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Marijuana

US WA: Holmes Asks State To Act On Medical Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 06 Jan 2015 - Urges It Be Put into Recreational System Wants City to Crack Down on Medical-Shop Offenses Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes urged the Legislature to fold medical marijuana into the state's recreational system in a wide-ranging policy memo Monday.
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US OK: Marijuana Suit Sees Opposition

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 08:00
Tulsa World, 06 Jan 2015 - Some Oklahoma Legislators Are Against the AG's Decision to Join a Lawsuit Against Colorado. OKLAHOMA CITY - Some Oklahoma lawmakers disagree with Attorney General Scott Pruitt's decision to file suit over Colorado's legalization of marijuana.
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US OK: Pot Lawsuit Draws Opposition

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 08:00
The Oklahoman, 06 Jan 2015 - Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a vocal proponent of states' rights, drew criticism Monday from fellow Republicans who oppose his attempt to have the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Colorado's marijuana legalization law. State Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, and six other GOP lawmakers sent a letter to Pruitt criticizing his decision to join Nebraska in asking the high court to invalidate Colorado voters' 2012 determination to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
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US: Medical Marijuana A Challenge For Legal Pot States

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 08:00
The Day, 06 Jan 2015 - SEATTLE (AP) - A year into the nation's experiment with legal, taxed marijuana sales, Washington and Colorado find themselves wrestling not with the federal interference many feared, but with competition from medical marijuana or even outright black market sales. In Washington, the black market has exploded since voters legalized marijuana in 2012, with scores of legally dubious medical dispensaries opening and some pot delivery services brazenly advertising that they sell outside the legal system.
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US WA: Editorial: Outdated Pot Law Again Stirs Costly Trouble

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 01/06/2015 - 08:00
Spokesman-Review, 06 Jan 2015 - The outdated Controlled Substances Act of 1970 continues to act as a gateway to lunacy, with the latest example being a lawsuit filed by the states of Oklahoma and Nebraska against neighboring Colorado over the legalization of recreational marijuana. The offended attorneys general fought hard for federalism in warding off the Affordable Care Act's bid to widen Medicaid eligibility in the two states. Butt out, said Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, and the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately agreed. Now, they want the same court to intervene in Colorado and throttle its legal pot industry.
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Chronicle AM:MT MedMJ Court Victory, DC Mayor Will Fight for Legalization, Thai Drug Sentences, More (1/5/15)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 23:02

DC's mayor will fight for legalization, a Montana judge blocks most of a restrictive medical marijuana law, a New York county's misdemeanor drug bust asset forfeiture law gets vetoed, Thailand will review drug sentences, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

DC Mayor Says She Will "Explore Every Option" to Get Legalization Enforced. Appearing on Meet the Press Sunday, new Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser stuck up for the District's voter-approved marijuana legalization law. In the face of opposition in the Republican Congress, Bowser said the city will "explore every option," up to and including a lawsuit against Congress, to ensure that the will of the voters is respected. She said the city would send the measure to Congress this month.

Washington State Bill Would Make Old Pot Convictions Go Away. People convicted of misdemeanor marijuana offenses in the past could have a chance to clear their records under a bill pre-filed for this year's legislative session. House Bill 1041, sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Vashon Island), would allow for the vacating of past pot offenses, but only if there are no pending criminal charges or any new charges since the misdemeanor pot conviction. Neither would people with a history of DUI charges, violent or obscene offenses, or domestic violence charges be eligible.

Medical Marijuana

South Dakota Medical Marijuana Billboard Go Up. Billboards pushing for medical marijuana and paid for by the Sioux Falls Free Thinkers are going up this week in South Dakota's largest city. The move comes as advocacy groups, including South Dakota Against Prohibition, work to get a medical marijuana bill through the legislature this session. South Dakota legislators have consistently rejected medical marijuana, and so have the state's voters. Past efforts to legalize medical marijuana at the ballot box failed in 2006 and 2010.

Montana Judge Blocks Some Restrictions on Medical Marijuana. A state district court judge last Friday dealt a death blow to provisions of a restrictive state medical marijuana law passed by the Republican-dominated legislature seven years after Big Sky voters approved a more open initiative allowing for medicinal use and a wide open dispensary scene. District Judge James Reynolds in Helena permanently enjoined the implementation of certain key provisions in the law. Those provisions have never actually taken effect because Reynolds blocked them with a temporary injunction back in 2011. Click on the title link for more details.

Asset Forfeiture

Orange County, NY, County Exec Vetoes Misdemeanor Asset Forfeiture Ordinance. Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus has vetoed an asset forfeiture law that would have allowed for the seizure of cash and property from people arrested for misdemeanor drug offenses. "While the legislation's concept to punish criminals who threaten public safety is something I am supportive of; still, the measure's final result leaves open the possibility of affecting innocent individuals," he said last Friday. "Moreover, the fact that revenue would largely go toward the general cost of government, rather than exclusively preventing future criminal activity is troubling to many."

