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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 20:25

Medical marijuana remains on the agenda at statehouses across the country, Oregon communities decide whether to bother with temporary dispensary moratoriums, DC looks to expand its medical marijuana program, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]Arizona

Last Thursday, medical marijuana advocates began a recall effort against state Sen. Kimberly Yee for blocking funding of a study of marijuana as a treatment for PTSD in veterans. The Phoenix NORML affiliate and the Arizona Veterans Assistance Committee have undertaken a campaign to make the Phoenix Republican pay a price. They'll need to collect 18,297 signatures from Legislative District 20 by August 2.

California

Last Thursday, a district judge upheld Bakersfield's ordinance banning dispensaries. A group called Concerned Citizens for Bakersfield had filed a lawsuit to block it, arguing that the city hadn't complied with environmental requirements, but the judge wasn't buying it.

Also last Thursday, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano reintroduced his medical marijuana regulation bill. The San Francisco Democrat's new bill is Assembly Bill 1894. The previous version, Assembly Bill 604 had been pending in the Senate. The major change is the addition of language authorizing limited local transaction and use taxes.

Connecticut

Last Thursday, Connecticut picked locations for six dispensaries. The state Consumer Protection Commissioner announced that facilities in Branford, Bridgeport, Bristol, Hartford, South Windsor and Uncasville had been authorized by the state's medical marijuana program to dispense Connecticut-produced marijuana products.

District of Columbia

On Tuesday, a medical marijuana expansion bill was filed. The bill, sponsored by Councilmembers Yvette Alexander and David Grosso, would permit doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients suffering from any condition for which it provides medical benefits. Patients would then be allowed to apply to the Department of Health for acceptance in the District's medical marijuana program. All 13 members of the council are now cosponsors.

Illinois

Last Wednesday, a CBD medical marijuana bill passed the Senate. The bill would allow children to use high-CBD cannabis oil to treat epilepsy. Filed by Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), Senate Bill 2636 now heads for the House.

Maryland

On Monday, the state legislature passed a medical marijuana expansion bill. The bill would create 15 licenses for medical marijuana growers. The measure is Senate Bill 963. It also would allow dispensaries to operate and let growers sell the medicine directly. Passage of the bill into law would make Maryland a full-fledged medical marijuana state.

Minnesota

Last Thursday, medical marijuana supporters unleashed TV ads attacking Gov. Dayton for opposing medical marijuana. An aggressive TV ad targeted the DFL governor after he told a St. Paul mother and her seizure-ridden child to just find medical marijuana on the street!

On Tuesday, medical marijuana supporters tried to attach their stalled bill to a broader health bill. A standalone bill, House File 1818, has been stuck in committee, but supporters plan to propose it as an amendment to a separate health bill. The vote will come after the legislature returns from spring break later this month.

Missouri

On Tuesday, a House committee approved a CBD medical marijuana bill. The bill would permit use of "hemp extract" with little THC and high CBD. Patients would need to have epilepsy that a neurologist has determined is not responding to at least three treatment options. The bill is House Bill 2238, and it has the support of the Republican House leadership.

New Jersey

Last Thursday, a patient sued NJ Transit for denying him a job. A former New Jersey Transit worker and medical marijuana patient who was denied a new position with the agency after testing positive for marijuana is suing in hopes of seeing marijuana recognized as a legitimate medication. Charlie Davis, 57, said he was denied both safety sensitive and non-safety sensitive positions with the agency. Courts in other medical marijuana states have generally upheld the rights of employers to fire workers who use medical marijuana even if it is legal.

New Hampshire

On Wednesday, supporters rallied as a Senate committee considered a home cultivation bill. The measure, House Bill 1622, would allow two mature plants per patient, and the authorization would be only until a licensed cannabis dispensary opens within 30 miles of their residence.

Oregon

On Monday, the Newport city council enacted a moratorium on dispensaries. The council said the moratorium would remain until it could get rules and regulations in place, probably a few months. By state law, the moratorium must end by May 1, 2015.

