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Marijuana

US CO: Psychedelic Miracle

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 20 Jul 2016 - Hallucinogenic African Bark Could Be the Answer to Heroin Addiction, and Addiction in General Richard Dilley had tried everything by the time he traveled to Mexico and agreed to ingest a drug derived from a hallucinogenic African shrub bark that, he was told, would alter his brain. All for the bargain price of $10,000.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: 'Fire Sales' A Hint at Life After Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 07:00
Chico Enterprise-Record, 20 Jul 2016 - You've seen fire sales. They happen when goods or real estate are discounted sharply after fire damages a store or a building. But the term has new meaning in rural Calaveras County, where the devastating Butte Fire swept through thousands of acres last year, the seventh-worst wildfire in recorded California history.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Editorial: Here We Go Again on County Marijuana Rules

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 07:00
Chico Enterprise-Record, 20 Jul 2016 - Is anyone else suffering from marijuana initiative fatigue? We certainly are. A month after voters rejected two efforts by the marijuana industry to overturn laws enacted by Butte County supervisors, marijuana advocates have qualified another effort for the November ballot.
Categories: Marijuana

US AZ: Judge to Hear Challenge of Ariz. Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 07:00
The Sun, 20 Jul 2016 - PHOENIX - A judge will hear arguments Aug. 12 over whether Arizonans will be allowed to vote on whether they want to legalize marijuana for recreational use. At a hearing Tuesday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry gave backers of the initiative two weeks to respond to charges by foes that the wording of the measure is legally flawed and cannot be placed on the November ballot. Attorney Brett Johnson, who represents challengers, contends the proposal is basically a fraud on voters.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Are 'Fire Sales' A Hint at Life After Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 20 Jul 2016 - You've seen fire sales. They happen when goods or real estate are discounted sharply after fire damages a store or a building. But the term has new meaning in rural Calaveras County, where the devastating Butte Fire swept through thousands of acres last year, the seventh-worst wildfire in recorded California history. It's just possible that what's happening near towns like Mountain Ranch, Murphys and San Andreas could foretell at least one aspect of life in fertile parts of California if Proposition 64 passes this fall and legalizes recreational use of marijuana.
Categories: Marijuana

US OH: Liberty Twp. Weighs Ban On Pot Businesses

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 07:00
Journal-News, 20 Jul 2016 - State Still Working on Rules for Medical Pot Dispensaries LIBERTY TWP. - Liberty Twp. officials plan to ban or place a moratorium on medical marijuana businesses while various state agencies work on rules for the new law that allows the drug.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: IL Gov Signs "Bath Salts" Ban, AZ Legalization Battle Heats Up, More... (7/20/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 20:28

Voters in Arizona can now read arguments for and against the marijuana legalization initiative, legalization opponents don't want to let them have a chance to vote on it, "bath salts" will be banned in Illinois, and more.

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

Arizona Legalization Initiative Pro-Con Arguments Pamphlet is Available. The secretary of state's office has made available online the arguments for and against the legalization initiative sponsored by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. Anyone willing to cough up the $75 fee to comment could do so. Eight people turned in arguments on the "pro" side, while 40 turned in "con" arguments. Registered voters will also receive a paper copy of the arguments in the mail before election day.

Arizona Chamber of Commerce Joins Lawsuit Against Legalization Initiative. The state Chamber of Commerce and Industry has joined with the anti-legalization group Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy in attempting to block the legalization initiative via a lawsuit. The lawsuit claims the materials used to get voters to sign petitions were fraudulent and misleading. In a hearing today, a judge gave the initiative campaign several weeks to respond.

New Psychoactive Substances

Illinois Governor Signs "Bath Salts" Ban Bill. Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) Monday signed into law Senate Bill 210, the Bath Salts Prohibition Act, to go into effect January 1. The new law makes it a class 3 felony to sell or offer for sale "any synthetic or natural material containing any quantity of a cathinone chemical structure." The law also will allow local governments to revoke the licenses of retailers who are convicted of a violation.

International

New Zealand Treasury Documents Suggest Annual Pot Tax Revenues of $150 Million. The documents from an informal Treasury report obtained under the Official Information Act reveal that the government spends about $400 million annually enforcing prohibition and that reforming drug policies would "ease pressure on the justice sector, and lead to fewer criminal convictions for youth and Maori." Treasury estimated legalizing marijuana alone could generate annual tax revenues of $150 million.

