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US OH: Medical Marijuana Proposal Heads To Ohio House

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 06 May 2016 - The Ohio House could make history Tuesday by approving legislation to legalize medical marijuana. While state lawmakers have considered marijuana legislation in the past, no proposal has ever made it out of committee and to the full House for a vote.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Bumper Afghan Opium Crop, No Monopoly Needed for MJ Research, Says State, More... (5/5/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 20:57

It's harvest time in Afghanistan and the poppy crop is bountiful, the State Department says UN drug treaties don't require a NIDA monopoly on research marijuana, CBD bills get signed by the governor in Alabama and go to the governor in Oklahoma, South Dakota's internal possession law is obstructing sentencing reforms, and more.

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

Massachusetts Legalization Foes Attack Marijuana Potency. The anti-legalization Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts, led by Gov. Charlie Baker (R), Boston Mayor Martin Walsh (D), and House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D), is set to make an issue of marijuana potency as it attempts to blunt support for the state's legalization initiative. It's a 21st Century version of former drug czar William Bennett's "not your father's marijuana."

Oregon To Allow Recreational Edibles Sales Beginning in June. The Oregon Health Authority issued draft temporary rules Wednesday that will allow the sale of marijuana edibles to recreational users at medical marijuana dispensaries beginning in June. Recreational pot shops aren't open yet, but adults who want to purchase marijuana have been able to do so at dispensaries. Now, they will be able to buy edibles there, too.

Medical Marijuana

State Department Says NIDA Monopoly on Research Marijuana Unnecessary. The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the State Department has gone on record stating that the United States could issue multiple licenses for the cultivation of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes without violating the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs treaty. The statement came in response to a direct request from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) regarding whether issuing multiple licenses to grow medical marijuana was a violation of the Single Convention. The State Department's interpretation is at odds with that of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) which has always maintained that the treaty only allows a single license, which is granted to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). This has created what is referred to as the "NIDA monopoly on cannabis," which has stalled medical cannabis research for years.

Alabama Governor Signs CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. Gov. Robert Bentley (R) Wednesday signed into law "Leni's Law," House Bill 61, which will allow the use of CBD cannabis oil to treat people suffering from debilitating seizures. The bill is named for Leni Young, a child whose family had to move to Oregon because her CBD treatment was illegal in Alabama. The family reports a dramatic reduction in seizures since using cannabis oil.

Oklahoma Legislature Approves CBD Cannabis Oil Bill. The House Wednesday voted 69-14 to approve a bill expanding the medicinal use of CBD cannabis oils. Last year, the state approved CBD cannabis oil, but only for people under 18. This bill, which now awaits the governor's signature, removes that age restriction.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Connecticut Bill Would Increase Penalties for Synthetic Opioids. The legislature is considering House Bill 5524, which changes the definition of narcotic substances to include fentanyl and its derivatives. This would expose fentanyl sellers to up to 15 years in prison, as opposed to the up to seven years in prison they currently face.

Drug Policy

South Dakota's Internal Possession Laws An Obstacle to Sentencing Reform, Report Finds. Criminal justice reforms have slowed the growth of the state's prison population, but South Dakota is still locking up too many drug offenders because of a state law that makes ingestion of a controlled substance a felony. That's the bottom line of a new report issued Thursday by the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center.

Drug Testing

Wisconsin Governor Signs Unemployment Benefits Drug Testing Order. Gov. Scott Walker (R) Wednesday signed an emergency order mandating drug testing for people seeking unemployment benefits. Those who refuse the drug test will have their benefits denied; those who fail it must undergo drug treatment and a job skills assessment in order to retain benefits. The rule will take effect when published later this week.

International

High Yields for Afghanistan's Poppy Crop This Year; Taliban Happy. Farmers and officials in Helmand Province, the heartland of Afghan opium production, are reporting high yields thanks to abundant rainfall and the cancellation of government eradication campaigns. Taliban members were taking part in return for wages and taxes, in cash or in kind, as well as recruiting new members from among the seasonal laborers who scrape the resin from the poppy pods. "We are happy that we had a good harvest this year compared with previous years," said Abdul Rahim Mutmain, a farmer in Musa Qala district. "There is no security concern for a single laborer being checked or robbed by the police," Mr. Mutmain said. "The entire district is under Taliban control and the bulk of the harvesters are Taliban." He added, "Actually, this is the Taliban regime -- you can take your narcotics anywhere or anytime you want to sell them."

Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Council Snuffs Out Any Hope For Weed Dispensary

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 07:00
Chilliwack Times, 05 May 2016 - Where proponents of a medical marijuana dispensary see an act of civil disobedience in defiance of unjust laws, Chilliwack city council members simply see illegal activity. And they say "no." The WeeMedical Dispensary Society opened its doors on Fifth Avenue on March 19, but even before that they were warned by city lawyers about what they were doing wrong.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Marijuana Reduces Symptoms of Schizophrenia: Study

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 07:00
Sentinel Review, 05 May 2016 - Western University Researchers Find Link to Psychosis A London scientist whose research on marijuana has also paved the way to a commercial enterprise has discovered that when it comes to schizophrenia, the use of pot can be the best and worst of times.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: OPED: The People Have Token

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 07:00
NOW Magazine, 05 May 2016 - Prince of Pot reports on the state of cannabis culture around the world - and why 2016 is a big year for bud - in the lead-up to this weekend's Toronto Global Marijuana March In Canada we're pretty spoiled when it comes to marijuana availability and price.
Categories: Marijuana

Canada: OPED: Why Pot Shops Aren't Being Shut

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 05 May 2016 - Canada's municipalities are in a tough position when it comes to pot. Faced with a previous federal government that had no interest in legalizing marijuana or modifying its obtuse mail-order medical-marijuana program, Toronto and Vancouver have swiftly become home to more than 250 dispensaries that operate outside the law, with more than 100 now open in Ontario's capital. The rush to open more storefronts appears to be accelerating ahead of the federal government's pledge to introduce a legalization bill next spring, as wannabe entrepreneurs try to cash in before a potentially new regulatory regime comes into force. But cities facing pressure from citizens to crack down on the flourishing businesses are discovering they may lack the legal authority to do so.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: It's Not Legal Yet: OPP

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 07:00
Packet & Times, 05 May 2016 - Orillia OPP commander surprised at how many people think pot is already legal Marijuana legalization might be coming at some point, but in the meantime, pot is still illegal. It seems some people are jumping the gun.
Categories: Marijuana

CN AB: Column: One Toke Over The Line, Sweet Jesus

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 07:00
Edmonton Sun, 05 May 2016 - The Great Remembrance Day Bust, as it became known in peer folklore, began with two long-haired gun-wielding undercover Toronto drug cops busting down the door and charging up the stairs, followed by six uniformed officers. It was 2 a.m. I was still in college, and had just returned from my part-time job on the sports desk at Canadian Press.
Categories: Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 22:36

National

State Department Says NIDA Monopoly on Research Marijuana Unnecessary. The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the State Department has gone on record stating that the United States could issue multiple licenses for the cultivation of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes without violating the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs treaty. The statement came in response to a direct request from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) regarding whether issuing multiple licenses to grow medical marijuana was a violation of the Single Convention. The State Department's interpretation is at odds with that of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) which has always maintained that the treaty only allows a single license, which is granted to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). This has created what is referred to as the "NIDA monopoly on cannabis," which has stalled medical cannabis research for years.

Alabama

Alabama Governor Signs CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. Gov. Robert Bentley (R) Wednesday signed into law "Leni's Law," House Bill 61, which will allow the use of CBD cannabis oil to treat people suffering from debilitating seizures. The bill is named for Leni Young, a child whose family had to move to Oregon because her CBD treatment was illegal in Alabama. The family reports a dramatic reduction in seizures since using cannabis oil.

