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Marijuana

US GA: OPED: If You Think Big Tobacco Was Bad, Wait Till You

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Rome News-Tribune, 21 Sep 2014 - Proponents of legalization and other drug policy reforms make some important points. It is true that most people who try drugs do not get addicted - they stop after using a few times. It is also true - and regrettable - that America's incarceration rate is embarrassingly high and that blacks and Latinos bear the brunt of harsh arrest policies. And, finally, despite our best efforts, fully eradicating drug use and its consequences remains a distant dream.
Categories: Marijuana

US GA: OPED: Why Research Is Biased Against Pot to Focus on

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Rome News-Tribune, 21 Sep 2014 - Is America's scientific research biased to focus on the harmful effects of drugs? That was one of the questions at the heart of a congressional hearing this summer seeking to understand more comprehensively the scientific evidence related to marijuana. And it was how Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found herself being grilled by Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va. "Dr. Volkow, your testimony seems to completely disregard lots of other data," he accused.
Categories: Marijuana

US WA: Editorial: What Are the Next Steps for Marijuana Reform?

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 21 Sep 2014 - THE recreational marijuana market authorized by voters in 2012 is heavily taxed to fund prevention efforts, and is strictly regulated to ensure quality and security. Yet, the state Legislature has failed to rein in the larger, completely unregulated and mostly untaxed marijuana industry that serves medical patients. Seattle currently has just one recreational store, but dozens of medical dispensaries. These two markets should be merged. Lawmakers must ensure legitimately suffering patients get a break from the steep so-called sin taxes of the recreational market, and should continue to allow home grows for them. Ensuring that patients are legitimate also requires a much tighter rein on medical professionals who glibly hand out "green card" medical-marijuana authorizations to otherwise healthy young men. The recreational market needs tweaking too - to entice more cities and counties to open their borders to state-licensed marijuana stores. Without broader access, black-market marijuana sales, which voters directly targeted in passing Initiative 502, would continue to flourish. - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
Categories: Marijuana

US WA: City Attorney Holmes to Seek Broad Dismissal of Pot-Use

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 21 Sep 2014 - In Municipal Court Not Just Those Issued by Police Officer Facing Discipline Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, reacting to one police officer's personal campaign to write citations for public marijuana use, will announce Monday that he will seek dismissal of more than 85 tickets issued during the first seven months of the year, according to two City Hall sources.
Categories: Marijuana

US MD: The Drug That Turned A Heroin User's Life Around

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 21 Sep 2014 - MD. Woman Says Officer Saved Her With Overdose Antidote Danielle Hall injected a quarter of her normal heroin dose the afternoon of June 29, but that day's particularly potent batch was strong enough to shut her body down.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Sabot Eradicated Marijuana Plants

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 07:00
Standard Freeholder, 20 Sep 2014 - 'Our overall goal is a safe Canada': Insp. Tim Kimpan Local police agencies partnered with the Canadian Armed Forces over four days to eradicate 1,743 marijuana plants in SDG and Prescott-Russell earler this month.
Categories: Marijuana

US OK: Time To Re-Think Legalizing Drugs

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 07:00
Stillwater News Press, 20 Sep 2014 - Here's a riddle: How many knowledgeable people does it take to suggest a policy change before society adopts their sage advice? Buried in all the recent news about ISIS, horrific weather lashing the United States, the violence of NFL players and the like, came a hardly noticed news item about the idea of legalizing drugs. Now, stay with me on this. It's important. The Global Commission on Drug Policy, an illustrious panel including former U.N. Secretary Gen. Kofi Annan, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, former presidents and prime ministers of nearly a dozen countries and others issued a detailed study about why it's smart - for reasons both humanitarian and financial - to legalize marijuana and other drugs. Yes, all drugs.
Categories: Marijuana

CN NS: Supporters Of Medical Marijuana Shop March On Halifax Police

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 07:00
Chronicle Herald, 20 Sep 2014 - Halifax police were nowhere to be seen as 50 people passed around joints on their front steps Friday afternoon. The "smoke-in" was in protest of the recent raid of Farm Assists, a medical marijuana shop on Gottingen Street.
Categories: Marijuana

US FL: Legal Challenges Put 'Charlotte's Web'

