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Marijuana

US AK: Borough Officials To Testify About Commercial Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/05/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 05 Feb 2015 - JUNEAU - Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins and Assemblyman Lance Roberts will speak to the House Community and Regional Affairs committee this morning to discuss the Interior's needs and concerns about commercial marijuana sales. The committee, as well as the Senate State Affairs Committee, have been holding a number of hearings about the impending legalization of the commercial marijuana industry in Alaska in the last few weeks.
Categories: Marijuana

US AK: Marijuana Crime Bill Delayed Until Next Week

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/05/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 05 Feb 2015 - JUNEAU - A controversial bill dealing with the gray areas in Alaska's criminal code created by the voter initiative to legalize marijuana won't return to committees until next week. Legislative aides working on the bill said additional time is needed to make sure the rewrite of the legislation is acceptable. The initial bill was panned by officials and marijuana legalization advocates.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Fed Sentencing Reform Bill Refiled, CT Governor Calls for Drug Defelonization, More (2/4/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 21:30

There's Florida medical marijuana news, the federal Justice Safety Valve Act is reintroduced, Connecticut's governor wants to defelonize drug possession, an Oregon bill would let localities opt out of legal marijuana commerce, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Oregon Bill That Would Let Localities Ban Pot Businesses Filed. A bill that would repeal parts of the Measure 91 legalization initiative to give local governments the power to regulate or prohibit marijuana businesses was filed Monday. The bill is Senate Bill 542. It is part of a package of bills before the Senate Implementing Measure 91 Committee.

Medical Marijuana

Colorado Bill to Allow Continued Medical Marijuana System Passes Senate. The bill would allow residents with medical marijuana cards to continue to use dispensaries until at least 2019. That means people with cards could continue to buy marijuana for a lower price than in the adult retail market because medical marijuana has lower taxes. The bill is Senate Bill 115, sponsored by Sen. Owen Hill (R- Colorado Springs).

Florida Poll Has Medical Marijuana Doing Well. A new Gravis Insights poll has support for medical marijuana at 64% in the Sunshine State. The poll comes as the legislature prepares to take up a medical marijuana bill, Senate Bill 528, and with the prospect of another initiative in 2016 looming. Last year's medical marijuana initiative won 57% of the vote, but was defeated because, as a constitutional amendment, it needed 60% of the vote to pass.

Florida Sheriffs Object to Medical Marijuana Bill. The Florida Sheriffs Association has come out against Senate Bill 528 while meeting at their winter conference in Tallahassee. The sheriffs, with all their medical expertise, say that "smoked marijuana is not medicine" and list the medical conditions for which medical marijuana can be used. They have other demands, too; click on the link to read their press release.

Ohio CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. Rep. Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton) has filed House Bill 33, which would allow doctors to prescribe high-CBD, low-THC cannabis oil to treat seizure disorders. The bill would make the oil available at a limited number of hospitals in the state.

New Synthetics

Indiana Bill Seeks to Punish New Synthetics Like Other Drugs. After the Court of Appeals threw out the state's law banning synthetic drugs as overly broad and too complicated to be unconstitutional, lawmakers are responding by filing a bill that would increase the penalties for "dealing in a counterfeit substance if the person represents the substance to be cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD or a schedule I or II narcotic drug." The bill is Senate Bill 278, sponsored by state Sens. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) and Randall Head (R-Logansport).

Drug Testing

Wisconsin Governor Makes it Official -- He Wants to Drug Test Public Benefits Recipients. Gov. Scott Walker (R) unveiled his budget proposal Tuesday, and it includes plans to require drug testing for those seeking a variety of public benefits. Walker would drug test not only people seeking food stamps, but also people seeking unemployment payments and people seeking Medicaid.

Sentencing

Federal Justice Safety Valve Act Reintroduced. A bipartisan group of legislators has reintroduced Senate Bill 353 (the House version is HR 706), the Justice Safety Valve Act. The Senate bill was filed by Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT); the House version was filed by Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Bobby Scott (D-VA). The bill would give federal judges the ability to impose sentences below mandatory minimums in appropriate cases based upon mitigating factors.

Federal Drug Manufacturing Sentencing Enhancement Bill Filed. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Tuesday filed Senate Bill 348, which would "impose enhanced penalties for conduct relating to unlawful production of a controlled substance on Federal property or... while intentionally trespassing on the property of another that causes environmental damage." That language is from the bill summary; the actual text is not yet available.

