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US OR: Pot Growers Can't Use Federal Water

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 12/23/2015 - 08:00
The Bulletin, 23 Dec 2015 - POT GROWERS CAN'T USE FEDERAL WATER Law Prohibits Use of Water From Reclamation Projects for Marijuana It's no wonder that marijuana growers gravitate to the Tumalo Irrigation District and other small water districts in Central Oregon.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 12/23/2015 - 07:42

Congress again blocks the Justice Department from messing with medical marijuana in states where it is legal, California localities scurry to regulate or face losing that authority to the state, Maryland patients find out they face more delays, and more.

[image:1 align:left]National

Last Friday, Congress passed a budget bill barring the DOJ from interfering in medical marijuana states. The omnibus spending bill approved by Congress this morning includes several drug reform provisions, although reformers didn't get everything they wanted. The bill includes language blocking the Justice Department and DEA from spending money to interfere with state medical marijuana laws or hemp research projects and it also lifts a freeze on federal funding for needle exchange programs. But Congress failed to approve amendments to allow banks to provide financial services to marijuana businesses or to allow veterans to have access to medical marijuana, despite the Senate having approved both. And the Congress again included provisions that block Washington, DC, from taxing and regulating marijuana.

On Wednesday, the DEA eased requirements for natural marijuana-derived research. The DEA eased some restrictions on research evaluating cannabidiol (CBD) for medicinal use. The changes will relax some requirements imposed by the Controlled Substances Act on use of CBD in specific US Food and Drug Administration-approved research protocols. The changes are in effect immediately.

California

For the past few weeks, localities across the state have been acting to ban or regulate medical marijuana before the state assumes the power to regulate it itself. Once the three bills that comprise the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act go into effect March 1, cities or counties that do not have a land use regulation or ordinance governing cultivation and delivery in place will lose control and the state will become "the sole licensing authority" for those enterprises. There are getting to be too many of them for us to list them all.

Florida

Last Friday, the Supreme Court okayed medical marijuana initiative ballot language. The state's high court determined that the initiative is limited to a single subject and its ballot wording informs voters fairly. That means if supports collect enough valid voter signatures, the measure will appear on the November 2016 ballot.

Hawaii

Last Tuesday, the Health Department issued dispensary rules. The Health Department released detailed rules for dispensaries. The rules cover the application process, security, quality control, and auditing of records and operations for commercial grows and dispensaries. Earlier this year, the legislature and the governor approved opening up eight dispensaries.

Maryland

On Monday, patients got news they will have to wait until 2017 to get their medicine. The state Medical Cannabis Commission announced that it will not award cultivation and processing licenses until sometime next summer, pushing back the date when patients can get to be able to obtain their medicine to sometime in 2017. The state passed its medical marijuana law in 2013, but has faced several delays. Now, one more.

Michigan

Last Thursday, the Detroit city council approved a restrictive dispensary ordinance. The council voted 6-1 last Thursday to approve a new zoning ordinance that will likely force the closure of many of the city's 150 or so dispensaries. The new ordinance prohibits dispensaries from operating within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, parks, liquor stores, other places considered drug-free zones, or another dispensary.

New Hampshire

On Wednesday, officials announced they will begin issuing medical marijuana ID cards. State officials said that they will begin issuing the cards to registered medical marijuana patients beginning Monday. While dispensaries in the state won't open until the spring, people with the ID cards will be able to buy medical marijuana in neighboring states that have reciprocity.

New Jersey

On Monday, a Senate panel approved employment protections for patients. The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee voted 6-0 to approve a bill that would bar employers from firing people because they are medical marijuana patients. The bill, Senate Bill 3162, now heads for the Senate floor. "It was not the intent of the legislature when we passed the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act to allow patients to lose their jobs simply because of their use of medical marijuana," state Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), who sponsored by the medical marijuana law and this workplace bill said in a statement before the hearing. "Medical marijuana should be treated like any other legitimate medication use by an employee."

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

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Chronicle AM: Colombia Legalizes MedMJ, MD MedMJ Delayed Until 2017, More (12/22/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 12/22/2015 - 22:11

DPA ups the pressure on Louisiana Gov. Jindal to free Bernard Noble, Maryland patients face further delays, Colombian patients won't, and more.

