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Marijuana

UK: 'Make Cannabis Legal for Medicinal Purposes,' Says

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 07:00
Evening Chronicle, 09 Jun 2016 - Ron Hogg Said the War on Drugs Has Failed and the UK's Drug Policy Is 'Unsustainable' As He Called on Colleagues to Back His Views Cannabis should be made legal and used for medicinal purposes, Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner has said.
Categories: Marijuana

US MA: Pot Shots Taken At Ballot Question

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 07:00
Boston Herald, 09 Jun 2016 - State Supreme Court Mulls Marijuana Bill The state's highest court is mulling whether the proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use should go up in smoke after a group of concerned voters said the language of the ballot measure is too vague to be constitutional - and opens the door to all kinds of hyper-potent pot products.
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US OH: Kasich Signs Medical Marijuana Bill

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 07:00
Morning Journal, 09 Jun 2016 - Ohio became the latest state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana after Republican Gov. John Kasich signed legislation Wednesday. The law allows people to use the drug in vapor form for certain chronic health conditions, while barring patients from smoking marijuana or growing it at home.
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US OR: Oregon Pushes To Finalize Rules On Recreational Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 09 Jun 2016 - 'It's Like the Circus Around Here,' Says One Commissioner PORTLAND, Ore. - After months of public hearings with pot growers, lawmen, public health officials and others, an Oregon commission is racing to finalize recreational marijuana regulations and issue licenses to hundreds of businesses within a few months.
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US OR: Oregon Races To Finalize Pot Rules, Issue Licenses

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 07:00
The Herald, 09 Jun 2016 - PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) - After months of public hearings with pot growers, lawmen, public health officials and others, an Oregon commission is racing to finalize recreational marijuana regulations and issue licenses to hundreds of businesses within a few months. But those who aim to produce souped-up coffee and other niche products might have to wait a bit longer.
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US CA: Column: Kushy Endorsements

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 09 Jun 2016 - I was wondering: Since you have your face on a brand of weed, do you think celebrity endorsements influence youths' perception of weed? Since you're a comic for adults maybe it doesn't apply in your case, but I was still curious. - -E.
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US CA: Watch Out, Measure A

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 07:00
The Chico News & Review, 09 Jun 2016 - Medical Marijuana Advocates Push for New Rules Regarding Cultivation, Commerce The Inland Cannabis Farmers' Association has again held a petition drive to put pot on the local ballot. The group turned in signatures Monday (June 6)-they are currently being counted-for the Medical Cannabis Cultivation & Commerce Initiative 2016 (aka MC3).
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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 20:39

The California legislature gets down to business, medical marijuana expansion bills become law in Colorado and Vermont, a "poison pill" California initiative fails to make the ballot, and more.

[image:1 align:left]California

Last Wednesday, the Senate approved a medical marijuana sales tax. The Senate Wednesday approved a bill imposing a 15% sales tax on medical marijuana on a 27-9 vote. The measure, Senate bill 987, now goes to the Assembly. Critics have charged it will hurt poor patients, but bill sponsor Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) says he will amend the bill in the Assembly to ensure that low income people don't have to pay the tax.

Also last Wednesday, the Assembly approved medical marijuana research. The Assembly Wednesday approved Assembly Bill 1575, an omnibus medical marijuana bill that includes provisions easing the way for research on the plant's medicinal properties. The bill specifies that it is "not a violation of state law or local ordinance or regulation for a business or research institution with state authorization to engage in the research of medical cannabis used for the medical purposes." The bill now heads for the Senate.

Also last Wednesday, the Assembly approved "cottage" medical marijuana farms. The Assembly Wednesday approved Assembly Bill 2516, which would create a new category of cultivator license for outdoor grows under 2,500 square feet and indoor grows under 500 square feet. "We are trying to ensure small medical cannabis growers on the North Coast can continue to do business as this industry moves forward," said sponsor Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-North Coast). "It is not fair to require the small farmers to adhere to the same standards as larger operations." The bill now heads for the Senate.