Also on Monday, the Springfield city council rejected a moratorium on dispensaries. Other Lane County communities, including Florence, Junction City and Oakridge have approved one-year bans. Lane County and Veneta considered but decided against imposing moratoriums.

On Tuesday, the Coburg city council approved a moratorium on dispensaries.

South Carolina

Last Wednesday, the House passed a CBD medical marijuana bill. The bill allows people suffering from severe epilepsy to legally use CBD cannabis oil to control their seizures. House Bill 4803 is less restrictive than a Senate measure passed last week. It's unclear what happens next.

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

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- April 9, 2014

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 18:20

Attorney General Holder was on the pot-seat in Congress yesterday, New Jersey's legalization bill looks to have an uphill battle with public opinion, there's a psychedelic conference in Massachusetts this weekend, Uruguay is going to give medical marijuana to prisoners, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Holder Defends Administration Response to Marijuana, But Refuses to Go Further. Facing critics from both sides of the debate, Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday defended the administration's rather laissez-faire approach to marijuana legalization at the state level, but declined to go further to please reform supporters by taking executive branch action to reschedule the herb. He was appearing before the House Judiciary Committee. Click on the link for more details and some of the repartee.

GOP Congressman Calls for Republicans to Nominate Presidential Candidate With States' Rights Position on Marijuana. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said Tuesday that the Republican Party should field a presidential candidate who supports states' rights to legalize marijuana -- as part of a broader states' rights agenda that also includes scrapping the Department of Education. "I think we ought to look for a presidential candidate who will make that part of his message," he said. "Just transfer it all to the states. Now this government would have nothing to do with education, and how about, from now on, drug laws are considered criminal matters, which is what our Founding Fathers had in mind, and that is up to the states." Rohrabacher also claimed (rather fancifully, unfortunately) that "Reagan did not want to put people in jail. He did not want to militarize our county in order to stop people from smoking weed."

Poll Finds New Jersey Evenly Split on Legalization, Less Support for Actual Bill. A new Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll has support for legalizing small amounts of marijuana at 48%, with 47% opposed. But when asked specifically about supporting a pot legalization bill, Senate Bill 1896, recently introduced by Sen. Nick Scutari (D-Middlesex), only 36% were in favor, with 49% opposed. "Obviously, New Jerseyans are really split on the idea of legalizing marijuana and are unsure about the specifics of the Scutari proposal," said Patrick Murray, director of the polling institute.

Medical Marijuana

Supporters Rally as New Hampshire Senate Considers Home Cultivation. Supporters of cannabis for therapeutic use are rallying in Concord this morning behind a bill that would allow for a limited home cultivation of marijuana plants for qualifying patients. The bill, House Bill 1622, would allow two mature plants per patient, and the authorization would be only until a licensed cannabis dispensary opens within 30 miles of their residence.

Missouri House Committee Approves CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. A Missouri House committee has advanced legislation allowing the use of a cannabis extract by people whose epilepsy is not relieved by other treatments. House Bill 2238 passed the House General Laws Committee and is now set for a hearing in the House Rules Committee tomorrow.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription Drug Monitoring Bill Derailed in Oklahoma. A bill that would require doctors to check their patients' drug histories before writing narcotic prescriptions was derailed Tuesday by a House committee chairman, but sponsors expressed hope they could keep the issue alive. Rep. David Derby, chairman of the House Public Health Committee, would not let the bill be heard Tuesday during his panel's last scheduled meeting before a deadline for committee approval. He said he was concerned about several elements of the bill, including a provision that could allow the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs to fine physicians $2,000 for failing to check the online Prescription Monitoring Program. The measure is House Bill 3030.

Psychedelics

Psychedelic Conference This Weekend at UMass-Amherst. Psychedelic and research and policy experts will speak on issues relating to the role of psychedelics in culture, medicine and science at the Psymposium 2014: The Nature of Psychedelics conference. The conference will be held at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst on April 12 & 13 and is open to the public. Click on the link for all the details.

