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Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Councillors Want Marijuana Shop Crackdown

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 07:00
Hamilton Spectator, 13 Sep 2017 - Advocates say one way or another, private dispensaries are here to stay The number of illegal storefront pot shops in Hamilton is growing even as police raids continue, municipal zoning charges pile up in court and the province moves to take over retail marijuana sales next year.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN AB: Column: The Feds Have Left The Tough Calls On Weed To

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 07:00
The Calgary Sun, 13 Sep 2017 - When I was in university, two of the dumbest guys I knew had a thriving pot business. They grew their plants behind a pair of bushes under their rez room window and conducted sales from a corner at the pizza place down the street.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Democratic Senators Call Out Trump on Opioid Inaction, More... (9/12/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 21:02

Democratic senators want Trump to do more than say pretty words about the opioid epidemic, California's second largest city gets on board with marijuana legalization, Canadian cops seek a delay in rolling out legalization north of the border, and more.

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

San Diego City Council Votes to Legalize Marijuana Cultivation, Manufacturing. California's second most populous city has gotten on board with legalization. The city council voted 6-3 Monday night to approve a regulatory framework for the looming legal recreational pot industry instead of trying to ban it.

Medical Marijuana

Michigan Dispensaries Given Three Months to Shut Doors. Existing unlicensed dispensaries must shut their doors by December 15, the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said Monday. On that date, the department begins accepting applications to operate under new medical marijuana regulations approved this year. While closing up shop and then applying for a license isn't exactly a thrill for existing dispensary owners, it's better than an alternative proposal that called for the dispensaries to be shut down immediately.

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program Roll-Out Imperiled by Lawsuit. A would-be medical marijuana operator who failed to win a permit to operate in an initial round of permit-issuing filed a lawsuit last Friday challenging the process and seeking an injunction that would require the state to rescind all awarded permits and start over. That's raising concerns about medical marijuana supporters that it could cause needless suffering.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Democratic Senators Demand Trump Take Action on Opioid Epidemic. On Monday, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and nine Democratic senatorial colleagues sent a letter to President Trump asking the administration what it is doing about the recommendation that it declare an emergency around the opioid epidemic. Trump called it a national emergency more than a month ago, but nothing has happened since. "Regardless of whether you choose to declare a state of emergency, continued inaction on this issue is deeply concerning," the senators wrote. "Your lack of action -- coupled with your support of policies that would make access to substance use disorder care more difficult for millions of Americans -- causes us to question your commitment to ending the opioid use disorder and overdose crisis," the letter said.

International

Canadian Cops Want Delay in Marijuana Legalization Rollout. Representatives of various Canadian police forces testifying before the House of Commons said they would not be ready for the roll-out of marijuana legalization next summer and urged a delay. They also urged lawmakers to think again about allowing personal home cultivation, because it would be hard to police.

Colombia Clashes Leave One Coca Grower Dead, Two Wounded. The casualties occurred as coca growers in Morales, Cauca, clashed with soldiers taking part in forced eradication of coca crops. Farmers began throwing rocks at the soldiers, who apparently opened fire on the protestors. This is the second clash between angry coca growers and government forces in the past month, and reflects growing tensions over forced eradication.

UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Slams Philippines Drug War. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called out President Rodrigo Duterte for his "lack of respect for due process rights for all Filipinos" and his "open support for a shoot-to-kill policy." Al Hussein added that he was "gravely concerned" not only about the killings, but also about the lack of credible investigations into them.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Column: Ontario's Pot-Store Plan Is Legitimate A And Pathetic

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 09/12/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 12 Sep 2017 - Ontario's puritanical plan to sell marijuana in sterile state-run stores would be laughable if it was not a striking reminder that a) with just nine months before legalization, there is still no comprehensive plan in place and; b) foot-dragging legislators seem to have lost sight of why cannabis needs to be legalized in the first place. So here's a refresher: Prohibition does more harm than good; when you prosecute people for possessing a commonly used substance, you make a mockery of the law, you push otherwise law-abiding citizens to the black market, saddle people with criminal records for no good reason, waste the time and resources of police and the courts and forego tax revenue.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Ontario Goes With State-Owned Pot Shops, DEA Agent's Sordid Affair, More... (9/11/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 20:20

