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US NM: Column: Marijuana Still More Popular Than Politicians

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 05/03/2015 - 07:00
The New Mexican, 03 May 2015 - Right after last November's general election, in this very column, I made the contention that marijuana was more popular than either gubernatorial candidate - Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and Democrat Gary King - at least in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. I made that claim based on the number of votes that (nonbinding) marijuana-decriminalization initiatives received in Santa Fe and Bernalillo counties. In both counties, the pro-marijuana position got more votes than either of the candidates.
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US PA: No Foul Play, Says Veteran Officer

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 05/02/2015 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 02 May 2015 - He Said Drug Squad Stayed Within the Law. Michael Spicer, one of six Philadelphia police narcotics officers charged in a federal corruption case, testified in his defense Friday. And with his career and his freedom in question, he sought to set a few things straight.
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CN BC: Dispensary Offers Free Joint Or Pot Cookie For Reopening

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 05/02/2015 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 02 May 2015 - Many people strolling bohemian Commercial Drive simply smirked as they saw the dispensary's sidewalk sandwich board advertising its "grand reopening" with the offer of a free joint or pot cookie. Some climbed the stairs, passed the prominent "No Minors" sign and stepped inside Health Lifestyle's second-floor shop, where friendly staff were busy restocking the shelves Friday afternoon with glass bongs and a variety of buds, butters and edibles. The dispensary planned to hand out a free joint or cookie to any member over this weekend to celebrate reopening after a Feb. 5 police raid.
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US CA: Tending To The Issue Of Medicinal Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 05/02/2015 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 02 May 2015 - California Lawmakers Are Considering Multiple Plans to Regulate Marijuana Shops and Growers SACRAMENTO - California lawmakers are wading into the politically sticky issue of regulating medical marijuana, laying groundwork for state control of the sale and cultivation of cannabis with the expectation that voters will legalize recreational use next year. Brennan Linsley
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US HI: Pot Dispensaries Measure Hangs On

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 05/02/2015 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 02 May 2015 - Despite an all-out political push reinforced by some of the best-known lobbyists in the state, an effort to establish state-regulated dispensaries to distribute marijuana to legally registered patients in Hawaii remains in limbo. The measure stalled during last-minute negotiations between House and Senate lawmakers Friday and appeared to be dead, but was later revived in a last-minute procedural maneuver.
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Chronicle AM: Reps Call for Better DEA Head, US Afghan Opium Boondoggle, Mexico Violence, More (5/1/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 20:57

The House rejects medical marijuana for vets, Georgia's governor signs a CBD cannabis oil bill, Congressmembers call for a progressive DEA head, the US spent $8.4 billion to wipe out Afghan poppy crops and got squat, there's a new report on prohibition-related violence in Mexico, and more.

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

House Rejects Medical Marijuana Access for Vets by Three Votes. An amendment from Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to allow Veterans Administration doctors to fill out state medical marijuana recommendation forms for veterans was defeated Thursday by a vote of 213-210. The amendment was to the spending bill to the Veterans Administration.

California Assembly Passes Medical Cannabis Organ Transplant Act. The Assembly approved Assembly Bill 258, filed by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael). The bill bars anyone in the organ transplant process from using a patient's use of medical marijuana to deny them a transplant, unless that use is clinically significant to the transplant process. The bill now heads to the state Senate.

Georgia Governor Signs CBD Cannabis Oil Bill. Gov. Nathan Deal (R) Thursday signed into law House Bill 1, the "Hailey's Hope Act." The law will allow qualifying patients to use CBD cannabis oils containing less than 5% THC. Click on the link to see the list of qualifying conditions.

Drug Policy

Congressmembers Call for a More Progressive DEA Head. Eight members of Congress have sent a letter to the White House urging it to replace disgraced outgoing DEA head Michele Leonhart with someone who will "reflect your administration's policies. Leonhart, they said, "leaves behind a legacy of strident opposition to efforts to reform our nation's drug policy." Click on either link for more.

International

Afghan Opium Production Jumps Despite $8.4 Billion US Effort. The US has dumped $8.4 billion into fighting opium production in Afghanistan since invading and occupying the country in late 2001, but has basically gotten squat for its efforts, according to the latest counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan, and the country is the global leader in illicit opium cultivation and production," the quarterly report concluded.