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

The Drug Policy Alliance Requests Sentencing Reprieve for Louisianan Given 13-year Prison Sentence for Possession of Two Marijuana Cigarettes. The Drug Policy Alliance today formally requested the Louisiana governor today to grant Bernard Noble a gubernatorial reprieve and release Mr. Noble from prison, where he has served more than four years behind bars having been sentenced to a term of 13.3 years of hard labor without the opportunity for parole for possessing the equivalent of two marijuana cigarettes. "The sentence inflicted by Louisiana on Mr. Noble for simple, low-level marijuana possession, on a gainfully employed father with absolutely no history of any serious or violent crime, is a travesty," said Daniel Abrahamson, senior legal advisor to the Drug Policy Alliance. "Mr. Noble's sentence does not enhance public safety. It has devastated Mr. Noble and his family. And it flies in the face of what Louisianans believe and what current law provides. Governor Jindal should exercise mercy and use his power as Governor to advance fairness, justice and compassion by issuing Mr. Noble a sentencing reprieve."

Wyoming Decriminalization Bill Introduced. For the third year in a row, Rep. Jim Byrd (D-Cheyenne) has introduced a bill to decriminalize pot possession. House Bill 3 would decriminalize up to an ounce of marijuana, with a $50 for less than a half ounce and a $100 fine for up to an ounce.

Medical Marijuana

Maryland Patients Will Wait Until 2017 to Get Their Medicine. The state Medical Cannabis Commission said Monday that it will not award cultivation and processing licenses until sometime next summer, pushing back the date when patients can get to be able to obtain their medicine to sometime in 2017. The state passed its medical marijuana law in 2013, but has faced several delays. Now, one more.

New Jersey Senate Panel Approves Employment Protections for Patients. The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee voted 6-0 Monday to approve a bill that would bar employers from firing people because they are medical marijuana patients. The bill, Senate Bill 3162, now heads for the Senate floor. "It was not the intent of the legislature when we passed the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act to allow patients to lose their jobs simply because of their use of medical marijuana," state Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), who sponsored by the medical marijuana law and this workplace bill said in a statement before the hearing. "Medical marijuana should be treated like any other legitimate medication use by an employee."

Harm Reduction

Indiana County to Start Needle Exchange in Bid to Fend Off Hep C. Monroe County will become the fourth in the state to authorize needle exchange programs after officials there declared a public health emergency amid an outbreak of Hepatitis C. That declaration allows the county to start a needle exchange program.

International

Colombia Legalizes Medical Marijuana. President Juan Manuel Santos today signed a decree legalizing medical marijuana. "This decree allows licenses to be granted for the possession of seeds, cannabis plants and marijuana," he said from the presidential palace. "It places Colombia in the group of countries that are at the forefront... in the use of natural resources to fight disease."

Israel's Top Ethicist Calls for Marijuana Legalization. Professor Asa Kasher, described as "Israel's preeminent expert on ethics and philosophy," told the Knesset Committee on Controlled Substances Tuesday that restrictions on medical use of marijuana violated the principles of medical ethics and that general legalization "can be promoted, but only if the process includes relevant regulation."

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Australia: Drug-Driving Test Protest

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/22/2015 - 08:00
Northern Star, 22 Dec 2015 - PROTESTERS against saliva testing drivers gathered outside Lismore Local Court yesterday as more than 50 people faced the magistrate on drug driving charges. Inflatable joints, large hand made banners and signs including 'swab testing is not impairment testing', 'change the law not our lives' and 'good medicine' dominated the peaceful rally a protesters heard from a number of speakers.
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Canada: Government Could Get Burned On Taxes, Experts Say

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/22/2015 - 08:00
Toronto Star, 22 Dec 2015 - As Canada mulls how to handle marijuana legalization - promised in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's election platform - experts are stressing the "Goldilocks point" for taxes: not too low, not too high, but just right. "They can't raise taxes too much or people will just smoke the illegal stuff," said Timothy Easton, an economist at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C.
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CN ON: Legal Weed Would Lead To More Use, Poll Says

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/22/2015 - 08:00
Toronto Star, 22 Dec 2015 - More young Ontarians say they're likely to try drug, but overall consumption won't change much More young adults in Ontario say they would smoke marijuana if the federal government legalizes the drug, according to a new public opinion poll.
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US PA: Pittsburgh Council Votes to Decriminalize Small Amounts

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/22/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 22 Dec 2015 - The Pittsburgh City Council voted Monday to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, falling in line with a growing number of municipalities that have taken similar actions in recent years, city officials said. Under the ordinance passed on a vote of 7 to 2, police in Pittsburgh will begin to issue fines of $25 for possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana and $100 for smoking it in a public space instead of citing for misdemeanors. The ordinance is subject to approval by Mayor Bill Peduto (D), who has voiced support. - - Reuters - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
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UK: We Will Only Win The Drug War By Taking Out Generals