Canada's most populous province is going with a state monopoly on legal marijuana sales, the CARERS Act is back, last week's surprise budget deal preserves protections for legal medical marijuana states for a few more months, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Medical Marijuana

Congressional Budget Deal Preserves Medical Marijuana Protections -- For Now. The budget deal agreed to last week between President Trump and congressional leaders extends federal protections to state-legal medical marijuana programs through December 8. This provides an opportunity for House GOP leaders to rectify their decision last week not to allow a vote on the amendment that for the past four years has blocked the Justice Department from spending federal funds to go after medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

Bipartisan Group of Senators Reintroduce CARERS Act. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Rand Paul (R-KY) refiled the CARERS Act (Senate Bill 1764) last Wednesday. The bill aims to "extend the principle of federalism to State drug policy, provide access to medical marijuana, and enable research into the medicinal properties of marijuana."

Iowa Attorney General Cites Fed Fears to Block CBD from Out of State Dispensaries. The attorney general's office has advised the Department of Public Health not to implement a part of the state's CBD medical marijuana law that would have licensed two dispensaries from bordering states to supply CBD to Iowa patients. "It is possible that state's program may come under increased scrutiny from the federal government," a spokesman told the Des Moines Register, adding that the halt would remain "until the federal government provides further guidance regarding state medical marijuana programs."

Drug Policy

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Joins Trump's Drug Task Force. A Republican and Trump supporter, Bondi has been appointed to the Presidential Commission on Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, her office announced last Friday. The other commission members are chairman and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), North Carolina Roy Cooper (D), former US Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-MA), and Harvard professor Dr. Bertha Madras. The commission is supposed to issue a final report by October 1.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

New York Congressman Files Bill to Broaden Medication Assisted Treatment. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) has filed House Resolution 3692 to "amend the Controlled Substances Act to provide additional flexibility with respect to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders."

Law Enforcement

DEA Agent's Scandalous Affair Unveiled. A Justice Department inspector general's report released last Thursday revealed one bit of juicy scandal: A DEA agent carried on a wild affair with a convicted drug criminal for five years, and let her listen to active wiretaps, roam the evidence room unattended, and had sex with her in his office and official vehicle. The whole thing unraveled when she got pregnant, he reacted unfavorably, and she ratted him out to superiors. The unnamed agent was originally only suspended for 45 days, but was eventually fired.

International

Ontario Will Only Allow Legal Pot Sales in Government Monopoly Shops. Canada's most populous province announced last Friday that it will open 150 standalone pot shops operated by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), as well as eventually allowing an online order service. Dispensaries that have sprouted up in the province are out of luck: "Illicit cannabis dispensaries are not and will not be legal retailers," the province explained in a news release. "The province will pursue a coordinated and proactive enforcement strategy, working with municipalities, local police services, the OPP and the federal government to help shut down these illegal operations."

Canadian Prime Minister Just Says No to Drug Decriminalization. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has rejected calls from British Columbia public health and political figures to embrace drug decriminalization as part of a solution to the country's opioid crisis. "We are making headway on this and indeed the crisis continues and indeed spreads across the country but we are not looking at legalizing any other drugs than marijuana for the time being," Trudeau told a news conference in BC last Thursday.

German Poll Finds Solid Majority for Marijuana Legalization. A Mafo Market Research Institute poll has found signs of a rapid shift in support for freeing the weed in Germany. Polls going back to 2001 have had support hovering around 19%, but things began to change around 2014. That year, a poll had 30% supporting legalization. In November 2015, another poll had support at 42%. The new Mafo poll has support at 57.5%.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Where Will You Be Able To Smoke Pot?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 09 Sep 2017 - Where will it be legal to use recreational cannabis? Only in private residences, including apartment buildings and outdoor areas such as decks, porches and yards. But not in public places, workplaces or inside a vehicle, said the province in an announcement Friday.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: LCBO Will Open 150 Pot Shops

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 09 Sep 2017 - Government-controlled outlets, website only place weed will be bought legally Premier Kathleen Wynne is cornering Ontario's recreational marijuana market by restricting sales to 150 LCBO-run stores.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Province Going To Pot?

