Reno News & Review, 11 Aug 2016 - After we reported that federal and Colorado state figures conflict with a claim that Colorado teen use of marijuana has "gone up since legalization" ("Pot tale of the week," RN&R, July 28), prohibitionist Genoa lawyer Jim Hartman sent us a link to a report issued by the "Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area" (RMHIDTA). We were aware of the report. It does indeed indicate that teen marijuana use in Colorado is higher than the national average. What it neglects to include in that statistic is the fact that its numbers nevertheless still show a level of teen use in the state that is lower than it was before legalization. In other words, teen use has gone down since marijuana became legal.
Sacramento News & Review, 11 Aug 2016 - Wasn't the DEA supposed to have released its decision on rescheduling cannabis by now? - -John E. Law Of course it was, and of course it hasn't. Word was that the Drug Enforcement Administration was in talks to bump cannabis to Schedule 2 within the first half of 2016. Do you know how hard it is for government agencies to admit they've made a mistake? Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it supposedly has no medicinal value and has a high risk for abuse. You know, like other Schedule I drugs such as heroin or LSD.
The Mail Tribune, 11 Aug 2016 - Four in 10 Americans now hold mixed views on illegal substances, believing hard drugs should stay illegal, but recreational drugs, like marijuana, should be allowed, according to a newly released Barna Group study. Despite changes in public perception, an additional 32 percent still believe all drugs should be illegal, but it doesn't end there. Beyond those paradigms, 13 percent believe all drugs should be legal but regulated, with only 3 percent saying that all drugs should be legal with no regulation.
New York Times, 11 Aug 2016 - The Obama administration is planning to remove a major roadblock to marijuana research, officials said Wednesday, potentially spurring broad scientific study of a drug that is being used to treat dozens of diseases in states across the nation despite little rigorous evidence of its effectiveness. The new policy is expected to sharply increase the supply of marijuana available to researchers.
Washington Post, 11 Aug 2016 - The government on Thursday will refuse again to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, reaffirming its conclusion that the drug's therapeutic value has not been proved scientifically, according to government officials, and defying a growing clamor to legalize it for the treatment of a variety of conditions. In an announcement scheduled to be in the Federal Register, the Drug Enforcement Administration will turn down requests to remove marijuana from "Schedule I," which classifies it as a drug with "no currently accepted medical use" in the United States and bars doctors from prescribing it.
It grows quiet in the dog days of summer, but there is still some news: North Dakotans will vote on medical marijuana in November, California pot legalization foes sue over ballot argument language, and more.
[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy
California Legalization Foes Sue Over Prop 64 Ballot Language. Opponents of the Prop 64 legalization initiative organized as No on 64 have sued the California secretary of state, alleging that Prop 64 ballot arguments could deceive voters. The group claims the ballot arguments are false and misleading in regard to TV advertising and marijuana delivery services. Last week, Prop 64 supporters also sued, alleging opposition arguments were false and misleading.
North Dakota Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot. The secretary of state's office has confirmed that Compassionate Care Act initiative has submitted enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The initiative would allow patients suffering from a list of specified medical conditions to possess up to three ounces of marijuana and grow their own if they are more than 40 miles away from a licensed dispensary. Dispensaries would be nonprofits.
Philippines' Deadly Anti-Drug Policies Spark Protests. With the death toll from police an vigilante killings of alleged drug users and sellers already climbing into the hundreds just weeks after President Rodrigo "Death Squad" Duterte took office, the public backlash is beginning. On Wednesday, protestors gathered at the Redemptorist Church in Paranaque City to demand an end to the killings.
Ottawa Sun, 10 Aug 2016 - Business is booming for local marijuana dispensaries Jordan Chambers dropped in to the Weeds marijuana dispensary on Montreal Road recently and bought a package of cannabis-infused chocolate turtles and two coconut dreamy bars.
Toronto Star, 10 Aug 2016 - Danforth shop already plans to reopen in the future As governments lay groundwork for legal recreational pot next spring, Toronto police keep raiding medicinal marijuana dispensaries and want the public to help them continue.
Globe and Mail, 10 Aug 2016 - Despite a Top Court Decision Giving Canadians the Right to Use Extracts, Ottawa Only Reimburses Veterans for Dried Products Despite a Supreme Court of Canada decision that gives sick Canadians the right to use medical cannabis oils, Ottawa is reimbursing the country's veterans for dried pot only, potentially pushing them to less healthy options of smoking or vaporizing the drug.
Sooke News Mirror, 10 Aug 2016 - Kate Karassev Began an Online Poll Last Week, and Will Present It to Council A Sooke mom is afraid of a mass arrival of medical marijuana dispensaries in town and wants tougher action by district officials.
Daily Pilot, 10 Aug 2016 - Operators of a Costa Mesa medical marijuana dispensary that was raided by police in January sued the city and its Police Department on Tuesday, alleging that officers had no right to force their way into the Harbor Boulevard storefront. The lawsuit, filed in Orange County Superior Court, claims that Costa Mesa police never presented a warrant during or after the search, in which they arrested employees and confiscated marijuana products.
East Bay Express, 10 Aug 2016 - The War on Drugs fueled the modern-day prison industrial complex for decades, and many politicians now agree that it was a misguided federal policy that resulted in the needless incarceration of millions of Americans - particularly Black and Latino folks. From 1990 to 2010, the amount of people in state prisons for drug offenses increased by 52 percent according to the American Civil Liberties Union. These arrests for non-violent crimes tore apart communities of color nationwide, separating families and saddling the loved ones of incarcerated individuals with financial burdens - from legal costs to drastic reductions to their household incomes.
