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US FL: Edu: OPED: Medical Marijuana Amendment Concerns About

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 07:00
The Independent Florida Alligator, 13 Oct 2014 - On Oct. 8, Lindsay Alexander wrote a column opposing the approval of Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana in Florida. Alexander's concerns about Amendment 2 are misguided. I have studied Amendment 2 and many other states' medical marijuana legislation, and I can confidently say that she is mistaken about the amendment's meaning and about the consequences for our state that passing Amendment 2 will have.
Categories: Marijuana

Italy: Italy's Army Ordered to Start Potting Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 07:00
Scotsman, 13 Oct 2014 - ITALY legalised marijuana for medical use last year, but the high cost of buying pot in a pharmacy meant that few people signed up. Now, the government has found a solution get the army to grow it.
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US OK: Editorial: Considerable Downside to Decriminalization

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 07:00
The Oklahoman, 13 Oct 2014 - MARIJUANA legalization was highlighted in a recent debate between Oklahoma candidates for a U.S. Senate seat. This issue continues to bubble up in political discussions, so it's important that associated policy decisions be based on facts. Research continues to identify significant consequences to recreational marijuana use. The Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, state Sen. Connie Johnson of Oklahoma City, supports decriminalizing marijuana use. She defended that stance in the debate. Her opponent, U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, isn't a fan of that idea.
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US FL: A New DUI Law With Marijuana?

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 07:00
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12 Oct 2014 - Two years from now, Florida police may have a new category of impairment to consider: driving under the influence of a physician-recommended intoxicant. Assuming Amendment 2 passes on Nov. 4 allowing the use of medical marijuana in the state, residents would be able to treat a raft of conditions - ranging from cancer to glaucoma - with the plant.
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US OR: Editorial: It's Time To Legalize Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 07:00
The Mail Tribune, 12 Oct 2014 - In 2012, we recommended voters reject a ballot measure that would have legalized recreational marijuana because it was badly written and likely to create more problems than it solved. This year, a group of legalization advocates have put forward a very detailed, carefully worded initiative that has none of the drawbacks of the 2012 measure. We think Ballot Measure 91 strikes the right balance between Colorado's overly permissive law and Washington state's excessively restrictive statute. Voters should approve it.
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US WA: Pipe Dreams

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 07:00
The Herald, 12 Oct 2014 - Glass Bong Maker Doesn't Have to Disguise the Purpose of His Functional Art Anymore For Jared Betty, the glass pipe has gone from being half empty to half full. Recreational pot in Washington has been a boon for the glass artist specializing in pipes.
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Canada: Political Pandering or Reefer Madness?

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 12 Oct 2014 - Raging Debate Over Marijuana Law Reform Tough for Lawmakers, Leaders to Ignore The battle lines have long been drawn. Factions from either side of the political fence waging full-scale propaganda campaigns and stockpiling ammunition for the unavoidable clash.
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US DC: Simple Vote On Legalizing Pot In DC Is Not So

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 12 Oct 2014 - SIMPLE VOTE ON LEGALIZING POT IN D.C. IS NOT SO SIMPLE Contradictions Leave Even Supporters Wondering What Initiative Might Accomplish The campaigns for and against legalizing marijuana in the nation's capital are not exactly sophisticated - no targeted robo-calling, no TV commercials, no get-out-the-vote drive.
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US MD: Medical Marijuana Fees Stir MD. Debate

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 12 Oct 2014 - Advocates Say State Licensing Costs, Among Highest in U.S., Could Hurt Program, Patients With Maryland's proposed licensing fees for growing and selling medical marijuana among the highest in the nation, some advocates warn that the steep costs could drive off applicants, crippling the nascent program and limiting access to treatment for tens of thousands of state residents.
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US CA: Measure C: Should Shasta Lake Tax Medical Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 07:00
Record Searchlight, 12 Oct 2014 - SHASTA LAKE, California - Measure C would impose a sales tax on the two medical marijuana collectives in the city of Shasta Lake, 530 Collective and Queen of Dragons. The idea, originally proposed by Jamie Kerr, owner of 530 Collective, could bring the city an additional $175,000 to $200,000 in sales tax revenue a year, according to initial estimates by John Jones, the city's finance and general services manager. That translates to around a 60 percent increase in the city's annual sales tax revenue.
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CN NK: RCMP Suicide Stirs Treatment Debate