On Tuesday, an initiative to create a state medical marijuana monopoly failed to qualify for the ballot. An initiative filed by a leading state anti-medical marijuana activist that would have banned all private cultivation sites and dispensaries has failed to qualify for the ballot. The California Safe and Drug-Free Community Act was filed by Roger Morgan, with the Take Back American campaign, which brandishes a #stoppot hashtag.

Colorado

On Tuesday, the governor signed a medical marijuana in schools bill. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) Tuesday signed into law "Jack's Law," which allows for the use of medical marijuana in schools under strict conditions. The measure is House Bill 1373.

Montana

On Monday, a medical marijuana initiative reported having 30,000 raw signatures. Backers of Initiative 182, which seeks to restore the state's medical marijuana program demolished by the legislature in 2011, say they have some 30,000 raw signatures as a June 17 deadline draws near. They need 24,000 valid signatures to qualify. Initiative watchers generally assume as many as 30% of gathered signatures could be invalidated. If that were the case right now in Montana, the initiative would not make the ballot.

New Jersey

Last Wednesday, a bill to add PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions won a committee vote. A bill that would add PTSD to the list of qualifying medical marijuana conditions advanced out of the Assembly Oversight Committee on a 3-0 vote Wednesday. The measure now heads for an Assembly floor vote. A similar bill was approved by the Assembly last year, but died in Senate committee.

Vermont

On Tuesday, the governor signed a medical marijuana expansion bill. Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) Tuesday signed into law Senate Bill 14, which will expand the state's medical marijuana system. Shumlin used the occasion to emphasize medical marijuana as an alternative to opioid pain relievers: "At a time when opiate addiction is ravaging our state and drug companies continue to urge our doctors to pass out painkillers like candy, we need to find a more practical solution to pain management. This bill ensures that Vermonters who are suffering will have access to medicine that is high quality, laboratory tested, and most importantly non-addictive," he said.

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

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Chronicle AM: Mass MJ Init Sees Court Challenge, Governors Sign MedMJ Bills, More... (6/8/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 20:12

Foes of marijuana legalization are in court today in Boston to try to block a pending initiative, medical marijuana expansion bills become law in Colorado and Vermont, a public summit on new psychoactive substances is coming to New York, and more.

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

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Hears Challenge to Legalization Initiative. Opponents of the legalization initiative from the Maine Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol sought to block it Wednesday by arguing that it is fatally flawed because it doesn't explicitly say it would allow the use of marijuana edibles. Attorney John Scheft argued that voters were "significantly misled" when they were told the measure would legalize marijuana because it would legalize "marijuana, hashish, marijuana concentrates, and also food products." The summary language does refer to "marijuana products." But at least one justice expressed skepticism: "Having read your summary I would have no idea that the measure allows the infusion of a hallucinogen into food and drink at all," said Justice Robert Cordry.

Sheldon Adelson Buys Nevada Newspaper; Newspaper Reverses Support for Legalization. Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a large contributor to conservative politicians and anti-marijuana efforts, bought the Las Vegas Review Journal last December. The paper had supported marijuana legalization, but no longer after Adelson "and his wife Miriam pressured editorial board members to visit a drug treatment center and reconsider the publication's support for legalization." A legalization initiative from the Nevada Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will be on the ballot in November.

Medical Marijuana

Colorado Governor Signs Medical Marijuana in Schools Bill. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) Tuesday signed into law "Jack's Law," which allows for the use of medical marijuana in schools under strict conditions. The measure is House Bill 1373.

Vermont Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill. Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) Tuesday signed into law Senate Bill 14, which will expand the state's medical marijuana system. Shumlin used the occasion to emphasize medical marijuana as an alternative to opioid pain relievers: "At a time when opiate addiction is ravaging our state and drug companies continue to urge our doctors to pass out painkillers like candy, we need to find a more practical solution to pain management. This bill ensures that Vermonters who are suffering will have access to medicine that is high quality, laboratory tested, and most importantly non-addictive," he said.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Illinois Legislature Overrides Veto, Passes Opioid Overdose Access Reversal Drug Bill. Both the House and the Senate have voted to override a partial veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) of House Bill 1, which will allow access to naloxone (Narcan) without a prescription, require private insurers to provide coverage for anti-overdose drugs, and expand drug courts.