Colorado Springs Independent, 10 Aug 2016 - Allegations without due process are nothing but allegations. And at this point, that's all there is in the case of the four medical marijuana doctors whose licenses hang in legal limbo since the state medical board suspended them last month. But as those doctors wait for their day in court, former employees of MedEval in Colorado Springs - where one of them, Dr. William Stone, practices - are speaking out against their former boss. Assistant operations manager Lisa Moss who was hired in December and quit June 30, says "it was a clinic for profit, not for patients." She describes a get-them-in-get-them-out kind of attitude toward consultations, with little regard for verification or follow-ups. "Half the time [patients] would only fill out half their intake form, then doc would just sign off on it and that's that," she tells the Indy. "And sometimes, they'd come just straight from the DMV with temporary licenses [to prove residency] and no medical history whatsoever."
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 10 Aug 2016 - The Libertarian Party's N.A. Poe Was Keeping a Sense of Humor Amid Challenges From Both Major Parties. The State Requires the Attorney General to Hold a License to Practice Law. Poe Doesn't. For N.A. Poe, a marijuana-legalization activist from Philadelphia, running for state attorney general was a lark to draw attention to the issue.
The Trentonian, 10 Aug 2016 - TRENTON - Facing an 11-count indictment on drug charges, Ed Forchion, aka NJ Weedman, is not breaking a sweat. In fact, the pro-marijuana activist has challenged acting Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri to take the lead on the case.
Marijuana arrest numbers are headed in the wrong direction in New York City, Ohio makes a first move toward implementing medical marijuana, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer declares war on new psychoactive substances, and more.
[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy
New York City Marijuana Arrests on the Rise Again. After declining during the first two years of Mayor Bill de Blasio's (D) administration, pot arrests are on the rise again in the Big Apple. The 9,331 people arrested on possession charges in the first half of this year is a 30% increase over the same period last year. That's not good news, but it's still nowhere near as bad as it was under Michael Bloomberg. In 2010, more than 50,000 were arrested for pot; this year, if current trends keep up, it will still be under 20,000.
Ohio Takes First Step Toward Getting Medical Marijuana Up and Running. The state Medical Marijuana Control Program has unveiled a website with the first information on how it plans to implement the state's new medical marijuana law. Medical marijuana will not be available before September 2018, as the state works to develop rules and regulations.
South Dakota Judge Rejects Medical Marijuana Initiative Campaign's Appeal. The state will not be voting on the issue this November after a state court judge denied a request from the campaign to overturn Secretary of State Shantel Krebs' finding that the group did not hand in enough valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. South Dakota has twice previously rejected medical marijuana at the polls -- the only state to do so.
New Psychoactive Substances
Sen. Schumer Responds to New Drugs With Old Prohibitionist "Whack-A-Mole" Strategy. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) announced today that he is filing a new bill that would criminalize the chemicals used to make new psychoactive substances such as synthetic cannabinoids ("Spice," "K2"), synthetic stimulants ("bath salts"), and synthetic opioids. "We need a federal hammer to nail these toxic concoctions of synthetic drugs to reverse this troubling trend… This federal legislation will ban 22 synthetic drugs, including powerful forms of fentanyl, crippling the unlawful chemists cooking up these drugs and the cartels that push them to our local stores and streets. Banning these drugs quickly will help the feds step up their game of whack-a-mole so that we can help stem the tide of synthetic drug use here in New York State and across the country."
Dark Web Drug Sales Triple Since End of Silk Road. It's been three years since federal authorities shut down the Silk Road dark web drug sales website, but online illicit drug sales have never been higher. Drug sales have tripled since then to somewhere between $12 million and $20 million a month, while revenues have doubled, according to a study published by Rand Corporation Europe. While dark web drugs sales make up only a small fraction of all illicit drug sales, many of the transactions are for more than $1,000, suggesting that drugs are being purchased online for resale on the streets.
Globe and Mail, 09 Aug 2016 - Group Warns That Overestimating the Role of Organized Crime in the Illegal Pot Industry Will Simply Perpetuate the Black Market Contrary to common RCMP wisdom, organized crime groups play a relatively small role in Canada's underground cannabis trade, and the majority of people behind the country's illegal grow operations and dispensaries are otherwise law-abiding, a group of academics and small-scale marijuana businesses have told the federal legalization task force.
Austin American-Statesman, 09 Aug 2016 - Marijuana Use Could Overtake Cigarette Use in a Few Years. A new Gallup poll out today finds that the percent- age of American adults who say they currently smoke marijuana has nearly doubled over the past three years.
Las Vegas Sun, 09 Aug 2016 - As Nevada voters prepare to vote this fall on whether to decriminalize recreational marijuana use, they're going to hear a sinister-sounding warning that the push for legalization is being fueled by out-of-state money. Former Assemblyman Pat Hickey, a prominent opponent of legalization, already sounded the alarm in a June 21 post on his blog, Soup to Nuts. He wrote that "the term oligarchy ('a business interest controlled by a small group of people') applies to the mostly out-of-state special interests who are responsible and largely paid for the pot legalization question on this November's ballot."
The Mercury, 09 Aug 2016 - COLORADO'S now years-long experiment with legal medical and recreational cannabis markets has been mostly positive and fascinating, and yet the federal government has been slow to rethink its decades-long prohibitionist position. We hope the Obama administration takes advantage of its historic opportunity to end or take steps towards dismantling the destructive war on pot. What an irony it would be if Obama, who has openly admitted to pot use in his early years, and who has shown great tolerance towards local legalisation laws, left office without having moved the nation away from the antiquated reefer-madness enforcement of past presidencies.