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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 08/31/2016 - 21:30

A federal appeals court upholds the ban on gun sales to medical marijuana patients, Arkansans will have two medical marijuana initiatives on the ballot, Oklahomans will likely have none, and more.

[image:1 align:left]Arkansas

Last Thursday, a second medical marijuana initiative was okayed for the ballot. The state already has one medical marijuana initiative on the ballot, the 2016 Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act, and state officials announced Thursday that a second initiative, the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, will also appear on the ballot, even though they have yet to certify that it has enough signatures to do so. That's because Thursday was the deadline to certify ballot issues. Because the secretary of state's office was not able to verify late signatures before the deadline, the second initiative has been "certified to the ballot and assigned a number." If the initiative actually comes up short on signatures, votes for it in November will not be recorded.

On Monday, the state Democratic Party endorsed medical marijuana. With two competing medical marijuana initiatives on the ballot, the state Democratic Party has approved a platform plank endorsing medical marijuana. The plank calls for "the development of a responsible medical marijuana program that will receive patients in need of such relief the freedom to access this remedy."

California

On Wednesday, a federal appeals court upheld the ban on gun sales to medical marijuana patients. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled Wednesday that the federal government's ban on gun sales to medical marijuana cardholders does not violate the 2nd Amendment. The decision came in the case of a Nevada woman turned away from a gun shop after obtaining a medical marijuana card. The ruling sets precedent for all nine states in the circuit, including California, Oregon, and Washington.

Florida

Last Thursday, the medical marijuana initiative was polling above 67%. The Amendment 2 medical marijuana amendment initiative appears headed for victory in November. A new poll from the University of Florida Bob Graham Center has support at 67.8%, in line with a slew of polls since early 2015 that show the initiative will a low of 61% approval and up to 80%. Because the initiative is a constitutional amendment, it needs 60% to pass.

Montana

Last Wednesday, an anti-marijuana zealot gave up on his initiative to repeal the state's medical marijuana law. Billings auto dealer Steve Zabawa has given up the ghost on his effort to get an anti-marijuana initiative on the state ballot. His measure would have repealed the state's already seriously gutted medical marijuana law (a measure that has made the ballot, I-182, seeks to reinstate the original law) and declare that any drug illegal under federal law is illegal under state law. He came up short on signatures, lost an initial court challenge, and now says he doesn't have time to appeal to the state Supreme Court. Zabawa said he will now concentrate on trying to defeat I-182.

New York

Last Thursday, the state Health Department called for expanding the medical marijuana program In a report marking the two-year anniversary of the state's medical marijuana program, the Department of Health called for expanding the program to meet patient needs. "To meet additional patient demand and increase access to medical marijuana throughout New York State, NYSDOH recommends registering five additional organizations over the next two years, using a phased-in approach to permit their smooth integration into the industry," the report said.

On Tuesday, the Health Department announced an expansion of the medical marijuana program. The state Department of Health said Tuesday it will allow nurse practitioners to recommend medical marijuana for patients and allow dispensaries to make deliveries. The department also said it was considering whether to include chronic pain on the state's list of qualifying conditions.

Oklahoma

On Monday, advocaes said the medical marijuana initiative was unlikely to appear on the ballot. The group behind the initiative, State Question 788, said they will challenge the attorney general's rewording of the battle title, and that will begin a legal process that will delay the measure beyond the November 8 election date. State officials, on the other hand, said the initiative campaign waited too long to turn in signatures. "We are dealing with processes established in both federal and state election law for initiatives proposed by the people that require specific procedures to be followed," Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) said. "It's important for the people of Oklahoma to know -- regardless of the substance of the state question -- the signatures were not submitted with enough time to allow this process to be played out completely."

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

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Obama Commutes More Sentences, Court Rules No Guns for MJ Patients, More... (8/31/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 08/31/2016 - 21:02

President Obama continues commuting drug sentences, the 9th Circuit upholds a ban on gun ownership for medical marijuana patients, Albuquerque gets sued over its asset forfeiture scheme, and more.

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

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Ban on Gun Sales to Medical Marijuana Cardholders. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled Wednesday that the federal government's ban on gun sales to medical marijuana cardholders does not violate the 2nd Amendment. The decision came in the case of a Nevada woman turned away from a gun shop after obtaining a medical marijuana card. The ruling sets precedent for all nine states in the circuit, including California, Oregon, and Washington.

New York Expands Program, Will Allow Medical Marijuana Deliveries. The state Department of Health said Tuesday it will allow nurse practitioners to recommend medical marijuana for patients and allow dispensaries to make deliveries. The department also said it was considering whether to include chronic pain on the state's list of qualifying conditions.

