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Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Pot Advocate Back In Falls

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 07:00
The Niagara Falls Review, 03 Oct 2017 - Grow Up Expo features Jodie Emery as speaker at convention focused on impending legalization of marijuana next July Jodie Emery laughs when reminded of her last visit to Niagara Falls seven years ago.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: OPED: Give First Nations Priority Access To Marijuana Industry

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 07:00
North Bay Nugget, 03 Oct 2017 - The legalization of marijuana in Canada in July 2018 gives the federal government an opportunity to bring communities - including Indigenous ones - into this lucrative sector in a big way. For example, Manitoba's Opaskwayak Cree Nation recently took a major stake in a medical marijuana company. OCN purchased $3 million in shares in National Access Cannabis, a privately held company that recently traded publicly for the first time.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Trump DEA Pick Has Issues, FL MedMJ Licenses Delayed, More... (10/2/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 20:32

The man Trump will reportedly name to head the DEA has some racial profiling issues in his past, the Global Commission on Drugs issued recommendations on dealing with the opioid crisis, the 6th Circuit slaps down the DEA in an asset forfeiture case, and more.

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

Florida Will Miss Deadline for Issuing Grower Licenses. Florida officials were supposed to distribute ten medical marijuana cultivation licenses Tuesday, but that's not going to happen. Officials said last Friday said the delay would be brief and pointed fingers at Hurricane Irma and a recently-filed lawsuit from a black farmer challenging the state's effort to achieve racial diversity among growers. That farmer charged that the state's guidelines were too restrictive.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Global Commission on Drug Policy Releases Position Paper on North America Opioid Crisis. The Global Commission on Drug Policy Monday released a position paper on The Opioid Crisis in North America. The members of the Global Commission, several of whom faced similar crises while occupying the highest levels of government, share their views and recommendations on how to mitigate this epidemic. The Commission warns against cutting the supply of prescription opioids without first having supporting measures in place, and emphasizes the need to improve and expand proven harm reduction services and treatment options, including opioid substitution therapy and heroin-assisted treatment. Regulation of prescription opioids needs to become well-balanced to provide effective pain care while minimizing misuse. The Global Commission also calls for the de facto decriminalization of drug use and possession for personal use at the municipal, city or State/Province levels, so that people in need of health and social services can access them freely, easily, and without fear of punishment. Finally, the Global Commission suggests allowing pilot projects for the responsible legal regulation of currently illicit drugs including opioids, to bypass criminal organizations that drive and benefit from the black market.

Asset Forfeiture

6th Circuit Slaps Down DEA Cleveland Airport Cash Seizure. Even when it looks like they have the perfect case, the DEA and the courts can't cut corners in their efforts to seize suspected drug money, the court held in a case decided late last month. Agents had seized $41,000 in cash from two men with previous drug convictions who had purchased tickets to -- gasp! -- California, and their drug dog told them the money was tainted. The men appealed the seizure, saying the cash was legally obtained, but the DEA moved to strike their claim, saying they had provided no proof, and a lower court agreed. But the DEA and the lower court erred, the appeals court ruled, by shifting the burden of proof to the claimants at that early stage of the proceedings: "Finally, we note our concern that the government's approach would turn the burden of proof in forfeiture actions on its head. Under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA), the government bears the burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that the subject of a civil forfeiture action is, in fact, forfeitable," the opinion concluded. "Requiring a forfeiture claimant to explain the nature of his ownership at the pleading stage would be asking the claimant to satisfy the government's burden of proof, or at least go a long way toward doing so."

Drug Policy

Trump Could Name Racial Profiling Apologist to Head DEA. The Washington Post has reported that President Trump will name New Jersey State Police Superintendent Joseph Fuentes to head the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In 2000, Fuentes, then a state police trooper, wrote a paper defending "suspect profiling" as the state was embroiled in controversy over "driving while black" and police tactics like asking hotel clerk to report guests who were "suspicious" because they had dreadlocks or spoke Spanish. "Because of the disproportionate involvement of minorities in these... arrests, civil rights groups have branded the whole process of highway drug enforcement as racist," he wrote. But when pressed during his nomination to head the state police, Fuentes disavowed that position and denied being an apologist for racial profiling.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Charges Dropped Against 'Budtenders'