Law Enforcement

Another Lawsuit Filed Against Crooked Suburban Chicago Cops. Another lawsuit has been filed against the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg and three of its former undercover tactical narcotics officers, who have been accused of selling illegal drugs they seized from dealers. Xavier Neodina filed the suit Monday in federal court claiming police used falsified information to get a search warrant for his home, that he was then arrested and sexually assaulted while being held in the Cook County Jail, and the officers "intentionally schemed and worked together" to set him up. This is the fourth lawsuit filed against Schaumburg and its crooked cops. At least a dozen people convicted of drug offenses have been cleared of charges. One of the cops has been sentenced to 12 years in prison, while two others face trial later this month.

International

Uruguay to Provide Prisoners with Medical Marijuana. Prisoners in the jails of Uruguay will be able to use marijuana if a doctor says it will benefit their health. Uruguay's drug czar, Julio Calzada, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that any inmates with doctors' orders will be prescribed marijuana to improve their physical or mental health.

Categories: Marijuana

US FL: Column: Reefer Might Just Improve the Madness on

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 09 Apr 2014 - WASHINGTON- Legal marijuana is spreading like a weed across the land but it has yet to take root in the place where people might benefit most from inhaling: the U.S. Capitol. The Maryland General Assembly finished work Monday on a marijuana decriminalization bill, joining two dozen other states and the District in some form of legalization. Colorado and Washington allow recreational pot, while most others have legalized only medical marijuana, but the combined campaign has redefined the meaning of a grass-roots movement.
Categories: Marijuana

US PA: Editorial: Teen Must Pay Price for Tragic Mix of Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 07:00
The Times Herald, 09 Apr 2014 - The arguments over the use of marijuana and just how it affects the human body rage on every day as more and more states across the country debate the legalization or at least the decriminalization of pot. However, what can't be argued is that smoking marijuana is more than likely going to leave you in a condition that shouldn't include getting behind the wheel of a car. And then toss in texting while driving to boot and you have a deadly combination.
Categories: Marijuana

US TX: Column: Weed Be Happier If Congress Took Leaf From Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 07:00
Austin American-Statesman, 09 Apr 2014 - Legal marijuana is spreading like a weed across the land, but it has yet to take root in the place where people might benefit most from inhaling: the U.S. Capitol. The Maryland General Assembly finished work Monday on a marijuana decriminalization bill, joining two dozen other states and the district in some form of legalization. Colorado and Washington allow recreational pot, while most others have legalized only medical marijuana, but the combined campaign has redefined the meaning of a grass-roots movement.
Categories: Marijuana

US DC: Column: Decriminalize, Don't Legalize

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 07:00
Washington Times, 09 Apr 2014 - The War on Drugs Shouldn't Bother With Marijuana In a world defined by a growing political divide, international terrorism and reduced economic confidence, it's surprising how many Americans are up in arms about recreational marijuana use. Two states, Colorado and Washington, started this recent trend. In the November 2012 election, voters supported separate ballot questions (Colorado Amendment 64 and Washington Initiative 502) to legalize cannabis. In particular, Colorado's marijuana experiment involves 40 Denver-based stores, all regulated by the state, that are open to consumers who are 21 years of age or older.
Categories: Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Expansion, Decriminalization Pass in Maryland

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 18:41

It was a banner day in Annapolis Monday, where legislators, working against an end-of-session deadline, managed to pass both marijuana decriminalization and medical marijuana expansion bills.

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Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- April 8, 2014

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 18:19

The Maryland legislature passed both medical marijuana and decriminalization bills as the session ended in Annapolis, Colorado pot tax revenues aren't as high as the governor thought, the maker of the new opiate pain reliever Zohydro fights a state ban in Massachusetts, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Maryland Decriminalization Bill Passes, Governor Will Sign. A decriminalization bill has now passed the legislature in Annapolis, and Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) says he will sign it. Senate Bill 364 decriminalizes up to 10 grams of marijuana for adults 21 and over. A first offense will result in only a $100 citation. A second offense will result in just a $250 fine, but a third offense would require an appearance in court and possibly drug treatment.