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 07:00
Barrie Examiner, 09 Sep 2017 - Ontario AG announces plans to put controls in place concerning sale of recreational marijuana It might well be the end of the world as we know it. Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi's announcement on the legalization of marijuana - or cannabis as it's now being referred to - - next July 1, is considered fine by many recreational pot smokers.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: OPED: Go Easy On Marijuana Regulation

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 07:00
Hamilton Spectator, 09 Sep 2017 - Ontario consumer advocate says overregulation will only encourage a black market The marijuana boom is going to hit Canada in 2018, but our country's regulators are going to stifle potential growth. Canada already has medical marijuana and it's been beneficial to the economy and more importantly, to patients. As a nation, we can't let regulators stifle the prosperity that could be generated with a legal recreational market. With legal marijuana on the horizon, it is important that regulators embrace the lessons we have learned from tobacco regulations. By lessons, I mean not repeating the same mistakes, and by mistakes, I mean branding bans and exorbitant excise/sin taxes. That's what regulators have mistakenly done with tobacco and it's what they want to do with marijuana.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US TX: Medical Marijuana To Start Growing In South Texas

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 07:00
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 08 Sep 2017 - Any day now, medical marijuana will legally start to grow in the state of Texas. It will be planted, grown and processed on a 10-acre parcel of land in Schulenburg, a small community east of San Antonio, now that the company that owns the property -- Cansortium Texas -- has received the state's first license to do so.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN MB: OPED: U.S. Offers Lessons For Legalization

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 07:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 08 Sep 2017 - IF Canada's experience with legal recreational marijuana parallels what is taking place in U.S. states, we have much to anticipate in terms of entrepreneurial ferment, job creation, wealth expansion and boosted tax receipts. Legal recreational marijuana has been law in Colorado for three and a half years, and a little more than three years in Washington. Oregon staggered its rollout of recreational marijuana between 2015 and last year, Alaska and Nevada's programs are up and running and soon to follow are Massachusetts, Maine and the cannabis behemoth known as California.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: House GOP Leaders Block MedMJ Vote, Roger Stone Out at Pot Expos, More... (9/7/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 20:25

It's all marijuana news today, with Delaware and Illinois lawmakers pondering legalization, the Vermont governor setting out a two-year road map to legalization, the House leadership blocking a vote on an amendment protecting medical marijuana, and more.

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

Delaware Marijuana Legalization Task Force Meets. A legislative task force charged with studying how to implement legalization met for the first time Wednesday. Members hope to address issues including taxation, banking, and health and public safety concerns.

Illinois Marijuana Legalization Bills Get Hearing. A joint House-Senate appropriations committee heard starkly differing testimony from drug policy experts and law enforcement officials at a hearing on legalization bills Wednesday. Police and prosecutors worried about youth use, driving under the influence, and discredited gateway theories, while experts said legalization would allow a widely used substance to be regulated.

Vermont Governor Forms Marijuana Advisory Commission, Would Put Legalization Two Years Down the Road. Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed an executive order Thursday creating the Governor's Marijuana Advisory Commission to study issue around marijuana legalization. Earlier this year, Scott vetoed a legalization bill that reached his desk, citing public safety concerns. Although legislators amended the bill to win his signature, legislative Republicans blocked a vote on the amended bill during a special session. Scott envisions the advisory commission coming up with a final report by December 2018, setting the state for the legislature to act in 2019, but there are signs legislators may not want to wait.

Manhattan DA Lessens Pot Penalties in Bid to Avoid Immigrant Deportations. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has issued new plea guidelines for small-time pot possession cases that would help protect immigrants from being deported for criminal offenses, no matter how minor. The prosecutor's office has a deferred adjudication program in place that drops charges if the defendant is not arrested again within 12 months, but now Vance has reduced that period to three months for a first offense and six months for a second offense. Vance's office estimates this will end criminal prosecutions for nearly 20,000 people each year.

