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Chronicle AM: MT MMJ Comeback Bill, NJ Edibles A Step Closer, Dark Web Drug Site Goes Dark, More (3/18/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 21:24

There will be a bill to restore the medical marijuana status quo ante in Montana, a Nevada bill would allow it for pets, New Jersey releases guidelines for edibles producers, a North Carolina bill targets pregnant women who use drugs, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Medical Marijuana

Montana Medical Marijuana Bill Coming. State Sen. Robyn Driscoll (D) says she will file a bill this week to allow the sale for profit of medical marijuana, remove limits on the number of patients a caregiver can grow for, allow for advertising, allow for the trade in plants and seedlings, and remove a requirement that doctors who recommend for more than 25 people in a year be reviewed by the Board of Medical Examiners. The provisions would enact parts of a district judge's decision permanently enjoining portions of a harsh 2011 medical marijuana law that undid much of the state's 2004 voter-approved medical marijuana initiative.

Nevada Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana for Pets. State Sen. Tick Segerholm (D-Las Vegas) Wednesday introduced Senate Bill 372, which would allow pet owners to obtain marijuana for their animals upon a veteranarian's certification that it could help. He said he worries that some animals might have adverse reactions, but "you don't know until you try."

New Jersey Releases Standards for Edibles Producers. The Health Department has released regulations for growers who will produce medical marijuana edibles. The guidelines are a first step in a process that is likely to last months before the first edibles are available for sale. Click on the link for more details.

Tennessee CBD Cannabis Oil Bill Wins Committee Vote. The House Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday approved House Bill 197, which would allow for the use of low-THC cannabis oils by specified patients. The bill now goes to the House Health Committee, the last stop before a House floor vote. Companion legislation is moving through the Senate.

Pregnancy

North Carolina Bill Would Criminalize Drug Use During Pregnancy. State Sens. Brent Jackson (R-Autryville) and Louis Pate (R-Mount Olive) Tuesday filed a bill that would allow officials to charge a woman with assault if she uses drugs while pregnant. The measure is Senate Bill 297. Similar legislation passed in Tennessee in 2013.

International

UN Development Program Highlights Drug War's Costs to the World's Poor. UNDP, the agency charged with coming up with strategies to reduce world poverty, has slammed drug prohibition's disastrous impact on poor countries and their residents. The critique came in UNDP's formal submission to the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs, whose preliminaries got underway last week as the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs met in Vienna.

Major Dark Web Drug Sales Web Site Goes Dark. The Evolution web site has vanished from the Dark Web. It halted withdrawals of vendors' bitcoin funds over the weekend, citing technical difficulties, then vanished Tuesday night. Some $12 million in bitcoins may have disappeared in what some are now calling a scam. The pseudonymous operators of the site are now facing threats from people who lost money.

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CN NS: OPED: The True Face Of Addiction

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:00
The News, 18 Mar 2015 - The face of addiction looks significantly different from that portrayed in popular media. Depictions of 'out of control' alcohol and drug users, persuaded into engaging in these risky behaviours for selfish purposes, taints our understanding of what addiction really is. The reality is that one in five Canadians experience addiction problems, yet very few actively seek assistance in coping with their addiction.
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US NM: Medical Pot Growers Sue State Over New Rules

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:00
The New Mexican, 18 Mar 2015 - A majority of the nonprofits licensed to grow medical marijuana for the state are suing the state Department of Health and Secretary Retta Ward over new rules adopted last month for the state's Medical Cannabis Program. They claim the new rules are arbitrary and capricious, are not evidence-based and are unenforceable because they exceed the department's authority. Organized under the name Cannabis Producers of New Mexico Inc., 19 producers say in documents filed in District Court late Monday that they want the court to declare the new administrative rules void, stop the department from enforcing them and require that patient forms published after the rule conform to state statute.
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US WA: Column: The Stusser Omnibus Marijuana Bill

