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Marijuana

US NM: County Opts For Tax, Pot Questions On Ballot

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 09 Sep 2014 - Democrats Favor Advisory Questions Over City Issues It isn't clear they'll fit on the ballot or survive a court challenge. But two non-bonding advisory questions - one asking voters their opinion on a tax increase for mental health services, the other on reducing marijuana penalties - narrowly won County Commission approval Monday for addition to the Nov. 4 ballot.
Categories: Marijuana

US NM: SF County Voters May Give Opinion On Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 09 Sep 2014 - Commission to Consider an 'Advisory Question' For November Ballot SANTA FE - Voters in Santa Fe County, and not just those inside Santa Fe city limits, may get to weigh in on whether possession of small amounts of marijuana should be decriminalized - but they won't vote to actually create a law to lower pot penalties.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Series: They Fought The Law. Who Won?

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 09 Sep 2014 - Many Drivers Faced a Long Ordeal in Court to Try to Get Their Money Back From Police Mandrel Stuart and his girlfriend were on a date driving on Interstate 66 toward the District when a Fairfax County police cruiser pulled out of the median and raced after them. The cruiser kept pace alongside Stuart's old blue GMC Yukon for a while, then followed behind for several miles before turning on its flashing lights.
Categories: Marijuana

US WA: Column: Legal Marijuana, Let It Be, Let It Be

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 09 Sep 2014 - For the time being, your city can ban marijuana shops, just as it can ban other things that annoy its citizens and give its regulators palpitations. It can even ban things state law specifically accommodates and licenses, as long as it's not a head-to-head conflict or the Legislature didn't say shut up and take it. City-by-city NIMBYism gets a pass. Whether a ban is good or bad, beneficial or harmful, are separate questions. For now, they are local questions, between local voters and their municipal representatives, unless the Legislature or courts decide otherwise.
Categories: Marijuana

US HI: Pot Patients Lack Access To Medicine, State Finds

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 09 Sep 2014 - A Report to the Legislature Details Obstacles to Care Caused by the Lack of Dispensaries Despite being among the first states to approve the use of medical marijuana, certified patients in Hawaii still face challenges tied to access and transporting the drug in the isles, according to a new report to the state Legislature.
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Chronicle AM: Illinois Taking Medical Marijuana Applications, WaPo Forfeiture Series, NYT on SWAT, More (9/8/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 20:53

Two majors newspapers have special reports on law enforcement related to the drug war, a staunch Kansas Republican says marijuana should be decided by the states -- not the feds -- Illinois is now taking medical marijuana business applications, Britain's Lib Dems are ready to consider drug decrim and marijuana legalization, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Kansas Republican US Senator Pat Roberts Says Legalization Should Be Up to the States." [Marijuana is] not a federal issue. That's a state issue. If you want to get a Rocky Mountain high, go west. That should be for the Kansas legislature and the governor to decide, not federally," Roberts said during a campaign debate last Saturday. Marijuana Majority's Tom Angell was inspired to respond: "When a conservative Republican senator from Kansas tells the feds to let states legalize marijuana in the middle of a tight race for reelection, it's pretty clear that the days when politicians thought they needed to be as 'tough' on drugs as possible in order to get elected are over. But Sen. Roberts needs to do more than just talk about change. At the very least he should team up with Sens. Cory Booker & Rand Paul on their effort to stop federal interference with state medical marijuana laws."

York, Maine, to Vote on Possession Legalization Initiative. York will be the third Maine community to vote on marijuana reform this year. Organizers for an initiative removing penalties for simple pot possession have handed in enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. York joins Lewiston and South Portland in voting on the issue this year. Portland, the state's largest city, approved a similar initiative last year.

Los Angeles Event to Mark 100th Anniversary of First "Marihuana" Raid. Cal NORML and the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform will host a press conference marking the 100th anniversary of the nation's first "marihuana" raid in LA's Mexican Sonoratown neighborhood on Thursday, September 11 at 10 am on the steps of LA City Hall. And LA NORML will be hosting an "End the 100 Year War on Pot" party on Saturday, September 13. State and local political officials and advocates will address the failed marijuana policy that has cost California billions of dollars in arrest, prosecution and prison expenses; fueled an illegal black market and lined the pockets of violent narcotrafficantes; promoted environmentally damaging trespass grows on public and private lands; and blocked access to useful medicine, all while failing to stem drug abuse in the state and depriving it of billions in tax dollars from a legitimate industry. Click on the title link for more details.

