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Marijuana

US CA: Column: No To Low THC

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 14 Jul 2016 - Hey I heard some folks in Colorado were trying to change their pot laws. Can I get an update? - -Pueblo Boulder There were a few concern trolls, calling themselves the Healthy Colorado Coalition, that wanted to put an initiative on the ballot that would do a few things, but the biggest issue was an attempt to keep THC levels in commercial cannabis below 16 percent. This is one of the dumbest ideas ever. Consider this: Most commercially grown cannabis comes in between 15 and 19 percent THC. Some strains get into the low 20s and a rare few will hit 25 percent. Mandating superlow THC content would be like telling boozers that they could only have 3.2 percent alcohol-by-volume beer, none of this crazy 6 percent or 9 percent ABV barley wine. And no hard liquor.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Editorial: Tax Weed For Homelessness?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 14 Jul 2016 - L.A. County's Latest Plan - to Slap a Levy on Marijuana Sales - Comes With Several Drawbacks. Running out of time and options to raise money to address the homelessness crisis, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors turned Tuesday to a new funding source: weed.
Categories: Marijuana

South Africa: Cannabis Story Is Slowly Turning Full Circle

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
The Witness, 14 Jul 2016 - WHILE the latest research on cannabis confirms anecdotes that weed slows and even removes Alzheimer's, the dagga couple of SA still have a long fight to change the illegal status of the drug in South Africa. On their non-profit organisation website, Fields of Green for All, the infamous dagga couple, Julian Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke, said their case will finally come to court on July 31, 2017. And after all their effort to get there, the Pretoria high court will have to escalate the questions raised on the constitutionality of being arrested for possessing dagga to the Constitutional Court. The couple have also sued seven South African government departments on charges of enacting unlawful laws.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Cloverdale Seeks to Join Growing Number of California

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 14 Jul 2016 - With medicinal marijuana becoming more regulated and the possibility that California voters will legalize pot in November, Cloverdale is pursuing a local tax on cannabis-related businesses. A majority of Cloverdale voters would need to approve the tax, which the City Council is likely to place on the November ballot.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Pot Not The New Almond

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 14 Jul 2016 - How much marijuana is being grown in Humboldt County? We've all heard some store porch supposition on the subject, but there's little actual data to back it up. A recent article, published in the April edition of Environmental Research Letters, may help fill this vacuum. University of California Berkeley research specialist Van Butsic, and Jacob C. Brenner, a professor at Ithaca College, spent almost a year analyzing satellite imagery from Humboldt County, counting greenhouses and extrapolating to come up with a figure of 4,428 grow sites spread over 60 watersheds. The project was inspired by what the researchers called "an urgent need for systemic empirical research."
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: A Multibillion Dollar Industry Without a Bank

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 14 Jul 2016 - As the California campaign for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act gains momentum and state economists forecast an industry that could grow to $15 billion annually by 2020, creating thousands of jobs and generating millions in tax revenue, there's a dark cloud hanging over potential victory celebrations on Nov. 8: The multibillion industry will have no legal baking options. If approved by voters, new cannabis businesses in California will have to overcome an obstacle that has dogged the industry in 25 medical marijuana states and four recreational-use states - Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. There simply is no safe, efficient, and legal banking. The Attorney General's Office made that very clear with the now infamous 2011 "Cole Memo," which warned bankers not to open cannabis-related accounts or they could face money-laundering charges or possibly lose their FDIC insurance, which would be ruinous.
Categories: Marijuana

US AZ: Column: Free Kyle Catlin

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 14 Jul 2016 - Parents of Medical Marijuana Patient, Caregiver in Prison Are Not Giving Up Until Their Son Is Free Suson Catlin has been letters to the Governor's Office hoping someone out there will help get her 27-year-old son, Kyle, out of prison-where he's been since mid-January over nonviolent marijuana felony charges. Unsurprisingly, she hasn't received a response. But as I imagine most mothers would, Suson is willing to exhaust all options. Hope dies last.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: Dear Stoner: How Much Marijuana Can a Tourist

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Westword, 14 Jul 2016 - Dear Stoner: I'll be visiting Colorado this summer, and everyone is telling me I can only buy a quarter-ounce. Is that true? If so, is that for every shop, or can I buy more at another? Based B Dear Based: It used to be that way, but not any longer! In June, Governor John Hickenlooper signed a law bumping up the out-of-stater limit to an ounce, so you don't have to limit yourself to a quarter-ounce at each shop you visit. Not that I've met many people who go through a quarter in a day - but they're out there.
Categories: Marijuana