Connecticut Governor Calls for Drug Defelonization. Gov. Dannell Malloy Tuesday proposed rewriting the state's criminal law to make all simple drug possession arrests misdemeanors. Possession with intent to distribute would not be included. He would also eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and expand the state's pardon system. Under current state law, all drug possession arrests except for small amounts of marijuana are felonies, with sentences of up to seven years.

International

Senior British Cop Says Give Addicts Free Heroin. Mike Barton, chief constable for Durham, has called for an end to arresting heroin addicts and said it would be better to supply addicts with pharmaceutical heroin in a controlled setting. Targeting drug users is counterproductive, he said. "Their entrapment in criminal justice is a waste of police time and the state's money and dissuades addicts from revealing themselves for treatment for fear of criminal consequences," Barton said.

Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Zimmerman's Victory Lapse

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 08:00
Anderson Valley Advertiser, 04 Feb 2015 - Professional reformers, longtime activists, and stakeholders in the marijuana industry attended an invitation-only meeting at the Waterfront Hotel in Oakland January 9 to discuss plans for a marijuana 'legalization' initiative to be on the ballot in California in 2016. The invitations came from the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR), a group led by Dale Sky Jones that was formed after the defeat of a legalization measure in 2010, and the Drug Policy Alliance, represented by lobbyist Jim Gonzales
Categories: Marijuana

US GA: Shipping Proposal Outlined On Medical Cannabis

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 08:00
Walker County Messenger, 04 Feb 2015 - The legislator championing medical marijuana in Georgia said he hopes to announce an agreement soon with a manufacturer that aims to ship cannabis oil to residents in the state. That process would be facilitated if Georgia passes a bill to offer immunity from prosecution to those families using cannabis oil for medical purposes, said state Rep. Allen Peake, Republican from Macon.
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Chronicle AM: More Decrim & MedMJ Bills, Obama Budget Lets DC Legalize, WI Drug Test Opposition, More (2/3/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 00:09

The president's budget adds one word that allows DC to move ahead with legalization, the marijuana and medical marijuana bills keep coming, hemp is coming to Oregon (get your permits now!), opposition is mounting to public aid benefits drug testing in Wisconsin, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Obama Budget Leaves DC Free to Legalize. Tucked inside the president's just-released 2016 budget proposal is a subtle language change that would let DC legalize and regulate marijuana sales any way it sees fit. It does so by adding a single word. The Obama budget bars the use of any federal funds, while the congressional budget language bars the use of funds. By adding the word "federal," the Obama budget language leaves DC free to use its own funds to implement the legalization measure approved by voters in November.

Illinois Decriminalization Bill Filed. Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) has introduced a bill that would decriminalize the possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana, with violators paying a fine of no more than $100. The measure is House Bill 218.

Maryland Paraphernalia Decriminalization Bill Filed. Del. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore) has filed legislation that would decriminalize the possession of marijuana paraphernalia. Maryland decriminalized pot -- but not paraphernalia -- last year, and this bill seeks to rectify that oversight. The bill is House Bill 105.

Wyoming Marijuana Study Bill No Longer Blocks Consideration of Other Pot Bills. The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would study marijuana legalization in other states, but not before amending it to remove language that would have blocked consideration of other marijuana-related bills. The measure is House Bill 187.

Medical Marijuana

Federal Appeals Court Questions Attempt to Shut Down Oakland Dispensary. A three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco today challenged federal prosecutors over their attempt to shut down Oakland's Harborside dispensary. The judges wanted to know why the effort was continuing given recent policy pronouncements from the Justice Department that it would not go after dispensaries where they are legal.

Federal Bill to Allow VA Docs to Recommend Medical Marijuana Filed. US Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and 16 bipartisan cosponsors have introduced a bill that would allow Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians to discuss and recommend medical marijuana to their patients, a right enjoyed by physicians outside of the VA system. The Veterans Equal Access Act is not yet available on the congressional web site.

Illinois Issues Medical Marijuana Licenses. Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) Monday issued medical marijuana licenses and permits to qualifying growers and sellers. The move came after former Gov. Pat Quinn (D) failed to act on the permits before his term expired. See the full list of licenses and permits here.