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 30 Sep 2017 - Caught up in pot shop raids Charges have been dropped against two of the clerks charged in police raids on Magna Terra Health Services marijuana dispensaries last spring. It's the first time prosecutors in Ottawa have withdrawn charges against "budtenders" working at illegal pot shops. That's in contrast to Toronto, where prosecutors have thrown out many of the drug trafficking charges against marijuana store clerks.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Column: Pot Laws A Challenge For Government

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 07:00
Prince George Citizen, 30 Sep 2017 - They say B.C.'s pot laws have taken so long to sort out because May's provincial election delayed the process. Either that, or our guys were hot-boxing a van behind the legislature and simply forgot to get it done.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Quebec To Have Gov't Pot Shops; Seattle, WA State Sue Pharma Cos, More... (9/29/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 20:28

Nevada sets legal marijuana sales records, Quebec will go with government marijuana shops, Seattle and the state of Washington file lawsuits over the opioid crisis, and more.

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

Nevada Legal Sales Begin at Blistering Pace. Pot shops sold $27.1 million worth of products during July, the first month of legal sales in the state. That's nearly double what Colorado and Washington did in their first month of sales and nearly seven times what Washington did. And the state collected a cool $10.2 million in industry fees and taxes.

Rhode Island Appoints Members of Legalization Commission. The state has announced the naming of 19 members to the special legislative commission charged with studying the effects of potential marijuana legalization. The commission is the result of a bill passed by the legislature after legalization efforts fell short earlier this year. It will conduct a comprehensive review, study social and fiscal impacts, and make recommendations regarding pot policy.

Medical Marijuana

Georgia Lawmaker Mobilizes Supporters to Broaden State's Law. State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) is calling on families and advocates to contact their legislators ahead of the upcoming legislative session to lay the groundwork for expanding the state's CBD medical marijuana law to allow limited cultivation and manufacturing in the state. The state legalized the use of CBD cannabis oil in 2013, but there is no legal way to obtain it. Peake wants to let one or two growers and manufacturers operate in the state. They would be limited to creating CBD cannabis oil.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Seattle, State of Washington Sue Opioid Manufacturers. The city and the state announced Thursday that they have filed two lawsuits against major drug companies they say fueled the opioid crisis by downplaying the risk of addiction with popular opioid pain pills. The city is suing Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, among several others. The state named only Purdue, the maker of OxyContin, as a defendant. The state has seen a 60% increase in opioid-related hospitalizations between 2009 and 2014 and about 10,000 opioid overdose deaths since 2000.

International

Quebec Premier Sets Legal Pot Age at 18, Orders State Monopoly on Sales. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard decided Thursday that the legal age for marijuana consumption in the province would be 18 and that the distribution and sale of marijuana will be under the control of the state. The province will create a crown corporation relying on the expertise of its alcohol regulators, the Société des alcools, to set up and run the system. Ontario, Canada's most populous province, has also opted for government monopoly pot shops, much to the dismay of entrepreneurs and some consumers.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN BC: Mayor Doesn't Want Delta To Become Pot Growing Capital Of

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 07:00
Delta Optimist, 29 Sep 2017 - Lois Jackson says municipal hall is receiving five to 10 inquiries a day as legalization date less than a year off There are a lot of questions that need answering before recreational marijuana is legalized, says Mayor Lois Jackson.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Houston Quits Trying "Trace Amount" Drug Cases, US Chides Colombia, More... (9/28/17)

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 20:12

San Antonio quits arresting small-time pot violators, Houston quits prosecuting folks caught with trace amounts of drugs, Vermont begins pondering how to do pot legalization, the US chides Colombia on coca and the FARC, and more.

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

Vermont Marijuana Commission Begins Legalization Study. The state Marijuana Advisory Commission is holding its first meeting today. The commission is charged with studying the best way to legalize marijuana in the state. Gov. Phil Scott (R) empaneled the commission after vetoing a legalization bill in May. In his veto message, Scott said he wasn't opposed to legalization, but had concerns about underage use and impaired driving. The commission is set to report back to the legislature in January.

San Antonio to Quit Arresting People for Pot Possession. Authorities in Bexar County (San Antonio) announced Wednesday that they will no longer arrest small-time marijuana and other misdemeanor offenders, instead issuing them citations. People cited must complete a program before charges are dismissed. San Antonio now joins Harris County (Houston) and Dallas in enacting policies to no longer arrest small-time pot offenders.

Medical Marijuana

Michigan Lawmakers Seek to Keep Dispensaries Open. As the state prepares to shift to a new regime allowing licensed dispensaries, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has tentatively asked all existing dispensaries to shut down by December 15 and seek licenses. But some legislators have filed House Bill 5014, which would allow dispensaries to stay open while their license applications are pending before the department. A Senate version of the bill is expected to be filed shortly.

