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Marijuana

US AK: Panel Discusses Marijuana Businesses, Zoning for

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 14 Feb 2015 - FAIRBANKS - Just where in the Fairbanks North Star Borough marijuana businesses should be allowed and under what conditions continued to be discussed Friday by a special panel convened by Mayor Luke Hopkins It was the second meeting of the marijuana working group. Hopkins is working on a new zoning ordinance, dealing with pot businesses, that is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks.
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US IL: 1st Lawsuit Filed Over Medical Pot Licensing

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 08:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 14 Feb 2015 - The conflict between the states and the federal government when it comes to legalized medical marijuana may play out in an Illinois court. What is believed to be the first lawsuit regarding medical marijuana licenses in Illinois was filed Friday in downstate Coles County by a business that lost out in its bid to get a license to grow medical marijuana.
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US AK: Lawmakers Say They Will Be Working on Pot Bill Past

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 14 Feb 2015 - JUNEAU - With 10 days before marijuana becomes legal through November's voter initiative, a senator working closely on legislation intended to smooth out legal gray areas in criminal law says the bill won't be in place before Feb. 24. After a lengthy Senate Judiciary Committee meeting that touched on a wide array of topics, Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, said several issues still need to be addressed, including medical marijuana, marijuana concentrates, local option control of marijuana in rural communities, and how penalties for minors possessing and consuming marijuana will be handled.
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US WA: Senate Oks Bill Addressing Medical, Recreational Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 14 Feb 2015 - Dual Markets Dispensaries Squeezing Us Out, Recreational Firms Have Complained OLYMPIA - A measure seeking to reconcile Washington state's medical-marijuana industry with its heavily taxed recreational sector passed the Washington state Senate on Friday.
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US NM: Recommendations Made For Medical Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 02/14/2015 - 08:00
Albuquerque Journal, 14 Feb 2015 - Producer Licenses Are on Hold for Now Increasing the maximum allowable concentration of THC in cannabis products from 60 to 70 percent, and eliminating a proposed rule requiring patients to submit "biometric" information when applying for cards, are among the revisions to proposed new rules for the state's Medical Cannabis Program.
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Chronicle AM: CO 2014 Legal Pot Sales at $700 Million, Kettle Falls 5 Will Go to Trial, More (2/13/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 22:43

Final marijuana sales figures are in for Colorado, twin legalization bills are filed in Maryland, a second Ohio legalization initiative campaign gets underway, a federal judge orders the Kettle Falls Five to trial, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

$700 Million in Legal Weed Sales for Colorado Last Year. According to the state Department of Revenue, total legal marijuana sales in 2014 amounted to $699,198,805. That's $385.9 million for medical marijuana and $313.2 million for recreational weed. Since 2014 was the rollout year for legal recreational marijuana sales in the state, look for that figure to increase next year.

Maryland Legalization Bills Introduced. Identical bills to tax, regulate, and legalize marijuana were filed in the state House and Senate last week. Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery County) and Del. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore) filed the bills, which would allow adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce and grow six plants at their homes and set up a system of regulated marijuana commerce. The Senate version is Senate Bill 531; the House version is House Bill 911.

New Hampshire Decriminalization Bill Gets Hearing Tuesday. There will be a public hearing on House Bill 618 Tuesday, as well as pre-hearing press conference. The press conference is at 1:30pm and the hearing is at 2:30pm. The bill would decriminalize the possession of an ounce or less and make growing six or fewer plants a misdemeanor.

Second Ohio Legalization Initiative Coming. A second Ohio group wants to put legalization on the 2016 ballot. Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis is turning in a ballot petition and 1,000 preliminary signatures today for its proposed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana. The amendment would legalize marijuana for those 18 and older, allow for marijuana commerce, and allow non-commercial grows of up to 99 plants and possession of up to 99 pounds. Another group, Responsible Ohio, is also in the early stages of its petition drive. The Responsible Ohio measure would set up 10 designated commercial grows and has no provision for home grows.

Medical Marijuana

Federal Judge Rejects "Kettle Falls 5" Request to Throw Out Charges. Five Washington state medical marijuana patients being prosecuted by federal authorities will have to go to trial. A federal judge Thursday refused to dismiss the criminal case against them, even though the prosecution appears to violate Justice Department guidelines for medical marijuana prosecutions and even though marijuana is now legal in their state.

Drug Testing

West Virginia Food Stamps Drug Testing Bill Filed. After a month of deliberations, the state Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources has announced a bill that would create a one-year pilot program in which food stamp applicants in three counties would be subject to screening for drug use and some would be required to take and pass drug tests at their own expense. The measure is House Bill 2021.