Categories: Marijuana

CN NS: Pot Dispensary Illegal, Board Rules

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 07:00
Chronicle Herald, 19 Jul 2016 - The ink is barely dry Monday's Utility and Review Board decision declaring one medical marijuana dispensary illegal, but the owners of Auntie's Health and Wellness Centre are busy preparing to open their doors at 1547 Barrington St. this Friday - with or without a business occupancy permit. Owner Shirley Martineau's dispensary will focus on patients battling cancer.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Grover Beach Marijuana Tax One Step Closer to the Ballot

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 07:00
The Tribune, 19 Jul 2016 - Grover Beach Wants to Find a Way to Tax Both Medical and Recreational Marijuana Sales in the City It Has Until Aug. 1 to Get the Measure to the County for the November Ballot It Would Charge Up to 10 Percent to Medical and Recreational Marijuana Businesses
Categories: Marijuana

Canada: Marijuana Task Force Faces 'Fascinating Journey' In Making

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/19/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 19 Jul 2016 - Mark Ware was working with patients suffering from a painful blood disease in the late 1990s when he noticed that many of them were self-medicating. The sickle cell anemia research clinic where he was working was in Jamaica, and the pain reliever of choice for a growing number of his patients was cannabis. The episode put the British-born, Jamaica-raised doctor on the path that has made him a world-renowned expert on the use of cannabis in pain management.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Federal CBD Research Bill, MO Gov Signs MJ Expungement Bill, More... (7/18/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 07/18/2016 - 20:46

Officials in California's Humboldt County have approved a massive, seven-acre medical marijuana grow operation, Missouri's governor signs a bill allowing pot offenders to get their records expunged, New York's governor announces a crackdown on "synthetic marijuana," and more.

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

Missouri Governor Signs Bill to Allow for Expungement of Marijuana Convictions. Gov. Jay Nixon (D) has signed into law Senate Bill 558, which will allow the expungement of records for almost all marijuana convictions in the state. People convicted of marijuana misdemeanors must wait three years, while those with felony convictions must wait for seven years.

Medical Marijuana

CBD Research Bill Filed in Senate. Four members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Tom Tillis (R-NC), filed the Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act (S. 3269) last Friday. The bill would require the attorney general to determine whether CBD should be considered a separate substance from marijuana and whether it should be rescheduled or removed from the Controlled Substances Act.

California's Humboldt County Approves Massive Medical Marijuana Farm. The Emerald Triangle pot-growing county has approved its first medical marijuana grows under new regulations adopted this year. One is a quarter-acre mixed-light farm in Carlotta and the other is a seven-acre outdoor grow and processing center in Honeydew.

New Psychoactive Substances

New York Governor Announces Crackdown on "Synthetic Marijuana." In the wake of last week's outbreak of synthetic cannabinoid overdoses in Brooklyn, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) Monday announced aggressive enforcement actions aimed at suppressing illegal sales of the drugs. "The evolution of synthetic drugs is an alarming public health risk -- but we are on the front lines of the battle," Cuomo said in a news release. "The state will continue to identify emerging compounds that put users in danger and aggressively chase down sellers of these toxic substances." The state will vigorously pursue all civil, criminal, and administrative remedies against businesses found to be making or selling the drugs, Cuomo added.

Categories: Marijuana

California: What Will Marijuana Legalization Look Like? [FEATURE]

Marijuana (STDW) - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 08:07

This article was produced in collaboration with AlterNet and first appeared here.

Twenty years ago, California led the way on weed, becoming the first state in the nation to approve medical marijuana. Now, while it's already lost the chance to be the first to legalize recreational use, the Golden State is poised to push legal pot past the tipping point.

[image:1 align:left]Although voters in Colorado and Washington first broke through the grass ceiling in 2012, with Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, DC, following suit in 2014, if and when Californians vote to legalize it this coming November, they will more than triple the size of the country's legal marijuana market in one fell swoop.

It's not a done deal until election day, of course, but the prospects are very good. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) legalization initiative is officially on the ballot as Proposition 64, it has cash in the bank for the campaign (more than $8 million collected so far), it has broad political support, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and at least four California US representatives, and it has popular support, with the latest poll showing a healthy 60% of likely voters favor freeing the weed.

It's also that the surfer's paradise is riding a weed wave of its own creation. Thanks in large part to the "normalization" of the pot business that emerged out of California's wild and wooly medical marijuana scene, the national mood about marijuana has shifted in recent years. Because of California, people could actually see marijuana come out of the shadows, with pot shops (dispensaries) selling it openly to anyone with an easily obtained doctor's recommendation and growers turning parts of the state in pot cultivation hotbeds. And the sky didn't fall.

