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Marijuana

US AK: Lawmakers Discuss Agriculture Side Of Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 11 Mar 2015 - JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A state official told Alaska lawmakers that the Division of Agriculture will have a role in overseeing the state's new marijuana industry. Director Franci Havemeister told the Senate State Affairs Committee on Tuesday that the division is looking at whether marijuana growers will be able to access an agricultural revolving loan fund and state agricultural land sales. She said growers also may be subject to regulations about submitting farm conservation plans.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Big Business Is Lurking

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:00
East Bay Express, 11 Mar 2015 - California's marijuana industry must hang together and legalize pot in 2016, experts warn, or large corporations will cut them out. Just ask Ohio. A group of ten businesses in Ohio is aiming to not only legalize marijuana, but also corner the market on wholesale distribution of it - - a disturbing turn of events with lessons for California reformers.
Categories: Marijuana

US MI: Column: Creature Comforts

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:00
Metro Times, 11 Mar 2015 - Alan and Christi Marshall own 10 English Bulldogs so it seems like a natural extension that the company they own along with Phil Sable would take on that moniker. Bulldog Provisioning Center even sports a picture of a rather tough-looking bulldog on its logo. But Pullo, the dog wandering the premises the day I visited, was more cuddly than threatening as he waddled about the provisioning center seeking a little affection. Pullo rubbed against the legs of a patient who bent over to scratch his neck on a slow afternoon - apparently they've become pals.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: Fashion and Edibles Mean Hype for Hemp and More

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 11 Mar 2015 - Fruity and radical Since the Indy first wrote about Blackberry Maverick in April of last year, the Colorado Springs clothing label has expanded sales into Denver, been featured in Los Angeles fashion magazines, and set up an office on East Platte Avenue.
Categories: Marijuana

US WA: Eastern Washington Jurors See Through the Federal

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:00
The Stranger, 11 Mar 2015 - A Family of Medical Marijuana Growers, Facing 10 Years in Prison, Was Recently Acquitted on Almost All Charges Against Them "You're not a cog in the machine of the federal government," attorney Phil Telfeyan told a jury drawn from self-reliant Eastern Washington on March 2. "You can stand up and say, 'No. The evidence isn't there.'" And that's exactly what they did.
Categories: Marijuana

US WA: Column: Weed In The Rose Garden

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:00
Seattle Weekly, 11 Mar 2015 - Every single day there's breaking news in the marijuana movement. Alaska officially legalized weed on February 24, making it the fourth state in the Union to toss aside the chains of prohibition, and the next day, at the stroke of midnight, our nation's capital, Washington, D.C., followed suit. #CommanderInSpleef! But if ya think the "Just Say No" Nancy Reagan types are gently stepping aside, and the taxation and regulation of cannabis are going along swimmingly, you've been smoking too much of the recently legalized chronic.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Marijuana Legalization Gets A Boost On Capitol Hill

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:00
Spokesman-Review, 11 Mar 2015 - WASHINGTON - Marijuana legalization got a boost Tuesday on Capitol Hill as a trio of rising stars in the Senate launched an effort to rewrite federal drug laws. The push to decriminalize at least the medical use of marijuana came from Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
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New Zealand: Medical Cannabis Probed

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:00
New Zealand Herald, 11 Mar 2015 - Dunne Underwhelmed by Officials' Evidence but Drug Foundation Fears Advice Outdated. An investigation into the use of cannabis for medical purposes has been carried out by the Ministry of Health.
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Chronicle AM: Historic Fed MedMJ Bill Filed, Coca Boom Falters, Wichita Weed Wars, More (3/10/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 03/10/2015 - 23:10

A bipartisan trio of US senators roll out a historic medical marijuana bill, American Indian tribes form a cannabis coalition, medical marijuana loses by one vote in Utah, South America's coca boom may be ending, and more.

