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Chronicle AM: IL Senate Approves Decrim, MedMJ Extension; Ex-Cincy Police Chief Endorses Pot Init, More (5/22/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 19:03

Midwest marijuana news dominates today, with the Illinois Senate approving decriminalization and medical marijuana extension bills, a prominent Ohio law enforcement figure endorsing a legalization initiative and the state attorney general rejecting another one, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Illinois Senate Passes Decriminalization Bill. The state Senate Thursday approved House Bill 218, which would decriminalize the possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana, replacing the possibility of jail time and a criminal record with a maximum $125 fine and no criminal record. The bill has already cleared the House, but will not go to the governor's desk until sponsors get some additional cleanup language approved.

Former Cincinnati Police Chief Endorses Ohio Legalization Initiative. Former Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher has come out in favor of the controversial ResponsibleOhio pot legalization initiative. "Our state spends over $120 million per year to enforce marijuana prohibition, even though we all know these laws do not work," Streicher said. "Law enforcement should instead be able to spend their time and their resources cracking down on the real criminals." ResponsibleOhio is the midst of a signature-gathering campaign to qualify for the November 2015 ballot. It needs more than 300,000 approved voter signatures to qualify, but says it has 320,000 raw signatures right now and aims to gather 800,000 by the July deadline.

Ohio Attorney General Rejects Language for Third Legalization Initiative. Attorney General Mike DeWine Thursday rejected the ballot summary language for a third statewide legalization initiative, the Ohio Cannabis Control Amendment from Ohioans to End Prohibition. Two other initiatives, from ResponsibleOhio and Better for Ohio, have already been approved and are in the signature-gathering phase. Now, Ohioans for Prohibition will have to gather another 1,000 signatures and resubmit modified language if it wants to move forward.

Medical Marijuana

Illinois Senate Approves Extension of Medical Marijuana Program. The state Senate voted 33-16 Thursday to approve House Bill 3299, which would extend the program by two more years. The measure has already passed the House and is headed for the desk of Gov. Bruce Rauner (R), but it's unclear if he will sign it. He has said he didn't think the program should be extended until it's been fully evaluated -- but it hasn't even really started.

Nebraska Legislature Approves CBD Cannabis Oil Study Bill. The state Senate Thursday gave final approval to Legislative Bill 390, under which the University of Nebraska Medical Center would study the effectiveness of CBD in treating epileptic seizures. Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) now has five days to act on the bill.

Washington Supreme Court Upholds Local Collective Garden Bans. The state Supreme Court ruled 8-1 Thursday that the city of Kent can ban medical marijuana collective gardens. The decision upheld lower court rulings allowing cities to impose bans via zoning regulations. The case was Cannabis Action Council v. City of Kent.

Drug Testing

Maine Committee Rejects Governor's Food Stamp Drug Testing Bill. The legislature's Health and Human Services Committee voted 6-5 on party lines to reject LD 1407, Gov. Paul LePage's (R) bid to impose drug testing on food stamp recipients. That doesn't mean the bill is dead, though; it is still likely to be debated in the House, and the question will be whether the Democrats can hold their caucus together in opposition.

Harm Reduction

North Carolina Jail Becomes First in South to Offer Naloxone to Released Inmates. The Durham County Detention Facility last month began distributing overdose reversal kits to inmates being released in a bid to cut the overdose rate among the newly freed whose tolerance to opiate drugs has been reduced by the jail stays. The formerly incarcerated are more than a hundred times more likely to die of drug overdoses in the first two weeks after their release than the general population.

International

Iceland Support for Marijuana Legalization Doubles, But Still Low. Nearly one quarter (24.3%) of Icelanders now support marijuana legalization, up from 12.7% in 2011, a new survey finds. Men were more supportive than women (31% v. 16%), and the youth were more supportive than older cohorts, but even among people under 30, support was only at 43%.

Categories: Marijuana

US IL: Waiting For The High Sign

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 07:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 22 May 2015 - Bill That Would Decriminalize Small Amounts of Marijuana Is Through the Illinois House and Senate; Decision Now Up to Gov. Rauner Police won't be able to arrest Illinoisans for having small amounts of marijuana if a bill passed by lawmakers gets Gov. Bruce Rauner's signature.
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US IL: Column: Finally, We're Making Progress In Drug War

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 07:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 22 May 2015 - Maybe we're at long last starting to win the war, but not in the way we had planned. It was always crazy that you could buy a gallon of vodka at any grocery store, while a joint would land you in a jail. But "crazy" is one of the more apt adjectives describing America's- War on Drugs, a multi-decade, multibillion-dollar effort that in the end . . . assuming this is, please God, the beginning of the end . . . produced what? Plentiful, ever cheaper street narcotics and a prison system jammed with drug offenders.
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US NJ: Column: Desperation of the Disenfranchised Will Hit a