At the same time, the shift in public opinion has been dramatic. According to annual Gallup polls, only a quarter of Americans supported marijuana legalization when California voted for medical marijuana in 1996, with that number gradually, but steadily, increasing to 44% in 2009, before spiking upward ever since then to sit at 58% now.

California isn't the only state riding the wave this year -- legalization will also be on the ballot in Maine and Nevada and almost certainly in Arizona and Massachusetts -- but it is by far the biggest and it will help the state regain its reputation as cutting edge on social trends, while also sending a strong signal to the rest of the country, including the federal government in Washington.

But what kind of signal will it send? What will legalization look like in the Golden State? To begin, let's look at what Prop 64 does:

  • Legalizes the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and the cultivation of up to six plants (per household) by adults 21 and over.
  • Reduces most criminal penalties for remaining marijuana offenses, such as possession or cultivation over legal limits or unlicensed distribution, from felonies to misdemeanors.
  • Regulates the commercial cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale of marijuana through a state-regulated licensing system.
  • Bars commercial "mega-grows" (more than ½ acre indoors or 1 acre outdoors) until at least 2023, but makes provisions for licensed "microbusinesses" (grows smaller than 10,000 square feet).
  • Allows for the licensing of on-site consumption premises, or "cannabis cafes."
  • Allows cities and counties to regulate or even prohibit commercial marijuana activities, but not prohibit personal possession and cultivation.
  • Taxes marijuana at 15% at the retail level, with an additional $9.25 per ounce cultivation tax imposed at the wholesale level.

In other words, pot is largely legalized and a taxed and regulated market is established.

[image:2 align:right]Some changes would occur right away, advocates said.

"The criminal justice impact will be huge and immediate, and it will start on November 9," said Lynne Lyman, California state director for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), which is backing Prop 64 not only rhetorically, but also with its checkbook through its lobbying and campaign arm, Drug Policy Action.

California arrests about 20,000 people a year for marijuana felonies and misdemeanors, currently has about 10,000 people incarcerated for pot offenses, and has as many as half a million people with pot convictions on their records. Things are going to change in a big way for all these people.

"Those marijuana arrests will stop," said Lyman. "And everyone currently sitting in jail or prison will be eligible to apply for release. They will have to file a petition, but like Prop 47 [the sentencing reform initiative passed in 2014], unless there is a compelling reason to deny it, the court must grant it. Similarly, all those people who have had marijuana offenses will be eligible to have their record reclassified."

To be clear, it will still be possible to be arrested for a marijuana offense in California after Prop 64. Possession of more than an ounce (or more than four grams of concentrate) will be a crime punishable by up to six months in jail and possession of less than an ounce can be a misdemeanor offense if it is on school grounds during school hours.

Similarly, cultivation of more than six plants without being a permitted medical marijuana patient or without a license is still a crime, but typically only a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of six months in jail. There are some exceptions: Illegal growers could be charged with a felony if the person has prior violent offenses or violates state water or environmental laws.

Minors get special treatment. Kids under 18 who get caught with pot are hit with an infraction punishable by drug education, counseling, or community service, but no fines. People between 18 and 21 get an infraction with a maximum $100 fine. And while adults who possess pot on a school grounds during school hours get a misdemeanor, kids under 18 will only be hit with an infraction.

"We want to reduce the number of young people getting into the system, and this will really dial down the firehose into mass incarceration," said Lyman.

The state's largest marijuana consumer group, California NORML, certainly likes those provisions, but it only gives Prop 64 one thumb up and foresees some issues down the road.

[image:3 align:left]"We're supporting the AUMA with reservations," said the group's long-time head Dale Gieringer. "It's not the best initiative ever written -- it has some problems that will have to be addressed -- but it is an important step. The huge thing it does is legalize adult possession of an ounce and adult cultivation of up to six plants. That's big. And it turns cultivation and possession with intent felonies into misdemeanors, or at worst, wobblers," meaning prosecutors could only in limited cases charge them as felonies.

"The AUMA is very long and complicated, with unnecessary hang-ups and restrictions," Gieringer complained, citing bans on public smoking and vaping as examples.

"In places where there are bans on smoking in apartments or residences, in public is about the only place you can smoke. If it's illegal to smoke pot in a public place, people will be hard-pressed to find any place," he said. "You can't even vaporize in a public place, and that's totally out of line with the existing science. They just caved in to the powerful anti-smoking lobby on that, and we can't endorse that."