Italian Army Begins Growing Medical Marijuana. To address a shortage of medical marijuana in the country, the Italian Army has begun growing medical marijuana in a bunker inside a pharmaceutical plant in Florence. "The aim of this operation is to make available to a growing number of patients a medical product which isn't always readily available on the market, at a much better price for the user," Colonel Antonio Medica told Italian website Corriere della Sera. The operation is expected to produce about 220 pounds annually.

Mexico Drug Trafficking Violence Declines, But Still Deadly. An annual report from the University of San Diego's Justice in Mexico project finds that homicides have declined for the third year in a row and that cities such as Acapulco, Chihuahua, and Ciudad Juarez have seen dramatic reductions in violence, but that new areas of concern have emerged, including the states of Morelos and Jalisco. "Violence remains relatively high and the security situation remains problematic in certain parts of the country," said the report, Drug Violence in Mexico.

Mexican Gunmen Shoot Down Military Helicopter in Jalisco, Killing Three Soldiers. A military helicopter trailing carloads of suspected cartel gunmen was hit with gunfire from the convoy today, resulting in a crash landing that left three of the 11 troops on board dead. The attack came as violence roiled the state: More than a dozen trucks and buses were torched in Guadalajara, gunmen clashed with police in the town of Autlan, and five banks were torched in Ciudad Guzman. This is the turf of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which killed 20 police officers in the state in two ambushes in March and April.

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CN SN: Column: Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 07:00
The Observer, 01 May 2015 - SHOULD MARIJUANA BE LEGALIZED? The other day as I scrolled through my Facebook the usual advertisements popped up, but I also saw numerous references to 420, April 20. Now I'm not sure how that time/day was chosen, but similar to people drinking and saying, "It's five o'clock somewhere," a 420 culture has developed surrounding marijuana.
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CN ON: Judge Chastises Officer for 'Flagrant' Charter

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 07:00
The Record, 01 May 2015 - Drug, Weapon Charges Dropped After Evidence Ruled Inadmissible KITCHENER - A judge threw out key evidence in a Kitchener drug case after ruling a police officer made "deliberate and flagrant" violations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
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CN BC: Victoria Considering Dispensary Overhaul

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 01 May 2015 - Victoria's mayor says she is closely watching Vancouver's bid to regulate marijuana dispensaries because there may be lessons as the B.C. capital grapples with the "regulatory quagmire" associated with such operations. "Our staff are working very closely to figure out what they have done that we could also do," Lisa Helps said in an interview.
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CN ON: Budding Opinions On Pot Lounge

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 01 May 2015 - Many Business Owners Supportive of BuzzOn BuzzOn partner Wayne Robillard says there's community indifference, even support, for his new weed lounge in Vanier. Turns out that's not the reefer talking.
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CN SN: Column: Legalize Pot? Perhaps Not...

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 07:00
The Observer, 01 May 2015 - LEGALIZE POT? PERHAPS NOT... This column is not an argument either for or against the use of marijuana. My middle-aged, mom-ish self is now part of a demographic that is more in tune with the use of pot medically, rather than recreationally, so I feel I would be spectacularily unqualified to make an emotional argument on either the pro or the con side on whether the use of pot is morally right or wrong.
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Chronicle AM: Federal Pot Banking Bill, OK Okays CBD Oil, IN Needle Exchange Approved, More (4/30/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 22:09

Seventeen congressmembers introduced a federal marijuana banking bill, CBD cannabis oil gets approved in Oklahoma, medical marijuana advances in Louisiana, Indiana approves needle exchange programs, and more.

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

Federal Marijuana Banking Bill Filed. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and 16 bipartisan cosponsors yesterday introduced the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act (HR 7076), which would allow marijuana businesses to open bank accounts. The bill would provide banks with a "safe harbor" so they can offer accounts to such businesses without fear of federal retaliation.

Rhode Island House Committee Hears Testimony on Legalization Bill. The House Judiciary Committee yesterday heard testimony on House Bill 5777, the marijuana regulation, taxation, and legalization bill from Rep. Thomas Slater. No vote was taken; the bill was held for further study. Click on the title link for more hearing details.

Medical Marijuana

Oklahoma Governor Signs CBD Cannabis Oil Bill. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) today signed into law House Bill 2154, also known as Katie and Cayman's Law. It allows for the use of CBD cannabis oil by children suffering from epileptic seizures and sets up a study program.