Missouri Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. Rep. Dave Hinson (R-St. Clair) has filed a full-fledged medical marijuana bill. The bill would allow patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces and would require that the medicine be grown in the state. The measure is House Bill 800.

Virginia CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Moves. A bill that would allow epilepsy patients to use low-THC, high-CBD medical marijuana won a committee vote Monday. Senate Bill 1235 passed the Senate Courts of Justice Committee on an 11-2 vote.

Hemp

Oregon Now Accepting Industrial Hemp Applications. The state Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for licenses and permits for industrial hemp. Click here for license and permit applications.

Drug Testing

Wisconsin Governor's Public Aid Drug Testing Scheme Will Be Opposed By Dane County. Dane County (Madison) executive Joe Parisi (D) said Monday he might sue Gov. Scott Walker over his plans to drug test recipients of public aid benefits. "People who fall on hard times should not be treated like criminals; they should be treated like people who have fallen on hard times: with dignity and respect. Requiring someone who has just been laid off from their job to pee in a cup is not treating people in a dignified manner; it is degrading and insulting," Parisi said in a statement.

Wisconsin Governor's Public Aid Drug Testing Scheme Challenged by Coalition. A coalition of 15 groups are challenging Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to require applicants for and recipients of public assistance and unemployment insurance to pass drug tests. The groups all signed onto a letter criticizing the plan. The coalition includes advocates for Wisconsin's poor and women, members of the state's faith community, organized labor, and more.

International

Indonesia Set to Execute Eight More Drug Offenders, Including Seven Foreigners. A spokesman for the Indonesian attorney general's office said today that the country is preparing to execute eight drug smugglers, including citizens of Australia, Brazil, France, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Philippines. It executed six others just two weeks ago, despite international condemnation.

Categories: Marijuana

US IL: Gov Moves Fast On Medical Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 08:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 03 Feb 2015 - Rauner Awarding Farming, Selling Licenses That Quinn Didn't Issue The marijuana seeds can soon be planted. In a move that surprised advocates of the medical marijuana program, Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration on Monday announced it would issue most of the coveted licenses to grow and sell the medical product.
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US IL: Column We're A Nation Of Addicts

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 08:00
Chicago Tribune, 03 Feb 2015 - Maybe drug cartels wouldn't terrorize Mexico and Central America - our gift to our southern neighbors. Maybe drunks wouldn't kill so many on our highways, or our health care system wouldn't be so overwhelmed and costly. Maybe not so many families would fall apart and our cities wouldn't be bloodstained by gang wars - or so many adolescent lives wasted before they could even get started.
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Dispensary Debate Heating Up

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 08:00
Parksville Qualicum Beach News, 03 Feb 2015 - Eight medical marijuana users went to Parksville city hall Thursday in support of a compassion club, but were told "municipalities have little power over the issue," by Mayor Marc Lefebvre. The supporters and patients of Phoenix Pain Management Society like John Whitlock asked that the city "considers asking police to shift their priorities, based on the people's will."
Categories: Marijuana

US AK: Lawmakers to Hear From Community Officials on Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 03 Feb 2015 - JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Lawmakers are scheduled to hear from local government officials on community concerns as the date for legalization of recreational marijuana nears. The House Community and Regional Affairs Committee will hear from representatives of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Municipality of Anchorage on marijuana regulations Tuesday.
Categories: Marijuana

US DC: President's Budget Would Let D.C. Use Local Cash to

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 08:00
Washington Times, 03 Feb 2015 - President Obama's $4 trillion budget plan would allow the District to spend its own tax dollars to legalize and regulate marijuana by rolling back restrictions put in place by Republican lawmakers last year. Congress passed a spending bill in December that blocks the District from spending any money - federal or local tax dollars - to enact legislation that would legalize or reduce penalties associated with the recreational use of marijuana or any other Schedule 1 drugs.
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Mexico: Mexican Farmers Feed U.S. Heroin Boom

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 03 Feb 2015 - SIERRA MADRE DEL SUR, MEXICO (AP) - Red and purple blossoms with fat, opium-filled bulbs blanket the remote creek sides and gorges of the Filo Mayor mountains in the southern state of Guerrero. The multibillion-dollar Mexican opium trade starts here, with poppy farmers so poor they live in woodplank, tin-roofed shacks with no indoor plumbing.
Categories: Marijuana