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 20 Sep 2014 - Final development of Florida's legalized non-euphoric medical-marijuana program is on hold for up to 60 days because several potential growers are furious over the state's proposed rules and filed challenges. Earlier this month, the Department of Health issued its final proposed rules on who could qualify for five state licenses to grow, process and sell so-called Charlotte's Web marijuana products to treat Florida patients with epilepsy, other neurological disorders and cancer.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: DC Pot Poll, NM Pot Poll, Molly Fry Petition, EU Sides with Bolivia on Coca, More (9/19/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 20:30

A pair of marijuana polls have good news for DC, but not so good for New Mexico, there's a move on to get Dr. Molly Fry out of federal prison, Ohio employers are pushing drug testing for students, the EU sides with Bolivia -- not the US -- on that country's coca policy, and more. Let's get to it:

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

New Poll Has DC Initiative at 65%. A new Washington Post/NBC News/Marist poll has the DC marijuana possession and cultivation legalization initiative Measure 71 winning easily with the support of nearly two-thirds of likely voters. That's the highest number ever polled for an actual legalization initiative. Click on the poll link for more information.

New Poll Has Legalization Coming Up Short in New Mexico. An Albuquerque Journal poll suggests it may be a good thing New Mexicans aren't voting on legalization this year. The poll asked whether respondents supported legalizing marijuana for adults with a tax and regulation scheme similar to Colorado. Only 44% were in favor, with 50% opposed. Click on the title link for more information.

Medical Marijuana

Change.org Petition to Free Dr. Mollie Fry. California medical marijuana advocate Dr. Mollie Fry is sitting in federal prison for providing the drug to sick patients. Supporters have organized a Change.org petition seeking a pardon for her. As of this writing, there are only 27 signatures. You can add yours by clicking on the title link.

Drug Testing

Ohio Industry Groups Urge Schools to Drug Test Vocational Education Students. The Mahoning Valley Manufacturer's Coalition and the Youngstown/Warren Chamber of Commerce have sent a letter to schools in Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties urging them to drug test students who enroll in vocational training programs. While somewhere between 20% and 30% of school districts nationwide subject some students to drug testing, this is the first time we've heard of employers directly lobbying schools to do so.

International

European Union Agrees With Morales, Not Obama, on Bolivia's Coca Policy. The Obama administration this week certified that Bolivia had "failed demonstrably" to live up to US drug policy mandates, but the European Union has joined Bolivian President Evo Morales in strongly disagreeing. "In my opinion, the work we have achieved has been successful, the results as well are visible in the successful and sustained reduction of the coca production in the country, and successes as well related with the prohibition," said Timothy Torlot, head of an EU delegation in Bolivia. "My experience here, working with the Bolivians, is one of a government that seriously executes its work, that has proved its results, no need to talk with the US government about that," he added.

Non-Binding Referendum on Marijuana in Mexican State of Jalisco. The state of Jalisco, home to Guadalajara, the country's second largest city, has begun voting on a non-binding referendum on marijuana policy. The referendum asks whether medical marijuana should be legalized and whether personal possession limits should be increased. Voting takes place through Sunday. So far, medical marijuana is winning approval, but increasing possession limits is not. After the referendum, PRD legislator Enrique Velazquez will present a bill in the state congress.

Luxembourg Justice Minister Says It Is Time to Rethink Drug Policy, But Rules Out Marijuana Legalization. Justice Minister Felix Braz told the newspaper Luxemburger Wort that the country needs to rethink its drug policy, saying that criminalization and repression have not had the desired results. Braz pointed to increasing drug problems in the country. "I am convinced that we cannot help these people only through criminal justice measures," the Justice Minister said. "The fact that drug consumption increases steadily, leads us to the conclusion that we need to rethink our drugs policy. With an open spirit, we need to search for alternative solutions to get the problem under control," he added. But Braz also said that the coalition government of which he is a member is not going to legalize marijuana. Marijuana is effectively decriminalized in Luxembourg.

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: NFL Relaxes Marijuana Policy, Bolivia Rejects US Criticism, Aussie PM Supports MedMj, More (9/18/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 20:08

MPP fights to get a third local Maine initiative on the ballot, Florida CBD cannabis oil growers fight for better rules, the NFL relaxes its marijuana policy, Bolivia's president rejects US claims on drugs, Australia's prime minister supports medical marijuana, and more. Let's get to it:

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

MPP Files Complaint to Get York, Maine, Initiative on Ballot. The Marijuana Policy Project filed a complaint yesterday in York County Superior Court seeking a temporary injunction to force the town Board of Selectmen to put a possession legalization question on the November ballot. The board has twice refused to put the matter to voters, despite petitioners gathering enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot. The complaint seeks a hearing by tomorrow. Similar initiatives are already set for Lewiston and South Portland; Portland voted to legalize it last year.