US OR: Column: California's Pot Initiative

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Portland Mercury, 14 Jul 2016 - Is That State's Brand-New Cannabis Initiative Any Good? What do you think of California's brand new pot initiative? IT'S A MIXED BAG, but I'm getting on board. Last week, California announced that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) officially has a home on the state's November ballot. Over the past year, the concept of legalization among California voters has been polling very well. It seems almost certain the AUMA will pass.
Categories: Marijuana

US OR: Column: The Banks Hate The Dank

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 07:00
Portland Mercury, 14 Jul 2016 - It's Still Impossible for Cannabis Businesses to Open Bank Accounts AT A RECENT cannabis event I went to, the crowd was made up of cannabis professionals: dispensary owners and staff, growers, edible makers, processors, and wholesalers. Among the speakers was the head of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission's (OLCC) cannabis program. During the Q&A, a grower brought up how that very week, his bank account had been shut down-the third time in the past year.
Categories: Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 21:08

The Republican platform committee rejects medical marijuana, medical marijuana research issues get a hearing in the Senate, Arkansas will vote on at least one medical marijuana initiative this fall -- maybe two -- and more.

[image:1 align:left]National

On Monday, the GOP rejected a medical marijuana platform plank. Republican delegates meeting Monday in Cleveland ahead of the party's national convention voted against endorsing medical marijuana in their party platform. The vote came after contentious debate, with some delegates making claims about marijuana reminiscent of Reefer Madness. One delegate claimed people who commit mass murders are "young boys from divorced families, and they're all smoking pot," another compared medical marijuana to physically addictive and potentially lethal prescription opiates. Still, it took two voice votes for the measure to be voted down.

On Tuesday, a Senate subcommittee held a hearing on medical marijuana research. The US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism held the hearing on "Researching the Potential Medical Benefits and Risks of Marijuana." Testimony was heard from Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), who are original co-sponsors of medical marijuana legislation introduced last year in the Senate known as the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act (S 683). Other scheduled included officials from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), among others.

Also on Tuesday, Senators Feinstein and Grassley called for expedited evaluation of the medical uses of CBD. The two Senate octogenarians have asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Health and Human Services Director Sylvia Burwell for the two agencies to work together to remove barriers to the scientific and medical evaluation of cannabidiol (CBD). The pair, who are, respectively, the co-chair and chair of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, made their request in a letter to the two agency heads.

Arkansas

Last Tuesday, the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act qualified for the November ballot. Arkansans for Compassionate Care (ACC) has collected enough valid voter signatures to qualify its medical marijuana initiative for the November ballot, Secretary of State Mack Martin confirmed. A second initiative, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, has yet to qualify for the ballot, and ACC is calling on its organizers to end their campaign and join forces.

Last Friday, supporters of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment handed in signatures. Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana turned in more than 106,000 signatures to state officials, the last day for turn-ins. They need nearly 85,000 valid voter signatures, so this is going to be a nail-biter. Earlier this week, a competing medical marijuana initiative from Arkansans for Compassionate Care qualified for the ballot.

On Tuesday, the Health Department came out against the medical marijuana initiatives. The state Department of Health said in a statement that it opposed such initiatives because marijuana is not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration and its legalization by popular vote is not grounded in "rigorous" science. A medical marijuana initiative from Arkansans for Compassionate Care has already qualified for the ballot, and the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment has handed in some 106,000 signatures. It needs 85,000 valid ones to qualify.

California

Last Tuesday, the San Bernardino city council voted to put a dispensary regulatory system before the voters. The city council voted to put the measure on the November ballot even though a majority disapproves of it. Their hand was forced by a petition campaign that gathered more than 6,000 voter signatures. A second, competing proposal may also make the ballot.

Also last Tuesday, a Long Beach dispensary initiative qualified for the November ballot. City Clerk Maria de la Luz Garcia announced that an initiative to allow dispensaries has qualified for the November ballot. A city council member may try to add another ballot measure that would allow dispensaries, but with more restrictions.

Illinois

On Monday, officials reported climbing medical marijuana sales. The state saw $2.57 million in medical marijuana sales in June, up from $2.3 million in May, according to figures from the state Department of Agriculture. Sales total $13.8 million since the first dispensaries started operating last November. The numbers should increase even further once two new qualifying conditions -- PTSD and terminal illness -- come on line. They've already been approved, but the Department of Health is in the midst of preparing new rules and application forms.

Maine

On Tuesday, Mthe state rejected including opiate addiction as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. The administration of Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage (R) has rejected a petition seeking to include opiate addiction on the state's list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. State officials said the case for inclusion was "compelling," but they also said human studies hadn't been done and more research was needed.

