "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse," the DEA notes. "Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence." Those drugs include heroin, Ecstasy, LSD, peyote…and marijuana.

For more than 40 years, the DEA has blocked efforts to have marijuana placed in a more appropriate schedule, one that reflects the plant's medicinal uses as well as its relative harmlessness compared to other scheduled substances. But that stance has grown increasingly untenable in the face of state-level medical marijuana programs and in the face of an ever-larger mountain of research that fails to find significant serious health consequences from marijuana use.

Now, the DEA is considering a decision on the most recent rescheduling petition. Earlier this year, the agency told lawmakers it "hopes to release its determination in the first half of 2016," but that clearly didn't happen. Late in June, DEA spokesman Russ Baer said the agency is "in the final stages" of making its determination. And just last week, Baer said, "We're closer than we ever were. It's a very deliberative process."

If the DEA decides not to keep marijuana in Schedule I, the most obvious incremental move would be for it to bump it down one step to Schedule II, placing pot in the same category as morphine, cocaine, and methamphetamine. That could pave the way for eventually allowing doctors to prescribe it, and would remove some roadblocks to further research. It might open the way for broader changes in financial and business regulations, although a shift to Schedule III or greater would be needed to address the debilitating 280E tax provision, which prevents cannabusinesses from deducting ordinary expenses like rent or payroll.

[image:2 align:left caption:true]But Schedule II, or any of the lesser schedules, would require that marijuana be approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a lengthy and expensive process that could bankrupt businesses attempting to overcome those regulatory hurdles. And until that happens, there is no approved marijuana for doctors to prescribe. It's also unclear whether the FDA would ever approve smoked marijuana.

Members of the marijuana industry, medical marijuana advocates, and marijuana consumer advocacy groups alike expressed skepticism about the DEA's willingness or ability to respond to the scientific evidence, uncertainty about what the agency was likely to do, and a demonstrated a pronounced -- if not unanimous -- preference not for rescheduling, but for descheduling.

Matthew Huron is a founder and former board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association and founder and current CEO of Good Chemistry Colorado, a vertically integrated cannabis company, as well as the co-founder of the Wellspring Collective, which caters to seniors with health challenges. Huron isn't exactly enthused by the prospect of Schedule II.

"Just to move it to Schedule II is more complicated than we're reading about," he said. "It might just be the molecule that gets rescheduled -- not cannabis. I don't think moving it to Schedule II would really have much effect on the states. It wouldn't hurt, but it wouldn't really help. Most of us in the industry would like to see it descheduled."

The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is pushing for Schedule II, but it's not relying on the DEA to make it happen.

"We don't have a crystal ball, and we don't know what the DEA will do, but based on past history, we don't have high hopes they will reschedule," said ASA spokesperson Melissa Wilcox. "It's possible they will de- or reschedule CBD and leave whole plant cannabis at Schedule I. Who knows? The DEA tends to ignore the science."

Schedule II "would remove barriers to scientists wishing to do research, so we know best how to use cannabis -- targeting, dosing, all the questions we haven't been able to study because it is such a pain to get research done now," said Wilcox.

But with little faith in the DEA, ASA is instead pushing for a legislative solution, the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States' Rights (CARERS) Act, also known as S. 683, which is currently bottled up in the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by octogenarian prohibitionist Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

The CARERS Act would move marijuana to Schedule II, as well as deschedule CBD, open up access to marijuana business banking, and end the NIDA monopoly on growing marijuana for research, among other provisions.

"We're pretty sure this could pass, but Grassley is the gatekeeper, and we're pushing hard to get him to schedule a vote," said Wilcox.

[image:3 align:right]"Moving marijuana to Schedule II is not a solution," said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, which has played -- and continues to play -- a major role in advancing both medical marijuana and legalization at the state level. "It would certainly remove barriers to research, but it would still treat marijuana as if it were as harmful as cocaine and other illegal substances, when it is objectively less harmful than alcohol. We fully support removing marijuana from the schedules and treating it like alcohol," Tvert emphasized.

"We think marijuana should be removed entirely from the Controlled Substances Act," said Dale Gieringer, long-time head of California NORML, representing consumers and small growers in the nation's most populous state. "As a fallback position, we've been litigating since 1972 to get it rescheduled to Schedule II. If they do that, that would be good -- they'd only be 45 years overdue," he noted.

"From the standpoint of states that have state-legal suppliers, Schedule II doesn't accomplish a whole lot," Gieringer said. "Those state-legal suppliers wouldn't become federally legal; they'd have to first obtain FDA approval. Until that happens, everybody is an illegal producer of a scheduled drug under federal law," he said.

"Schedule II would allow doctors to write prescriptions -- but nobody could fill them," Gieringer noted. "There are international prescriptions and international suppliers, though. But the main impact would be doctors would feel better and cops couldn't argue that marijuana isn't a medicine. If they're trying to create a niche for existing legal medical marijuana state, putting it in Schedule II is like creating a square hole for a round peg."

