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Marijuana

US CA: More County-Pot Shop Battles Expected

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/21/2014 - 08:00
The Bakersfield Californian, 21 Feb 2014 - A judge's decision to strike down Kern County's medical marijuana dispensary law may generate more litigation than it settled. Now that voter-approved Measure G has been invalidated, county officials are likely to start trying to shut down the handful of collectives and cooperatives operating in unincorporated Kern.
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US DC: City's AG Calls Initiative to Legalize Pot Unfit for Ballot

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/21/2014 - 08:00
Washington Post, 21 Feb 2014 - D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan says a proposed November ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in the nation's capital should not be allowed to proceed to a vote because the measure would put at least one aspect of District law in conflict with federal law. In a potential setback for advocates of legalizing the drug, Nathan wrote to the D.C. Board of Elections on Wednesday saying that federal law would still require the city to kick out residents of public housing who are convicted of drug possession, even if District law no longer considered it a crime.
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US DC: Column: It's High Time Someone Made Sense On Pot Plan

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/21/2014 - 08:00
Washington Times, 21 Feb 2014 - Thank you, Mr. Irvin B. Nathan. There are a lot of folks both here in the nation's capital and elsewhere in the country who are none too pleased with Mr. Nathan's legal rendering on the D.C. marijuana initiative. But, hey, no lawyer makes all the people happy all the time. Besides, that's not his job. As the attorney general for the District of Columbia, Mr. Nathan wrote a clear-eyed letter to the D.C. Board of Elections that narrowly explains why the board should not approve a November ballot proposal to decriminalize.
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CN ON: Grow-Op Amendments Made

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/21/2014 - 08:00
Northern News, 21 Feb 2014 - KIRKLAND LAKE - Kirkland Lake's Property Standards Bylaw has been updated to reflect changes required by the province. One of the big changes required is a section concerning illegal marijuana grow operations.
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Canada: Not Until You're Older

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/21/2014 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 21 Feb 2014 - As the legalization debate quickens, scientists warn there is a lot we don't know about marijuana and brain development. Erin Anderssen examines why teens should wait to smoke up Parents seeking direction on what to tell their teens about pot might take some pointers from the President of the United States, who explained in a recent New Yorker profile how he'll put it to his two daughters: "It's a bad idea, it's a waste of time, not very healthy."
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CN BC: Medical Grow-Ops Must Be in Industrial Zones, Says Lake

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/21/2014 - 08:00
The Daily Courier, 21 Feb 2014 - Pot growers will have to tend their pungent gardens inside industrial zones if they want to set up shop in Lake Country. Town council decided this week that future applications for medicinal marijuana growing operations will only be processed if they're proposed for areas with a light industrial zone.
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CN NS: HRM Barred From Firing Pot-Using Worker

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/21/2014 - 08:00
Chronicle Herald, 21 Feb 2014 - Halifax Regional Municipality has lost its bid to fire a worker accused of pot smoking. The Nova Scotia Appeal Court upheld a lower-court ruling that stemmed from an arbitrator's decision to reinstate the man. The Appeal Court panel's written decision was released Friday.
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Top Lawyer's Opinion Threatens DC Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 02/21/2014 - 07:49

The District of Columbia's attorney general, Irvin Nathan, has issued an opinion saying that the proposed DC marijuana legalization initiative should not go before the voters because it violates federal law. Nathan sent the opinion to the DC Board of Elections Thursday, ahead of its Tuesday meeting to decide whether or not to approve it.

[image:1 align:right]Nathan's opinion is not binding, board spokesperson Tamara Robinson told the Washington Times.

"We take all comments into consideration, whether they are from the AGs office or written from DC residents," Robinson said. "At times we have agreed with the attorney general's office on certain matters and at times we don't."

But if the board agrees with the city's top lawyer next week, that could mean back to the drawing board for the initiative's proponents, the DC Cannabis Coalition. That in turn could mean its chance of actually gathering enough signatures to qualify for the November 2014 ballot before the clock ran out would be greatly diminished.