Sentencing

Obama's Plan for Mass Commutations of Drug Sentences Hitting Roadblocks. President Obama's announced goal of commuting thousands of federal drug sentences is running into problems. Although some 25,000 prisoners have applied for sentence cuts, only eight were handed out last month when Obama announced Christmas pardons and commutations. The Justice Department is struggling to determine which sentences have been influenced by the crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparity and it lacks the lawyers to make a significant dent in the backlog. Advocacy groups have formed the Clemency Project 2014 to recruit private attorneys to help, but that is creating its own sets of issues. Much, much more at the link.

Methamphetamine

Meth Pouring Across California-Mexico Border. US Customs and Border Protection reports that meth is coming across the Mexican border into California at unprecedented levels. Agents seized more than 14,000 pounds of the drug in FY 2014, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all meth seizures at the US border or points of entry. Seizures in California have increased nearly five-fold since 2009, when a US federal law made the procurement of precursor chemicals in this country more difficult.

International

Thailand to Review Drug Sentencing. The country's Narcotics Control Board is meeting this week to consider revising drug sentences. Board Secretary-General Pempong Koomchaya said the laws are too stiff in many instances. "The imprisonment term for drug smugglers across the board is between 10-20 years although many smugglers are found with only 12 pills in their possession. About 60-70% of the arrested drug offenders have in possession less than 50 pills. Jailing them causes overcrowding at prisons also," he said. Pempong said some sentences must be made more lenient and that revisions in the law should be ready by the end of the month.

Israeli Farmers Eye Expanded Medical Marijuana Opportunities. The Health Ministry is expected to announce later this month it will open bids for additional medical marijuana providers. The tender is set to be published January 31, with results expected in March. Some farmers see new opportunities for profit—and for lower prices for patients. Click on the link for more. 

Categories: Marijuana

Montana Judge Blocks Medical Marijuana Restrictions

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 21:21

A state district court judge last Friday dealt a hard blow to provisions of a restrictive state medical marijuana law passed by the Republican-dominated legislature seven years after Big Sky voters approved a more open initiative allowing for medicinal use and a wide open dispensary scene.

[image:1 align:left]District Judge James Reynolds in Helena permanently enjoined the implementation of certain key provisions in the law. Those provisions have never actually taken effect because Reynolds blocked them with a temporary injunction back in 2011.

Reynolds blocked provisions that ban medical marijuana advertising, forbid the commercial sale of marijuana to authorized patients, restrict caregivers from growing for more than three patients, and require the state to report the names of doctors who recommended more than 25 patients for medical marijuana in a 12-month period to the state Board of Medical Examiners. That final provision would have triggered at automatic review of the doctor's practices—at his own expense.

It wasn't a total wipe-out for the legislature. Reynolds let stand a provision that allows police and the Department of Public Health and Human Services to inspect medical marijuana providers unannounced during regular business hours, and he also left intact a provision barring prisoners, parolees, and probationers from being able to obtain medical marijuana cards.

The Montana medical marijuana scene exploded in 2009, when it appeared the Obama administration would not interfere in medical marijuana states, resulting in a case of severe backlash after some players pushed the envelope with open public pot smoking and loosely-regulated "cannabis caravans" crisscrossing the state and offering recommendations over the Internet. 

In 2011, the legislature moved to rein in the state's Wild West medical marijuana industry. It first voted to repeal the medical marijuana law entirely, but that was vetoed by then Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D). The legislature then passed the bill tightly restricting medical marijuana; that bill became law without Schweitzer's signature.

The Montana Cannabis Industry Association and some individuals sued to block the law. Now, they have succeeded in striking down key provisions—unless and until the state appeals and wins on appeal.

This is the second time Judge Reynolds has thrown out key provisions of the law. The first time, the state Supreme Court sent the case back to him, saying he should rule on it under "a rational basis" instead of the "strict scrutiny" he had applied earlier. Now he has.

"It is not the goal of this court to interfere with the Legislature’s slow and careful opening of the door to the use of medical marijuana," Reynolds wrote. "It is the goal of this court, however, to ensure that everybody who could benefit from medical marijuana, and especially those with the most serious medically debilitating conditions, are able to travel through that door equally."

Categories: Marijuana

US PA: Editorial: State Should Restrict Unjust Forfeitures

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 08:00
The Times-Tribune, 05 Jan 2015 - Many state legislators from other parts of the commonwealth often treat Philadelphia like an exotic foreign country. But they should pay close attention to a Dec. 30 Commonwealth Court decision on a case that originated in Philadelphia, and quickly codify its findings as law. At issue was civil forfeiture, a procedure that initially was authorized by many state legislatures as a weapon against drug-dealing, but which has become a cash cow for many law enforcement agencies nationwide at the expense of innocent civilians.
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Canada: Going To Pot: Could Marijuana Legalization Come To Canada?