California

On Tuesday, the feds ended their attempt to shut down Harborside Health Centers. Federal prosecutors have reached a "historic agreement" with Harborside to end their efforts to seize the Oakland and San Jose dispensaries for violating federal drug laws. In return, Harborside agrees not to pursue further legal action against the federal government. "We are gratified that the government has finally seen fit to lay down its arms against Harborside in this case," said Harborside attorney Henry Wykowski. "The will of the people is for medical cannabis dispensaries to operate free from federal threats of closure. We hope we are on the cusp of a policy change and that the Department of Justice will no longer target state-legal dispensaries for forfeiture."

Oakland Approves Medical Marijuana Expansion. The city has given its okay for a plan to license up to eight more dispensaries a year, as well as creating the city's first-ever licenses for farms, kitchens, and labs. The move came on a pair of unanimous city council votes after 16 months of laying the political groundwork. The council must come back later and approve the changes one more time before they're final.

Colorado

Colorado Legislature Approves Bill to Help Young Medical Marijuana Patients. The legislature has approved House Bill 1373, which orders school districts to come up with policies to accommodate students who are medical marijuana patients. The measure does not allow smokable marijuana at school, nor does it require school employees to administer marijuana-based medicines. That will be left to parents or primary caregivers. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) is expected to sign the bill into law.

Connecticut

Connecticut Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Passes Legislature. A bill that would allow children with certain debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana has passed out of the legislature after a final Senate vote last Friday. Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) is expected to sign House Bill 5450 into law.

Illinois

Illinois Medical Marijuana Board Okays New Health Conditions. The board voted Monday to add ten qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use. Among them were PTSD and chronic pain, which were rejected earlier this year by Gov. Bruce Rauner (R). The board members also said they doubted the conditions would be approved and complained that Rauner's standards for approving new conditions are too strict.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire's First Dispensary Opens. The Sanctuary Alternative Treatment Center opened in Plymouth last Saturday. It's the first dispensary in the state to open for business. It only took nearly three years after the state's medical marijuana law was approved for this to happen.

Ohio

Ohio Medical Marijuana Bill Won't Allow Smoking. Vaping is okay, but toking is not under House Bill 523, the bill being considered by the legislature. The bill would also bar home cultivation. Proposed ballot initiatives, however, would allow both smoking and home cultivation, so the legislature's effort to undercut initiatives by passing its own bill may still not be enough to blunt the popular measures.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Legislature Approves CBD Cannabis Oil Bill. The House Wednesday voted 69-14 to approve a bill expanding the medicinal use of CBD cannabis oils. Last year, the state approved CBD cannabis oil, but only for people under 18. This bill, which now awaits the governor's signature, removes that age restriction.

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

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: CA Init Hands in Plenty of Signatures, CT Passes Sweeping Opioids Bill, More... (5/4/16)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 21:24

Californians will have a chance to vote on marijuana legalization this year, Oakland moves ahead with medical marijuana expansion, Connecticut passes a sweeping bill aimed at the opioid crisis, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

California AUMA Legalization Initiative Hands in Signatures. Supporters of the Sean Parker-backed Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) legalization initiative handed in some 600,000 signatures Tuesday. They only need 365,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. It looks very much like California will vote on legalizing marijuana this fall. Under the AUMA, adults 21 and over could possess and transport up to an ounce and grow up to six plants. The AUMA would also create a system of licensed and regulated marijuana cultivation and commerce.

After Killing Legalization, Vermont House Approves Move to Develop System to Regulate Legal Marijuana. Legalization is dead for this year, but the House Tuesday voted to approve a measure that would begin the development of system to regulate legal adult marijuana use. The House approved House Bill 858 after amending it to include language establishing a commission to "propose a comprehensive regulatory and revenue structure that establishes controlled access to marijuana in a manner that, when compared to the current illegal marijuana market, increases public safety and reduces harm to public health." The commission would be required to provide its recommendations to the legislature by the end of the year.

Medical Marijuana

Oakland Approves Medical Marijuana Expansion. The city has given its okay for a plan to license up to eight more dispensaries a year, as well as creating the city's first-ever licenses for farms, kitchens, and labs. The move came on a pair of unanimous city council votes after 16 months of laying the political groundwork. The council must come back later and approve the changes one more time before they're final.