Asset Forfeiture

Albuquerque Sued for Refusing to Shut Down Asset Forfeiture Program. An Albuquerque woman whose car was seized after he son was pulled over for drunk driving filed suit in state court Wednesday arguing that the city's asset forfeiture program violates recently passed state-level asset forfeiture reforms and "is driven by a pernicious -- and unconstitutional -- profit incentive" that deprives her of her due process rights. Although the state passed the reforms last year, the city has continued to seize vehicles like Harjo's, arguing the law does not apply to it. The city was already sued by two lawmakers, but that suit was dismissed, with the court ruling they lacked standing to sue. The city has seized more than 8,000 vehicles since 2010.

Pardons and Commutations

President Obama Commutes Sentences for 111 More Drug Offenders. The president continued his pardon push Wednesday, commuting sentences for 111 more drug offenders. That brings to 325 the number pardoned this month alone -- a record -- and to 673 the number whose sentences Obama has commuted throughout his term. That's more than the previous 10 presidents combined.

International

Mexico Federal Police Chief Fired Over Massacre of Cartel Suspects. President Enrique Pena Nieto Monday fired federal police chief Enrique Gallindo over the apparent massacre of 22 suspected cartel members in Michoacan last year. Earlier this month, the National Human Rights Commission released a report saying the victims had been "executed arbitrarily."

Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Judge Says RCMP Violated Rights Of Couple In Grow-Op Case

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 08/31/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 31 Aug 2016 - A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled the RCMP violated the Charter rights of a husband and wife whose home was linked to a marijuana grow operation, a dispute that has since come to involve the province's Civil Forfeiture Office. Criminal charges against the couple were stayed four years ago, but the file is still being pursued by the Civil Forfeiture Office - a government agency that has been criticized for its aggressive attempts to seize homes, vehicles and cash connected to criminal offences, even from people who have not been convicted or charged.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: DEA to Make Kratom Schedule I, Thailand to Downschedule Meth, More... (8/30/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 20:39

The DEA announces it will make the active ingredients in kratom Schedule I substances, marijuana legalization initiatives in Arizona and Michigan go to court, the Thai government is moving to reform the way it deals with meth, and more.

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

Arizona Legalization Campaign Sues Over Ballot Description. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol filed a lawsuit Monday asking the state Supreme Court to fix what is says is inaccurate language in the ballot description of Prop 205 that will be presented to voters. The description written by Secretary of State Michele Reagan left out information that the campaign says is important, such as noting that a new 15% marijuana tax would go mainly to schools. The Supreme Court is also hearing a challenge from opponents of Prop 205. It needs to finalize the ballot language today.

Michigan Legalization Campaign Asks State Supreme Court to Put Initiative on Ballot. In a last ditch bid to get its legalization initiative on the November ballot, MI Legalize has filed a motion with the Supreme Court asking it to overturn a lower court's ruling that the state had no obligation to include signatures gathered outside a 180-day window. MI Legalize gathered more than enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, but some of them were deemed too old to be counted.

Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Democratic Party Endorses Medical Marijuana. With two competing medical marijuana initiatives on the ballot, the state Democratic Party has approved a platform plank endorsing medical marijuana. The plank calls for "the development of a responsible medical marijuana program that will receive patients in need of such relief the freedom to access this remedy."

Drug Policy

DEA to Place Kratom on Schedule I. The DEA announced Wednesday that it is moving to place the active materials in the kratom plant on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. That schedule is reserved for drugs that have no medical use and a high potential for abuse. The scheduled substances are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Kratom is a tropical tree indigenous to Southeast Asia. It produces opioid-like effects and has been marketed as a legal alternative to controlled substances. Not anymore, though.

International

Hundreds of Argentine Judges, Lawyers Call for End to Drug War. Some 500 magistrates, lawyers, and other legal figures used the 30th anniversary of key Supreme Court decision to call for an end to the war on drugs. In 1986, in the "Bazterrica" ruling, the nation's high court ruled it unconstitutional to prosecute people for simple drug possession. Yet Argentine law still allows such prosecutions. The legal figures are demanding that the law be changed to be in compliance with the Bazterrica ruling.

Thailand Takes Another Step Toward Moving Meth off Dangerous Drugs List. The Justice Ministry is set to remove methamphetamine from its list of dangerous drugs, which would allow health authorities to use it for medical reasons. The move is part of a larger shift in how the country deals with drug use, and is part of a bill that will emphasize treatment for drug users, including substituting prescription stimulants such as Modafinil for meth. The government has given no time line for when the bill will move.

Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Right To Grow Weed Not A Solution To Pot Raids

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 07:00
Toronto 24hours, 30 Aug 2016 - They took their own sweet time but the federal government has finally made necessary changes to the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). People who sign up through the new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR for short - oy! - so many acronyms!) can now grow their own weed or give one person the right to grow it for them.
Categories: Marijuana

CN NS: Editorial: Weeded Out

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 07:00
Cape Breton Post, 30 Aug 2016 - A judge seemed bewildered Friday as she sentenced a Prince Edward Island man for selling drugs out of his home. Alfred William Gallant admitted to police he had been selling marijuana out his house for years. He said he did so to pay for his own usage - about seven or eight grams a day.
Categories: Marijuana

US PA: Wolf: Decriminalize Small Amounts Of Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 30 Aug 2016 - HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania needs to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession, Gov. Wolf said Monday, yet he remains guarded about the kind of recreational legalization that is in place in several western states. While some cities have stopped arresting people for possessing small amounts and prosecutors have been downgrading it as a crime, the state should act because too many people are still going to prison for marijuana possession, Wolf said.
Categories: Marijuana

US NY: In Expansion, State's Medical Marijuana Program Will

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 07:00
New York Times, 30 Aug 2016 - ALBANY - Moving to address complaints about New York's new medical marijuana program, the state's Health Department is making substantial changes to expand access to the drug, including allowing home delivery, quite likely by the end of September. The program, which saw its first dispensaries open in January, has struggled to gain broad traction in the medical community and with potential patients. Advocates for the medical use of marijuana have said the program, allowed by a 2014 law signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, was too restrictive, and its regulations too cumbersome to fulfill its mandate.
Categories: Marijuana

US PA: Wolf: Pa. Can Do More To End Marijuana Arrests

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 07:00
Standard-Speaker, 30 Aug 2016 - HARRISBURG (AP) - Pennsylvania needs to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday, yet he remains guarded about the kind of recreational legalization that is in place in several western states. While some cities have stopped arresting people for possessing small amounts and prosecutors have been downgrading it as a crime, the state should act because too many people are still going to prison for marijuana possession, Wolf said.
Categories: Marijuana

US AR: Medical 'Pot' On Party's Platform

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 07:00
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 30 Aug 2016 - Democrats Add Plank for 2016 The backers of two competing medical marijuana initiatives found good news in their cause ending up on the platform of the Democratic Party of Arkansas. Members of the party met Saturday to hear speeches and take care of business ahead of the Nov. 8 general election, including approving a platform. One of the planks is on medical marijuana.
Categories: Marijuana

Thailand: Justice Minister Suggests Using Article 44 to

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 07:00
The Nation, 30 Aug 2016 - JUSTICE MINISTER General Paiboon Koomchaya is willing to propose that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha invoke Article 44 of the interim charter to downgrade the amphetamine drug known as "yaba" to a narcotics category two drug, provided that the Public Health Ministry has a proper system to combat drug abuse. Public Health permanent secretary Dr Sopon Mekthon said he was ready to respond accordingly if the government revised its policy to regulate the drug. He said doctors could not prescribe 'yaba' for medical treatment while it remained a category one drug. Category two drugs can be used legally with a doctor's prescription. Downgrading the category of the drug could address addiction issues, officials have said, because the current designation as a category one drug carries severe penalties that can deter users from seeking treatment.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: OK MedMJ Initiative Looking Iffy, PA Governor Calls for Pot Decrim, More... (8/29/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 20:53

Cornhuskers look down the road on marijuana reforms, Pennsylvania's governor calls for marijuana decriminalization, the Oklahoma medical marijuana initiative looks like it won't actually make the ballot, and more.

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

Nebraska 2018 Legalization Initiative Campaign Gets Underway. A group calling itself Legal Marijuana Now has begun a signature gathering drive for an initiative that would legalize possession of up to an ounce of pot for medical or recreational purposes. The group is aiming at 2018 and needs roughly 87,000 valid voter signatures to qualify.

Pennsylvania Governor Calls for Marijuana Decriminalization. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said Monday the state needs to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of pot. While some localities have quit arresting small-time pot possessors, too many haven't. "I think we need to do that in a more systematic fashion," Wolf said. "There are too many people who are going to prison because of the use of very modest amounts or carry modest amounts of marijuana, and that is clogging up our prisons, it's destroying families and it's hurting our economy, so I think decriminalization is the first step."

Medical Marijuana

Oklahoma Initiative Unlikely to Appear on Ballot, Advocates Say. The group behind the initiative, State Question 788, said they will challenge the attorney general's rewording of the battle title, and that will begin a legal process that will delay the measure beyond the November 8 election date. State officials, on the other hand, said the initiative campaign waited too long to turn in signatures. "We are dealing with processes established in both federal and state election law for initiatives proposed by the people that require specific procedures to be followed," Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) said. "It's important for the people of Oklahoma to know -- regardless of the substance of the state question -- the signatures were not submitted with enough time to allow this process to be played out completely."

