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Chronicle AM: Flurry of Federal Drug Reform Bills, AZ Legalization Demo, Heroin ODs Up Sharply, More (1/13/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 21:57

Marijuana legalization battles start to heat up in the states, a flurry of federal drug reform bills are filed, heroin overdose deaths are up sharply, Mexican cartels seem to be switching from pot to meth and heroin, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Maine Legalization Foes Get Organized. Maine isn't going to legalize weed without a fight. Two groups with "grave concerns" about legalization kicked off a year-long campaign to "educate" Mainers about the dangers of the herb. The two groups are Smart Approaches to Marijuana Maine and the Maine Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse. The move comes as Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) said she will reintroduce her perennial legalization bill, and as state activists work toward a legalization initiative in 2016.

Arizonans Rally to Protest Pot Prohibition, Call for Legalization. More than a hundred people gathered outside the state capitol in Phoenix Monday to urge marijuana law reforms. They were led by Safer Arizona, which says it will protest on the first day of the legislative session until marijuana is legal. A legalization bill will be before the legislature this year.

Medical Marijuana

Fight Over Georgia CBD Medical Marijuana Bill.Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) has said he will modify his CBD medical marijuana bill, House Bill 1, after Gov. Nathan Deal (R) objected to a provision that would allow production of the crop in the state. That has supporters of the bill unhappy. They say that because federal law prohibits transporting medical marijuana between states, their medicine will remain out of reach if it cannot be grown in-state.

Hemp

Federal Hemp Bill Reintroduced. Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden (D) and Jeff Merkley (D) and Kentucky Sens. Mitch McConnell (R) and Rand Paul (R) have re-filed their bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. The bill, SB 134, has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Heroin

Heroin Overdose Deaths Jumped in 2013. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data Monday showing that 8,257 people died of heroin-related deaths in 2013, up 39% from the 5,924 deaths the previous year. The number of overall drug overdose deaths also increased, to 43,982 in 2013 from 41,340 the year before. That's an overall increase of 6%.

LSD

First LSD Study in Decades Shows Promising Results. LSD can alleviate anxiety in terminally ill patients, according to the first clinical study of the drug in 40 years. The research was sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Associations for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). The research results were published here.

Criminal Justice

Houston Congresswoman Files Trio of Criminal Justice Reform Bills. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) has filed several criminal justice reform bills: HR 46 would increase the evidentiary standard required to convict someone for a drug offense and require screening of police participating in drug task forces; HR 51 would provide for collection of data on racial profiling in traffic stops; and HR 71 would provide earlier releases for certain nonviolent offenders.

Asset Forfeiture

Federal Medical Marijuana Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Filed. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) has filed HR 262, which would amend the Controlled Substances Act to exempt from civil forfeiture real property seized because of medical marijuana-related conduct in states where it is legal. The bill currently has no cosponsors.

Drug Testing

Wisconsin Group Delivers Urine Specimen Cups to Legislators in Welfare Drug Test Protest. The Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) protested Gov. Scott Walker's (R) plan to impose drug testing on welfare recipients Monday by delivering urine sample cups -- unused -- to the offices of Republican legislators. The group says the plan won't achieve anything except demonizing the poor and that it may be unconstitutional.

International

Mexican Drug Traffickers Switching to Meth and Heroin. Marijuana legalization and decriminalization north of the border is having an impact south of the border, if US drug seizures are any indication. The amount of marijuana seized by state, local, and federal law enforcement has dropped 37% since 2011, while heroin seizures have increased three-fold and meth seizures have increased five-fold. Farmers in Mexico have reported switching from marijuana to opium in response to market trends.

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Canada: Ad Policy Impedes Doctors, Growers Say

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 13 Jan 2015 - Government's move to limit provision of strain-specific information said to damage physicians' ability to issue correct prescription Licensed medical marijuana producers say federal advertising rules pertaining to the drug are impeding their ability to adequately inform doctors and patients of treatment options.
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CN NF: Edu: Column: 'Tough On Crime' Fails Canada

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 08:00
The Muse, 13 Jan 2015 - Harper's Approach To Crime Is Tough On Human Lives Despite falling crime rates across the country, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been pushing a "tough on crime" agenda since the last election. This was most poignantly emphasized in his government's omnibus crime bill, the Safe Streets and Communities Act. This sweet-sounding bill packed a lot of punches: minimum and extended sentences for drug convictions, the potential to charge youth with adult sentences, a shift toward prison sentences over house arrest, and the denial of work visas to people considered vulnerable to crime.
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US CA: Federal Judge Weighs Marijuana's Classification