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 10/11/2014 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 11 Oct 2014 - Death of Mountie who smoked medicinal marijuana for PTSD highlights lack of strategy for dealing with trauma in first responders Ron Francis's family and friends filled a big white wooden church near the Saint John River on a sunny Friday - more than 250 people jammed into the pews and along the back and side walls for the RCMP corporal's funeral.
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US MD: Medical Marijuana Fees Stir Debate in Maryland

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 10/11/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 11 Oct 2014 - With Maryland's proposed licensing fees for growing and selling medical marijuana among the highest in the nation, some advocates warn that the steep costs could drive off applicants, crippling the nascent program and limiting access to treatment for tens of thousands of state residents. Prospective medical marijuana growers would have to pay $125,000 a year for a two-year license, while dispensaries would have to pay $40,000 a year, according to the recommendations of a state commission. Only one state - Illinois - is charging a higher upfront cost for growers.
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Chronicle AM: VT Pot Poll, OH College Student Athlete Drug Test Bill, Drugs and Pregnancy, More (10/10/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 20:21

The legalization initiatives in DC and Oregon pick up endorsements, Colorado legal marijuana sales keep on increasing, a Vermont poll has a plurality for legalization, drug use among pregnant women is in the news, Mexico busts another cartel leader, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Gary Johnson Group Endorses DC Legalization Initiative. The Our America Initiative, a non-partisan group headed by former Republican New Mexico and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, has endorsed the Measure 71 marijuana possession and cultivation legalization initiative. The Our America Initiative includes ending marijuana prohibition in its list of national projects, along with ending warrantless NSA spying, abolishing the IRS, and requiring presidential debates to include all viable candidates.

Oregon Social Workers Endorse Legalization Initiative. The Oregon chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has endorsed the Measure 91 legalization initiative. "We conclude that the measure's approach to marijuana use as a public health issue is more consistent with the social work profession's mandate, than Oregon's current treatment of non-medical marijuana use," the group said in a statement. Click on the title link for more.

Vermont Poll Finds Narrow Plurality of Voters Favoring Legalization. A WCAX TV poll found that 49% of respondents support marijuana legalization, with 43% opposed. The issue has polled better in previous polls, but those were polls of the general population -- not voters. Support is strongest among youthful respondents at 59%, but that is the age group least likely to vote.

Colorado Legal Marijuana Sales Up 10% in August. The state Department of Revenue reported Thursday that marijuana retailers sold $33 million in recreational weed last month, up 10% over the previous month. So far this year, marijuana sales (recreational and medical) have generated $45.2 in tax revenues.

Drug Testing

Ohio Bill Would Make College Athletes Take Mandatory Drug Tests. A bill filed Wednesday, House Bill 633, would make Ohio the first state in the nation to require mandatory, suspicionless drug testing of student athletes at public colleges and universities. The bill would require all athletes to be drug tested during an annual physical and before any championship games. Colleges and universities would also have to adopt policies to punish athletes caught using substances banned by the NCAA, including marijuana, but not alcohol. Rep. Peter Beck (R-Macon) said he doesn't believe there is a drug problem among college athletes, but he wants any using drugs to be found and placed in drug treatment. The state legislative session ends in December.

Pregnancy

Call for Justice Department to Renounce the Criminalization of Pregnancy. Some 48 reproductive justice, drug reform, women's rights, and civil liberties groups led by National Advocates for Pregnant Women have sent a letter to the Justice Department calling on Attorney General Holder to move away from policies that enhance criminal sentences for crimes committed while pregnant. The letter was inspired by the case of Tennessee woman Lucy Weld, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture meth and was hit with an additional six years in prison because she was pregnant when she committed the offense. The federal prosecutor in the case, US Attorney William Killian, used the case to "send a message" that he would seek sentencing enhancements in similar cases.