International

New Zealand Poll Finds Strong Support for Medical Marijuana. Another poll is signaling overwhelming support for medical marijuana among Kiwis. A new UMR poll has support at 76%, up four points from the same poll last year. The poll had only 12% opposed, with another 12% undecided. The poll also asked whether marijuana should be treated as a herbal remedy; 61% said yes.

Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Column: Why Legalizing Marijuana Is The Wrong Thing To

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 29 Aug 2016 - Decriminalize, but Keep in Mind the Drug's Effect on Kids The federal government is planning to legalize marijuana, making it akin to alcohol and tobacco - a legal but regulated substance that's kept away from youth. The Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation is asking for your opinion on the best way to do this, and Monday is the last day to give your input.
Categories: Marijuana

CN PI: News Flash: Pot Makes You Lazy

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 29 Aug 2016 - VANCOUVER - Apparent laziness caused by the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana persists even when the same amount of pot's medicinal component is added, a new study suggests. Lead author Mason Silveira, a PhD candidate in the University of British Columbia's psychology department, said one part of the research done on rats involved giving them THC, the intoxicating part of cannabis, and having them choose between an easy or hard task to earn sugary treats.
Categories: Marijuana

CN PI: RCMP Seeking Public's Help With Marijuana Grow-Ops

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 07:00
The Journal-Pioneer, 29 Aug 2016 - It's nearing harvest time for marijuana crops and the RCMP on P.E.I. is calling on Islanders to help them find the illegal cash crops. The national police force discourages members of the public from actually investigating potential marijuana crops themselves, as the crops are sometimes guarded or are protected with traps, but they want concerned individuals to be on the lookout. "Often people will notice unusual activity that can be an indicator that a grow operation is nearby and officers are happy to take your information and investigate," an RCMP release indicates. "Illegal grow operations are often managed by criminals who do not value the land on which they grow the drugs nor the people they sell the drugs to for a profit at the detriment of our youth and neighbourhoods. If you see something, say something," the RCMP report urges. Calls can be made to any RCMP detachment or to P.E.I. Crime Stoppers, 1-800-2228477(TIPS). Tips that lead to a conviction could be eligible for a cash reward.
Categories: Marijuana

US OR: Seeing Green

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 07:00
The Mail Tribune, 29 Aug 2016 - Williams Farm With Elaborate Greenhouse Operation Underscores Huge Growth in Local Marijuana Industry WILLIAMS - Josephine County's growing marijuana industry is experiencing growing pains. The number of medical marijuana grow sites in the county has remained steady from a year ago, at about 2,500.
Categories: Marijuana

New Zealand: O'Connor Remains Cannabis Agnostic

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 07:00
The Nelson Mail, 29 Aug 2016 - The outgoing boss of the New Zealand Police Association says a tour of cannabis-friendly countries was an eye-opener, but hasn't convinced him New Zealand should follow suit. Greg O'Connor spent time travelling through Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands and Colorado, in the United States, seeing firsthand the effects of both decriminalisation and legalisation of cannabis.
Categories: Marijuana

Philippines: OPED: Arrest Drug Traffickers, Vigilantes; Avoid

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 07:00
Philippine Daily Inquirer, 29 Aug 2016 - WE, THE members of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines, acknowledge our active role as a visible force and prophetic voice in social life, in working for the common good. A role embraced by the Lord Jesus himself when he quoted the prophet Isaiah as he began his ministry: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord." (Luke 4:18 19) It is this role we exercise when we look around at what has been happening in our country these past two months-a consistent surge in the number of extrajudicial killings (EJKs), now nearing 2,000, and counting, mostly related to the drug problem, some perpetrated in the name of vigilante "justice," all without warrant of arrest or proof of guilt.
Categories: Marijuana

US OK: Editorial: Medical Pot Measure Has Noteworthy Problems

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 07:00
The Oklahoman, 29 Aug 2016 - AFTER several failed efforts, proponents of legalizing "medical" marijuana in Oklahoma may have collected enough signatures to put the issue before voters. So it's worth looking at the actual content of this measure, even though logistical challenges may postpone a vote until after November's elections. Prior medical marijuana proposals have been laughably broad. The legal language for proposed State Question 788 is better, but problems and loopholes remain that should concern Oklahomans.
Categories: Marijuana

US DC: Forced Out Of A Home Over A Marijuana Joint

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 07:00
Washington Post, 29 Aug 2016 - D.C. Tenants Face Eviction As 'Drug Nuisances' Even When No One Is Charged With a Crime For eight years, Rajuawn Middleton, an assistant at a major downtown law firm, lived in a four-bedroom red-brick home she rented on a quiet tree-lined street in Northeast Washington - until she was forced out over a few cigarettes containing a "green leafy substance."
Categories: Marijuana
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