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Chronicle AM: Marijuana Legal in Alaska Tomorrow, Kosher MedMJ in NY, Chinese Meth, More (2/23/15)

Methamphetamine (STDW) - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 23:04

Alaska's Measure 2 legalization begins to kick in tomorrow, the UFCW organizes medical marijuana workers in Minnesota, Chuck Schumer wants more drug war money, India bans the new synthetic drug mephedrone, and more. Let's get to it:

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

First Phase of Alaska Legalization Goes Into Effect Tomorrow. As of Tuesday, February 24, 2015, the first phase of Alaska's voter-approved Measure 2 marijuana legalization goes into effect. Beginning then, people 21 and over can legally possess up to an ounce of weed and grow up to six plants in their home (only three flowering). Adults may also share up to an ounce of weed with other adults and give them up to six plants. Taxed and regulated marijuana commerce will come next year. Click on the link for more.

Maryland Legalization Bill Gets Hearing Tomorrow. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing in the General Assembly on Tuesday, February 24, to consider a bill that would regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol. Supporters of the bill, including representatives of the Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland, are expected to testify. The hearing will take place in Room 101 of the House Office Building at 1:00pm ET. The bill is House Bill 911, sponsored by Rep. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore).

Medical Marijuana

Minnesota Medical Marijuana Workers Unionize. Workers at Minnesota Medical Solutions, which will operate four medical marijuana dispensaries, have signed a labor agreement with the company under the auspices of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UCFW), Local 1189. The union is also in discussions about representing workers at the other four planned dispensaries in the state, which will be operated by LeafLine Labs. The UFCW has also organized marijuana workers in California, Colorado, and Washington.

Missouri Medical Marijuana Bill Gets Hearing Today. Rep. Dave Hinson's (R-St. Clair) House Bill 800, which would allow for medical marijuana for eligible payments, was set to get a House hearing today. Come back tomorrow for results.

West Virginia Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. On the last day to file Senate bills in the legislative session, Sen. Mitch Carmichael (R-Ripley) introduced Senate Bill 546, the "Creating Compassionate Use Act for Medical Cannabis." The bill would allow for medical marijuana for designated debilitating medical conditions and would require patients and caregivers to be registered with the state. The bill now goes before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Kosher Medical Marijuana Coming to New York? Orthodox Jews in New York may soon be able to get kosher medical marijuana. Rabbi Moshe Elefant, head of the Orthodox Union's kosher certification agency said he has held "preliminary discussions" with several companies seeking to obtain a kosher seal of approval for medical marijuana. Click on the link for more.

Law Enforcement

Chuck Schumer Lobbies to Restore HIDTA Funding Cuts. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said Sunday Congress should reject President Obama's plan to cut funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program. "This is one area where I disagree with the president, and I'm going to fight to reverse his decision," Schumer said. He wants $100 million in drug war funding restored, in part to fight heroin use in his state.

International

UN Official Blames "Corrupt" Chinese Pharmaceutical Industry for Meth Production. Chinese police recently busted 2.4 tons of meth in Guangdong Province, provoking UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) official Jeremy Douglas to say that "corruption in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries" in China was behind the easy availability of chemicals needed to mass produce the drugs. "To operate a lab like this, you need a lot of chemicals, which are legitimate, regulated chemicals from the pharmaceutical industry," Douglas said. "This group has been able to get their hands on the precursor chemicals necessary to produce the drugs. They've been doing it for a long time, which means they're getting these chemicals on a regular basis. There is some kind of corruption in the chemical/pharmaceutical industry taking place allowing this to happen."

India Bans Mephedrone. India has now classified mephedrone (also known as "Meow-Meow" or "M-Cat") as a psychotropic substance that falls under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985. That means mephedrone will now be treated as a controlled substance like heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. Previously, the new synthetic was not regulated in the country.

Categories: Methamphetamine

Chronicle AM: WA GOP Bill to Combine MedMJ, Recreational Pot Moves, KY Heroin Bill Passes House, More (2/16/15)

Methamphetamine (STDW) - Mon, 02/16/2015 - 22:55

Colorado gets more time to defend its marijuana law, a possession legalization bill gets filed in Tennessee, a bill to combine medical and recreational markets in Washington passes the Senate over patient objections, the Russian drug czar could be losing his gig, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Colorado Gets Extension to Respond to Nebraska, Oklahoma Lawsuit. The US Supreme Court has given the state an extra month to respond to a lawsuit that claims it is exporting pot problems to its neighbors. A response to the suit had been due today, but the court pushed that back to March 27. The lawsuit seeks to overturn Colorado's legal marijuana law.

Tennessee Possession Legalization Bills Filed. Companion bills that would legalize the possession and casual exchange of up to a half ounce of weed have been introduced in Nashville. The bills would also make possession and distribution of an ounce or more a misdemeanor punishable by only a $100 fine. Rep. Harold Love (D-Nashville) introduced HB 0873, while Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) introduced SB 1211.

