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Medical Marijuana

US CA: Support For Pot Excise Tax

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sun, 08/23/2015 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 23 Aug 2015 - Yuba-Sutter's representative on the state Board of Equalization said last week he supports imposing an excise tax on medical marijuana in connection with any state legislation regulating cannabis. "I'm the first to admit that government is too bloated and that Californians are overtaxed," said 1st District Board of Equalization member George Runner, a Republican. "But the fundamental question here is who should pay the steep costs of marijuana-related activities that include trespass on public lands, water theft and unregulated use of pesticides."
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: First Las Vegas MedMJ Shop, Peru Restarting Drug Plane Shootdowns, More (8/21/2015)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 19:23

A Wisconsin tribe moves toward legal marijuana, Oakland's effort to back the Harborside dispensary gets shot down in federal court, Peru wants to shoot down drug planes again, both major Kentucky governor candidates want to drug test welfare recipients, and more.

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

California NAACP Files Legalization Initiative. The civil rights group has filed the Community Act to Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis, the latest addition to the growing list of legalization initiatives filed in the state. Reports are that the initiative is not designed to compete with the still long-awaited proposal from ReformCA, of which the California NAACP is a member, but to submit model language in support of the broader effort. The initiative would legalize up to an ounce and allow personal grows of up to 25 square feet, as well as allow marijuana commerce.

Wisconsin's Menominee Tribe Votes to Legalize Marijuana on Reservation. Tribal members overwhelmingly approved two advisory questions on whether the tribe should legalize marijuana on its reservation. Recreational marijuana was approved 677 to 499, while medical marijuana was approved 899 to 275. The matter now goes to the tribal legislature, which, given the vote, will likely approve ordinances allowing for marijuana.

Medical Marijuana

Federal Appeals Court Rejects City of Oakland Lawsuit Backing Harborside Dispensary. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling dismissing Oakland's lawsuit against the Justice Department and the Northern California US Attorney's office. The city had argued that closing the dispensary would deprive it of tax revenues and increase crime by creating a black market for marijuana. Then-US Attorney Melinda Haag moved in 2012 to seize Harborside, claiming it violated federal law by selling medical marijuana. The case continues even though the Justice Department has since said it generally wouldn't interfere with state marijuana laws.

First Las Vegas Dispensary Set to Open Monday. A spokesman for Euphoria Wellness said Thursday the dispensary had won final state and county approvals this week and would open for business Monday. It will be the first dispensary in Clark County. The first dispensary in the state opened last month in the Reno suburb of Sparks.

Drug Testing

Both Major Kentucky Gubernatorial Candidates Want to Do Welfare Drug Testing. Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway has joined Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin in calling for drug testing of some welfare recipients. "I don't want to see our tax dollars going to support drug addiction," Conway, the Democratic front-runner, said Thursday. But Conway called for suspicion-based drug testing, while Bevins called for random testing, and Conway rejects drug testing Medicare recipients, while Bevins is for it.

International

Peruvian Congress Approves Shooting Down Suspected Drug Planes. The Congress voted unanimously Thursday to allow military planes to shoot down suspected drug flights. Drug-fighting President Ollanta Humala is expected to sign the bill. Peru claims a ton of cocaine a day is flown to Bolivia. Peru used to shoot down drug planes, but stopped after one of its pilots in a CIA-run program shot down a small plane carrying US missionaries, killing US citizen Roni Bowers and her infant daughter, Charity.

Russia Threatens to Ban Wikipedia Over Drug "How To" Entry. Russia's online censor, Roskomnadzor, says it will ban the entire website from Russia unless it removes or blocks access to an article about how to make a marijuana preparation. The censor has also recently gone after Reddit and YouTube over similar postings. Click on the link for more.

Canada's NDP Would Decriminalize Marijuana "Right Away." New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair said Thursday that "the NDP's position is decriminalization the moment we form a government" and that "it's something we can do right away." The NDP is leading most polls in the elections set for October. The Liberals under Justin Trudeau have called for outright legalization, but they're polling third, behind the Conservatives, who have taken a hard line opposing any moves at drug liberalization.

Dusseldorf Moves Forward on Legal Marijuana Sales Plan. Councilors in the German city Wednesday approved a pilot project to sell marijuana to adults. The move was a joint effort by the three parties that form the city's governing coalition, the Social Democrats, the Free Democrats, and the Greens. A similar move is afoot in Berlin, Germany's largest city, where councilors in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district applied for a marijuana license in June.