Maine Drug War Bill Could Result in Marijuana Legalization Referendum. Gov. Paul LePage (R) recently introduced Legislative Document 1811, a bill that would deal with the state's drug problems by adding more cops and prosecutors. The bill has run into serious opposition in the legislature, but now, two members, Sen. David Dutremble (D-Arundel) and Rep. Corey Wilson (R-Augusta) have crafted a compromise in committee that includes enforcement against high-level traffickers, increased funding for addiction treatment, and a referendum to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana put before Maine voters in 2015. The compromise is known as the "Dutrumble/Wilson minority report" and should be coming up for a vote soon.

Colorado Governor Scales Back Marijuana Tax Revenue Estimate. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) estimated in February that the state would take in $134 million in legal marijuana taxes this year, but has now cut that estimate by more than $20 million, citing uncertainty in the market. Legislative analysts predicted last month that revenues for the year would be only $65 million. The first $40 million from excise taxes has already been designated for school construction; any remaining money will be appropriated by lawmakers.

Medical Marijuana

Maryland Legislature Passes Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill. The Maryland House and Senate reached final agreement Monday on a bill that would create 15 licenses for medical marijuana growers. The measure is Senate Bill 963. It also would allow dispensaries to operate and let growers sell the medicine directly. Passage of the bill into law would make Maryland a full-fledged medical marijuana state.

Arizona Politician Faces Recall Over Blocking Medical Marijuana Research. Medical marijuana opponent Sen. Kimberly Yee (R-Phoenix) blocked funding of a study of marijuana as a treatment for PTSD in veterans. Now, activists want her to pay a price. The Phoenix NORML affiliate and the Arizona Veterans Assistance Committee have undertaken a campaign to recall Yee. They'll need to collect 18,297 signatures from Legislative District 20 by August 2.

Minnesota Medical Marijuana Supporters Try to Attach Bill to Broader Health Bill. Medical marijuana is not dead yet this year in Minnesota. A standalone bill, House File 1818, has been stalled, but supporters plan to propose it as an amendment to a separate health bill. The vote could come as early as tomorrow.

CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Could Move in Missouri. A bill that would allow the use of CBD cannabis oil by people with epileptic seizures appears to have the support of key Republicans. House Bill 2238 is backed by the Republican House speaker, majority leader, and Democratic leaders. It is also supported by a Republican senator whose son has epilepsy.

Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Filed in District of Columbia. Councilmembers Yvette Alexander and David Gross have filed a bill that would expand medical marijuana access in the nation's capitol. The bill would permit doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients suffering from any condition for which it provides medical benefits. Patients would then be allowed to apply to the Department of Health for acceptance in the District's medical marijuana program. Under current law, only patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, or glaucoma are eligible for the program.

Law Enforcement

Postal Service Seizing More Pot Packages. The US Postal Inspection Service reports that it seized 9,100 parcels containing marijuana last year, up from 7,600 in 2012, a 20% increase. The poundage seized is also up, from 42,000 pounds in 2012 to 45,000 pounds last year. Inspectors aren't sure whether it's increased resort to pot-shipping in an era of drug-hunting troopers and deputies or better enforcement -- or both -- that is responsible for the increase. Marijuana accounted for more than two-thirds (68%) of all drug-laden packages seized.

Prescription Opiates

Zohydro Maker Sues to Block Massachusetts Ban. Zogeniz, the manufacturer of the recently approved hydrocodone drug Zohydro, filed suit Monday in federal court in Massachusetts to block the state from banning it. Zogenix seeks a temporary injunction to block an executive order from Gov. Deval Patrick (D). Patrick acted to ban Zohydro as part of a public health emergency he declared in response to growing heroin and opiate addiction in the state, saying it should be banned "until [it is] determined that adequate measures are in place to safeguard against the potential for diversion, overdose, and misuse." But the ban is an "impermissible" effort by the state to set its own prescription drug policy, Zogenix argued. "It impedes the FDA's Congressional mandate to approve a range of safe treatments to promote the public health." A hearing was set or this afternoon. Stay tuned.