US WA: Lawmakers Hear Proposals On Pot Reform

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 03 Feb 2015 - Legislature 2015 20 Separate Bills Tackle Issues Including Taxes, Zoning Issues, Medical Pot OLYMPIA - So many tweaks are needed to reform Washington state's marijuana laws that state House lawmakers began Monday a two-day session of public hearings on nearly 20 separate bills.
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US DC: President's Budget Clears Path For Legal Pot Sales

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 03 Feb 2015 - Proposal Ends Congress's Restriction on Setting Up Regulations in the City President Obama's $4 trillion budget would do a lot of things, but one of the most controversial may turn out to be allowing legal sales of marijuana in the nation's capital.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: MJ Decrim and Medical Bills Filed, Ramarley Graham Settlement, Jamaica Decrim Progess, More (2/2/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 02/02/2015 - 21:28

Decriminalization and medical marijuana bills are being filed left and right, Maine says pot patients can be unfit parents, Oregon says pot patients can't operate child care centers, New York City pays out big time for the killing of a black youth over weed, Jamaica's decrim bill advances, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

Delaware Decriminalization Bill Filed. State Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington) and several cosponsors have filed House Bill 39, which would make possession of up to an ounce a civil infraction punishable only by a fine. Public use would remain subject to jail time, but for no more than five days.

Maryland Push for Legalization Underway. Supporters of legalization held a press conference last Friday to push the idea forward. State legislators, including Del. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore) were joined by a Colorado legislator and Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. The press conference came as legalization supporters prepared to brief legislative committees on the topic. Maryland decriminalized it last year.

Minnesota Poll Finds More Want to Legalize It Than Don't. A new Public Policy Polling survey finds just short of a majority for legalizing pot there. Some 49% said they thought marijuana should be legal and regulated, while 44% thought it "should remain illegal." Support for medical marijuana, meanwhile, was at 76%.

New Hampshire Decriminalization Bill Filed. Rep. Adam Schroadter (R-Newmarket) and seven cosponsors have introduced House Bill 618, which would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. New Hampshire is the only New England state that has not decriminalized.

New Mexico Decriminalization Bill Filed. State Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Dona Ana County) has introduced Senate Bill 383, which would decriminalize the possession of up to four ounces and eliminate jail time for possession of up to eight ounces. Currently, possession of less than an ounce is a petty misdemeanor with possible jail time, while possession of between one and eight ounces is a misdemeanor with up to a year in jail.

Virginia Decriminalization Bill Dies in Senate Committee. A bill that would have decriminalized pot possession in the Old Dominion was killed last Wednesday in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee. Senate Bill 686, introduced by Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) died in a 9-5 party line vote.

Philadelphia Pot Arrests Drop 88% After Decriminalization. Philadelphia police arrested only 63 people for marijuana possession between October 20 and year's end, marking a massive decline in marijuana arrests after decriminalization. Last year during the same time period, there were 559 possession arrests.

Medical Marijuana

Connecticut State Commissioner Agrees to Expand Qualifying Ailments List. Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris said this morning that he will follow the recommendation of the program's Board of Physicians and is drafting new regulations to include sickle cell disease, post-surgical back pain with a condition called chronic radiculopathy, and severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis to the list of qualifying conditions. But that's not the end of it. Now, the proposal must be approved by the state attorney general and then by the General Assembly's Regulation Review Committee. A vote there could come by spring.

Maine High Court Rules Using Medical Marijuana Can Make Parents Unfit. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has ruled in a child custody case that even though medical marijuana is legal in the state, its use can make a person an unfit parent. "Determining what is in the best interest of the child necessarily involves considering whether a parent's ability to care for his or her child is impaired, including by his or her marijuana use. As with any medication or substance, the question of whether a parent's ingestion of marijuana is legal is only part of the equation. The more important question is whether that ingestion negatively affects, limits or impairs a parent's capacity to parent his or her child," Chief Justice Leigh Saufley wrote in the eight-page decision. The case is Daggett v. Sternick.

Mississippi Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. State Sen. Deborah Dawkins (D-District 48) has filed Senate Bill 2318, which would allow patients with specified conditions to use medical marijuana. The bill doesn't envision dispensaries, but would allow patients to grow their own with a physician's recommendation.