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 08:00
Boston Globe, 13 Jan 2015 - SACRAMENTO (AP) - A federal judge in California is weighing the constitutionality of a 45-year-old act that classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug along with LSD, cocaine, and heroin. US District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller in Sacramento held a five-day fact-finding hearing on the classification question late last year, and final arguments are scheduled for next month. Her ruling is expected later this year.
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US IA: Family Of Benton Mackenzie Mourns His Death

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 08:00
Quad-City Times, 13 Jan 2015 - Even as he faced his final moments, Benton Mackenzie's first thoughts were of his wife and son and their future. The 49-year-old terminal cancer patient who fought Scott County authorities over his efforts to grow marijuana for his own medicinal use died early Monday at home.
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US DC: Column: How Could Just a Bite of Candy Put Me in the

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 13 Jan 2015 - Considering that chocolate is part of my daily diet, it was no surprise that I took a bite out of a random piece that I found sitting on my kitchen counter that day. It tasted terrible - kind of minty - so I spit out most of it. It was a busy day: Not only was I preparing for a large Labor Day party at my home, but I also planned to spend a few hours helping my church get ready for a huge Labor Day yard sale. When I started feeling a little dizzy and lightheaded, I ignored it and kept on working. I had felt similar to this a few weeks earlier because of dehydration, so I figured it would pass. I continued setting up for the party.
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US DC: Column: A Side Effect of Adult Drug Use Is Lonely Kids

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 13 Jan 2015 - Inside the camp activity room there were cheerful posters on the wall, long windows that opened to sweeping, wintry views of the Chesapeake Bay and a couple dozen boisterous tweens. There were pictures of childhood icons: Bugs Bunny, Popeye, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, Scooby-Doo. On day two of their weekend adventure at Camp Mariposa, the kids had composed a camp song and were eager to get to the next activity: the indoor climbing wall.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: CA Tribe Will Grow Pot, Call for Asset Forfeiture Reform, KY Heroin Bill Moves, More (1/12/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 22:04

A California tribe looks to be the first to grow marijuana, DC councilmembers move ahead with plans to tax and regulate pot, key congressional committee chairs call for asset forfeiture reform, an omnibus heroin bill is on the move in Kentucky, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Milwaukee Aldermen Want to Make Pot Ticket A $5 Fine or Less. If you get caught with marijuana in Milwaukee right now, you face a fine of between $250 and $500 -- and a trip to jail if you don't pay the fine. Two Aldermen think that's too much. Nik Kovac and Ashanti Hamilton are proposing lowering the fine to $5 or less. "We are effectively trying to eliminate any of these tickets," Kovac said, citing racial disparities in marijuana arrests. Although the city's black and white populations are roughly equal, five times as many black people were arrested for possession of marijuana last year as white people.

Half of Michiganders Support Marijuana Legalization. Michigan is evenly divided on marijuana legalization, with 50% saying they would support an initiative allowing possession by adults and taxable sales at state-regulated stores, and 46% saying they opposed such an idea. The figures come from a new poll conducted by EPIC-MRA of Lansing. A similar poll last year had support at 47%. The trend is upward, but the numbers aren't high enough to excite deep-pocketed potential initiative backers; the conventional wisdom is that initiatives should be polling at 60% or more when the campaign begins.

DC Councilmembers File Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana. In a pointed message to the Congress, DC councilmembers last week introduced a bill that would tax and regulate marijuana sales in the nation's capital. The move comes despite passage of a federal spending bill that included an amendment barring the District from spending local or federal funds to implement such a law. Councilmember David Grosso and three colleagues have introduced the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2015 (B21-0023), which would create a framework for a legal marijuana industry, complete with licensed cultivators, product manufacturers, retail stores, and testing labs.

Washington State Legislators Face Plethora of Pot Bills. Voting to legalize marijuana in 2012 was not the end for marijuana policy at the state legislature, but a new beginning. This week, at least seven marijuana-related bills have been filed as the session gets underway. A pair of bills seeks to resolve the problems with the fit between recreational and medical marijuana, another bill would raise the excise tax, yet another addresses organ transplant eligibility, while another would bar open containers in moving vehicles. Click on the link for more details and all the bill numbers.