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 07:00
The Trentonian, 22 May 2015 - I woke up today feeling extremely good (more on that in next week's major announcement). While that may not be news to some it is to those close to me. I've been miserable for the last couple years; I admit, I fake happiness all the time. I exhibit cheesy smiles, fraudulent greetings, and I hold back on foul thoughts. I'm not happy with what happened with my life. It just isn't where I thought it would be, my relationships with my kids aren't where I thought they would be maybe I've been too obsessed with destroying the MJ laws, but they destroyed me first: I attribute most of my misery to the asinine marijuana laws and the idiotic enforcement of them, which everyone also knows I've fallen victim to a few times but I have everyday issues that affect my persona to the core as well. In my Nov. 6, 2014, column I even wrote "Suicide Is Not a Crazy Option." Writing this column, Passing The Joint, for the The Trentonian for the last 10 months has probably helped me and my depression more than any Spliff, Blunt, or Bongi, all of which are also good for depression. This column has empowered me, despite being broker than a 13-year-old. I have a voice that is being heard nationwide; people read me, it makes me feel relevant, like my life is worth something again. Thanks again to John Berry and Joe D'Aquilla. (It was their idea to have me as a Trentonian Columnist.)
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US CA: Calif. Supreme Court Rejects Pot Appeal

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 22 May 2015 - The state Supreme Court this week summarily denied an appeal filed by Yuba Patients Coalition and six individuals challenging the urgency designation attached to Yuba County's new marijuana cultivation ordinance. The state's highest court Wednesday posted the notice a petition for review and an application for a stay in enforcement of the ordinance was denied.
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Senate Commitee Clears Way for Medical Marijuana for Veterans [FEATURE]

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 20:36

The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved an amendment that would allow doctors with Veterans Affairs to recommend medical marijuana to veterans suffering from PTSD, serious injuries, and other debilitating conditions. The amendment was approved on a vote of 18-12.

[image:1 align:left]The vote marked the first time any Senate body has approved a marijuana reform measure.

The vote came on an amendment to the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The amendment was offered by Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and would undo a 2009 directive barring VA doctors from recommending medical marijuana even in states where it is legal.

Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) specifically prohibits its medical providers from completing forms brought by their patients seeking recommendations or opinions regarding participation in a state medical marijuana program. The Daines/Merkley amendment authorizes VA physicians and other health care providers to provide recommendations and opinions regarding the use of medical marijuana to veterans who live in medical marijuana states.

The House narrowly defeated a similar amendment to its version of the appropriations bill. Now, the two versions of the bill must be reconciled.

[image:2 align:right]Even if the move is killed in conference committee, a legislative version of the amendment is still alive in Congress. That is the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act, sponsored by Sens. Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Rand Paul (R-KY).

The vote was lauded by drug reform advocates.

"Veterans in medical marijuana states should be treated the same as any other resident, and should be able to discuss marijuana with their doctor and use it if it's medically necessary," said Michael Collins, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. "They have served this country valiantly, so the least we can do is allow them to have full and open discussions with their doctors."

"A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers came together and passed broadly supported marijuana policy reform. This is exactly how most Americans want Congress to handle this issue. Hopefully we are reaching a point at which it is becoming the norm, rather than the exception. The pace at which support appears to be growing in the Senate is particularly encouraging," said Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project.

[image:3 align:left caption:true]"Doctors should never be prohibited from helping their patients obtain the best possible medical treatment. Many veterans are finding that medical marijuana is the most effective treatment for PTSD and other service-related medical conditions. Finally, Congress is working to remove barriers to accessing it rather than building them," Riffle continued.

"While we won five votes in a row on the House floor last year, this is the first time we've ever won a vote on a positive marijuana reform measure in the Senate," said Tom Angell, director of Marijuana Majority. "And with polls showing that a growing majority of voters supports ending prohibition, it's safe to say it won't be the last. Elected officials are finally starting to wake up to the fact that endorsing marijuana reform is good politics instead of the dangerous third-rail they've long viewed it as, and that means a lot more victories are on the way soon," he predicted.

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Chronicle AM: Bernie Sanders on Marijuana Policy, LA Reform Bill Advances, New DEA Head Nominated, More (5/21/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 19:33

Marijuana continues to dominate the drug policy news, plus public benefits drug testing bills move in Maine and Wisconsin, the NYPD decides not to bust middle-aged dopers, and more.