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/22/2015 - 08:00
Daily Record, 22 Dec 2015 - Rethink MacAskill Wants Change FORMER justice secretary Kenny MacAskill has called on the SNP Government to stop treating drug users as criminals.
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US MD: Delay In Licenses For Medical Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/22/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 22 Dec 2015 - People who want to buy marijuana in Maryland for medicinal purposes are probably going to have to wait until 2017, nearly four years after the state made it legal. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission announced Monday that it will not award licenses to grow and process the drug until sometime in the summer - and industry officials say it will take an additional four to six months after that for the product to be ready to sell.
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US TN: Rep. Drafts Pot-For-Veterans Bill

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/22/2015 - 08:00
Commercial Appeal, 22 Dec 2015 - Says Exception Aims to Benefit PTSD Sufferers NASHVILLE - While most Tennessee Republican leaders have indicated opposition to any steps toward legalization of marijuana, state Rep. Jeremy Faison said he hopes they will make an exception for military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
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US: Postal Service Declares Pot Ads Illegal

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/22/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 22 Dec 2015 - Newspapers in half the states are breaking the law if they mail publications containing ads for marijuana products - even though the states have legalized pot, the U.S. Postal Service said last week. This parsing of federal law, released by postal officials as national policy after inquiries from Oregon's congressional delegation, is one of the messy consequences of the movement to legalize cannabis: It's bought, sold and advertised for recreational and medical use in some states but still illegal under federal law.
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US CA: Editorial: Marysville Might Have Hit on Right

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/22/2015 - 08:00
Appeal-Democrat, 22 Dec 2015 - Marysville City Council members are now catching a little grief from people on both sides of the medicinal marijuana issues for seemingly passing, on first reading, two separate ordinances that seem contradictory. The thing is, we're not so sure they are contradictory. They might, both together, bring about tighter control of medicinal marijuana production and distribution.
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US: Pot Industry Eating Up Vast Amounts Of Power

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/22/2015 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 22 Dec 2015 - Pot's not green. The $3.5 billion U.S. cannabis market is emerging as one of the nation's most power-hungry industries, with the 24-hour demands of thousands of indoor growing sites taxing aging electricity grids and unraveling hard-earned gains in energy conservation. Without design standards or efficient equipment, the facilities in the 23 states where marijuana is legal are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions almost equal to those of every car, home and business in New Hampshire. While reams of regulations cover everything from tracking individual plants to package labeling to advertising, they lack requirements to reduce energy waste.
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Chronicle AM: Pittsburgh Decriminalizes, College Drug Testing News, ODs Hit Record High, More (12/21/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 12/21/2015 - 20:17

Pittsburgh decriminalizes, Detroit restricts dispensaries, the Univ. of Alabama is forcing all frat members to be drug tested, fatal drug overdoses hit a record high last year, and more.

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

Massachusetts Legalization Initiative Signature Count Certified. The initiative from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has been certified as handing in enough signatures to force the legislature to consider it this spring. If the legislature rejects it or fails to act by May 3, the campaign must then come up with another 10,000 signatures to put the issue directly to the voters in November.

Pittsburgh City Council Approves Decriminalization. The council voted 7-2 today to approve a decriminalization ordinance. The bill makes possession of 30 grams or less a ticketable offense, with a fine of $100. The measure was intended to "help break the damning life-long consequences of unemployment, lack of education, and being caught in a revolving criminal justice system," said bill sponsor Public Safety Chair David Lavelle.

Medical Marijuana

Detroit City Council Approves Restrictive Dispensary Ordinance. The council voted 6-1 last Thursday to approve a new zoning ordinance that will likely force the closure of many of the city's 150 or so dispensaries. The new ordinance prohibits dispensaries from operating within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, parks, liquor stores, other places considered drug-free zones, or another dispensary.

Public Health

CDC: Drug Overdoses Hit New High Last Year. The Centers for Disease Control reported last Friday that more than 47,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2014, with 60% of them involving heroin or prescription opiates. Heroin overdose deaths were up 26%, prescription opiate deaths were up 9%, and synthetic opiate deaths (mainly fentanyl) nearly doubled over 2013.