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

Kansas Attorney General Says Wichita Decriminalization Initiative Unlawful. Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a letter to city officials that the pending initiative "may not be lawfully adopted" and shouldn't be put before voters. But residents are still likely to have a chance to vote on it. Then it will be up to the attorney general to file a lawsuit to block it. The measure would "conflict with uniform state law in numerous ways and would be void," the attorney general says.

National Indian Cannabis Coalition Forms. The country's first Native American-focused marijuana trade group launched today at a reservation economic summit in Las Vegas. The group's mission is "to inform and educate tribal leaders on the emerging regulated cannabis markets from an entrepreneurial and operations perspective," says its website.

Medical Marijuana

Historic Federal Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana Rolled Out Today. A bipartisan trio of senators today introduced historic legislation to legalize medical marijuana at the federal level. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rand Paul (R-KY) filed the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which would end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana and allow states to set their own policies. The bill is not yet available on the congressional website. Click the link for more details.

Revised Idaho CBD Cannabis Oil Bill Would Allow Affirmative Defense. The bill, Senate Bill 1169, has been revised to address concerns from law enforcement. It would no longer legalize the use of CBD cannabis oil, but would provide for an affirmative defense in case of arrest.The original bill would have removed CBD cannabis oil from the state's law banning marijuana.

Tennessee CBD Cannabis Oil Bill Wins House Panel Vote. The measure, House Bill 109, was approved by the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. It now moves to the House Criminal Committee, where chairman William Lamberth (R-Cottontown) says it has his support.

Utah Medical Marijuana Bill Dies by One Vote. A bill that would have made Utah a medical marijuana state was defeated last night. Senate Bill 259, filed by Sen. Mark Madsen (R-Saratoga Springs) lost on a vote of 15-14 in the Senate.

International

Coca Boom Over? Coca and cocaine production in South America appears to be stalling, with all three major coca-producing countries—Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru—seeing declines in acreage planted and overall cocaine production. Click on the link for more details.

Patients from 13 Countries Form International Medical Marijuana Coalition. They have formed the International Medical Cannabis Patients Coalition (IMCPC) this past week gathered at a medical marijuana conference in Prague. Member countries include Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The US delegation is led by Americans for Safe Access.

Conservative Dutch Justice Minister Forced Out in Drug Dealer Cash Payment Scandal. Marijuana foe Ivo Opstelten and his deputy, Fred Treeven, resigned yesterday rather than face parliamentary questioning over revelations they authorized the repayment of millions of dollars to the drug dealer from whom it had been seized. Teeven actually authorized the 2001 payment, but Opstelten misled parliament about it. Now, they're both gone. 

Categories: Marijuana

Historic Federal Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana Rolled Out Today [FEATURE]

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 03/10/2015 - 21:37

A bipartisan trio of senators today introduced historic legislation to legalize medical marijuana at the federal level. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rand Paul (R-KY) filed the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which would end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana and allow states to set their own policies.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]"We need policies that empower states to legalize medical marijuana if they so choose-recognizing that there are Americans who can realize real medical benefits if this treatment option is brought out of the shadows," said Sen. Booker. "Doctors and patients deserve federal laws that are fair and compassionate, and states should be able to set their own medical marijuana policies without federal interference. I am thankful to Senators Gillibrand and Paul as well as the Drug Policy Alliance for their hard work on this common-sense bill to make medical marijuana accessible to the millions of Americans who could benefit from it." 

The bill would reclassify marijuana for medical use, allow veterans to have access to medical marijuana, overhaul banking laws to allow licensed medical marijuana businesses to use financial services, and open up more research possibilities for medical marijuana.

In addition to the Drug Policy Alliance, the senators also consulted with the Marijuana Policy Project, Americans for Safe Access, and other voices for patients in drafting the bill. Although nearly half the states have passed medical marijuana laws (and a dozen more have passed limited CBD cannabis oil laws), marijuana remains illegal under federal law. That means patients and providers in medical marijuana states are still at risk of federal prosecution and families and patients in non-medical marijuana states must relocate or travel long distances to get treatment, facing the risk of prosecution in non-medical marijuana states along the way.

