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Chronicle AM: Guam Gov Files Legalization Bill, More Iran Drug Executions, More... (1/11/17)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 22:27

Marijuana legalization bills get filed in Guam and the District of Columbia, the Global Drug Policy Commission asks Obama to commute more sentences, Chris Christie vows to fight drug addiction during his last year in office, and more.

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

Guam Governor Files Legalization Bill. Gov. Eddie Calvo Tuesday introduced a bill to legalize marijuana on the US island territory. "I am introducing this bill, not because I personally support the recreational use of marijuana, but as a solution to the regulatory labyrinth that sprouted from the voter-mandated medical marijuana program," Calvo said in a press release. The measure would legalize marijuana for people over 21 and impose a 15% tax on sales. Medical marijuana patients would be exempt from the tax.

DC Councilmember Files Bill for Legal Marijuana Commerce and Regulation. Councilmember David Grosso Tuesday filed a bill to establish a full tax and regulatory framework for legal marijuana commerce. If passed, the bill would put the District in conflict with Congress, which must approve city spending. But Grosso said that Congress had forced the District's hand with its meddling in city affairs.

Drug Policy

New Jersey Governor Vows to Heighten Fight Against Drug Addiction. In his final state of the state address, Gov. Chris Christie (R) said he will spend his last year as governor fighting drug addiction. "Our state faces a crisis which is more urgent to New Jersey's families than any other issue we could confront," Christie told the legislature in Trenton. "Beyond the human cost, which is incalculable, there is a real cost to every part of life in New Jersey." Christie is pushing for treatment instead of jail for nonviolent drug offenders, expanded drug courts, and expanded needle exchange programs, among other initiatives.

Law Enforcement

Federal Bill to Clear Way for more Surplus Military Gear for Police Filed. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) has filed House Resolution 426, which would bar the federal government from limiting the sale or donation of excess federal property to state and local agencies for law enforcement purposes. The bill is a response to the Obama administration's short-lived decision last year to block the transfer of military-style equipment to domestic police forces.

Sentencing

Global Drug Policy Commission Asks Obama to Free More Prisoners. In an open letter to the outgoing president, the commission, which includes a number of former heads of state, thanked Obama for his efforts to shift from a punitive approach to drugs, noted that he had freed more than a thousand drug war prisoners through his clemency program, and asked for more: "We hope that in these final days of your presidency, you will use the power of your office to commute even more prison sentences of low-level drug offenders, and restore dignity and hope to their lives," the commission wrote. "May your example inspire not only your successor, but also governors across the country."

International

Colombia Coca Cultivation Set to Increase. Colombia's post-conflict minister, Rafael Pardo, said Tuesday that coca cultivation will increase this year, the third year in a row that has seen increases in the country's coca crop. Pardo said part of the reason was the government's turn away from using aerial eradication, but that a bigger part was the government's devaluation of the peso, which dramatically increased profit margins for drug traffickers.

Iran Starts New Year With Spate of Drug Executions. The world's leading drug executioner is at again. In the first week of the new year, Iran executed 16 people, 10 of them for drug offenses. Iran executes hundreds of people each year, with drug offenders accounting for an increasing number of them. In 2015, the last year with full statistics, 66% of all executions in Iran were for drug offenses. Another 12 prisoners were set to be executed for drug offenses this week.

Categories: Marijuana

US: Survey: Two-Thirds Of Cops Say Marijuana Laws Should Be Relaxed

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 08:00
Washington Post, 11 Jan 2017 - A Pew Research Center survey of nearly 8,000 police officers finds that more than two-thirds of them say that marijuana use should be legal for either personal or medical use. The nationally representative survey of law enforcement, one of the largest of its kind, found that 32 percent of police officers said marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use, while 37 percent said it should be legal for medical use only. An additional 30 percent said that marijuana should not be legal at all.
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US: Sessions Hints At Tougher Policy Toward Legalized Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 08:00
Washington Post, 11 Jan 2017 - In November 2012, people in Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use in their states. Nine months later, as the states worked out their local legal regimes, then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. issued a directive to law enforcement, urging them to let the states' experiments proceed. By the end of 2016, a batch of new states had legalized marijuana, and Holder himself was advocating for marijuana to be "rescheduled" -- meaning that penalties should be lowered for sale and possession across the country. There might be no easier position for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to reverse if, as expected, he is confirmed as attorney general. But in Tuesday's 10-hour grilling, Sessions received two questions about marijuana, on in the form of a loping and friendly inquiry about federalism from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).
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US IL: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Proposed For Algonquin