Sentencing

California Bill Would Hike Penalties for School Zone Drug Sales. State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) has filed Senate Bill 212, which would add three, four, or five years to sentences for drug sales or manufacturing within 1,000 feet of a school or preschool. The bill would also extend existing school zone law to include private property within the zone.

International

Massive Raid on Liverpool Nightclub. Garlands nightclub, one of the city's oldest and most popular, has been shut down after a massive police raid Thursday night. More than 140 officers stormed the club after a months-long investigation into drug sales at the venue. Police were seeking a court hearing today to shut it down permanently. More than 300 revelers were evicted from the club before police searched it. Police said they found large quantities of drugs on the scene, but only arrested two men.

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CN BC: Weeds Store in Sechelt Won't Happen, Says RCMP

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 08:00
Coast Reporter, 13 Feb 2015 - Weeds Glass and Gifts, Vancouver's largest chain of medical marijuana dispensaries, is poised to open a store in downtown Sechelt - even though Sunshine Coast RCMP is "strongly encouraging" the company to reconsider its decision. "Ideally we'd like to save them all the hassle and money and tell them that this isn't something we would stand by and allow to happen in our community," detachment spokesman Const. Harrison Mohr said Tuesday.
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US: TV Experiments With Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 08:00
Wall Street Journal, 13 Feb 2015 - On a recent episode of ABC's popular comedy "Modern Family," the new couple next door to the Dunphy family has an unusual line of work: They own a marijuana dispensary. But nobody on the show seems to care, and when the Dunphys get into a feud with the neighbors, it's about something entirely different-the eyesore powerboat parked in their driveway. It was not always thus in TV-land, where pot has been a long-standing taboo. Even a comedy with lots of jokes about the stuff, "That '70s Show," never showed anyone actually lighting up. While movies and music embraced stoners, they were rare on TV, where advertisers are still cautious and broadcasters adhere to government regulations about social responsibility.
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US CA: Le'Or Aims to Put Marijuana Legalization on the Jewish

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 08:00
Jewish News Weekly, 13 Feb 2015 - "You know, it's a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob, what is the matter with them?" That was President Richard Nixon speaking to his top aide, H.R. "Bob" Haldeman, during a recorded White House meeting back in 1971.
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US WA: Judge Rejects 'Kettle Falls Five' Marijuana Defendants'

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 08:00
Spokesman-Review, 13 Feb 2015 - A federal judge declined Thursday to throw out the criminal case against the marijuana farmers dubbed the "Kettle Falls Five," setting up the likelihood of another trial delay two years after charges were filed. When it commences, it may be the trial of the Kettle Falls Four.
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US CT: Official Criticizes Drug Sweep At Stonington High

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 08:00
The Day, 13 Feb 2015 - Stonington - Board of Education member Craig Esposito has criticized the use of police dogs to search the high school for illegal drugs in December, saying it sent a "bad message" to students. "It's like you're the warden and the school is a prison," he told Principal Mark Friese during Thursday night's Board of Education meeting.
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US CO: Colorado: Going Harsh On The Pot Party

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 08:00
Wall Street Journal, 13 Feb 2015 - In Colorado and in Washington state, residents may not toke up in public although the rules for what constitutes a public event can be murky. DENVER - You might imagine that Colorado has become a pot-fueled cultural carnival since the state legalized recreational marijuana last year: midnight screenings of "Dude, Where's My Car?" ; uninhibited jam-band concerts at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre under clouds of herbal smoke.
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Chronicle AM: NM Legalization Vote, CA MedMJ Organ Transplant Bill, VA Harm Reduction Bills, More (2/12/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 23:33

Marijuana reform and medical marijuana bills continue to move, a broad coalition urges Congress to enact real sentencing reforms, harm reduction measures are moving in Virginia, and more. Let's get to it:

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

New Mexico Legalization Bill Wins Committee Vote. The Senate Rules Committee today 5-4 to approve a constitutional amendment that would legalize marijuana in the state, marking the first time any legalization measure there has won a legislative vote. The measure is SJR 2. The legislation heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee next.

North Dakota Decriminalization Bill Gets Committee Hearing. The House Judiciary Committee Wednesday held a hearing on House Bill 1394, introduced by Rep. Lois Delmore (D-Grand Forks). The bill would make possession of less than a half ounce a civil infraction; it is currently a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail. The committee took no action on the bill.

Medical Marijuana

California Bill to End Organ Transplant Denials for Medical Marijuana Patients Filed. Assembly member Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) has introduced Assembly Bill 258, the Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act, a bill aimed at preventing medical marijuana patients from being denied organ transplants. The Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act is sponsored by Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which has long advocated for patients seeking organ transplants, including Norman B. Smith, a medical marijuana patient who died in 2012 after being denied a liver transplant at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Michigan Legislature Prepares to Take Up Dispensaries Legislation. Supporters of medical marijuana are readying themselves to push a dispensary bill through the legislature. Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville) announced today that he would sponsor a new bill to regulate "provisioning centers." The bill is not yet available on the legislative web site. Similar measures were expected to pass last year, but stalled at session's end.

