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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 21:35

With state legislative sessions winding down, its been pretty quiet on the medical marijuana front, except for California, where both localities and the legislature continue to grapple with the issue.

[image:1 align:right]California

Last Thursday, an attorney representing collectives filed a lawsuit challenging Riverside County's new restrictions on grows in unincorporated parts of the county. James De Aguilera, representing Chronic Relief and others, seeks an injunction to block implementation of an ordinance passed in May, which is set to go into effect Thursday. The ordinance bans commercial grows, but allows patients and caregivers to grow up to 12 plants.

On Monday, the governor signed the medical marijuana organ transplant bill into law. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed Assembly Bill 258, which will bar doctors and hospitals from denying organ transplants to medical marijuana patients solely because they use it. Some patients have been denied life-saving organ transplants in the past. The new law goes into effect January 1.

On Tuesday, a medical marijuana regulation bill advanced. The Assembly Business and Professions Committee approved the medical marijuana regulation bill, Senate Bill 643, on Tuesday. The bill provides a statewide regulatory framework for the industry, and has already passed out of the Senate.

Also on Tuesday, Monterey County supervisors adopted a temporary dispensary and cultivation ban in unincorporated areas of the county. They approved a 45-day interim ordinance to allow them time to write and enact regulations for what they think will be a burgeoning industry.

On Wednesday, Senator Feinstein was delivered petitions demanding she get on board with medical marijuana. Marijuana reform advocates led by the Drug Policy Alliance delivered a petition with 10,000 signatures from people "fed up with Feinstein's well-documented opposition to medical marijuana" to her San Francisco office. They want her to change her stance. "California has allowed access to medical marijuana for 20 years and the vast majority of Californians support this," said DPA's Amanda Reiman. "It is disappointing that Sen. Feinstein continues to be a lone voice of opposition from California when it comes to supporting medical marijuana patients."

Louisiana

On Monday, the governor signed a medical marijuana bill into law. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) Monday signed into law Senate Bill 143, which allows doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical use. The law foresees an extensive regulatory process to select and supervise a state-authorized grower and 10 licensed distributors, but some advocates are concerned that the prescribing language will make the law meaningless. The DEA will pull prescribing privileges from doctors who prescribe marijuana, which is why other states say doctors can recommend it. The bill originally called for recommendations, but the language was changed at the behest of social conservative groups in the state.

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

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Chronicle AM: Chile Decriminalization Vote, Miami Beach Decriminalizes, CDC Heroin Warning, More (7/8/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 20:01

A bill decriminalizing marijuana possession and allowing personal cultivation is moving in Chile, a bill regulating the medical marijuana industry is moving in California, the CDC issues another warning about heroin, Miami Beach is the latest South Florida community to decriminalize, and more.

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

Montana Legalization and Medical Marijuana Initiatives Filed. Two separate marijuana reform initiatives have been filed with the secretary of state's office recently. They are ballot issues #7 and #8 on the official website. Ballot Issue #7 is the legalization initiative, submitted by a Glendive man who says he plans to bicycle the state to gather signatures. Ballot Issue #8 is the medical marijuana initiative. Both initiatives are now being reviewed by legislative services and must be okayed before signature gathering can begin.

Miami Beach Decriminalizes Possession. Miami Beach city commissioners voted unanimously today to approve an ordinance to fine those caught with small amounts of marijuana instead of arresting and jailing them. Under the ordinance, police will have the option of issuing a $100 ticket to people caught with less than 20 grams, but could still arrest them at the officer's discretion. Miami-Dade County recently passed decriminalization, and Palm Beach is considering a similar move.

Medical Marijuana

California Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill Advances. The Assembly Business and Professions Committee approved the medical marijuana regulation bill, Senate Bill 643, on Tuesday. The bill provides a statewide regulatory framework for the industry, and has already passed out of the Senate.

Opiates

CDC Again Sounds Alarm on Rising Heroin Use. In a report released Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that heroin use in the US has grown at "an alarming rate," with overdose deaths doubling between 2011 and 2013. Heroin use is up among multiple demographic groups, but the biggest increases were among white people, women, and people with higher incomes and private insurance. "Heroin use is increasing at an alarming rate in many parts of society, driven by both the prescription opioid epidemic and cheaper, more available heroin," CDC Director Tom Frieden said. "To reverse this trend we need an all-of-society response -- to improve opioid prescribing practices to prevent addiction, expand access to effective treatment for those who are addicted, increase use of naloxone to reverse overdoses, and work with law enforcement partners like DEA to reduce the supply of heroin."