North Dakota Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. Rep. Pamela Anderson (D-Fargo) has introduced House Bill 1430, which would allow patients with qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana. But there is a big loophole. Patients could also qualify if they suffer "any persistent or chronic illness or condition that, in the opinion of a physician, substantially limits the ability of a person to conduct one or more major life activities; or may cause serious harm to the patient's safety or mental or physical health if not alleviated; if the illness or condition may be improved by the use of marijuana."

Oregon Bars Medical Marijuana Patients From Being Child Care Providers. The state Early Learning Council has voted to bar patients from being child care providers. The decision follows a six-month temporary rule that was issued last August and gave patients an ultimatum: your patient card or your child care business.

Tennessee Low-THC Cannabis Oil Bill Filed. State Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-District 11) today introduced House Bill 197, which would allow the use of cannabis oil with less than 0.9% THC for medical purposes.

Law Enforcement

Chicago Federal Prosecutors Drop "Stash House" Cases. The US attorney's office in Chicago has dropped dozens of serious drug conspiracy cases that were based on undercover stings where law enforcement agents enticed people into robbing non-existent drug stash houses. The law enforcement technique has come under strong criticism that it amounts to entrapment and is used disproportionately to target minorities. Clarence Walker has covered this issue for the Chronicle here and here.

New York City Pays to Settle Killing of Black Teenager Over Weed. The city has settled with the family of Ramarley Graham, an 18-year-old black teen who was shot dead in his own bathroom by an NYPD cop who had stormed into his apartment without a warrant after suspecting he had marijuana. The killer cop, Richard Haste, was indicted in the shooting in 2012, but a judge threw out that indictment and a second grand jury failed to indict. Police said they suspected he had a gun because of the way he moved his hands near his waist. No weapon was ever found. The city has now agreed to pay the Graham family $3.9 million.

National Sheriffs Association Wants Deputy Attorney General Nominee "Investigated" for Pro-Drug Reform Comments. The group is upset with Vanita Gupta, nominated to head the department's Civil Rights Division. She has called for the decriminalization of all drugs, and that "put her at odds with the goal of public safety," the sheriffs complain. How her publicly made remarks would be "investigated" remains to be seen.

International

Jamaica Senate Begins Debate on Decriminalization. The Senate last Friday began debating a bill that would decriminalize marijuana and establish a licensing authority for a marijuana industry on the island. The bill would also allow for Rastafarians to use ganja for religious purposes. Debate is expected to continue in the Senate in coming days before the bill is sent to the lower chamber. It is expected to pass, since the ruling party, which submitted it, controls both chambers and the opposition also supports its broad outlines.

Venezuela Shoots Down Suspected Drug Plane Off Aruba. The Venezuelan defense ministry confirmed last Friday that its fighter jets had shot down a civilian plane suspected of carrying drugs. The plane went down off Aruba. Aruban officials had reported a day earlier that a plane had come down in flames, and human remains and packages of drugs could be seen in the water. Venezuela has shot down a number of suspected drug planes in recent years.

Categories: Marijuana

Australia: 'Medicinal Cannabis Use Should Be Approved Now'

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 02/02/2015 - 08:00
Sydney Morning Herald, 02 Feb 2015 - The NSW government's clinical trial of medicinal cannabis is inappropriate for patients suffering extreme pain, and the drug should be legally approved for patients diagnosed by doctors, a paper in a top medical journal argues. "We are behind the times on medical cannabis," writes David Penington, an emeritus professor at Melbourne University, in a paper in the Medical Journal of Australia on Sunday.
Categories: Marijuana

Australia: Expert Proposes Legal Cannabis For The Ill

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 02/02/2015 - 08:00
Herald Sun, 02 Feb 2015 - TERMINALLY and chronically ill Victorians could legally grow their own cannabis plants and get early access to the drug, under an ambitious plan by a top drug expert. The use of cannabis for medical purposes should be decided by a discussion between a patient and doctor, rather than relying on the results of an upcoming trial into the drug's effectiveness held across the eastern states, says the University of Melbourne's Professor David Penington.
Categories: Marijuana

Israel: Medical Marijuana Without The High

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 02/02/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 02 Feb 2015 - Israel Is at Forefront of Research, but Export of Plant Doesn't Appear to Be on the Horizon Safed, Israel - In a greenhouse in the mountains of the Galilee, a technician in a lab coat is coddling a marijuana seedling that is coveted for life-saving medical benefits for epileptic children, doctors say - without the high.
Categories: Marijuana
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