Drug Testing

University of Alabama Subjects All Frat Members to Mandatory Drug Tests. Every fraternity member at the school was required to pass a drug test at the beginning of the academic year, and now, fraternity members are being randomly selected each week for more drug tests. If students test positive, they get several warnings before they are expelled from the fraternity and a university anti-drug program intervenes to "help students get back on track before the school doles out harsher penalties. The drug testing program has been criticized by fraternity members and others as invading the privacy of students, but no one has yet challenged it in court.

ACLU to Appeal Federal Court Ruling Allowing Drug Testing of All Students at Missouri Tech College. The ACLU of Missouri said it will appeal an 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding the suspicionless drug testing of all students at the State Technical College of Missouri. The ACLU is seeking a rehearing of the case before the same three-judge appeals court panel that ruled in the school's favor or by the entire bench in the 8th Circuit. The ACLU had filed suit in 2011 to challenge the policy and won at the district court level, but the appeals court last year reversed the lower court decision. The federal courts have held that, with a handful of exceptions, mandatory suspicionless drug testing violates the Fourth Amendment's proscription against warrantless searches and seizures. The ACLU said the appeals court decision is "poorly crafted and departs from the 8th Circuit and Supreme Court precedent."

International

"Marijuana Exemption" Granted for Jamaica Rasta Festival. The Rebel Salute 2016 festival, to be held next month in St. Ann, has been granted a "marijuana exemption" personally delivered by Justice Minister Mark Golding. "Persons who are adherents of the Rastafarian faith, or Rastafarian organizations, may apply for an event promoted or sponsored by them to be declared an exempt event. In order to apply, the event must be primarily for the purpose of the celebration or observance of the Rastafarian faith," explained a Justice Ministry factsheet. "Where an event is declared exempt, persons who attend the event will not be liable to be arrested, detained or prosecuted for smoking ganja or possession of ganja at the event, or transporting ganja to the event, as long as they have complied with the amounts and conditions specified in the order declaring it an exempt event." This is the second time such an exemption has been granted.

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CN ON: Premier Wants Clear Regulations On Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 12/21/2015 - 08:00
The Record, 21 Dec 2015 - Medical, recreational uses different TORONTO - Ontario is looking for federal government guidance on regulating clinics that sell medical marijuana and on how pot should be sold for recreational use once it's legalized.
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CN ON: Wynne Wants Clear Pot Rules

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 12/21/2015 - 08:00
London Free Press, 21 Dec 2015 - Legislation: Ontario Premier wants to be `socially responsible' as federal government moves to legalize weed TORONTO - Ontario is looking for federal government guidance on regulating clinics that sell medical marijuana and on how pot should be sold for recreational use once it's legalized.
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Canada: OPED: Move To Legalize Pot Should Start By Limiting Spread Of

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 12/21/2015 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 21 Dec 2015 - Our new federal government has made it clear that legalized marijuana is just a matter of time. A visitor to Canada would be forgiven for believing legalization has already taken place: Cannabis dispensaries have been popping up across the country, especially in the past few months. Many of these dispensaries are geared toward providing cannabis to people with a prescription from their doctor. But recent reports from Toronto show that many dispensaries sell cannabis with little more than the customer's signature on a waiver form. Although illegal, the outlets seem to be operating more openly, presumably on the assumption that if legalization is coming, enforcement will leave them alone. Thus far, with a few exceptions, they seem to be right.
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US: Drug Abuse Rises As 2016 Issue

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 12/21/2015 - 08:00
Los Angeles Times, 21 Dec 2015 - As Campaigns Turn to New Hampshire, Its Addiction Epidemic Draws the Focus of Presidential Hopefuls. MANCHESTER, N.H. - Zach Brewster had a long history of addiction and was dealing drugs after flunking out of college.
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US HI: Overdose Deaths Low In Isles

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 12/21/2015 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 21 Dec 2015 - A Nonprofit Group Has Ranked Hawaii No. 6 for the State's Rate of Fatal Substance Use We don't have nearly the extreme kind of heroin epidemic that you see on the mainland. ... What we most commonly see kids overdose with in Hawaii is still alcohol poisoning." Colleen Fox Director of adolescent programs, Hina Mauka
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US CA: Law Has Cities Scrambling

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 12/20/2015 - 08:00
Los Angeles Times, 20 Dec 2015 - State Rules for Pot Dispensaries Created Deadline in Error. SACRAMENTO - A mistake in drafting new state regulations for medical marijuana in California has cities and counties scrambling to ban or restrict dispensaries before a March 1 deadline - after which, they fear, more lax state rules may apply.
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