Trump Ally and Political Dirty Trickster Roger Stone Bumped from Pot Expo Speaker Slot. Bowing to pressure from marijuana industry members infuriated by the inclusion of a man they see as a racist, misogynist, Donald Trump enabler, the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo (CWCBExpo) announced Wednesday that it has rescinded the invitation for Stone to be the keynote speaker at looming expos in Los Angeles and Boston. The expo had faced a boycott of speakers and exhibitors led by the Minority Cannabis Business Alliance. Now it faces a lawsuit from an angry Stone.

Medical Marijuana

House GOP Leadership Blocks Vote to Protect Medical Marijuana States. House GOP leaders won't allow a vote on an amendment to a spending bill that bars the Justice Department from spending money to go after state-compliant medical marijuana programs, several lawmakers said Thursday. The Farr-Rohrabacher amendment has protected those state programs for the past four years, but House leaders said "it splits the conference too much so we're not going to have a vote on it," The Hill reported. The move came despite pleas from Rep. Rohrabacher (R-CA) to allow the vote.

Texas Issues First CBD Medical Marijuana License. The state has issued a license to Cansortium Texas to grow, process, and sell CBD medical marijuana products to patients. Two other companies have applications in the pipeline. The move comes two years after the legislature approved a bill allowing for CBD use for epilepsy.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US PA: Gov. Wolf: Crackdown On Medical Marijuana Will 'Force More

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 07:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 07 Sep 2017 - Federal interference with Pennsylvania's medical-marijuana program would "force more suffering on some of our most vulnerable constituents," Gov. Wolf said in a letter to Rep. Charlie Dent (R., Pa.), who serves on the House Appropriations Committee. Wolf is alarmed that Congress could eliminate a provision in an appropriations bill that for four years has prohibited federal agencies from cracking down on the implementation of state-approved medical-cannabis programs.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

US: Teen Marijuana Use Falls To 20-Year Low, Defying Legalization

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 07:00
Washington Post, 07 Sep 2017 - In 2016, rates of marijuana use among the nation's 12- to 17-year-oldsA dropped to their lowest level inA more than two decades, according to federal survey data released this week. Last year, 6.5 percent of adolescents used marijuana on a monthly basis, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. That represents a statistically significant drop from 2014,A when the nation's first recreational marijuana shops opened in Washington state and Colorado.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Grow-Ops Upsetting Residents

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 07:00
The Simcoe Reformer, 07 Sep 2017 - Issues related to the legal production of marijuana are making increased demands on Norfolk County's time and resources. Norfolk council members have been surprised in recent months by the number of complaints they are receiving from rural residents who find themselves living next door to legal grow-ops.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 20:33

The feds poking about in California and Colorado is raising hackles, Maryland's first commercial medical marijuana grows get underway, Montana's largest city bans dispensaries, and more.

[image:1 align:right]California

On Wednesday, a federal request for patient data was raising hackles, but getting nowhere. An official with the National Marijuana Initiative, a project of the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, last month asked state officials for data on the age, gender, and stated affliction -- but not the name -- of every state resident who received a medical marijuana card between 2012 and 2016. The Initiative official said they wanted the data only to study "usage rates" among different age groups, but was nonetheless rebuffed by an employee of the state Medical Marijuana Program, who said the program only administers the ID card program and "does not have information regarding dispensaries." The program also clarified that it does not keep records of ID card application after they are issued.

Colorado

Last Thursday, a lawsuit claimed the Justice Department was using the IRS to do criminal investigations of pot businesses. The owners of a medical marijuana business in the town of Silt have filed a lawsuit challenging IRS subpoenas to the state's Marijuana Enforcement Division that seek information about how much marijuana the businesses have grown, who they sold it to, and when. The lawsuit alleges that the information is being sought for possible use in criminal investigations by the Justice Department. The IRS says it is simply trying to verify financial records.

Iowa

Last Wednesday, Ithe governor named members of a medical marijuana board. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) named eight members to serve on the Medical Cannabidiol Board. The board is charged with overseeing the state's newly expanded, but still extremely restrictive, CBD medical marijuana law. Click on the link for the appointees' names.

Maryland

As of Monday, licensed medical marijuana grows were underway.The first two licensed medical marijuana cultivators in the state have begun growing their first crop. Both ForwardGro and Curio Wellness report they now have plants growing. But at this point, there's only one dispensary licensed to sell it to. The state could see up to a hundred dispensaries, which have until December to show final documentation and prove they are ready to do business.