A Second Ohio Legalization Initiative Campaign Emerges. Ohioans to End Prohibition has become the second group to plan a 2016 legalization initiative in the Buckeye State. The group is finalizing language for its Cannabis Control Amendment within the next few weeks. Already out of the gate is Responsible Ohio, whose End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act (EOCPA) would set up 10 authorized marijuana growing locations around the state.

Northern California Tribe Could Be First to Grow Pot. The Pinoleville Pomo Nation in Mendocino County, California, said last Thursday it had signed a contract to grow thousands of marijuana plants on its 99-acre rancheria (reservation) north of Ukiah. The Justice Department recently gave the okay for marijuana operations on tribal lands, and it looks like the Pomos are first off the blocks.

Medical Marijuana

Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative is Back. Proponents of last year's failed medical marijuana initiative have filed a rewritten ballot measure aimed at 2016. "The language and the essence of the amendment is essentially the same," said John Morgan, the Orlando attorney who chairs People United for Medical Marijuana, and the chief financer of the legalization drive. "What I would say is that we have tweaked or clarified positions that were constantly brought up by our opposition to help us talk more freely about the real issue, which is the legalization of medical marijuana."

Poll Finds Georgians Back Allowing CBD Cannabis Oil. Some 84% of Georgians support the legalization of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oils to treat medical conditions, according to a new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll. The poll also found that when it came to legalizing marijuana for recreational use, Georgians were split almost evenly, with 49% saying legalize it and 48% saying don't.

Heroin

Kentucky Omnibus Heroin Bill Passes Senate. A multi-pronged bill designed to address the state's heroin problem passed the Senate in three days. The measure would increase treatment, prevention, and overdose prevention measures, but would also increase penalties for some heroin offenses. Democrats in the House said they will pass a similar measure, but probably without the mandatory minimum prison sentences approved in the Senate version.

International

Geneva Wants to Legalize the Marijuana Business. A year after Switzerland decriminalized pot possession, the canton on Geneva is thinking about legalizing the pot trade in a bid to undermine the black market. The canton's multi-party Advisory Commission on Addiction has urged the regional government to seek federal government approval of a pilot legalization program. The commission is recommending something akin to the Spanish model, where home cultivation is tolerated and private cannabis clubs offer smoking space and weed for sale to members.

Brazil Justice Minister Says No Marijuana Legalization. Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said Sunday that Brazil has no intention of following neighboring Uruguay down the path of pot legalization. "Legalization of drugs is not a part of the government's plans," he said. While reform advocates have cited prison overcrowding as a reason to legalize pot, Cardozo said the answer to overcrowding is not to stop arresting marijuana offenders, but to build more prisons.

Chile Authorizes Second Medical Marijuana Grow. Government officials have given the okay to a Chilean concern to grow a medical marijuana crop, the second time such a crop has been approved in the country. Agrofuturo will begin industrial production at its facility in the city of Los Angeles, south of Santiago. In September, the government granted approval to the Daya Foundation to grow the country's -- and the continent's -- first legal medical marijuana crop.

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Canada: Public Told To Contact Police With Concerns Over Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 12 Jan 2015 - Health Canada is instructing anyone with concerns about CEN Biotech - the company seeking to become the country's largest medical marijuana producer - to contact police or securities regulators. The unusual request comes as allegations of misrepresentation, stock manipulation and falsified documents swirl around the company and its top executive.
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Canada: Editorial: Let The Debate Begin

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 08:00
Law Times, 12 Jan 2015 - With a federal election on the horizon, it's worth taking a look at what the parties are saying about justice policy. Given their record in power over the last nine years, it's clear the Conservatives are likely to continue on the track they've set. While the government's approach has morphed from introducing major crime legislation to more targeted private member's bills aimed at very specific issues - such as the recent bill C-639 that sets mandatory minimums for offences involving critical infrastructure - it's likely to maintain its vow to get tough on crime as a signature policy.
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US CO: Colorado Doctors: Marijuana Health Research Skimpy