North Carolina Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. A group of legislators filed a full-blown medical marijuana bill Wednesday, House Bill 78. The state approved a CBD cannabis oil bill last year.

Oklahoma CBD Cannabis Oil Bill Passes House. The House approved a CBD cannabis oil bill, House Bill 2154, on a 98-2 vote Wednesday. The bill would authorize an investigation into the use of cannabis oil for children with epilepsy. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Asset Forfeiture

House Panel Signals Support for Asset Forfeiture Reforms. Members of the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations agreed at a hearing Wednesday that asset forfeiture reforms are needed. Lawmakers said they intended to go beyond reforms to the federal Equitable Sharing Program that Attorney General Holder announced last month. "There are systemic problems in the current system of civil forfeiture," said Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chairman of the Judiciary Committee. His support will be crucial for bills to move.

Harm Reduction

Idaho Overdose Reversal Drug Bill Filed. The House Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday introduced a bill that would increase access to the opiate overdose reversal drug naloxone. The committee will now consider the bill. If it approves it, it will get a House floor vote. The bill is not yet available on the legislative website.

Virginia Harm Reduction Bills Moving. Three bills that would expand access to the opiate overdose reversal drug naloxone are moving in the General Assembly. HB 1833, which would expand naloxone access to law enforcement agencies, has passed the House Courts of Justice Committee and is awaiting consideration by the full House. HB 1458 and SB 1186, which would give first responders and the general public more access to naloxone, provide civil protection to those who administer the drug, and allow family and friends of opiate users to obtain prescriptions, are also moving. The House has passed HB 1458 and sent it to the Senate. The Senate Education and Health Committee unanimously endorsed SB 1186, which is now before the full Senate.

Sentencing Reform

Broad Coalition Calls for Serious Criminal Justice Reforms in Congress. The current Congress is already seeing a flurry of bills aimed at reforming various aspects of the federal criminal justice system, and now, a broad coalition of faith, criminal justice reform, and civil and human rights groups is calling for the passage of legislation that will dramatically reduce the size of the federal prison system. The groups, which include the United Methodist Church, the NAACP, the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, the Drug Policy Alliance, and dozens of other organizations, this week sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking minority members of the House and Senate Judiciary committees setting out a statement of principles on what meaningful federal-level criminal justice reform should include. Click on the story link for more details.

International

UN Report Says Taliban Increasingly Relies on Criminal Financing. The Taliban is increasingly relying on heroin labs, illegal mining activities, kidnapping rings, and other criminal enterprises to finance its operations, according to a new report for the UN Security Council. The report says there is a new "scale and depth" to the group's integration with criminal networks, and that could make negotiating peace more difficult. "They are increasingly acting more like 'godfathers' than a 'government in waiting,'" a panel of experts who advise the Security Council on sanctions said in the report made public late on Tuesday. The report called for more sanctions.

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US CO: Column: What Is Veganic Growing?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 08:00
Westword, 12 Feb 2015 - Dear Stoner: I know what organic growing is, but what is "veganic" growing? Curious Cultivator Dear Curious: Veganic growing is the process of chopping up a vegan to feed your plants, Little Shop of Horrors style. Feed me, Seymour!
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US CA: Column: Weed Limits

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 08:00
SF Weekly, 12 Feb 2015 - WEED LIMITS I'm afraid of what's in my freezer. Wrapped in tinfoil, with "DO NOT EAT" scribbled in Sharpie, is a small brownie. At 447 calories and 27 grams of fat, only some people could eat this chocolate-toffee treat guilt-free. But you can forget about trying to run or work it off after digesting: A few bites, and you're in for a really weird day. If you eat the whole thing, prepare for a long, lost weekend.
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US CA: Column: In Weed Veritas

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 08:00
North Coast Journal, 12 Feb 2015 - It should come as no surprise to anyone who's done more than a cursory perusal of the World Wide Web that weed and porn show up online together - to paraphrase a psychologist in Jennifer Fumiko Cahill's cover story this week, "overlapping interests." But most of those Tumblrs and Instagrams don't really incorporate weed into the smut. The feeds are a string of images; a cheesecake photo of a girl in pot-leaf-print underpants, then a pile of buds. A bent model stolen from Swank, followed by smartphone snapshot of an indoor garden. A gif of dudes pounding away at each other, followed by a shot of a shirtless hunk smoking a cigarette? Whatever, close enough. Actual weed-themed erotica is harder to come by, apparently. (I did not do an exhaustive search. If I'm wrong, please send corrections to my boss: editor@northcoastjournal.com.)
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US CO: Column: The Obama Drug War Budget and the Definition of