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:00
Seattle Weekly, 18 Mar 2015 - A modest proposal to head off the awful Senate Bill 5052. Last week, three U.S. senators introduced a bill that attempts to amend many of the outdated medical-marijuana conundrums at the federal level. The bill would end the prohibition of medical marijuana, reclassify the plant from its current designation as a Schedule 1 narcotic (a status that suggests no medical value and high potential for abuse), and allow for more cannabis study and research. While the bipartisan bill doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of passing, it's a great conversation starter.
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US IL: Pot Users Ok'd, But No Medical Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:00
Chicago Tribune, 18 Mar 2015 - Delays, Legal Challenges Send Patients to Streets A year and a half after Illinois lawmakers voted to legalize medical marijuana, Marla Levi is still waiting. Levi has multiple sclerosis, uses a wheelchair and said she ingests marijuana to help her manage the symptoms. If she wants to continue, she'll have to get it on the street because medical marijuana in Illinois isn't expected to be available for several more months.
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US CA: Local Delegation Hears From Marijuana Industry Experts

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:00
The Signal, 18 Mar 2015 - Community Leaders Told California Needs to Get Ready for Legalization SACRAMENTO - Two experts on the marijuana industry told a delegation of Santa Clarita Valley business and community leaders Tuesday that the state needs to be ready for the possible legalization of recreational marijuana use in the next few years.
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US MD: Column: Drug And Death Efforts Key For State

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 18 Mar 2015 - From gay marriage to marijuana decriminalization, Maryland has been a national leader on social issues in the new century. This year, state legislators and new governor Larry Hogan can further burnish the state's reputation by setting a national example on heroin intervention and death-with-dignity legislation. Let's start with Governor Hogan's noble call to mitigate heroin addiction and overdose deaths in Maryland. The governor brings personal experience to the issue: He lost a cousin to a heroin overdose.
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US DC: No Pot in This Beer, Just a Hint of the City's Lack of

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 07:00
Washington Post, 18 Mar 2015 - First, a disclaimer: There is no marijuana in the beer. That's what they said. Cannabis and hops are just a lot alike. It only smells like pot. And it might taste a little like it, too. So if that's what you like - a dank, resinous pint - or if you're willing at least to try it, this could be your season at the District's DC Brau Brewing Co.
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Chronicle AM: Obama on Pot, Welfare Drug Test Bills, Italy Marijuana Legalization Bill, More (3/17/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 22:51

Obama pontificiates on pot policy, Maine tribes consider legal marijuana, North Dakota not only doesn't want medical marijuana but doesn't even want to think about it, welfare drug testing dies in Montana, but stays alive in Arkansas, and more.

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Obama Comments on Marijuana, Policy, and Priorities. In an interview with VICE News on Monday, President Obama said marijuana law reforms at the state level could lead to changes at the federal level, but also said that legalization is not "a panacea" and that it shouldn't be young people's highest priority.

Connecticut Supreme Court Rules Past Marijuana Convictions Can Be Expunged. The court held that since the state decriminalized small-time marijuana possession in 2011, people who had been charged with it prior to that can apply to get their convictions erased. The case is Connecticut v. Menditto.

Maine Tribes Ponder Pot Operations. Three of the state's four Indian tribes are considering marijuana legalization on their lands and whether it could prove an economic boon to their communities. The Passamaquoddys, the Maliseet Houlton Band, and the Micmac Aroostook Band are pondering the issue; the Penobscots say they're not interested.

Medical Marijuana

North Dakota House Kills Medical Marijuana Study Bill. Not only does the legislature not want to approve medical marijuana; it doesn't even want to study it. The House earlier killed a medical marijuana bill and now it has killed a study bill, with opponents claiming it wasn't needed because the House Human Services Committee "couldn't find anything that wasn't already taken care of in the hearing process."

Drug Testing

Arkansas Senate Approves Welfare Drug Testing Bill. The bill would create a two-year pilot program that would screen at least 10% of welfare applicants and recipients, and if the screening results in "a reasonable suspicion" that the person is using drugs, he would be subjected to drug testing. The measure is Senate Bill 600. It now goes to the House.

Montana Senate Committee Kills Welfare Drug Testing Bill. The Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Safety Committee voted 6-1 to kill a bill that would require welfare applicants to be screened for evidence of drug use and some to be drug tested. The bill was House Bill 200. It had already passed the House.

International

Sixty Italian Lawmakers Sign on To Support Marijuana Legalization Bill. A bill from MP Benedetto Della Vedova to legalize marijuana has won the support of 60 of his fellow legislators. That's a start, but it's only a little over 10% of the 630 members of the Chamber of Deputies.

