Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 17 Jul 2016 - On July 7, Gov. David Ige signed into law what might prove to be the most important piece of economic legislation in the past 50 years. Hawaii now enjoys the best hemp law in the nation. We who have been active in bringing back hemp to agriculture believe that generations will still be saying mahalo to those who worked, some for decades, to get this law passed. Now it's time to implement it.
The Times Herald, 17 Jul 2016 - UPPER MERION - Passage of legislation that legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania marked the end of seven long, hard years of negotiation. Now that Gov. Tom Wolf has signed the measure into law, the push is on to explain the ramifications, including possible business opportunities tied to the medical marijuana field. Wolf, who had adamantly backed the bill through approval by both the House and Senate, swiftly added his signature, which made the bill law.
The Oklahoman, 17 Jul 2016 - Tents flapped in the northwest Oklahoma City wind as Michael Beck and another man arrived in a pickup, ready to sign a petition seeking a state vote to legalize medical marijuana. Beck, 25, said he has never used marijuana, but he has a niece who can benefit from it and whose mother and father have moved to Colorado where it's legal.
Orlando Sentinel, 17 Jul 2016 - TALLAHASSEE (AP) - Florida's first legal harvest of marijuana is stored in multiple vacuum-packed, 441-gram bags in a freezer on the outskirts of Tallahassee. Each is the result of months of careful growing, monitoring, coaxing, and finally cultivating, scores of plants in a hidden farm overseen by horticulturalists and protected by armed guards.
Washington Post, 17 Jul 2016 - MD. Delegate Did Not Disclose His Connection to Dispensary Applicant The state lawmaker who led the effort to legalize medical marijuana in Maryland is part of a company trying to sell and profit off the drug - a position he never disclosed as he pushed bills and regulations to help cannabis businesses.
Boston Globe, 17 Jul 2016 - Last night's needles line the sidewalks at dawn along the blighted blocks where Massachusetts Avenue and Southampton Street meet. People emerge from shelters and halfway houses and trudge toward the methadone clinics that lend this place its ugly nickname. An open-air drug market is in full swing on the corner outside a convenience store, where offers of drugs trill like music. "Clonidines-Clonidines-Clonidines-Clonidines!" "Does anybody need Xani Bars?" Phenergans, Pins, Johnnies? A man grimaces one chilly morning, unsteady on his feet. He opens his mouth to reveal a knotted bag of heroin, double-wrapped and ready to be swallowed should police wade into the crowd. "This is all I have left," he says.
Globe and Mail, 16 Jul 2016 - A cousin of marijuana, the plant is reported to be effective in treating epilepsy and other ailments, Mike Hager writes Each month, Sebastian Cyr uses a specialized extraction device he describes as being "as simple as a toaster," to make a concoction that he says relieves his Lyme disease symptoms.
Toronto Sun, 16 Jul 2016 - Multiple sclerosis sufferer Justin Loizos led a group of frustrated medical marijuana patients into a downtown intersection Friday for a smoke session, which shut down traffic. The group of about 30 protesters were diverse but united in their mission to be heard. The patients who gathered at the corner of Yonge and Bloor Sts. were protesting Bill 178, which groups medical marijuana in with tobacco products in the Ontario Smoke Free Act. This bill would prevent patients from medicating in many places and threatens the existence of cannabis lounges in the city.
New York Times, 16 Jul 2016 - The police raids around a gritty Brooklyn intersection were meant to show that city officials were taking charge after 33 people had been stricken by suspected overdoses of K2. But the spectacle, captured by a crush of news media, came up all but empty, without a single packet of the drug seized. The outcome of the attempted crackdown underscored the challenges the authorities face in combating K2, a potent substance that is easy to distribute and hard to regulate. Its low price and powerful high have made it popular among some homeless people, and its effects have periodically transformed patches of the city - like the one on the border of Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant where the raids were carried out - into theaters of public drug use.
The Press Democrat, 16 Jul 2016 - Sonoma County prosecutors said Friday they still have not decided whether to bring charges against Los Angeles drug-trafficker-turned-author "Freeway" Ricky Ross, who was arrested last fall while driving on Highway 101 with $100,000 cash in his car. No future court date was set for Ross, 56, who is out of custody and appeared before Judge Arthur Wick. He was "discharged," meaning he does not have to return to Sonoma County unless notified.
A new report finds legal marijuana has been good for Colorado's economy, the White House announces President Obama will sign CARA, and more.
[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy
Report Finds Legal Marijuana Bolstering Retail, Manufacturing in Colorado. In a new report, the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business finds that the state's marijuana industry is bumping up retail sales and hiring in manufacturing. Recreational cannabis sales began in 2014. That year, "We had a 3.5% increase in employment. In 2015, a 4.9% increase in food-manufacturing employment," the report said. "The data doesn't allow us to slice and dice to say, 'These are indeed edibles or not,' but the recognition is this is where they would be classified." Likewise, chemical manufacturing jobs vanished at a rate of 2.2% a year from 2002 to 2012, but increased 2.1% in 2013, 1.4% in 2014, and 3.9% last year. Chemical manufacturing includes producing cannabis oils.
