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Marijuana

US MA: Colo. Pot Problem Solver Seen As Possible Mass. Regulator

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 12/28/2016 - 08:00
Boston Globe, 28 Dec 2016 - Andrew Freedman is Colorado's director of marijuana coordination. DENVER - Marijuana legalization brought unexpected challenges to Colorado, and it was rarely clear what part of state government was supposed to solve them, or how.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: CO Caregiver Plant Limit to Drop Big-Time Next Week, Aussie Poll Has Pro-Pot Plurality, More... (12/27/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 12/27/2016 - 21:45

Colorado caregivers will have to dramatically trim their gardens beginning January 1, Kansas medical marijuana mom Shona Banda has a federal lawsuit thrown out, Australian public opinion is shifting in favor of marijuana legalization, and more.

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

Colorado Caregiver Plant Limits Shrink Dramatically As of Next Week. Beginning January 1, the maximum number of plants medical marijuana caregivers can grow will drop from 495 to 99. The change, adopted by the legislature, is being hailed by law enforcement, which sees it as a move against black market marijuana supplies, but marijuana advocates worry that patients are at risk of losing a vital source of medicine.

Federal Judge Throws Out Kansas Medical Marijuana Mom's Lawsuit. A federal judge has thrown out the lawsuit from Shona Banda, the Garden City mother who lost custody of her son and was arrested over her use of cannabis oil. Garden City police raided her home in March 2015 after he son spoke up about her cannabis use at school, and child welfare authorities took custody of her son. In her lawsuit, Banda argued that she had a "fundamental right" to use medical marijuana and asked the court to restore custody of her son. But the judge ruled that Banda had not responded to filings from plaintiffs and dismissed the case. She still faces state criminal charges.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Top Maine Republican Wants Single Committee to Handle Opioid Crisis. Assistant House Minority Leader Ellie Espling (R-New Gloucester) is calling for a single committee to handle bills addressing the state's opioid problem. Drug policy current is handled by three main committees -- Health and Human Services, Judiciary, and Criminal Justice and Public Safety -- but Espling said she doesn't want solutions placed in "silos." But neither the Democratic House leadership nor the Republican Senate leadership has signed on to her idea.

International

Poll: More Australians Now Favor Pot Legalization Than Don't. According to data from the Australian National University, 43% of Australians polled support marijuana legalization, with 32% opposed, and the rest undecided. Support is up nine points since 2013, when only 34% favored legalization and 44% were opposed.

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Canada: Youth Wary Of Marijuana Legalization, Study Finds

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/27/2016 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 27 Dec 2016 - With apologies to The Who, the kids may not be alright with this. A series of 24 focus groups on perceptions of marijuana legalization commissioned by the federal Liberal government found that the youngest teenaged participants were the most cautious about the policy shift.
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CN ON: Column: Time To Treat Addiction As A Mental Health Issue

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/27/2016 - 08:00
Sudbury Star, 27 Dec 2016 - Arguing that smoking dope is safer than drinking booze is akin to stating that getting shot in the leg is preferable to taking one in the head. Yet that's the argument often used by pro-pot crusaders, as we debate the minutiae about what age should Canadians be allowed to legally buy weed. Well, folks, kids can already get a hold of dope with little effort.
Categories: Marijuana

US KS: Banda Federal Lawsuit Dismissed

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/27/2016 - 08:00
Garden City Telegram, 27 Dec 2016 - A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Garden City woman against the state and several agencies after her son was removed from her home in March 2015 when he told school officials she used marijuana. Shona Banda alleged in the lawsuit filed in March that the defendants denied her civil rights by refusing to allow her to use medical marijuana to treat her Crohn's disease, interfered with her parenting and questioned her son without her permission. Medical marijuana is not legal in Kansas.
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CN BC: Parents Prep For Realities Of Legalized Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/27/2016 - 08:00
Hamilton Spectator, 27 Dec 2016 - B.C. mom Scarlett Ballantyne wonders if Ottawa's plans to legalize marijuana will make her 14- and 16-year-old daughters more inclined to try it. But she's not waiting to find out. Ballantyne says her family has been discussing the dangers of drug use since the girls were 13 - a preemptive strike as pot shops and marijuana headlines have been popping up everywhere they turn.
Categories: Marijuana

US IL: Wire: Lawsuit Filed By Kansas Mom Over Medical Pot Use

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 12/27/2016 - 08:00
Associated Press, 27 Dec 2016 - WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a western Kansas woman against the state and several agencies after her son was removed from her home in 2015 when he told school officials she used marijuana. Shona Banda, of Garden City, alleged in the lawsuit filed in March that the defendants denied her civil rights by refusing to allow her to use medical marijuana to treat her Crohn's disease, interfered with her parenting and questioned her son without her permission. Medical marijuana is not legal in Kansas.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: OR Dispensaries Patient Only, Only Pure Cocaine Weight for OH Sentences, More... (12/26/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 12/26/2016 - 21:54

A new study finds that traffic fatalities decline in medical marijuana states, the Ohio Supreme Court rules that only the weight of pure cocaine -- not filler -- can be used in sentencing determinations, the Republic of Georgia walks away from jailing pot smokers, and more.