Medical Marijuana

Florida CBD Cannabis Oil Program Delayed After Growers Complain About Proposed Rules. The Department of Health's issuance of proposed rules on who could qualify for one of five licenses to grow low-THC, high-CBD medical marijuana under a new state law have run into stiff opposition from potential growers. The growers have filed challenges to the rules, and now an administrative judge must deal with those challenges. He has up to 60 days to do so.

Drug Policy

NFL, Players Agree on New Drug Policy, League Eases Up on Marijuana. The league's new drug policy allows for immediate testing for the presence of human growth hormone (HGH). It also raises the acceptable level of THC found in a player's system from 15 nanograms per millileter to 35 nanograms. The change in policy will allow several suspended players to return immediately; others will see the lengths of their suspensions reduced.

Opiates

Senator Whitehouse Files Bill to Address Prescription Opiate, Heroin Use. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) yesterday introduced SB 2389, "a bill to authorize the Attorney General to award grants to address the national epidemics of prescription opioid abuse and heroin use." The next of the bill is not yet available online. The bill heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

North Carolina Conference on Heroin Set for February. The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, legislators, medical professionals, law enforcement, and heroin users and people impacted by its use will hold a conference in February to discuss legislative solutions to heroin use and heroin-related drug overdoses. Click on the link for more information.

International

Irish Review Calls for Easing Drug Laws. A government study of sentencing policy has called for an easing of mandatory minimum sentences for serious drug dealing offenses, which currently stand at 10 years. The Strategic Review of Penal Policy also recommends increasing the monetary threshold that triggers serious drug dealing charges, which is currently at about $20,000. And it calls for increasing "good time" for good behavior in prison from 25% to 33%.

Bolivia Rejects US Claim It Hasn't Done Enough to Curtail Drug Production. Bolivian President Evo Morales, a coca growers' union leader, rejected the White House's designation last week of Bolivia as one of three countries (along with Burma and Venezuela) that had failed to comply with US drug policy mandates. "Whatever they do and whatever they say, or yell from the United States, the people won't be confused by this type of information," Morales said Wednesday in a speech. Although the US complains that "illegal cultivation for drug production remains high," the UNODC said in June that coca leaf production in Bolivia last year had declined 9% and was at the lowest level since 2002.

Mexico Orders 18 Black Hawk Helicopters for More Better Drug War. The Pentagon announced this week that it has awarded a $203 million contract to Sikorsky to build 18 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the Mexican Air Force. That contract doesn't include the cost of engine and mission systems; the total cost for supplying the choppers will be about $680 million. Mexico will use the choppers "to enhance its counter-narcotics capabilities."

Australia Prime Minister Backs Medical Marijuana. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has written in a letter to a radio host saying he is prepared to support legalizing medical marijuana. "I have no problem with the medical use of cannabis, just as I have no problem with the medical use of opiates," Abbott wrote. "If a drug is needed for a valid medicinal purpose though and is being administered safely there should be no question of its legality. And if a drug that is proven to be safe abroad is needed here, it should be available. I agree that the regulation of medicines is a thicket of complexity, bureaucracy and corporate and institutional self interest. My basic contention is that something that has been found to be safe in a reliable jurisdiction shouldn't need to be tested again here."

South Africa Medical Marijuana Bill Gets Support of Christian Democrats. The Medical Innovation Bill, which would allow for the use of medical marijuana, has gained the support of the African Christian Democratic Party. The bill was reintroduced by an Inkatha Party member last week, and the governing African National Congress Party approved letting it move forward.

Categories: Marijuana

Canada: Can U.S. Border Guards Turn Me Away For Saying I've Smoked

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 18 Sep 2014 - I get really nervous when driving across the border, especially because I've heard the story of a friend of a friend who was banned from the U.S. on his way to Burning Man. He has no criminal record, but the officer asked him if he'd ever smoked a joint and he said yes. Can I really get turned away at the border for saying I've smoked pot a couple of times in my life? - - Martin, Calgary
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Column: Weed Control