Growing Calls for Drug Testing of Pregnant Women. Faced with a growing number of infants born exposed to drugs while still in the womb, medical and other groups are increasingly calling for universal drug screening and/or drug testing of pregnant women. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials are calling for verbal drug screening followed by a drug test if necessary and agreed upon. The American Medical Association also endorses universal screening. But pregnant rights advocates argue that screening for drug use is more likely to lead to punishment or loss of custody rather than drug treatment. "Instead, what we see over and over again is that screening is used as a tool for reporting mothers to child welfare services and police enforcement," said Kylee Sunderlin of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. "So even if the screening is universal, the reporting is not, which means that low-income women and women of color will continue to be vastly over-represented in punitive child welfare interventions and, in some states, arrests." Click the link for more details.

International

Mexico Nabs Another Cartel Capo. Mexican federal police Thursday arrested Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, reputed head of the Juarez cartel, in a "routine traffic stop" in Torreon. Carillo Fuentes is the brother of Amado Carillo Fuentes, who picked up the sobriquet "Lord of the Skies" for using jet liners to fly drug loads from South America to Mexico before his death in a botched cosmetic surgery operation in 1997. Vicente Carillo Fuentes is just the latest cartel leader busted or killed during the Pena Nieto presidency. Hector Beltran Leyva was captured just last week; Sinaloa cartel head Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was captured in February, Zetas leader Miguel Angel Trevino was captured in July 2013, and Gulf cartel head Jorge Eduardo Costilla was caught in September 2012.

Categories: Marijuana

US FL: Scott, Chist Draw Differences on Medical Marijuana and

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 07:00
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10 Oct 2014 - Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist leveled a host of negative charges against each other on Friday. But for the first time in the campaign, Crist and Scott traded their blows face-to-face, in the first of three debates in the final weeks of their high-stakes, big money contest. Before the debate, which was hosted by the Spanish-language Telemundo network and broadcast Friday evening, the candidates had spent some $55 million on more than 100,000 television spots savaging one another, with three out of four ads containing a negative message.
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US PA: Delay on Marijuana Bill Will Hurt Children

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 07:00
The Citizens' Voice, 10 Oct 2014 - It looks like the medical marijuana bill currently sitting in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is probably off the table this year. How sad for the many young children suffering from severe seizures and other medical problems that SB 1182 is designed to help.
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US CA: Medical Marijuana Law Irrelevant to Decision on Whether

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 07:00
Metropolitan News-Enterprise, 10 Oct 2014 - Police seeking a warrant to search for evidence of the illegal possession and cultivation of marijuana need not inquire into whether the substance is being possessed or grown for medical purposes, this district's Court of Appeal ruled yesterday. Div. Five upheld Reece J. Clark's convictions of possession of cocaine and a short-barreled shotgun. Clark pled guilty to the charges, but obtained a certificate of probable cause allowing him to appeal based on the denial of his motion to suppress.
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US CA: Review: 'High' Lights Up Pro- Pot Stances

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 10 Oct 2014 - The advocacy documentary "The Culture High" devotes about half of its running time to marijuana and the rest to tangents and conspiracy theories on the drug's criminalization. As expected, the film touts marijuana's medicinal benefits and favorably compares the health hazards of pot with those of cigarettes and alcohol. The film equates marijuana's 77- year ban to Prohibition in the 1920s and early 1930s, and it portrays societal ills - the enrichment of cartels, the overpopulation and industrialization of prisons, the militarization of local police departments and even the underfunding of public schools - as side effects of marijuana being illegal.
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Chronicle AM: Alaska Poll Battle, NE Anti-Heroin Campaign, NYC Psychedelic Conference, More (10/9/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 21:04