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

Study: States With Medical Marijuana Laws See Decline in Traffic Deaths. A new study from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health finds that states that have passed medical marijuana laws have seen an 11% reduction in traffic fatalities since those laws went into effect. And those states have seen a 26% reduction in traffic fatalities compared to states where marijuana remains illegal.

Oregon Dispensaries Go Back to Selling Only to Patients Next Week. As of January 1, dispensaries will revert to selling only to card-carrying patients. The state had allowed dispensaries to sell to any adult while it set up a licensing scheme for retail pot shops, but that now ends, and that means Oregon pot consumers who are not patients will have fewer places to legally buy pot. There are some 300 dispensaries in the state, but only a hundred retail pot shops. Some dispensaries are moving to be licensed as retail shops.

Sentencing

Ohio Supreme Court Rules Cocaine Sentences Must Be Based on Weight of Cocaine, Not Filler. In a decision that could reopen the sentencing of people who were sent to state prison for possessing more than a hundred grams of cocaine, the state Supreme Court has ruled that sentences must be based on the amount of pure cocaine suspects had, not the entire amount of suspected drugs. "The state must prove that the weight of the actual cocaine, excluding the weight of any filler materials, meets the statutory threshold," Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger wrote for the 4-3 majority. The decision was based on the legislature's 1995 and 2011 rewriting of the state's drug laws, which defined cocaine as a drug by itself without adding any "mixture."

International

Georgia Constitutional Court Strikes Down Jail for Marijuana Possession. The Constitutional Court ruled last Thursday that possession and consumption of marijuana is no longer a jailable offense. "The Constitutional Court found that the norms referring to the use of a small amount of marijuana, as well as its purchase, storage and product on, are unconstitutional," it said in a statement. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by the Public Defender's Office, which called imprisoning people for pot "irrelevant, too strict, and degrading." Marijuana possession was not a criminal offense in Georgia until 2006, when then President Mikheil Saakashvili launched an anti-drug campaign. Last year, the Constitutional Court struck down a law that imposed a prison sentence of up to 12 years for possession.

Categories: Marijuana

US PA: One Day In The Opioid Epidemic

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 12/26/2016 - 08:00
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 26 Dec 2016 - The 44-year-old mother who answered the door in Lincoln-Lemington on the evening of Dec. 15 had the "pin point" eyes of "someone who has recently used opioids," a Pittsburgh police officer wrote. The officer was responding to a 911 call suggesting child endangerment. "I do suffer from using heroin and I'm trying to stop, but I keep using," the woman admitted, according to the officer's affidavit. She led police to the makeup bag under the throw pillow, where they found six stamp bags of heroin and three hypodermic needles, the officer wrote.
Categories: Marijuana

DC: Officials Warn Of Medical Cannabis Scammers

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 12/26/2016 - 08:00
Washington Post, 26 Dec 2016 - Packaging for medical marijuana is displayed at Vireo Health of New York, a dispensary in White Plains, N.Y. New York is loosening some restrictions in its year-old medical marijuana law to boost patient access, but to the dismay of some pot advocates, there is no sign the state is in any hurry to join seven other states in embracing full legalization. (AP Photo/Jennifer Peltz, File) (Jennifer Peltz/AP) Maryland patients are several months away from being able to legally obtain medical cannabis to treat chronic conditions. But scammers are already trying to make a buck off of patients desperate for the relief they seek from the drug, according to regulators and industry officials.
Categories: Marijuana

NM: A 'Light At The End Of The Tunnel' For Long-Awaited Medical

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 12/26/2016 - 08:00
Albuquerque Journal, 26 Dec 2016 - Medical marijuana could finally become a reality next year in Maryland, one of the states slowest to make the drug available for purchase after legalizing sales. In 2016, regulators awarded long-awaited licenses to grow, process and sell cannabis while grappling with fallout from those shut out of the potentially lucrative industry. Now selected businesses are racing to set up facilities and pass final inspections so the first seeds can be planted and flowers can hit the shelves by the end of 2017, four years after lawmakers legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Inside the DEA: A Chemist's Quest To Identify Mystery Drugs

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 12/25/2016 - 08:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 25 Dec 2016 - WASHINGTON (AP) - No one knew what was in the baggie. It was just a few tablespoons of crystalline powder seized back in April, clumped like snow that had partially melted and frozen again. Emily Dye, a 27-year-old forensic chemist at the Drug Enforcement Administration's Special Testing and Research Laboratory, did not know if anyone had died from taking this powder, or how much it would take to kill you.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: MO Tech School Drug Testing Victory, AZ MedMJ DUID Victory, More... (12/23/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 12/23/2016 - 21:53

A federal appeals court sharply restricts mandatory drug testing at a Missouri technical college, an Arizona appeals court says prosecutors must actually prove impairment before convicting medical marijuana patients of DUID, the DEA seems to be a bit less busy than in years past, and more.