North Dakota

On Monday, a medical marijuana initiative campaign handed in signatures. The North Dakotans for Compassionate Care campaign handed in some 15,500 raw signatures for its medical marijuana initiative Monday, the last day for handing them in. The campaign needs 13,452 valid voter signatures to qualify, so there is very little cushion for invalidated signatures. Stay tuned.

On Wednesday, word came that the initiative campaign actually handed in 17,000 signatures. The North Dakotans for Compassionate Care campaign actually handed in some 17,000 raw signatures for its medical marijuana initiative Monday. Earlier reports had the number at 15,500. It's still going to a nail-biter to see if it qualifies for the ballot; it needs 13,452 valid voter signatures.

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

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: NYC K2 Panic, Sen. Feinstein Rejects Marijuana Initiative, More... (7/13/2016)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 20:23

Feinstein comes out against California's Prop 64, the Arkansas Health Department comes out against medical marijuana initiatives, an outbreak of synthetic cannabinoid overdoses in New York City raises alarms and more reasoned responses, and more.

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

Senator Dianne Feinstein Opposes California Legalization Initiative. US Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has formally opposed the Prop 64 legalization initiative. In remarks Tuesday, she said the measure lacked protections for children and motorists and would clash with the state's medical marijuana system. "I am not really for recreational use of marijuana," she said. "Medical use, yes."

Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Health Department Opposes Medical Marijuana Initiatives. The state Department of Health said in a statement Tuesday that it opposed such initiatives because marijuana is not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration and its legalization by popular vote is not grounded in "rigorous" science. A medical marijuana initiative from Arkansans for Compassionate Care has already qualified for the ballot, and the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment has handed in some 106,000 signatures. It needs 85,000 valid ones to qualify.

North Dakota Activists Actually Handed in 17,000 Signatures. The North Dakotans for Compassionate Care campaign actually handed in some 17,000 raw signatures for its medical marijuana initiative Monday. Earlier reports had the number at 15,500. It's still going to a nail biter to see if it qualifies for the ballot; it needs 13,452 valid voter signatures.

New Psychoactive Substances

Outbreak of "Synthetic Marijuana" Overdoses in New York City. On Tuesday, emergency workers had to transport 33 people suspected of overdosing on synthetic cannabinoids commonly referred to as K2 to local hospitals. Locals and press reports refer to the victims as "zombies." The outbreak occurred at the border of the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

Drug Policy Alliance Responds to K2 Outbreak, Media Coverage. The piece by DPA Director of Academic Engagement Dr. Julie Netherland notes that the synthetic cannabinoid market is completely unregulated and people who use those substances do not know what they are getting. She also points out that one of the primary factors driving the use of such substances is marijuana prohibition. And more.

Categories: Marijuana

US: Column: MJ Saves Medicare Money

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 07:00
Anderson Valley Advertiser, 13 Jul 2016 - Researchers at the University of Georgia have published a study in the July issue of Health Affairs showing that Medicare's prescription drug benefit program saves money in states that have legalized marijuana for medical use. Authors Ashley Bradford and Dr. David Bradford - daughter and father, BTW - calculate that in 2013, patients using medical marijuana in 17 states enabled Medicare Part D to save US taxpayers $165.2 million that would have been spent on prescription drugs. As reported by the university's media office, the Bradfords- . combed through data on all prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees from 2010 to 2013, a total of over 87 million physician-drug-year observations.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Cash-Only Pot Joints A Target

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 07/13/2016 - 07:00
Chicago Tribune, 13 Jul 2016 - After Dispensary Shootings, Industry Urges Bank Access LOS ANGELES - The recent killing of a marijuana store security guard in Colorado and the wounding of another guard in San Bernardino are the latest examples of the crime lure posed by cash-only pot dispensaries, industry observers say.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: GOP Rejects MedMJ, Colombia & FARC Collaborate on Coca Substitution, More... (7/12/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 20:48

Medical marijuana is getting some attention on Capitol Hill, Arizona legalization foes go to court to try to block the initiative, Maine rejects medical marijuana for opiate addiction, Colombia and the FARC rebels partner on a coca crop substitution pilot program, and more.

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

Arizona Prohibitionists File Lawsuit to Block Legalization Initiative. Legalization opponents Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy have joined two county attorneys in filing a lawsuit to block the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol's legalization initiative from going before voters in November. The lawsuit claims the initiative is "misleading" and is not accurately summarized by its title and text. Legalization opponents in Massachusetts tried a similar tactic earlier this year. They failed.