In his opinion, Nathan took issue with a passage in the initiative that says "no district government agency or office shall limit or refuse to provide any facility service, program or benefit to any person" based on the legalization of marijuana."

That language conflicts with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, which "requires that public housing leases make 'drug-related criminal activity' on or off public housing premises a cause for terminating a public housing lease," he wrote. "The proposed initiative would prohibit leases from containing such language and prohibit the District from evicting a public-housing tenant who, in violation of federal law and the lease, possessed small quantities of marijuana."

The coalition's Adam Eidinger told the Times said he is working with coalition lawyers from his to see if the questioned wording in the initiative can be changed ahead of the Tuesday hearing.

"It might just be a matter of four words that have to be changed," Eidinger said. "I don't want to lose our opportunity to collect signatures."

The initiative would legalize the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana and allow for growing up to six plants. It would not legalize the sale of marijuana or allow for marijuana retail stores.

The DC city council is preparing for a final vote to decriminalize marijuana possession next month, and there are efforts underway to get a legalization bill moving in the council, but initiative advocates hope that they can either get on the ballot and let voters decide or use the initiative as a sword over the head of the council to prod it to act.

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Chronicle AM -- February 20, 2014

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 02/20/2014 - 22:22

Colorado is rolling in the marijuana tax dollars, Washington state gets closer to licensing legal grows, a New Hampshire patient grow bill is moving, the Europeans are worried about some new drugs, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Colorado Governor Announces Marijuana Tax Revenues Plan. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) Wednesday announced his plan to start spending tax revenues from legalized marijuana. He said he would spend $99 million next fiscal year, with half of it going to youth use prevention, another 40% going to substance abuse treatment, and more than $12 million for public health. His proposal must be approved by the legislature.

Washington State Regulators Announce Rules Modifications. The Washington State Liquor Control Board announced Wednesday that it will limit marijuana business applicants to one pot grow each, down from the three-license limit it originally set. The board also reduced by 30% the amount of grow space that licensees can use. The board is trying to address how to equitably distribute the two million square foot of grow space it has set as a statewide cap. The move also opens the way to the actual issuance of grow licenses, which could come as soon as early next month.

Medical Marijuana

New Hampshire Patient Cultivation Bill Wins Committee Vote. A bill that would allow qualifying patients to cultivate a limited amount of medical marijuana in New Hampshire was approved this morning in a 13-3 vote by the House Committee on Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs. The bill will be considered by the full House sometime in March. Sponsored by Rep. Donald Wright (R-Tuftonboro), House Bill 1622 would patients or their designated caregivers to possess up to two mature plants and twelve seedlings. The cultivation location would have to be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services, and patients would lose their ability to cultivate when an alternative treatment center opens within 30 miles of their residence.

South Carolina CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) Wednesday introduced a bill to allow for the use of CBD cannabis oil for the treatment of epilepsy seizures. Senate Bill 1035 has been referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs.

Arizona Bill Would Use Medical Marijuana Fees to Fund Anti-Drug Campaigns. A bill approved Wednesday by the House Health Committee would set up a special fund using fees from medical marijuana user and dispensaries to "discourage marijuana use among the general population." House Bill 2333, sponsored by Rep. Ethan Orr (R-Tucson) is being derided by the Marijuana Policy Project, whose spokesman, Mason Tvert, said "It is remarkable how much money some government officials are willing to flush down the toilet in hopes of scaring adults away from using marijuana."

Heroin

Vermont Law School Symposium Will Address Heroin Addiction and New Solutions. The Vermont Law Criminal Law Society is hosting a symposium on heroin and opiate addiction and responses to it on Monday. "This event is about new ideas from new sources," said Vermont Law JD candidate George Selby ', one of the panel organizers. "We need to fundamentally change the way we treat addicts and the opiates they fall victim to." Panelists will include addiction and pain specialists, a narcotics investigator, and an advocate for revolutionizing drug policy. They will discuss whether drug courts, replacement therapy, and support groups are enough, and tackle a controversial question: Should doctors be allowed to prescribe heroin to treat heroin addiction? One of the featured speakers is Arnold Trebach, JD, PhD, professor emeritus of public affairs at American University and founder of the Drug Policy Foundation, the precursor to the Drug Policy Alliance, who plans to call for action in Vermont. Click on the title link for more details.