Law Enforcement

Houston Stops Prosecuting Cases of Trace Amounts of Drugs. Harris County (Houston) District Attorney Kim Ogg has quit pursuing thousands of "trace drug" cases, where people are charged with drug possession based on drug residues left in baggies or syringes. Ogg actually quietly implemented the policy in July, but has gone public with it now. The move will save the county the cost of prosecuting somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 felony cases each year.

Sentencing

New House Bill Creates Incentives to Reduce Crime, Incarceration at Same Time. Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) filed the Reverse Mass Incarceration Act of 2017 on Wednesday. Companion legislation, Senate Bill 1458, was filed in June by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). The bill would essentially reverse the 1994 crime bill, which provided incentives to states to increase prison populations. It would instead pay states to decrease incarceration rates through incentivizing grants.

International

US Ambassador to Colombia Says FARC Has Not Complied With Peace Deal. "The FARC have not complied, in my opinion, with their obligations under the agreement," US Ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker said during a recent interview with El Tiempo. Whitaker claimed the leftist rebels continued to encourage coca cultivation in some parts of the country and said they should not be involved in government-sponsored crop substitution programs. Whitaker's comments are in line with other US officials, who have become increasingly critical of the peace deal between the FARC and the government as coca and cocaine production have increased in the past two years.

Philippines Claims It Doesn't Allow Extrajudicial Killings in Drug War. In a statement released as Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano met in Washington with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Philippines government denied it had a policy of killing suspected drug users and dealers. "Contrary to media reports, Cayetano also clarified to Tillerson that the Philippines does not have a state policy allowing extrajudicial killings, especially of illegal drug suspects," the statement read. The statement also welcomed further cooperation with Washington and reiterated the "seriousness" of the country's "drug problem." Thousands of people have been killed since President Duterte unleashed his drug war, but the Philippines claims it only kills suspects who were violently resisting arrest.

Categories: Medical Marijuana

US AZ: Column: Out With A Whimper

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 28 Sep 2017 - Maricopa County Attorney loses legal battle with tail between his legs Earlier this month, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state's medical marijuana industry by quashing a long-standing legal assault by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
Categories: Medical Marijuana

CN ON: Fantino Turns Over New Leaf

Cannabis - Medicinal (MAP) - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 07:00
NOW Magazine, 28 Sep 2017 - Toronto's former chief is not the only ex-cop or politician looking to profit from legal marijuana, but he may be the biggest hypocrite among them Julian Fantino has turned over a new leaf on marijuana. The former Toronto police chief, OPP commish and Harper-era cabinet minister will serve as executive chair of something called Aleafia Inc., which describes itself on its website as a "total health network."
Categories: Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 09/27/2017 - 20:37

It was a pretty quiet week on the medical marijuana front, with all the action taking place in the courts. A Florida farmer sues over grower licenses, a Montana dispensary operator sues over a local ban, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Florida

Last Friday, the state's medical marijuana law was challenged by a black farmer. A state law designed to ensure that at least one medical marijuana cultivation license is reserved for a black farmer has been challenged by a black farmer. Panama City farmer Columbus Smith filed suit to challenge the law, arguing that it is so narrowly drawn that only a handful of black farmers in the state could qualify. The lawsuit names as a defendant the state Department of Health, which issues licenses, and seeks a temporary injunction blocking the issuance of licenses under that provision of the law.

Kentucky

Last Wednesday, a court dismissed a lawsuit aimed at the governor and attorney general. A lawsuit filed against Gov. Matt Bevin (R) and Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) seeking to force them to legalize medical marijuana in the state was thrown out. A Franklin circuit court judge ruled that legal precedent makes it clear that only the legislature can regulate the use of marijuana in the state -- not the executive branch and not the courts.

Montana

Last Friday, a Billings dispensary owner won a temporary restraining order to block a local ban. Richard Abromeit, the co-owner of Montana Advanced Caregivers in Billings, and a patient filed a temporary restraining order against the city in a bid to block city officials from enforcing its new ordinance banning medical marijuana businesses. Now, the city cannot enforce the ban until a future court hearing decides the issue. The dispensary has operated in Billings for a decade, but city fathers voted last month to approve an ordinance that bans all medical marijuana businesses.

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

Categories: Medical Marijuana
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