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US: Obama to Youths: Focus Not On The Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 17 Mar 2015 - WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has a stern message for the younger generation about their political priorities: Care more about climate change and less about marijuana. Obama, who has been open about smoking pot in high school, chided an interviewer from Vice News who suggested that, if marijuana were legalized, young people would view that as a top item when considering the president's legacy.
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Mexico: U.S. Pot On Rise In Mexico

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:00
The Herald, 17 Mar 2015 - High-End Imports, Home Cultivation Increasing MEXICO CITY (AP) - Once upon a time, Mexican marijuana was the gold standard for U.S. pot smokers. But in the new world of legal markets and gourmet weed, aficionados here are looking to the United States and Europe for the good stuff.
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US: The Sting

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:00
The Guardian, 17 Mar 2015 - Using undercover agents, the DEA spent four years trying to bring down a cocaine trafficking gang in west Africa. Was the operation a triumph in the global war on drugs or a case of American overreach? By Yudhijit Bhattacharjee On a sultry May afternoon in 2009, a car stopped at the end of a dirt road in the Liberian capital of Monrovia. Guards toting Kalashnikov rifles opened the gate to a large house, and the vehicle rolled into the driveway, setting off a chorus of barking by a group of mastiffs caged inside the compound.
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New Zealand: Little Data On Drug

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:00
Timaru Herald, 17 Mar 2015 - A government investigation into the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has found little evidence to support a wider review. Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne asked the Ministry of Health to report amid domestic and international pressure to legalise the drug's use among certain patients. The report said although some research had found cannabinoids might be useful to treat some ailments, overall, data was limited. "To date, clinical trials of unprocessed or partially-processed cannabis products have suffered from limited participant numbers and lack of data on long-term effects," the ministry said. - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
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New Zealand: Marijuana Review

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:00
Southland Times, 17 Mar 2015 - MARIJUANA REVIEW A government investigation into the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has found little evidence to support a wider review. Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne had called on the Ministry of Health to provide a report, amid growing pressure to legalise the drug's use among certain patients. Dunne said the issue needed to be addressed as and when new evidence emerged. - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
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US: Obama Closer To Backing Legal Pot, But With Caveats

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 17 Mar 2015 - WASHINGTON - President Obama appeared to come closer than ever to endorsing legal marijuana in an interview posted Monday by VICE News. Obama, asked about the popularity of legalizing marijuana among young people, appeared initially unenthusiastic.
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US WA: Cornering The Pot Market

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:00
Washington Post, 17 Mar 2015 - After Washington State Made It Legal, a Struggling Small Town Went into Business North Bonneville, Wash. - Deep in the Columbia River Gorge, a short drive from the Bridge of the Gods, the nation's only government-run marijuana shop was running low on weed.
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US AK: Ledoux: Kelly's Amendment To Pot Bill Will Not Pass

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 17 Mar 2015 - JUNEAU - The head of a House committee that has spent much of the session reviewing marijuana said an amendment pushed through by a Fairbanks senator to ban all marijuana concentrates in 2017 will not survive in her committee. Anchorage Republican and House Judiciary chairwoman Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux said a controversial amendment authored by Sen. Pete Kelly isn't what Alaskans voted for when they passed Ballot Measure 2.
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US AK: Editorial: Marijuana Bill's Future Unclear: With Sen.

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 17 Mar 2015 - After a rough initial outing and complete rewrite, the Alaska Legislature's attempt at setting state rules for marijuana legalization appears to have ground to a halt once more. Senate Bill 30 would rewrite state laws to reflect marijuana's legal status for personal possession and use following voter approval of Ballot Measure 2 in November 2014. But a controversial amendment by Fairbanks Sen. Pete Kelly has dimmed the prospect that a fix to conflicting state laws on legalization is imminent. At first, SB 30 was an ugly bill. Rather than reflect marijuana's legal status, as originally written, the bill would have left state drug laws intact - including illegal status for pot - and simply let defendants charged with marijuana possession offer the passage of legalization as an affirmative defense. Legislators, state law officials and legalization advocates railed against the bill's language as not reflective of voters' intention in passing the ballot measure.
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Chronicle AM: Chicago Cops Still Target Blacks for Pot, VT Ibogaine Bill, TX Med MJ Bill, More (3/16/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 22:08

Chicago is still arresting way more blacks than whites for pot possession, marijuana bills are moving in Missouri, Texas sees full-blown medical marijuana bills filed, an ibogaine bill gets filed in Vermont, MAPS wins DEA approval for an ecstasy study, and more.