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

Connecticut Senate Leader Prioritizes Marijuana Legalization Bill. Marijuana legalization is a key part of state Senate President Martin Looney's (D-New Haven) legislative agenda for the session beginning next month. He has pre-filed a legalization bill that would legalize pot and tax its sale in a manner similar to Colorado as part of a 10-bill package representing his priorities. The bill is not yet available on the legislative website. The move comes despite Gov. Dannel Malloy's (D) rejection of legalization earlier this month and could set up a veto battle if the bill actually passes.

Medical Marijuana

Arizona Appeals Court Rules State Must Prove Patients Were Actually Impaired By Marijuana Before Convicting Them of DUID. Medical marijuana users can't be convicted of DUID solely for having marijuana in their systems absent proof they were actually impaired, the court ruled Thursday. Arizona is a zero-tolerance DUID state, and that's a problem, the judges said. "According to evidence here, there is no scientific consensus about the concentration of THC that generally is sufficient to impair a human being,'' appellate Judge Diane Johnsen wrote. The court also clarified that it is up to the state to prove impairment, not up to the defendant to disprove it. The ruling comes just two days after another division of the appellate court blocked Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery in his bid to cite federal prohibition as a reason to refuse zoning requests for dispensaries.

Drug Testing

Missouri Technical College Can't Force Student Drug Tests, Appeals Court Rules. The State Technical College of Missouri violated the Constitution by forcing incoming students to submit to a drug test, the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. The school instituted the policy in 2011 despite no evidence of accidents being caused by drug use and required students to take a drug test within 10 days of the start of classes. Students shortly filed a class action lawsuit, which won in district court, but was overturned by a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit. But now, that decision has been overturned by the 8th Circuit en banc, which held that drug testing can only be required in "safety-sensitive" programs.

Wisconsin Lawmaker Backs Away From Proposal to Impose High School Drug Testing. Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) is retreating from a proposal to require school district to drug test student involved in extracurricular activities after the notion was panned by critics including Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who has no problems imposing drug testing on poor people. Now Kleefisch says he will instead ponder legislation that would require school districts to provide a way for parents to voluntarily have their children drug tested.

Law Enforcement

DEA Drug Convictions Continue to Drop. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reports that convictions for drug cases referred by the DEA continue a 10-year decline. During Fiscal Year 2016, federal prosecutors won 9,553 criminal convictions on cases referred by the DEA. That's down 7.1% from the previous year, down 25% from five years ago, and down 35% from 10 years ago. TRAC notes that the decline in convictions is the result of fewer referrals by the DEA, not a lowered conviction rate, which has held steady.

Categories: Marijuana

CN AB: Police Warn Alcohol And Drugs Don't Mix With Driving

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 12/23/2016 - 08:00
The Stony Plain Reporter, 23 Dec 2016 - The message has been spread for years that drinking and driving don't mix, but taking drugs and driving can be just as fatal and needs to be taken seriously, police say. The Capital West Integrated Traffic Unit reports it is seeing more cases of impaired driving by drug use.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Local Police Helping Test Drug-detection Device

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 12/23/2016 - 08:00
The Beacon Herald, 23 Dec 2016 - Police are testing new devices to identify drug-impaired drivers. Whether or not the impending legalization of recreational marijuana use will have an impact on drug-impaired driving remains to be seen.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: DEA Brass Move to Pharma, Indonesia Top Narc Wants to Kill Users, More... (12/22/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 21:41

Top DEA officials have left the agency for positions with opioid-producing pharmaceutical companies, Pennsylvania's roll-out of medical marijuana starts rolling, Oregon's largest city will allow pot delivery services, and more.

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

New Hampshire Legislators Will Try Again to Legalize It Next Year. After years of frustration, state Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn (D-Dalton) says next year is the best chance yet for legalization. Woodburn says he is drafting a two-part bill, with the first part essentially legalizing possession, cultivation, and sales by removing all criminal penalties and the second part setting up a study committee to put together a regulatory system for an adult use market by 2019 or 2020. A new governor, John Sununu, Jr., may ease the way. Unlike his Democratic predecessor, Maggie Hassan, Sununu has shown an openness to considering reforms.