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 08:00
Daily Herald, 11 Jan 2017 - [photo] A medical marijuana dispensary is proposed for 1154 N. Main St. in Algonquin. Algonquin officials are considering a medical marijuana company's proposal to open a dispensary in a medical office complex.
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CN AB: Column: Green Path The Wrong One

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 08:00
Edmonton Sun, 11 Jan 2017 - Prime Minister Trudeau's pot legalization plan bad for the country's young people Last summer the Trudeau government established a task force to study marijuana legalization and regulation. Their mandate was to consult with Canadians about developing a framework for legal access to marijuana (cannabis).
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CN ON: 'Cat-And-Mouse Game' With Local Pot Shops

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 08:00
Ottawa Sun, 11 Jan 2017 - When Arash Zadeh heard a marijuana dispensary on Hunt Club Road had temporarily closed after an armed robbery, he saw an opportunity. He asked his real estate agent to find out whether the landlord was interested in renting the space to him and his business partner Hadi Shureih. "I called (the agent) and said, 'I'm sure the community is not very impressed with this (shop), so can we get in?"
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Chronicle AM: Sessions Provides No Clarity on MJ Policy, MO Legalizers Trying Again, More... (1/10/17)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 22:06

Sen. Jeff Sessions is on the hotseat today and Wednesday during his Senate confirmation hearings, Missouri activists gear up for a 2018 legalization initiative, and more.

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

Sessions Evades Firm Answer on State Marijuana Laws, Leaves Door Open for Federal Enforcement. During his confirmation hearing for the position of Attorney General Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) avoided giving a straight answer on how he will handle states that have legalized marijuana. When asked by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) if he would use Justice Department resources to prosecute medical marijuana patients in states where it is legal, Sessions replied, "I won't commit to never enforcing federal law… but absolutely it is a problem of resources for our federal government. And when asked by Leahy if he agreed with Obama Justice Department guidelines that have largely allowed marijuana legalization to proceed at the state level, Sessions responded with evasion. When asked by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) about states' right to experiment with marijuana legalization, Sessions responded that marijuana was illegal at the federal level: "One obvious concern is the United States Congress has made the possession in every state and distribution an illegal act. If that's' something that's not desired any longer Congress should pass a law to change the rule, it is not the Attorney General's job to decide what laws to enforce."

Missouri Legalization Initiative Approved for Signature Gathering. Missouri came just a couple of dozen of signatures away from being able to vote on marijuana legalization in 2016, and activists there are already gearing up for 2018. A legalization initiative has been approved for signature gathering. It would make marijuana legal for people 21 and over, and medical marijuana would be legal for minors with a doctor's permission.

Medical Marijuana

Connecticut Medical Marijuana Expansion Hearing Wednesday. A panel of eight physician specialists will hear public testimony on expanding medical conditions covered by the state's medical marijuana law Wednesday. Patients are expected to ask the panel to expand the law to include conditions such as eczema, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. The panel will make a recommendation to the Consumer Protection Commissioner, who can then propose the change to a legislative oversight committee, which would make a final decision. The whole process could take a year or more.

South Carolina Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. State Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) and state Rep. Peter McCoy (R-Charleston) Tuesday filed identical versions of the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act (Senate Bill 212) at the statehouse. The bill would allow qualifying patients with debilitating medical conditions and a recommendation from their doctor to use medical cannabis.

Key Minnesota GOP Legislator Wants to Block Any New Qualifying Conditions. Longtime medical marijuana skeptic and former House Majority Leader Rep. Matt Dan (R-Dellwood) has filed a measure, House File 120, that would block the state health commissioner from adding new qualifying conditions to the state's medical marijuana law. It's a power that has been used sparingly -- "intractable pain" was added after a year's wait -- but Dean wants it used not at all. His bill would accomplish that by striking out the phrase "or any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the commissioner."