New Psychoactive Substances

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on New Psychoactive Substances. The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday held a hearing on new psychoactive substances (NPSs) weighted heavily toward pushing for giving the DEA and the Justice Department greater latitude to prosecute people for selling and distributing NPSs. The hearing devoted little attention to policy approaches that could reduce demand for NPSs or harms associated with their use.

New York City Summit on New Psychoactive Substances Tomorrow and Friday. "New Strategies for New Psychoactive Substances: A Public Health Approach" is going on Thursday and Friday at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Click the link to get more info and to register.

Asset Forfeiture

Delaware House Approves Asset Forfeiture Reform With Big Loophole. The House Tuesday approved House Bill 309, which claims to bring public disclosure to the state's civil asset forfeiture fund. But the bill also allows law enforcement to apply for money from the fund in secret. Law enforcement said the language was necessary to not jeopardize ongoing investigations. The bill is now before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Categories: Marijuana

US PA: Officials Set Medical Marijuana Regulation Priorities

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 07:00
Standard-Speaker, 08 Jun 2016 - HARRISBURG - Children with serious medical conditions will have first access to legal medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, possibly as soon as next month, state Health Secretary Karen Murphy said Wednesday. Murphy, R.N., Ph.D., a Scranton native, outlined the department's plans to write temporary regulations so those children under the age of 18 and their caregivers can obtain medical marijuana in other states where it's legal while Pennsylvania's new medical marijuana law is fully implemented.
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UK: Ban Will Not Stop Supply, Drugs Adviser Warns

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 07:00
The Guardian, 08 Jun 2016 - The ban on legal highs will not lead to the disappearance of spice and other synthetic cannabis-like drugs because they are so profitable to dealers, a senior government drugs adviser has warned. Prof Harry Sumnall, a member of the Home Office's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, said the economics of producing the substances - often collectively dubbed "spice" - versus that of growing traditional cannabis made them an appealing proposition.
Categories: Marijuana

South Africa: OPED: The Argument To Decriminalise Cannabis

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 07:00
The Daily News, 08 Jun 2016 - Stop Arresting South Africans for Low-Level Use, Write Myrtle Clarke and Julian Stobbs THE cracks in the policies that prohibit the use, cultivation and trade in cannabis in South Africa are beginning to show.
Categories: Marijuana

South Africa: OPED: Dagga Couple's Joint Lobby

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 07:00
The Star, 08 Jun 2016 - First, We Need to Stop the Arrests for Low-Level Use, but Decriminalisation Doesn't Go Far Enough; We Must Push for Legalisation, Write Myrtle Clarke and Julian Stobbs THE CRACKS in the policies that prohibit the use, cultivation and trade in cannabis in South Africa are beginning to show. Fields of Green for All representatives attended the recent UN special session on drugs in New York as civil society delegates. Our minister of police and deputy minister of social development were there in their official capacity.
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CN ON: What Was Really Behind The Pot Shop Raids?

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 08 Jun 2016 - When Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders announced details of last week's pot shop raids, there were rumblings that Health Canada's licensed marijuana producers were behind the mass arrests. "This is about protecting the corporate profits of stock-market businesses who have sent police to arrest people to protect their own financial interest," Vancouver-based marijuana activist Jodie Emery said, scolding Saunders at his news conference.
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South Africa: OPED: Death Knell for Last Apartheid Law on

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 07:00
The Pretoria News, 08 Jun 2016 - Trial of the Plant to Lay Foundation for Future Policy THE CRACKS in the policies that prohibit the use, cultivation and trade in cannabis in South Africa are beginning to show. Fields of Green for ALL representatives attended the recent UN Special Session on Drugs in New York as civil society delegates. Our minister of police and deputy minister of social development were there in their official capacities. But South Africa's comments on the outcome document were as bland as most of the other countries, and a report that described the whole special session as a "damp squib" was quite accurate. Dagga couple Myrtle Clarke and Julian Stobbs seem to be making headway in their fight for the legalisation of cannabis.
Categories: Marijuana