The CaNORML membership also includes pot farmers, of which the group estimates there are some 30,000 in the state. They are nervous, Gieringer said.

"We have a lot of small growers and they have a lot of issues," he explained. "They are concerned about regulatory provisions they fear could quickly push small growers out of the business. AUMA requires you to be an in-state resident, and we're already growing more than we need, yet we have out-of-state sponsors lining up behind in-state sponsors."

Indeed, earlier this month, the state industry's largest membership group, the California Growers Association, voted to remain neutral on Prop 64 -- or least for now -- after its membership split almost down the middle on whether to support it. Growers, including association head Hezekiah Allen, worried that big-money investment and consolidation of the industry impelled by huge "mega-grows" could wipe out the now generations-old traditional pot farming scene in the stat's North Coast.

Allen warned in a report to the group's board that such consolidation could "result in a catastrophic economic collapse for huge swathes of California," including the North Coast's Emerald Triangle.

Stoners may have to fight for the right to toke and pot farmers for their place in the market, but some of the communities most buffeted by drug prohibition should see benefits. Prop 64 contains language that will direct revenues to minority communities, and also opens the door for localities themselves to take proactive steps toward racial justice.

"The AUMA has a community reinvestment fund with the first revenues available in 2019," said DPA's Lyman, adding that it will be $10 million the first year and up to $50 million a year in the futre. "This is going to communities most impacted by the drug war, black and brown communities, and will include everything from legal services, to public health and economic development. The communities will be able to decide."

Localities will also be deciding on how to implement regulation of the legal market, and that is another opportunity, Lyman said.

"Hopefully, we will see things like what happened in Oakland, where under the new regulations, 50% of the new licenses have to be from the community," she said. "We hope other cities will do that to mitigate racial discrimination and the injustice of the past by prioritizing people of color and women, so we don't end up white a bunch of white men getting rich off what black and brown people have endured. DPA will be very involved in this."

Somebody is going to be making money, though. The state's marijuana market, estimated at $2.7 billion for medical last year, could quickly hit $7 billion under legalization.

"I see tremendous potential for a blossoming of cannabis opportunities," said veteran California marijuana activist, author, and historian Chris Conrad, who has become a pro-Prop 64 spokesman under the rubric of Friends of Prop 64. "Of course, the size of the industry will be impacted by the need to limit the market to intra-state rather than national or international. Given that California is the world's sixth largest economy and has the largest appetite for cannabis in the world, the state's nonmedical market is going to be sizeable."

Legalization will bring changes from price reductions to changing product lines, he said.

"Overall marijuana production is expected to soar, prices to come down and probably a lot more cannabis will be converted into extracts and expand or open new markets for personal hygiene products, topical remedies and essential oils," Conrad predicted. "There will be large-scale cannabis production that is homogenized with relatively low to medium potency, but still of better quality than Mexican brick weed. But we will never replace the boutique markets any more than Budweiser has eliminated microbreweries or 'Big Wine' has wiped out California's family vintners."

And it's not just marijuana, but pot-related businesses that will boom, said DPA's Lyman.

"Formalizing regulations for the first time will expand the industry, and there will be lots of ancillary industries, such as marketing, packaging, and tracking, that should all thrive in post-legalization California," she said.

"There will be new ancillary markets for products such as locking stash boxes for people to carry their cannabis while driving, toking stations near entertainment venues and discrete, low-wattage, six-plant cultivation tents specialized for use in condos and apartments," added Conrad.

Conrad said he expected counties and cities will opt in to the revenues from allowing pot commerce instead of locking themselves out with bans.

"The distribution around the state will likely be porous, some areas more saturated and others with less access," he said. "Since towns will be licensing lawful businesses and no longer will be at the mercy of the county prosecutors' discretion, I expect to see a general spread of retail sites and onsite consumption shops around the state. Not in every town, not as obnoxious and omnipresent as liquor stores, but not too far away, either."

We shall see.

"You can't predict the future," said Gieringer. "It will be a new situation. Medical marijuana here evolved through several different stages, and I expect the same process to unfold here with the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. On balance, the AUMA is an important step, but it's not the end game, and it leaves us with unresolved problems."

You may not be able to predict the future, said Lyman, but you can influence it.

"This will be a work in progress," she said. "The long-term work of implementation starts on November 8. We have to be there. To continue to be engaged will be critical."