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US: Sessions On Enforcing Federal Marijuana Laws: `It Won't Be An

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 08:00
Washington Post, 10 Jan 2017 - In his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Trump's nominee for attorney general, declined to say whether he'd adhere to the more lenient marijuana enforcement guidelines adopted by the Obama administration's Justice Department in states that have legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana use. "Would you use our federal resources to investigate and prosecute sick people who are using marijuana in accordance with their state laws, even though it might violate federal laws?" Senator Patrick Leahy (D.-Vermont) asked.
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Philippines: 81 Barangays Up For Validation

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 08:00
Sun.Star Cebu, 10 Jan 2017 - The 81 barangays in Cebu Province that were initially declared by the police as drug-free are still subject for validation, a top-ranking official said Tuesday, January 3. Chief Superintendent Noli Talino, Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas director, said that it is up to the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO) to declare a barangay free from drugs.
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US SC: SC Lawmakers Call For Patients To Have Access To Medical

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 08:00
The State, 10 Jan 2017 - S.C. legislators are gearing up for another fight over a bill that would allow the legal use of medical marijuana in the Palmetto State. A half-dozen lawmakers Tuesday made their first order of business on the session's opening day the unveiling of the S.C. Compassionate Care Act.
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US SC: Child Who Inspired Cannabidiol Law Receives First Doses

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 08:00
The State, 10 Jan 2017 - Mary Louise received her first dose of CBD oil Saturday, about four months after the bill allowing children to receive the oil extracted from marijuana was signed into law. The oil helps children like Mary Louise with severe epilepsy control their seizures. It took only a simple phrase to see how Mary Louise Swing's life would improve from cannabidiol.
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US MA: Books Detail The How-To's On Cultivating Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 08:00
Boston Globe, 10 Jan 2017 - Massachusetts lawmakers have already shown they're willing to tinker with the marijuana legalization law passed by voters in November. But for now, at least, it's legal for adults 21 and older to grow marijuana plants at home: Six plants per person and 12 per household. (Note: Home growing is legal indoors only in Massachusetts.) Curious about how to get started? The Boston Public Library has a perhaps surprising number of books about pot, including several volumes on home growing. They include:
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US MD: Entrepreneurs Announce Plans To Apply To Open A Medical

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 08:00
Baltimore Sun, 10 Jan 2017 - [photo] SAFED, ISRAEL -- A worker at a cannabis greenhouse at the growing facility of the Tikun Olam company near the northern city of Safed, Israel. (Uriel Sinai / Baltimore Sun) Two Silver Spring-based entrepreneurs said Monday they hope to open a medical marijuana growing and processing plant in Baltimore.
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Chronicle AM: Federal OD & MedMJ Bills Filed, State MedMJ Bills, More... (1/9/17)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 21:24

Both Congress and state legislatures are getting back to work, and the bills are starting to pile up; South Dakota activists eye a 2018 legalization initiative, and more.

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

Some California Dispensaries Are Already Selling Marijuana to All Adult Comers. Legal recreational marijuana sales won't begin in the state until at least 2018, but some medical marijuana dispensaries are already selling pot to anyone over 21. "Dozens" of dispensaries are advertising that they no longer require a doctor's recommendation to make purchases. Many, if not all, of these "Prop 64 friendly" dispensaries are unlicensed.

South Dakota Activists Eye 2018 Legalization Initiative. The state has twice rejected medical marijuana at the polls, but that isn't stopping a new group, New Approach South Dakota, from planning a 2018 legalization initiative. The group says it will submit a proposal to the attorney general's office next week.

DC Mayor Announces Plan to End Driver's License Suspensions for Drug Offenses. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said Monday that her administration plans to change a law that suspends the driver's license of people arrested for drug offenses. "In Washington, DC, we value and support rehabilitation and promote employment as a critical component of successful reentry," Mayor Bowser said in a statement. "This change will ensure that the DC criminal code is tailored to public safety, not maintaining antiquated and ineffective policies that place unnecessary burdens on District residents."

Medical Marijuana

Federal Bill to Protect Medical Marijuana Businesses From Asset Forfeiture Filed. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) last Thursday filed House Resolution 331, which would shield medical marijuana-related conduct authorized by state law from federal asset forfeiture attempts. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary and Energy and Commerce committees.

Mississippi Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. Rep. Joel Bomgar (R-Madison) has filed House Bill 179, which would ensure that any "qualifying patient who possesses a valid registry identification card is not subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner." The bill specifies a list of qualifying conditions, allow for caregivers for patients who can't grow their own, and allow for dispensaries. Patients could possess up to 2. 5 ounces of marijuana.

Indiana Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. State Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Indianapolis) has filed Senate Bill 255, which would allow patients with a specified list of conditions or "any persistent or chronic illness or condition" to use medical marijuana with a physician's recommendation. The measure would also create a statewide medical marijuana program. Tallian has introduced similar bills in past years that have gone nowhere.