Louisiana Medical Marijuana Bill Wins Senate Committee Vote. Only a year after overwhelmingly rejecting a similar bill, the Senate Health Committee Wednesday unanimously approved a medical marijuana bill, Senate Bill 143, sponsored by Sen. Fred Mills, Jr. (R-Parks). The bill is set for a Senate floor vote next week. The bill does not allow for smoked marijuana; only marijuana processed into oils.

New Synthetic Drugs

North Carolina House Votes to Ban New Synthetics. The House voted unanimously today to add more compounds to the state's list of illegal drugs. House Bill 341 adds the NBOMe (N-bomb) compounds to the list. The drugs are described as similar to LSD. The bill now heads before the Senate Rules and Operations Committee.

Texas House Approves Bill Giving Cops More Power to Move Against Synthetics. With no debate and on a voice vote, the House Wednesday approved House Bill 1212, which would give law enforcement greater ability to move against synthetic drug manufacturers. A final vote of approval was expected today, and then the bill moves to the Senate. Similar legislation is already moving in that chamber.

Harm Reduction

Indiana Legislature Approves Needle Exchange Programs. Faced with an HIV outbreak in one southwestern county, the legislature last night approved a bill allowing for the establishment of needle exchange programs throughout the state. Gov. Mike Pence (R) says he will sign SEA 461.

International

Canada Supreme Court to Take Up Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentencing. The Supreme Court announced today that it will hear an appeal of mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses in the case of R v. Lloyd. Lloyd was arrested carrying small amounts of heroin, crack, and meth, and was subject to a one-year mandatory minimum sentence, but the Provincial Court found that sentence to be cruel and unusual. The BC Court of Appeal overturned the Provincial Court and increased his sentence. Now, the Supreme Court will decide if the sentence violates Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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CN BC: B.C. Health Backs Dispensary Changes

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 30 Apr 2015 - Minister Terry Lake says Vancouver is 'operating in the interests of their citizens' by overhauling regulations B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake is backing Vancouver over the federal government in the city's bid to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries over Ottawa's objections.
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CN ON: Cocaine, Meth Remain Drugs Of Choice

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 07:00
The Record, 30 Apr 2015 - Fentanyl joining the deadly mix of prescription medication police are finding in abundance in region WATERLOO REGION - Cocaine, methamphetamine and a list of prescription drugs continue to be the drugs of choice among users and dealers in Waterloo Region.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Board Asked To Fund Anti-Drug Video

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 07:00
Packet & Times, 30 Apr 2015 - Officer, teacher want video produced for students A local OPP officer and a high school teacher are banding together to try to get funding for an anti-drug video. Orillia OPP Const. Andrew MacDonald and Twin Lakes Secondary School drama teacher Leanne Young hope to secure funding for the drug-prevention initiative that would feature local students and use locales throughout the community along with other community members.
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US CA: Editorial: The Digging in on Cultivation Law Is

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 30 Apr 2015 - We're aware of the fact that most of what we can say about the medical marijuana cultivation situation in Yuba County is now based on hindsight. What good does that do? Who knows, but we find it regrettable that there's a fair contingency of folks lining up to scold supervisors who, in turn, are just digging in. We have a feeling the present brouhaha over medical marijuana cultivation didn't really have to happen at this level (while realizing that there was probably no way to tighten up the old ordinance - which needed to happen -- without some level of criticism.)
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: Common Sense Over Nonsense In The Weed Wars

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 07:00
Boulder Weekly, 30 Apr 2015 - I watched Dr. Sanjay Gupta's CNN Weed 3 special last week. It's another in his series about medical marijuana, and for the first time he is calling for national legalization. He also provides more fascinating evidence of how politics have stopped any meaningful study of medical cannabis here in the United States - and how public awareness and education might be finally changing that. This one takes us through the case of researcher Sue Sisley, who has been long working with veterans returning from action with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. She found many being treated with different prescriptions for various symptoms, often heavy narcotics, which she says left patients in a "zombie" state. Sisley, not a pot proselytizer, was surprised to find that some of her patients had stopped taking their prescription medicines like Lamotrigine and GHB and were instead self-medicating with marijuana - and getting better results.
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US CA: Column: Stoned Willie

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 30 Apr 2015 - Pot's on a lot of minds in Sacramento these days. Our own state senator, Mike McGuire, announced on 4/20 that his proposed medical marijuana bill received the unanimous approval of the Senate Business and Professions Committee. The bill would create a Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation under the state's consumer affairs department, which would "license and regulate dispensaries, cultivation sites, transportation systems and manufacturers of all marijuana products," according to a Press Democrat article.
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US CO: Column: Can I Go To A Dispensary With Just An ID?