"I am so happy to support this bill. As the mother of a child with a severe seizure disorder, anxiously waiting to get access to a medication that is already helping thousands of others is unbearable," said Kate Hintz, a New York resident who has advocated for CBD to treat her daughter and others to treat epilepsy and seizures. "After persistent advocacy in my home state of New York, we finally saw a medical marijuana law passed last summer.  Yet individual state's laws, including New York's, will not succeed until we lift the current federal restrictions surrounding this plant," she added.

"I applaud Sens. Gillibrand, Booker and Paul for taking this bold step forward and insisting the federal government take action.  Let's end the fear and stigma associated with marijuana, and instead allow this bill to provide research, medicine, and long needed relief to so many. It cannot come fast enough, especially for my daughter," Hintz concluded.

[image:2 align:right caption:true]"For far too long, the government has enforced unnecessary laws that have restricted the ability of the medical community to determine the medicinal value of marijuana and have prohibited Americans from receiving essential care that would alleviate their chronic pain and suffering. I am proud today to stand with Sens. Gillibrand and Booker to introduce a bill that will fundamentally change our nation's drug policies and have a positive impact on the lives of our Veterans and children," said Sen. Paul.

While the Obama administration has, in recent years, largely taken a laissez-faire approach to medical marijuana in states that have approved it, that approach is both uneven and dependent on the whim of the administration in power. Just last week, federal prosecutors in Washington state took a family of five medical marijuana patients--the Kettle Falls Five--to trial, threatening them with lengthy, mandatory minimum prison sentences for growing medical marijuana legally under state law (in a state where even recreational marijuana is legal!).

Fortunately for the Kettle Falls Five, a federal jury acquitted them of most charges, including the most serious ones. But under the current state of federal marijuana prohibition, such prosecutions could continue.

Similarly, the Obama administration's recent restraint on medical marijuana is derived from Justice Department guidance to federal prosecutors about which cases raise the level of federal concern high enough to warrant prosecution. That guidance was crafted by a deputy attorney general answerable to Attorney General Holder and the president. Absent protections provided by this bill or similar legislation, a new administration could easily return to the bad old days of DEA raids and patients and providers being hauled off to federal prison.  

[image:3 align:left caption:true]"As the parents of severely ill children who could be helped by medical cannabis, we are dedicated to advancing safe, legal and viable access," said Maria De Gregorio, a parent leader of the Kentucky-based Parents Coalition for Rescheduling Medical Cannabis. "Rescheduling efforts must also guarantee access to whole plant extracts that have proven therapeutic benefits. We feel it is crucial to support state rights in all current and future medical marijuana programs. Thus, we strongly endorse this bill as it is written."
 
"Almost half the states have legalized marijuana for medical use; it's long past time to end the federal ban," said Michael Collins, Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. "This bipartisan legislation allows states to set their own medical marijuana policies and ends the criminalization of patients, their families, and the caregivers and dispensary owners and employees who provide them their medicine."

"With studies showing that medical cannabis access decreases suicide and addiction rates, the CARERS Act is absolutely necessary to help fix a broken healthcare system for veterans, which deals with suicides and addiction at catastrophic rates," said TJ Thompson, a retired U.S. Navy Third Class Petty Officer. "Now, I'm considered a criminal because of the medication that helps me. I take it illegally to treat my PTSD."

"This comprehensive proposal would effectively end the war on medical marijuana and let states compassionately provide care for seriously ill people without the federal government standing in the way," said Tom Angell, director of Marijuana Majority. "The fact that two young Democrats with likely long political futures have teamed up with a probable 2016 Republican presidential candidate shows how medical marijuana is a nonpartisan, noncontroversial issue that draws support from across the spectrum. With polls showing an overwhelming majority of American voters backing marijuana reform, you’d think taking up this proposal would be a no-brainer for legislative leaders who want to show that Congress can still get things done." 