Portland, Oregon, Okays Delivery Services. The city council voted Wednesday to approve "marijuana couriers" and other marijuana-related "micro-businesses" as a means of removing financial barriers for would-be entrepreneurs. Portland is the only city in the state to have approved pot delivery services.

Medical Marijuana

Arizona Prosecutor Will Appeal Ruling Telling Him Not to Obstruct Medical Marijuana Businesses. Maricopa County (Phoenix) Attorney Bill Montgomery said Wednesday he will ask the state Supreme Court to review a ruling a day earlier from the Court of Appeals that rejected his argument that federal law preempts the state's medical marijuana and approve zoning for a medical marijuana dispensary in Sun City. He said the ruling against him undermines federalism and the "fundamental principle of the rule of law."

Pennsylvania Will Issue 27 Dispensary Permits in First Phase of Program Roll-Out. The state will authorize up to 27 dispensary permits during a process that begins with applications opening in mid-January and able to be submitted between February 20 and March 20. Each dispensary is allowed two secondary locations, meaning up to 81 medical marijuana shops could open in this first phase. The state medical marijuana law allows for up to 50 dispensary permits to be issued. State officials said they expected dispensaries to be open for business by mid-2018.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Dozens of Top DEA Officials Leave to Go to Work for Opioid Pharmaceutical Companies. It's the revolving door at work: Dozens of DEA officials have been hired by pharmaceutical companies that manufacture or distribute opioid pain medications, most of them directly from the DEA's diversion division, which is responsible for regulating the industry. The hires come in the midst of a DEA crackdown to curb rising opioid use. "The number of employees recruited from that division points to a deliberate strategy by the pharmaceutical industry to hire people who are the biggest headaches for them," said John Carnevale, former director of planning for the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy, who now runs a consulting firm. "These people understand how DEA operates, the culture around diversion and DEA;s goals, and they can advise their clients how to stay within the guidelines."

Drug Testing

Wisconsin Governor Doesn't Want to Drug Test Students, Just Poor People. Gov. Scott Walker (R) said that while he wants to fight opioid use, he doesn't think drug testing high school students is a high priority. "There are plenty of ideas that have come up, but this isn't one of them," he said in reference to a bill filed by Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc). He is down with forcing people on food stamps to undergo drug tests, though.

International

Indonesia Anti-Drug Chief Says Drug Dealers and Users Should Be Shot. Taking a page from Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Budi Waseso, head of the National Narcotics Agency, has called for the killing of drug dealers and users. "Don't hesitate to shoot drug traffickers, drug dealers and drug users. Anyone involved in drug trafficking should be punished harshly, including traitors in the BNN [National Narcotics Agency] body. "Drug dealers have been all out in their efforts to market drugs. We have to be all out as well to fight them," said Budi, adding that the agency is already cooperating with the military to tackle drug-related crimes. "For the military, I think the word war can already be interpreted. Let's together clear these drugs for the sake of future generations," added Budi.

Categories: Marijuana

CN AB: Sylvan Lake RCMP Host Street Drug Trends Presentation

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 08:00
Sylvan Lake News, 22 Dec 2016 - Around 40 parents and youth attended a recent community street drug trends presentation at Fox Run School. Organized by the Sylvan Lake RCMP the presentation aimed to equip parents with skills to allow recognition of street drugs and theparaphernalia associated with drug use.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Marijuana Shop Raided. Owner Charged, $20,000 Of Pot Seized

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 08:00
Hamilton Spectator, 22 Dec 2016 - A medical marijuana dispensary owner has been charged following a police raid of the business. Vice and drug officers - armed with a search warrant - arrived at the Royal Farmacy on Main Street East at Kenilworth Avenue around 1 p.m. Tuesday, where they seized $20,000 worth of marijuana and marijuana products, including edibles.
Categories: Marijuana

Canada: Change Will Require 'Diplomatic Skills'

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 08:00
The Sun Times, 22 Dec 2016 - How legalizing weed could affect relations with the U.S. VANCOUVER - Their position on marijuana is hardly the only difference between Canada's prime minister and the president-elect of the United States.
Categories: Marijuana

Canada: How Legal Pot Could Harsh Canada-U.S. Relations

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 12/22/2016 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 22 Dec 2016 - Their position on marijuana is hardly the only difference between Canada's Prime Minister and the president-elect of the United States. But when Justin Trudeau's government introduces legislation to legalize cannabis this spring, it could spark problems between Canada and the United States, particularly since Donald Trump has indicated he will keep pot illegal at the federal level.
Categories: Marijuana
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