Medical Marijuana

New Mexico Medical Marijuana Program Revisions Proposed. The Health Department's hearing officer charged with making recommendations for changes in the state's medical marijuana program issued her report last Thursday. She is recommending increasing the allowable concentrations of THC in marijuana products from 60% to 70% and scrapping a rule requiring patients to submit biometric information when applying for registry cards. The department is now "in the process of reviewing" the recommendations. Click on the link for more detail and more recommendations.

Washington Senate Passes Republican Bill to Combine Recreational and Medical Marijuana. The state Senate has passed Senate Bill 5052, sponsored by Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center). It would combine medical and recreational in a single market, require medical marijuana users to enter their names on a state registry, reduce the number of plants patients could grow from 15 to six, and allow cultivation co-ops only if they are at least 15 miles from a retail store and everyone is on the registry. The bill was opposed by patient advocates. Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) had offered a competing bill, Senate Bill 5519, but that has not been voted on, and all of her amendments to the Republican bill were voted down.

Opiates

Connecticut Governor to Propose Comprehensive Legislation on Prescription Drug, Heroin Use. Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) will later this month propose legislation that would increase utilization of prescription drug monitoring programs, increase education of doctors prescribing opiates, and increase access to overdose reversal drugs, such as naloxone. Click on the link for more detail.

Kentucky House Passes Heroin Bill; Competing Bill Already Passed Senate. The Republican-led Senate has already passed omnibus heroin legislation, and now the Democratic-led House has passed its own vision of how to combat heroin. The Democratic bill, House Bill 213, would increase both treatment and some punishments, but unlike the Republican bill, would allow for needle exchange. Now, the two bills must be reconciled.

Meth

Indiana Bill Would Require a Prescription for Sudafed. A bill that started out as a measure to bar people with meth convictions from purchasing pseudoephedrine products used as precursors in home meth cooking has now morphed into a bill that would require a doctor's prescription for anyone to purchase such products, which are common in cold medications. Senate Bill 536 is the measure.

International

Russian Anti-Drug Agency to Fall Prey to Budget Crisis. The Federal Drug Control Service is likely to be disbanded because of the country's economic crisis, according to official documents. The agency will shut down on March 1, and its functions will be redistributed among the Health and Interior ministries.

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CN ON: Broader Probe Urged After Hair Test Error

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Tue, 02/10/2015 - 08:00
Toronto Star, 10 Feb 2015 - Woman in Custody Fight Accused of Pot Abuse When Motherisk Delivers False-Positive Result Sarah was in the midst of a bitter child custody fight with her ex when she got drug test results she feared could tip the scales in his favour.
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US VA: Column: Fix U. S. Drug Policies to Ease Immigration

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 02/08/2015 - 08:00
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 08 Feb 2015 - Throughout its history, the United States' approach to controlling recreational intoxicants has varied. Up until the early part of the 20th century, drug use in the U. S. was completely unfettered - heroin, morphine and other substances were sold openly and without restriction. In fact, cocaine, various opiates and syringe kits were once available for order from the Sears & Roebuck catalog. Beginning with 1914' s Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, a slew of laws burst forth to regulate cocaine, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs of abuse. These laws were often the product of blatant racism, sensationalism and political theater, and they set the stage for current regulations that function as ham-fisted political instruments rather than data-backed guardians of public health.
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US HI: Maui Medical Marijuana Users Criticize Program

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 08:00
West Hawaii Today, 06 Feb 2015 - WAILUKU, Maui (AP) - Some Maui residents say it's too expensive to get marijuana for medical purposes and the laws governing the state's medical marijuana program are inconsistent. Residents spoke at a meeting the state Department of Health held in Wailuku this week to gather public input on improving the program now that it's taking over its administration from the state Department of Public Safety, The Maui News reported.
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CN AB: Parents Get Streets Sense On Drugs

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 08:00
Okotoks Western Wheel, 04 Feb 2015 - Education: Detective Doug Hudacin guest speaker at St. John Paul II Collegiate Marijuana, booze and cigarettes aren't the gateway to drug use for teens according to a Calgary Police Service drug expert.
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US: Drug Czars Blame Abuse on a Lack of National Leadership

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 08:00
Washington Times, 04 Feb 2015 - Local and State Officials at Fault America's drug abuse woes have been exacerbated by a lack of leadership from above and at the local level, four former drug czars told a gathering of some 2,500 anti-drug activists Tuesday.
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Australia: Inmates Getting Wasted On Drugs

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sat, 01/31/2015 - 08:00
The Courier-Mail, 31 Jan 2015 - PRISONERS are getting high behind bars with almost every drug, including heroin, cocaine and marijuana, found in more than 2000 drug incidents across the state's jails. Inmates were caught with drugs and utensils more than 670 times a year for the past three years, with the state's largest jails showing the worst results. Prisoners were also busted with alcohol, brewing implements, "smoking devices" and drug test decoys in the centres, documents obtained under Right to Information show.
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US CA: Column: Prop. 47 Is Working, But Jury Still Out