Michigan Asks Judge to Throw Out Legalization Group's Ballot Access Challenge. The state is asking the Court of Claims to dismiss a lawsuit from MI Legalize, which is seeking to place its legalization initiative on the November ballot. The group gathered more than 350,000 signatures and only needed some 252,000 to qualify, but some of those signatures were obtained outside a 180-day window generally mandated by state law. In seeking dismissal, the state argues that there isn't enough time to get the measure on the ballot now, the lawsuit fails to identify constitutional claims and contradicts earlier state Supreme Court rulings.

Kansas City Marijuana Advocates Launch Decriminalization Initiative Campaign. The Kansas City, Missouri, NORML branch is collecting signatures to get a decriminalization initiative on the November ballot. The proposal would decriminalize up to 35 grams of pot, with a maximum fine of $25. The group needs 1,708 valid voter signatures by August 25, but says it plans to gather hundreds more than that and has 800 already.

Medical Marijuana

GOP Rejects Medical Marijuana Platform Plank. Republican delegates meeting Monday in Cleveland ahead of the party's national convention voted against endorsing medical marijuana in their party platform. The vote came after contentious debate, with some delegates making claims about marijuana reminiscent of Reefer Madness. One delegate claimed people who commit mass murders are "young boys from divorced families, and they're all smoking pot," another compared medical marijuana to physically addictive and potentially lethal prescription opiates. Still, it took two voice votes for the measure to be voted down.

Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Medical Marijuana Research Today. The US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism is scheduled to hold a hearing today on "Researching the Potential Medical Benefits and Risks of Marijuana." Testimony will be heard from Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), who are original co-sponsors of medical marijuana legislation introduced last year in the Senate known as the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act (S 683). Other scheduled witnesses include officials from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), among others.

Senators Feinstein and Grassley Call for Expedited Evaluation of Medical Uses of CBDs. The two Senate octogenarians have asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Health and Human Services Director Sylvia Burwell for the two agencies to work together to remove barriers to the scientific and medical evaluation of cannabidiol (CBD). The pair, who are, respectively, the co-chair and chair of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, made their request in a letter to the two agency heads.

Maine Rejects Including Opiate Addiction as Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana. The administration of Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage (R) has rejected a petition seeking to include opiate addiction on the state's list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. State officials said the case for inclusion was "compelling," but they also said human studies hadn't been done and more research was needed.

International

Colombia and FARC Rebels Begin Coca Substitution Pilot Program. The government and the guerrillas Sunday began a pilot project to wean farmers off coca by offering them alternative crops. The move comes as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime reports that coca production is booming in what farmers see as a last opportunity to cash in before peace allows for a serious crop substitution effort. Some 500 small farmers are voluntarily participating in the program, which will be used as a model for the rest of the country after the FARC and the government reach final peace agreements.

Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Medical Marijuana Advocates Oppose Proposed Grow

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 07:00
The Union, 12 Jul 2016 - New proposed rules for medical marijuana grows led to anger on Tuesday as some medicinal cannabis proponents said they couldn't support the new recommendations while urging supervisors to compromise. County officials, however, said they had to consider environmental concerns and secure four out of five supervisor votes on July 26 to pass interim grow rules and repeal the existing outdoor grow ban.
Categories: Marijuana

US FL: City Votes For Pause On Pot Dispensaries

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 12 Jul 2016 - Orlando commissioners voted to approve a temporary moratorium on marijuana dispensaries in the city Monday, months before Florida voters will again weigh in on medical uses for the drug. The City Council vote comes after three would-be sellers of either medicinal marijuana or the low-THC oil known as Charlotte's Web have recently expressed interest in Orlando storefronts where current zoning would allow them.
Categories: Marijuana

US PA: Leach Paves Way For Medical Marijuana In Pa.

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 07:00
Daily Times, 12 Jul 2016 - Proposals for Sites Starting to Bubble Up in Delco 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, including a couple that are being bandied about here in Delaware County.
Categories: Marijuana

US AZ: Ariz. Court: Pot Smell Enough To Ok Search

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 07:00
The Sun, 12 Jul 2016 - PHOENIX - Got marijuana? Not legally? Might want to keep the smell down. A pair of new court rulings Monday allows the police to pursue a search of your place or your vehicle solely based on the odor.
Categories: Marijuana

US MA: Column: Like Bill Clinton, I Didn't Inhale

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 07/12/2016 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 12 Jul 2016 - The Fight Against Marijuana Legalization When it comes to marijuana legalization, what do you trust? Studies that conclude cannabis is not a harmful gateway drug - or the memory of a glassy-eyed college roommate who stopped going to class?
Categories: Marijuana
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