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 07:00
Westword, 30 Apr 2015 - Dear Stoner: I've never been to a dispensary; it looks amazing. I don't have a medical card. Can I go to a recreational dispensary with only an ID? I know I can only get a quarter of an ounce 'cause I don't live in Colorado. Gabe
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Hillary Clinton on Mass Incarceration, Indonesia Drug Executions Reaction, More (4/29/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 04/29/2015 - 20:36

Hillary Clinton calls for drug and sentencing reforms, the Florida 2016 medical marijuana initiative campaign gears up, Jamaica sees its first legal pot plant, Indonesia stands firm in the face of international criticism over drug executions, and more.

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

New Hampshire Legislator Toked Up for 4/20. For the sixth year in a row, activists celebrated 4/20 by toking up in front of the state house. But this year, they were joined by one of their elected representatives, Rep. Kyle Trasker (R-Rockingham), who inhaled for the crowd. No arrests were made. "The message sent by law enforcement and heard loud and clear by protesters was police have more important things to do than harass otherwise law abiding citizens over marijuana possession and public use even when it was clear there were amounts present at the protest that could be charged as a felony," Trasker said. "The New Hampshire senate needs to consider how productive it is to keep an unenforced, indeed nearly unenforceable law on the books with which the public disagrees."

Medical Marijuana

Florida Legislative Session Ends, 2016 Medical Marijuana Initiative Campaign Begins. The session ended Tuesday without any action on pending medical marijuana legislation, and the United for Care campaign, which led the defeated 2014 initiative (it got 58% of the vote, but needed 60% because it was a constitutional amendment), immediately announced it was aiming to get back on the ballot next year.

New York Bill to Expedite Medical Marijuana Program Filed. Assemblymen Richard Gottfried (D) and Brian Kolb (R) today filed Assembly Bill 7060, which would direct the state to establish a program to help patients get access to medical marijuana as soon as possible. Gottfried is head of the Assembly Health Committee and Kolb is the Assembly Minority Leader. The bill comes 10 months after Gov. Cuomo signed the state's limited medical marijuana bill into law, but no Empire State patient has yet to receive legal medical marijuana.

Texas Medical Marijuana Bills Get Hearing, But No Action. The House Committee on Public Health heard emotional testimony Tuesday night from patients, parents, and veterans seeking access to medical marijuana or CBD cannabis oil. Despite the hours of testimony, the committee took no action on any of the bills. Click on the link to read testimony details.

Drug Policy

Hillary Clinton Calls for "An End to the Era of Mass Incarceration," Alternative Punishments for Drug Offenders. In her first major issue speech since announcing her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton addressed the country's festering race relations and called for "an end to the era of mass incarceration." There is something "profoundly wrong" when 1.5 million black men are "missing" from their communities, she said. "We have allowed our criminal justice system to get out of balance." Among other proposals, she called for alternative punishments for petty drug crimes.

International

Indonesia Defends Drug Executions in Face of International Protests. Indonesia today defended its execution of eight convicted drug smugglers, saying the action was vital to its war on drugs, even as international reaction deepened. "We are fighting a war against horrible drug crimes that threaten our nation's survival," said Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo. Australia, which saw two of its citizens executed, withdrew its ambassador, while Brazil, which saw one citizen executed, expressed "strong regret." France said it would wage a diplomatic battle to save one of its citizens on Indonesia's drug death row. Also, more than two dozen human rights and criminal justice reform groups from around the globe circulated a letter condemning the executions and calling on governments and international bodies to rethink anti-drug assistance to countries with the death penalty. That letter campaign was coordinated by Stopthedrugwar.org and its executive director, David Borden.

First Legal Ganja Planted in Jamaica. The county's justice minister patted a pot seedling into the soil at the University of the West Indies Mona campus Monday, marking the first legal cultivation of marijuana on an island inextricably linked to it in the popular imagination. The plant is being grown for research purposes under the country's Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act of 2015, which allows for cultivation for research, medical, and spiritual purposes. It also decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of the drug.

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

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