International

Europeans Issue Alert on Four New Synthetic Drugs. The European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction has issued an alert and announced a formal risk assessment of four new synthetic drugs. They are the hallucinogenic phenethylamine 251-NBOMe ("N-Bomb," linked to three deaths), the synthetic opioid AH-7921 (15 reported deaths in Europe), the synthetic cathinone derivative MDPV ("legal cocaine," linked to 99 deaths), and the arylcyclohexamine drug Methoxetamine (linked to 20 deaths). Click on the link above for more details.

British Columbia Judge Rules Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences Unconstitutional. A judge in Canada's British Columbia ruled Wednesday that mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders under the federal 2012 Safe Streets and Communities Act are unconstitutional. In November, an Ontario judge struck down a similar sentence for a weapons offense, but BC is the first province to have the drug offense sentences quashed. Crown prosecutors are expected to appeal.

India Asset Forfeiture Bill Passes Lok Sabha. A bill that would increase the Indian government's ability to seize assets from drug traffickers was approved Wednesday by the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the country's bicameral parliament. The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2011 passed on a voice vote after members took turns worrying aloud about the spread of drug use in the world's most populous democracy.

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CN BC: Column: Prescription Pot Pretense Ending

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/20/2014 - 08:00
Rossland News, 20 Feb 2014 - On April 1, medical marijuana growing licences expire across the country, and only licensed commercial growers will be able to legally fill a prescription for pot. Ottawa is moving to clean up the mess it created by issuing medical licences all over the country. Since then, municipalities have complained that small-scale medical licences have been greatly exceeded, with many used as fronts for a criminal drug trade that has made B.C. infamous around the world.
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US DC: Column: The Hype For Legal Drugs

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/20/2014 - 08:00
Washington Post, 20 Feb 2014 - A new conventional wisdom is on the rise: Drug prohibition, or "the war on drugs," is a costly flop. It not only failed to cut drug use and associated social ills significantly but has also imposed additional social costs - or "catastrophic harm," as my colleague Radley Balko put it - far exceeding the benefits. Those costs include violent crime linked to the black-market drug trade as well as the mass arrest and incarceration of small-time users, a disproportionate number of whom are African American. It follows that the only solution is legalization, at least of marijuana and maybe other substances. Apropos of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, for example, former congressman Barney Frank suggested legalizing heroin. Then we could abandon the fool's errand of prohibition and concentrate on "harm reduction" strategies such as treatment.
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US CO: Colorado Legal Pot Market Beats Tax Expectations

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/20/2014 - 08:00
Washington Times, 20 Feb 2014 - Governor Sees $98m in Fiscal '14 DENVER (AP) - Colorado's legal marijuana market is far exceeding tax expectations, according to a budget proposal released Wednesday by Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, that gives the first official estimate of how much the state expects to make from pot taxes.
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US IL: Burke: Burke: State Rules on Sites for Pot 'Impossible'

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/20/2014 - 08:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 20 Feb 2014 - The city is caught in a Catch-22 when it comes to medical marijuana dispensaries, Ald. Ed Burke (14th) has told state officials in a letter obtained by the Chicago SunTimes. On the one hand, the state has said dispensaries can't be located in residential areas and they have to be 1,000 feet away from a school or day care center.
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US CO: Legal Marijuana Boosts Tax Coffers