Polls continue to split on the Alaska initiative, Illinoisans are lining up for medical marijuana, four Northeastern states unite to fight heroin, Canada's largest addiction center calls for marijuana legalization, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Polls Split on Alaska Initiative. The fate of Alaska's Measure 2 legalization initiative remains up in the air. Polls this week commissioned by the opposing sides had differing results. A Dittman Research poll sponsored by the "Big Marijuana, Big Mistake, Vote No on 2" campaign has the measure losing 44% to 53%. But the Alaska Survey poll, in which the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol paid for a marijuana policy question to be asked, had the initiative winning 57% to 39%. Both polls claimed a +/- 4% margin of error, but even so, both of them can't be right. The split in polls has been evident throughout the campaign. Stay tuned.

Medical Marijuana

More Than 6,000 Illinoisans Have Applied for Medical Marijuana Cards. The Department of Health reported Wednesday that some 6,300 state residents have applied for permission to use medical marijuana, with cancer, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries being the most common health conditions mentioned. But the department also noted that the vast majority of applications were incomplete; only 800 have submitted complete applications, which include a doctor certification form and background check information. People whose applications are incomplete will be notified and then will have 21 days to complete them.

Guam Election Commission Seeks to End Legal Challenge to Medical Marijuana Initiative Vote. The commission has asked the US District Court on the island territory to dismiss the petition for a writ blocking the vote filed by local attorney Howard Trapp. Trapp has argued that the legislature cannot send an initiative to the voters, but the Election Commission and the Guam Supreme Court have already rejected his claim.

Drug Policy

Drug Czar Claims Marijuana Legalization Undermines Fight Against Opiates. In a speech yesterday in Maine, acting head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP -- the drug czar's office) Michael Botticelli argued that the trend toward marijuana legalization is making the fight against more serious drug problems, such as the abuse of prescription opioids, more difficult. He said that early use of marijuana increases the likelihood that users will develop dependency on other drugs. "It's hard to say at one level that we want to think about prescription drug abuse and heroin abuse without looking at how to prevent kids from starting to use other substances from an early age," he said.

Heroin

Four Northeastern States Create Anti-Heroin Task Force. Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania officials Wednesday announced the formation of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Heroin Task Force (NEMA-HTF) in "an unprecedented law-enforcement collaboration to combat the growing problem of heroin distribution and abuse in communities throughout the region." Attorneys General from the four states will work together to try to repress the heroin trade. "For too long, drug organizations have tried to outmaneuver law-enforcement agencies by crossing state lines. This task force will ensure that our borders do not become our boundaries," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. "By joining together, we can prevent defendants from using state borders as a shield from law-enforcement and allow us to shut down the pipelines and cut off the heroin supply."

Why Are We Freaking Out About Heroin? Wonkblog Asks. The Washington Post's Wonkblog has an insightful piece about the level of heroin use in the country and the public policy response it has engendered. The piece notes that "hardly anyone uses heroin" and is full of crunchy numbers and thoughtful commentary. "Overall, it's important for the public -- and particularly the media -- to keep some perspective when it comes to the numbers on heroin," the piece concludes. "It doesn't make a lot of sense to speak of 'epidemics' when use rates continue to hover somewhere between 0.1 and 0.5% of the total population. And kneejerk legislating will only make the problem worse." Click on the link for the full piece.

Psychedelics

New York City Conference on Psychedelics This Weekend. The eighth annual Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference will be held at Judson Memorial Church and The New School in Greenwich Village on October 11 and 12. Horizons focuses on contemporary research into the applications of psychedelics, providing an invaluable forum for experts to share ideas, insights, and to rethink the future of these drugs in science, medicine, culture, and history. This year, professors, researchers, writers and practitioners from the United States, England and Switzerland will be presenting findings and insights in the fields of neuroscience, terminal anxiety disorder, depression, hard drugs addiction, sexual orientation and identity, and more. Click on the links for more information.