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 08:00
Boulder Weekly, 12 Feb 2015 - The words were encouraging, especially coming from the surgeon general of the United States. "We have some preliminary data showing that for certain medical conditions and symptoms that marijuana can be helpful. So I think we have to use that data to drive policy making, and I'm very interested to see where that data takes us," said newly appointed Vivek Murthy last week during a television interview. I'd argue there were more than "preliminary data" out there, but never mind. And there was more. In its budget proposal for 2016, the Obama administration declares that the old ways to run the drug war have to change. The "enforcement-centric" approach the United States has used for almost a century isn't working, says a president who is on record as saying that cannabis is less dangerous than alcohol.
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US AZ: Column: Smoking And Stranded

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 08:00
Tucson Weekly, 12 Feb 2015 - Despite MMJ Act, in Arizona Any Amount of THC Can Get You Busted With a DUI Shabreta Peterson got a medical marijuana card in December to legally treat her severe social anxiety, extreme nausea and excruciating back pain.
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US CA: Column: The ABCs Of THC

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 02/12/2015 - 08:00
Sacramento News & Review, 12 Feb 2015 - High, Ngaio. I am confused as to what all is in my marijuana. What is the difference between CBD and THC and all that other stuff? Thank you. - -Sassy Bubbles It would be my pleasure. There are more than 400 different compounds in the cannabis plant. The ones we know the most about are: tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and terpenes.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 23:15

The Veterans Administration hints at coming changes around medical marijuana, California and Washington see state-wide regulation bills filed, both houses in Virginia have passed similar CBD bills, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]National

On Wednesday, the VA told a House committee it is actively exploring medical marijuana for veterans. A top Department of Veterans Affairs official told the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs today "there are active discussions going on now" about how to deal with the growing number of vets seeking to use medical marijuana for their ailments. Dr. Carolyn Clancy, the VA's interim under secretary for health, told the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs on Wednesday "there's an incredible opportunity for us to learn from some of those experiences, but I think that we have to be careful given the variation in legal issues."

California

Last Thursday, Santa Ana held a lottery for dispensary owners to obtain permits. More than 600 people had paid a $1,690 application fee for a chance to be chosen. Now, the lottery winners must pay $12,086 for the next stage of permitting. Dispensaries will only be allowed in two areas zoned for industrial use.

Last Friday, a federal judge temporarily blocked a forfeiture action against the Berkeley Patients Group. The federal government had sought to shut down the landmark dispensary in May 2013, but the dispensary, its landlord, and the city of Berkeley fought back. The city was struck from the lawsuit for lack of standing, but appealed. It then sought to stay the forfeiture action until its appeal was resolved. Last Friday, US District Judge Jon Tigar agreed.

On Monday, a medical marijuana regulation bill supported by cops and cities was introduced. Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) filed Assembly Bill 266 with the backing of the California League of Cities and the California Police Chiefs Association. The bill seeks to impose state-wide regulation on the Golden State's medical marijuana scene, but California NORML says it has some objectionable features, including too stringent transportation regulations, inadequate provision for the licensing of current growers, and a prohibition on licenses for people with prior drug offenses.

Florida

On Tuesday, a second state medical marijuana bill was filed. Rep. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) has filed House Bill 683, which would only allow people with eight specified medical conditions to use it and which bars the used of smoked marijuana. Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) earlier filed another, less restrictive medical marijuana bill. "The big differences are, it doesn't allow for smokeable marijuana," Steube said Tuesday of his bill and Brandes' bill. "Brandes, in his bill, says a doctor could prescribe (medical marijuana) if you had severe and persistent pain. That was taken out. We kept it to specific diseases."

Virginia

Last Thursday, a CBD medical marijuana bill passed the Senate. The Senate approved Senate Bill 1235, which would allow for the use of high-CBD cannabis oil. A similar bill is before the House of Delegates.

On Tuesday, a CBD medical marijuana bill passed the House. The House of Delegates approved House Bill 1445 on a vote of 98-1. Similar legislation has already passed the Senate. The bills would allow for the use of cannabis oil for children suffering medical conditions that bring on life-threatening seizures.

Washington

On Monday, a statewide medical marijuana regulation bill was introduced. Reps. Luis Moscoso (D-Kirkland) and Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla) have introduced House Bill 2058 to create a licensed and regulated medical marijuana system for the state. The bill is identical to legislation that passed both the House and Senate in 2011 only to be vetoed by then Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) over fears of federal intervention.

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

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