International

Jamaican National Council on Drug Abuse Supports Ganja Decriminalization. Jamaica's National Council on Drug Abuse supports decriminalization in the island nation -- provided there are protections for young people. "The position of the NCDA is that, given the reality on the ground, the historical use, and certainly for medical purposes, [and the fact that] the majority of the country feel that it should be decriminalized, we certainly support the approval of medicinal marijuana in Jamaica. We also think that we should consider looking at decriminalizing for private personal use and also for religious purposes," Abel said. Just keep it away from the kids, he said.

Categories: Marijuana

US: Users Lobby For Medical Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 07:00
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 08 Apr 2014 - WASHINGTON - Medical marijuana users took their complaints to Congress on Monday. Concluding a three-day conference in Washington, the group Americans for Safe Access organized 200 medical marijuana advocates from 37 states for its second annual lobbying day on Capitol Hill, lining up more than 300 meetings with legislative offices.
Categories: Marijuana

US DC: Column: Colorado Cops Take A Pot Shot

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 08 Apr 2014 - After three months with legal marijuana, Denver has not turned into an urban wasteland. In fact, as Vox reported this week, crime in the first two months of 2014 is down across the board from the first two months of 2013. Yes, it's still early. But the numbers so far don't suggest that Denver is about to succumb to a crime wave fueled by pot-addicted hooligans (as some law enforcement officials warned).
Categories: Marijuana

US DC: Column: A Cure For Political Ills? Medical Marijuana.

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 08 Apr 2014 - Legal marijuana is spreading like a weed across the land but it has yet to take root in the place where people might benefit most from inhaling: the U.S. Capitol. The Maryland General Assembly finished work Monday on a marijuana decriminalization bill, joining two dozen other states and the District in some form of legalization. Colorado and Washington allow recreational pot, while most others have legalized only medical marijuana, but the combined campaign has redefined the meaning of a grass-roots movement.
Categories: Marijuana

US MD: Wage Hike, New Marijuana Bills Ok'd As Session Ends

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 08 Apr 2014 - Lawmakers Fail to Agree on Film Industry Restrictions, Long-Term Plan for Bail By the time confetti fell in Annapolis on Monday night, state lawmakers had loosened marijuana laws, made Maryland the second state in the country to raise its minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and whittled their way through more than 2,600 bills considered during the 434th legislative session.
Categories: Marijuana

US MN: New Ulm Man Files Lawsuit For Medical Pot Freedom

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 07:00
The Journal, 08 Apr 2014 - Counterclaim Says Hansen, As a Farmer, Has the Right to Grow Marijuana NEW ULM - A Mankato attorney for a 33-year-old New Ulm man facing felony violations related to a marijuana-growing operation in his home filed an answer and counterclaim Friday in Brown County District Court.
Categories: Marijuana

US MD: O'Malley Should Sign Decriminalization Bill

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 08 Apr 2014 - The General Assembly was poised Monday to pass a bill that would decriminalize possession of 10 grams or less of pot ("Assembly set to pass wage, marijuana bills," April 7). This is a breakthrough bill that should be signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley. For far too long, the government has continued unabated in its efforts to destroy lives for a simple possession charge of small amounts of weed. It's well past the time to stop the real "reefer madness" of our times, the annual national incarceration of 800,000 people for marijuana use. The lunacy of the past government practices has fallen on the convicted as they struggle to find work with a tainted record. Sadly, their families pay the price as well.
Categories: Marijuana

US: War Veterans Lobbying To Smoke Pot To Ease PTSD

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 08 Apr 2014 - Medical Marijuana Finding More Allies Approval of Arizona Research Study Hailed WASHINGTON - After flying helicopters in Vietnam, Perry Parks couldn't stop the panicked dreams.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM -- April 7, 2014