International

Canada's Largest Addiction Center Calls for Marijuana Legalization. In a report issued today, Canada's largest addiction center calls for marijuana legalization with a strict regulatory approach. The recommendation is based in harm reduction principles. The Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto made the call for legalization in its report CAMH's Cannabis Policy Framework. It comes after an in-depth analysis of the health, social, and legal implications of marijuana use, as well as an examination of comparative marijuana policy, by CAMH scientists and policy experts. "Canada's current system of cannabis control is failing to prevent or reduce the harms associated with cannabis use," said Dr. Jürgen Rehm, Director of the Social and Epidemiological Research Department at CAMH. "Based on a thorough review of the evidence, we believe that legalization combined with strict regulation of cannabis is the most effective means of reducing the harms associated with its use."

Myanmar Moving Toward Reducing Drug Penalties. Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Brigadier General Kyaw Kyaw Tun has told members of parliament that the government is preparing to review sentences for drug use, which currently range from five to 15 years in prison. "Officials from the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control, the Union Attorney-General's Office and the Union Supreme Court are drawing up an amendment law," the deputy minister said. The Myanmar government has been moving to shift drug penalties since 2012.

Categories: Marijuana

Canada's Largest Addiction Center Calls for Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 18:20

In a report issued today, Canada's largest addiction center called for marijuana legalization with a strict regulatory approach. The recommendation is based in harm reduction principles.

[image:1 align:left]The Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto made the call for legalization in its report Cannabis Policy Framework. It comes after an in-depth analysis of the health, social, and legal implications of marijuana use, as well as an examination of comparative marijuana policy, by CAMH scientists and policy experts.

"Canada's current system of cannabis control is failing to prevent or reduce the harms associated with cannabis use," said Dr. Jürgen Rehm, Director of the Social and Epidemiological Research Department at CAMH. "Based on a thorough review of the evidence, we believe that legalization combined with strict regulation of cannabis is the most effective means of reducing the harms associated with its use."

The report found that 40% of Canadians have used marijuana at least once and 10% have used it in the past year. Among people aged 15 to 24 that figure jumps to 20%.

CAMH does not view marijuana as a benign substance and thus calls for a very strong regulatory approach.

"Cannabis use is associated with a variety of health harms like problems with cognitive and psychomotor functioning, respiratory issues, cannabis dependence and mental illness," Rehm said. "For this reason, any reform of Canada's system of cannabis control must include a strong focus on prevention and a range of interventions aimed at groups that are at higher risk of harm, including youth and people with a personal or family history of mental illness."

But CAMH also clearly recognizes the harm derived from marijuana prohibition. The group noted that criminalization doesn't deter use, but does drive users away from prevention, risk reduction, and treatment services, as well as exposing them to non-quality controlled substances.

CAMH is calling for a government monopoly on sales, as well as other restrictions.

"Legalization of cannabis must be governed by strict regulations that ensure it is not sold like other commodities," Rehm said. "This would include a government monopoly on sales, limits on availability, a pricing system that discourages use of higher-harm products, and a ban on marketing."

Canada's governing Conservatives have proven extremely averse to marijuana law reform and have, in fact, moved in the opposite direction through measures such as instituting mandatory minimum sentencing for some marijuana cultivation offenses. The leader of the opposition Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau, on the other hand, is calling for marijuana legalization. National elections are set for next year.

"We've known for a long time that the existing approach to cannabis policy is not working," said Dr. Rehm. "We want this framework to add to an informed discussion about the future of cannabis policy and to serve as a guide to the factors that need to be considered in order to come to a solution that is the most beneficial for public health. We believe that the best solution is a system of legalization combined with strict regulation of cannabis."

Categories: Marijuana

US FL: Sarasota County Drafts Marijuana Restrictions

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 07:00
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 09 Oct 2014 - Sarasota County government has drafted an ordinance that would give commissioners control over where medical marijuana establishments could be located if Amendment 2 passes on Nov. 4. The ordinance, slated to be fully passed on Election Day, marks the first at a county level in Southwest Florida regarding medical marijuana.
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