International

Chilean House Approves Decriminalization, Personal Cultivation Bill. The lower house of the Chilean congress has approved a measure that would decriminalize possession of marijuana for personal use of up to 10 grams and allow people to grow up to six plants of their own. Now, the bill must be reviewed by a health committee before the lower house votes again on its specific elements. The bill would then go to the upper chamber.

Poll: BC Residents Say Legalize It! A new Insights West poll has support for marijuana legalization at 67% among adult residents. Support was even higher among young adults, with the 18-to-34 age bracket coming in at 72%. Click the link for more details.

Canadian Electronic Music Festival in Doubt After Offering Pill Testing Services. Just yesterday, we noted that the Evolve Music and Awareness Festival set for this weekend in Nova Scotia had taken the ground-breaking harm reduction step of offering pill testing services for attendees. But now there's a hitch: As a result of the pill testing plan, his insurance company underwriters have pulled its liability insurance, and now the festival may not be able to go on at all. Organizers are looking at their options.

Moroccan Head of State Rejects Legalizing Marijuana Cultivation. Head of state Abdelilah Benkirane said Tuesday his government will not allow the legalization of cannabis cultivation, and that those who claim differently are selling "illusions" to the country's hash farmers. Morocco is one of the world's leading hash producers. Opposition parties have called for the legalization of cultivation.

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US OR: Column: Let's Legalize Heroin Now, Okay?

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 07:00
Portland Mercury, 08 Jul 2015 - Friends, it truly is a wondrous time in which we live-and the last few weeks are proof! The racist relic that is the Confederate flag has been torn down across the land, the Supreme Court has finally recognized same-sex marriage as a basic human right, and, at long last, Oregon has brought about a new age of enlightenment and freedom by legalizing cannabis. But our fight is not yet over. Not while so many Americans still demonize the joy of so many people's lives: sweet, sweet heroin.
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CN ON: Norfolk County OPP Issue Marijuana Alert

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 07:00
Tillsonburg News, 08 Jul 2015 - Illegal Crop Lurks in Numerous Locales Police are seeking the public's help in controlling the production of illegal marijuana in Norfolk County. The 2015 growing season is underway and it promises to be a good one for illegal producers of marijuana. Norfolk OPP advise the public to be cautious and to report suspicious activity associated with marijuana production to the authorities.
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US AZ: Edu: Legal Marijuana Bodes Well For Students, Local

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 07:00
Arizona Daily Wildcat, 08 Jul 2015 - Last week, Oregon's new law legalizing recreational marijuana came into effect, -making it the fourth state to legalize, following Alaska, Washington and Colorado. Recreational marijuana is also legal in the District of Columbia. Thousands of Oregonian growers, dispensary owners and marijuana enthusiasts gathered at the Weed the People event to celebrate what many called a historic moment. The main impetus for the event was a result of people seeing green-and I'm not talking about marijuana. As free doobies were passed around the event, so were business cards among the "ganjapreneurs" who gathered there to network. These eager capitalists are hoping to be ahead of the market when retail cannabis sales begin, likely next fall.
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US CO: Injunction Sought To Stop Pot Party

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 07:00
The Cortez Journal, 08 Jul 2015 - Event Violates Land-Use Code, County Says The Associated Press (AP) - At the request of upset neighbors, Montezuma County commissioners will seek a court-ordered injunction to stop a bong-a-thon event scheduled for July 31-Aug. 2 along the West Fork River.
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US WA: Column: The Cusp

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 07:00
Seattle Weekly, 08 Jul 2015 - "It's either understanding one another, or destruction!" Ricardo, it turns out, is Honduran, but he looks black to me. We've known each other for several years in passing; he plays percussion in Faith Beattie's jazz trio at the Queen City Grill, where I frequently drink heavily. We've exchanged smiles and nods, and I've thrown a few quid into the tip jar on nights I feel flush.
Categories: Marijuana