We shall see. The bill text is not yet available on the congressional website, and it has not yet been assigned to a committee. That's the next step in a long process. 

Categories: Marijuana

US: Investors See Potential Opportunity In Marijuana Reform Bill

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/10/2015 - 07:00
Wall Street Journal, 10 Mar 2015 - Proposed Carers Act would redefine cannabis as a Schedule II controlled substance When Sens. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) and Rand Paul (R., Ky.) announced a bill Tuesday to reform federal marijuana regulation, they pitched it not just as a health, military veteran and states' rights issue, but from a business angle. And they used words that investors in the developing marijuana industry have been waiting to hear for a long time.
Categories: Marijuana

Australia: Drug Sharks Circle Crown

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/10/2015 - 07:00
Herald Sun, 10 Mar 2015 - Losers preyed upon RUTHLESS loan sharks are recruiting desperate Crown casino losers to babysit drug crops in Melbourne's suburbs. Court records show how criminals are preying on out-of-luck punters to look after hydroponic cannabis setups worth millions.
Categories: Marijuana

South Africa: Man's Bid To Legalise Dagga

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/10/2015 - 07:00
The Witness, 10 Mar 2015 - Prohibition of Cannabis 'Violates SA Bill of Rights' A HOWICK man wants the Constitutional Court to uphold the rights of all South Africans to use dagga. John Lawrence Strydom (44) - against whom criminal charges of illegally possessing and cultivating dagga were recently provisionally withdrawn - said in an affidavit before the high court yesterday he wants to "destigmatise" the word dagga and "give the dagga plant its original name and rightful place in society" for the benefit of all the country's citizens.
Categories: Marijuana

South Africa: Farmer's Court Bid To Legalise Dagga

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/10/2015 - 07:00
The Daily News, 10 Mar 2015 - THE battle to legalise the use of dagga could reach the Constitutional Court if a Howick farmer has his way. John Lawrence Strydom, 44, yesterday launched a Pietermaritzburg High Court application against the minister of justice and the office of the director of public prosecutions.
Categories: Marijuana

US NY: Mayor and Police Boss Sending Mixed Messages on

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/10/2015 - 07:00
New York Times, 10 Mar 2015 - It was a leading initiative of Mayor Bill de Blasio's first year in office: policing the possession of small amounts of marijuana with summonses, not arrests. At the news conference announcing the change in November, Police Commissioner William J. Bratton stood beside the mayor with an educational prop: He held up a bag of oregano measuring 25 grams, the summons threshold, inspiring tabloid front pages and a skit on "Saturday Night Live."
Categories: Marijuana

US AK: Alaska Lawmakers Consider New Approach to Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 03/10/2015 - 07:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 10 Mar 2015 - JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A Senate committee is considering a new approach to decriminalizing marijuana. The Senate Finance Committee on Monday heard about a new draft of the bill intended to decriminalize possession, growth and transportation of limited amounts of marijuana for adults 21 years and older. The draft would list marijuana as a controlled substance, but include a non-applicability section that essentially would create an exception to controlled substance crimes for acts that are within the bounds of a voter initiative passed in November. That initiative legalized recreational use of pot.
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Chronicle AM: UN Drug Session in Vienna, Bernard Noble Rally in New Orleans, AZ Welfare Drug Test Flop, More (3/9/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 22:12

The global drug prohibition bureaucracy meets in Vienna, researchers say banning psychedelics offends human rights, new synthetics increase in Europe, an Arizona welfare drug testing bill comes up short in results, and more. Let's get to it;

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

Washington House Approves Marijuana Deals With Tribes. The House last Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill to allow the state's Indian tribes to participate in the state's legal marijuana industry. The bill is House Bill 2000, and it now goes to the state Senate.

First Government-Run Pot Shop Opens in Washington Town. The city of North Bonneville, Washington, has become the first government entity to open a marijuana retail store. The Cannabis Corner opened over the weekend after the city won approval from the state.