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Chicago Pot Arrests Continue to Target Blacks. While Mayor Rahm Emanuel says that police statistics show "progress" being made in racial disparities around marijuana arrests (he says roughly the same percentage of whites are being ticketed instead of arrested as blacks), the numbers show that blacks are getting arrested for at a rate 16 times that of whites. More than 8,000 blacks were arrested for pot possession, but only 500 whites were, even though whites are 60% of the city's population. Blacks were busted for pot possession at a rate of 977 per 100,000, while whites were arrested at a rate of 60 per 100,000.

Alaska Regulation Bill Still Pending. Senate Bill 30, which seeks to adjust state criminal laws to recognize the legality of marijuana, is getting messy. The Senate Finance Committee was to finish work on the bill Saturday, but that didn't happen. The committee is split over an amendment that passed Friday on a 4-3 vote. That amendment would ban concentrates, including edibles, after two years. In addition to unhappiness over that measure, advocates say the language of the amendment is so unclear it could even ban marijuana leaves. Stay tuned.

Missouri Marijuana Bills Move. Committees in the legislature advanced four different marijuana bills last week. The House Corrections Committee approved HB 978, which would free Jeff Mizanskey, who is serving life without parole for a non-violent cannabis offense; the House Emerging Issues Committee approved a medical marijuana bill, HB 800, although it added restrictions; the House Economic Development and Business Attraction and Retention Committee approved an industrial hemp bill, HB 830, and the Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee approved SB 386, which will expand the ailments for which CBD oil could be recommended, as well as increase the number of cultivators from two to 10 and dispensaries from six to 30.

New Mexico Senate Approves Decriminalization Bill. The Senate voted narrowly Saturday to approve marijuana decriminalization. Senate Bill 383 passed on a vote of 21-20. Under the bill, possession of an ounce of less would be a ticketable offense punishable by a $50 fine. The bill now goes to the House.

Medical Marijuana

Florida's CBD Cannabis Oil Program Delayed Again. For the second time, the Department of Health has posted "final rules" for the program, and now, for the second time, it is being challenged by lawsuits. That pushes back the timeline for getting the program up and running by another 60 to 90 days. It was supposed to be running by January 1.

Idaho Limited CBD Cannabis Oil Bill Moves. The Senate State Affairs Committee has narrowly approved a CBD cannabis oil bill, Senate Bill 1146. It passed on a 5-4 vote after law enforcement objections scuttled an earlier bill. The new bill only allows for an affirmative defense; the old one would have explicitly made it legal for patients and providers to possess the oils.

Texas Medical Marijuana Bills Filed. Rep. Marissa Marquez (D-El Paso) Friday introduced HB 3785, a full-fledged medical marijuana bill, in the House, and Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) filed a companion bill in the Senate. The bills would allow qualifying patients to use and possess small amounts of marijuana and obtain it through regulated dispensaries.

Ibogaine

Vermont Ibogaine Drug Treatment Pilot Program Bill Filed. Reps. Paul Dame (R-Essex Junction) and Rep. Joe Troiano (D-Stannard) have introduced HB 387, which would set up a pilot program to dispense the drug for substance abuse treatment. The bill goes to the House Committee on Human Services.

MDMA

DEA Approves Study of MDMA for Anxiety in Terminal Illnesses. The DEA Friday approved a Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses. The study will take place in Marin County, California, and will be conducted by Dr. Phil Wolfson.

Harm Reduction

Idaho Legislature Approves Opiate Overdose Reversal Drug Bill. The measure, House Bill 108, passed the House last month and the Senate last Thursday. The bill would allow pharmacists to prescribe naloxone to friends and family members of people at risk of an opiate overdose. It now goes to the governor's desk.

Law Enforcement

SUNY New Paltz Students Protest Honoring Campus Cops for Drug Busts. Students and community activists gathered together Friday to protest a police union award ceremony congratulating campus cops for having the highest percentage of on-campus drug arrests nationwide in 2013. "Don't honor the police for disturbing the peace!" read one sign. Students said they didn't have an on-campus drug problem, but an over-policing problem SUNY New Paltz police arrested 105 people for drugs on campus in 2013.

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CN ON: Group Wants Drug Abuse Strategy For City

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 07:00
The Sault Star, 16 Mar 2015 - Health: Strategy Would Address Harms to Public A community group that developed a recently launched program to fight fentanyl patch abuse now wants to create a strategy to combat drug abuse for the city.
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