But even under state level legalization in California, as long as there is pot prohibition somewhere in America, there will be Golden State growers ready to supply the market.

"The one thing everyone needs to recognize is that this does not end the problem of illegal marijuana growing in California," said Gieringer. "The industry has been well-entrenched for generations and is currently supplying the rest of the country, too. That market isn't going to disappear. The more expensive and difficult it is to become legal, the more people will likely participate in that black market."

Categories: Marijuana

CN AB: Column: Turn To God For Assistance In Breaking Bonds Of

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 07:00
The Calgary Sun, 17 Jul 2016 - QUESTION: I admit I probably smoke pot a bit more than I should (it's legal in our state), but now my wife is getting after me because she says I'm addicted to it and turning into the equivalent of an alcoholic. Can harmless drugs like pot really do that to you? - Z.K. ANSWER: No drug is harmless, and experts I have consulted agree that almost any drug can become addictive - including marijuana. When that happens, a person becomes more and more dependent on it, and may find it almost impossible to break away from it on their own. Gradually it ruins their life and destroys their relationships.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Driving High

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 17 Jul 2016 - As pot dispensaries become more prevalent in Ottawa, there is growing concern about people driving while high. In May, Canada's leading drive-safe group held a series of meetings with new MPs to discuss what it calls the need to implement better roadside testing technology, before legislation to legalize marijuana is passed.
Categories: Marijuana

US HI: OPED: It's Time To Fully Exploit Hemp Production

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 17 Jul 2016 - On July 7, Gov. David Ige signed into law what might prove to be the most important piece of economic legislation in the past 50 years. Hawaii now enjoys the best hemp law in the nation. We who have been active in bringing back hemp to agriculture believe that generations will still be saying mahalo to those who worked, some for decades, to get this law passed. Now it's time to implement it.
Categories: Marijuana

US PA: Sen. Daylin Leach Paves Way for Medical Marijuana in

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 07:00
The Times Herald, 17 Jul 2016 - UPPER MERION - Passage of legislation that legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania marked the end of seven long, hard years of negotiation. Now that Gov. Tom Wolf has signed the measure into law, the push is on to explain the ramifications, including possible business opportunities tied to the medical marijuana field. Wolf, who had adamantly backed the bill through approval by both the House and Senate, swiftly added his signature, which made the bill law.
Categories: Marijuana

US OK: Medical Marijuana Petition Drive Underway

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 07:00
The Oklahoman, 17 Jul 2016 - Tents flapped in the northwest Oklahoma City wind as Michael Beck and another man arrived in a pickup, ready to sign a petition seeking a state vote to legalize medical marijuana. Beck, 25, said he has never used marijuana, but he has a niece who can benefit from it and whose mother and father have moved to Colorado where it's legal.
Categories: Marijuana

US FL: First Florida Medical Marijuana Ready

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 17 Jul 2016 - TALLAHASSEE (AP) - Florida's first legal harvest of marijuana is stored in multiple vacuum-packed, 441-gram bags in a freezer on the outskirts of Tallahassee. Each is the result of months of careful growing, monitoring, coaxing, and finally cultivating, scores of plants in a hidden farm overseen by horticulturalists and protected by armed guards.
Categories: Marijuana

US MD: Pot-law Sponsor Could Profit

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 07:00
Washington Post, 17 Jul 2016 - MD. Delegate Did Not Disclose His Connection to Dispensary Applicant The state lawmaker who led the effort to legalize medical marijuana in Maryland is part of a company trying to sell and profit off the drug - a position he never disclosed as he pushed bills and regulations to help cannabis businesses.
Categories: Marijuana

US MA: Life And Loss On Methadone Mile

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 07/17/2016 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 17 Jul 2016 - Last night's needles line the sidewalks at dawn along the blighted blocks where Massachusetts Avenue and Southampton Street meet. People emerge from shelters and halfway houses and trudge toward the methadone clinics that lend this place its ugly nickname. An open-air drug market is in full swing on the corner outside a convenience store, where offers of drugs trill like music. "Clonidines-Clonidines-Clonidines-Clonidines!" "Does anybody need Xani Bars?" Phenergans, Pins, Johnnies? A man grimaces one chilly morning, unsteady on his feet. He opens his mouth to reveal a knotted bag of heroin, double-wrapped and ready to be swallowed should police wade into the crowd. "This is all I have left," he says.
Categories: Marijuana
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