Psychedelics

Prohibition on Psychedelics An Offense Against Human Rights, Researchers Say. A pair of Norwegian researchers who, after studying population data from more than 135,000 people, including 19,000 users of psychedelics, reported no link between using psychedelics and mental health problems, have said that continuing to ban them has no justifiable public health basis and is "against human rights." Click on the link for more details.

Drug Testing

Arizona Welfare Drug Testing Law Didn't Produce Predicted Savings. When the state passed its welfare drug testing law in 2009, lawmakers said it would save about $1.7 million a year by removing drug users from welfare rolls. Not quite. In the more than five years since the law went into effect, only 42 people were flagged for drug tests. Of those, 23 didn't take the drug test and were denied benefits for one year. Nineteen other took the drug test; only three failed. The total savings are now estimated at $3,500 over the entire period, not $1.7 million a year.

Harm Reduction

Mississippi 911 Good Samaritan Bill Moving. A bill that would provide limited immunity from prosecution for people who report active drug overdoses in a bid to get medical assistance has passed the state Senate and a key House committee. Senate Bill 2780 now awaits a House floor vote.

Pregnancy

Oklahoma Bill Would Charge Pregnant Drug Users With Assaulting Fetus. A bill that would change the definition of assault to include illegal drug use by a pregnant woman has won a vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee and awaits a Senate floor vote. Senate Bill 559 would still have to get through the House.

Sentencing

New Orleans Rally for Man Doing 13 Years for Two Joints. Supporters of Bernard Noble, who is doing 13 years in state prison for possessing two marijuana joints, rallied Saturday to support a campaign to gain clemency or a commutation for him. All appeals to state courts have failed, and now it's up to Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) to act.

International

Morocco's Main Opposition Party Calls for Amnesty for Hash Growers. The Istiqlal Party, the largest opposition party, has called on the parliament to adopt a bill that would grant amnesty to hashish farmers. The party says that more than 300,000 people make a living in the hash fields.  The party's proposed bill would limit hash cultivation to specified regions of the country. The Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) has also called for the legalization of marijuana cultivation. Morocco is one of the world's leading cannabis producers.

More than A Hundred New Synthetic Drugs Appeared in Europe Last Year. The European Monitoring Center on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) reported today that 101 new substances were reported last year by the European Union's Early Warning System, up from 81 in 2013. That means more than 450 new synthetic drugs have been identified by the agency, more than half in the last three years alone. Click on the link for more details.

UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs Session Underway in Vienna.The 58th annual session got underway in Vienna today. It comes as the international drug prohibition consensus crumbles in the face of drug war failures and moves to liberalize drug laws, especially marijuana laws. This is also part of the lead-up to the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs. 

Categories: Marijuana

Australia: Column: Drug Scourge Becoming All Too Familiar

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 07:00
The Queensland Times, 09 Mar 2015 - WE ARE increasingly being confronted with the scourge of drugs on society. The tragedy of talented actors and musicians that overdose generates a feeling of sad loss and shock as we look at a person who has achieved more success than most can imagine and are loved and we contemplate the waste of life.
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CN ON: Column: Going To Pot Here?

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 09 Mar 2015 - Bob Cabana says he would welcome a marijuana store moving in across the street from him. He figures it would be good for all the businesses on Wellington Street. Bob Cabana says this while dressed as a character from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. So he may be a little biased. On the business benefits of marijuana.
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CN BC: Fire Chiefs Clash Over Grow-Op Risk

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 07:00
Metro, 09 Mar 2015 - Court: Case challenging medical marijuana laws set to hear from two experts on whether residential grow-ops are more vulnerable to fire Surrey's fire chief has a "cultural confirmation bias" against licensed marijuana grow-ops, which is why he wrongly concludes they are more dangerous than regular residences, an expert witness will testify in a Vancouver court case.
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