US MA: Plan for Downtown Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Limbo

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 08 Jul 2015 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh says he knows medical marijuana dispensaries are coming to Boston and has no intention to try to block them. Yet three years after voters approved the medical use of marijuana, a proposal to open the city's first - and, so far, only - dispensary in Downtown Crossing remains contentious. Patriot Care Corp. has a license to sell medical marijuana and wants to open a dispensary at 21 Milk St. But the Zoning Board of Appeals, which must approve the location, deferred a decision until Aug. 4 after the issue attracted droves of passionate supporters and opponents to a City Hall hearing Tuesday.
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US MI: Column: The Beginner's Guide to Weed in the New Frontier

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 07:00
Metro Times, 08 Jul 2015 - The only thing my father ever told me about marijuana was that I shouldn't use it because it was illegal. He didn't say it was bad for me or anything. He pointed out that you can drink alcohol in front of the police and not get arrested. That's the kind of thing that someone who was around during alcohol prohibition - and dad was - would say. Today you still can't smoke a bud in front of the cops in most situations. But with legal medical marijuana in a bunch of states and legal recreational moving along smartly, there are a lot of people who never thought much about it noticing green buildings popping up in their neighborhoods or maybe some really bright lights shining from their neighbor's house at night. Here's a little primer for the curious on the herb superb.
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US CO: Column: Elevations Dispensary Brings High-Class to the

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 08 Jul 2015 - Getting higher This Friday, July 10, co-owner Troy VanOrden and his Elevations Dispensary (8270 Razorback Road, elevationsdispensary.com) will celebrate the medical-marijuana center's grand opening.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Pot Industry Blows into Political Arena to Try to Achieve

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 08 Jul 2015 - Industry Opens Wallet and Courts Major Candidates DENVER (AP) - Presidential candidates are talking about marijuana in ways unimaginable not long ago. White House hopefuls in both parties are taking donations from people in the new marijuana industry, which is investing heavily in political activism as a route to expanded legalization and landed its first major candidate, Rand Paul, at a trade show last month.
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CN ON: Corn Fields Used to Mask Marijuana Crops: Police

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 07:00
The Record, 08 Jul 2015 - WATERLOO REGION - You might see the corn fields starting to sprout with plants as high as a metre. But beware of what else could be in the farmer's field, say police. 'Tis the season for illegal marijuana grow operations, said Const. Kees Wijnands of Perth County OPP.
Categories: Marijuana

US MA: Heroin Use Spikes Among Women, Higher-Income Groups

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/08/2015 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 08 Jul 2015 - Study Finds New Faces of Addiction Rebecca Kaczynski doesn't fit the traditional image of a heroin addict. The daughter of a bank vice president and an assistant school principal, she grew up in a loving, intact, upper-middle-class family in the Central Massachusetts town of Dudley.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Iran Drug Executions Increasing, Feinstein Pressed on MedMJ, OH Pot Politics, More (7/7/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 07/07/2015 - 21:45

Midwest marijuana legalization initiatives make news, Sen. Feinstein feels some heat, some European countries keep giving Iran anti-drug aid despite a rising number of executions, California's governor signs a bill barring discrimination against medical marijuana patients in organ transplants, and more.

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

Michigan Greens Endorse MILegalize Initiative. The Green Party of Michigan has endorsed the more grassroots of two competing Michigan legalization initiatives, the MILegalize initiative sponsored by the Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee. The Greens say they like the "craft beer" model in the initiative, as opposed to the "industrial" model adopted by the other active Michigan initiative this year.

ResponsibleOhio "Fresh Start Act" Initiative Certified by Attorney General. ResponsibleOhio, the same people bringing you the controversial "monopoly" marijuana legalization initiative, are also moving forward with an initiative that would expunge the criminal records of people with past marijuana convictions. Their Fresh Start Act initiative has been certified by Attorney General Mike DeWine. It must now be approved by the Ohio Ballot Board for review before signature gathering can begin. It is aiming at the 2016 election.

UFCW Endorses ResponsibleOhio Initiative. The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) said Monday it is supporting the ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative. The UFCW has been organizing industry workers in medical marijuana and legal marijuana states for some years now.