Heroin and Prescription Opioids
Obama Will Sign Opioids Bill Despite Lack of Funding. President Obama will sign into law the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S. 524) even though Congress failed to adequately fund it, the White House said Wednesday. The bill "falls far short" of necessary funding, but Obama will sign it "because some action is better than none." More funds could be appropriated in the future, but that's by no means a done deal.
Peru Takes Aim at Coca Cultivation in the VRAEM. The country's anti-drug agency, DEVIDA, said Thursday in is ready to eradicate coca plants in the remote and lawless Valleys of the Rio, Apurimac, and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM) region of south-central Peru. The government has held off on eradication in the region, a major coca producer and home to a remnant of the Shining Path rebels. About three-quarters of the country's coca is grown there, and DEVIDA is ready to go after it. "Today I can say that the conditions are now entirely there for a drastic reduction in the coverage of coca in the VRAEM," Devida chief Alberto Otarola said in a news conference. "No part of Peru should be exempt from the rule of law."
Peninsula News Review, 15 Jul 2016 - Sidney's Dispensary by the Sea will not lose its business license outright and the municipality will investigate what other communities are doing about the proliferation of medical marijuana store fronts. Chris Porter, a director with the society that runs the Dispensary, says the decision by Town council Monday night to not revoke their business licence puts them in a better position. The licence is still under suspension and they cannot open their doors, but Porter said they find it positive that Councillor Erin Bremner-Mitchell has taken it upon herself to research what other cities are doing by allowing such dispensaries to operate.
Peninsula News Review, 15 Jul 2016 - Canadian have a right to access medicinal marijuana. That was a February Supreme Court of Canada decision that has set in motion a flurry of activity in Ottawa - and in any communities across B.C. including Sidney. The court gave the federal government a deadline to come up with new legislation that would keep pace with their decision. Justin Trudeau's Liberals are now working on those laws that they say should be ready by summer, 2017. This week, the Liberals announced they would form a task force of learned individuals to hit the road and talk to Canadians as part of a public consultation requirement en route to the big changes.
Campbell River Mirror, 15 Jul 2016 - The "Prince and Princess of Pot" will be in Campbell River to attend an information session July 20 in support of local marijuana dispensary Wee Medical and the issue of "reasonable access" to medical marijuana. The event will be attended by legalization activists Jodie and Marc Emery and comes on the heels of a second raid of the local marijuana dispensary.
Globe and Mail, 15 Jul 2016 - Drug users report highest-ever rate of stimulant's use in study's history, which suggests need for change to harm-reduction resources Crystal methamphetamine use has climbed across British Columbia and is now on par with heroin use, according to a new provincewide survey of drug users.
The Citizen, 15 Jul 2016 - An ill Boksburg man has obtained a court order to stay his criminal trial for possessing, manufacturing and dealing in dagga pending the outcome of a constitutional challenge aimed at legalising the substance in South Africa. Judge Ronel Tolmay granted an order in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to stay the criminal trial of Clifford Thorp, 58, pending the final outcome of his legal battle to legalise the medicinal use of dagga.
Toronto 24hours, 15 Jul 2016 - Toronto will look a lot hazier before the weekend hits: Inside sources tell 24 Hours that traffic gridlock is about to get a whole lot more congested ... with smoke. Today, marijuana advocates and frustrated cannabis users are set to stage several smoke-ins at busy intersections around the downtown core to demonstrate the desperate need for safe spaces for marijuana users.
Vancouver 24hours, 15 Jul 2016 - Survey Finds Teens Still Support Smoking Weed, Despite Admitting Its Many Risks Three-in-four teens who had tried pot in B.C. will likely have missed school in the past month. Compared to their peers, these pot smokers will have a much higher likelihood of suffering a serious injury or concussion, have lower mental health, and a much higher chance of committing suicide - among a large list of negative outcomes teens in B.C. have themselves identified.
New York Times, 15 Jul 2016 - Almost as soon as the young man crouching on a trash-strewed street in Brooklyn pulled out a crumpled dollar bill from his pocket and emptied its contents of dried leaves into a wrapper, he had company. A half-dozen disheveled men and women walked swiftly to where the young man was rolling a cigarette of a synthetic drug known as K2 to wait for a chance to share. The drug has been the source of an alarming and sudden surge in overdoses - over three days this week, 130 people across New York City were treated in hospital emergency rooms after overdosing on K2, almost equaling the total for the entire month of June, according to the city's health department. About one-fourth of the overdoses, 33, took place on Tuesday along the border of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick, the same Brooklyn neighborhoods where, despite a heightened presence of police officers, people were again openly smoking the drug on Thursday.
The Saratogian, 15 Jul 2016 - The legalization of marijuana is inevitable. The most we can hope for is that people are educated about the potential downsides of the so-called weed. We can hope that pot smoking will not give rise to the kind of alcohol fueled traffic fatalities we see now. Of course, we all know that people have been known to smoke and drive and have been involved in accidents but once it is legalized, there will doubtless be more pot users who will drive "under the influence." Some very distinguished psychiatrists and epidemiologists will tell you that marijuana is indeed a gateway drug that will lead some users to try other, more dangerous substances. One of the great advantages of legalization is that we will take the lucrative side of the business away from organized (or not so organized) crime.