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US OR: Court of Appeals Rules Marijuana Odor 'Not Inherently

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 07:00
East Oregonian, 21 Aug 2015 - Implications on Pendleton Nusiance Ordinance Not Immediately Known. As the state continues to sort through marijuana regulations, a recent court ruling could affect a Pendleton ordinance prohibiting the odor of marijuana from spreading to another property.
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CN MB: Marijuana Man Price Vows To Fight On

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 07:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 21 Aug 2015 - THE owner of a medical marijuana shop is vowing to fight criminal charges - possibly while acting as his own lawyer - as part of a service he feels he owes the community. Glenn Price made his first court appearance Thursday. The matter was adjourned until Sept. 3. He was charged with possession and trafficking of marijuana, along with proceeds of crime, following an Aug. 4 raid on his Main Street business, Your Medical Cannabis Headquarters.
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CN MB: Bummed Out

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 07:00
Winnipeg Sun, 21 Aug 2015 - Marijuana Dispenser Feels Villainized, Victimized by Justice System The man who ran Winnipeg's only medical marijuana dispensary before being arrested earlier this month made his first court appearance Thursday and said police have seized "everything I had."
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US CA: Pot Dispensary's Hazy Future

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 21 Aug 2015 - Oakland Loses a Court Battle to Keep the U.S. From Shutting Down Harborside Health Center. SAN FRANCISCO - Oakland lost a legal fight Thursday to prevent the federal government from shutting down the nation's largest medical marijuana dispensary.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: City Loses Battle Over Major Pot Dispensary

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 21 Aug 2015 - Oakland's attempt to block the federal government's shutdown of the nation's largest medical marijuana dispensary has gone up in smoke. A federal appeals court Thursday rejected the city's intervention in the U.S. Justice Department's effort to close down Oakland's Harborside Health Center, concluding that the legal move interferes with the federal government's powers under forfeiture laws to move against what it considers illegal activity. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a unanimous three-judge ruling, found Oakland had a right to sue, but its legal arguments would undercut federal drug enforcement powers.
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US CA: OPED: Americans Views Have Evolved on Marijuana Policy

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
Napa Valley Register, 20 Aug 2015 - In his op-ed article against the legalization of cannabis in California ("Marijuana's harms ignored in push for legalization," Aug. 14), guest columnist Thomas Elias yearns for a time when shaming and fear-mongering, not facts, drove the marijuana policy debate in America. Those days are largely over. Voters' views on pot have evolved in recent years based on both the failures of marijuana prohibition and the success of its legalization and regulation. For decades, those opposed to amending cannabis criminalization warned that any significant change in marijuana policy would lead to a plethora of unintended consequences. Yet the initial experiences in Colorado and Washington, in addition to many other states' deep-rooted experiences regulating the production and distribution of marijuana for therapeutic purposes, has shown these fears to be misplaced.
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CN BC: Candidates In The Election Weeds

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
Parksville Qualicum Beach News, 20 Aug 2015 - CANDIDATES IN THE ELECTION WEEDS Perspectives on Marijuana Legalization in This New Courtenay-Alberni Riding With a recent Supreme Court decision and a dispensary that came and went from downtown Parksville, marijuana is a hot local topic in this federal election.
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CN NS: OPED: The Bullshit Cultural Milieu Of Medical Marijuana

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
The Coast, 20 Aug 2015 - It's sad to see The Coast contributing to this. There is a bullshit cultural milieu surrounding the use of cannabis. The general perception seems to be that marijuana is not only a completely harmless substance, but actually a panacea capable of alleviating/curing a vast array of medical conditions. However, its use is hindered by mean, moralistic politicians who are kept in the back pockets of nefarious pharmaceutical interests. This perception would be fine if cannabis was a completely harmless substance with a wide array of medicinal uses, as has been intimated in The Coast's recent story about the PEACE EAST festival (August 13), but it is not. It is sad to see an article pandering to these poorly formed ideas rather than engaging in substantive journalism.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US AZ: Series: Tribes Wait To Jump Into Weed Rush

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 20 Aug 2015 - Most Native American tribes are opting not to legalize marijuana, though at least two are poised to try it just six months after a U.J. Justice Department memo indicated federal authorities likely would not interfere with growing marijuana on tribal lands if other federal crimes were not committed. Many tribes exploring their options said that as U.S. citizens and sovereign nations, they deserve the right to choose to legalize as states have done. However, tribes continue to balk at the vague language of the Justice Department's so-called "Cole Memorandum" and the fear of federal prosecution.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Column: Superman Falls