Medical Marijuana

Senator Feinstein Gets Petition Demanding She Get on Board With Marijuana Reform. Marijuana reform advocates led by the Drug Policy Alliance today delivered a petition with 10,000 signatures from people "fed up with Feinstein's well-documented opposition to medical marijuana" to her San Francisco office. They want her to chance her stance. "California has allowed access to medical marijuana for 20 years and the vast majority of Californians support this," said DPA's Amanda Reiman. "It is disappointing that Sen. Feinstein continues to be a lone voice of opposition from California when it comes to supporting medical marijuana patients."

California Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Bill. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has signed Assembly Bill 258, which will bar doctors and hospitals from denying organ transplants to medical marijuana patients solely because they use it. Some patients have been denied life-saving organ transplants in the past. The new law goes into effect January 1.

Drug Testing

Connecticut Court Says Urine Drug Testing Rules Don't Apply to Hair Testing. In upholding the dismissal of a man who was fired after a hair follicle drug test came back positive, a state Superior Court judge ruled that regulations that restrict urine drug testing do not apply to hair drug tests, which can detect drug use for months into the past. The court conceded that the disparate protections offered against urine and hair drug testing create a "seemingly irrational inconsistency," but that "the task of changing the law lies with the legislature and not with the judiciary."

Harm Reduction

Maryland Congressman Calls for Price Cuts on Opiate Overdose Reversal Drug. US Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is accusing the maker of the opiate overdose reversal drug naloxone of "taking advantage of the citizens of Maryland" by overcharging for the drug. On Tuesday, Cummings wrote a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan (R) urging him to reach a deal with the company to reduce the cost of the drug. "I believe the State of Maryland is being overcharged for a critical drug called naloxone that is used by first responders and medical personnel to reverse the life-threatening effects of heroin and other opioid overdoses, and I urge you to make sure that the company charging these prices is not allowed to continue taking advantage of the citizens of Maryland," Cummings wrote. Other states have managed to get discounts from Amphastar Pharmaceuticals after getting aggressive with the company.

Law Enforcement

Massachusetts SWAT Teams Increasingly Used for Minor Drug Raids. Documents made public today by the ACLU of Massachusetts show that SWAT teams in the state are increasingly used to undertake small-time drug raids. The ACLU filed suit against the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council to force it to reveal the records. The records show that of 79 SWAT deployments between 2012 and 2014, 21 were for drug-related search warrants, but that only five resulted in any mention of drug seizures. "The drug hauls are not exactly Pablo Escobar-levels of seriousness," said ACLU's Kate Crockford, referring to the notorious Colombian drug lord. "In one case they found some pills. In another case they found some marijuana. It's important for local communities who pay those police department salaries to understand what's really going on here," she said.

International

Canadian Electronic Music Festival Organizers Will Offer Free Pill Testing. The Evolve Festival in Nova Scotia is set for this coming weekend, and beginning Friday, people arriving at the festival can submit small samples of their stashes to have them tested. Festival organizers say the move is an effort to reduce harm and overdoses.

European Countries Continue to Fund Iran's Drug War Despite Rampant Resort to Death Penalty. Iran Human Rights reports that nearly 400 people have been executed for drug offenses in Iran this year, accounting for nearly two thirds of all executions. That's not stopping the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and some European countries from continuing to fund Iran's anti-drug efforts. France has provided over a million dollars' worth of aid to the Anti-Narcotics Police, while Germany has contributed more than five million to UNODC projects to train and equip the police. Faced with pressure from campaigners such as the British nonprofit Reprieve, other European countries, including Denmark and Great Britain, have stopped such aid. "Even as Iran's execution rate skyrockets, European nations like France and Germany continue to fund brutal raids by the Iranian police which routinely send people to death row for nonviolent offenses. 7 out of 10 people hanged in Iran this year have been caught in these type of operations, but European funders and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime continue to turn a blind eye, and are even considering a new funding deal," said Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve's death penalty team. "It is an untenable hypocrisy for European countries and the UNODC to claim they oppose the death penalty in all circumstances while enabling and encouraging it overseas. If their commitments on the death penalty are to count for anything, they should impose effective and transparent conditions to ensure their aid does not lead to executions."

Categories: Marijuana
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