Montana

On Tuesday, the state's largest city banned dispensaries. The Billings city council voted on Tuesday to ban dispensaries. Although the city enacted an ordinance in 2011 prohibiting dispensaries, a couple are operating in the city anyway. At least one of them, Montana Advanced Caregivers, has said it isn't going anywhere and will continue serving patients.

Pennsylvania

Last Thursday, Pstate officials agreed it must reveal the names of members on a secret application-vetting panel. The state Office of Open Records concluded that the state must name the members of a panel that scored applications for medical marijuana permits. The Health Department had argued that keeping the names secret protected panel members from undue pressure or threats to their safety. But the secrecy also blocked panel members from being scrutinized for conflicts of interest.

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Angela Merkel in No Rush to Free the Weed, MD MedMJ Grows Underway, More... (9/6/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 20:19

The feds continue to seek marijuana data from states, a Philippines senator stands up to Duterte, Angela Merkel isn't worrying too much about weed, and more.

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

Federal Request for Patient Data Raises Hackles in California. An official with the National Marijuana Initiative, a project of the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, last month asked state officials for data on the age, gender, and stated affliction -- but not the name -- of every state resident who received a medical marijuana card between 2012 and 2016. The Initiative official said they wanted the data only to study "usage rates" among different age groups, but was nonetheless rebuffed by an employee of the state Medical Marijuana Program, who said the program only administers the ID card program and "does not have information regarding dispensaries." The program also clarified that it does not keep records of ID card application after they are issued.

Maryland Medical Marijuana Grows Are Underway.The first two licensed medical marijuana cultivators in the state have begun growing their first crop. Both ForwardGro and Curio Wellness report they now have plants growing. But at this point, there's only one dispensary licensed to sell it to. The state could see up to a hundred dispensaries, which have until December to show final documentation and prove they are ready to do business.

International

Philippines Senator Rejects Duterte Claim There is No Policy to Kill Drug Offenders. A day after President Rodrigo Duterte called her "stupid" for questioning his claim that there was no state policy of killing drug suspects, Sen. Risa Hontiveros reiterated her disbelief: "I am not a genius but I know that while two deaths do not make a policy, thousands of dead, without remorse, regret, or action from the government do," she said in a statement. "Eight thousand to 13,000 people have already died in this bloody war on drugs, mostly from the ranks of the poor."

Angela Merkel Not in Any Rush to Legalize Weed. Don't hold your breath waiting for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to lead the way on marijuana law reform. "I do not think of it," she told Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung. "We allow a very limited medical application, and I do not intend to make any changes."

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN NS: Medical Marijuana Operation Re-Opened

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 07:00
Truro Daily News, 06 Sep 2017 - After the RCMP raided three local medicinal marijuana dispensaries last week, one store has already re-opened. Maritime Medicinal, one of the three Bible Hill dispensaries, reopened its Main Street location immediately after officers cleared out Friday afternoon.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Canada: Eat Your Green

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 06 Sep 2017 - Fledgling entrepreneurs are trying to get started in the edible marijuana business in advance of next summer's promised legalization. As Corey Mintz reports, they have all the stresses of any other food business, as well as other, more unique concerns Buying and selling marijuana in Canada is currently a very grey market - - almost legal but with a shrug emoji attached. Along this legally nebulous frontier, no one has more of an uphill battle than the makers and distributors of edible products.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Fed MJ Amendments Coming, Trump to Name Marino as Drug Czar, More... (9/5/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 20:23

Trump nominates a drug czar, federal drug prosecutions are down, Obama's clemency program barely scratched the surface, British nitrous oxide prosecutions get laughed out of court, and more.

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

Federal Representatives File Marijuana Banking Amendments. Congressional supporters of legal marijuana have filed two amendments to the House Treasury appropriations bill. One would prohibit Treasury from spending money to punish banks that service the legal marijuana sector; the other bars Treasury from altering FinCEN's guidance to banking institutions. If passed, the bills would allow marijuana businesses in compliance with state laws to have access to the banking system.