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 18:14

Talk about unintended consequences! Faced with a declining US market share, Mexican marijuana farmers are switching to opium poppies. Plus, AG Holder has some words about rescheduling, the Maryland decrim bill is back from the dead, it looks like 2016 for California legalization, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Holder Says Obama Administration "Willing to Work" With Congress to Reschedule Marijuana. Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday that the Obama administration would be willing to work with Congress if lawmakers want to reschedule marijuana. Holder did not mention that the administration, and he personally, already have the statutory authority to reschedule marijuana, without needing further permission from Congress. Either way, recategorizing marijuana would not legalize the drug under federal law, but it could ease restrictions on research into marijuana's medical benefits and allow marijuana businesses to take the usual tax deductions, e.g. not pay taxes on money that has been paid out for things like rent or payroll. "We'd be more than glad to work with Congress if there is a desire to look at and reexamine how the drug is scheduled, as I said there is a great degree of expertise that exists in Congress," Holder said during a House Appropriations Committee hearing. "It is something that ultimately Congress would have to change, and I think that our administration would be glad to work with Congress if such a proposal were made." 

Okay, There Will Be No California Legalization Initiative This Year. Proponents of the last two California marijuana legalization initiatives still alive this year have thrown in the towel. Dave Hodges, proponent of the Marijuana Control, Legalization & Revenue Act (MCLR) announced today that it will not meet an April 18 signature-gathering deadline, while Berton Duzy, proponent for the revived California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI), which has received a signature-gathering extension, conceded that "We're not going to make 2014." In California, it's now all eyes on 2016.

Maryland Decriminalization Returns from the Dead, Passes House. Defying a powerful committee chairman who tried to derail a decriminalization bill by turning it into a study bill, House delegates Saturday passed House Bill 879 by a vote of 78-55. Final procedural votes on both measures are expected today, the last day of the session.

Delaware Governor "Willing to Discuss" Softer Marijuana Penalties. Gov. Jack Markell (D) is "willing to discuss" changes that would reduce penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana, according to a spokesman for the governor. "The governor has supported making marijuana available for medical purposes and DHSS expects to license a dispensary that can open in Delaware this year," Markell spokesman Jonathon Dworkin said in a statement. "The governor is willing to discuss changing the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana from jail sentences to just fines, but he would not support full legalization at this time without further studies and evidence of its consequences."

Thousands Rally at Annual Ann Arbor Hash Bash. An estimated 8,000 people gathered at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for the 42nd annual Hash Bash over the weekend. Police warned that people who toked up could get arrested, but that didn't seem to stop anybody. As The Detroit Free Press noted, "the event's usual plume of smoke hung over the crowd."

University of Colorado Will Close the Campus Again for 4/20. University of Colorado officials will close the Boulder campus on April 20 for the third straight year to prevent thousands of celebrants from marking the stoner holiday on campus. From noon to 6:00pm on April 20, CU faculty, students and staff will be required to show identification to enter campus. Officials brushed aside student complaints.

Medical Marijuana

Washington State Appeals Court Upholds Local Ban on Collective Gardens. The Washington Court of Appeals last week upheld the city of Kent's ban on medical marijuana collective gardens, ruling that the ordinance is not preempted by state law. The case is Cannabis Action Coalition et al. v. City of Kent et al.

Hemp

Nebraska Governor Signs Hemp Research Bill. Gov. Dave Heineman (R) last week signed into law Legislative Bill 100, which allows University of Nebraska campuses to grow hemp for research purposes. This is the first such bill to pass since Congress authorized search research when it accepted a hemp amendment to the omnibus agriculture bill this fiscal year.

Drug Testing

Michigan Suspicion-Based Welfare Drug Testing Bill Polls Well. Suspicion-based drug testing for welfare recipients has broad support across Michigan, a new poll shows. The poll, conducted by Marketing Resource Group, finds that 77% of respondents support legislation that would require the Department of Human Services to test welfare recipients suspected of using drugs, then send recipients with positive tests to rehab. House Bill 4118 has already passed the House and Senate, but was amended in the latter chamber, so it still needs another House floor vote.