Colorado Legislature Approves Bill to Help Young Medical Marijuana Patients. The legislature has approved House Bill 1373, which orders school districts to come up with policies to accommodate students who are medical marijuana patients. The measure does not allow smokable marijuana at school, nor does it require school employees to administer marijuana-based medicines. That will be left to parents or primary caregivers. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) is expected to sign the bill into law.

Ohio Medical Marijuana Bill Won't Allow Smoking. Vaping is okay, but toking is not under House Bill 523, the bill being considered by the legislature. The bill would also bar home cultivation. Proposed ballot initiatives, however, would allow both smoking and home cultivation, so the legislature's effort to undercut initiatives by passing its own bill may still not be enough to blunt the popular measures.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Connecticut Legislature Approves Sweeping Opioids Bill. The state Senate Tuesday passed comprehensive opioid legislation that would put a one-week cap on first-time opioid prescriptions to treat acute pain. The bill would also require localities to ensure that first responders have access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone, limit liability for health care providers who administer naloxone, and strengthen the state's prescription monitoring system. Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) is expected to sign it shortly.

Categories: Marijuana

Feds Give Up on Effort to Seize Nation's Largest Medical Marijuana Dispensary [FEATURE]

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 19:58

This article was produced in collaboration with AlterNet and first appeared here.

In a stunning victory for California's marijuana industry, federal prosecutors have agreed to end their years-long effort to close and seize Oakland's Harborside Health Center, the nation's largest dispensary with more than 100,000 patients.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Harborside broke the news with a press release Tuesday, followed up by a press conference attended by Oakland officials who have stood by the dispensary since then-US Attorney Melinda Haag went after in 2012.

The effort to shut down Harborside was part of a broader offensive against the state's medical marijuana industry. Prosecutions and threats of prosecutions forced more than 500 dispensaries to shut down, but Harborside stood firm, didn't fold, and fought hard against the federal moves to seize its properties.

"When US Attorney Melinda Haag first filed suit to seize the property Harborside is located in, I vowed we would never abandon our patients... and predicted Harborside would outlast the efforts to close us down," Harborside Executive Director Steve DeAngelo said in the statement. "Today, thanks to the deep support of our community and our elected officials, and the skill and determination of our legal counsel, that prediction has come true."

"It's a great day for Oakland and for all of California," Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said at the press conference. "The federal government isn't going to waste tax dollars trying to frustrate the desires of Californians to have safe access to medical cannabis."

Harborside also stood firm because it had the money to do so. The dispensary, which also operates a facility in San Jose, brings in about $25 million a year from medical marijuana sales and was able to hire the finest legal talent in attorney Henry Wykowski.

"We are gratified that the government has finally seen fit to lay down its arms against Harborside in this case," Wykowski said. "The will of the people is for medical cannabis dispensaries to operate free from federal threats of closure. We hope we are on the cusp of a policy change and that the Department of Justice will no longer target state-legal dispensaries for forfeiture."

But Harborside's success also made it an appealing target for US Attorney Haag. In July 2012, she filed a civil forfeiture action against Harborside, claiming it violated federal drug laws.

"The larger the operation, the greater the likelihood that there will be abuse of the state's medical marijuana laws, and marijuana in the hands of individuals who do not have a demonstrated medical need," Haag wrote.

Still, Harborside counted on local support, and got it in spades. In October 2012, the city of Oakland sued the federal government in a bid to block the Justice Department from seizing the dispensary's properties. The city argued that shutting down Harborside would harm its patients and force them into the black market to get their medicine.

Between then and now, Harborside won a series of legal victories that allowed it to stay open and avoid eviction, but the city's lawsuit was ultimately rejected by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals last August. In the meantime, though, developments at the federal level worked in Harborside's favor. In 2014, Congress approved an amendment by California Congressmen Sam Farr (D) and Dana Rohrabacher (R) that blocks the Justice Department from using federal funds to go after medical marijuana programs in states where it is legal. That amendment was reauthorized last year.