Rep. Ted Lieu Files Amendment to Cut DEA Eradication Funding. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) has reintroduced an amendment to slash funding for the DEA's marijuana eradication program by half. Last year, the budget for eradication was $18 million, spent mainly on uprooting low-THC feral hemp in the Midwest. The program "is a ridiculous waste of precious federal resources, especially when multiple states and jurisdictions have already legalized marijuana… it is time for the federal government to stop making marijuana use or possession a federal crime," Lieu said.

California Regulation Bills Die As Legislature Gets Out of the Way. The Senate Appropriations Committee last Friday bottled up ten bills aimed at regulating legal marijuana commerce, leaving the way clear for the state's new Bureau of Cannabis Control to finish its own rulemaking process before lawmakers come back with additional restrictions. "Legislative leaders are working with the administration on a budget trailer bill to resolve cannabis-related issues. It makes sense to take a comprehensive approach," Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) chairman of the committee, told the Marin Journal.

Colorado Lawsuit Claims DOJ Using IRS to Do Criminal Investigations of Pot Businesses. The owners of a medical marijuana business in the town of Silt have filed a lawsuit challenging IRS subpoenas to the state's Marijuana Enforcement Division that seek information about how much marijuana the businesses have grown, who they sold it to, and when. The lawsuit alleges that the information is being sought for possible use in criminal investigations by the Justice Department. The IRS says it is simply trying to verify financial records.

Delaware Task Force on Marijuana Legalization Will Meet Wednesday. A state legislative task force charged with studying how marijuana might be legalized and making recommendations on doing so will meet for the first time on Wednesday. The task force was created by legislative resolution after a bill to legalize marijuana failed earlier this year.

Drug Policy

Trump to Name Pennsylvania Republican Congressman as Drug Czar. The White House announced Friday that President Trump will nominate Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP -- the drug czar's office). Marino had been mentioned as a possible drug czar earlier, but withdrew from consideration in May, citing family illness.

Law Enforcement

Federal Drug Prosecutions Fall Under Trump. Despite all the tough talk about cracking down on crime coming from the White House and the Justice Department, the latest data from the department show that overall criminal conviction and drug conviction are both down during the first 10 months of Fiscal Year 2017. Overall criminal convictions were down 12.3% over last year and are now lower than at any time since 2008. Federal drug convictions were also down by 4.0%, reaching their lowest level since 1997. Of all DOJ prosecutions, immigration offenses accounted for 53.1%, followed by drug conviction at 18.6%.

Sentencing

Report on Obama's Clemency Initiative Finds Only a Small Percentage of Those Eligible Actually Got Clemency. The US Sentencing Commission has released an analysis of the implementation of the Obama administration's 2014 clemency initiative, which encouraged long-serving, nonviolent drug offenders to apply for sentence cuts. The report found that while President Obama granted more commutations than any other president (1,928) and that most of them (1,696) were sentence commutations under the 2014 Clemency Initiative, the initiative only saw sentence cuts for only 3.4% of all federally imprisoned drug trafficking offenders who appeared to meet all the clemency criteria. On the other hand, those who did get sentence cuts saw an average reduction of nearly 12 years.

International

Philippines Drug War Has Nation's Jails Creaking Under the Pressure. While the horrid killings of thousands of suspected drug users and dealers had grabbed the world's attention, President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war has also seen nearly 100,000 people arrested on drug charges, with almost all (94%) of them still in jail awaiting trial. As a result, the country's jails are now tremendously overcrowded, with one prison with an official capacity of 262 inmates now holding 2,975 -- three-fourths of them for drug offenses. It's not just the jails that are feeling the pinch; the Public Attorney's Office, which defends the cases, reports a backlog of 303,000 drug cases, nearly 2 ½ times the backlog when Duterte took office.

British Courts Throw Out Laughing Gas Prosecutions. In the past few days, two cases in which the government attempted to prosecute people for supplying nitrous oxide (laughing gas) have collapsed, with courts ruling that that the stuff is a medicine and thus exempt from last year's Psychoactive Substances Act. This is no surprise to drug experts, including the government's own drug advisors, who warned the law was overly broad and unworkable.

Categories: Medical Marijuana
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