Medical Marijuana

Illinois Accepting Applications for Medical Marijuana Businesses. The state Agriculture Department is now taking applications from people who want to open dispensaries or cultivation centers. There are 22 licenses available for growers and 60 for dispensaries.

Asset Forfeiture

Washington Post Takes on Asset Forfeiture, In an ongoing series of articles, The Washington Post is taking a cold-eyed look at asset forfeiture practices and the law enforcement culture that has grown around them. The article linked to above examines a private intelligence network used by cops across the country to trade information on motorists and help them decide whom to subject to pretextual traffic stops in order to look for loot to seize. There's a lot of dirt in here, and there's more to come as the series continues.

Drug Policy

NFL, Players Union in Drug Policy Talks.The NFL and its players' union are meeting today to try to thrash out new drug policies. Marijuana use is a key topic. The league has been criticized recently for treating pot-smoking offenses by players more seriously than domestic abuse.

Prescription Drugs

Obama Administration Announces Expanded Prescription Drug Takeback Plan. The White House announced today that hospitals, pharmacies and other medical facilities will be authorized to collect unused prescription drugs, a move designed to keep the drugs out of the hands of people who may attempt to abuse or sell them. "We know if we remove unused painkillers from the home, we can prevent misuse and dependence from ever taking hold," said Michael Botticelli, the acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. "These regulations will create new avenues for addictive prescription drugs to leave the house and be disposed of in a safe, environmentally friendly way."

DEA Sets Production Limits for Pain Relievers, With Big Increases for Some. In a Federal Register notice posted last Friday, the DEA released a list of dozens of Schedule I and II substances subject to production quotas next year. Twenty-two of the 63 substances will see increases in production quotas next year, including cocaine, codeine, dihydrocodeine, hydromorphone, and ephedrine. The DEA says the changes are based on public comments that quota amounts were "insufficient to provide for the estimated medical, scientific, research and industrial needs of the US." Among substances seeing quota decreases are amphetamine, methamphetamine, and methadone.

Law Enforcement

New York Times Video "Retro Report" Takes on History of SWAT. As part of a video documentary series presented by the Times called Retro Report, the nation's newspaper of record examines the rise of SWAT-style policing, tracing its roots to the turmoil and tumult of the 1960s. Once rare, SWAT teams now appear ubiquitous, whether in big cities or sleepy small towns. They are now under greater scrutiny in the wake of the Ferguson, Missouri, protests, making this report quite timely.

International

British Liberal Democrats to Consider Drug Decriminalization, Legal Marijuana Sales. Britain's Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in a governing coalition with the Conservatives, will consider drug decriminalization and marijuana legalization at their party conference next month. The announcement comes after a party policy paper to be debated at the conference called on the party to "adopt the model used in Portugal, where those who possess drugs will be diverted into other services." The paper also said the party "welcomes the establishment of a regulated cannabis market in Uruguay, Colorado and Washington state. These innovative approaches are still in their infancy and the data that would allow us to examine their impact are not yet available. We will establish a review to examine the impact of these schemes in relation to public health," it said.

Australia's Tasmania Reverses Course, Will Allow Medical Marijuana Trials. Tasmania's governing Liberals will support medical marijuana trials, the health minister told a parliamentary inquiry. The minister, Michael Ferguson, had rejected a bid for trials in the state just weeks ago in July. But now he has changed his tune. "We support appropriately conducted clinical trials, feeding into the existing national medicines regulatory framework," he said. "We will objectively consider any proposal regarding a trial of medicinal cannabis on a case-by-case basis."

Amnesty International Report Says Torture in Mexico Out of Control. Reported cases of torture and mistreatment by police and armed forces in Mexico have increased six-fold in the past decade, according to a new report issued by Amnesty International. The report says much of the increase was driven by the Mexican government's aggressive effort to repress drug trafficking organizations.

Top Albanian Christian Democrat Calls for Marijuana Legalization. The head of Albania's Christian Democratic Party, Zef Bushati, has called for the legalization of marijuana on his Facebook page. "Countries are okay with that," he wrote. "First USA, France and now Italy. It's business. It increases the economic level. I never knew or even imagined that cannabis was cultivated all over Albania. When I knew that I started thinking about those families that needed to feed with this kind of job." Christian Democrats have only one member in the Albanian parliament.

Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Two Killed In Robbery Of Marijuana-Growing Operation In

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 08 Sep 2014 - An apparent robbery of a marijuana-growing operation in Fresno resulted in a fatal gunfight Thursday that left two suspects dead and a 15-year-old girl being used as a human shield by fleeing robbers. Two of the alleged gunmen who broke into the house in south Fresno are in custody and three remain at large, said Lt. Louis Hernandez with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.
Categories: Marijuana

US MA: Police Fear Increase In DUI-Marijuana With Liberalization

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 07:00
Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 08 Sep 2014 - VIOLATION 'EXTREMELY HARD TO PROVE' The local law-enforcement community says it is bracing for additional DUI-marijuana cases, which are hard to prove. At issue is what they say is the potential for greater access to pot in Massachusetts because of this year's introduction of medical marijuana facilities, the 2009 decriminalization of an ounce or less of street-level marijuana, and a possible statewide ballot question to legalize it outright.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Dozens Try Their Luck In Marijuana Treasure

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 07:00
Metro, 08 Sep 2014 - High Park. Hidden coupons offer everything from free bongs to discounted weed There's weed in them thar hills, you might say, and at high noon the hunt was on. Seekers of hidden treasure fanned out across High Park on Sunday - an assortment of marijuana enthusiasts and medicinal users who scuttled through bushes and checked under garbage bins in search of their promised bounty.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Whiff Of Adventure At High Park Pot Hunt

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 08 Sep 2014 - Coupons tucked away for free paraphernalia - and cheaper weed with valid prescription There's weed in them thar hills, you might say, and at high noon the hunt was on. Seekers of hidden treasure fanned out across High Park on Sunday - an assortment of marijuana enthusiasts and medicinal users who scuttled through bushes and checked under garbage bins in search of their promised bounty.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Trouble in 'high' park?

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 08 Sep 2014 - Municipal candidate rips marijuana treasure hunt High Park was abuzz Sunday with pot enthusiasts searching for $25,000 worth of marijuana prizes. The second annual marijuana treasure hunt - organized by the Marijuana Info Bureau of Toronto - started at noon with participants using a map which was provided through Twitter and via test message.
Categories: Marijuana

US FL: Editorial: Uncertainty Encircles Medical Marijuana, but

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 07:00
The Palm Beach Post, 08 Sep 2014 - The legalization of medical marijuana has long looked like a sure thing in Florida, with polls showing overwhelming majorities in favor. But with less than two months until the state votes on a constitutional amendment to legalize it, a new statewide poll shows more uncertainty - 1 in 6 voters haven't yet considered it - than had previously been thought. This should be no surprise. In the strange world of medical marijuana, uncertainty is one of the few constants. With the narcotic still illegal under federal law, any legalization or partial legalization at the state level is itself a foray into uncertainty. Legal in the eyes of some government agencies but illegal to others, medical marijuana occupies a bizarre space in the 23 states where it is now permitted. This leads to all sorts of legal and practical conflicts, ones that Floridians will have to deal with if the amendment does receive the necessary 60 percent of votes cast in November.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Where There's Smoke

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/07/2014 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 07 Sep 2014 - Amid the university and college partying beginning this week as post-secondary institutions across the city open for class, marijuana is surely one guest bound to make an appearance. The illegal drug is the most commonly used in Canada among youth aged 15-24 according to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.
Categories: Marijuana

US WA: Edibles Arriving in Stores Slowly As Pot Regulators

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/07/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 07 Sep 2014 - Legal Marijuana After Lessons Learned From Colorado, Products From Washington Entrepreneurs Get Go-Ahead. Pot-infused edibles began trickling to store shelves last month, and the sweets, snacks and drinks offer a glimpse of a diverse and maturing marketplace on the horizon - one rife with concerns for consumers and regulators.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Stop And Seize

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/07/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 07 Sep 2014 - Aggressive Police Take Hundreds of Millions of Dollars From Motorists Not Charged With Crimes After the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the government called on police to become the eyes and ears of homeland security on America's highways.
Categories: Marijuana

US NY: Up In Smoke

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/07/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 07 Sep 2014 - One day in January 2007, the disgruntled ex-girlfriend of a Queens pot dealer walked unprompted into the district office of the Drug Enforcement Administration on Long Island. Sitting down with an agent, she bitterly gave vent: Her former boyfriend, the father of her child, was selling weed. As a rule, the drug agency isn't in the business of settling romantic scores, but the woman, who had shown up with her child in tow, was adamant that her onetime lover was a major player in the city's wholesale marijuana trade. A group of federal agents started looking into the man.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: OR Init Foes May Be Using Federal Funds, Infamous Anniversary, More (9/5/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 09/05/2014 - 20:31

Are federal funds helping to oppose the Oregon initiative? Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) wants to know. Plus, Hawaii dispensary hearings loom, Charles Bowden dies, and today marks an infamous anniversary. Let's get to it:

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

Oregon US Representative Calls for Federal Investigation into Use of Public Funds to Oppose Legalization Initiative. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has sent a letter to SAMSHA calling for immediate federal investigation into the possible misuse of federal funds to sponsor the "Oregon Marijuana Education Tour," which is filled with anti-legalization operatives and which comes as Oregonians prepare to vote on Measure 91, the legalization initiative. Click on the title link to read the letter and associated attachments.