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 20 Aug 2015 - His indictment is barely a week old, but many of his former friends in organized labor and the cannabis industry have already buried Dan Rush. Rush, 54, was once the gregarious director of the United Food and Commercial Workers' national medical cannabis and hemp division; on Aug. 10, he was indicted in federal court on two felony counts of violating labor law.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CO: Column: What Makes A Boutique Dispensary?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
Westword, 20 Aug 2015 - Dear Stoner: I've seen a lot of pot shops advertising themselves as "boutique dispensaries." Sounds like a lame marketing ploy to me. Jake 'n' Bake Dear Jake: You might already have the Man beat if words like "superfood" and "artisanal" don't lure you in to pay more, but just because you don't trust marijuana marketing doesn't mean everyone is out to hose you. The traditional definition of a boutique is a small, stylish shop that sells specialized products at slightly higher prices.Plenty of Denver and mountain-town dispensaries try to fit that mold - yet the steep prices are the only boutique aspect they achieve. Yes, local art and comfortable furniture is nice, but don't let trendy interior decorating block your senses.Check out the buds and concentrates, and fire off some questions to the staff. Do they grow in-house? If so, how big is the grow? Do they send trim or nugs to hash companies for concentrates, or do they make their own? If the budtenders are eagerly telling you about strain genetics before you even ask, there's a good chance you're at a stand-up shop.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: Column: Registration Day

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 20 Aug 2015 - First-of-their-kind regulations for marijuana grows were approved last week by the northern section of California's water board. At a somewhat tumultuous Santa Rosa meeting on Aug. 13, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted a registration program that it originally released in draft form in May.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US CA: OPED: Excise Tax on Medical Marijuana Makes Sense for

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:00
Los Angeles Daily News, 20 Aug 2015 - California lawmakers are finally considering legislation to regulate medical marijuana, which has been legal under state law for nearly two decades. Among the proposals is a bill calling for an excise tax on marijuana that could raise nearly $60 million in revenue each year. As a fiscal conservative and opponent of recreational marijuana, I'm an unlikely voice in the cannabis tax policy debate. Yet after speaking with parties on all sides of the issue, I'm convinced an excise tax on medical marijuana could make sense, and if done correctly, would help ensure California taxpayers are treated fairly.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 19:07

There's a union corruption scandal brewing in California, medical marijuana faces awkward transitions in Oregon and Washington, and more.

[image:1 align:left]California

Last Thursday, Oakland was once again considering licensing medical marijuana gardens. The city is in the process of crafting regulations and issuing licenses for medical marijuana grows, as well as other marijuana-related businesses. The city had proposed something similar in 2011, but retreated after federal prosecutors criticized the plan. But now the federal position has changed, and Oakland is ready to try again.

Also last Thursday, a UFCW Official was accused of taking bribes from dispensaries. Dan Rush, the executive director of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) cannabis division, has been charged in federal court with taking bribes or kickbacks to endorse potential dispensary operators. The feds accuse Rush of taking a $600,000 loan from one dispensary operator, and when he was unable to repay it, then working with an attorney to "[propose] and [take] steps to provide various labor benefits to the (dispensary operator), including union support for opening dispensaries and reducing or eliminating pressure to unionize dispensary workers," the complaint says.

On Tuesday, Humboldt County supervisors approved a land use ordinance that would allow for up to 15 dispensaries in unincorporated areas of the county. The ordinance was approved unanimously. There was spirited dissent from one dispensary owner; click on the link to get the low down.

Also on Tuesday, Yuba County officials approved for circulation a ballot measure to overturn the county's medical marijuana cultivation ordinance. The initiative proposed by the Progressive Business Alliance needs 2,483 valid voter signatures by January 19 to force a special election. This is the third set of petitions okayed by county election officials in recent months, meaning the county could see three separate special elections. The current ordinance bans outdoor cultivation in unincorporated areas of the county and limits indoor grows to 12 plants. The latest initiative would allow up to 12 plants indoors or out on parcels of less than an acre, with larger plant counts on larger parcels.

Florida

Last Thursday, a CBD expansion bill was filed. Sarasota state Rep. Greg Steube (R) filed a bill Thursday that would expand the state's CBC cannabis oil program. The measure, House Bill 63, would lower barriers to entry for would-be medical marijuana growers and manufacturers, particularly by removing limits on the number of manufacturers.

North Dakota

North Dakota Medical Marijuana Initiative Trying to Get Going. A Fargo man has formed a committee to advance a medical marijuana initiative and is getting ready to submit initiative language to the Secretary of State's Office. Rilie Ray Morgan said the legislature's refusal to pass a medical marijuana bill showed it is out of touch with popular feeling and that the GOP-dominated House and Senate are "awfully conservative."

Oregon

Last Thursday, Oregon's governor signed a medical marijuana task force bill. Gov. Kate Brown (D) has signed into law Senate Bill 844, which establishes a task force to research the medical and public health properties of marijuana. The task force will make a report with recommendations to the legislature on developing a medical marijuana industry that supplies patients with products that will meet their needs.

Washington

On Tuesday, the Tacoma city council ordered most dispensaries to be shut down. The city council decided to shut down most of the city's 60 unregulated medical marijuana dispensaries. The dispensaries have 45 days to close. After passage of Senate Bill 5052, which essentially folds the medical marijuana system into the recreational marijuana system, dispensaries and collective gardens will have to get licenses from the state beginning next July 1 or shut their doors.