Law Enforcement

California Bill Would Create Zero-Tolerance DUID Law. A bill that would make the presence of any detectable amount of any controlled substance, including prescription drugs, evidence of drugged driving has been filed in the Assembly. Assembly Bill 2500, sponsored by Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Solano) is before the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

Colorado Bill Would Make Mere Drug Possession Evidence of Child Endangerment. Under a bill introduced by state Sens. Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood) and Linda Newell (D-Littleton), the mere possession or use of illicit substances would be grounds for a claim of child endangerment. Senate Bill 178 was filed April Fools' Day, but it's no joke.

International

With Declining US Market Share, Mexican Farmers Switch from Marijuana to Opium. With the wholesale price of marijuana falling -- driven in part by decriminalization or legalization in sections of the United States -- Mexican drug farmers are turning away from cannabis and filling their fields with opium poppies, according to this lengthy article from The Washington Post. That means more, cheaper heroin for the US market. Pot farming "isn't worth it anymore," one farmer complained. "I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization." David Shirk, a Mexico researcher at the University of California at San Diego, told The Post, "When you have a product losing value, you diversify, and that's true of any farmer… The wave of opium poppies we're seeing is at least partially driven by changes we're making in marijuana drug policy."

Filipino Drug Warrior Mayor Issues Shoot-to-Kill Order for Cocaine Sellers. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, a man never known for letting human rights get in the way of his war on drugs, has issued a shoot-to-kill order against anyone selling cocaine from eight bricks of the drug still missing after police seized 64 of the one-pound packages. "Once they go out and use or sell them, they will become drug lords. I have a shoot-to-kill order, especially if they resist arrest -- if they do that, we can enforce the shoot-to-kill," Duterte said.

Jamaican Marijuana Growers Association Is Launched. A group of influential Jamaicans gathered Saturday to formally launch an association of supposed future marijuana cultivators as momentum builds toward loosening laws prohibiting pot on the Caribbean island. Some 300 people assembled at a conference center in downtown Kingston to officially launch the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association. Among other things, the group will lobby for creation of a regulated cannabis industry on the tropical island famed for its marijuana cultivation. The government has been making some promising noises about medical marijuana and decriminalization, but there is nothing definite so far.

Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Three Men Arrested After Panga Found With Stacks Of

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 07 Apr 2014 - Three men are in custody on suspicion of attempting to smuggle drugs into the country after authorities found their panga-style boat washed ashore Monday in Malibu and loaded with as much as a ton of marijuana, authorities said. The men, whose identities haven't been released, could make their first court appearances Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lori Haley wrote in an email Monday.
Categories: Marijuana

US IL: Series: At 21, Recovering Heroin Addict Makes A New

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 07:00
Cumberland Times-News, 07 Apr 2014 - [Cumberland] EDITOR'S NOTE - The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman underscored a troubling development: Heroin, long a scourge of the back alleys of American life, has spread across the country. Last of a three-part series. AURORA, Ill. - Just out of Cook County Jail after being arrested with 15 bags of heroin, Cody Lewis had all of $11 in his pocket. But not for long.
Categories: Marijuana

US CT: Police Chief: Beware Of Synthetic Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 07:00
Bristol Press, 07 Apr 2014 - BRISTOL - Brightly colored packages with names like "Bizarro," "Platinum" and "Juicy Herbs Marshmallow Root" are filled with material labeled incense, but police call it synthetic marijuana. "Just looking at the package and names of these things, it almost looks like candy," said Police Chief Thomas Grimaldi. "It says on it 'Not For Human Consumption.' For the marketers, and I use that word loosely, that's their way around it."
Categories: Marijuana

US OH: Marijuana Dealer Gets 6 Months In Jail For Probation

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 07:00
Norwalk Reflector, 07 Apr 2014 - Defendant Had Seven Positive Drug Screens Since Being Put On Probation In Late September 2011. An Erie County man convicted of selling marijuana was sentenced Monday to six months in jail for violating his probation.
Categories: Marijuana
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