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 08:00
Prince George Citizen, 05 Jan 2015 - Could marijuana legalization come to Canada? Smoke it, toke it, vape it, eat it - marijuana, it seems, is going mainstream. Once widely reviled by society at large as the demon weed, medical-grade cannabis is now available through federally licensed growers with a doctor's prescription and even some highly respected health organizations are calling for the herb to be legalized and sold as a taxable commodity like alcohol, in government-regulated outlets.
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Canada: Trudeau Calls For 'Evidence-Based Approach' On Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 05 Jan 2015 - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is hinting he'd repeal the Conservatives' controversial prostitution legislation, as he and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair vie to be the favoured alternative to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in an election scheduled for later this year. With Mr. Mulcair offering policy prescriptions such as a national child-care program, Mr. Trudeau is taking aim at Mr. Harper's record, including the prostitution bill and the government's income-splitting plan, which will reduce the tax burden on families with stay-at-home parents.
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US NM: Column: Medical Pot Users Not Protected by Americans

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 08:00
The New Mexican, 05 Jan 2015 - With legalized medical marijuana in 23 states and Washington, D.C., you might think that legal use of the plant would not result in the loss of your job or other dire consequences, but you are wrong. This is because federal law still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which means it has no approved medical uses. Drugs and other substances that are considered controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act are divided into five schedules.
Categories: Marijuana

US WY: Yellowstone National Park Sees Rise in Marijuana Cases

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 08:00
Albuquerque Journal, 05 Jan 2015 - CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - An increasing number of visitors to Yellowstone National Park are being prosecuted for possessing small amounts of medical and recreational pot, which remains illegal on federal land. Park rangers attribute the trend both to ignorance of federal law and the growing prevalence of legal pot in other states, including neighboring Colorado, which has legal medical and recreational marijuana.
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US WA: Yakima County Considers Way To Curb Pot Commerce

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 05 Jan 2015 - May Create Business-License System Pot Industry Barred in Unincorporated Areas In an effort to keep marijuana businesses from cropping up in unincorporated areas of Yakima County - where they are banned despite state approval - county commissioners are discussing whether to create a business license system.
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US IL: Gov: ' We're Gonna Try' To Award Medical Pot Licenses

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 08:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 05 Jan 2015 - Gov. Pat Quinn would not commit Sunday to awarding licenses to grow and sell medical marijuana in Illinois before he leaves office. Without explanation, the state blew its self-imposed deadline last week to award those licenses before the end of 2014. On Sunday, Quinn said research is still underway.
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Australia: Doctors In Clear On Marijuana

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 08:00
Herald Sun, 05 Jan 2015 - Medical Drug Use Surfaces Ahead of Legal Push FIVE doctors who prescribed their patients medical marijuana can continue to practise medicine, after health authorities ruled they were not putting the community in danger by recommending the controversial medication.
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US DC: Council Prioritizes Statehood, Pot Law

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 01/05/2015 - 08:00
Washington Times, 05 Jan 2015 - New Attorney General Says He Will Be Fierce, Unyielding Defender of D.C. Promises to push for D.C. statehood and to protect voters' decision to legalize marijuana were a common refrain among the city's newly elected leaders.
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US WA: Editorial: Address Threats To A Budding Market

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 01/04/2015 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 04 Jan 2015 - COLORADO'S neighbor states recently asked the U.S. Supreme Court to toss out the Centennial State's recreational marijuana law, based on frustration that its pot is washing over its borders. Washington - Colorado's pioneering companion in state legalization - should view that demand as a warning. Lawmakers this session must act to clamp down on the leakiest element of the Evergreen State's marijuana experiment - its medical-marijuana market.
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CN ON: Residents Oppose Medical Marijuana Facilities

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 01/03/2015 - 08:00
The Niagara Falls Review, 03 Jan 2015 - Both Applications Appealed Niagara Falls Review The owners of two properties in Niagara Falls who were hoping to eventually be allowed to grow medical marijuana on those properties might want to consider other options.
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US: Medical Marijuana A Challenge For Legal Pot States

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 01/03/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 03 Jan 2015 - SEATTLE (AP) - A year into the nation's experiment with legal, taxed marijuana sales, Washington and Colorado find themselves wrestling not with the federal interference many feared, but with competition from medical marijuana or even outright black market sales. In Washington, the black market has exploded since voters legalized marijuana in 2012, with scores of legally dubious medical dispensaries opening and some pot delivery services brazenly advertising that they sell outside the legal system.
Categories: Marijuana

US NJ: Column: We The People Are Winning!

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 01/03/2015 - 08:00
The Trentonian, 03 Jan 2015 - 2014 was a weird year for me, and good riddance. I started out 2014 in the horrible Burlington County Jail and ended it as the writer of this weekly column for The Trentonian yeah, that's weird! My new year's resolution(s): to eat better and to open a religious temple in Trenton that provides marijuana to its congregants.
Categories: Marijuana
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