Wyoming

Last Friday, Wyoming initiative supporters announced their signature-gathering campaign would get underway over the weekend. An initiative campaign led by Wyoming NORML is getting underway this weekend. The group is set to unveil the initiative this weekend. They will need to come up with 25,000 valid voter signatures by February to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: OH Ballot Language Fight, Brit MPs Say Drug Use a Human Right, More (8/19/2015)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 18:17

Another controversy over the ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative, medical marijuana could be coming to the northern prairie, a British parliamentary panel calls drug use a human right, and more.

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

Ohio Legalization Initiative Ballot Language Approved, ResponsibleOhio Will Challenge as "Misleading." The state Ballot Board Tuesday approved the language voters will see when they vote on the ResponsibleOhio legalization initiative, but the group is unhappy with some of it and says it will challenge it in court. Don McTigue, an attorney for the group, said "It's not balanced language, and we believe that language does not fairly inform the voters on what they're being asked to vote upon." Click the story link for more details.

Medical Marijuana

North Dakota Medical Marijuana Initiative Trying to Get Going. A Fargo man has formed a committee to advance a medical marijuana initiative and is getting ready to submit initiative language to the Secretary of State's Office. Rilie Ray Morgan said the legislature's refusal to pass a medical marijuana bill showed it is out of touch with popular feeling and that the GOP-dominated House and Senate are "awfully conservative."

Drug Policy

Maine Governor's Drug Summit Features Mostly Cops. Tea Party Republican Gov. Paul LePage has set a drug summit for next week, but is being criticized for inviting mainly law enforcement and criminal justice officials. Of the 23 invited attendees, only three represent the treatment and recovery community, and none represent actual drug users. LePage says the drug problem is a public safety issue, but critics disagree. "Drug addiction and the drug crisis we are facing is fundamentally a public health issue, not a public safety issue," said Oamshri Amarasingham, policy counsel at the ACLU of Maine. "What we have seen over the last four years is a concerted effort to try and address the drug crisis with law enforcement and that clearly has not worked."

International

British MPs Say Drug Taking Is a Human Right. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform has issued a report saying the European Convention on Human Rights overrides national laws that criminalize drugs. The panel had earlier called for marijuana legalization and for drugs such as cocaine and heroin to be decriminalized. "For European countries the European Convention on Human Rights, in particular Article 8, could be invoked in support of the argument that possession or purchase or cultivation of drugs for personal use, particularly in small quantities, do not injure other people's rights either directly or indirectly and therefore should not be criminalized," the report said. Click on the link for more.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MA: Column: Legal Pot? Don't Make It So Complicated

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 07:00
Valley Advocate, 19 Aug 2015 - Maybe it's marijuana's cultural baggage of Deadheads, dreadlocked Rastafarians, and psychedelic paraphernalia that does it, but there's something about cannabis that brings out the school marm in certain segments of the population. It just makes the members of the more conservative contingent feel like their neckties are too tight, like their worldview is still endangered by the cultural descendants of the hippies who hoisted a green, smoke-wreathed flag in the turmoil of the '60s. But that's a cartoonish, puritanical view of a plant that's been around for millennia. Evidence from tombs in Asia reveals cannabis' use as a psychoactive substance at least as far back as 3,000 B.C., and conjecture places its cultivation as far back as 12,000 years. American views were mostly formed in the past century, in the wake of Mexican immigration during the Mexican Revolution. Whether the resulting fear of psychoactive marijuana was about the plant or about the ethnicity of its then-primary smokers is a matter for debate, but regardless, it became illegal in 1937.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US MA: A New Push For Marijuana Legalization

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 07:00
Valley Advocate, 19 Aug 2015 - On Aug. 5, the marijuana legalization group Bay State Repeal filed three versions of a new ballot question with the state Attorney General's office, all of which would allow persons 21 years of age or older to legally grow, acquire, and possess marijuana for personal consumption. The purpose of the initiative is to establish moderate taxes and regulations on marijuana so that, over time, legal sales would drive out illegal sales, said Steven Epstein, the group's press secretary. The proposed legislation, he said, "treats farmers like farmers, treats private producers like processors of food - subject to local and state zoning and health rules - and sets the same rules for dealers that apply to tobacconists."
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US CO: Column: Pueblo County Is Prime Pot-Growing Territory

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 19 Aug 2015 - Prospering in Pueblo Former Westword reporter Joel Warner dropped a compelling look at marijuana in Pueblo County these days in the Aug. 17 issue of High Country News. You can read the whole thing at bit.ly/1K2HMpK, but here are some highlights:
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