Marijuana patients, consumers, and the industry are all waiting for the DEA to act, but aren't really holding out much hope it will do the right thing. And even the half-steps it might take, such as moving it to Schedule II or separating out CBDs for lower scheduling, aren't going to substantially alter marijuana's legal status or resolve the conflicts between state-level legality and federal marijuana prohibition. When it comes to rescheduling marijuana, there's just not that much there there.

Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Editorial: Pot Delay Wasting Money

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 07:00
Campbell River Mirror, 12 Aug 2016 - Sometime in the next year or two, marijuana will be legal for personal consumption in Canada. The federal government is currently working on the exact laws around this, but all indications so far point to it being produced, sold, and taxed much like alcohol, i.e. not sold to kids, sold through special outlets, taxed heavily.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Reefer Gladness

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 07:00
Toronto 24hours, 12 Aug 2016 - Emery Pot Shop Reopens Less than 24 hours after cops raided Cannabis Culture in Leslieville, the reefer retailer - that openly sells weed to anyone over age 19 - reopened its doors. Jodie Emery - who owns the Cannabis Culture brand - flew in from the West Coast to help reopen the shop, which is operated by another person.
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Fines Not Deterring Pot Dispensary Owner

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 07:00
Penticton Herald, 12 Aug 2016 - Fines totalling $1,000 have so far failed to persuade the operator of a medical marijuana dispensary in Penticton to give up on the business of bud, which another South Okanagan community has now banned outright. "It's business as usual. People are coming by. Everybody's so happy that things are back to normal," said Jukka Laurio, owner of the Rush In and Finish Cafe on Westminster Avenue.
Categories: Marijuana

US: DEA Keeps Marijuana Off Medicinal Path

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 07:00
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 12 Aug 2016 - WASHINGTON - The government refused again Thursday to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, reaffirming its conclusion that the drug's therapeutic value has not been proved scientifically and defying growing support to legalize it for the treatment of a variety of conditions. In an announcement in the Federal Register and a letter to petitioners, the Drug Enforcement Administration turned down requests to remove marijuana from "Schedule I," which classifies it as a drug with "no currently accepted medical use" in the United States and precludes doctors from prescribing it.
Categories: Marijuana

US NM: State Bar Cautions Lawyers In Pot Business

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 07:00
The New Mexican, 12 Aug 2016 - Some Attorneys Given Pause by 'Gray Area' Between State, Federal Cannabis Policies Nine years after the New Mexico Legislature legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, the state's lawyers are feeling uneasy about clients involved in the cannabis industry.
Categories: Marijuana

US: U.S. Affirms Medical Marijuana Prohibition

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 07:00
Austin American-Statesman, 12 Aug 2016 - Federal Government at Odds With 25 States That Allow Therapeutic Use. The Obama administration has decided marijuana will remain on the list of most dangerous drugs, fully rebuffing growing support across the country for broad legalization, but said it will allow more research into its medical uses.
Categories: Marijuana

US IL: Did 'First Daughter' Inhale Just Like Dad?

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 07:00
The Dominion Post, 12 Aug 2016 - She recently turned 18, and if Malia Obama did not know that she had become a legitimate target for sections of the American media, she does now. The "First Daughter" was videoed smoking what a witness claimed was a joint in a video clip released yesterday.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Pot Fails To Clear Highest DEA Hurdle

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 12 Aug 2016 - Studies OK, but No Legalization, Rescheduling WASHINGTON - The federal government is ending its decades-old monopoly on marijuana production for medical research as the Drug Enforcement Agency announced Thursday it was bowing to changing times.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Pot Fails To Clear Highest DEA Hurdle

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 07:00
Chicago Tribune, 12 Aug 2016 - Studies OK, but No Legalization, Rescheduling WASHINGTON - The federal government is ending its decades-old monopoly on marijuana production for medical research as the Drug Enforcement Agency announced Thursday it was bowing to changing times.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Pot Fails To Clear Highest DEA Hurdle

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 12 Aug 2016 - Studies OK, but No Legalization, Rescheduling WASHINGTON - The federal government is ending its decades-old monopoly on marijuana production for medical research as the Drug Enforcement Agency announced Thursday it was bowing to changing times.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Refusal to Reclassify Disappoints Medical Pot Advocates

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 07:00
Washington Times, 12 Aug 2016 - Obama Pledged Science-Based Policy The Obama administration has looked the other way as more than a dozen states enacted medical marijuana laws and five jurisdictions legalized the drug for recreational use, but when faced with what was likely its final chance during President Obama's tenure to loosen federal restrictions on the medicinal use of the drug, the administration has chosen to puff, puff, pass.
Categories: Marijuana

US: U.S. Won't Reclassify Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 07:00
The Times-Tribune, 12 Aug 2016 - Decision a Blow to Legalization but May Spur Research WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration has decided marijuana will remain on the list of most-dangerous drugs, fully rebuffing growing support across the country for broad legalization, but said it will allow more research into its medical uses.
Categories: Marijuana
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