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 07:00
Pique Newsmagazine, 18 Sep 2014 - In the 1980s and '90s, a lucrative and well-organized drug-smuggling network spanning Mexico, the U.S. and Canada had northern beachheads in a handful of small farming towns in southwestern Ontario and southern Manitoba. These communities were also home to tens of thousands of Old Colony Mennonites, a deeply conservative branches of one of Christianity's most traditional sects - similar to other pacifist and agrarian-based societies like the Amish or Hutterites. Ironic then, that it turned out they were the drug smugglers. According to a more than decade-old feature in the now defunct Saturday Night magazine, authorities first descended into this byzantine world on American Thanksgiving, 1989, when sniffer dogs discovered 116 kilos of pot in the false bottoms of a few couches being schlepped from Mexico to Winkler, Manitoba, in a dilapidated pickup by Cornelius Banman, a Mennonite grandfather who'd made the long, tedious journey - supposedly to deliver Mennonite-made furniture - - many times. His arrest turned out to be the tip of the spear.
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Column: Still Monkeying Around On Pot Legalization

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 07:00
Pique Newsmagazine, 18 Sep 2014 - There's a famous experiment in the annals of learning. It involves a jar, a banana and a monkey. I know it sounds very similar to jokes that start, "There was a priest, a rabbi and a minister," but that's where the similarity ends. The experiment goes like this. The banana is put inside the jar and the jar is put inside a room. So is the monkey. Put inside the room, that is, not inside the jar. It's not that big a jar. The monkey being a monkey and the banana being a banana, it doesn't take long for the monkey to notice the banana and decide he/she would really like to eat it. This is where it gets good.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Campaign Promotes Responsible Marijuana Consumption

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 18 Sep 2014 - DENVER (AP) - Tired of Cheech & Chong pot jokes and ominous anti-drug campaigns, the marijuana industry and activists are starting an ad blitz in Colorado aimed at promoting moderation and the safe consumption of pot. To get their message across, they are skewering some of the old Drug War era ads that focused on the fears of marijuana, including the famous "This is your brain on drugs" fried-egg ad from the 1980s.
Categories: Marijuana

US WA: A Rocky Start For State's Pot Stores

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 18 Sep 2014 - Seattle Stores Have Been Delayed by Limited Locations, Short Supply, City Code Issues and Unprepared Applicants. More than two months after the first state-licensed marijuana stores opened in Washington, only one is selling pot in Seattle, and it might be weeks before another opens.
Categories: Marijuana

US DC: Group Opposes Efforts To Legalize Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 18 Sep 2014 - Organization Plans Ad Campaign in Days Before City Vote has formed to oppose the legalization of marijuana in the District. A group has formed to combat the legalization of marijuana in the District, an issue residents will vote on this fall.
Categories: Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 22:36

Our first-ever medical marijuana update with no news from California. But there are things going in places that are not the usual suspect -- sign of changing times, indeed. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]National

This week, the Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014 continued to pick up new sponsors. The bill, HR 5526, would exclude low-THC, cannabidiol-based medicines from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. The latest cosponsors are Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Tom McClintock (R-CA). The bill now has 24 cosponsors -- Democrats and 10 Republicans.

Florida

Last Friday, Florida Republican county chairs came out against the medical marijuana initiative. They voted to oppose Amendment 2, the state's medical marijuana constitutional amendment. They worried it would lead to widespread access to marijuana. "I do not want to see Florida turned into the pot capital of the world," aid Volusia County GOP chair Tony Ledbetter, in a remark typical of Republican concerns.

On Wednesday, a new poll had the initiative leading, but not by enough to pass. The latest SurveyUSA/WFLA tracking poll has the Amendment 2 medical marijuana initiative at 56%, which would be good news except that, because it is a constitutional amendment, it needs 60% to be approved. Other recent polls have shown the initiative hovering on the cusp of passage.

Georgia

Last Thursday, advocates called for whole plant medical marijuana, not just CBD oil. As legislative hearings in Macon continue to examine the use of CBD oil, medical marijuana advocates are calling for whole plant medical marijuana. "The cannabis plant contains many compounds that have proven to be effective in treating a variety of conditions," said Georgia C.A.R.E director James Bell. "We should not be determining who can and cannot benefit from this healing plant."

Guam

On Monday, the Guam Election Commission released the text for the island's medical marijuana initiative. The legislature-sponsored initiative, Proposal 14A, will go before voters in November. The election commission is urging opponents and proponents of the measure to submit written arguments not exceeding 500 words by this Friday.

Iowa

Last Thursday, a legislative panel said medical marijuana should be grown in the state. A bipartisan legislative committee studying the state's CBD oil medical marijuana law has recommended growing and distributing it in the state and reclassifying marijuana under state law. The vote was largely along party lines, with only one Republican voting for Iowa-grown medical marijuana.