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 08:00
The Durango Herald, 12 Jan 2015 - DENVER - A year after legalizing recreational pot sales, Colorado has more questions than answers about the health effects of legal marijuana. A panel of doctors concluded months of meetings Monday about the health effects of marijuana and how people are using it. Instead of reaching many conclusions, though, the doctors agreed the bulk of their recommendations should be calls for more research on the mind-altering drug.
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US IL: Column: Quinn Passes On Medical Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 08:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 12 Jan 2015 - Up in Smoke! It's a no! In the wake of Gov. Pat Quinn's exit from office Monday, Sneed has learned he will NOT give a green light to Illinois license applications to cultivate and distribute medical marijuana- and will toss a safety wrench into the marijuana mix.
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US WA: Pot Legislation In The 'Wild, Wild West'

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 08:00
The Herald, 12 Jan 2015 - Proposed Bills Deal With Recreational/Medicinal Issues, Taxation, Driving, Edibles Vs. Smokables and More. OLYMPIA - A little more than two years after voters legalized the sale of regulated marijuana, lawmakers will wade through a thicket of cannabis-related measures, including merging the recreational and medical industries.
Categories: Marijuana

Indonesia: Caffeine High Takes On New Dimension In Aceh

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 08:00
Sydney Morning Herald, 12 Jan 2015 - Aceh might be famous for its brutal application of Islamic sharia law, but it's also where a certain intoxicating weed has been getting people high for generations. Marijuana sales once helped fund the 30- year war waged by separatist rebels and when they descended from their mountain strongholds after the 2005 peace deal, the plantations remained.
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US GA: Column: Lawmaker On Mission With Medical Marijuana Bill

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 08:00
Athens Banner-Herald, 12 Jan 2015 - State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, is a man on a mission. He is the driving force behind proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia. He may succeed this year, after suffering a setback in 2014 when the House and Senate got into a bit of political brinksmanship at the last minute and failed to pass his bill, which had sailed through the House with only four negative votes. Peake is back again with House Bill 1. He has the support of Gov. Nathan Deal (albeit with a few conditions) and House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge. And with an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll showing 84 percent of Georgians favor passage of medical marijuana legislation, I suspect he has the Senate's attention, as well.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Federal Judge Weighs Marijuana's Classification

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 08:00
The Herald Journal, 12 Jan 2015 - SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A federal judge in California is weighing the constitutionality of a 45-year-old act that classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug along with LSD, cocaine and heroin. U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller in Sacramento held a five-day fact-finding hearing on the classification question late last year, and final arguments are scheduled for next month, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. Her ruling is expected later this year.
Categories: Marijuana

US FL: Editorial: Pot? Not! Floridians Still Waiting

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 08:00
News Herald, 12 Jan 2015 - By now, if everything had gone according to plan, cancer and epilepsy patients in Florida would be able to receive a low-potency form of marijuana to ease their symptoms. State Rep. Matt Gaetz proposed this medical marijuana initiative and pushed it through the Legislature last spring, and Gov. Rick Scott signed it into law. It was supposed to take effect Jan. 1, eight days ago.
Categories: Marijuana

US HI: Medical Marijuana For Sale

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 08:00
Garden Island, 11 Jan 2015 - Nearly 14 years after the use of medical marijuana was legalized in Hawaii, medical marijuana patients may have a legal way to purchase it, rather than just grow it themselves, within the next few years. The 21-member group tasked with crafting guidelines for a state-monitored medical marijuana dispensary system is recommending that at least one dispensary be opened in four of the state's five counties by the start of 2017.
Categories: Marijuana

US GA: Albany Neighborhood Watch Group Gets Drug Education

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 01/10/2015 - 08:00
The Albany Herald, 10 Jan 2015 - ALBANY - Neighborhood watch representatives got a basic education on illegal drugs, their effects and where they come from Saturday at the Community Room of the Albany downtown Law Enforcement Center. The short course delivered by Maj. Bill Berry, of the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit gave eager members of the Community Council of Watch Associations an earful of information on familiar drugs including ecstasy or "Molly," crack cocaine and prescription pain pills.
Categories: Marijuana

US GA: OPED: Medical Marijuana Debate In General Assembly

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 01/10/2015 - 08:00
Ledger-Enquirer, 10 Jan 2015 - You're not going to see legislators rolling up big fat ones over the next few weeks, but members of the General Assembly will be discussing a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in a state that smokes ribs instead of weed. The brainchild of State Rep. Allen Peake, a Republican from Macon, House Bill 1 would provide guidelines for growing, producing and selling therapeutic cannabis, an oil extracted from marijuana plants.
Categories: Marijuana
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