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/20/2014 - 08:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 20 Feb 2014 - (AP) - Colorado's legal marijuana market is far exceeding tax expectations, according to a budget proposal released Wednesday by Gov. John Hickenlooper that gives the first official estimate of how much the state expects to make from pot taxes. The proposal outlines plans to spend $99 million next fiscal year on substance-abuse prevention and other priorities. The money would come from a statewide 10 percent sales tax on recreational pot, indicating Colorado's total sales next fiscal year will be near $1 billion.
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US CO: Column: Can Olympic Athletes Smoke Pot?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/20/2014 - 08:00
Westword, 20 Feb 2014 - Dear Stoner: I'm watching this dreadlocked skier from Norway right now and wondering if Olympic athletes can smoke pot. Reggie Ross Dear Reggie: The Olympics have a notoriously drug-free stance regarding competition, especially when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs. For years, that also included a pretty hard-line stance on cannabis, and as much as fifteen nanograms in your system the day of a test could disqualify you. That's exactly what happened to the very first Olympic snowboarding gold-medalist, Ross Rebagliati, who had to fight to keep his medal after testing positive after the 1998 Nagano games.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 02/20/2014 - 01:06

California counties continue to struggle with dispensary and growing rules, Reno's mayor has a change of heart, some Oregon cities may have to change their ways, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]California

Last Friday, a superior court judge threw out Kern County's Measure G, the voter-approved 2012 ordinance limiting where dispensaries can operate in unincorporated areas of the county. Judge Kenneth Twisselman ruled that the ordinance failed to properly consider environmental impacts. But county lawyers said it could clear the way to shut down all dispensaries in the county, so expect more battles to be waged in Kern.

Last Thursday, a petition drive was underway in Shasta County that would put the county's pending ban on outdoor medical marijuana gardens in the voter's hands this November. Organizers need 6,544 valid signatures by February 28. County supervisors last month unanimously voted to ban all outdoor medical marijuana cultivation in the unincorporated parts of Shasta County, and place additional restrictions on in grows. The outdoor ban is set to take effect on February 28 unless the petition proves successful, in which case supervisors could either choose to repeal the ordinance or send it on for voters to decide in the fall.

Guam

Last Thursday, the Guam Election Commission's legal counsel said a medical marijuana bill was "inorganic" and could not be acted on. Senate Bill 215 was amended by its sponsor at the request of other legislators to put the measure to a popular referendum, but the legal counsel said Guam's Organic Act, the law which established democracy in the US territory, does not allow for popular referenda.

Nevada

Last Friday, Reno Mayor Bob Cashdell said he would now push to license dispensaries. That's a change for Cashdell, who was a vocal critic of dispensary legislation when it passed last year. Cashdell said he had a family member who benefited from medical marijuana.

New Hampshire

Last Wednesday, the House balked at advancing a bill that would modify the state's yet-to-begin medical marijuana program. House Bill 1616 would expand the program to include more medical conditions, but also limit the amount of marijuana patients could purchase each month. House leaders said they would study the bill for the rest of this year.

New Mexico

On Tuesday, the state Health Department released a patient survey that showed that state-licensed growers were growing nowhere near enough marijuana to supply registered patient demand. Patients are using about 11,000 pounds a year, but licensed growers are producing only about 2,250. The Health Department is "weighing its options about whether to increase production" and whether to increase the number of producers or the number of plants each can produce, a spokesman said.

Oklahoma

Last Wednesday, hundreds of people showed up at the state capitol for a hearing on medical marijuana. The hearing addressed the use of high CBD cannabis oil as a treatment for epileptic seizures in children, but others rallied outside calling for full legalization.

Oregon

Last Tuesday, the Tigard city council voted to ban dispensaries. But the council may be open to lifting it in the future and regulating dispensaries.

Also last Tuesday, the Grants Pass city council voted to ban dispensaries. Officials pointed to a longstanding business license ordinance that bars licenses for activities that would not comply with city ordinances, or state, or federal law."

On Tuesday, the Sherwood city council voted to temporarily ban dispensaries. The ban is set to last 150 days.

Also on Tuesday, the Oregon Senate passed a bill that would bar localities from banning dispensaries. Senate Bill 1531 would let city and county governments regulate certain aspects of medical marijuana dispensaries such as hours of operation, location and the manner in which medical marijuana is dispensed, but not ban them. The legislature approved statewide dispensary regulation last year, which will go into effect March 3. The Association of Oregon Cities is grumbling and threatening to sue. Stay tuned.