Pennsylvania

Last Wednesday, a key Republican senator said he would consider the medical marijuana bill. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Chester) said he plans to caucus on whether to move forward with Senate Bill 1182, saying the bill has "broad support" in the legislature.

On Monday, a key Republican House member said he supports the medical marijuana bill. State Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) told a rally on the capitol steps Monday that he now supports pending medical marijuana legislation. This could be a sign that Republican opposition in the House is softening. The bill has some bipartisan support in the Senate, but the session only has a month left.

[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: DC Opposition Emerges, Edibles Awareness Campaign, NJ Opiate Bill Package, More (9/17/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 20:26

Organized opposition has arrived in DC, MPP launches a "Consume Responsibly" campaign, polls suggest a tough fight for the Florida medical marijuana initiative, New Jersey solons roll out a package of bills aimed at opiate use, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

DC Initiative Gets Organized Opposition. Opponents of the DC marijuana possession and cultivation legalization initiative, Measure 71, have formed an organization to try to defeat the measure. "Two. Is. Enough. DC." has been formed to fight "the scourge of a third legal recreational drug" in the nation's capital, according to its front-man, Will Jones III. A Wednesday new conference unveiling the group featured former US Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a member of the anti-legalization campaign group Project SAM, which has also been active in opposing the Alaska and Oregon initiatives.

Marijuana Policy Project Launches "Consume Responsibly" Campaign. With a nod to newspaper columnist Maureen Dowd, who famously got way too high on marijuana edibles in Colorado, the Marijuana Policy Project is rolling out a series of hand-outs and Internet ads urging marijuana users to "Consume Responsibly." One of the images features a woman resembling the red-headed columnist sitting on a hotel room bed. There is a new web site, too: Consume Responsibly. Check it out.

House Passes Bill Barring Use of Welfare Benefits Cards at Marijuana Shops. The Republican-controlled House last night passed the Preserving Welfare for Needs Not Weed Act (HR 4137) on a voice vote. The bill bars people from using EBT cards at marijuana stores or withdrawing cash from ATM machines at businesses that sell marijuana. The bill passed after 18 minutes of floor debate.

Medical Marijuana

Florida Initiative at 56% in Latest Poll, But It Needs 60% to Pass. The latest SurveyUSA/WFLA tracking poll has the Amendment 2 medical marijuana initiative at 56%, which would be good news except that, because it is a constitutional amendment, it needs 60% to be approved. Other recent polls have shown the initiative hovering on the cusp of passage.

Hemp

Industrial Hemp Farming Act Picks Up New Sponsor. The bill, SB 359, would remove a serious obstacle to hemp production in the US by removing hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. It now has five cosponsors -- two Democrats, two Republicans, and one independent. The latest sponsor is Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA).

Drug Policy

Brookings, OSI, LSE to Hold Global Drug Policy Discussion in DC on Monday. The Latin America Initiative (LAI) at Brookings, the London School of Economics (LSE), and the Open Society Foundations will host a discussion on global drug policy trends and effectiveness. Experts will address among other issues the security and organized crime implications, the effectiveness of supply-side policies, as well as mass incarceration and the public health dimensions. Click on the link to see the panelists and for further information.

Opiates

New Jersey Legislators to Introduce Package of Bills to Address Opiate Use. Led by state Sen. Joe Vitale (D), a bipartisan group of solons is today introducing a package of bills that would expand funding for drug treatment, increase oversight of state facilities and doctors, create a mandatory prescription monitoring program, and require colleges to provide substance abuse recovery options. There are 21 bills in all; here's the complete package.

International

Israeli Health Ministry Will Allow Family Doctors to Prescribe Some Medical Marijuana. Responding to a heavy burden on pain clinics and the 30 doctors currently allowed to prescribe medical marijuana, the Health Ministry will temporarily allow family doctors to write prescriptions for medical marijuana, but only if it is an extension to an existing treatment and only if it does not increase the dosage. There are currently some 18,000 Israelis with permission to use medical marijuana.

Categories: Marijuana

US NM: SF Panel Criticizes New Pot Ordinance

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 17 Sep 2014 - SANTA FE - Santa Fe's advisory Public Safety Committee on Tuesday panned the city's new ordinance that decriminalizes possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Former police chief Eric Johnson referred to part of the new law that makes busts for possession of small amounts of pot the lowest law enforcement priority in Santa Fe.
Categories: Marijuana
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