The US Attorney's Office for Northern California has not commented on the decision to drop the case, but the different federal landscape most likely played a key role.

Oakland politicians praised the move.

"Today's decision by the U.S. attorney is a victory for health care access," said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who represents Oakland and pressed for the DOJ to drop the case against Harborside. "For decades, Harborside has helped ensure members of our community can access their medicine. It's past time for the federal government to stop standing between these patients and their medicine."

"Harborside Health Center has been a strong positive presence in Oakland, both for the patients they serve, the workers they employ, and for the vital public services that are supported by their tax revenues," said Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan. "I am glad that Oakland's work on the federal case helped keep Harborside open during this dispute, and heartened to know that the threat against them is now removed."

The federal war on medical marijuana in California appears to be ending with a whimper, not a bang.

Categories: Marijuana

CN SN: Sparking The Marijuana Debate

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 07:00
Prince Albert Daily Herald, 04 May 2016 - Pending final approval from Health Canada, Mark McCaul plans to sell medical marijuana in downtown Prince Albert as soon as possible. His intent is to expand his "unorthodox medicinal supply shop," The Hum (62 13th St. W.), into the property next-door once all of his legal ducks are in a row.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Toronto Looks To Feds For Pot Shop Guidance

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 04 May 2016 - Dispensaries Multiply While Ottawa Mulls Legalization Toronto lawmakers watching medical marijuana shops pop up "like crocuses in spring" are hoping for signals from Ottawa on how to deal with the onslaught.
Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Pot Boosts and Deters Psychosis: Scientist

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 07:00
London Free Press, 04 May 2016 - A London scientist whose research on marijuana has also paved the way to a commercial enterprise has discovered that when it comes to schizophrenia, the use of pot can be the best and worst of times. It turns out that though one of the major chemicals in marijuana is linked to psychosis, another may serve as an effective treatment, said Steven Laviolette, an associate professor at Western University's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Pot Backers Claim Ballot Goal

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 04 May 2016 - High- Profile Coalition Will Submit 600,000 Signatures to Give Voters a Chance to Legalize Marijuana. SACRAMENTO - A measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California appears headed for the Nov. 8 ballot.
Categories: Marijuana

US OH: Newest Pot Bill Would Bar Smoking

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 04 May 2016 - Ohioans could not legally smoke medical marijuana under a revamped proposal being rolled out today by state legislators. Those with a prescription for medical marijuana would be allowed to use vaporization or other inhalant devices.
Categories: Marijuana

US VT: House Kills Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 07:00
Rutland Herald, 04 May 2016 - MONTPELIER - The Vermont House on Tuesday soundly rejected a Senate proposal to legalize marijuana and create a regulated retail market for the drug, and even fell short of decriminalizing the possession and cultivation of two marijuana plants. The House did manage to salvage a commission that will study the legalization of marijuana and report its findings to the Legislature, likely setting up another push at legalization next year after the November election.
Categories: Marijuana

US VT: House Kills Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 07:00
Times Argus, 04 May 2016 - MONTPELIER (AP) - The Vermont House on Tuesday soundly rejected a Senate proposal to legalize marijuana and create a regulated retail market for the drug, and even fell short of decriminalizing the possession and cultivation of two marijuana plants. The House did manage to salvage a commission that will study the legalization of marijuana and report its findings to the Legislature, likely setting up another push at legalization next year after the November election.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Column: Squabble Over Pueblo County Retail Sales and a

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 04 May 2016 - Sued in Pueblo A Pueblo resident is suing to roll back a ballot initiative that's trying to roll back retail pot in the county. That initiative, pushed by a group called Citizens for a Healthy Pueblo, is unconstitutional according to the complaint filed this week in district court asking for injunctive relief.
Categories: Marijuana

US CA: Column: Alameda County Warms To The Green Rush

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 07:00
East Bay Express, 04 May 2016 - Fresh off a ban on all medical cannabis cultivation, it's now one of the first local governments to awaken to new state laws and the industry's revenue potential. California's counties are sleeping giants when it comes to medical marijuana, but Alameda County is beginning to stir.
Categories: Marijuana
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