Nebraska Medical Marijuana Bill Coming Soon. State Sen. Anna Wishart (D-Lincoln) says she will introduce a comprehensive medical marijuana bill this session. A similar measure came within three votes of advancing last year, but the measure would still face an uphill battle in the legislature and a probable veto from Gov. Pete Ricketts (R).

New Mexico Medical Marijuana Fix Bill Filed. State Sen. Cisco McSorly (D-Albuquerque) has filed Senate Bill 8, which would more than double the amount of medical marijuana licensed producers can grow in the state and expand the amount of marijuana that patients could possess. "This bill will guarantee there is an adequate supply of marijuana for our patients," McSorley said.

Kratom

Florida Bill to Make Kratom a Controlled Substance Filed. State Rep. Kristin Jacobs (D-Coconut Grove) last Friday filed House Bill 183, which would add mitragynine and hydroxymitragynine, the psychoactive components of kratom, to the state's controlled substances act. Under the bill, selling, manufacturing, or importing kratom would be a misdemeanor.

Collateral Consequences

Nebraska Bill Would (Mostly) End Lifetime Ban on Food Stamps for Drug Felons. State Sen. Mike Groene (R-North Platte) last Friday filed Legislative Bill 128, which would end the lifetime ban on food stamps for drug felons, but only if they got drug abuse treatment after their most recent conviction. Alternately, drug felons could take and pass voluntary drug tests every six months to qualify. People with more than two drug felonies would continue to be banned from receiving food stamps. A measure to completely end the ban failed last year.

Harm Reduction

Federal Bill Filed to Ease Access to Overdose Reversal Drug. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and a bipartisan group of 18 cosponsors have filed House Resolution 304, which would ease bureaucratic obstacles to emergency medical care providers wishing to administer the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary and Energy and Commerce committees.

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US MD: Lawmaker Scrutinized Over Medical Marijuana Ties Removed From

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 08:00
Washington Post, 09 Jan 2017 - A Maryland state lawmaker who came under scrutiny for his ties to a medical marijuana business while working on legislation shaping the industry has been removed from the health committee that oversees such bills. Del. Dan Morhaim (D-Baltimore County), a physician, will serve on the judiciary committee in the 90-day legislative session starting Wednesday, following 13 years on the Health and Government Operations Committee.
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CN ON: Column: Is Gay Village On Edge?

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 08:00
Toronto 24hours, 09 Jan 2017 - We're navigating such tricky times, economically, politically and socially. Discord isn't just rampant on a global level - we're out of harmony even in our own backyards. This week, in my backyard, which happens to be in the heart of Toronto's LGBT community, many are understandably outraged following the physical assault of a young gay man on Church Street, sacred ground and assumed safe space for LGBT people for decades.
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CN ON: 'Vulnerable' Pot Shops Reluctant To Report Robberies

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 08:00
Toronto 24hours, 09 Jan 2017 - The "vulnerability" to robbery that medicinal pot shops face is "nothing new," an advocate says in the wake of a violent knife-point holdup in Toronto's west end. Tracy Curley says dispensaries have become marks in a recent "rash" of robberies due to their prohibited "high-value" inventory and she noted many shops are not reporting such crimes to police for fear of being raided.
Categories: Marijuana

US MA: Pot Dispensaries Hit By Hack Of Sales System

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 08:00
Boston Globe, 09 Jan 2017 - [photo] MJ Freeway, a Denver company whose tracking software is used by hundreds of marijuana companies to comply with state regulations, said its main servers and backup system each went down Sunday morning and remained offline as of Monday afternoon. Marijuana shops across the country, including seven medical dispensaries in Massachusetts, are being affected by the apparent hack of a sales and inventory system widely used in the cannabis industry.
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US KY: Pot Groups Say Vote On Attorney General Nominee Sen. Jeff

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 08:00
Lexington Herald-Leader, 09 Jan 2017 - Backers of marijuana legalization on Monday stepped up their pressure on the U.S. Senate to block the confirmation of Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions as the next attorney general. Sessions, a staunch opponent of legalization, angered proponents in April when he called pot "dangerous" and said that "good people don't smoke marijuana."
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CN ON: Risky Businesses

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 01/08/2017 - 08:00
Toronto Sun, 08 Jan 2017 - Medicinal pot shops vulnerable to robbery: Advocate The "vulnerability" to robbery that medicinal pot shops face is "nothing new," an advocate says in the wake of a violent knife-point holdup in Toronto's west end.
Categories: Marijuana
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