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

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Chronicle AM -- February 19, 2014

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 02/19/2014 - 21:56

NORML endorses a US Senate candidate, pressure mounts for medical marijuana in New York, West Virginia wants to make Sudafed prescription only, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Arizona Poll Has 51% for Legalization. A poll from Arizona's Behavior Research Center has support for marijuana legalization at 51%, with 41% opposed. In recent months, other polls have showed majorities both for and against legalization.

Maine US Senate Candidate Wins NORML PAC Endorsement. NORML PAC, NORML's political campaign arm, has endorsed Shenna Bellows in her campaign to represent Maine in the US Senate. "Shenna Bellows has been at the forefront of the fight for marijuana legalization even before beginning this campaign," stated NORML PAC Manager Erik Altieri, "During her tenure leading the Maine ACLU, Shenna has demonstrated she has the skill and determination to fight for sensible reforms and has proven to be a vocal and articulate leader in calling for the end of marijuana prohibition. We believe she will be invaluable in the United States Senate to help move the country away from our failed war on marijuana and towards a new, smarter approach." Bellows is seeking the Democratic Party nomination.

Medical Marijuana

Almost Nine Out of Ten New Yorkers Support Medical Marijuana, Poll Finds.A new Quinnipiac poll has support for medical marijuana at 88%, with only 9% opposed. The poll also had a 57% majority for marijuana legalization. Click on the link for more poll details.

Two New York GOP State Senators Announce Support for Medical Marijuana Bill. Two Republican state senators, George Maziarz (R-Newfane) and Mark Grisanti (R-IP-Buffalo), have announced their support for the pending medical marijuana bill, the Compassionate Care Act. They are the first Republicans to do so. The Compassionate Care Act has passed the Assembly four times, and Governor Cuomo's administration has said the governor would sign it, but the legislation has long been stuck in the Senate.

Oregon Bill to Block Cities and Counties from Banning Dispensaries Passes Senate. The Oregon Senate Tuesday passed Senate Bill 1531, which would let cities and counties regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, but not ban them. A number of cities have already passed ordinances banning dispensaries before a new state law allowing them goes into effect next month, and the Association of Oregon Cities is threatening to sue if the bill passes. It now goes to the House.

New Mexico Patient Survey Finds Program Not Providing Enough Medical Marijuana. A state Department of Health survey of patients enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program finds that only about 20% of patient demand is being met through legal channels. Licensed growers are producing about 2,250 pounds a year, but the survey put the annual demand from patients at more than 11,000 pounds. The Health Department is now "weighing its options about whether to increase production" and whether to increase the number of producers or the number of plants each can produce, a spokesman said.

Drug Testing

Indiana Food Stamp Drug Test Bill Now Targets Only Those With Misdemeanor Drug Convictions. A bill that would have required drug screening for all food stamp applicants and drug testing for those deemed likely to be using has been amended to now apply only to people who have misdemeanor drug convictions in the past 10 years. (People with drug felonies are ineligible for food stamps under a federal law that Indiana has not opted out of.) House Bill 1351 passed the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee after being amended. It has already passed the House.

Methamphetamine

Bill Making Sudafed Prescription-Only Passes West Virginia Senate. A bill that would make access to OTC cold medications containing pseudoephedrine available by prescription only passed the state Senate Tuesday. Senate Bill 6 now goes to the House. The measure is aimed at reducing the number of meth labs in the state, although it has had only temporary effects in the other two states where it has been adopted. Pseudoephredrine is a precursor chemical in meth manufacture.

International

Georgia to Ban Synthetic Cannabinoid Chemicals. Georgian Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs Davit Sergeenko said Wednesday a law on criminalizing the basic biochemical formulas used to create synthetic cannabis has been almost completed. "From now on, these substances will be considered as illegal and all the control mechanisms and limits that are set on other legal or illegal drugs will be valid for synthetic cannabis too," Sergeenko said.

Myanmar Extends Opium Crop Substitution Program in Northern Shan State. The Myanmar government, working in cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, is extending its crop substitution program for poppy farmers in Northern Shan State. The idea is to increase farmers' food security in areas where eradication has taken place. Last year, Myanmar eradicated about one-fifth of the estimated poppy crop.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

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