South Africa: OPED: Banning Cannabis More Harmful Than Drug

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 07:00
Cape Argus, 08 Jun 2016 - SA Can Join Countries in Showing Shortcomings and Deciding on Policies THE CRACKS in the policies that prohibit the use, cultivation and trade in cannabis in South Africa are beginning to show. Fields of Green for ALL representatives attended the recent UN Special Session on Drugs in New York as civil society delegates. Our Minister of Police and Deputy Minister of Social Development were there in their official capacity. But South Africa's comments on the outcome document were as bland as the majority of other countries, and a report that described the special session as a "damp squib" was quite accurate.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Marijuana And Equity

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 07:00
East Bay Express, 08 Jun 2016 - Personal pot possession in California was reduced from an arrest to an infraction in 2010, but systemic racism around pot enforcement continues, a new study finds. The American Civil Liberties Union of California, in conjunction with the Drug Policy Alliance, published a groundbreaking, heavily reported piece of research Monday that concludes that the Black community in California faces ticketing for pot at a rate four times as high as whites. Latinos have about double the rate of pot tickets as whites.
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US MI: Column: Fighting For A Vote On Legalized Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 07:00
Metro Times, 08 Jun 2016 - MILegalize is still kicking. The effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan turned in more than 350,000 signatures in its attempt to put the question on the fall ballot. It was the only group out of a number of petition efforts to actually turn in their petitions with the qualifying 252,523 signatures. To the organizers, activists, petition circulators, and petition signers, I say: "Well done." But the main question being asked now is: Was it done quickly enough?
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US CO: Column: Obama's Academy Visit Primetime for Cannabis

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 08 Jun 2016 - Even for a city always crawling with military brass, our June 2 visitor was still a cut above. The Commander in Chief was in town to address the Air Force Academy's graduation ceremony - an affair that brought in proud families from all over the country and, of course, sizable media attention. Local cannabis activists saw an opportunity in the occasion. Rolling out of bed at sunrise, a group of 10 diehards gathered around the Academy's gates to send a message to President Barack Obama, Mayor John Suthers and all the ceremony attendees: Leave patients alone.
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Chronicle AM: States Failing on Drug Treatment Insurance, MI Initiative Soldiers On, More... (6/7/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 06/07/2016 - 21:30

Michigan legalizers suffered a double blow today but vow to fight on, a California medical marijuana initiative from anti-marijuana activists dies on the vine, a new report says the states need to step up on addiction treatment coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and more.

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

Rick Steves Is Matching Donations to Maine Legalization Initiative. Travel show host and marijuana legalization advocate Rick Steves has announced he will match any donations to the Maine Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. The initiative has already qualified for the November ballot, and Steves has $50,000 set aside for matching donations.

Michigan Pot Legalization Initiative Takes Double Blow, But Vows to Fight On. Efforts to let Michiganders vote on legalizing marijuana this year suffered a one-two punch from the state's political establishment today, but organizers are unbowed and are vowing to keep up the fight to get their initiative on the ballot. First, the state election board ruled Tuesday that the initiative was at least 106,000 signatures short of qualifying after throwing out 137,000 signatures that were gathered more than 180 days before the signatures were handed in. Then, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed into law Senate Bill 776, which limits signature gathering to a strict 180-day window. But Mi Legalize says it is fighting on. "We're alive and well," said MI Legalize spokesman Jeffrey Hank. "We expected this, and in the next few days, we'll be filing a lawsuit. We will continue to run our campaign as we go through litigation." The campaign says it needs financial help, too.

Medical Marijuana

California Initiative to Create State Medical Marijuana Monopoly Fails to Qualify. An initiative filed by a leading state anti-medical marijuana activist that would have banned all private cultivation sites and dispensaries has failed to qualify for the ballot. The California Safe and Drug-Free Community Act was filed by Roger Morgan, with the Take Back American campaign, which brandishes a #stoppot hashtag.

Drug Treatment

Report: States Are Failing to Provide Sufficient Insurance Coverage for Addiction Treatment. A new report from the National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse reviewed Essential Health Benefits (EHB) benchmark plans under the Affordable Care Act and called its findings "disheartening." None of the plans provided comprehensive coverage for addiction treatment without harmful treatment limitations, two-thirds of the plans had ACA violations, and nearly one in five didn't comply with parity requirements.

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