Medical Marijuana

Princeton Employee on Paid Leave over Medical Marijuana Use. Princeton University campus dining manager Don DeZarn, who had been told to choose between his job and his medicine after he began legally using medical marijuana this summer, is now on paid leave as the school attempts to resolve the issue. The problem arose after DeZarn said he might use the drug while at work and school public safety officials raised concerns he could be impaired and might accidentally give a student with food allergies the wrong item (or something).

Hawaii Dispensary Task Force to Hold Public Hearings This Month. A task force created by the state legislature to address dispensary issues will hold public hearings next week in Hilo and on September 24 in Honolulu. Click on the link for more details and information about how to submit public comments.

Drug Policy

25 Years Ago Today, George HW Bush Waved a Bag of Crack on TV. Today is the 25th anniversary of President George HW Bush's infamous oval office speech escalating the war on drugs. In that speech, he waved at viewers an evidence bag containing crack cocaine that he warned had been sold in Lafayette Park, just across the street from the White House. Only later was it revealed that the dealer who delivered the crack had no idea where the White House or Lafayette Park were, and that he had to be given directions by DEA agents. Bush used the speech to ask for "more jails, more prisons, more courts, and more prosecutors" to fight the drug war, and largely got them.

Obituaries

Charles Bowden, Chronicler of the Southwest's Drug Wars, Dead at 69. Chronicler of the American Southwest and the brutal violence along the border sparked by Mexico's drug wars Charles Bowden has died in Las Cruces, New Mexico, at age 69. A vivid and evocative writer, Bowden's "Blood Orchid: An Unnatural History of America" achingly described environmental and social alienation in the Southwest (and turned your correspondent on to him), but in the last two decades he focused increasingly on the border and the drug wars. His insightful, critical, and horrifying books on the subject include "Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields," "Down By the River: Drugs, Money, Murder, and Family," and "A Shadow in the City: Confessions of an Undercover Drug Warrior." Bowden is gone, but his work remains. Check it out.

International

Austrian Activists Seek Parliamentary Inquiry on Marijuana. Legalize Austria is demanding a parliamentary inquiry into its proposal to remove marijuana from the country's drug laws. The group so far has more than 20,000 signatures on a petition to that effect and is seeking 80,000 more. The move comes as the Austrian Young Greens are also on a legalization campaign.

Categories: Marijuana

Costa Rica: Advocates Of Drug Policy Reform Have A New Voice In Costa

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 09/05/2014 - 07:00
The Tico Times, 05 Sep 2014 - LEAP Executive Director Neill Franklin, a retired major with the Maryland State Police, says that drug policy needs to focus on health first, not criminal prosecutions, during a press conference on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times Costa Rica will become the first country in Central America to host a branch of the drug policy reform organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, the group announced at a press conference Friday morning. The announcement took place after a week of debate on drug policies in the Americas at the Fifth Latin American and First Central American Conference on Drug Policy in San Jose. LEAP, a 13-year-old nonprofit organization of current and former law enforcement members, aims to legalize illicit drugs as a solution to the violence and corruption that has snaked its way across the Americas in the last five decades. LEAP Executive Director Neill Franklin, a retired major with the Maryland State Police in the United States, told The Tico Times that he is excited to finally have an active branch of the group in Central America.
Categories: Marijuana

US FL: Anti-Medical-marijuana Forces About To Spend Big

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 09/05/2014 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 05 Sep 2014 - If John Morgan expects to match opponents' TV advertising in the medical-marijuana campaign, he might have to spend millions more of his own dollars to do so. Morgan and others supporting Amendment 2 to legalize medical marijuana on the Nov. 4 ballot have received thousands of campaign donations, including scores of thousand-dollar checks from businesses that could make money from it.
Categories: Marijuana

US: The Business Of Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 09/05/2014 - 07:00
The Herald, 05 Sep 2014 - 'It's A Gray Market Industry, That's Just How It Is,' Store Owner Says NEW YORK - Legal or not, the business of selling weed in the U.S. is as wacky as ever. The tangle of rules and regulations that govern whether and how it can be grown, bought and sold create complexity and ambiguity that cause major headaches for marijuana businesses - and enticing opportunities for those who want to exploit it.
Categories: Marijuana
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