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

Bernie Sanders Mellow on Marijuana. The Vermont senator seeking the Democratic presidential nomination hinted at support for marijuana legalization during a Reddit question and answer session Tuesday, although he did not explicitly call for it. "I can tell you very few people were arrested for smoking marijuana [when I was mayor]," Sanders said. "Our police had more important things to do." He said he supported decriminalization in Vermont and was watching Colorado closely. "Colorado has led the effort toward legalizing marijuana and I'm going to watch very closely to see the pluses and minuses of what they have done,"Sanders said. "I will have more to say about this issue within the coming months."

Louisiana Marijuana Sentencing Reform Bill Wins Committee Vote. The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday approved a bill that would reduce the state's draconian marijuana possession sentencing. The measure is Senate Bill 241.

Maine Legalization Bills Get Hearing. The Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday heard testimony on a pair of marijuana legalization bills. Sponsored by Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland), LD 1380 and its companion bill in the Senate would craft a regulatory structure for pot commerce and then put it before voters. If the legislature fails to act, the state could see two legalization initiatives next year.

Second Ohio Pot Legalization Initiative Certified for Signature-Gathering. The secretary of state's office has certified a legalization initiative from Better for Ohio, which means the group can now commence trying to gather the 306,000 signatures needed to qualify for this year's November ballot. Another group, ResponsibleOhio, is already in the signature-gathering phase.

No Decriminalization Initiative for Nashville. An effort by TN-NORML to put a marijuana decriminalization on the municipal ballot this year has apparently fallen short. Monday was the deadline day for handing in signatures, and TN-NORML didn't hand any in. Earlier, the group said it had only 4,000 signatures; it needed nearly 7,000 to qualify.

Medical Marijuana

Colorado Governor Signs Bill Limiting Medical Marijuana Growers. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) Monday signed into law a bill that will limit medical marijuana caregivers to growing no more than 99 plants. The bill is Senate Bill 15-014. The bill also allows parents to have someone other than themselves grow medical marijuana for child patients and allows school districts to consider allowing medical marijuana use on campus.

Drug Policy

Obama Nominates Chuck Rosenberg to Head DEA. FBI senior official and former US Attorney Chuck Rosenberg has been nominated to replace Michelle Leonhart as head of the DEA. For the last 18 months, Rosenberg has served as chief of staff to FBI Director James Comey. He previously served as US Attorney for Southern Texas and US Attorney for Eastern Virginia and has won support from Democrats and Republicans alike.

Drug Testing

Wisconsin Public Benefits Drug Testing Bill Advances. A bill that would require applicants for welfare benefits, unemployment benefits, job training programs, and health coverage through the state-sponsored program to be assessed for drug use passed the Senate Budget Committee Wednesday. People whose assessments suggest they may be using drugs would have to take and pass a drug test to win benefits. A provision to include food stamp recipients was stripped out because it would likely be challenged by the federal government. The measure is Assembly Bill 192.

Maine Bill to Drug Test Food Stamp Recipients Gets Hearing. The Health and Human Services Committee heard Monday from the administration of Gov. Paul LePage (R) about its bill that would require people on the food stamp program to take a written screening test to see if they are using drugs. If the assessment suggested they may be using drugs, they would have to submit to a drug test. People who tested positive could keep their benefits as long as they sought and completed drug treatment. The bill would also bar people with drug felonies from getting food stamps.

Law Enforcement

NYPD To Not Bust Middle-Aged Drug Offenders. The NYPD last week issued a memo instructing its narcs not to bust drug offenders over age 40 and instead concentrate on younger dealers. The department considers younger drug suspects to be more dangerous.

(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

US CO: Column: Hemp And The Woolly Mammoth's Hair Piece

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 07:00
Boulder Weekly, 21 May 2015 - It's no secret that hemp is one of the most misunderstood plants in history. For centuries, it has been used by all kinds of people for all kinds of things - clothing to car construction, bioplastics to building supplies, food to fuel. Though it was grown by the Founding Fathers, was a major crop in the U.S. for many years and doesn't contain enough THC to get people "high," it was blacklisted along with marijuana in 1937 and later listed as a Schedule One drug under the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, at least in part because the federal government couldn't tell the difference between the two plants.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Ban On The Run

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 21 May 2015 - The Lake County town of Clearlake has backed off of its marijuana cultivation ban following public backlash and a lawsuit filed by one of the city's former mayors. Clearlake was one of the few municipalities in the state to ban cultivation (several counties ban growing as well) and it had become a contentious topic; Lake County's struggles with marijuana regulation were reported in the Los Angeles Times last year.
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US CO: Column: I Need Some Good Edibles Recipes

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 07:00
Westword, 21 May 2015 - Dear Stoner: Do you have any good infused product recipes that require smaller amounts of pot? I'm looking for a mentor in making pot edibles and dabs. Mckenzy Dear Mckenzy: If you don't want to pay for classes on extraction or cooking with cannabis, there are plenty of recipes to help you whip up something quick and strong on a budget.
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US CA: Column: Roll And Stroll