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sat, 01/31/2015 - 08:00
Los Angeles Times, 31 Jan 2015 - Proposition 47 is supposed to free up prison cells for "real" criminals by reducing drug possession to a misdemeanor offense. But what if those addicts also are the "real" criminals we fear? I know it's too soon to render a verdict on the initiative approved in November. I was among the 58.5% of California voters supporting the shift away from tough-on-crime laws and a prison-building boom and toward a more balanced criminal justice system.
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US AK: Officials Look Outside for Help With Potential

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Wed, 01/28/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 28 Jan 2015 - FAIRBANKS - Local and state agencies are looking to Colorado for help in preparing to deal with the slew of changes that will be encountered when marijuana possession becomes legal in Alaska next month. Several people from the Fairbanks area attended a three-day training conference earlier this month presented by the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police in Lone Tree, Colorado, to discuss the lessons learned in the first year of marijuana legalization there. Legal recreational marijuana retail stores have been open in Colorado since Jan. 1, 2014, and medical marijuana use has been in place for more than a decade. Officials there shared their knowledge with their counterparts in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia in the hopes those jurisdictions could avoid some of the mistakes and pitfalls inherent with legalization.
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US IA: Chemistry Argued In Synthetic Drug Sentencing

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 08:00
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, 25 Jan 2015 - CEDAR RAPIDS - In the world of synthetic drugs, sometimes it takes a chemistry lesson to get to the bottom of what's in the Mylar packet. Sometimes it takes rats. On Friday, a federal judge heard about both during the penalty phase for a former Cedar Falls man and his mother, an Evansdale resident, who were convicted of selling potpourri and bath salts that mimicked illegal drugs.
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US WA: Pot Growers Up Against Fear, Loathing and San Juan

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 25 Jan 2015 - County Supported I-502 by State's Widest Margin Not in This Neighborhood, Some Residents Now Say SAN JUAN ISLAND - A drug operation is tucked into the trees on a San Juan Island horse farm that neighbors have argued could lead to "home-invasion robberies, thefts and murders."
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US WI: Heroin Spiking In Jackson County

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
La Crosse Tribune, 18 Jan 2015 - BLACK RIVER FALLS - Authorities and community members are becoming increasingly concerned about the prevalence of heroin use and dealing in Jackson County. Use of the highly addictive opiate is rising, based on drug investigations, arrests and other information provided to law enforcement, and its impact in local communities continues to expand, local authorities say.
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US: Cartels Quickly Adapting To Looser U.S. Marijuana Laws

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
Albuquerque Journal, 18 Jan 2015 - At the US-Mexico Border, a Flood of Heroin, Meth Show the Trade Is Changing SAN YSIDRO, Calif. - Mexican traffickers are sending a flood of cheap heroin and methamphetamine across the U.S. border, the latest drug-seizure statistics show, in a new sign that America's marijuana decriminalization trend is upending the North American narcotics trade.
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US NM: APD Says Narcotics Unit Leader Shot Officer

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 08:00
Albuquerque Journal, 13 Jan 2015 - Police Reveal Few Details but Say Sting Operation Changed at the Last Minute Veteran narcotics Lt. Greg Brachle is the Albuquerque police officer who shot and critically wounded a fellow officer during a $60 undercover methamphetamine sting last week, the police department confirmed.
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US: At U.S.-Mexico Border, A Flood Of Heroin, Meth

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 08:00
Washington Post, 12 Jan 2015 - Seizure Data Shows Drug Trade Is Changing SAN YSIDRO, CALIF. - Mexican traffickers are sending a flood of cheap heroin and methamphetamine across the U.S. border, the latest drug seizure statistics show, in a new sign that America's marijuana decriminalization trend is upending the North American narcotics trade.
Categories: Methamphetamine

US GA: Albany Neighborhood Watch Group Gets Drug Education

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sat, 01/10/2015 - 08:00
The Albany Herald, 10 Jan 2015 - ALBANY - Neighborhood watch representatives got a basic education on illegal drugs, their effects and where they come from Saturday at the Community Room of the Albany downtown Law Enforcement Center. The short course delivered by Maj. Bill Berry, of the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit gave eager members of the Community Council of Watch Associations an earful of information on familiar drugs including ecstasy or "Molly," crack cocaine and prescription pain pills.
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Chronicle AM:MT MedMJ Court Victory, DC Mayor Will Fight for Legalization, Thai Drug Sentences, More (1/5/15)

Methamphetamine (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. 

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Iran: Iran Facing Drug Abuse Crisis

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sat, 01/03/2015 - 08:00
Daily Mail, 03 Jan 2015 - Iran is facing a female drug-abuse crisis as the number of young, well-off and well-educated women using substances continues to rise. At least six million of Iran's 77.7 million population have drug related problems, according to official reports.
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