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 21 May 2015 - I like taking my medicine in the form of a joint while walking around the block. It gets me thinking, though: Is it legal to do that as long as I'm a patient? Where are places I can smoke if I can't smoke at my apartment? - -Juan DeRoor
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: City Attorney Declares War on McDrugs in the

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 21 May 2015 - I'm eating in a McDonald's for the first time in years. I'm here looking for drugs. To enter the Haight Ashbury's most dangerous business, I must run a gauntlet at the door. A quick sidestep is needed to avoid bumping into three unattended young children bounding out into the Saturday evening sunlight, presumably in the throes of a salt-and-fat rush.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Marijuana And School Failure

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 07:00
The Gazette, 21 May 2015 - The dose makes the poison. - Paracelsus Millennials are the strongest advocates for legalizing marijuana, but they may be paving their own pathway to a problematic educational future through their political support.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Concern About Legal Pot Minors Aired California

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 07:00
Manteca Bulletin, 20 May 2015 - OAKLAND (AP) - Members of a commission led by California's lieutenant governor said Tuesday that legalizing the recreational use of marijuana could generate enough tax revenue to fund drug education and counseling centers at every high school in the state, a potential upside that should be seriously considered as activists work to put a pot-legalization initiative before voters next year. Meeting at a youth center in a part of East Oakland scarred by violence, poverty and addiction, the panel held a public discussion on the issue that could make or break a legalization campaign in the nation's top pot-producing state: concerns about keeping the drug out of the hands of minors and young adults once it can be purchased as easily as a six-pack of beer. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the commission's chairman, acknowledged that crafting a system of retail sales and regulations that satisfies fearful parents will be a tough sell.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Sonoma County Fairgrounds Takes New Tack on Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 20 May 2015 - Sonoma County Fairgrounds officials have scaled back the marijuana trade show events to be held at the Santa Rosa event center in 2015, bringing back an event with North Coast origins but passing over the Cannabis Cup run by international event powerhouse High Times magazine. The homegrown Emerald Cup will return to the fairgrounds event center in December for its third run in Santa Rosa as a fair celebrating organic marijuana grown outdoors. Organizers are expecting bigger crowds but are also restricting it to adults for the first time.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: County Concerned With Marijuana Bills

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 07:00
Porterville Recorder, 20 May 2015 - Tulare County Supervisors Tuesday adopted what they termed "medical marijuana policy principles" in response to a slew of bills bouncing around Sacramento that could change the current laws governing the use and cultivation of marijuana in the state. Debbie Vaughn with the Chief Administrator's Office told the board a committee had recently surveyed all the bills being talked about in the state Legislature and noted, "the belief is there will be some ballot measures in the next election."
Categories: Marijuana

US CT: Lack Of Research Clouds Medical Marijuana Debate

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 07:00
The Middletown Press, 20 May 2015 - Yale Professor: Safety, THC Content, Expanding Use at Issue MIDDLETOWN - Since the federal government historically has obstructed scientific research of marijuana, there's an absence of highquality evidence, just as many states, including Connecticut, already have rolled out the red carpet to the fast-growing medical marijuana industry.
Categories: Marijuana

US WA: Column: What We Should Ban in Seattle Parks Instead of

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 07:00
Seattle Weekly, 20 May 2015 - Manspreaders? Screaming Kids? There Are Plenty of Options. Anytime I go to a dive bar or pool hall or rock-'n'-roll show, in the back of my mind it feels like there's something missing. It's not the booze or long-lost jukeboxes, it's not the condom vending machines, filthy bathrooms, or obnoxious, aging, bandana-wearing Axl Rose doppelgaengers. So what exactly is it? Smoke! I'm missing the damn cigarette smoke that for so long provided a hazy backdrop of second-hand nostalgia.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: Cannabis Discounts Last, Canna Meds Expands and

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 20 May 2015 - It's cheap medicine, too If you missed out on last weekend's grand-opening celebration of Big Medicine Cannabissary (2909 N. El Paso St., bigmedicinecannabissary.com), fear not - the discounts continue. Center reps say that through the end of the month, customers can expect 20 percent off all edibles; four-gram eighths for $20; $125 ounces for bottom- and middle-tier bud; grams of shatter for $25 or two grams for $40; and one oil cartridge for $20 or two for $30.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Move Over Britannica

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 07:00
East Bay Express, 20 May 2015 - It's Time for the Cannabis Encyclopedia. a Q&A With Weed Author Jorge Cervantes (aka George Van Patten). The world's cannabis cultivators, their friends, and loved ones have a new, essential reference: The Cannabis Encyclopedia, released April 20 online and in stores worldwide.
Categories: Marijuana
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